If you don’t like the current taco you’re eating, don’t worry, there will be another taco joint to offer up something to hopefully satisfy your food cravings. Tacos are a currency here in metro Phoenix, with hungry customers willing to shell out their hard-earned money to try the latest offering from a new restaurant, stand, or cart offering up the Mexican food styling. There’s a reason the metro area is able to support so many. There’s simply a craving for tacos and Mexican food that can’t be fully satisfied. That is exactly why a new, yet somewhat familiar, taco restaurant is looking to capitalize on this local food passion.
Chilte has been in existence since the pandemic first hit, although it has served under various locations. Chefs Lawrence Smith and Aseret Arroyo began working in a ghost kitchen at various locations around the Valley during the pandemic. They would offer tacos using other restaurants’ kitchens and sell them to customers. This is a popular restaurant trend that picked up major steam during the pandemic. Restaurants were unable to remain fully occupied throughout the day, so as they already had the necessary food licenses and other requirements, they rented some time and space to others wanting to share their own recipes with the world. That is how the couple of Lawrence and Aseret were able to get their food out to the public.
While Lawrence is not new to the culinary world in Phoenix, as he has worked at several restaurants around the region, including Ghost Ranch and Tempe Public Market Cafe, this is the first time he has officially owned his own restaurant, as Chilte is moving into the recently restored Egyptian Motor Hotel.
Situated in downtown Phoenix at 765 Grand Avenue, it is in a desirable location to drum up business. Not only is there foot and car traffic, but there is the built-in traffic of guests spending the night at the hotel. It should make for a desirable launching point for Chilte.
The restaurant offers a number of unique offerings, and it isn’t just about tacos. Small orders include 6-piece oysters on the half shell, as well as quesadillas. There is a special mole, served over masa dumplings and pickled blueberries, pepitas, cincho, and Oaxacan grasshoppers. Several forms of pasta are available where lamb and Chilean prawns can be added. Rotating burgers served on a local bun will be offered, as well as a chef’s choice taco.
Currently, Chilte will be open Friday through Sunday from 5 PM until 10 PM.
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