Having Mexican food for lunch has become a ritual for Dave the Roommate and me. We are always on the search for some decent south-of-the-border grub from some new place we discover either by passing by the spot on our way somewhere or finding reference to it on the Internets.
While doing some online search, I came across a blurb on Via De Losantos in north Phoenix. I knew the general location as that is where my family physician has an office, but I couldnt quite place it. I threw out the suggestion that we try this place to Dave and, hearing no objections, we headed to north Phoenix.
Via De Losantos was on Central Avenue and the little white building that housed the place would have been overlooked if it wasnt for the sign out front. We parked on the south side and walk around the front of the building to enter through a very long and narrow patio, which had seen better days. We walked into the restaurant and were seated at a table in the back of the restaurant.
The interior was an interesting hodgepodge of Mexican art and kitschy items. The place was bright and cheery and was fairly busy. The seating, however, was fairly uncomfortable because of the very tight spaces inside the main dining room due to the general construction of the building and wall extensions jetting out here and there.
We were brought chips and salsa and water along with the menus. The chips were good. Crisp, salty and fresh, they were a good start to the meal. The salsa was also decent, but the taste was slightly marred by the dominating taste of the tomatoes at the expense of the other ingredients.
Our server appeared and took our drink order. Dave decided to have a Diet Pepsi ($1.95) and I had an Iced Tea ($1.50) along with their signature Margarita on the Rocks ($1.99). The menu had plenty of choices and we were having at tough time deciding what to get. Our server reappeared with our drinks and then took our order. Dave choice the Chicken Chimichanga Dinner ($9.25) but asked that the Chimichanga be served Fundido style ($1.85). I was in a brunchy mood and went for the Chorizo Con Huevos ($7.85). To start things off, we were as predictable as ever and ordered a Cheese Crisp ($4.35).
About 10 minutes passed and I was brought my Margarita shortly followed by the Cheese Crisp.
The Margarita was about 6 ounces worth of beverage in what looked to be an old parfait glass. The rim had a bit of salt along the rim, which I preferred to the normal salt licks that many places foist upon the rim. The margarita was a bit weak for my taste, but had a decent lime flavor. For $1.99, it wasnt bad.
The Cheese Crisp was outstanding. The tortilla shell was nicely crisped and the bottom had been browned. The cheese on top was fully melted and there was plenty of it to satisfy our palates. Dave was very pleased with this and now has his patented pull and lift technique to see if the cheese is melted and gooey. It was.
About 10 more minutes passed and we received our entrees. Both were searing hot and I could smell the chorizo wafting from my plate. I put some of the salsa on the chorizo and eggs and dove in. I really enjoyed it. The chorizo was spicy, but the spiciness didnt overwhelm the dish. The eggs were soft scrambled which made the texture very pleasing. There was also a large serving of the eggs and chorizo, so I was filling up fast. The beans were rather bland, but the rice was super moist and had a nice richness to it. The flour tortilla that came with my dish was steaming hot and fresh, although it did seem a bit too chewy for my taste. Overall, however, I was very pleased with my dish. It was hearty, tasty and a perfect item for a Saturday brunch.
Daves Chicken Chimichanga (Fundido Style) was fairly large. The cream cheese sauce that covered the chimi was thick and abundant. Dave seemed rather pleased by this and then cut into his Chimichanga. Wow, he said. I asked him if something was wrong, and he said no. He was just surprised at the inside filling. The chimi was stuffed with chicken. A lot of chicken. Dave said the chicken filling was moist and well-seasoned and the fundido sauce was delicious. The more he progressed through the chimi, the more he mentioned about how much chicken was in the filling mix. Dave was giving the old college try to finish it all off, but stop short of success. He agreed that the beans were boring, but he also liked the rice.
We finished our meals and our server arrived asking if we wanted anything else. We only requested the bill, which was $30.91 including tax. Service was friendly, but fairly inattentive. We often had to flag down our server for more water or napkins, etc. Part of the problem seemed to be that there was no active bus staff on the floor. That probably only highlighted the situation further.
We paid our bill and left. We exited through the patio area again and I was thinking that with a fresh coat of paint, a general scrubbing and the addition of some misters, the patio be a great place for a $1.99 margarita and a cheese crisp.
Dave and I drove back to East Phoenix and agreed that the food at Via De Losantos was very good, but the service needed some polishing. We felt the total cost was a good value and we would come back.
Overall, it was another successful Saturday Mexican luncheon.
Via De Losantos
9120 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85020
Notes: Parking is on the south side of the building.