Aug 8, 2023 - Food and Drink

Reviewed: Espiritu's food shines as bright as its cocktails

The skirt steak special at Espiritu. Photo: Jessica Boehm/Axios

I consider downtown Mesa's Espiritu the best cocktail bar in the Valley and I've gone for drinks many times since it opened last January.

  • Yes, but: Even with all of the accolades from the James Beard Foundation and the Food Network, I'd never gone for dinner. So when my brother visited last week, I decided to change that.

What I ordered:

  • Queso fundido: Menonita cheese swims in a warm puddle of tomatillo salsa and is covered in thin onion straws. It's served with warm tortillas for dipping.
  • Skirt steak special: The thin slice of steak is cooked medium rare and sits atop a pile of saucy baked beans. It's served with fried potatoes and a tortilla and hot salsa on the side.

The verdict: Holy moly. I could kick myself for not ordering food all the other times I visited. Even the simple menu items, like beans and potatoes, were perfectly prepared.

  • Chef Roberto Centeno, who also works at Bacanora, is best known for his grilling skills. I was glad I trusted his team with the special meat dish of the day. The steak melted in my mouth and I was left to daydream about my return.
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