April 6, 2009

Ay Caray! Mexican Grill

By Angele Sionna

  • 1300 S Milton Rd (next to Picazzos), Flagstaff, AZ

  • No menu online, but they have to go menus with coupons on their counter (run in and check it out before sitting down to order!)

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)
>>>>= a favorite, can count on it being good every time

The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
xxx= good but could be improved

Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$                    under $10

Value (what you get for your money)
**** = worth it – you won’t be disappointed with what you get for your money

Ay Caray!, formerly known as Ay Carrumba! (they had to change their name the owner tells me because Ay Carumba was trademarked and they had to change it), is a surpring little find in a strip mall along Flagstaff's man drag. Next to Picazzos and August Moon, sits this little gem with super friendly service and fantastic food. Don't mistake this little joint for some of the other taqueria-type places in town. It has several tables and the owner waits on you himself. He's great at check on you ad your satisfaction and about making sure your drinks are filled up. It's nothing fancy, but feels relaxing.

The menu's pretty simple - tacos, enchiladas, tamales, tortas plus some salads and soups - all of which is freshly made, including the chips nad salsa. I knew it was going to be a great meal as soon as I took my first bite into their chips. So good and so fresh. These could quite possibly be the best in town. The salsa is spicy and flavorful but doesn't burn the tongue.

For my lunch today I ordered up a chicken and guacamole taco ($2.50) and a green chile chicken tamale ($2). Both were good but the taco was outstanding. The chicken isn't dry and stringy like at a lot of other joints in town. And its flavored well. It's served in a double corn tortillas. Yum. The tamale is a different type than I've had before. The masa is much more fluffy than most, but the taste was decent and fresh. Though after eating the fantastic taco, I wish I'd just ordered two of those. My husband has the asada enchiladas. Unlike most enchiladas, there was barely any cheese inside (if any) and were stuffed with grilled beef and cheese on top. His came with sour cream, guac, rice and beans, all of which were quite tasty and plentiful. I always like it when places don't go crazy on their upcharge of guac. It's not *that* expensive to make fresh, so the fact that it just comes with the tacos and enchiladas was a great surprise and on top of that it tasted fab to boot!

Mexican joints are not a place I think of when I think great deserts, but Ay Caray's flan is excellent. If you ask, they'll let you sample the differnt flans of the day. Today I tried the plain and the coffee. The coffee I must recommend. It was smooth and flavorful, and let's not forget sweet and rich. The presentation was nice too - served on a plate with chocolate drizled across it and a cherry sliced into a flower on top. I'll be getting that again.
All the food here tastes like the chef back in the kitchen really cares. That is the sign of a fabulous restaurant, no matter how simple and small. I think I've found my new favorite Mexican food in Flagstaff!


Way said...

Have eaten at Ay! Caray many times. The food is great everytime and the service is just what you want. Going there for luch today!

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