There's not much to this Marana-area restaurant; just a room with some yellow walls and a few abstract prints. But if they lack anything in style, they sure do make it up in size! La Olla Mexican Cafe serves what has to be the biggest fried taco I've ever seen. (And I've seen a lot.)
It's called El Grandote, which sounds like a name from a Taco Bell commercial. To describe it, I picture an exaggerated Latin voice slowly belting out: "A forklift of juicy ground beef and thick slabs of chipotle chicken, topped with lettuce, sour cream, soft avocados and fiery pickled jalapeño. All in a crispy taco shell that'll crack your world to pieces!"
But Taco Bell can't go near this beautiful beast. It's too ambitious and expensive for them, and surprisingly well-executed ... With all this protein, the taco clocks in at $11.95 with rice and beans, a fierce contender for the most expensive in town. (But I think the $9 lobster, bacon and chorizo taco at Lerua's still has them beat.)
But honestly, it's not tough to finish this thing. The thick, puffy shell does a great job of holding everything in. And you can take little bites of all the different ingredients: the peppery beef stained red with the fragrant chile, the tangy little jalapeños that burst into pangs of spicy juice ...
Insider's tip: They've also got a killer lunch special with big plates of food for $5.35 until 4 p.m.
Location: 8553 N. Silverbell Road
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, closed Sundays
Payment: accepts debit and credit cards