Roosevelt Row’s (Editor’s note: Please stop calling it RoRo) Taco Chelo is shaking things up by offering more than just tacos at their cute downtown restaurant.
Purists might say, hey, nobody asked for this but Phoenicians in search of good food in a beautiful location will say, THANKS, we needed this.
We were lucky enough to be invited to try their new offerings, but we just couldn’t resist a taco. Or four. And a few drinks of course.
Before we get started on Chef Suny Santana’s dishes, can we just talk about how cute the decor is? Like, hey, Aaron Chamberlin, can we put a giant Gennaro Garcia mural in our home or will you think we’re copying you? (We would be.) Actually, can Taco Chelo be our new home? We have some questions. And a lot of photos. If you’re looking for an ‘Instagram spot’ this is it. And bonus, when you’ve exhausted your filters, you can have a killer meal.
We started with drinks. Of course, we did. The House Margarita with Passion Fruit (Dobel Blanco, Triple sec, lime, agave, passion fruit puree) caught our eye and then we could think of nothing else. Until we saw the special written on the board, a Blueberry Fizz (vodka, lime, blueberry, Topo Chico). Okay, we caved and also ordered a horchata so we could wash down the five tacos, Flamingo, Veggie Quesadilla, and guac and chips. Can you blame us? You can’t! You just can’t.
Taco Chelo, despite the name (an homage to chef’s mother, Consuelo, nicknamed “Chelo,” has an expanded menu primed and ready for sharing. We tried to stay healthy by starting with the El Jardin salad; a rather large and healthy-looking bowl that absolutely cancels out as many chips as you need it to. You can add carne asada or fish to this salad, but we ate it o’natural so we could enjoy all the pepitas, avocado, and crispy tortilla chips uninterrupted. A chile morita dressing gave the kale a zest that made us declare, well this is the flavor of summer. We will try, likely in vain, to recreate the dressing. Guess we will just have to go back!
The Flamingo was a new dish for us and the menu. If you’re wondering, “will I enjoy a crispy rolled taco stuffed to the brim with melted cheese and roasted Anaheim peppers?” the answer is not only will you enjoy the fuck out of them, but you’ll dip them into an avocado salsa, pico de gallo, and cotija cheese and you’ll be HAPPY ABOUT IT OKAY? We were.
Taco Chelo’s tacos are of course, their specialty. We chose the vegetable, carnitas, carne asada, and costra tacos.
Let’s talk about the Costra at length. TC took a carne asada taco, covered it in caramelized onions, then caramelized cheese, and then they expect you to eat just one? It is cruel. We had to stop writing this sentence three times just so we could stare off into space and think about the Costra. Ugh, Costra. We miss you.
Yes, you guys. You know we ate dessert. TC offers a tres leches we were very about that. Indulge yourself post salsa heat-wave with an orange, almonds, toasted coconut and whipped cream dream. Tres leches is never a bad idea. And neither is Taco Chelo. Turns out, we’re always in the mood for a little spice and a little sweet and Taco Chelo has exactly what we need. And more.
Visit Taco Chelo at:
501 E. ROOSEVELT ST. PHOENIX, AZ 85004
hours sun – thurs: 11 am – 10 pm fri – sat: 11 am – 12 am