Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant of Scottsdale was located on the slab where In-N-Out Burgers is now located at 3106 Sports Arena boulevard.
ENTERTAINMENT THURS- Saturday July 1980 THE SAN DIEGO UNION. A-25 • Alan Page
Dining and Entertainment Columnist DINING OUT A GARCIA’S OF-SCOTTSDALE, already popular for its Arizona-style Mexican food specialties, is now serving a champagne brunch every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Garcia family recipes are teamed up with the flavor of the Old Southwest to create an array of ;culinary delights including six authentic Mexican egg ;dishes,- five south-of-the-border favorites and spark-‘ling California champagne. Diners are invited to. choose from between the six “huevos specialties” including such dishes as Chorizo Benedict, a blend of fresh beef and onions crowned with poached eggs and hollandaise, Huevos Mexicana, fresh scrambled eggs with diced tomatoes, green chills and green onions, or :Machaca Omelet, specially prepared with shredded ‘beef and blended with fresh sautéed vegetables all served with a buttered flour tortilla and a choice of rice or beans. Complimentary champagne is also included with the meal. In addition to the traditional egg-type brunch items, GARCIA’S provides its customers several other possibilities in which to satisfy their hunger and delight their taste buds. GARCIA’S OF SCOTTSDALE house specialty, the Garcia’s Chimichanga, is a machaca beef burro served with sour cream and guacamole. It is an all-time favorite among Garcia’s fans. Another favorite is the Polio Fundido, deep fried folded crispy flour tortilla. filled with ten-der seasoned chicken covered with melted cheese and served with rice. A third winner is the Tostada del Rey, machaca meat cradled in a deep-fried flour tortilla shell lavishly garnished with lettuce, sour cream; guacamole, tomatoes, green onions and cheddar cheese. For those with simpler tastes, a lunch combination is available which includes a choice of two, including a beef taco, cheese enchilada, beef tostada, or a green corn tamale with sauce, all served with rice and beans. And for those craving good-old American food, the Garcia’s Burger hits the spot. The char-broiled hamburger is served with French fries, lettuce and tomatoes. GARCIA’S OF SCOITSDALE is located in Glasshouse Square at the corner of Rosecrans and Sports Arena Boulevard. Brunch prices range from .$3.50 to $6.45 Lunch and dinner is served daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 12 midnight Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday in addition-to afternoon and late night happy hours …
Dining & W Douglas Verkaaik Advertising Coordinator
Garcia’s of Scottsdale. “Taking care of the customer, that’s always the prime focus here,” says Doug Porter, general manager of Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. This festive restaurant is the only location in San Diego for the company that operates 41 other restau-: rants nationwide, and it’s one of the top, according to Porter, who has worked at Garcia’s for the past six years. Garcia’s is conveniently near the Sports Arena and Old Town, with plenty of parking too! The menu is alive with tasty Mexican items and “sig-nature” dishes such as the pollo fundido — tender sea-soned chicken, mild Jalapeno and cream cheese folded in a flour tortilla, deep-fried and covered with melted cheese. There are also the delicious fajitas plates of marinat-ed steak or chicken strips with onions and bell pepper, ready to spoon onto a warm tortilla with guacamole, salsa, lime and beans. Carnitas, one of San Diego’s most popular Mexican dishes, is also a good choice at Garcia’s. The seasoned, shredded pork has a superb flavor that’s further, en-hanced when it’s rolled in a tortilla with guacamole and .4 salsa. If you and your companion have a big appetite, try the lollapalooza platter — an awesome combo of fajita burrito, pollo fundido, cheese enchilada, mini tacos, chimichangas, mini tostadas, beef flauta and plenty of rice and beans. That dish, along with one of Garcia’s margaritas (try the Royale) or tropical drinks will satis-fy any appetite. The menu features much more: seafood enchiladas, green corn and cheese tamales, and a varity of.combi- • nations. Among the appetizers, the espinaca con queso is rec-ommended. Jalapeno cheese, onions, tomato and spin-ach are blended and served with chips for dipping. The Ultimate Nachos are also a good choice. Garcia’s even has a special menu for kids, and will include a box of crayons so the kids can color. Happy Hour in the cantina features a buffet and $1.75 margaritas. Special events are always going on: look for a big Cinco de Mayo celebration, and the famous sum-mer barbeques on the patio. Private party. banquets are also available. Enjoy Garcia’s of Scottsdale soon at 3106 Sports Arena Blvd. (at Rosecrans). Phone 223-5441.
A Message To Garcia’s:
Try Harder! GARCIA’S OF SCOTTSDALE, San Diego’s newest addition to the chic, charming pseudo-Mexican scene. There’s nothing really wrong with Garcia’s (save a flauta that tastes like surgical cotton and a quesadilla that tastes even worse). In fact, some things are actually quite right — a dramatically col-orful, class-furnished interior, a cheerful outdoor patio, and generally friendly, efficient service. But the food, that final arbiter, is mediocre — every plate a generous, beautifully garnished rendition of safe, gringoized Mexican food. Nothing to tic-kle the taste buds, but not much to really torpedo them, either. Best of. the pickings are the Beef and Bean Tostada ($3.20), a tidy jumble of greenery, sour cream, grated cheese and tasty ground beef and beans, and the presentable Huevos Rancheros ($3.95), which would benefit from either more huevos or less ranchero. The Polio Fundido ($5.85), too, is note-worthy, if only for its clever idea (fried nuggets of tortilla-wrapped chicken) and its fresh, well-seasoned filling (which tasted more like turkey than chicken, but at least it tasted like something, which is more than Can be said for several other items). Sadly, the “deep fried crispy tortilla” was pale, pasty and undercooked, and the bright orange cheese topping was overwhelming. The House Specialty, “Garcia’s Chimichanga” ($6.45), suffered from much the same fate. What should have been a crisp and crackly tortilla was mushy and lead-en. The acclaimed machaca filling was generous but stringy and timidly sea-soned. These “deep fried burritos” are a highlight of Arizona-style Mexican cook-ing. Pity Garcia’s couldn’t provide San Diego with a more authentic version. Then there’s the Combination Appetiz-ers ($6.95), recommended by waiters on three different occasions. I recommend this creation, too — if you like your flau-ta dehydrated, your tacos soggy and bland, and your tamales so doughy that they stick to the roof of your mouth. The “baby” chimichanga was even soppier than its adult counterpart, a feat I wouldn’t have thought possible. * * * Garcia’s offers all manner of nibbles to accompany their unremarkable mar-garitas. The Natchos ($3.25 and $5.25)
—UWE jAMES RESTAURANTS
Garcia’s of Scottsdale 3106 Sports Arena Blvd. 223-5441 Lunch & Dinner Daily provide a whopping portion of fresh hot tortilla chips smothered in melted cheese and speckled with chile bits. The Guacamole ($4.25) is chunky, flavorful and emphatically flecked with aromatic cilantro. Along with the snappily cooked salsa on every table, the nachos and guacamole make for a great way to begin dinner at Garcia’s. But for serious Mexican-food aficionados, it’s also the best time to end it. Quesadillas also qualify as appetizers. I tried both the regular Cheese Quesadilla-la ($3.25) and the Guacamole version ($4.75). Pancho Villa wouldn’t have done this to his worst enemy. The flour tortilla was a curious cross between bone-dry matzo and a pizza that didn’t rise to the occasion. The cheese was a bland blanket of goo, and the “guacamole” (for $1.50 extra, mind you) consisted of a tablespoon or two smeared clumsily over the pathetic imposter. To get on to more pleasant matters: Garcia’s desserts are more extensive than the usual flan-bunuelo lineup, and are lovely to look at. Deep Fried Ice Cream ($1.75) brought vanilla ice cream perfunctorily dusted with a barely warm honey and corn-flake-like mixture and shot with evanescent whipped cream. Tasty enough for a sweet tooth’s quick fix, but unremarked-able. Ditto the. Hot Apple Turnover ($2),, its filling crunchy and- pleasant, its_ tortilla jacket a bit chewy ‘and dry, The Sopapilla, -“Fried bread with honey,” ($1) might have been better had it been hot enough to melt the little pats of butter accompanying. it Service at Garcia’s is amiable and efficient, if not particularly polished. The lunch team is especially attentive and as speedy as your schedule dictates. Dinner service seems to be less impressive —we were served by a bumbling joker who was incapable of the most basic waiter’s task. •
Garcia’s of Scottsdale tries, and- tries hard. But Many of its efforts are-mis-, placed. A -beautiful decor, brightly eos- – turned waiters and waitresses, an elabo-rate menu and brilliantly garnished plates cannot take the place of well-sea-soned, authentic Mexican fare..