One of our favorite and more recent finds is Barrio Queen in the Heritage District of Gilbert. Barrio Queen has a long standing location in Scottsdale in addition to their new location in Gilbert. Barrio Queen is not your average Mexican restaurant. Gordon Ramsey showed up at the opening, if that tells you anything. The atmosphere is casual sophistication so you can wear everything from shorts to dresses and feel perfectly comfortable dining there.
Recently we had friends in town that are looking to relocate from the Midwest. They desperately missed the type of good Mexican food they couldn’t find at home but remembered from their youth. They were a little dubious that we were taking them to an “upscale” rather than “traditional” Mexican restaurant.
When we ordered the guacamole, our friend Jim said he didn’t really like ‘guac’ but it was fine if everyone else wanted it. It only took one bite and we had a convert to the ‘guac’ loving side of life. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about putting craisins in guacamole?!? Granted I would’ve thought that sounded weird but as it turns out, weird tastes good. Really good.
Then there’s the queso fundido….seriously, who can resist hot and gooey Oaxaca cheese topped with chorizo?? Christine spent the remainder of the evening raving about it and wondering if she could get this cheese in Iowa. Needless to say, we ate far too much, loved every bite and took home fewer leftovers than we should have.
I think they liked it!
From previous dinners there, my husband has decided that the elote (corn) appetizer is one of his favorite items. It tastes like a salsa infused corn and very flavorful. Speaking of salsa – theirs has spice without being hot, just the way we prefer it. The carne asada has a mild citrus flavor and is tender and tasty. The pulled chicken suiza enchiladas are topped with chorizo which adds a pleasant spice to the meal.
Let’s talk margaritas for a moment, because really, what’s Mexican food without a margarita? Barrio Queen does not serve what we consider a traditional margarita. In fact, the margarita they call traditional is not blended and (for me), quite strong! If you’re looking for traditional, you might be disappointed.
The bar is always hopping. Unfortunately, their water is not filtered but the iced teas are not hampered by this. They serve both black and passion fruit tea, agua frescas, coke fountain drinks, bottled Panna and Pellegrino and Mexican coffee in addition to a full bar menu.
If you’re in the area before 6pm, stop by for Margarita Mondays, Taco Tuesdays or just plain ol’ Happy Hour from 2-6 weekdays. You won’t get $1 tacos on Tuesday but you will get $2.50 tacos. The quality of the food, flavors and atmosphere are totally worth the extra buck fifty to us.