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“Innovative Mexican Cusine”

The Spotted Donkey Cantina
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Ranked #77 of 1,307 Restaurants in Scottsdale
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Bar scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, 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 August 5, 2014

The usual Mexican dishes all had a twist and were wonderful. Braised short ribs were great, as was the shrimp quasadilla with roasted vegetables. All the sauces and salsas tasted handmade. Great Margaritas. Decorated beautifully, unusual light fixtures. Lovely outdoor patio. Highly recommended.

Thank Roberta R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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328 - 332 of 650 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2014

Food was average, portions were very generous. Staff not very attentive, maybe because we were in the bar and our waiter was also the bartender. Sit in dining room, bar loud with drunk people swearing.

Thank Vivian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2014

Our family's traditional stop when arriving in Phoenix to visit Grandma. On a mid-afternoon in July the place was quiet and cool (115 deg outside) and serving its typically well-executed Mexican fare. Service was especially attentive, made us feel welcome, and provided explanations for all those dishes whose names I can never keep straight. Our waiter, an ex storm chaser, even struck up a conversation about "haboobs", the severe dust storms that can afflict the desert. We had never heard of them, but one struck that evening, diverting our daughter's flight to Tucson and coating a lot of the area in grimy dust. I'll chalk that up to local flavor. Anyway, a particularly good restaurant experience, as we're accustomed to at the Spotted Donkey.

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Thank TorquilMacNeil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2014 via mobile

I have been coming here since it opened, and as a relatively new reviewer on Trip Advisor, and having just eaten there today, I thought I would write a review. My friend and just ate and I had the shrimp cocktail to start (I uploaded a photo of it) and then we split the beef fajitas, which were as always excellent - probably the best fajitas I have ever had anywhere. However, you have to like sausage as they mix some sausage with the beef unless you ask them not to. I also know from times past the enchiladas are extraordinary. The wait staff, managers and bartenders are all very friendly and professional - all around a great place.

Thank mbthom1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2014

We stayed in Scottsdale for two nights...did lots of research to pick a few restaurants to try. Saw a few reviews, and recommendations for the Spotted Donkey and thought being part of the classy Boulders operation it would be top shelf. It was not exactly. Though close by, it is upstairs in basically a small shopping and office mall across the street from the resort.

Was much more like a sports bar with staff running around in tshirts, maybe my expectations were mis aligned. Service was prompt, but clearly rushed and bored staff, ready with pat answers and quick standard answers about the menu. The guacamole was tasty, the three salsas that we had were very boring. A little complexity to the spice and flavors, and maybe a 1, 2, and 3 on the spicy or Southwestern spice scale.

The Mole was average, not pasty like many, and yet missing that complexity a good Mole exhibits. The street enchiladas were typical, cheese soaked, limp tortillas swimming in a bland green salsa, but the red enchilada sauce was excellent. Did not need the pound of grated cheese on top.

Guacamole, two entrees, a glass of wine, one cocktail, no desert was $90.00 with top. All in all, nothing really to complain about, but nothing to bring me back. If in Phx or Scottsdale, skip the 30 minute drive and try a myriad of alternatives much more authentic and original.

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1  Thank Tim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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