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Phoenix/Scottsdale recommendations?

Phoenix/Scottsdale recommendations?
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  • Post #61 - March 5th, 2015, 11:15 pm
    Post #61 - March 5th, 2015, 11:15 pm Post #61 - March 5th, 2015, 11:15 pm
    stevez wrote:Not having found much to eat at the Chinese Fest, I made a stop at the Ronnie Suburban recommended Texaz Grill on the way back to my hotel. Though they are known for her chicken fried steaks, I opted for the RS recommended smoked prime rib sandwich.

    Image

    Great report, Steve. I certainly do miss the area quite a bit and am still hoping to get out there for a few days before it gets too warm. I was there in mid-April last year and it was already heating up.

    As for the Texaz Grill, I've actually never had the Smoked Prime Rib in sandwich form there. It was always a big, hunking entree-sized slab of red meat on a plate that made the portion in your pic look paltry by comparison. I guess that's what the last serving of the day looks like! :lol:

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #62 - March 6th, 2015, 7:21 am
    Post #62 - March 6th, 2015, 7:21 am Post #62 - March 6th, 2015, 7:21 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As for the Texaz Grill, I've actually never had the Smoked Prime Rib in sandwich form there. It was always a big, hunking entree-sized slab of red meat on a plate that made the portion in your pic look paltry by comparison. I guess that's what the last serving of the day looks like! :lol:

    =R=


    I can believe that! Portions there are incredibly huge. The folks sitting next to me at the bar each ordered a "Lunch Portion" of chicken fried steak. Out came two plates heaped to the brim with food. When they pointed out that they only ordered the lunch portion, the waitress said that this was the lunch portion. The dinner portion is twice as big. The prime rib sandwich was a lunch special. I can only imagine what "The Mulligan" on the supper menu looks like.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #63 - July 23rd, 2015, 7:17 am
    Post #63 - July 23rd, 2015, 7:17 am Post #63 - July 23rd, 2015, 7:17 am
    I’ve never been in Phoenix in July before and am not eager to return in that particular month. The objection, “But it’s a dry heat” is true; however, I now know what raw cookie dough feels like as the oven door is opened. I was staying at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix at 340 North 3rd Street. I had no wheels and nothing except public transportation available, so my options were limited, to say the least. As a result, this abbreviated review covers a small selection of places within easy reach of that particular hotel.

    Café at Phoenix Market – I only had a single dish, the Pork Chile Verde Pot Pie, but it was great. I had only just arrived in town and hadn’t remotely had a chance to get accustomed to the heat so I took it easy. The pot pie crust was lovely and the filling really wonderful: plenty of pork, depth of flavor, and a truly enjoyable dish in comfortable, cheery surroundings. Of all the places I visited, and I’d happily return to most of them, this is the one I most regret not getting back to. I can see it as ideal for plenty of occasions and the menu was tempting enough that I know a couple of visits, at the least, would be necessary to get a better feel.

    Cartel Coffee Lab – What a wonderful little place. Many thanks to the Phoenix Food Nerd website and a thread devoted especially to places within walking distance of my hotel, a thread started long before my arrival, thankfully. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, their selection of coffees is remarkably different from what I’ve found in Chicago. At least three different Indonesian coffees and a host of other uncommon selections. In addition, you can choose not only different sizes but also different brewing methods. Coffee is ground specifically for your order. My only regret is that they don’t open until 7 am and that their selection of breakfast-type food/pastries was so small. (Check out their website, listed below. They have an online store, one I have little doubt I will be patronizing in the coming weeks and months.)

    Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana – It may be being Phoenix Food Nerd-approved, but I was disappointed. We tried a couple different pizzas (they have a selection of about two dozen different kinds, most of which sound quite appealing) and an app. The app was easily the best dish. To start, our burrata Pugliese (splashed with a very little balsamic) was very good. It sat on a bed of arugula but the prosciutto surrounding it was surprisingly bland. From there, we moved on to pizza but I simply didn’t enjoy them. We chose the porcini and the contadina. Both were respectable but no more. The porcini were sauteed and while a presence on the top, were not generously portioned. The contadina was liberally strewn with its various (vegetable) toppings. But in both cases, the crust was extremely disappointing. It was a vehicle, no more. Although the flavor was fine, neither was baked long enough, and soggy toward the middle of each pizza. (I recognize that reasonable people can differ—and even become, uh, passionate on this particular issue.) By comparison, we ate two nights later at Pizzeria Bianco: there was no comparison. (FWIW, every single picture of a Pomo crust on the Food Nerd thread shows a crust far more well-done than what we got.) Maybe we hit them on an off night but the crusts just didn’t rate and the toppings, while good, couldn’t overcome that problem. I would be curious, but not eager, to return. Disappointing. Dinner was followed by espresso (good, but not noteworthy) and cannoli, which were excellent.

    A somewhat largish group of us descended on Blue Hound Kitchen located on the second floor of the Hotel Palomar and we had a very enjoyable dinner. I can’t speak for the others and their particular dishes and my bill in this case only reflects my own dinner: short rib sliders () and Catfish Etouffee. The sliders were wonderful: accompanied with “root beer onions” and horseradish cream and served a miniature King’s Hawaiian bread rolls, they would have made a great dinner. As it was, they were a wonderful lead-in to a terrific piece of blackened catfish atop rice and a more than generous serving of crawfish. I don’t have a lot of specific comments, simply a very good memory of excellent dishes prepared and presented very nicely. The menu is eclectic and substantial with a slight Southern/New Orleans bent (fried green tomatoes, boudin balls, shrimp/grits with andouille, my catfish, etc.) The drink menu, in particular, seemed very tempting and I was sorry I was unable to sample from it.

    Hanny’s began life in the 1940s as a men’s store in a new, and unusually designed, building. Now it’s a wonderful option for lunch (and, I presume, dinner). I had less than an hour to squeeze in lunch one day and popped in because it was close. The room is really terrific, almost noir-ish in décor and lighting, and the bar takes center stage, literally. The menu covers casual choices from salads to pizzas to sandwiches plus apps, generally with an Italian bent. My pork Calabrese (“charred” loin on ciabatta with peppers, onions, and mushrooms) was a great sandwich and really hit the spot. I had two small sides (included): onion strings (which, although perhaps not going to set the world on fire for originality, were very well-executed). The gorgonzola slaw was absolutely terrific. I was a bit apprehensive about the cheese overwhelming everything else; I needn’t have worried. Just a wonderful pairing of ingredients and simple but terrific creation.

    The Pizzeria Bianco location we visited was the one in walking distance from our hotel and therefore not the Phoenix Food Nerd-approved location. Still, notwithstanding our hour-long wait (the room is quite small), we enjoyed the pizza tremendously. Our only criticism would be the selection: the menu lists a grand total of six pizzas, three with tomato sauce, three without. There were an additional five or six add-ins (wood-grilled mushrooms, soppressata, etc.). That said, the four of us had three different kinds of pizza and we were all were extremely pleased. The crust was the star: chewy, airy, deeply flavorful, and perfectly cooked throughout. A very enjoyable meal.

    A group of six journeyed the short walk to The Breadfruit & Rum Bar and had an excellent meal. We weren’t quite sure what to expect but it was a small, nicely appointed, place. I had an app—butter beans and salt cod—and pimento wood jerk chicken. Others had curried prawns or pimento mussels. Everyone professed themselves quite pleased with the food. Portions were perfect and the my chicken was well seasoned and not blandified. I also opted for a drink that I’ve always enjoyed—jamaica (as it is known in Spanish) or hibiscus. It’s apparently called sorrel in Jamaica and the Jamaicans add allspice (or pimento berries) and ginger. Under any name, it’s terrific. I liked the addition of allspice; it brought a depth of flavor and unexpectedness that worked perfectly. (Their rum bar, it should be noted, has something like 150 different rums and would be a wonderful place to retire to, sitting all day, sipping and nibbling…. It should also be noted that they might easily call it the rum and cigar bar because they also have, as their website notes, a “well curated humidor of choice cigars and a lush courtyard to relax and enjoy….” Demands a return visit.)

    I regret my inability to go anywhere more than a fifteen-minute walk from the hotel and the sheer variety of choices makes a return visit imperative—just not in July.



    Café at Phoenix Public Market
    14 East Pierce Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    (602) 253-2700
    http://phxpublicmarket.com/cafe/

    Cartel Coffee Lab
    1 North 1st Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    (480) 432-8237
    http://www.cartelcoffeelab.com

    Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana
    705 North 1st Street,
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    (602) 795.2555
    http://www.pomopizzeria.com

    Hanny’s
    40 North 1st Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    (602) 252-2285
    http://www.hannys.net/

    Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
    2 East Jefferson Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    (602) 258-0231
    http://www.bluehoundkitchen.com/

    Pizzeria Bianco
    623 East Adams St
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    (602) 258 8300
    http://www.pizzeriabianco.com/#about

    The Breadfruit & Rum Bar
    108 East Pierce Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    (602) 2167-1266
    http://www.thebreadfruit.com/
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #64 - July 26th, 2015, 9:59 am
    Post #64 - July 26th, 2015, 9:59 am Post #64 - July 26th, 2015, 9:59 am
    My girlfriend is very serious about living in a warm climate for a part of the upcoming winter. One of our choices is the Phoenix area. It's kind of funny how when you are traveling you want to eat at places that are in that area, but if you have to be out of town for an extended period, you miss Chicago food. That being said, it's nice Portillo's is there if I must have a beef or hot dog.
  • Post #65 - July 27th, 2015, 11:39 am
    Post #65 - July 27th, 2015, 11:39 am Post #65 - July 27th, 2015, 11:39 am
    I recently spent 4 nights in AZ (between flagstaff, phoenix, and Tucson). It wasnt my first visit, probably wont be my last, but its just an odd place for food. There really isn't any regional food, perhaps Mexican?

    Anyways my only meal worth talking about was at Little Miss BBQ. Some of the nicest people I have encountered, if they had accents I would have thought I was in the south. A gentleman offered us free water for the wait outside, gave us a tour of their smokers, and offered a free taste of some sausage. Then getting into the door we got some free pastrami.

    The Pastrami (Thursday only) was fantastic. Very fatty, flavorful, and good amount of bark. The jalapeno grits were also amazing, and would put them up their with southern grits. The ribs, while good, were a little to salty for my taste, but still solid. The gentleman told me they only had lean brisket left (which I despise), but I still went for it. If it had more fat on it, I think it would have also been superb. The rub was great, generous portions, but well it was just too lean :)

    4301 E University Dr
    Phoenix, AZ 85034
    (602) 437-1177
  • Post #66 - July 27th, 2015, 1:18 pm
    Post #66 - July 27th, 2015, 1:18 pm Post #66 - July 27th, 2015, 1:18 pm
    stevez wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As for the Texaz Grill, I've actually never had the Smoked Prime Rib in sandwich form there. It was always a big, hunking entree-sized slab of red meat on a plate that made the portion in your pic look paltry by comparison. I guess that's what the last serving of the day looks like! :lol:

    =R=


    I can believe that! Portions there are incredibly huge. The folks sitting next to me at the bar each ordered a "Lunch Portion" of chicken fried steak. Out came two plates heaped to the brim with food. When they pointed out that they only ordered the lunch portion, the waitress said that this was the lunch portion. The dinner portion is twice as big. The prime rib sandwich was a lunch special. I can only imagine what "The Mulligan" on the supper menu looks like.

    I love chicken fried steak with cream gravy and it seems that Texaz Grill does it in the proper Texas tradition. I checked out some online pictures, I am definitely going to eat there.

    Image
  • Post #67 - July 27th, 2015, 2:48 pm
    Post #67 - July 27th, 2015, 2:48 pm Post #67 - July 27th, 2015, 2:48 pm
    Ram4 wrote:I love chicken fried steak with cream gravy and it seems that Texaz Grill does it in the proper Texas tradition. I checked out some online pictures, I am definitely going to eat there.



    Yes. If it's CFS you're after, don't miss it. Also, for some good New Mexican food in a similar roadhouse atmosphere, check out Dick's Hideaway located directly across the street from Texaz Grill.

    Texaz Grill
    6003 N 16th St
    Phoenix, AZ 85016
    (602) 248-7827

    Dick's Hideaway
    6008 N 16th St
    Phoenix, AZ 85014
    (602) 241-1881
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #68 - September 14th, 2015, 10:01 pm
    Post #68 - September 14th, 2015, 10:01 pm Post #68 - September 14th, 2015, 10:01 pm
    I was just out in Scottsdale again ... 110 plus in the shade is impressive but so is the discount on rooms at the Fairmont Princess and the spa there is unbeatable. So needing a work break, i spent a long weekend. They've opened a new Richard Sandoval restaurant, Toro which features Latin American food and 110 rums plus a "rum princess" to educate you on the options. I was a bit leery - and had planned to go back to Bourbon Steak as it was so good last year but then figured what the heck.

    Toro was wonderful ... and seemingly not yet busy. The dining room in in the clubhouse for the Phoenix Open overlooking the 18th green ... I do not golf but it made for a very pretty view. The service was so friendly yet also polished ... I loved the staff - and the Rum Princess who came over with a generous after dinner sampling of a Trinidadian Chai Rum that I would happily drink nightly. We had a great conversation about rums without any pressure to buy which I appreciated.

    The food was superb ... they do sushi for weekend brunch but made me a lovely platter of nigiri and then filled out the meal with one of the loveliest ceviches I have ever had along with delicious grilled corn and more. I flipped over a ricoto salsa ... does anyone know what this is?
  • Post #69 - September 14th, 2015, 10:20 pm
    Post #69 - September 14th, 2015, 10:20 pm Post #69 - September 14th, 2015, 10:20 pm
    Siun wrote:I flipped over a ricoto salsa ... does anyone know what this is?

    Rocoto chiles are a stubby-looking Peruvian breed that are quite hot and mighty tasty :-)
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #70 - September 16th, 2015, 11:42 am
    Post #70 - September 16th, 2015, 11:42 am Post #70 - September 16th, 2015, 11:42 am
    Dom is exactly right, but there's more: it is damn tasty, our rocoto, with some unique flavours all of its own. (It has a cousin, the rocotillo, which looks like a scotch bonnet, but is all flavour, no heat).

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #71 - September 18th, 2015, 2:08 pm
    Post #71 - September 18th, 2015, 2:08 pm Post #71 - September 18th, 2015, 2:08 pm
    Thanks - they were amazing in the salsa which was served at Toro with a special cheese bread that they bring for the table. It was hot but so much more than that, so flavorful ... I wanted more and more!

    I'm hoping to go back this winter when I'm in Scottsdale for a business event .. and it makes me look forward to Sandoval's planned Block 37 place here.
  • Post #72 - April 9th, 2017, 12:49 pm
    Post #72 - April 9th, 2017, 12:49 pm Post #72 - April 9th, 2017, 12:49 pm
    We're recently back from a week in Phoenix, where we ate and drank fairly well. The main purpose of our visit was watching Cubs pre-season baseball and my strong advice is to avoid eating anything at any of the cactus league ballparks. We've been to several of them over the past few years and the food never ascends to well below industrial grade. Even the Hot Doug's kiosk at Sloan Park, no longer under Doug's supervision, is wholly worth avoiding.

    That said, we made some worthwhile stops . . .

    Pane Bianco - great sandwiches, salads and soup. Super chill environment
    Pizzeria Bianco - still among my favorite pizzas anywhere. The Rosa reins supreme
    Tratto - Chris Bianco's relatively new, ~30-seat Trattoria, where he works the line. 10-item menu, etc.
    Crudo - still going strong, with a great cocktail program by Micah Olson
    Okra - Crudo's younger, southern-themed sibling, with another outstanding Micah Olson beverage program
    Andreoli Italian Grocer - old-school deli and grocery with a killer sandwich counter and terrific daily specials
    Tacos Chiwas - crispy tripas, Taco Chiwas, carne asada and salsa bar all worth a dedicated trip
    Counter Intuitive - outstanding cocktails powered by a superior back bar
    In & Out Burger - completely respectable west-coast-chain burgers -- and a great stop on the way to the ballpark of your choice

    =R=

    Pane Bianco
    4404 N Central Ave # A
    Phoenix, AZ 85012
    (602) 234-2100

    Pizzeria Bianco (food here every bit as good or better than original location)
    Town and Country Shopping Center
    4743 N 20th St
    Phoenix, AZ 85016
    Phone: (602) 368-3273

    Tratto (next door to Pizzeria Bianco)
    Town and Country Shopping Center
    4743 N 20th St
    Phoenix, AZ 85016
    (602) 296-7761

    Crudo
    3603 E Indian School Rd (back side of mall)
    Phoenix, AZ 85018
    (602) 358-8666

    Okra
    5813 N 7th St (back side of mall)
    Phoenix, AZ 85014
    Phone: (602) 296-4147

    Andreoli Italian Grocer
    8880 E Vía Linda
    Scottsdale, AZ 85258
    (480) 614-1980

    Tacos Chiwas
    1923 E McDowell Rd
    Phoenix, AZ 85006
    (602) 358-8830

    Counter Intuitive
    7133 E Stetson Dr #4
    Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    In & Out Burger
    Camelback Colonnade (and several other Phx-area locations)
    4840 N 20th St
    Phoenix, AZ 85016
    (800) 786-1000
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #73 - April 10th, 2017, 11:03 am
    Post #73 - April 10th, 2017, 11:03 am Post #73 - April 10th, 2017, 11:03 am
    I was in AZ last April and I did get over to the Texaz Grill. I was pleasantly surprised by their sign that had a count of how many chicken fried steaks had been ordered since they opened (it was hundreds of thousands). It was great (HUGE portion) and did not disappoint. Cool over the top Texas decor inside. I have to say I didn't like Pizzeria Bianco. I am not an adventurous eater like many of you, but the sausage pizza I had was meh and for what it cost - double meh. But I know it's very popular so don't take my word for it. Had my In-N-Out and Del Taco guilty pleasure fixes too.
  • Post #74 - April 10th, 2017, 11:12 am
    Post #74 - April 10th, 2017, 11:12 am Post #74 - April 10th, 2017, 11:12 am
    Ram4 wrote:I have to say I didn't like Pizzeria Bianco. I am not an adventurous eater like many of you, but the sausage pizza I had was meh and for what it cost - double meh.

    I tend to avoid the meat there because it doesn't come in combinations I really like. My favorite Bianco pizza is, by far, the Rosa (Red Onion, Parmigiano Reggiano, Rosemary, AZ Pistachios) but I also enjoy the Marinara (Tomato Sauce, Oragano, Garlic, no cheese). Their dough is something special; with a tremendous depth of flavor throughout the chew.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #75 - April 10th, 2017, 11:22 am
    Post #75 - April 10th, 2017, 11:22 am Post #75 - April 10th, 2017, 11:22 am
    There's a Del Taco near my sister's in Mesa that I am unable to avoid turning into every visit I have with her. For what it is, it's excellent. Really.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #76 - April 11th, 2017, 12:41 pm
    Post #76 - April 11th, 2017, 12:41 pm Post #76 - April 11th, 2017, 12:41 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Ram4 wrote:I have to say I didn't like Pizzeria Bianco. I am not an adventurous eater like many of you, but the sausage pizza I had was meh and for what it cost - double meh.

    I tend to avoid the meat there because it doesn't come in combinations I really like. My favorite Bianco pizza is, by far, the Rosa (Red Onion, Parmigiano Reggiano, Rosemary, AZ Pistachios) but I also enjoy the Marinara (Tomato Sauce, Oragano, Garlic, no cheese). Their dough is something special; with a tremendous depth of flavor throughout the chew.

    =R=
    I guess if I go back I'll do something without meat (didn't like their sliced sausage on pizza).

    Geo wrote:There's a Del Taco near my sister's in Mesa that I am unable to avoid turning into every visit I have with her. For what it is, it's excellent. Really.
    I agree - I really like Del Taco for what it is. I heard Levy Restaurants were buying them (a couple of years ago) and were planning on expanding to Chicago.
  • Post #77 - October 19th, 2021, 5:58 pm
    Post #77 - October 19th, 2021, 5:58 pm Post #77 - October 19th, 2021, 5:58 pm
    Bump!
    Any updated info appreciated
    Will be in Phoenix this Thurs-Mon
    Thanks
    E
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #78 - October 20th, 2021, 8:37 pm
    Post #78 - October 20th, 2021, 8:37 pm Post #78 - October 20th, 2021, 8:37 pm
    I am currently on my way back to Tucson from Cincinnati so I do not have all of the necessary links as I post from my phone.

    Dom posted a list of restaurants located near the spring training sites from several years back. His list is excellent and MOST of the restaurants are still in business.

    Dom also wrote an article for the Arizona Republic listing his Top 100 of Phoenix restaurants. I have been to about 20 of them and his recommendations are excellent.

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