For the past week or so, this voice has been coaxing me to try a simple little Mexican eatery that I know I have passed about a million times on East McDowell Road. Since I am always on the look out for great tacos, I was directed to Rosita's Place by Leanne over at the Chowhound.com boards.
It was a Thursday before a holiday weekend and I was in the neighborhood, so I stopped by Rosita's to try a combo plate, including a taco. As I entered the place, I knew I would be putting my tastebuds in Leanne's hands. The restaurant was festively decorated and the little pond with koi fish in the middle of the restaurant was a nice touch. I was very surprised, however, to see the number of people in the restaurant. After all, it was 3 PM, and on a Thursday. I took a table next to the jukebox.
I had barely made myself comfortable when I was brought a huge basket of sizzling chips and two sauces: one red and one green. I loved the fact the chips were still belching steam from their surfaces. The sauces were ice cold and it was a match in heaven for me. First, I tried the red sauce. It is quite tangy, with a very nice garlic tastes and a balanced saltiness. After a few chips, the heat hit me. Wow! This was really well spiced and made my lips and mouth tingle. No Allegra for me today! Next up was the green sauce. It was tasty. I won't say anything bad about it, because I am not a big fan of green chile sauce. But this was good though not as hot as the red.
The server came to take my order and after looking over the menu, I ordered my standard combo platter of a taco, tostada and enchilada. It also came with rice and beans. A Diet Coke would wash it all down. I noticed that the menu was pretty standard with a couple of exceptions. The chicken enchiladas in mole sauce was an interesting read and the "Divorced Eggs" (two eggs, one covered with red sauce and one with green sauce and separated by refried beans) made me chuckle.
About 10 minutes later, my server appeared looking a bit concerned. She told me that there was a problem in the kitchen and apologized that my meal would take a bit longer than anticipated. This didn't bother me. I was very pleased that someone from the staff was honest and up front about any delay well before it turned into bad customer service. I was more than content to wait.
Another 10 minutes passed and my meal arrived. It was a gigantic platter, searing hot, and the items were carefully set to make sure that everything was in its place. I dove into the tostada. It was good. A crunchy, fried tortilla, creamy beans, and cold lettuce and cheese were piled fairly high. I gave it a good shot of the red sauce and it was a great mix.
Next, it was time for the test. I dressed the taco with some red sauce and took my first bite. Ah! I was very pleased. The meat was rich and smokey and highly seasoned. What I was unable to distinguish was the true texture of the meat. It was either ground, finely ground or minced. In any event, it was a great taste and the taco was heavy and packed with meat, lettuce and cheese. (Thanks for the tip, Leanne!)
I decided to work on the rice and beans a bit. The beans were tasty and covered with cheese, but a bit overcooked for my taste. The rice was rich and fluffy and had a subtle tomatoey and garlic tone.
The enchilada had cooled and my first bite consisted of a large amount of thoroughly melted cheese and a soft, corn tortilla covered in an mild sauce. It was not an outstanding enchilada, but it was very good. The amount of cheese inside and the fact that it was melted completely made it a good enchilada. The sauce was pretty standard, but there was nothing wrong with that.
I did notice that I was filling up rather quickly and when I headed to the register with my bill in hand, I had left some beans and rice on the plate. They do not shy away from large portions at Rosita's.
I walked to the register and paid my $9.21 bill. I thought it was a great value.
I departed Rosita's to the back where I had parked my car. I liked what I had and will certainly add this to my rotation of Mexican food places. The tacos were excellent and I will go back even if just for a couple to munch on.
The only bad part was that I failed to notice that a bit of oil or grease from the taco had dropped onto my shirt. I was too busy enjoying my taco to notice. So, I felt it only fair to place the blame where it should go.
It's all your fault, Leanne.
2310 East McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006