Takin’ It to the Street… Tacos
Writer Amanda Christmann
Photographs Courtesy Limón Tacos and Tequila
In Mexico City, when the sun begins to set and the work of the day is done, the streets fill with music and delicious smells fill the air. Neighbors and friends share drinks, smiles and laughter, and everyone enjoys fresh and delicious tacos and tamales made to order by chirpy street vendors.
It’s in that spirit of fun and festivities that Valley resident Franco Mangieri created Limón Tacos & Tequila, one of the most interesting and tastiest concept restaurants in our neck of the desert.
“At Limón, we provide the everything you need to sit back, relax and enjoy your friends and family,” said Mangieri, who spent the better part of last year designing and overseeing construction of the Dove Valley restaurant.
With great food, original cocktails, life-sized games on the patio and his staff, led by Yonny Velasquez, and he’s doing it right.
From build-your-own street tacos to prickly pear margaritas and craft beer, the food selection is tempting and unique. The build-your-own concept isn’t entirely new (in fact, a chain restaurant a few miles away became famous for their version), but Limón adds more variety.
First, build a base. Diners choose from street tacos, burritos, ensalada greens, tortas, nachos or quesadillas to begin, then move on to proteins. There are so many choices! Chicken adobado, pork carnitas, beef barbacoa, al pastor pork shoulder, pork chorizo caliente, beer battered cod, chile lime shrimp, carne asada or fajita-style vegetables add plenty of variety no matter what your meat preference.
Limón’s “builders” set them apart from other eateries. In addition to fresh standards like rices, beans, tomatoes and corn, diners dig in to pickled onions, jicama sticks, pomegranate seeds, cotija cheese, a unique variety of salsas and more.
In one reviewer’s words, “I don’t know how many combinations you can make. It’s more than 20, less than a million. If you don’t like something, it’s ’cause you messed it up.”
A kids’ menu and daily featured desserts top off the food menu, but leave room for the drinks!
No authentic street party or backyard fiesta is complete without tequila. Limón carries a full selection of blanco, reposado, añejo and mezcal tequilas and some not-to-be-forgotten cocktails.
Their namesake ’rita is a delightfully earthy combination of Solerno blood orange liqueur, sage Art in the Age, and fresh lime juice and sage, sweetened with agave nectar. Another favorite, the la Mula de la Droga, is a spicy mix of St. George green chile vodka, Giffard pineapple liqueur, ginger beer and fresh lime juice. There are 12 great options on the menu and more in Mangieri’s mental stash, plus wine and beer selections for a little something different.
The atmosphere inside can be cheerful and lively, but outside is where the fun begins. Foosball, corn hole and giant Connect Four are spread out on the patio so kids of all ages can have a good time.
“I wanted to make a neighborhood space where people could have a good time, where families could come and mom and dad could order a drink while the kids play games, or where people could come for date night and have fun talking to each other and every one else around,” said Mangieri. “I want this to be the place that feels like a backyard barbecue—but with a twist.”
So far, he’s doing just that, and with any luck, Limón Tacos and Tequila will be a ristorante favorito for many years to come.
Limón Tacos and Tequila Specials
Happy Hour Daily
3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Reverse Happy Hour
8 p.m. to close
Three Amigos Margaritas $4
$2 off specialty margaritas
$2 street tacos
Kids Eat Free Wednesday
All day, kids under 12 eat free
Cuz Juan tequila is not enough!
Fish Fry Friday
$9.99 fish and chips
All-day happy hour
$14 beer buckets
LIMóN Tacos and Tequila
2750 Dove Valley Rd., Phoenix