Few things in this world can bring as much joy as a good taco can, which is why I found pure bliss at CRUjiente Tacos. Tucked away in a small strip mall in the Arcadia area of Phoenix, executive chef Richard Hinojosa is cranking out tacos that are sure to make you swoon.
Hinojosa’s approach keeps to the traditional but amps up the flavor by using a mix creativity and high-quality ingredients resulting in an amazing and innovative menu.
On a recent visit I indulged in the seasonal Golden Gazpacho, street corn and a few taco options. Everything I tasted tickled my tastebuds and had me planning out my next few visits to Cru.
Not a huge fan of Gazpacho, this rendition had me slurping from the bowl. Made with heirloom tomatoes, this cold soup was perfectly balanced and smooth, not too acidic and touched with a little sweetness from the perfectly ripened tomatoes. Orbs of fresh avocado added a little texture and creaminess. This gazpacho is sure to make you a believer.
Street Corn is one of my favorite side dishes and Cru’s did not disappoint. They have done the work for you by cutting the kernel off the cob and mixing them up with tomatillo, aioli, creme and cilantro. It’s meant as a dip for crisp tortilla chips but I preferred eating it straight out of the dish with a spoon.
As for the tacos, I tried the Thai Seared Shrimp, Texas Wagyu Cap Steak and 36-hour Beef Short Rib. All were incredible but my hands-down favorite was the Texas Wagyu Cap Steak. That taco is to die for, and addicting. A soft warm tortilla is filled with an expertly cooked slice of steak, soy pickled shimeji mushrooms, fresh horseradish, karashi mustard and cilantro mojo. The strong flavors of the condiments work perfectly with the meat and the tang of the mushrooms. Taco perfection, unexpected and delicious.
I grew up on crispy shell tacos so I can’t wait to go back to CRUjiente and try those.
No good taco joint is complete without excellent cocktails and CRU is serving up those as well. The Sandia Fresca is not to be missed, a refreshing blend of watermelon, Chicago Distilling Ceres Vodka, lemon, basil, and Rancho Chimayo. This cocktail is light and cools the palate perfectly!
CRUjienta Tacos offers a killer Happy Hour daily from 3-6pm. HH specials include $5 Premier CRU Margaritas and well drinks, $5 crispy beef, pork or lamb tacos, $3 Korean fried chicken tacos, $3 pork belly tacos, $4 short rib tacos and more!
Daily Specials include: Margarita Mondays ($5 Cru Margs), Taco Tuesday (happy hour tacos all day), Happy Hump Day (happy hour all day), Thirsty Thursday ($1 off all beer, wine and Cru cocktails) and reverse happy hour on Friday and Saturday (9-11pm).
There you go! Weekend plans are set!
CRUjiente Tacos is located at 3961 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018.
Disclaimer: I was invited to enjoy a meal at CRUjiente Tacos as part of a media dinner. All opinions within this post are entirely my own.