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“Just Your Average Donkey..”

The Spotted Donkey Cantina
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Ranked #117 of 1,325 Restaurants in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Carefree Hwy
Description: Fresh, lively and energetic, the Spotted Donkey Cantina at el Pedregal is a Scottsdale original. Offering the best drinks, unique food and a festive atmosphere are quickly earning Spotted Donkey Cantina at el Pedregal a reputation as the place to dine in North Scottsdale. The restaurant's North Scottsdale location provides a fabulous backdrop of 12-million-year-old rock formations and you can catch the Arizona sky creating a stunning atmosphere on our large outdoor patio. Best Happy Hour 2012 | AZ Centrals Readers Choice Awards Best Mexican Food 2013 | Arizona Foothills Magazine
Reviewed July 26, 2013

While staying at the nearby "Boulders" resort we walked over to the "Spotted Donkey." We were looking for some good Mexican food. The restaurant is in a great shopping area full of speciality and artsy type shops and boutiques. It is a great place to walk around. The restaurant is a kind of an Arizona-Mex place. I think they were shooting for Tex-Mex. The people were nice but not real attentive and the prices were high for a Scottsdale Mexican style restaurant.

I had the beef tacos. They came with real shredded beef but the chef must be following the more meat the better idea of cooking. I took half the meat out but there was too little other ingredients left for a good flavor. It was just a seasoned beef and slightly warmed corn tortilla taste. I left three fourths of my plate. My wife ordered a grilled chicken salad that was good but nothing special. They do charge you for the chips and salsa. Our light dinner ran over $40 with tip for something less than you would get at an El Torito.

Great waiters learn to watch for certain things and to always ask their customers if everything is okay. When you see customers leaving their dishes half eaten there is a problem. Hopefully we caught them on a bad day.. It happens. The shopping area made up for the lackluster dinner.

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Thank EdR2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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440 - 444 of 670 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2013

Situated in very North Scottsdale (almost Carefree), this lively restaurant serves great southwest food. The atmosphere is sophisticated and there is a good selection of drinks. The food is not typical Mexican. It is much more varied and upscale, if not more gourmet. The portions are large and so the prices reflect the quality and quantity.

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Thank pbuntarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

A great spot for a fun happy hour! Reasonably price appetizers and drink specials in a fun atmosphere. Unique, upscale Mexican cuisine with great margaritas! Will definitely return next time I'm in Scottsdale.

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Thank KateeThinks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Great spot for an early dinner -- several appetizers and drinks were on 'happy hour' special so enjoyed Huevos Rolls (southwest play on egg-rolls) and a refreshing regional draft beer with a hint of sweet citrus-orange. A selection of starters was on special for $5 each so could easily make a tapas-style meal out of them for a group! I had the Stuffed Peppers (their non-traditional version of chili relleno) for main course and coconut flan for desert. The peppers were stuffed with deliciously seasoned meat-cheese-rice combo and fried w a light crust that remained crispy to the last bite! The flan had a nice flavor but the texture was overly dense. The server was knowledgeable about menu items and guided me to items that best suited my taste. Everything was fresh-tasting, the bean-&-cheese elements of the meal were nicely integrated and not too heavy. Still, calorie-wise the meal was a splurge -- but worth it! The atmosphere was charming, with the bar area fairly separate from the table-dining section where I sat.

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Thank wgSweetTea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Amazing flavors. I love their shrimp cocktail which has serrano peppers and is spicy but great. They marinated their meat in the fajitas, and have a beef with sausage option which is great. The prices are a little higher but worth it since the flavors are so good. This place has become one of our regulars.

Thank Don D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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