Scottsdale's dining scene has always been at the cutting edge of the latest food concepts, and now there's a new restaurant in town shaking up the way diners enjoy Mexican food. Fogon, which translates to "cooking with charcoal," marries traditional Japanese teppanyaki-style dining with classic Mexican cooking.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Mexico City native Daniel Correa, who came up with the concept to add a bit more fun and flair to the traditional Mexican food dining experience. Fun and flair, indeed.
Guests at Fogon are seated around grill stations, where experienced chefs (otherwise known as "table jefes") cook dishes to order. Dishes are transported straight to the plate and topped with your choice of homemade sauces, many of which are made with local chiles.
Fogon is a new Scottsdale restaurant that dishes out classic Mexican food plates, teppanyaki-style — Photo courtesy of Fogon Mexican Eatery
Dishes prepared fresh on the grill include chicken, steak, shrimp and vegetarian fajitas, as well as quesadillas and carne asada. Another favorite is the Mexican street-style corn on the cob, which is rubbed with smoked paprika and lime zest and then drizzled with a chipotle aioli and salty cotija cheese.
Some menu items are prepared tableside, like the fresh guacamole with tomato, cilantro, red onion, serrano peppers, lime juice, toasted chile morita and queso fresco. This guac's served with housemade totopos corn chips, perfect for scooping the creamy dip.
The communal seating and performance aspect of Fogon lends a lively air to the dining room, which makes it ideal for group celebrations like birthdays, or even casual business meetings.
Although many items can be prepared on the grill, the restaurant also offers classic Mexican dishes prepared from scratch in the kitchen. The enchiladas are a house favorite. They can be ordered with either red adobo or green tomatillo sauce and come topped with a cilantro-lime crema and a mix of cotija, manchego and oaxaca cheese.
Most entrees come with a side of rice and your choice of beans.
Fogon also has a tapas menu of traditional Mexican snacks made with a modern twist. Take the restaurant's tortas chicas, slider-style versions of the traditional Mexican sandwiches. Tortas sliders come with your choice of steak, grilled chicken, shredded beef or pork. They come topped with tangy pickled red onions, fresh oaxaca cheese, roasted poblano, slices of avocado and a spicy chipotle aioli.
Fogon hosts a happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Diners can enjoy $3 draft Mexican beers, $3 off tapas and half-price margaritas. On Sundays, happy hour specials are available all day, including bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys for $15.