Don Pancho Mexican Food

When you’re traveling in the southwest, you’re missing out if you don’t go to a Mexican restaurant. Thanks to some Yelp research, the ‘rents and I found Don Pancho Mexican Food, a little hole-in-the-strip-mall near where we were staying in Phoenix. I opted for their sampler platter, which included a corn tortilla quesadilla, a sope, and a taco served with sides of with rice and beans.

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Clockwise from left: asada quesadilla, asada taco, rice, beans, and carnitas sope

Their quesadilla was different than your typical quesadilla. It was a deep fried corn tortilla with lots of carne asada, lettuce, sour cream, and queso fresco inside. It was almost like a hard shell taco, but much more delicious and easier to eat.

Unlike my dear roommate and friend Carl, I usually refuse to eat corn tortillas (hence the reason why we have about 18 types of tortillas in our fridge), but I figured I would taste Don Pancho’s since they were made freshly in-house. Despite my utter hatred of corn tortillas, the ones used for my asada taco were fantastic, so I guess I’ll have to redefine my tortilla preferences.

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The freshly fried chips came with refried beans and a sprinkle of queso fresco

My carnitas sope was probably my favorite item on the sampler. A sope is like a thicker maize tortilla that is like a boat carrying delicious toppings. I first had sopes with my aunt and cousins at Boca Chica in Saint Paul. For me, they are like the Ciara of Mexican food: often forgotten, under-appreciated, and occasionally – dare I say it – sometimes on the same level as Beyonce.

To top it all, they had Mexican real-sugar coke, which is one of my favorite beverages. All in all, a wondrous meal.

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