Chimi Challenge: Macayo's vs. El Molino

Macayo's exterior--reduced.jpg
New Times
el-molino-mexican-cafe.jpg
New Times
Everybody tells the same story about how the chimichanga was invented: somebody accidentally dropped a meat-filled burrito into a fryer. And according to the publicity machine for Macayo's Mexican Kitchen, that somebody was its founder Woody Johnson, who opened his first restaurant here in Phoenix in 1946 and made serendipitous chimi magic . . . when? No one gives a date. Wouldn't someone remember?

See also:
--Chimichangas as Arizona's State Food? Five Foods to Put Up Against the Chimi
-- Macayo's and Others Make Deep-Fried Push for Chimichanga as State Food

I don't buy that story for a minute -- not from Macayo's or any other Mexican restaurant in Arizona (El Charro in Tucson also lays claim to the chimi's invention). And I'll tell you why.

Diana Kennedy -- the "Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine" who spent 45 years traveling through Mexico researching history, ingredients and technique -- the due-diligent person who spoke to grandmas all over the country and recorded their recipes, mentions "chivichangas" in one (if not more) of her nine cookbooks. So chimis aren't quite as gringo as people think.

What's so incredibly novel about deep-frying a burrito anyway? You think it took hundreds of years and a cook in the US to figure that out? The chimi was probably born in the cattle country of Sonora, where beef and flour tortillas are staples -- just as beef and white bread rule in the American Midwest.

But I digress. We are here today to determine who makes the better chimichanga -- Macayo's or El Molino -- two of the longest operating Mexican restaurants in Phoenix.


Location Info

Map

El Molino Mexican Cafe

3554 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

, ,

Category:

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
Wondering
Wondering

How about the Orginal Garcias, not the chain crap but the real one.

Concerned_Food_Fan
Concerned_Food_Fan

Wow, this outcome wasn't absolutely predetermined before the comparison even began.  The New Times never misses an opportunity to slam Macayo's whenever it gets the chance..

cinderellaschair
cinderellaschair

Now compare the Chimis @ Via DeLosantos Mexican Cafe on north Central. They are SO much better than Macayo's!

Hock
Hock

 @cinderellaschair I love Via De Los Santos...but I don't tell people about it because it's so wonderful!!!!   ;)

 

 

Sean
Sean

Frankly, Macayo's sucks at everything.  The food is boring and bland, and far too expensive for what you're getting.  Maybe it's what people wanted 30 years ago, but I don't understand why people go there now, with one exception.  I may not think their food is good, but I'll still eat some of it for free when they have it out for happy hour.  El Molino, on the other hand, is delicious.  One of the best Mexican places in town, including their delicious flour tortillas.

JKGrence
JKGrence

 @Sean As far as I can tell, it's because they like their margaritas served in Señor Bob and Cha-Cha mugs. Not because the margaritas are any good, it's the mug that makes the drink.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...