Several restaurant operators have cited business difficulties due to light rail and other construction projects, and a few have even closed. Given the difficulties of operating with torn-up streets, it is inspiring to see a new restaurant open directly along the path of the light rail line. The owners of Suenos New Mexican Cafe have done just that, opening in Spring of 2007 just a block west of the 12th St. / Washington (westbound) and 12th St. / Jefferson (eastbound) light rail stations currently under construction. Suenos is located in Azteca Plaza, a shopping center on Washington Street dominated by wedding-oriented businesses, and occupies a space that was once home to the popular but long-defunct Menudo Pot restaurant.
Suenos serves a familiar array of border specialties, including tacos, enchiladas, burros, tostadas, chimichangas, and flautas. All are competently prepared with quality ingredients. What makes Suenos different from numerous other restaurants nearby is its half dozen New Mexican specialties, all of them named for places in the Land of Enchantment. Nearly all feature a choice of red or green chile stew with meat, and several incorporate sopapillas. The most interesting item is the Las Cruces, Sonoran-style enchiladas which are stacked rather than rolled and then topped with a fried egg and red or green chile. All entrees are preceded by complimentary chips and hot sauce.
Service is fast-casual in style, with orders taken at the counter and food delivered to each customer's chosen table. Staff are consistently friendly and helpful in answering questions about unfamiliar menu items. The only disappointment with Suenos is the beverage selection, which is currently limited to fountain sodas and bottled water. A selection of fruit juices, aqua frescas, or similar drinks might add variety. No alcohol is served. Suenos is open from 10 AM until 6 PM Tuesday through Friday, and 9 AM until 3 PM Saturday.
1010 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ, 85034
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