When you drive through Phoenix, Arizona, you will quickly realize that there are taco stands on every corner. Choosing a Mexican food restaurant is a struggle that every Phoenician faces on a weekly basis, with new options popping up each week.
In the midst of this chaos, on the corner of Bethany Home and 7th Street, lies Otro Café. This treasure of a modern Mexican bistro boasts brightly colored walls, lively music, and out of this world treats.
As soon as I entered Otro, I was taken aback by the festive interior. As the restaurant is located in a strip mall, the outside appearance is not much to look at. Yet the view changes once you step inside the front door. Bright colors and unique designs pop out in contrast to the concrete floors, with clean tables and chairs providing a warm atmosphere. And that's before you even taste their offerings.
The menu will quickly illustrate the restaurant's simple, local, down-to-earth mentality. House made guacamole is the only way to start your meal; you won't believe how quickly the large bowl of chips and guac will disappear. The classic guac, topped with a sprinkling of cotija cheese, will please the masses with its simple, clean flavor.
If you time it right, you'll hit Otro in the middle of happy hour: every day from 3 PM to 6 PM. This gives you the perfect excuse for some midday tacos, which, depending on the meat of your choice, will be $1 off. The same discount applies to cocktails and draft beer, while a glass of wine is $2 off and a bottle of wine is $5 off.
The first dish you must sample during your Otro journey are the carne asada tacos. Tender, flavor-packed ribeye is stacked on a fresh flour tortilla, accompanied by guacamole and onions. This is not your average taco -- this is a meal for kings. The meat holds a smokey-sweet marinade, with a barbecue vibe that you'll find hard to describe.
Otro Café is the perfect place to spend some time with family, friends, or coworkers. Serving breakfast all day, you could hypothetically eat every meal at this gem of a dining establishment. Soon you'll find yourself religiously participating in taco Tuesdays, and Saturday brunch has never looked so good. Give Otro a try...but only if you're willing to accept a new top-dog on your list of favorites.