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“A Gem! Yum!”
Review of Gallo Blanco Cafe

Gallo Blanco Cafe
Ranked #185 of 3,173 Restaurants in Phoenix
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: We are no longer at The Clarendon Hotel & actively looking for a new home.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We visited Gallo Blanco on our last day in AZ and it was truly a highlight. The food was delicious and portions generous. For lunch I had a wonderful house salad, which comes in two sizes, and included wonderful fresh ingredients such as romaine, cucumbers, tomato, avocado, Cotija, pumpkin seeds, orange and jicama. Yum! This alone would have merited a return visit, but I also had half a Cochinta Torta, a sandwich of pork braised in Achiote, orange, garlic and Guajillo w/ avocado. My husband enjoyed his tamale and the chips and salsa were great. I don't agree with another reviewer that the salsa wasn't spicy -- it had a great flavor without being overwhelming. We loved it so much we took some home! This will be a place we return to on a future trip to Phoenix.

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Thank Heidi D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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192 - 196 of 278 reviews

Reviewed December 25, 2012

12/21/12. During a long weekend in Phoenix I found myself with some free time and a need for lunch. With a quick check of TripAdvisor I discovered the the Clarendon Inn and its on-site restaurant, Gallo Blanco Café and Bar in the Encanto area, perhaps better known as Midtown Phoenix.

A twenty minute walk from the Hampton Inn and only three blocks from the (Central Avenue) light rail found me at the Clarendon Inn and I must say I’m sorry we jumped on the national chain before considering a local gem such as this. Although we only scouted the public areas of the Clarendon this eclectic boutique hotel was warm, laid back and inviting, the staff were friendly and welcoming and with its fantastic pool area, roof-top deck and attached restaurant will unquestionably be a future destination and subject of review.

Within twenty minutes I was seated at the restaurant counter. I ordered a tasty margarita and contemplated lunch. Being a taco fan I sampled three of the five selections: the Chochinita ($2.50), made of local pork, marinated in Achiote, orange, garlic and Gualjillo; the Carne Asada Beef ($2.75), made with grilled ribeye with charred tomato salsa; and the Halibut Fish Taco ($3.50), made with iceberg lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole. A taco trifecta! Each was delicious and flavorful, especially the Carne Asada; the beef was tender, slightly charred and I nearly ordered more.

Gallo Blanco consists of a bar and lounge area just off the hotel lobby. Retro furniture, local art and a view to the courtyard pool made it a nice, if dimly lit, place to relax. The restaurant includes a large counter at which one can sit and watch the kitchen activity, a dozen or so tables and a sun dappled patio complete with propane heaters to take off the chill off a Phoenix afternoon shade.

On the morning of the 22nd, a friend from the valley joined us for breakfast at Gallo Blanco. Our guest enjoyed the Huevos Rancheros, one of us had an omelet and I had a delicious layered torta which included chorizo and a pair of over-easy eggs at its top. Each selection was fresh, delicious and service was fantastic.

Last, on the evening of the 23rd we had an early dinner which began with a pair of Prickly Pear Margaritas made with Sauza Blanco Tequila, Prickly Pear, and fresh squeezed juices in a salted-rim glass. As an appetizer we ordered the Guacamole (happy hour price, $5) which is made to order with citrus, spices and cotija (cow’s milk cheese). This was some of the very best guacamole we've ever had; it included roasted mild peppers and tomatoes and had a fantastic flavor. Served with warm chips, it is a must! For dinner we each ordered the Carne Asada Burrito which consisted of grilled Ribeye with avocado, fire roasted salsa, beans, cheddar cheese & sour cream. Each was “right sized”, the ingredients fresh, and the flavor fantastic.

Gallo Blanco ranks high on TripAdvisor’s rating scale perhaps more due to its combination of goodness than any single attribute. The food, although delicious, it perhaps not as unique as is the added blending of a fun, eclectic décor, excellent staff and association with the Clarendon Hotel. If you’re looking for a solid choice for casual ambiance and fresh, delicious south-western fare, look no further! Steve

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Thank Steve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Mexican food with great salsas, good tacos. Happy hour is great. Salads are unique. I would stick to tacos and salads. Tres leches was just ok.

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Thank JayaPhoenix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

My husband and I stayed at The Clarendon for one night on our way to Sedona. Stopped in here for breakfast and had our minds blown by the delicious breakfast tortas and this tomatillo/guacamole sauce. I was pregnant at the time and this satisfied all of my southwestern food cravings. So much so, that we returned for dinner on our way back into Phoenix! Great tacos and while I didn't get to try, my husband said the margaritas were spot on.

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Thank emmybemmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

I stayed at the Clarendon recently and my favorite part was eating here. The people that work here are personable and enthusiastic. They were fun to be with. And the food was excellent. Best salsa I've ever had. Wish I'd remembered to ask if they sold it. The prices were reasonable for what you got. I had the Eggs Torta for breakfast and it was enough for 2 full meals. Wish this place was in my town.

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Thank Sandra A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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