After discovering The Quesadillas almost two years ago, it's been difficult to enjoy most other carne asada.
With a name as generic as "The Quesadillas," limited parking, and a tiny strip mall location, don't make the mistake of dismissing this joint.
While nothing here has disappointed so far, make the trip for the carne asada on a taco or in a quesadilla.
The beef is so simple, yet so profound. Mesquite smoke and salt are apparent, but there's something else there that puts it leagues above the overcooked or bland griddled versions at other restaurants. Just enough mesquite char provides depth without bitterness. The tenderness also hits the sweet spot of having just enough satisfying chew while retaining a fair amount of juiciness.
Although the carne asada is good enough to eat on its own, a squirt of lime brings perfect balance. The house-made tortilla helps it shine as well. But while you're there, don't miss out on the salsa bar.
All of the salsa bar toppings and salsas are noticeably fresh. Typical salsas and pickled onions are available, but don't miss out on the salsa macha. It resembles the Chinese chili oil you'd find at a dim sum table, but has a bit more earthiness, possibly due to sesame, nuts, or toasting the peppers.
The Quesadillas is located at 2418 N. Craycroft Rd. For more information, call (520) 296-1345 or visit queso520.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...