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Baltimore - dinner for a group of 12 that includes vegetarian's

We have a group of 12 that will be in Baltimore in late July and would like to go to a restaurant near the Convention Center that is not a chain or a tourist trap. 2 of our members are vegetarian so we need a location that has a variety of vegetarian items.

Thank you for your suggestions.

Corporate Dinner close to Hyatt Gainey or Taliesin West

Elements is a great choice. You might look at Lon's @ Hermosa Inn, or Sassi in North Scottsdale

Dec 20, 2012
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Olive & Ivy for Corporate Group Dinner (12-15ppl)?

If you want mundane corporate food Olive & Ivy is OK. You might consider T. Cook's @ Royal Palms. If you don't need a private dining room check out Rancho Pinot or Marcellino Ristorante.

Dec 20, 2012
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Three nights in PHX/Scottsdale -- Recommendations?

Here are some choices that you typically will not get in San Francisco, which I visit regularly since my granddaughter lives in the Bay Area.

1. Barrio Café in Phoenix or Barrio Queen in Scottsdale;
2. Fry Bread House - probably the only authentic native American taco in the Phoenix metropolitan area;
3. Carolina's Mexican food-two locations - both dives- one by the airport and one at Cactus and Cave Creek Rd;
4. El Molino Mexican Food - and other Mexican food dive-Scottsdale on Goldwater;
5. Dick's Hideaway on 16th St. at Bethany Home Road (note there is no sign identifying the restaurant);
the same owners own Richardson's up the street;
6. Vincent's on Camelback-classic blend of Southwestern and French techniques;
7. FnB focus on local ingredients including Arizona wines;
8. You will get a lot of recommendations for Kai, but the shaft just left there for the District for the Sheridan downtown and I am not sure how the dust has settled.


Dec 18, 2012
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Scottsdale for 5th Anniversary

Could not tell from your post-if the anniversary was last week or next weekend, so here some help if your trip as next weekend. I live for blocks from the Phoenician, so this is my neighborhood.
If you want very casual, El Molino 3554 N. Goldwater Blvd. is very good. It is an order at the counter kind of place, so if you want something with table service, then I would consider any one of the 3 following: Los Sombreros, 2534 N. Scottsdale Road, ( agree with Hohokam on this one), Carlsbad Tavern, 3313 N. Hayden Road (New Mexico style), Frank and Lupe's Old Mexico, 4121 N. Marshall Way. These 4 are your best choices in Scottsdale.

Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Carlsbad Tavern
3313 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Frank & Lupe's Old Mexico
4121 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

El Molino Mexican Cafe
3554 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Oct 17, 2011
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Recommendations for July visit to New York City in Midtown

Thank you, very helpful.

Jun 01, 2011
RDBcooks in Manhattan

Recommendations for July visit to New York City in Midtown

I will be in New York City July 8 through the 13th staying in Midtown at 51st Street and 7th Avenue. I am looking for places to dine with friends. Breakfast, lunch and dinner recommendations are needed, and I am looking for places where New Yorkers eat regularly, not just the places that top the various restaurant guides. We already planning on going to places like Le Bernardin and Eleven Madison Park (assuming we can get reservations), I would like to mix those up with more casual local places.

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

May 31, 2011
RDBcooks in Manhattan

Last minute trip to Seattle area this weekend

This is a late update on my weekend trip.
1. Copperleaf - Outstanding meal: The "Dungeness Crab Gnocchi" was wonderful, light and well balanced. The "Stiebrs Farm Organic Beef Short Ribs" was, according to our Texas carnivore some of the best beef he has has since moving to Seattle. Our vegetarian friend loved her "Chef's Fall Vegetables and Grains", however the one weak note among the entrees was the "Bering Sea Black Cod" which was good, but paled in comparrison to the other 3.
The "Theo's Hot Chocolate Pot for Two - Homemade Cinnamon Doughnuts" was rich & there was enough for 4. I think 2 people was good into dessert shock if they tried to consume it all.
Overall I highly recommend.

Now on to the Southern Kitchen in Tacoma. One word. Awful. This was perhaps the worst case of the missuse of a microwave I have ever experienced. The catfish was greasy & tasted ogf old oil. The biscuits were thin & heavy and according to the waitress reheated in the microwave. The accompanying gravy was thin in consistency & almost flavorless. The first attempt at scrambled eggs resulted in a eggs that were not not fluffy and were overcooked to the point of being dry. A second attempt was hardly better. The peach cobbler was delayed slightly because the microwave was "backed-up" and it was necessary to wait to heat it. Once the "cobbler" (in quotes, because calling this a cobbler is an insult to all southern cooks) arrived it was just canned peaches with some cinnamon and thickener under a dreadful thin crust that is beyond discription. Maybe this was a bad day, but I will avoid this establishment if the future.

Southern Kitchen Restaurant
1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405

Copperleaf Restaurant
18525 36th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98188

Jan 27, 2011
RDBcooks in Greater Seattle

Last minute trip to Seattle area this weekend


Jan 12, 2011
RDBcooks in Greater Seattle

Last minute trip to Seattle area this weekend

A last minute trip to Seattle area has come up for this weekend. Arriving Saturday morning, staying at the Cedarbrook Lodge near SeaTac, and traveling to Gig Harbor on Saturday afternoon and Sunday . In search of a restaurant for dinner on Saturday night, somewhere in the SeaTac area. I would prefer seafood and vegetarian options.

Any recommendations for breakfast and lunch in the Gig Harbor area, which can include Tacoma would also be helpful.


Jan 12, 2011
RDBcooks in Greater Seattle

Dining in Scottsdale and Phoenix

For local flavor try:
Casual - Lunch-

1. Carolina's on Thunderbird & Cave Creek -- Mexican (Not quite a dive, but close)
2. Local Breeze - 606 North 4th Avenue - Breakfast & "bar food"
3. La Tolteca - 1205 E. Van Buren -- Mexican
3. Matt's Big Breakfast - 801 N. 1st St -- Breakfast (very small expect a wait on weekends)
4. Cafe Bink - Carefree - less expensive "cousin" of Binkley's


1. Elements - Sanctuary Resort - Beau MacMillian at his best (watch Food TV Worst Cooks ?)
2. Barrio Cafe - 2814 N 16th St -- Upscale Mexico City style
3. FnB - 7133 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale -- Arizona wines paired with seasonal food
4. Quiessence 6106 S. 32nd St - Local ingrediants shine in very seasonal menu
5. Lon's at the Hermosa Inn - 5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd. Southwestern setting (also great brunch)
6. The Mission - 3815 N. Brown Avenue - Scottsdale -- Latin food
7. Beckett's Table 3717 E Indian School - Just opened last week - casual food from an great chef owner decor a lttle blah.
8. If you want to spend a few $$$$ then - Kai @ Wild Horse Pass Resort 94 W Wild Horse Pass Blvd Chandler -- Southwestern food prepared with French technique Great views of the desert - at Gila River Indian Community

Good luck

La Tolteca
1205 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Matt's Big Breakfast
801 N 1st Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

Cafe Bink
36889 N Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ 85331

7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Nov 09, 2010
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Making a list for top chow mexican recommendations (PHX)

If you want VERYcasual mexican in Scottsdale try ElMolino at 3554 Goldwater Blvd. (Scottsdale Rd & Osborn) (Order at the counter kind of place.) Food is very good Sonoran style that has been featured in Sunset Magazine.

Mar 29, 2010
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Mom and Pop Italian

Nick's or Spinato's. Both family owned local "chains", if you can call 4 locations chains. They each have locations in Scottsdale and Spinato's has one in Tempe south of Arizona Mills. Nick's -; Spinato's -

Mar 29, 2010
RDBcooks in Phoenix

NY Chowhound in PHX on business. Request your assistance

I second Los Sombreros for "upscale Mexican," FnB, and Rancho Pinot. Of these only FnB is within realistic walking distance of the W. It will take a slightly longer cab ride but I would add Avalon in South Scottsdale to the list. The steak places & Don & Charlies are good, but you can have a similar food experience in any big city. If you have the time and transportation try Kai at Wildhorse Pass, not close, but may be the best restuarant in AZ (& I am not usually a chain hotel restaurant fan). Binkley's in Cave Creek is another place that is several miles away, The chef - owner worked at both the Inn at Little Washington and The French Laundry before opening his own place. And as much as I love LGO's operations I would not go to Chelsey's Kitchen.

6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Don & Charlie's
7501 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Jan 15, 2010
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Bachelor party in Scottsdale

Don't try Richardson's -- They burned down weeks ago.

For breakfast do the Daily Dose on Scottsdale Rd or the Orange Table.. For casual The Lodge is fun & in walking distance (the describe themselves as a "Midwest Dive Bar", but they lie), Los Somberos, Carlsbad Tavern, and or the end of the evening The Coach House, the best real dive bar in Scottsdale. Upscale choices close by include City Hall, Digestif, Metro Brasserie, Roaring Fork, Fleming's Prime Steak, or maybe even Trader Vic's. I'd stay away from Grimadi's its NY coal cooked pizza, yuou can get that in NYC. And I would not go to Kaz's Wine Bar this is not a bachelorette party, it is a bachelor party .

Oct 09, 2009
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Best quality Southwest Dining in Scottsdale/Phoenix

I like Humble Pie & think Tom Kaufman is a great guy, but they are not southwestern. Maybe Rancho Pinot Grill across the street owned by Chrysa & Tom would fit the bill. I love their food, but even their menu falls outside the southwestern category even though it is a very "local first" place.

Oct 09, 2009
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Best quality Southwest Dining in Scottsdale/Phoenix

Your 4 best choices for an outstanding Southwest cuisine and dining experience are:

1. Kai at Wild Horse Pass. Kai means seed in the Pima language. The use many ingredients grown on the lands of Gila River Indian Community. James Beard award-winning Chef Janos Wilder from Tucson consults for them. Some other outstanding dishes include- Native American Influenced Tartare with White Sturgeon Roe, Desert Mint & White Sage Tea Marinated Duck Breast with Turkish Dates & Foie Gras Tart, Grilled Tenderloin of Buffalo from the Cheyenne River Tribe, Veal Ribeye Rubbed with Sandalwood, Dry Mole & Green Chile Sand.

2. Vincent on Camelback. Chef Vincent Guerithault is also a James Beard award-winner. He has taken his French training and paired it with local ingredients to create outstanding dishes like Duck Tamale with Anaheim Chiles and Raisins, Sautéed Veal Sweetbreads with Blue Corn Meal, Red Wine Thyme Sauce and Wild Mushroom Potato Cup, Grilled Wild Boar Loin with Celery Root Purée and Habañero Sauce and for dessert Tequila “Gold” Soufflé.

If you want any more regional cuisine, but still on the upper end of food experiences you will want to consider the next two restaurants.

3. Barrio Café. The Barrio serves a chef driven interpretation of traditional Mexican cuisine. Among the items on the menu are - Tequila Lobster Quesadilla, Pollo en Mole -chicken with black mole, Pescado del Mar - seared halibut filet topped with shrimp, scallops, crab and lobster in a white wine-shallot cream sauce, chorizo and poblano peppers, Cochinita Pibil - 12 hour slow roasted pork with achiote rojo & sour orange with salsa Yucateca, and for dessert try the Churros. A couple of warnings about the Barrio Café it is very small and has limited parking.

4. Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina. The owner hails from Central Mexico and opened Los Sombreros approximately 15 years ago. This is closer to traditional Mexican food than you will get at any of the above restaurants. Appetizers include things like Queso Fundido, which is served several ways, Huitlacoche crepas, and Fig & panela cheese salad. Entrées include Crab Enchiladas, Chilaquiles de Camarones, Puerco en Mole Verde andLamb Adobo. A couple of warnings about Los Sombreros - the decor is very casual and it can become very loud because it is in a 1920s farmhouse with hard finishes on all the surfaces of the rooms.

Oct 09, 2009
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Michelin Star Restaurant Phx

Kai is one of the best restaurants in the US. Great food & service. Uses local Native American ingredients whenever possible (WildHorse Pass is on Native lands.) Janos Wilder from Tucson helped set up the menu when Kai first opened. Binkley's and NOCA are good second choices.

Aug 12, 2009
RDBcooks in Phoenix

Scottsdale: Humble Pie!

For those who really enjoy a glass (or 3) of wine with their pizza, HP is the place for you. One of the owners is Tom Kauffman of Rancho Pinot, a real "wine guy". Monday is half price on selected bottles. And Tom may have learned a thing or two about pizza from one of the early chefs at Rancho Pinot, one Chris Bianco.

Aug 12, 2009
RDBcooks in Phoenix