04 October 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Mariscos Chihuahua

Every so often, I convince Stewie to skip class so that we can go out to lunch and hang out instead. I'm a pretty awesome roommate but a pretty terrible influence ;)

On these occasions we usually decide to do a sit-down lunch at one of the gazillion restaurants we haven't tried before. Once we moved to our new apartment on the SW side of Tucson (before we were NW) I scoped out all the restaurants nearest to us and looked them up on yelp. One of them got really fantastic ratings so I had been wanting to try it out for several weeks. Thanks to Stew's alarm not going off and us both being really lazy and hungry a couple weeks ago, we finally got the chance.

Mariscos Chihuahua is very unassuming from the outside. It's a little rundown, just a white and blue building with a tiny parking lot and a sign that has a drawing of a shrimp, which I first thought was a lobster. In fact, when I first saw the restaurant (before I looked it up on yelp), I pointed at it and said to stewie, "look at that weird little restaurant. Why does it have 'chihuahua' in its name but a lobster in it's sign? And it's disturbing for a restaurant to be called a tiny mexican dog, right? I would be so afraid to eat there." Obviously I am extremely white. And also I didn't know what Mariscos meant until like 3 days ago. It means seafood, by the way.
 Anyways, all these initial worries should be set aside, because this place rocks. Apparently it began as a little family run seafood stand in Nogales, Mexico, simply called "Mariscos". It was right next to a fruit stand called Fruteria Chihuahua. Eventually people started calling it the Mariscos next to the Chihuahua, and the name eventually just got stuck as Mariscos Chihuahua. The stand eventually got popular enough to become a restaurant, and when members of the family moved to Tucson and Phoenix they brought their recipes with them and the business spread. Now there are multiple locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales, and Sierra Vista. The one I went to (on Grande and Speedway) though still maintained a total small-town family run feel which is something I love in a restaurant.

The inside of the restaurant totally makes up for the shabby exterior. There is a lovely beachy/oceany mural covering the walls, plants, nice tables and chairs, and cool molded ocean effects in some places.
I told stewie he should order the "dos equis and clamato thing, cause people on yelp said it's good". But I couldn't actually remember the name of the "thing" (it's a michelada), the menu didn't list the alcoholic drinks, and the waitress didn't speak much english, so stewie wound up with both a michelada and a dos equis. Which basically just meant I got to share with him. The michelada was delicious- dos equis, clamato, lime juice, salt and pepper. 
Like most mexican restaurants this place also gave us chips and really awesome salsa right away. The salsa is spicy- a good sign of a good mexican restaurant. If the salsa is every wimpy, you know the place is mainly catering to tourists/americans and isn't trying to be all that authentic. Another thing that instantly told me this place was going to be awesome was that they brought out a bowl of halved key limes with the chips, which is typical at restaurants in mexico but not all that common at mexican restaurants in america. it should be though. Lime-drenched chips and salsa are the best. Lime drenched anything is the best really. 

We ordered the Camarrones (shrimp) Culichi, which is apparently the dish that made them famous. It's also the dish that was raved about most on yelp, so yeah. It's (really, really good quality) shrimp drenched in some sort of magical green sauce served with rice and some fresh veggies. It was so, so, so good. We also ordered a plate of calamari, which was tender, lightly breaded, and served with a tangy tartar like dipping sauce. But we just dipped them in the leftover culichi sauce, cause it was that good. 
I forgot my phone so I had to take pictures with stewart's crappy non-smart phone. Like, it flips and uses T9 and doesn't even have a touch screen. O.o lol. so not only are these pictures crappy but they downright refuse to be rotated. sorry!

Yeah. sorry about those pictures. just, um, turn your head, ok?

anyways, so so delicious and I think about 30 dollars, maybe 35 after tip. And we had leftovers. So really not a bad deal at all for two people.

If you're in the southern AZ area you should scope one of these places out and give it a try, it seriously is one of my new favorite restaurants.

Have a tasty tuesday lovelies :)


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