All good things come to those who wait. At least that is what the old adage says. Here in metro Phoenix, for those who have been waiting for the launch of a new, but familiar, Puerto Rican restaurant, the time has come to celebrate, as the restaurant is now officially open for business.
Several months ago it was announced that Phoenix Coqui, a popular Puerto Rican food truck here in the Valley, would make the jump into its first brick and mortar location. There wasn’t a set date as to when the restaurant would open at the time. Fast forward to today, and Phoenix Coqui has opened and is now serving up traditional Puerto Rican food to customers.
Located at the intersection of 15th Avenue and Indian School in Phoenix, it has taken over the former home of Crazy Jim’s Mediterranean restaurant. That long-time staple of a restaurant closed after nearly four decades of business.
For anyone who has been craving a different food option here in the Valley, Phoenix Coqui is exactly what they have been looking for. Head cook Juan Alberto Ayala hails from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, and spent most of his childhood learning his grandparent’s recipes. Just about everything on the menu is based off of what he learned from his family, and while he and his partner have been serving the community Puerto Rican food from the food truck, the physical location at 4041 North 15th Avenue makes it that much easier for anyone to stop by, without following a set schedule.
For anyone who has not yet had the opportunity to stop by the food truck and sample Phoenix Coqui’s offering, the menu has an assortment of goodies. It starts with authentic Puerto Rican empanadillas, which are stuffed with either beef, chicken, seasoned and sauteed mushrooms, or “pizza” (using mozzarella, and pizza sauce). Alcapurria, which is fried yuca dough filled with grilled beef, and tostones, which is fried green plantains with a garlic-mayo sauce can be ordered as well. There are several kinds of island French fries for sale, as well as several larger dishes, including the mofongo bowl, which is fried green plantains mashed with garlic seasoning, topped with pork rinds, seasoned rice, pigeon peas, and slow-roasted pork.
The new location is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM until 6:45 PM. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. And don't worry, the food truck is still operating.