Tee Pee Mexican Food vs. Carolina's: Chimichanga Challenge
Amy Edelen Tee Pee Mexican Food, a family-run restaurant, has been serving Mexican dishes since 1958.
The chimichanga, a crispy, deep-fried burrito filled with rice, meat, and beans topped with cheese, lettuce and sour cream has long been a popular Mexican dish. The origins of the dish have been hotly debated -- Phoenix or Tucson? -- but one thing that most everyone can agree on is that the chimichanga is definitely an Arizona specialty food; in fact, a petition was created to make it Arizona's offical state food.
In This Corner: Tee Pee Mexican Food
Amy Edelen Bar area at Tee Pee
The Setup: Tee Pee Mexican Food is located in Arcadia, at Indian School Road and 42nd Street. The family-run restaurant opened its doors in 1958 and has since been serving up Mexican dishes to locals and visitors. In fact, Tee Pee has had many famous customers, including John McCain and the members of Pink Floyd and ZZ Top. The restaurant has a wall of fame with pictures of many well-known customers.
The restaurant is split into three dining areas -- a small bar near the entrance, a main dining room with booths, and a patio. When we arrived around dinner time, the restaurant was extremely busy, so we chose to grab a seat at the bar area rather than a cramped booth in the dining room.
Amy Edelen Chimichanga plate at Tee Pee
The Good: Although Tee Pee has a divey ambiance, the ceiling lights were a nice touch. Servers were friendly. As soon as we sat down, the server provided a big bowl of chips and salsa. The chicken chimichanga plate ($10.50) came out in about 10 minutes enchilada-style with warm melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce and a side of rice and beans. Tee Pee has generous portions; we couldn't finish the whole plate so we took it to-go for later.
The Bad: The chimichanga lacked crispness on the outside and the restaurant was a little cramped, but no complaints other than those two things.