Set in the lobby area of The Clarendon Hotel, a contemporary boutique hotel in Central Phoenix, Gallo Blanco is a hot spot that has received accolades for its guacamole as well as for its overall menu.
The creation of chef and owner Doug Robson, who also owns Otro Café, Gallo Blanco’s menu offers dishes into which he has infused the foods he grew up on in Mexico and includes those of his French Vietnamese and English heritage. The flavors combine in Latin-inspired dishes with some truly memorable creations that include tacos, salads and entrées that will ensure a return visit.
Start with the made-to-order guacamole. This incredibly fresh, chunky avocado dip is made with citrus pieces, spices and Cotija, the somewhat grainy Mexican cheese. The Pork Quesadilla is made with wonderfully flavorful braised pork with Oaxaca cheese and a jalapeño relish that ads just the right amount of spice. The tacos are the perfect lunch meal and are ordered individually. Choose from favorites that include Cochinita Taco, which is marinated local pork slow-braised in Achiote with orange, garlic and Guajillo chilies. The Carne Asada Taco is marinated grilled rib eye, onions and charred salsa that is a spicy and hearty meal in and of itself. The Shrimp Taco is made with wild Mexican shrimp with Chile de Arbol mayo, guacamole, shaved cabbage slaw and pico de gallo. Other dishes include the awesome flavors of the Chilaquiles Verdes, which is made with chicken or seasonal vegetables, topped with sunny-side-up eggs, queso Oaxaca and chili verde salsa. Also the Shrimp-n-Grits is a must. This jumbo shrimp dish is made with Chorizo white wine sauce and is laid over polenta with pesto.
The restaurant and patio are simple, with an open, working kitchen that the friendly and knowledgeable servers populate and speed through to ensure great service. The patio is urban, large and open — the perfect location for a quick lunch this time of year.
The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
401 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix