Backyard Taco: This isn’t just Mexican food, this is ‘Mexcellence’

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When Ruben and Marisela Alvarez moved from Mazatlán, Mexico, to Mesa, Arizona, they had no plans to open a restaurant. They simply made tacos and sold them out of their backyard. Soon though, the lines wrapped down the street: everyone wanted to buy their delicious tacos.

They were approached by Steve Beck about starting a restaurant, Backyard Taco was born, and now they have five locations in the East Valley.

Beck, their partner in Backyard Taco, says the restaurant is known for its fast service, cleanliness and giant salsa bar. They make everything in-house.

“The first thing we try to focus on is the quality of our food,” Beck explained. “Everything we do here is fresh. The salsa bar is fabulous because it gives our customers a variety of salsas from mild to very spicy.”

They also have something called the Papa Loca. A smashed baked potato wrapped in foil and then served in a cup and topped with cheese, scallions and sour cream. “It’s amazing how many people love the crazy potato,” Beck said.

When you step inside the restaurant, it is warm and inviting. As you enter the doors of Backyard Taco, you will see the phrase “Mexcellence,” meaning that everything they do at the restaurant is driven by excellence.

Guest Tiffany Khan, Senior Director and Revenue Officer at Arizona PBS, suggested Backyard Taco as her top pick. She orders the birria tacos. “The birria for me is where it starts and where it ends,” Khan said. “It’s really tender beef, shredded, that feels like it’s been cooked and marinated forever.”

Khan also enjoys the al pastor taco. “I was surprised the first time I bit into it. I didn’t expect the pineapple, so the sweetness was really nice,” Khan said.

Guest Adrienne Fairwell, General Manager at Arizona PBS, orders the chicken burrito. Fairwell explains she was pleasantly surprised because she had “never heard of Backyard Taco, so we went and it was absolutely delicious.”

“Everything about the burrito was fresh,” Fairwell said. “The chicken was tender, and I could taste just a twinge of spice.”

Guest Allison Otu orders the infamous Papa Loca. “It’s essentially a freshly smashed baked potato, and they smother it in sour cream and tons of cheese,” Otu explains. “It was just heavenly.”

The restaurant also has a drive through, which our guest Tiffany Khan notes is very convenient. “The ability to drive through and get food that is fresh and tastes delicious is really helpful.”

If you are looking for an authentic Mexican food restaurant, Backyard Taco is a great option.

Restaurant address: 1420 S Higley Road, Gilbert, AZ

Phone number: 480-247-2775


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