Loco Patron - North Scottsdale

Reviewed By: Leslie & Andy
Today was a beautiful day.  Like a perfect 80 degree Spring day just before the heat sets in.  The Mockingbird is going nuts in the tree outside, the hummingbirds are dive-bombing each other...  Just the kind of day you want to clean your house and run errands, amiright?!?!?  And that's exactly what we did.  It was an errand of love, you see, the plants are overrun with gnats and we needed a bench for our new dartboard area.  We finished up the fun stuff and decided it was taco time.  For me, everyday is taco day, Friday is no exception.  We decided to head over to Loco Patron in North Scottsdale because the patio is huge and they are a local brewery we haven't yet checked out.

Ambience:  As we entered the restaurant we passed just a smidge of the huge patio seating area.  The doors were wide open and welcoming.  At first glance, we could tell this would be a happening weekend night or a great place to catch a game.  There were approximately 25 TVs within view of our table, so you'd definitely have an easy time watching your team.  The tables are wood, floors concrete, and there is a mix of astro turf in some areas.  Upbeat music is playing with kitschy "Have another beer" signs hanging around. A wide open view of the brewing tanks was kinda cool, because you could see the brewer working his magic. However, upon closer inspection, we realized the tables were filthy. It was no big deal to have a dirty table, things happen when you get busy.  But we realized ALL OF the tables were only minimally bussed. Cleared of dirty dishes, but certainly not wiped down. We also noticed other cleanliness issues, which sadly, tainted our opinion of the restaurant as a whole. They have a nice water feature which at one point they added bubbles but decided there was no point in ever cleaning.

Quality: The food is great. Of course I had tacos.  Andy had a Chicken Fajita Bowl.  His was, by far, the prettier of the plates. It looked like a fiesta!! I love that they offer more than just the usual rice and beans sides. (I HATE Beans. Hate them. I'm using the word hate here.) I chose Spanish Rice and the Spicy Slaw.  Both of which were good. Andy liked his Fajita Bowl. It had black beans, guac, vegetables, some greens, chicken, rice etc. The salsa that came with the chips had a very fresh flavor, just spicy enough.  Chips left a little to be desired. They were out-of-the-bag chips, which is fine, just not spectacular. Our particular basket of chips was crushed, it seemed, the bottom of the bag.  So we had to fight each other for the big chips until another basket appeared.

Service:  We were greeted almost immediately by an enthusiastic server with menus. He told us our server's name, and that she'd be over soon for drink orders. That was great! Our server was also very friendly, very in tune to drink refills and chips/salsa refills. However, we noted that neither were wearing masks. I will mention we are still in the throes of a pandemic and leave it at that. Not a huge deal, we were seated outside in open air seating. We also noted that although the servers were on top of bussing the tables, nobody--save for a hostess, who cleaned one table--wiped down the tables.  Blech. This is a pet peeve. Nobody likes to have a server wipe the previous diner's crumbs into their lap. Due to the lack of table cleaning, we started to notice other unclean areas of the restaurant.  This begs the question, if the dining area looks like this, what does the kitchen look like?? I fault both ambience and service for the lack of cleanliness. I'm pretty patient, but this is low hanging fruit that can be easily rectified. We also noticed numerous diners entering, perusing the tables and trying to determine where they would get least filthed.

Value:  We spent about $40 including tip. This seemed a pretty good value for the quality of food and the amount of food we received. We were not disappointed in the value at all, and we will stress that the food was quite tasty.

Overall, Loco Patron has a great beer list, a ton of cocktails, great food, and about 1,000 TVs around the restaurant.  This is a place that is ideal for an afternoon happy hour with your friends to munch on some chips and watch a game. We liked the local beers and the fact that this is a locally owned restaurant. There are two others, one in Old Town and another in Tempe. The servers were fantastic and we would definitely come again, but I will bring my Clorox wipes because eeww...