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Coin-Operated Critic #3 – Top Shelf Mexican Food

Reviewing Arizona’s eateries.

Top Shelf, 35th and Peoria Avenue, Phoenix


First impression: 3 out of 5 croutons. The lobby was spacious, with a fountain in the center. Lots of cheerful disembodied voices greeted us as we were seated immediately.

The ambiance: 3 out of 5 croutons.

Nothing special here. It is the same as all the other Mexican food places. It’s an older building and the flooring has seen better days.

The menu: 4 out of 5 croutons.

The menu is YUGE. There are many choices.

The server: 4 out of 5 croutons.

The server was friendly, competent and knowledgeable.

The drinks: 4 out of 5 croutons.

I ordered an iced tea, my sidekick, a beer. Both were very good. My ice tea was refilled without me asking.

The food: 4 1/2 out of 5 croutons.

The chips were extra thin, which I like, however my sidekick prefers thicker chips. The salsa was very good, and highly addictive.

I chose the #1 meal, as my sidekick had the chimichanga. The food was very good, and it surprised me. Our entrées were hot but not scalding. The tamale was perfection. Lots of cheesey goodness.

Total score is 22 ½ out of 30 croutons

What is your favorite restaurant? Tell me below, maybe I’ll go.


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