<Note: Sadly, it looks like Tediberto’s has closed as of mid-December. Hopefully they’ll be back! I crave the nachos.>
Tediberto’s , a new vegan and gluten-free Mexican restaurant on Roosevelt and First Street, has a unique vision. The restaurant presents patrons with a club atmosphere, and the late-night hours to match. Tediberto’s offers an authentic craft cuisine that makes it distinctive both as a vegan dining experience and as a Mexican restaurant.
After much anticipation among Phoenix’s vegan community, Tediberto’s finally opened for business earlier this summer. We’ve made it there three times, and each time the menu had expanded and offered new items for us to try. The latest version of the menu has adopted a “tapas” approach, offering the widest variety of dishes yet.
Rather than describing our experiences during each visit, I’ll just run through everything we’ve tried so far. I’ll start by saying that everything at Tedi’s is very spicy – which I love and appreciate, but it may not work for everyone. Items can be made “gringo” style, but even that has a kick to it.
The No Whey Jose Nachos are a must try.
We’ve had them twice, and they’ve been consistently good. The vegan chorizo is robust and spicy. Although I personally prefer a Daiya-style melted cheese topping on my nachos (okay, on everything), the queso provides enough of a gooey texture to satisfy the vegan cheese lover in all of us.
The chips and salsa are also excellent.
Tedi’s salsa is fresh and full of chopped jalapeno. The chips are a bit generic, but more than substantial enough to support all the toppings.
We were served salads on our first two visits, but for some reason, not on the third.
The salads were different each visit – one was predominantly kale, the other was cabbage-based. The salads weren’t highlights of the meals, but they provided a nice mouth cooler after the nachos or chips and salsa. They also reflect the fact that the restaurant continues to tinker with its offerings.
We’ve tried two different types of tacos – La Borrachita and La Sirena.
I highly recommend La Borrachita tacos, which uses the same delicious chorizo as in the nachos. Meant to emulate fish tacos, La Sirena tacos were too bland for my tastes but they might be good if you are looking for something less spicy.
On the first and second visits, the tacos were soft shelled, but on the third, they were fried/hard shelled. I’d recommend fried if you are given a choice!
The Tostada De La Tierra is a lighter dish featuring a mild mole sauce.
This one is probably another good option for the heat sensitive.
Another standout on the menu is the No Pesadilla Quesadilla.
Gooey, rich and chewy (and based yet again on Tedi’s signature chorizo!), this may be my favorite of their creations.
I also tried the enchilada.
I loved the unique rich red sauce, but unfortunately I was scared off by the chef’s “triple-Thai heat” warnings and ordered it gringo style. It could have been hotter for me. Next time, I plan to try it at full heat!
Last but not least, Tedi’s touted their onion rings special on their Facebook page so I had to give them a try.
Vegan and gluten-free onion rings are not an easy trick to pull off, but these were great. The curried ketchup, chipotle and mustard dipping sauces were a nice touch.
Tedi’s has the ambition and vision to become a staple in our dining rotation, and I’m rooting for them. But if you go in the near future, be prepared for a restaurant still in its growing-pains stage. The atmosphere is quirky, the hours are irregular and they continue to fine tune the menu items. Though they have attracted a dedicated following among the young club scene, they have a lot to learn about how to create an inviting dining experience for the average “off the street” customer. The staff at Tediberto’s has plenty of passion, youthful energy and enthusiasm. I really hope they make the transition from hip late-night hang-out to top-notch restaurant. I’d love to see Tediberto’s survive and thrive.