What’s your favorite kind of food? For me, it’s Mexican. It’s the only kind of food I really get a hankering for, a true gotta-get-me-some feeling. It’s well into the 100s now, the wind is blowing and it feels like when you first open the oven door and that blast of heat strikes you in the face when you’re not expecting it. It’s so hot it could melt-an ice cube. Yeah, that kind of heat. I grew up in the Phoenix area and dh and I still have family there. It’s home, no matter how much it changes or grows.
It’s the kind of heat that always brings out that hunger for Mexican food. But not just any kind of Mexican food-no, only the best. I’ve eaten a lot of Mexican food all over the country in search of *the best* Mexican, but I always end up going back to the same place. Carolina’s is the type of joint you visit during the day. It originally started out as a one room cinder block place with a kitchen off to one side, but they added another room. There’s not so much an air conditioner there as there is a swamp cooler, which doesn’t help much during the monsoon season. But you don’t really notice-all you want is your food, which thankfully comes quickly, even on the busiest days.
During the day, patrons of this fine establishment are usually an interesting mix of neighborhood locals, business professionals, and police and firefighters. I’ve never been to Carolina’s and not seen a firefighter eating a meal, lol. i often sit there and wonder how the local children get around their neighborhoods–do they use car seats or are they lap babies? I’m pretty sure I know the answer, but I hope for the best, you know? Carolina’s is located just west of the airport at 12th and Mohave Sts. in Phoenix. Anyone who knows the Phoenix area knows it’s OK during the day, but get the heck out as darkness falls. The houses along Mohave are neatly cared for, but the surrounding area is rough.
I’m getting hungry just thinking about the food! The red sauce on the enchiladas is, well, there’s nothing like it out there. The shredded beef tacos are crispy and there’s never anything in them that shouldn’t be in them, if you know what I mean 😉 . The freshly made tortillas are as big as a round pizza pan and are usually so hot you can’t carry them. We always buy a dozen of them to bring home and eat them plain! The cheese tortillas they serve there are perfect. What more can I say than *my* kids will eat there.
Fortunately, in the 15 years we’ve been eating at Carolina’s, nothing has changed. The floor looks the same, the broken chairs are the same, the menu is the same, the food tastes the same. The only thing that’s different is the number of awards they’ve racked up for Best of: Best Mexican Food, Best Tortillas and the list goes on. If you’re ever in town, get a number 1 for me please!