Late last year, Gilbert welcomed a cozy, casual and delectable new Mexican restaurant, Isabel’s Amor. The restaurant is named after the matriarch of the Vasquez family, who has more than 40 years of experience of feeding local families. In fact, Nana Isabel’s recipes led to opening of the Vasquez family’s first restaurant, South Phoenix’s Poncho’s in 1972, and the fast-casual Someburros, which has several Valley locations.
Isabel’s Amor serves from-scratch dishes and a craft cocktail list curated by Travis Nass. The restaurant features warm wood finishes, accented with thoughtful touches of color, and a spacious patio for enjoying Isabel’s Mexican eats al fresco. Try to visit on a night that Isabel’s Amor hosts live music.
For starters, the Mexican street corn is sweet, a bit spicy and very tasty. Plus, the corn is served off the cob; thus, no kernels stuck between your teeth. The frijoles de Amor is a signature dish at the restaurant–and incredibly addicting. Diners dip tortilla chips into refried beans, which is served in an hot cast-iron skillet and topped with jalapeno cream and melted cheese.
Among the mains, favorites include the chili rojo de pollo and the pescado de la parrilla. In the first dish, chicken has been stewed for five hours in guajillo chilies–the result is tender, mighty flavorful chicken in a delectable red sauce. In the later dish, Corvina fish is marinated in lime juice, tequila and cilantro butter to create a fresh, summer-friendly flavor. The fish is then topped with a bright mango salsa. On the side, enjoy Isabel’s spicy borracho beans and fresh-made (made in house daily) tortillas.
To wash it all down, the refreshing blackberry-sage margarita, with tequila blanco, creme de muire, sage syrup, lime and topped with blackberries, is just one of the house’s amazing agave cocktails. For dessert, Isabel’s Amor’s flan is must–and makes a sweet ending to a delectable meal. www.isabelsamor.com.