Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Ninety-Two Year Old Horseman

El Charro CafĂ© in Tucson, Arizona, is the nation's oldest Mexican restaurant in continuous operation by the same family.  The original restaurant is located downtown in the El Presidio Neighborhood, where Tucson began as a Spanish Colonial outpost.  Today, they have several locations.  We went to to North location, on our side of town.
I love the decor of the restaurant.  It's a large, open space, with exposed ceilings and private dining areas which can be closed off from the main dining room with the sweep of heavy, ornate curtains.
We've only been to this location once before and I don't remember being impressed with the food, but we thought we'd give it another chance.  And boy, are we glad we did!  The food was fantastic.  

Ed had the Poblano & Carnitas Relleno Bandera Style (carnitas stuffed poblano in Dos Equis tempura with red, white & green sauce) and I created my own platter with one Charro Birria (slow cooked shredded beef, with mild green chile & seasonings) taco, one Carne Seca (marinated lean Angus beef dried in the Sonoran desert, shredded and flash-grilled with green chile, tomato and onions) taco, and one Fresh Corn Tamale.  Every morsel of my plate was amazing.  I usually get a pork tamale but the fresh corn just sounded so...fresh.  And it was amazingly light and full of flavor.

One of my favorite elements in the restaurant is the lighting.  The boxes above, made of punched tin, are awesome.  And the starbursts below.  Wow.  I love them and want one in the truck.
I have my favorite Mexican restaurants in town - my absolute favorite being La Parrilla Suiza - but I'm now adding El Charro to my list.  I'll definitely be going back for their carne seca and birria.

And I like their motto:  We are not the best because we are the oldest.  We are the oldest because we are the best.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Where They Store The Crop Goodies
2012: Inside The Trucker’s Studio
2011: The Next Project
2010: Why Would You Want To Be A Zero When Looking Like This Is Clearly A Plus?
2009: The Giant Dirty Bird Goes Sailing In The Four Corners
2008: Soft Core Porn
2007: Almost Fully Integrated
2006: Downtown Scenery And Deals
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!


Gil said...

Sure looks like a fancy place. Glad that you enjoyed the food. Small World, while I was reading this some guy was speaking in Spanish on the Golden Globe Awards show.

Gil said...


Ed said...

I think that it looks like a Mexican Liberace lives there.