Monday, November 3, 2008

Phoenix Ranch Market

The other day I was at Manuel and Amy's and mentioned I had read some reviews in Yelp about Phoenix Ranch Market and asked if they had ever been there. They said fairly often, would I like to go with them sometime. Sunday afternoon they stopped by work and drug me away to the one at 5802 W Thomas. Not in a good part of town and several security officers wandering around, this place is supposed to represent a Mexican Mercado. Never having been to Mexico I couldn't say but it when you say Mercado I envision noisy and crowded and this certainly fit the bill. The reason for the trip was to eat at the restaurant inside. I had a chicken quesadilla, not really on the menu, and a carne asada taco. Amy had a carnitas burrito that looked small but was 100% meat inside and Manuel had 6 carne asada tacos. The food was great, the burrito and quesadilla came with a salad (small bit of finely shredded lettuce with a watery dressing topped with grated Parmesan. The liquid moved over and made parts of my quesadilla soggy and Amy asked why I didn't move them apart as she did to prevent that. I countered that is why I went with folks that had been there so they could show me the ropes. :-) You definitely have to speak Spanish or go with someone who does or you will go hungry, the order taker was bilingual but the person who called out the order number did so in Spanish. To go with the meal we went to the Aquas Frescas bar and Manuel suggested Horchata, a sweet rice milk drink. It was very good but he ordered three large ones that must have been like 40oz at least. Way too much milk product and it did as much to over stuff me as the food did. Overall the food was good and really inexpensive, there were some pieces of gristle to work around but they were small and few.

After we ate it was time to shop. The whole store shows signs of constant wear from being crowded and having loose kids running around. I noticed several staff members working clean up duty full time. There is Mexican music playing fairly loudly. To enjoy the experience you cannot be in a hurry. The store includes a bakery, an outdoor barbecue, the restaurant, A totillaria, a service deli, a seafood market and a full service butcher. The aisles are narrow and crowded. Anything you want to prepare traditional Mexican dishes was there. I noticed that just like Oriental markets the fish, meat and deli departments had wares that were prepared for cooking Mexican dishes and packaged differently than similar products in an American market. I got a pint of crema con sal (salted sour cream), Manuel got 3 lbs of marinated carne asada and Amy could not pass on some fresh baked goods and fresh tortillas. Before we went over I mentioned I was going to pick up some beer as I was out and didn't want to make another stop and joked they probably don't have anything but Bud Light in that part of town. Amy assured me there was a good selection. Sure enough at least half of their beer cabinet was Bud Light and the rest was Bud and some Mexican beers. Not an MGD in sight. I like Corona but dislike dealing with bottles so I got a case of Milwaukees Best by Miller. Not really great beer but it wont give me a headache like Bud does.

I would go again. Next time I would like to try the barbecue.

1 comment:

Amy Rodriguez said...

I think you should start a column in the Phoenix newspaper called "Squaties Reviews"... lol.., Nice review a little harsh on the mexicans dont you think. -Arod.