Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
ronnie_suburban

Richardson's SW Cuisine (Phoenix)

Recommended Posts

I'd read some things about this place on another forum and decided to check it out while we were in Phoenix. Like many places in Phoenix, it resides in a strip mall but we didn't let that deter us. In my travels to Phoenix, I'd driven by it a dozen or so times and never suspected that the food served inside was regional or decent but it was both, although tptb at Richardson's describe their fare as New Mexican not Arizonan.

It's basically a dark, bar-type place, with painted black walls and bamboo shades filtering most of the daylight from coming inside. There is a fireplace burning near the entrance (gotta love the active fireplace when the air temp is 76 F) and some scattered seating throughout the joint. We were seated in a cushioned, back corner booth which featured a copper-plated table.

Our server, Clint, was quirky and friendly and was quick to tell us how happy he was that Easter, his least favorite holiday, was now behind us. We agreed citing our very presence in Phoenix as evidence that we were glad to be traveling over the holiday. We traded family holiday horror stories and bonded.

Getting down to business, we ordered a few entrees we'd read about and asked Clint for some guidance on the appetizers. Unfortunately, the 2 he recommended were quite similar to each other, but the bright side was that they were both very very good. One was a half dozen bacon-wrapped shrimp, grilled over pecan wood (Richardsons' menu states that all grilling is done over pecan wood) and served with 5 dipping sauces, pintos and rice. These were really terrific and the sauces were excellent. My favorite was a jalapeno hollandaise sauce which really was a perfect combo with the shrimp. As I stated above, the other appetizer was somewhat redundant: skewers featuring chunks of chicken, beef, New Mexican sausage and shrimp, also served with the same five sauces, along with the pintos and rice. Here, the sausage was the thing and it was fun tasting bites with the different sauces, which were (according to the host) jalapeno hollandaise, roasted red bell pepper, tomatillo, roasted onion and chipotle. Wow! Very, very good.

As a tweener course (my son's entree) we ordered a #4 wood-fired pizza which was topped with oil, garlic and 3 cheeses: mozzarella, feta and romano. It was very good, with a pleasant sharpness and just the right amounts of garlic, oil and salt. I was suprised by how much I liked it. Even the crust delivered flavor throughout the chew.

Entrees were also outstanding. I had the distinctively smokey carne adovada simmered in red chile sauce. It was topped with a reasonably small amount of cheese and served along with more pintos and rice. The meat itself was fork tender and absolutely delicious. My wife had the blue corn smoked turkey enchiladas. They contained large, juicy pieces of flavorful smoked turkey and meaty portabello mushrooms. Served alongside was . . . you guessed it: more pintos and rice. Still, it was also a great dish.

It wasn't a cheap lunch nor a quick one. Prices were reasonable -- especially given the generous portions -- but we ordered quite a bit and that ran the tally up. The skewers and shrimp actually priced out higher than the entrees ($12 and $13 respectively, $11 for the entrees) but it was still a way better value than anything which could be had at our resort. The pacing was slow and lunch took about 90 minutes. It didn't matter to us because we were on vacation and had nowhere to be, but I suppose it could be an issue, so I wanted to mention it. Of course, if we were headed back to work afterwards, we probably wouldn't have ordered multiple courses.

On the menu, their web site is listed as: www.richardsonsnm.com but a visit there yielded only an ISP's pitch page . . . not exactly sure what's up with that.

Richardson's

1582 E. Bethany Home Road

Phoenix, AZ 85016

(602) 265-5886

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only been to Richardson's once, and the food was very good. While I don't recall exactyl what I ate for the main course, as it's been quite awhile, I do remember that it had the red chile sauce. And of course, being a Los Dos Molinos fan, I wanted to see whose red sauce was better. I definitely prefer Los Dos. However, that said, Richardson's does offer very good New Mexican food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have only been to Richardson's once, and the food was very good. While I don't recall exactyl what I ate for the main course, as it's been quite awhile, I do remember that it had the red chile sauce. And of course, being a Los Dos Molinos fan, I wanted to see whose red sauce was better. I definitely prefer Los Dos. However, that said, Richardson's does offer very good New Mexican food.

Even though we'd heard mostly good things about Los Dos Molinos, we specifically avoided it because everything we'd read about it suggested that it was very spicy and we're traveling with my young son who doesn't eat spicy food (and I'm not a fan of special ordering).

We ended up trying quite a few decent places in the Phoenix area (dedicated threads will be started or bumped as fast as I can get to them). When it came to regional fare in Phoenix, the 3 names that I kept reading and hearing about were Los Dos Molinos, Los Sombreros and Richardson's. Oh well, maybe by the time we return, he'll be ready for something a little spicier. :smile::wink:

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for it, Ron! You can always try the green sauce instead of the red. Their green chile pork stew or green chile roasted pork burro (specials, not on the regular menu) are just incredible, and not over the top from a spicy perspective. Ditto the fish tacos.

The red sauce, OTOH, will, er, clean out the average person's digestive system and sinuses. We all use napkins at lunch to dab the runny noses caused by the red sauce. All around the table: "sniff"... "sniff".

I'll need to give Richardson's a shot if I'm around that way in town... thanks for the write-up!


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have only been to Richardson's once, and the food was very good. While I don't recall exactyl what I ate for the main course, as it's been quite awhile, I do remember that it had the red chile sauce. And of course, being a Los Dos Molinos fan, I wanted to see whose red sauce was better. I definitely prefer Los Dos. However, that said, Richardson's does offer very good New Mexican food.

Even though we'd heard mostly good things about Los Dos Molinos, we specifically avoided it because everything we'd read about it suggested that it was very spicy and we're traveling with my young son who doesn't eat spicy food (and I'm not a fan of special ordering).

We ended up trying quite a few decent places in the Phoenix area (dedicated threads will be started or bumped as fast as I can get to them). When it came to regional fare in Phoenix, the 3 names that I kept reading and hearing about were Los Dos Molinos, Los Sombreros and Richardson's. Oh well, maybe by the time we return, he'll be ready for something a little spicier. :smile::wink:

=R=

Quick, Ronnie, tell us where you ate--I have to book a dinner in Scottsdale/Phoeniz for April 8th!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quick, Ronnie, tell us where you ate--I have to book a dinner in Scottsdale/Phoeniz for April 8th!

Very quickly, aside from Richardson's the other places of note where we ate:

Pizzeria Bianco

623 E Adams St

Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phone: (602) 258-8300

Tex-Az Grill

6003 N 16th St

Phoenix, AZ 85016

Phone: (602) 248-7827

TexAz Grill web site

House of Hong

3231 S Mill Ave

Tempe, AZ 85282

Phone: (480) 921-3882

Hohokam Park

1235 N Center St

Mesa, AZ 85201

Phone: (480) 644-4451

(just kidding about this one :rolleyes:)

I also have a fairly long list of places we wanted to try but couldn't get to . . .

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quick, Ronnie, tell us where you ate--I have to book a dinner in Scottsdale/Phoeniz for April 8th!

What are you looking for? Maybe I can help. (I'm in Scottsdale.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are you looking for? Maybe I can help. (I'm in Scottsdale.)

Several years ago, Vincent's on Camelback was THE place to be. Fine SW/French cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. We had a fantastic meal there

Esther, is it still good?

Click:

vincent_header.jpg

Vincent('s?) on Camelback

3930 East Camelback Road

Phoenix, Arizona 85018

602.224.0225

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday morning in Phoenix and it's not that we can't bear the idea of eating brunch at our hotel -- the food there is certainly passable. But we'd like to bite off something a bit more meaningful before we head to our first Cubs game of the pre-season. Experience tells me that the food at Hohokam Park is not worth skipping a meal for.

Based on a friend's reminder, we decide to hit Richardson's New Mexican Restaurant, where we'd enjoyed a lunch the last time we were in Phoenix. It's near our hotel, on the way to the ballpark and from what we remember, their food is distinctive and quite tasty.

The place is dark and the dining room offers seating exclusively in adobe-esque plaster booths accented with minimally comfortable, black upholstered pillows. The tabletops are covered with attractive punched tin. And even though there's no one smoking, a sign on the door warns that no smoking section is provided. Nonetheless, we cross our fingers and take a round booth near the back of the restaurant.

The offerings are pretty straightforward. We started out with a plate of New Mexican sausages which were really tasty. They were smothered with salsa verde and pinto beans. My wife and I both choose breakfast burritos, which are filled with eggs, nueske bacon (at least it's good quality if not exactly regionally representative) and again smothered with the requisite salsa verde and pinto beans. My son opts for one of the specials; tenderloin benedict with jalapeno hollandaise sauce. A few other tempting specials were also on the board, like blueberry pancakes and a mixed grill.

The burritos were tasty and sastisfying. There's something about a big sloppy plate of New Mexican breakfast that really hits the spot, even though it may not be the most artistic plate one can enjoy. There's not a lot of panache here but the food is well-prepared and excellent in quality. I'm not much of a tenderloin fan but the benedict was really nice. The hollandaise delivered a slight heat and the flavor of the jalapenos really came through, which was probably in part due to the very neutral flavor of the tenderloin beneath it. Nonetheless, it was a solid dish.

The breakfast at Richardson's, not surprisingly, reminded us a lot of the lunch we'd had a couple years back. They have their niche and the cover it well. There's a lot of grilled and smothered meat and other hearty fare being served here. But the meat is of good quality, it's prepared very well and the accompanying elements, which are, I'm told, decidedly New Mexican in their aesthetic, are delicious. Consistency is one of the most underrated aspects of a good restaurant, so it's nice to walk into a place you haven't been in two years and get exactly what you expected. Too often that's much easier offered than accomplished.

My only complaints about Richardson's are quite personal. I hate cigarette smoke (especially around my food) and for a big guy like myself with a not-so-great hip, their booths are relatively uncomfortable. On this particular day, I don't recall anyone smoking during our meal (phew!) and I managed to squeeze myself into a part of our booth where I actually fit! I certainly wouldn't describe it as comfortable but I managed. Service was terrific. Our server was very friendly, well-informed and thorough. We never waited very long for anything, she anticipated many of our needs and she answered all our questions accurately, as we asked them.

With Richardson's, it really is a case of what you see is what you get. Quality is excellent, portions are hearty and the food is tasty. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about New Mexican food to gauge its authenticity but I've never heard or read any protests about Richardson's claim of serving New Mexican cuisine, so I'm guessing that it is at least mostly authentic. And I'd definitely recommend the place -- especially for a Sunday morning breakfast.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RS,

When I am looking for this style of breakfast and am in the 'hood, then it is a great choice.

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...