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Diego Pops is a Real Winner

Diego PopsDuring the recent Arizona Taco Festival, I was looking over the winners for each category and I saw Diego Pops had placed in multiple categories. This piqued my curiosity as I’d never come across this establishment in my never ending voyage to try something new and different. The combination of a fun name and a winning selection of tacos, guacamole, desserts, etc. compelled me to check it out for myself.

Upon arriving, I immediately felt like I was transformed into a Funkytown of delight and I’m excited to taco about it, taco about it, taco about it, taco about IT! The décor was fun and vibrant with a wall of colorful pineapples that greets you, just beyond the trophies proudly displayed at the entrance. As I looked around, I wondered how a place receiving so much praise could be so empty in the evening hours, until I noticed the courtyard area, which was full of people enjoying the wonderful weather AND the food.

The waitress was friendly and helpful. I had explained to her that I was there based on all the praise they received at the Arizona Taco Festival. With great pride she explained the winners of each category and made some recommendations. I took her advice and ordered what she recommended.

Every decision was a tough one, from drinks to dessert. My first choice would have normally been to try one of their Snow Cone Margaritas, like the Watermelon Lime with Don Julio Blanco, Watermelon Liquor, Triple Sec, muddled watermelon, house made sweet and sour and lime or the Mango Elderberry with Don Julio Blanco, St. Germain, Triple Sec, mango, house made sweet and sour and a Chili Spice rim. I had a slight headache, so had to opt for something non alcoholic, which in no way was a sacrifice. . They had some great ice tea flavors. I had a kiwi-strawberry green tea, which was fruity and delicious and paired nicely with my food selection. They also have a Prickly Pear Black Tea which also sounds good.

Everything on the menu looked fantastic, but I took the servers recommendations and started out with the guacamole, which was served with a combination of fried plantain chips and tortilla chips. They were delicious with the house made (and award winning) guacamole. It was a perfect balance of creamy and chunky with avocado, orange, blistered jalapeño, cojita cheese and lime. They also have a selection of sauces, everything from creamy, mild and smooth like the Avocado purée to Habanero oil. I had a few favorite sauces. The roasted garlic and beet crema was fantastic. It’s slightly thick in texture, with a aromatic garlic flavor which balanced beautifully with the beets. If you think you aren’t a fan of beets, it’s a must try. My other favorite sauce is the Serrano Ranch which is slightly spicy and creamy. I seriously wish they bottled and sold their sauces. In gallon sized jugs.

You would think with all the samplings of the sauces and guacamole with the chips and plantains, I would be full. Nope. I fully enjoyed my braised pineapple pork taco with pineapple relish, cojita and house slaw in a crispy tortilla (they give you recommendations on what type of tortilla you should pair with taco selections) . It was delicious. The pork was tender and juicy and the pineapple relish, slaw and cojita sealed the deal for a perfect taco. Was this little piggy full yet? Nope. Bring on the fish taco with cod in a corn tortilla. Delicious. The cod was crispy on the outside with no grease and the cod was tender. The fish taco was topped with guacamole, grilled onion, chipotle aoli, house slaw and crispy leeks. I enjoyed every bite.

I enjoyed Diego Pops so much, I went back again…on the same day. That’s right, I returned in the evening with a friend for dessert and a drink. My friend also had a difficult time deciding on a drink and ultimately chose the guava coconut, served in a baby coconut with an umbrella of course. It was made with Ciroc Coconut, coconut water, guava, crème de coconut and house made sweet and sour. Just take a sip and close your eyes, you will quickly be whisked away to a tropical island. Open your eyes now, because it’s time for dessert. I ordered to churro fries, which were chewy and sweet, with 3 sauces for dipping. Hot fudge, dulce de leche and marshmallow whip. My friend enjoyed the campfire sundae, which is soft served ice cream, graham cracker, toasted marshmallow whip, chocolate chips, and secret cereal crunch.

We both agreed our desserts were the perfect way to end the evening and look forward to visiting again soon. It’s no surprise after sampling such great food why Diego Pops took home the trophies.

Diego Pops is located at 4338 N Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Braised Pineapple Pork Taco

Coup De Tartes Will Make You Say Oui Oui

Buttternut Squash RisottoCoup De 75Chocolate and Caramel Fluer De Sel TotreLobster Pot Pie

With Reataurant Week in full swing, making a decision on where to go can be tough.  Once we came across the menu for Coup De Tartes, we knew we found a winner.

Upon arrival, was a quaint, red brick, cottage style home, which is equally as charming on the inside.

While most people don’t pass up a glass of wine at a French Restaurant, I opted for a refreshing cocktail, on this 100 degree day.  I ordered the Coup 75, which was refreshing, with an equal balance of citrus, slightly sweet and smoothness that ended up pairing perfectly with the meal.

With the Restaurant Week Menu, I went with the Lobster Pot Pie.  The crust was flakey and buttery and it was filled with lobster and potatoes.   It was delicious.  The second course was a tough choice, but I decided on the Butternut Squash Risotto.  It was fantastic.  Anyone who’s ever tried to make risotto, knows how time consuming it can be, and it’s often difficult to cook to perfection.   The flavors were fantastic and it was cooked perfectly.  Next came dessert.  I decided on the Chocolate and Caramel Tarte with Fluer De Sel.  So rich and delicious.  I ended up taking most of it home, to enjoy with my coffee the next morning.  What a great way to start the day.

I highly recommend Coup De Tarte and can’t wait to return.

Coup De Tartes is located at 1725 E Osborn Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016. Phone: 602-212-1082.