HOSPITALITY CHECKPOINT SPOTTER SERVICE
Whether served with tortilla chips or atop a quesadilla, guacamole is the chunky, creamy avocado-based mixture we've come to love. Here are 20 places in the Valley where you can find the dip that makes all other dips green with envy.
Watch your Guacamole del Barrio made with flair, prepared right at your table after dinner service commences, with creamy avocados, tomatoes, red onion, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and a dollop of pomegranate seeds for color and crunch ($11.50).
Details: 2814 N. 16th St., Phoenix. 602-636-0240, barriocafe.com.
Share the guacamole or pig out all by yourself with this dip made from avocados, Serrano chiles, onions, tomatillos, orange and cotija cheese, served with tortilla chips ($4.50 for a single, $7 to share, add $1 to substitute raw veggies for chips).
Details: 6035 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. 602-266-0831, otrocafe.com.
Choose your flavor profile. Fresh guac is prepared with minced jalapeno, cilantro, fresh-squeezed lime, red onion and tomatoes, and then you add the rest by choosing house ($7.95) , grilled Serrano ($7.95) , caramelized pineapple-mint ($8.95) or jalapeño-bacon ($8.95) .
Details: 546 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix. 602-264-4143, tacoguild.com.
America's Taco Shop
Get four times the fun with the Cuatro, one bowl of chips served with three dips: salsa, bean dip and guacamole ($4.99 and $7.99).
Details: 1615 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-264-4229, other locations at americastacoshop.com.
You can make a meal of the guacamole and chips ($6) , a chunky mound of avocado mash sprinkled with white cheese and diced tomatoes — simply indulgent.
Details: 5410 E. High St. (near 56th Street and Loop 101), Phoenix. 602-795-8111, modernmargarita.com.
For a lighter fare, the tostada with guacamole ($3.25) is the way to go. An amazingly light and crispy tortilla is sprinkled with beans, cheese and lettuce, then topped with a smear of guac.
Details: 7416 N. 51st Ave., Glendale. 623-939-3001.
Ayala's AZ Kitchen
Smash up some avocados, add onion, jalapeno and green chiles, serve it with chips and you've got Ayala's satisfying appetizer ($6.50).
Details: 8427 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria. 623-979-1121, search "AZ Kitchen" on Facebook.
Nino's Mexican Restaurant
The chefs make it simply: avocados with sour cream, salt and garlic. Have it with the chips that come free for the table (small $4.25, large $6.75).
Details: 10659 W. Grand Ave., Sun City. 623-931-3572, search "Nino's Mexican Restaurant" on Facebook.
Marley's Restaurant & Bar
Have your guac on a big, fat burger. The Guacamole Burger comes with a half-pound beef patty covered in guacamole, melted Swiss cheese, red onions, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise. It's served with choice of fries, sweet-potato fries, kettle chips or a cup of soup ($10.49).
Details: 15226 W. Bell Road, Surprise. 623-251-4854, marleysrestaurantandbar.com.
Old Pueblo Cafe and Pub
How about some nachos with your guacamole? Old Pueblo's signature guacamole is the star of the Old Pueblo Nachos, a pile of chips with beans and cheese, lettuce, sour cream and choice of chicken, green-chile beef or red-chile beef ($9.95).
Details: 102 N. Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park. 623-935-5059, oldpueblocafe.com.
The Blind Pig
Have your guacamole with greens in the House Guacamole Salad, made with spring greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons topped with a mound of guacamole drizzled with a vinaigrette ($4).
Details: 3370 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. 480-994-1055, blindpigaz.com.
Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
The guacamole is a chunky-creamy mix of white onion, tomato, jalapeno and cilantro piled high in a stone molcajete and topped with cotija cheese (small $6.95, large $10.95).
Details: 2534 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-994-1799. Also, 14795 N. Northsight Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-991-1799, lossombreros.com.
It's all about fusion here and the guac is no exception. Go with the dried apricots and cranberries and pomegranate ($11) concoction, or explore the savory side with the bacon version, made with chicharrones and queso cojita ($11).
Details: 6560 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-397-9520, sumomaya.com.
At Iron Chef Jose Garces' restaurant, the regular guacamole is prepared with avocado, roasted jalapenos and cojita cheese ($10), but you can make it extra special with the addition of real crabmeat ($5 extra).
Details: The Saguaro, 4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale. 480-970-4444, scottsdale.distritorestaurant.com.
Choose one of four varieties: regular, made with avocados, onions, cilantro and Serrano peppers ($15) ; pomegranate, made with pomegranate seeds, mango, apples, pistachios and balsamic vinegar ($17); spicy crab, with blue lump crab, chile arbol and heirloom tomato ($18); and pepita, with roasted pumpkin seeds, queso fresco and salsa morito ($16). Can't decide? The combo gets you the pepita, crab and pomegranate varieties ($20) . Serves four to six people.
Details: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E. Princess Drive. 480-585-4848, scottsdaleprincess.com.
Joyride Taco House
There's crunchy jicama in the guacamole here, along with tomatillos, roasted garlic, Serrano chiles, cilantro and onion. Served with chips ($8).
Details: 302 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. 480-632-8226. Also, 5202 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-274-8226.
Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill
Prepared table-side and served with warm chips, this guac has tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, jalapenos, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and cotija cheese ($10.75).
Details: 7221 W. Ray Road, Chandler. 480-893-7550, other locations at ztejas.com.
Served with chips, this guac is a mound of avocado, diced onion, tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, pumpkin seeds and lime juice ($8.75).
Details: 1840 S. Val Vista Drive, Mesa. 480-813-8752, tqla.com.
Simple and classic, this rendition is a favorite of native Phoenician, longtime Tempean and former U.S Representative Harry Mitchell. Fresh avocado is tossed with tomatoes, onion and just enough cilantro for a citrus bite ($3.50, $5, $6.20).
Details: 423 S. Mill Ave., Tempe. 480-967-3280, restaurantmexico.menutoeat.com.
Original Burrito Company
The taco salad is a fried tortilla shell filled with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cheese, chicken or shredded beef and a crown of guacamole or sour cream ($6.89).
Details: 4949 E. Elliot Road, Phoenix. 480-893-3857, burritocompany.com.
Michael Zenner - CEO
Hospitality Checkpoint LLC
PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299
Toll Free: 800-880-0811