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Good eats in Phoenix

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My husband and I will be going to Phoenix soon for a week's vacation. We'll be staying near Lookout Mountain in the Cave Creek Road area. My husband eats no fish or seafood at all, but otherwise- we're open to suggestions. I'm sure we can find fine dining galore, but I'm looking for places the locals would eat that would qualify as local food. I know this is the Southwest, but it certainly doesn't have to be Latin food. Some BBQ suggestions would be welcome too.

TIA,
Mezzaluna
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post #2 of 14
There is a bbq restaurant in central Phoenix called Honey Bears or something (I'm vegetarian, so I didn't really note the name) that is supposed to be really good. I'll ask some meat-eaters.

If you want really local, immigrant food, Salazar's, a dumpy-looking place on Southern Ave, makes a mean green burrito.

Fine dining... Avantí at Thomas and 28th.

There is a place that is in the very worst neighborhood in town, but attracts all the who's who in politics during the day. It's owned by a former politician and she is usually there, serving food, managing. Grant and Central. I'll have to think of that name too.
post #3 of 14
Honey Bears bbq located at 52nd and Van Buren.

Hap's bbq at 48th and Washington (approx.)

El Portal owned by Mary Rose Wilcox (she has a very interesting story of her life) at 117 W Grant St (Cross Street: First Avenue). DO NOT GO TO THIS PLACE AT NIGHT (too dangerous neighborhood, but during the day, you'll see Lexus and limos outside).
post #4 of 14
Sahara in Tempe. Middle Eastern, but very good and the owner is usually there during lunch at least.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
You guys are great! :bounce:

Keep the recommendations coming, because we don't leave until Saturday.
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post #6 of 14
Quiessence at 6106 S 32nd St has locally produced lamb... locally as in about a block away from the restaurant. Yes, in the middle of metro Phoenix. Supposed to be very good food.

Coyoacán on Central south of Baseline has Mexican food. Their chef (Moises Treves), a real character, left about a year or so ago, but they still use his recipes. Not as good as when the chef was there, but good. I like the crêpes with cajeta.

Macayos and Oreganos are chain outlets much like Chiles and Pizzeria Uno.
post #7 of 14
Ruffino's in Ahwahtukee for Italian. Brilliant atmosphere, very upscale. Again, local chef (Rafael Torres), local recipes (well, authentic Italian, but locally created). I'm avoiding giving you the places that get deliveries from Sysco and such.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Free Rider, I've copy and pasted your posts into my travel notes.

Anyone else have ideas? I have three days before we leave. :bounce:
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
We just got back earlier today, so I thought I'd post a few comments on the food we found in Phoenix/Scottsdale.

Upon arriving, starving and tired, we found a little diner called Pinky's on the corner of N. 7th Street and Thunderbird. I had the best feta and tomato omelet I've had in a very long time- maybe ever. It was made with whole eggs and butter. Decent bacon on the side. Later my husband and I saw a review of Pinky's, commending their spinach and feta omelet. So I guess I was in good company.

That evening we had dinner at the Paradise Valley location of Julio G's. I had the best carnitas I've ever eaten- juicy and tender, with excellent guacamole and tasty tortillas. My husband had some very good chicken fajitas. The prices were right, too.

Some other meals of note:
We ate at two locations of The Good Egg (breakfast and lunch place)- one on Frank Lloyd Wright and the other on Scottsdale. I had a hankering for eggs Benedict and was rewarded with the avocado-tomato-bacon version (I subbed bacon for smoked turkey). I could taste the tang of lemon in the hollandaise, and the dish hit the spot. Service was speedy and competent in both locations.

To celebrate my husband's birthday we splurged for dinner at Different Pointe of View (Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs- N. 7th St between Thunderbird and Peoria). I had phoned ahead that it was my husband's birthday. We started with an amuse bouche of "caviar" of champagne grapes on brioche (not very amusing, actually- it was bland) and moved on to salads. I had a "nouvelle" Caprese of heirloom tomatoes (luscious!) on a basil gelee with tiny bocconcini drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with micro-basil. All the flavors were spot-on except for the gelee (again, no punch to the flavor). My husband had the house salad, which he enjoyed.

Breads in the basket were ciabatta and baguette slices served with sweet butter, lemon-pepper butter and olive oil/parmesan/balsamic spread.

My husband ordered the rib eye with squash galette. The steak was excellent but the galette turned out to be more like mashed winter squash- nothing special. I ordered lobster poached in butter and seared scallops on pumpkin-corn bread with a side of truffle-scented gnocchi. The lobster was tough; the server quickly brought some that was tender and flavorful. The scallops were excellent. The corn bread was too sweet and buried the sweetness of the shellfish. It was very tasty, but not paired well with the seafood IMHO. The gnocchi were Roman-style (I think)- more mashed potato dumplings, crumbed and fried than the kind I usual (simmered in water) that I expected. The truffle scent wasn't very vivid.

My husband enjoyed a glass of Merlot and I had a decent glass of pinot grigio with dinner.

Dessert: the birthday boy had a key lime cheesecake that he loved. The pastry chef had stenciled "Happy Birthday" on the plate. I had creme brulee with berries. The coffee (presse) was excellent. My husband was given a small bag of birthday treats, two of each: fruit gelees, tiny lemon-poppyseed cookies, and bite-sized chocolate truffles.

I have to say the service was very good and the scenery superb (high overlooking the glittering lights of Phoenix at night). The food was good. My only disappointments was that I'd hoped for some local flavors or twists but didn't find any.
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post #10 of 14
Good feedback, thanks.

Interesting what you say about the squash. A local news show is doing an investigative report on fish... apparently restaurants are selling one type of fish and claiming it's another.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
We saw that, Free Rider. Our local Milwaukee station did the same story with a local slant some months ago. When I saw barrimundi on the menu at DPOV I chuckled to myself, wondering.
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post #12 of 14
Turns out all the Red Snapper sold in Phoenix is actually Grouper (and one unidentifiable fish). They went to the supplier because the restaurants were able to show invoices that they were charged for delivery of Red Snapper. drum roll and the story continues tonight
post #13 of 14
Went to one of my favorite places the other day... US Egg in Tempe, Arizona (part of the Phoenix metro area). They have a new cook and he is superb! I have an unusual request for my food and he did a perfect job. Not only that, but his poached eggs were poached to perfection and he left no water slop in the bottom of the dish. Apparently, he's been there for three weeks or so. I hope he stays and I hope they give him a fantastic raise.
post #14 of 14
Lola Tapas on Camelback Road in Phoenix. Great atmosphere, ecclectic, great food.
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