Fry Bread House

Fry Bread House

In the Melrose District of Phoenix there is a restaurant serving up authentic and delicious New Mexican Fry Bread.  It opened back in 1992, by Joedd and Cecelia Miller on 7thavenue.  Now managed by daughter Sandra Miller it has endured two location changes and now sits on the corner of 7thavenue and Hazelwood.  Back in 2012 the restaurant got a boost in popularity when it won the “America’s Classics” category from the world renowned James Beard Foundation.  Mom and Daughter keep the traditions going strong regardless of the location of the restaurant.  The patrons that know and love their food would follow them all over town if needed.

They have grown from 4 tables all the way to the current 25 tables that are available.  They continue to keep prices down in order to allow for the long time lovers to continue their patronage.  People that are just discovering it will enjoy the friendly faces almost as much as the food.  Serving many different options, but most centers around their hand stretched dough that is deep-fried to create delicious Fry Bread.  They also serve Chumuth, which is the Tohono O’odham tribe’s version of flour tortillas, a recipe dear to Cecelia Miller as a member of the tribe in Southern Arizona.

We ordered a Red Chile Tamale ($3.65) to start the meal off. Wrapped in the traditional cornhusk, there was the perfect blend of heat and sweet.  The Corn Masa mixed with the Red Chile perfectly and was a nice little start to the meal.  All menu items are served on paper plates with a piece of wax paper as a barrier. I highly recommend moving the item straight to the paper plate upon being served in order to ease in the eating process.

The next item was the Indian Taco ($7.49).  This is a piece of Fry Bread that is served with refried Pinto beans, shredded cheese and lettuce that is then folded over almost like a giant taco.  We added diced tomatoes for another fresh item to help time the dish together. Upon seeing it for the first time, we were amazed at the sheer size of the taco for such a reasonable price point. You may need to use the provided fork and knife in order to eat it to start.  But if you are able to heft it to your mouth in one piece, you are a braver and more talented eater than I.

The next item was the Ultimate Taco ($9.99).  This is one of the more expensive items on the menu, but when you see the size of it, you will understand the value is still present. It is a piece of Fry Bread that is topped with Refried Beans, choice of Beef, onions, sour cream, cheese and lettuce. There was no conceivable way for me to get this to ascend from the plate to my mouth without cutting into a manageable bite first.  This created a problem, as once I tasted how wonderful it was, I was feverishly cutting another bite to get into my mouth.  Once I was able to get it down to 1/3 of its original size, I was able to lift it up and take a bite as the chef had intended.  No matter how you are able to consume this taco, you will be delighted with the culinary experience.

The last item that was ordered on our visit was a T.O. Burger ($10).  This is a ¼ pound burger patty that has onions mixed into the ground beef and then grilled.  It is served with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and grilled onions and served on a Fry Bread bun.  It is a special item, but it sounds, as if it is available often, especially on Saturdays. The beef patty was perfectly seasoned, although you have to be a fan of onions that are closer to raw chunks than cooked as they do not get 100% soft during the cooking process.  All those aside, when have you ever seen or heard of a Fry Bread bun.

The drinks are not self serve, even if it looks like it could be. It is important to ask for a refill from one of the employees, which I was happy to be told upon ordering.  The charm of the small house on the corner serving up delicious, authentic family recipes cannot be missed.  The interior is full of kitsch but in a whimsical manner. The tables are spread out enough to have a comfortable meal and still enjoy a conversation.  So head down to the Fry Bread house and wrap your head around the fact that you haven’t been here before or at least try and wrap your hands around one of their tacos.

Location – 4545 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013