Silvana Salcido Esparza's Barrio Queen Now Open

Categories: Now Open
Cochinita Pibil Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
The cochinita pibil tacos, one of over 50 types of tacos on Barrio Queen's meu.
Silvana Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
Chef Silvana standing proud in front of her Barrio Queen.
​Last week Jackalope Ranch got a sneak peek at Silvana Salcido Esparza's gorgeous efforts
, boasting Mexican food and tequila galore (soon to be over 350 varieties!) in Old Town Scottsdale. We also got a sneak peek of the new menu crafted by Chef Silvana of Barrio Café fame, packed with everything from menudo and tlayudas to tamales and tacos. 

Now we're bringing you a taste of Barrio Queen. Best of all, there's no waiting around. Barrio Queen opens today. So after you're done drooling all over your keyboard, you can jet down to Old Town and try out the tacos y tequila yourself. 

7114 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
480-656-4197
Hours: 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 3 a.m., Friday and Saturday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday.

Hungry? Read on to see more of Barrio Queen's extensive menu...

Tamales Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
A sampling of tamales, mole chicken wrapped in banana leaves, elote and chile verde wrapped in corn husks.
Murals Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
Colorful artwork and murals wrap around the interior.
​The new Queen of Old Town is located in the SouthBridge space that used to be home to Metro Brasserie, but you certainly won't be able to recognize the old tenants after stepping foot into Barrio Queen. The casual tequileria and Mexican food joint boasts outdoor walk-up windows, call ahead-pick up windows, and a counter-ordering system to keep the orders moving along and the tequila flowing.

Step inside the brightly colored Barrio Queen, snag a menu, and peruse over ten pages of Mexican eats. (If narrowing down your order isn't difficult enough, the beautiful local artwork and murals by artists like Angel Diaz, Thomas "Breeze" Marcus, Lalo Cota, and Gennaro Garcia are also there to distract from the decision making process.) Place your order at the large "Order Here" sign, and have a seat. All your cold cervezas, tequila shots, and food will be brought to your table of choice.

Elote Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
All the ingredients of elote, Mexican-style corn, piled high in a cup for easy eatin'.

In addition to tacos and tequila, are plenty of pre-dinner nibbles like elote vasito. Corn-off-the-cob tossed with a roasted pepper mix and layered with buttery mayo, aged cotija cheese that cut through the sweetness of the corn, and of course Tapatio and lime. Or snag a flor de calabeza quesadilla, filled with fresh squash blossoms that were slightly wilted and smothered in hand-pulled Oaxacan cheese.

Arrachera y Nopales Tacos Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
Two more types of tacos on the menu: grilled flank steak and cactus pads with a savory fried egg.
Flor de Calabaza Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
Flor de calabaza quesadilla from Barrio Queen.
​The tamales are also good enough to eat year round, forget about limiting your intake to the holidays! Esparza uses lard in her masa to make it light and fluffy. The perfect accompaniment to the filings: sweet, complex mole chicken wrapped in a banana leaves, muy picante chile verde tamales with a blend of rajas (peppers), and a mellow sweet corn tamale perfect for balancing the heat.

Esparza's new menu also boasts more than 50 types of tacos (and she hopes to keep adding more varieties as inspiration strikes!), and we were lucky enough to try four varieties. The cochinita pibil were melt-in-your-mouth, flavorful porky goodness. Marinated, slow roasted pork came to us topped with roasted onions and pico de gallo. A couple shakes of habanero hot sauce was all we needed to make those tacos burn so good. 

Arabic Tacos Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
The arabe tacos from Barrio Queen, Middle Eastern inspired with cucumber salsa.
If the thought of haberno-laced pico de gallo has you wetting your chones, the arrachera tacos are a much safer bet. Tender grilled flank steak topped with onions and cilantro, wrapped in a warm corn tortilla. Or walk on the wild side with the nopal y huevo tacos, which you can get all day long. Strips of cactus pad are tossed with other veggies and topped with a broken fried salt 'n' pepper egg. It holds true that everything is better with a fried egg on it

If you're looking for something new, try the arabe tacos, inspired by Middle Eastern flavors. Marinated pork is rough chopped and tossed in a flour tortilla with a cool, cucumber salsa. Different from the norm, but no less tasty.

Bar Barrio Queen.jpg
Erica O'Neil
The tequileria area of Barrio Queen, perfect for a margarita.
Don't miss the New Year's Eve Party! Not only will it mark the christening of Silvana Bistro right next door (Esparza's new more upscale Euro-Mexican eatery), but Barrio Queen will be celebrating with low riders, a DJ spinning Cumbia beats, all day happy hour prices, and menudo (the sure fire remedy to any hang over) until 3 a.m. on New Year's Day. 

Now that's a fiesta!

More Barrio Queen eye candy here

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Location Info

Barrio Cafe

2814 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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8 comments
Del Nickell
Del Nickell

I enjoy your honest, forthright and usually accurate reviews.  was wondering if you could check out "Migos", at I-10 & Baseline.  It initially opened about six months ago as a casual taco shop with a drive through, serving beer, under the name "Taco Migo".   Apparently that concept was a flop.  After extensive remodeling they have re-opened with a full-service restaurant.  I'm thinking they are attempting to draw from Aunt Chiladas customer base, which is a half-mile away.  I recently went in with a couple of friends, as we had been there several times under the old name.  Blown away by the prices, we left and enjoyed a carne asada burrito down the street at a Polibertos for five bucks.  Is this place worth the price of admission, or are they just trying to pay for the remodel and hoping for the best?  Thanks.-Del

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

we've written about migos/taco migo on chow bella a couple times, del. thanks! 

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