We went to La Hacienda, the Mexican restaurant on the grounds of Scottsdale Fairmont Princess early enough to snag a table on the patio with a fire pit in the middle. It was a bit windy, but not enough to prevent us from having it lit and being the envy of all the passers-by.
Drinks-wise we, of course, opted for margaritas - we ended up trying a bunch, but my hands down favourite was El Pina Diablo - pineapple with chile infused tequila - amazing! I do have to mention though - we ordered a number of different margaritas, but one that we did not order (La Hacienda) made it onto our bill - intentional or not, we'll never know - but I would double check your bill.
Then came time for appetizers. We ordered the trio of ceviches and queso fundido, which we thought was a reasonable amount (it wasn't), but they also brought out chips and salsa even before the appetizers arrived, sealing our fate of extreme obesity in the near, near future.
Chips and salsa were quite good - luckily I didn't eat too much before they brought us the trio of ceviches. Now, I expected 3 small portions, but instead we got what I can only describe as 3 soup bowls full of ceviche. The ceviches were camarone (shrimp), mahi mahi and tuna, and I would say my favourite was the mahi mahi, although they were all good.
And then it was time for queso fundido, which is basically a skillet of melted cheese (oaxaca, chihuahua (yes, chihuahua is a cheese apparently) & gouda to be exact), served with salsa and tortillas. Yes please. I have never met a melted cheese and bread combo I did not love (okay, that's a total lie - melted , and this was no exception. We decimated queso fundido, which in retrospect is probably the reason why by the time the mains arrived, I could barely move.
I ordered tampiqueña, a skirt steak, which came with potatoes au gratin and enchiladas smothered in mole, and I could barely have 2 bites, although they were tasty. My other half got through about half of his meal, filet a la parilla - beef tenderloin with cheese enchiladas, and that was a struggle. Good for him I guess?
No matter how full I am, I always get dessert - and this time we got cinnamon churros, which were excellent. I could have skipped the meal and just had a few orders of those instead!
To sum up, the ambiance is great, the food is tasty - just remember to skip appetizers if you're not there with a bunch of people, or you might not be able to get up from the table!