I am a firm believer that Arizona has some of the best Mexican food north of the border. And if you live here, you know that that is true! Aside from truly believing that I could eat tacos every single day of my life and be completely content, I am on an endless mission to try every margarita in the state! It’s a very tough job, but someone has to do it. My journey has finally taken me to Sol Mexican Cocina and I’m very excited to report the results. First of all, the Scottsdale Quarter is definitely one of the best things that has happened to this city over the years. This incredible outdoor shopping and dining property has combined all elements of what makes this city great. Sol Mexican Cocina is a beacon of fresh cuisine housed on the corner with an inviting, beautifully designed and decorated patio and bright orange accents that make it stand out instantly. The inside of the restaurant reflects the comfort, yet preciseness of decor that showcases the roots of the original concept for the restaurant. Meant to encompass the essence of the sea, sky, and desert of the Baja peninsula, where the concept was born, the color contrasts and glass to tile features do just that and more.
My first visit found me entering a lively, bustling restaurant with comfortable seating and a full view in to the open kitchen. Reminiscent of a Baja taco bar, it all came together for me how the concept could so perfectly reflect the Peninsula ambiance they aimed for.
I made sure to start our culinary adventure with a few of the tempting margaritas from the specialty menu. Don’t worry – I had company to help me taste them all! Always drink responsibly. The Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita with muddled cucumber slices and fresh jalapeño with Corralejo Blanco, fresh lime and agave nectar. The cucumber brought a light and fresh flavor to this smooth drink while the jalapeño provided the depth and kick to awaken the palette. Next I went with the Organic Slim Margarita made with Casa Noble certified organic blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and a splash of soda. I did, however, modify by asking for a few freshly muddled jalapeños. I always need a little spice when I’m going with Mexican food! But this drink would be absolutely delicious (and less sugary than most margaritas), even without my addition. Lastly, we went with the Blackberry Ginger Margarita with fresh blackberries and ginger muddled with Partida Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice and agave nectar. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the perfect marg for the ginger beer lover so take notes! Not to mention, it was the prettiest on the table, hands down!
For an appetizer, we went with the highly recommended Hot & Raw Tropical Ceviche. This dish is the perfect balance of fresh, fruity flavors, and spice! It has raw fish ceviche with fresh lime and orange, habanero chiles and tropical fruit, avocado, cucumber and pico, served in a tall glass with sweet potato and red beet chips. Not only could I eat an entire bag of the beet chips by themselves, but this ceviche was out of this world! A wonderful mix of sweet, crisp, and spicy, really sets this dish apart from the typical ceviche.
We also decided on the Beet and Watermelon Salad with Salted Pepita Brittle to go with our choices of the famed Taco Vampiro and Shortrib and Blue Corn taco. The salad was a revelation! It has roast beets, watermelon cubes, queso fresco, red onion and arugula tossed with lemon-basil vinaigrette, with salted pepita brittle. Let me tell you, the pepita brittle hits it out of the park! At some point, I’m going to need that recipe or at least for them to sell me a giant bag of it. The salad was a beautiful combination but I couldn’t get enough of the brittle!
I moved on to the tacos and entered flavor heaven! Again, being a huge fan of spicy, I loved the almost hidden kick that the serrano chiles gave the sinful, Taco Vampiro as the melted cotixa cheese oozed inside the double stuffed tortilla. The carne asada was perfectly cooked and seasoned and the mixture of guacamole, pico, scallions, and chipotle sauce with cotixa cheese really set it apart from any that I’ve had before. The Garlic Ribeye Steak Taco proved to be another home run with grilled premium angus ribeye medallion with cheese, rajas, red onions, chimichurri, cotixa cheese, and steak butter. So now, not only do I need pepita brittle, but I will be adding cotixa cheese to my grocery list as well.
Sadly, we were too full and happy to move on to dessert THIS visit, but fear not, I shall return and report my dessert findings because I hear they are sinfully delicious!
Don’t forget to check out their happy hour Monday through Friday from 3-6pm! Talk about a fiesta!
Cheers and Bon Appétit, Food Lovers!