Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 6 a.m.
Each taco comes with minced cabbage and onion, plus a mild, smoky red salsa.
16. Backyard Taco
Taquería: Backyard Taco, 1524 East University Drive, Mesa
Open Since: 2013
Style: Northern Mexican mesquite-grilled meats by way of Sinaloa
Signature Taco: Carne asada and pollo asado
When it comes to mesquite-grilled carne asada and pollo asado, there are three companies in Phoenix jockeying for the attention of the masses: Ta’Carbon, Mr. Mesquite, and Backyard Taco.
Growing at roughly equal speeds, they’re actually pretty far from one another geographically, thanks to the suburban sprawl that characterizes Phoenix. Glendale and west Phoenix are home to two locations of Ta’Carbon, south and North Scottsdale are home to the two locations of Mr. Mesquite, and out in the East Valley, in Mesa and in Gilbert, you’ll find Backyard Taco.
Mesquite-grilling finds its origins in Mexico’s northern states, and it is a pretty bare-bones form of cooking. Often, the meats aren’t even marinated, relying on the mesquite wood for the bulk of their flavor. Because mesquite burns hot, the meat is mostly cooked on grills with grates that can be adjusted to move vertically, away from the flames, which allows grillers to speed up or slow down the cooking process. Charred ends are a desirable hallmark of this style, as they lend crispy texture and hints of smoke.
Backyard Taco is loyal to the Northern Mexico style, and with good reason, as the…
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