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Greater Phoenix Dining: Where To Eat?

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Thanks for the RF update, Eliot and others.

Is RoxSand still worth a visit?

RoxSand is no more...


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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I stopped by RF for happy hour last night. Can''t speak for the entire menu, of course, but the green chile pork stew was as good as it's been on previous visits. The lamb chops with butternut squash are still on the appetizer menu, too.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I was just in Phoenix for work and had two epic experiences to note (and I was so surprised ... I just didn't realize P had so much goin' on with foodies!).

#1 was Quiessence (www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com OR www.quiessencerestaurant.com). WHOA! $28 cab ride to get there but worth every cent. It was a rainy night (yeah! in Phoenix!) so we couldn't see the entire layout, but it's a charming farmhouse/restaurant set-up with healthy, hand-grown (not organic per 'rules' but absolutely no bunk added!) food served in luxuriously detailed presentation. The server was fabulous, the hostess gracious, the setting a farmhouse-type place (by SW standards, not Midwest) in a charming garden with tresses, hideaways, and quaint paths. The wine list was impressive and affordable but not "too-too", the little taster course was tantalizing, the gnocchi made me want to cry! with joy, and the chicken (petite) was ... well, indescribable! I think between my amazement as 'lucking out and finding it' and my joy at being served portions that were just right of flavors that made me smile constantly ... I'd have to say it was yes ... perfect. Loved every bite and second of the night!

#2 was Camus in the hotel where I stayed. Who KNEW a place in a hotel would/could be this great? I stopped in for a simple meal and ended up with a meal EXPERIENCE! starting with their Mexican Martini ... so smooth, so chilled, so perfect! and a meal of their pear, pecan, bleu salad (a typical salad, but my gosh! they did it beyond the norm) which had perfectly crisped field greens, with a spicy/carmelized/toasted pecan crumble and a bleu cheese sprinkle that was a fine, and perfect quantity addition. The dressing was a simple glaze of flavor ... amazing. The main course was just a sandwich (again, remember, I'm thinking it's a basic hotel restaurant!) of braised pulled beef with melted brie on a sourdough baguette ... wonderful! the meat was so tender and the flavor so balanced. A side of pomme frites with a dip of amazing aioli made me so happy! and it was accompanied by a glass of Spanish red wine that was smooth, peppery, and a perfect temp. The service was epic, friendly, but also 'clear' about things ... and because I couldn't resist the dessert, but wanted to bring it up to my room, they made me a little caramel cup that held a pistachio creme brulee. OHMY!

What a great few days to be 'on the road' for work!


Life is too big to be lived small. —Fortune Cookie

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I have a four-hour layover in Phoenix this Saturday, coinciding with dinner hours. Are there any good restaurants in the airport?


"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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I have a four-hour layover in Phoenix this Saturday, coinciding with dinner hours.  Are there any good restaurants in the airport?

MM,

Fours hours would leave you more than enough time to hop in cab and venture out...if that is an impossibility then what airlines are you flying?

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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We're on US Airways/America West. I'd rather not leave the airport - we're traveling with a 4-year-old and I'd like to minimize hassle.


"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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We're on US Airways/America West.  I'd rather not leave the airport - we're traveling with a 4-year-old and I'd like to minimize hassle.

Ok...right outside of security, there is a food court and the best bet is Flo's (Chinese) and then Cold Stone Creamery for dessert


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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So has no one here ever dined at Mosaic? Robyn

P.S. We ate at RF about 3 years ago. It was ok - nothing to write home about.


Edited by robyn (log)

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The updated list and a few spots to watch...

Phoenix Best Bets:

Sea Saw

Binkley's Restaurant

Zinc Bistro

Cyclo

Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken and Waffles

Kohnies-Coffee, Breakfast and Best Scones

Pizzeria Bianco

Pane Bianco - Chris Bianco's Sandwich Spot

Matt's Big Breakfast

DO NOT MISS - THE TAVERN, this is where you can get a dose of Matt and Erenia Pool's hospitality after the sun goes down with an amazing beer selection and well crafted old school bar food (yum, do not miss the spicy franks and beans with Niman Ranch Franks, any of the grilled sandwiches, hot pretzel, chips and dip...full report to follow located around the corner from Matt's Big Breakfast at 816 N. Third St. Phoenix, PHONE: (602) 254-2561

Arlecchino Gelateria

The Pork Shop

Postino Wine Cafe

Welcome Diner

Andreoli Italian Grocery & Deli

Lola Tapas

Walking in from Camelback, you are immediately transported to Spain and the best bang for the buck. Full report to follow...Simple tasty "Modern Gypsy Food" located at:

(602) 265-4519

800 E Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ

On the radar...

Union Wine Bar & Grill ... Cocktails, Beer & Wine by the glass

New offering from the folks at Rancho Pinot Grill with Chef Charleen Badman at the helm (I like the way you cook :wink: )...On one visit (so far), I found the small plates very tasty with the highlights being Arancini, Grilled Chicken Panzanella, Fried Egg on focaccia with proscuitto, Pork & Ricotta Meatballs, Slow-Roasted Heritage Pork, Grilled Sicilian Sausage (so good we ordered two)...one note most small plates come with three pieces so keep that in mind, if your group is larger than three...menu will be ever changing...located at:

3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, (480) 686-9966

Yasu Sushi Bistro

with all the rave reviews, this place has got to be good...

4316 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix (602) 787-9181

Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar Chef Greg LaPrad's creations have been getting a lot of high marks lately, time for a visit.


Edited by molto e (log)

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Apologies if this is somewhere else on the boards...there are a lot of Phoenix posts. Essentially, I'm headed out to Phoenix for 3 weeks to visit my parents, and will need some serious grub.

I'm already planning on hitting See Saw and Zinc, but I need some updated Southwestern recommendations...seems like the last couple times I've been to Phoenix, it's been hard to find an unqualified success in this department. MediZona was our last outing, and it was fine...but a very small menu that hadn't changed much in the years since I'd last visited. My main goal is to find someone cooking interestingly and consistently with a variety of chiles in a non-formal atmosphere. Doesn't really matter where, but my folks live near South Mountain Park in Chandler.

thanks!

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Apologies if this is somewhere else on the boards...there are a lot of Phoenix posts. Essentially, I'm headed out to Phoenix for 3 weeks to visit my parents, and will need some serious grub.

I'm already planning on hitting See Saw and Zinc, but I need some updated Southwestern recommendations...seems like the last couple times I've been to Phoenix, it's been hard to find an unqualified success in this department. MediZona was our last outing, and it was fine...but a very small menu that hadn't changed much in the years since I'd last visited. My main goal is to find someone cooking interestingly and consistently with a variety of chiles in a non-formal atmosphere. Doesn't really matter where, but my folks live near South Mountain Park in Chandler.

thanks!

For Southwestern cooking with chiles...try Richardson's and Frank and Lupe's both are New Mexican cuisine.


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Sorry, should've mentioned that Richardson's was my introduction to Southwestern cooking back in the early 90s, I've been quite a few times...and I try to keep going back, but at some point the waits seemed to become more memorable than the food...maybe my palate is changing. in any event, i'll check out Frank and Lupe's...thanks!

mark

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I just went to http://www.tapino.com/restaurant.html this week for the first time and really enjoyed sitting on the patio noshing some yummy food.

We had some Rothkase Buttermilk Blue which was rich and delish.  And the Alp Senn Tete des moines was very earthy, musty and had an amazing aroma that floated around your head after swallowing. Braised artichoke hearts were so-so.  The fun stuff was the lobster corn dogs (made lobster force-meat and dipped in corn batter, perfectly crisp and so fun to eat!), scallops with curry foam and mango caviar (just delish!), and “bacon and eggs”  was sexy and topped a frisee (a riff on a classic, done very well).  Lots of wine and just hanging out in there very stylized patio.

I'd definitely go again, its worth the trip up to Scottsdale for me.

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Hi Genny! Remember me from your old supper club? :wink:

We love Tapino!

You should also try Radda in the same complex. We've never had a bad meal there.

Also if you want to venture up to Carefree, Bodega has excellent tapas.


Edited by KristiB50 (log)

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Hi Genny! Remember me from your old supper club?  :wink:

We love Tapino!

You should also try Radda in the same complex. We've never had a bad meal there.

Also if you want to venture up to Carefree, Bodega has excellent tapas.

Hi KristiB50, Of course I remember you!!! Tammy has told me the complexion of the group has changed and I'd like it a lot more now, I've been thinking about visiting if I can fit it into my schedule.

Thanks for the rec for Radda, we'll have to try it! Although we live in the south valley, we do seem to be up that way more and more these days!

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I just wanted to thank all the recent contributors to this thread. I just spent a little over a week in Phoenix and almost everywhere I ate was based on suggestions from this thread.

My dh and I were all set to spend a lovely fall week's vacation in New York, but my mother-in-law had a fall, in which she fractured her arm. A few days later we found that she has also sustained some bruising and bleeding in the brain (subdural hematoma, for the medically inclined). She was helicoptered from her home in Yuma to Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix on Monday, Oct. 12th. The dh and I canceled our trip to NY and flew down to Phoenix on short notice the next day. The great news is that my mother-in-law is recovering very well. She'll have a few weeks of rehab to get her strength back, but she is already returning to her chatty, fun, loving self.

None of us (me, dh, father-in-law, various brother-in-laws) had spent any time in Phoenix, and so whenever visiting hours ended, or we got evicted from her room by doctors, we would take a look at the restaurant recommendations here, and go off in search of lunch or dinner. It was such a relief to not have to make any decisions, and even more of a relief to not endure any awful meals. Spending a week as a visitor in a hospital is exhausting, for no good reason.

A friend who sent us a restaurant recommendation said, "The english comfort themselves with a cup of tea, I do so with a good meal,". Thanks for helping us find a bit of comfort in food, while in Phoenix.

The restaurants we where ate:

Barrio - Super close to the hospital. My father-in-law loved this place. Great guacamole, pork tacos, and enchilades with mole negro.

Cowboy Ciao - I had my doubts (Scottsdale isn't quite my style), but the tuna was good, and the chopped salad was good enough to worth attempting to recreate at home.

Pane Bianco / Lux Coffee - We had sandwiches here twice, for lunch - and I was overjoyed to find a really really good Americano at Lux. The traffic was not good, but the sandwiches were so worth it. Perfect balance of bread and ingredients.

Copper Star Coffee - Within reasonable distance of the hospital - good coffee and great brownies. This is where we were when my mother-in-law called to tell us that she had pulled out her own feeding tube (brave, stubborn woman). She had gotten tired of waiting for the doctor's permission so she took matters into her own hands. Thankfully, it turned out for the best.

Matt's Big Breakfast - The BLT made my day. That place was a little slice of sunshine. Father-in-law ate every last bite of his bowl of chili.

Lola - Another restaurant we hit twice. We went to Lola twice - early in the week when my mother-in-law's condition hadn't yet entered the recovery phase. We had some seriously emotional conversations here over perfect olives, jamon, manchego, a much needed glass of red wine in my case, and some seriously intense chocolate dessert. The details of the food are mostly lost in the haze of emotional intensity, but I remember enjoying it and marveling at the amount of olive oil I had consumed.

Kohnies - My dh and I had breakfast here one morning - This place reminded me so much of so many little places in Miami. I had a spot-on breakfast sandwich. Loved the cloth tablecloth and napkin to go with the plastic table. Loved the personality of the people even more.

Please accept my sincere thanks. It seems very minor, but the suggestions here provided a small measure of relief in a very stressful time.

-Robin


Robin Tyler McWaters

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sorry for the circumstances but hopefully everything is on the mend...glad you enjoyed some of our spots...

Lola Tapas is very under-rated, if you went to a tapas place in Spain you could as easily find a husband and wife cooking as you do here in Lola. The food is tasty, the vibe is welcoming and as far as bang for the buck, it is at the top of my list in town.

I have probably had breakfast at Kohnies more than I have eaten at any other spot in town...the breakfast wrap with bacon, pepperjack cheese, beans and egg is a favorite as well as any of the Mexican dishes.

pane bianco...anything Bianco does, he does well

Matt's Big Breakfast...if I lived closer to it, I would be there a few times a week, you would have enjoyed their night-spot the Roosevelt Tavern


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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I finally had a chance to try Yasu Bistro near PV Mall. I shared an Omakase (Chef Yasu's choice) with a local foodie friend. (Sorry, no pictures)

Sauteed Foie on top of Japanese Eggplant - small piece of foie and half of japanese eggplant sauteed with a teriyaki glaze served with japanese plum

Sumibiyaki Grilled Beef Tongue - flavor was similar to prior dish, beef tongue was seared and glazed.

Clams in Sake and Miso broth - salty towards the end

Sumibiyaki Grilled Cherry Stone Clams - very fresh

Uni on top of sliced avocado w/ fluke wrapped around - nice combination of flavors

Sumibiyaki Grilled whole Squid - squid was very tender, highlight of the evening

I can't wait till I go back and try an Chef's Sushi Omakase.

Yasu Bistro - A Phoenix/Scottsdale definite must.

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The restaurants we where ate:

Barrio - Super close to the hospital. My father-in-law loved this place. Great guacamole, pork tacos, and enchilades with mole negro.

-Robin

Just an update: my father-in-law has been back to Barrio twice more. Each time another of his sons came into Phoenix to lend a hand, he would find an excuse to take them to Barrio for dinner. Guacamole prepared table-side was ordered each time. That is three trips to Barrio, in as many weeks, for my father-in-law.

Good stuff.


Robin Tyler McWaters

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I am just back from a week long vacation in Phoenix with an overnight stay in Sedona and a day trip to Sun City West.

I was not disappointed with any of the meals we had.

With a 5yo and a 10yo we didn't go to crazy.

We ate at the Paradise Cafe, Streets of NY Pizza , Carlos Obrien's, Rainbow Donuts, Jack in the Box, McDonalds, and Macayos in Phoenix.

In Sun City we were treated to lunch at the bowling alley. Why did everything come with a bowl of soup? Even the kids meals.

In Sedona we ate at Shugrues, The Hitching Post, Black Cow Cafe, and Sally's BBQ.

The highlights were Macayo's, Shugrues, Hitching Post, and Streets of NY.

The lowlight was the clientel of the Jack in the Box. Their shakes are great. The tweakers are a bit worrisome.

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Happy to hear you liked your visit overall. You had nice weather (under 100). But next time, write ahead. We can recommend much tastier, interesting and varied places in Phoenix, Sedona, and Wrinkle City. The Sun City area was rather limited and boring but now that Glendale has boomed due to the new arena and growth, it's a mecca. And even with your 5 & 10 yolds in tow, we could do a lot better than Jack inthe Box, McDonalds, Sts of NY and Macayo's.

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I did search here and didn't find much. I kind of enjoy exploring and finding places on my own. We did not have internet access for the week. We had Phoenix and Sedona tourism books along with a dining guide left in he condo.

We will definitely be going back. It will be added to our vacation rotation.

We are used to vacationing in areas with more tourist brochures available.

The daughter is into Taco Johns. She was hoping to find one in Phoenix. Luckily we didn't see one.

The kids loved Macayo's. There was a mariachi band there the night we went.

What other places would you suggest on a reasonable budget with a couple of normally well behaved kids?


Edited by Hard H2O (log)

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I'm heading to PHX/Scotts June 5-13th. I have a cater that I'm being flown in to chef at on the 6th, but otherwise I'm coming to play - I rarely get away and in fact have not been to PHX in 5 years. NOCA is on my list as is the pizza place. If anyone is interested in meeting please PM me. And if there's anything that I just can't miss, especially with pastries, please let me know.

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