Homemade Tortillas at Menuderia Guanajuato on McDowell in Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
Menuderia Guanajuato is humble outside with homemade Mexican inside.

Menuderia Guanajuato has stood in the same location between auto shops for years on McDowell Road near 24th Street. It's a humble building with no fancy artwork or signage outside. In fact, the only element that causes the building to stand out is the lime green paint and the iron bars covering the entrance and the window. Other than that, it's hard to tell whether the restaurant is even in business.

No hours are posted anywhere, and the only indication of an operating restaurant are the few cars parked in front and toward the back, near the kitchen.

It's worth stepping inside.

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Tacos Sahuayo vs. Tacos Chava: Taco Truck Take Down

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Natalie Miranda
Tacos from Tacos Sahuayo truck on McDowell Road.

Taco trucks serve up some of the best tacos we've had, and it's always a thrill to pull up to a random truck and scope their menu to see what they have that the last truck didn't have.

Phoenix has a seemingly endless supply to choose from for those late-night cravings for fresh Mexican food. We took on two trucks in the Valley, Tacos Sahuayo and Tacos Chava, to compare which one serves up the best food.

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Phoenix Resident Natanya Spears on MasterChef Auditions and Meeting the Judges

Categories: Chow Bella

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Courtesy of Natanya Spears
The Phoenix resident will appear on Fox's reality television show MasterChef.
Fans of Fox's hit television series MasterChef know that the show searches for the best of the nation's home cooks and then lets them compete in a series of culinary challenges to win a cookbook deal and a $250,000 grand prize. The show's fifth season premiers next week and on Monday, May 26 the top 30 contestants will travel to Los Angeles to present their signature dishes to judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich.

Among them will be Phoenix resident Natanya Spears a mother and construction coordinator who says she'd considered opening a restaurant but never thought she'd end up on reality T.V.

"I just never had the notion that I'd want to do anything on the level on MasterChef," Spears says.

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Mexican Sushi: A Trend We Hope Doesn't Stick

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
Guamuchilito roll from Señor Sushi

Mexican sushi. That's one fusion we never thought would exist and one we're not too sure we want to stick around.

Apparently it is a thing, since there are at least two spots in metro Phoenix that craft the rolls.

Señor Sushi on Indian School and 43rd Avenue and Taco Kissi on Bethany Home are the two Mexican sushi places. We braved Señor Sushi and took on a few of their rolls to see what this trend is all about.

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A Take on 2 Thai Cooking Schools, Plus Recipes

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Kate Crowley
Dining after class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School

Having recently traveled to Asia to attend classes at a few cooking schools, I brought back a number of great recipes, memories and a long list of ingredients not available at Fry's. While in Thailand I had the opportunity to attend day long classes at two very different schools. Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai and Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok. If you're considering traveling to Thailand and want to decide where to cook, read on for a glimpse into what each school offers and two great recipes direct from each school.

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Eat, Drink, and Be Pretty Last Night at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Categories: Chow Bella

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Alissa Irei
Scottsdale Culinary Festival's annual Eat, Drink, and Be Pretty event brings together style, sustenance, and spirits in one rollicking bash.

The Scottsdale Culinary Festival's Eat, Drink, and Be Pretty fête is arguably more about seeing and being seen than it is about eating -- Be Pretty, Drink, and Eat might be a more apropos name. It's the sort of event that doesn't favor any foods too messy or cumbersome; if you can't eat it without smearing your lipstick, you probably won't find it at the party. But while the food wasn't of the no-holds-barred sort you'll see at, say, the festival's Burger Battle, neither did it disappoint.

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Cakes and Ribbon Bakery Serves Up Sweet Tres Leches Cake and Cupcakes

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Natalie Miranda
Cakes and Ribbon Bakery

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

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Corazon Mexican Cocina in Central Phoenix: Homemade Horchata and Chilaquiles Off the Beaten Path

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
Corazon Mexican Cocina

Several members of the Chow Bella team noticed a now brightly painted Mexican restaurant, Corazon Mexican Cocina, and sent me to investigate.

Before the facelift, the spot was known as Altamar Mexican Grill and still operates under the same owners. We approached with the question: Truly authentic Mexican food, or another wasted attempt at finding treasure in an unexpected spot?

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5 Things to Know When Traveling to Cooking Schools Abroad

Categories: Chow Bella

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Kate Crowley
The Blue Elephant Cooking School is a fancy place to learn to cook in Bangkok

Having traveled abroad recently for a series of cooking classes, it became apparent to me that there are some things to "know before you go."

Here it is, stuff you should keep in mind as you book a trip of a lifetime to learn how to cook native cuisine in the country of your choice....If you want to keep your dignity and your digits.


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5 Things Your Server Really Doesn't Want You To Do

Categories: Chow Bella

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Wikimedia Commons
If you treat your server kind, you'll get served just fine.
Everyone who plans on ever dining out should be forced to serve, at least for a month or two. Then maybe folks would have a little more compassion for the fine ladies and gentlemen who take care of them from the greasy spoon diners to the upscale steakhouses. While we don't expect y'all to rush out and do a stint of serving for empathy's sake, we do have some suggestions on what you should never do to make the restaurant scene better for servers and you alike.

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