Barrio Cafe: Good -- But Glorified -- Mexican Food

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Enchiladas suizas at Barrio Cafe.
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

Check out the slideshow of the full Eating 16th Street series.

See also: Is Barrio Cafe's Take on Mexican Food Authentic? And Does It Matter?

The Place: Barrio Cafe
The Food: Upscale Mexican cuisine
The Backstory: Mexican cuisine in a non-pretentious setting for 10 years.
The Price: $17 for enchiladas suizas.


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La Nueva Pico Rico Dulceria is a One-Stop-Shop for Pachangas and Herbs

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Dulceria's interior is a pachanga waiting to happen.
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

The Place: La Nueva Pico Rico Dulceria and Yerberia
The Food: Plenty of Mexican candy - and mountains of party goods.
The Backstory: There are 4 stores around Phoenix; the 16th Street location has been around for 4 years.
The Price: $15 piñatas, $3.99 for 1 pound of Pica Gomas.


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Realeza Michoacana Paleteria and Neveria: The Ice Palace of Confection

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Mango diablito
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

The Place: Realeza Michoacana Paleteria and Neveria
The Food: Mexican-style paletas, ice cream, licuados, and assorted icy treats.
The Backstory: It's been around about 15 years, completely family-owned.
The Price: Paletas: $1.50; ice cream: $2.75 - $8; raspados: $3.50.


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Tortas El Guero: Life-Changing Mexican Sandwiches

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Torta al pastor from Tortas El Güero.
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

The Place: Tortas El Güero
The Food: Mexican sandwiches
The Backstory: Husband-and-wife owned shop.
The Price: $10.35 for a torta and agua fresca.


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Mariscos Ensenada: Hold On to Your Margarita to Escape the Hyper Tension

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Street view of Mariscos Ensenada

Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

The Place: Mariscos Ensenada
The Food: Mexican seafood
The Backstory: You guessed it! Family owned and run by the owners' son.
The Price: $10.95 for spicy pescado

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La Condesa: Great Eats, but that Wait is Rough

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Tacos at La Condesa.
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

The Place: La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop
The Food: Casual specialties from various parts of Mexico.
The Backstory: An up-ish-scale taco shop that promotes local artists.
The Price: $4-5 per taco


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Dulceria Mayra's y Mas: Small Place Packs a Huge Party

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Goodies from Mayra.
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.


The Place: Dulceria Mayra's Y Mas
The Food: Mexican candies and party goods
The Backstory: Open for 14 years, including eight on 16th Street.
The Price: Up to $7 for large bags of candies

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Hacienda El Bar-Ril: Central Phoenix Home of Diamond Tacos de Cabeza

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Four tacos of carne asada, pastor, and cabeza and a tamarind Jarito.
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

The Place: Hacienda Bar-Ril
The Food: Tacos
The Backstory: Family-owned taco shop with a carniceria next door.
The Price: $7 for 4 tacos and a Jarrito.


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La Cocina Economica: Bringing Familia from the Kitchen to the Table

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
Flautas lunch special
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

The Place: La Cocina Economica
The Food: Traditional Sonoran
The Backstory: Family-owned for the past seven years.
The Price: Just under $8 for a full lunch.


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Filiberto's: My Burrito of Sorrow

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Photo by Alex Rodriguez
This is Ana at the 16th Street Filiberto's.
Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.

The Place: Filiberto's on the corner of 16th Street and East McDowell.
The Food: Mexican fast food
The Backstory: 17-year-old Phoenix chain of late night eats.
The Price: $7 for a burrito and a drink.


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