Los Gringos Locos
Apache Junction, AZ 85220
My partner and I have been on a quest for good Mexican food. I admit, we’ve been largely disappointed, which given we’re living in Arizona seems odd. We drove to Apache Junction, having heard good things about Los Gringos Locos.
We arrived for lunch and took it as a good sign that things were bustling. The décor was relaxed Southwestern—Mexican tile, bright colors, but no kitsch.
The menu is extensive and features traditional Mexican fare as well as Mexican seafood options. House specialties include chicken mole, chili rellenos, carne asada, carnitas, and steak ranchero all in the $12 range. Enchiladas, tacos, burritos, tamales, and tostados are all available on a mix and match combo menu that include a choice of one, two, or three items with beans and rice ($8-13). There’s also a “gringos” menu with burgers and the like.
We ordered the guacamole fresco, in part because we thought it would be fun to watch our server make it table side. Our server brought out several bowls with three avocado halves, diced tomato, and chopped green onions and cilantro. The process wasn’t all that entertaining and the result wasn’t worth nearly $8. The rough chop on the herbs took away from the smooth texture of the avocados. Overall the guacamole still managed to be bland and begged for salt and my partner got an avocado stem. We should have stuck with the free chips and salsa, which were really great.
For our main courses we ordered the chicken mole, a beef taco, and a combination platter with a green corn tamale, a bean and cheese burrito served enchilada style with green chili sauce, beans and rice.
The tamale was the high point of the meal for me. The masa was light and the corn with poblanos created a perfect sweet note. The bean and cheese enchilada was less interesting and the green chili was bland.
My partner was happy with his chicken mole, though noted it was heavy on the cinnamon and light on chili. I thought it was a little on the safe side as moles go. His comments on this taco were similar to mine on the enchilada.
Ultimately, our quest for Mexican food will continue—Los Gringos Locos is too far away, and a bit pricey for what it is. Still I suspect eating there is a matter of figuring out the high notes like that tamale and only ordering the really good stuff.