Kobe Beef Tacos at the Renaissance Hotel, Phoenix

By Mark Wiens 12 Comments
Downtown Phoenix at the Renaissance Hotel
Downtown Phoenix at the Renaissance Hotel

I have a good friend that works as chef and supervisor at the Renaissance Phoenix hotel.

When I was in Phoenix, I didn’t come to stay at the hotel, but instead my friend invited me to tour the kitchen and taste some of his specialities, one of them… Kobe beef tacos.

Chef Bernardo
Chef Bernardo

For many many years (and to this day of course too), we used to navigate Phoenix, searching for the best Mexican food, often devouring plates of tacos at wee hours of the morning.

So this was a much different setting.

Herbs on the balcony
Herbs on the balcony

On the pool veranda of the hotel, there were troughs filled with fresh herbs, often used as garnishes for certain dishes or appetizers.

I was happy to see a nice assortment of different varieties of basil, all waiting to be plucked.

Kobe beef birria
Kobe beef birria

Then we headed into the kitchen of the Renaissance, a very nice facility with a clean, huge, and brightly lit kitchen.

There, sitting on the stove, bubbling with red overflowing juices, and filling the air with a chili chipotle fragrance, was the creation which was our lunch.

Kobe beef
If only you could smell this….

Birria is a Mexican meat stew filled with dry roasted peppers, onions and garlic, and in this case, high quality Kobe beef.

I’ve been a longtime fan of birria, a dish that’s often made with goat, packed with slow churned flavor, and infused with the beautiful aroma of dry chilies and meat.

6 hours or slow boiling, and both the Kobe beef and the pork versions were ready to be dished out.

Birria can be eaten from a bowl like a curry, and is also widely consumed inside tortillas as tacos.

Kobe been tacos
Kobe been tacos

He heated the tortillas on the griddle, garnished them with a few slices of lettuce, and then reached into the pot of beef, letting the red chili oils drain slightly before tearing off a chunk of dark red meat, which came apart with ease.

Before eating, I sprinkled on a squeeze of lime to give it a hint of acidity.

On my first bite, my teeth literally just sunk into the Kobe beef like a pillow.

The tender meat was incredibly soft, and it was infused with flavor. The beef was very lean, just pure succulent meat.

Pork tacos
Pork tacos

A few Kobe beef tacos later, it was time to move to the pork tacos.

Sliced red cabbage made the foundation, and then a juicy spoonful of tender birria cooked pork was thickly laid down. Again, I sprinkled on lime juice.

The pork was equally delightful, the meat ever so tender, and I liked the crispness of the red cabbage.

The final fish taco
The final fish taco

Finally, to top off a wonderful reunion with good friends of mine, he whipped us up a few fish tacos, stuffed with a slice of grilled mahi mahi, laying on a bed of red cabbage, and snuggled up with a slice of avocado.

These were by all means the fanciest tacos I’ve ever had in my life, and I have to say, the combination of high quality ingredients from the hotel, paired with the Mexican cooking skills of my friend, made them incredible.

12 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • High Rated Gabru

    3 years ago

    Nice food blog. Please keep sharing!!!

  • sankar singh

    3 years ago

    nice food …

  • Rossie

    8 years ago

    Its look delicious and I like to make it for my mom this weekend. Thanks Mark for sharing such a nice dish.

  • fernando

    10 years ago

    Nice Mark! Thanks for sharing!
    Wooow fish tacos, I need to taste it.

  • Mat Mat

    10 years ago

    Mark, for a man that travels to eat well you are sure getting thinner in every blog!

    I find your style of blogging inspirational (if a bit un-discerning)!

    You also must be expert on food-borne illnesses & food-hygeine surely! Is there any advice you can pass on to us to help us stay healthy when we travel to eat well?

    I once travelled India for 6 months and lost 20 kilograms of body weight! I only started getting fatter when I left India and toured Thailand! I now understand India has an international reputation for poor food hygiene.

    Can you please tell us about your experiences with keeping healthy eating so many different foods as you travel? Don’t hide away those gems!


    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hey Mat,

      Good to hear from you and thank you for the suggestions. I’ve been planning to write articles and make videos regarding these very subjects – so will try to get to it soon!

      As for hygiene when traveling, it’s a tough subject, because we all have such different bodies and are sensitive differently. I personally rarely have stomach problems when eating and traveling. But that being said, the number one rule is to stick with freshly cooked food, things that haven’t been sitting around all day. Also, some foods, such as meat over seafood, keep longer, so are safer in general.

      I think my number one piece of advice is, when you travel, to eat at places where you see lots of other locals eating.

      Will cover this mores specifically soon!

  • Caroline

    10 years ago

    I just ate a filling dinner just a couple of hours ago, but just viewing this post made a hunger pang creep in … you are a talented food photographer Mark! 😛

  • Jen

    10 years ago

    Yum yum yum! There isn’t much more in the way of food that I love more than tacos and Mexican. Top that off with Kobe beef, it sound divine!