Testal Mexican Kitchen

The Valley of the Sun, and all that is tasty therein
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Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2023 5:02 pm

Testal Mexican Kitchen

Post by ToneRanger »

Been meaning to post about this place after going a couple of times. We stopped in again during the Grand Avenue Festival over the weekend to try some more of those great little burritos. I've worried a bit about this little stretch of Grand Ave since El Charro Hipster closed and I imagine some of these spots are overshadowed by the culinary supernova that is Bacanora.

I really like how low-key Testal is, with counter service, a small bar, and (on weekends) a DJ spinning and/or MC'ing karaoke. The menu is simple, with burritos, a few taco options and a couple breakfast items. It appears that the menu is pretty vegan-friendly, with a decent number of vegan burritos and bowls as well.

Testal does burritos in the style of Northern Mexico - delicious flour tortillas with a couple of fillings, usually a meat and beans or potatoes. I ordered the Deshebrada burrito, made with shredded beef in a green tomatillo sauce and potatoes. The beef was perfectly tender and the slight sweetness of the sauce was a perfect pairing for the unctuousness of the beef. In previous visits I've had the frijol and queso buritto, which I thought was fantastic - they really nailed the creaminess of the beans. I also enjoyed the Colorado burrito, which features pork in a red sauce, but was probably my least favorite of the three.

I'm now on a personal mission to visit this spot every time I'm down near Grand and eventually try every burrito on the menu - not a huge feat, to be fair, since there's only ten of them. I haven't had a chance to try their sotol cocktails or paletas either, both of which look good. I should also note that Testal is incredibly affordable, all of the burritos are under $10. If you're really hungry you should get two!

Testal Mexican Kitchen
1325 Grand Ave Suite 1
Phoenix, AZ 85007
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Skillet Doux
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Re: Testal Mexican Kitchen

Post by Skillet Doux »


Testal, interestingly, was a JBF long-lister this year, which kind of surprised me. But it's a great spot.

testal-burros.jpg (476.86 KiB) Viewed 396 times

From left to right: Deshebrada, Colorado, Relleno, Picadillo.

I particularly enjoyed the relleno. They just chucked a whole queso-stuffed chile relleno right into a thick tortilla and called it a day. Really nice chile, especially. Check out how thick that bugger is. The colorado is much mellower than it looks. Has more of a low, smouldering heat. The other two are very much MEAT. Straightforward as they come. I personally want more green chile in the deshebrada, but that's purely a matter of preference. It's beautifully made. And the tortillas are definitely a highlight. Steamy, great flavor, SUPER thick.

testal-birria.jpg (582.29 KiB) Viewed 395 times

I thought the birria was really nice, too. Not up to what you might expect if it were a dedicated birria shop, but really nice flavor, great consomé. And frankly, much better than 95% of the quesabirria joints out there. Not their specialty, but a really nice change of pace or something extra to share. Definitely one to try.

There's enough crossover that comparisons with Tacos Chiwas are probably inevitable, but as with most things, I sure hope there's room for both and it doesn't turn into a Team Chiwas / Team Testal thing.
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Re: Testal Mexican Kitchen

Post by jayj »

Yes, yes, yes! I stumbled on Testal not long after it opened and was completely enamored by it straight away. The burritos were definitely smaller back then, when ordering 3 was the minimum. Now I find it hard to finish two. I preferred the smaller burritos of old, but wondering if they had a hard time selling/marketing the smaller ones.

The rajas is absolute fire. If I'm allowed to use that term. Even when it's 110+ outside and I know I shouldn't get the rajas, I have to. Not overly creamy. The peppers often have a bit of a kick. And it's just delicious. This is the one filling I will always get without fail on every visit.

To me, what stands Testal apart are the more stewy fillings. The potato one reminds me a lot of a Gujurati dish!
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