Lunchbox76's Profile

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Arizona produced jerky

Double Check Ranch out of Winkelman, AZ puts out something called beef crisps that are pretty tasty. You can pick up at a farmers market or order online.

http://www.doublecheckranch.com/beef-...

Dec 02, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

IS FOOD TRUCK FRIDAY EVERY FRIDAY?

Yes.

See: http://phxstreetfood.org/ for more info...

Nov 17, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Artisanal Cheese

+1 for Wedge & Bottle... Troy and Krista will get you anything you want if they don't have it. They keep a pretty healthy stock of of good stuff though.

Nov 15, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Best BBQ within 30 minutes of Tempe?

Big Earls BBQ in old town Scottsdale is another option. If I had a choice, I'd go to Joe's though. It's awesome.

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Joe's Real Barbecue
301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234

Big Earl's BBQ
7213 E 1st Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Nov 15, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Good places for ice cream, desserts, acai bowls, near Scottsdale?

I can't believe no one has mentioned Sweet Republic yet!?!?

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Sweet Republic Ice Cream
9160 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Sep 26, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Guilty Breakfast Pleasures

Apple Fritters from Joe's Farm Grill... The Breakfast Tacos are pretty good while you're there...

Also the breakfast burrito next door at The Coffee Shop is pretty good... Also San Diegan Omelet...

But where ever you go pick up some cupcakes at The Coffee Shop... Those are good any time of the day.

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Joe's Farm Grill
3000 E Ray Rd Ste 101, Gilbert, AZ 85296

The Coffee Shop
3000 E Ray Rd Ste 102, Gilbert, AZ 85296

Aug 11, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Phoenix Food Gifts

There are two places in GIlbert/Mesa that I would recommend:

Langley's Country Market is on Guadalupe between Greenfield and Higley in Gilbert. They carry a ton of Queen Creek Olive oil products without schlepping all the way out to the mill (as fun as that is, but if you don't have time this is a great source).

http://www.langleyscountrymarket.com

The other place is close by and technically it's in Mesa. It's called Power Road Farmers Market. I love their homemade preserves (Tomato and Fig in particular). They also have a lot of good local food items that you won't easily find. http://guadalupefarmersmarket.com/

Aug 10, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Postino Winecafe in Gilbert

Well it was good while it lasted anyway... Barrio "whatever she wanted to call it" is not happening in Gilbert... A major bummer for us in the EV...

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bell...

Jul 21, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Postino Winecafe in Gilbert

This is kind of old news... But as East Valley Foodies we're excited to have new options that are close to home... :)

Don't forget that we're getting a Barrio Cafe in the same Grainbelt building...

http://www.azcentral.com/community/gi...

Jul 12, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Best Burger in Phoenix?

Here's Howard Seftel's recent take on this very subject:

I disagree with his assessment of Zinburger... :)

Howard Seftel reviews burgers at 33 Phoenix restaurants
http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/dining/articles/2011/06/09/20110609howard-seftel-reviews-burgers-34-phoenix-restaurants.html#ixzz1Qm4OA6Jt

http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/d...

Jun 30, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Best Burger in Phoenix?

I can't believe nobody has brought up Zinburger yet...

The Zinburger is amazing IMO. Manchego Cheese, Zinfandel Braised Onions & Mayo.

The onions are perfection.

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Zinburger - Biltmore Fashion Park
2502 E Camelback Rd Ste 127, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Jun 29, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Chef Curtiss leaves Noca

This may provide a little clarity.

I love that they admit that Elliot went and bought McD's burgers for their drunk diners.

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bell...

Jun 29, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Where to buy brisket for smoking?

What kind of smoker did you get? I have a Traeger Electric Pellet smoker and I love it! I call it the microwave of smokers because it's so easy to use and cook with...

LBX

Jun 08, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Visiting chef in need of help finding specialty food stores

Chow Bella has a nice little write up of the event... Looks interesting...

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bell...

Jun 03, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

4 Nights in Scottsdale

The food at Barrio Cafe is worth checking out...

We've also been really into the food at The House at Secret Garden lately... I think that's one of the most underrated places in the valley right now.

Quiessence farmer feast is also a favorite...

You'll find lots of mentions of all of them on the boards here...

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Barrio Cafe
2814 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

Quiessence
6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

The House at Secret Garden
2501 E Baseline Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

May 27, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

New Cheese Shop: Wedge & Bottle

I'm wondering if anyone has been to the new Ahwatukee cheese shop called Wedge & Bottle. The menu looks great. It seems they've only been open for a couple of weeks.

According to their Facebook profile page:
"We offer cut to order Cheese & Charcuterie Meats. We also have a selection of wine and craft beer that can be enjoyed at home or by the glass in our shop. To compliment this we have melted cheese sandwiches and cheese plates. We also have all of the specialty grocery items that accompany cheese like jams, mustards, crackers, pastas, etc."

http://www.wedgebottle.com

May 25, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Where to find a good Fishmonger

AJ's usually has a pretty good selection. I'm not sure if they'll have what you're looking for though so I'd call ahead and see if they have it or can maybe get it for you...

May 23, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Croque Madame?

I second the Hillside Spot in Ahwatukee... It's pretty good...

They also have a killer Carne Asada Torta that's worth checking out...

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Hillside Spot Café and Market
4740 East Warner Road, Phoenix, AZ 85044

May 11, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Local Arizona Wine

I love that so many winemakers in AZ are starting to out out some spectacular wines. I also love that people are starting to take notice.

Callaghan has put out a killer Cabernet Sauvignon over the past couple of years. I wish I would have bought more when I was down at the winery in February...

I also love pretty much anything Dos Cabeza's puts out... Their Toscano is one of my favorites. You can't go wrong with their juice.

Canelo Hills, also in the Elgin area impressed me on a recent visit to their tasting room.

http://www.callaghanvineyards.com/
http://www.doscabezaswinery.com/
http://www.canelohillswinery.com/

May 11, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Best Bread Bakeries?

I have a great interest in this thread... I think this is a huge hole in the Phoenix area... I can never find good bakery items, especially in the East Valley where I live...

Apr 15, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Christopher's Review

Well I should have listened... We decided to try it out for ourselves last night. And while the food was great, the service left much to be desired. The bread and water came fairly quickly but it took several minutes for a waitress to show up and take our drink order. I had to ask for my water glass to be refilled, which in this environment, I shouldn't have to do. We killed our bottle of wine midway through the meal and we were never offered another bottle, which we would have probably ordered.

We started with the charcuterie plate with optional cheese (for an extra $5). What we got was a fairly nice offering of cured meats served with a plate toasted bread and a small hunk of hard cheese, which the waitress didn't know what it was, and a small dollop of creamy goat cheese. Adding the cheese was a little disappointing and not worth the extra $$.

We also ordered the duck confit and goat cheese pizza with figs. It was pretty good but it had several way too burnt sections of outer crust. I know some people like that, but it was a little overkill for me. But overall it was a nice choice with the goat cheese and figs playing off each other very nicely. The duck didn't add or detract from the dish so I'm not sure if it was even necessary.

I ordered the Hanger Steak with sauteed shallots. It came out a nice medium rare with lots of shallots on top. The sauce that was served with my steak was ice cold. They did remedy this fairly quickly. Mrs. Lunchbox ordered the Lamb shank that they have as a Saturday special. She said it was the best that she's ever had. She chose the gruyere potato puree as her side instead of the bok choy she was offered. The potatoes were a highlight and and paired well with the lamb. My side, risotto with vegetables, didn't come out at the same time as our entrees. One of the advantages (disadvantages?) of the open kitchen concept is that you hear everything that goes on. We knew exactly how fast the kitchen responded to the mix up... The answer to that question is not very fast. When they did come out you could tell they were hurried. They were simply awful looking and had little flavor. The waitress noticed that we hardly touched them at the end and took them off our bill because they were bad and we waited so long for them.

Then came the dessert portion of the evening. The waitress went over each of the choices on the menu. However we couldn't believe this came out of her mouth when she got towards the end and started talking about the souffle. Paige, I want to call her out by name in the hopes that someone from the restaurant reads this and tells her to never do this again, said that we "couldn't order souffle because she had to reseat our table and we didn't have enough time." We couldn't believe it! The restaurant was not busy. There wasn't anyone waiting for tables when we left. So apparently spending $150 (pretip) on dinner and wine does not give you the right to spend more money on the dessert of your choice. We decided to skip dessert and call it a night.

Sorry Christopher's, you had your one shot, we won't be back.

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Christopher's
2502 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Mar 27, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Christopher's Review

This is disappointing... I met Christopher at the Beer for Brains event a few weeks ago and he made a killer pork belly dish. It actually won the overall wine pairing category at that event...

Mar 25, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Pizzeria Bianco to open for Lunch

Great news for Pizzeria Bianco fans. Hopefully the lines will start to get a little smaller... Saw on the news tonight that starting in April, they will open for lunch. It looks like they will be open from 11-11...

Here's the AZ Central Article...

http://www.azcentral.com/business/new...

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Pizzeria Bianco
623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Mar 25, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Whole wheat pasta/Phoenix

My suggestion would be to call AJ's, Sprouts, or Whole Foods... All have SE Valley locations...

Mar 21, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Dinner After Cubs Game in Mesa

Downtown Chandler has quite a few nice offerings and it's not at all out of the way... La Stalla and Latitude 8 are on the nicer side of the spectrum and both have great food... I've never had El Zocalo but I've heard it's OK... There are quite a few other choices as well...

The San Tan Brewery is someplace that I would go after a ballgame... It's typical Pub fare but the beer is what brings most people there... http://www.santanbrewing.com/

Good Luck!

LBX

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El Zocalo Mexican Grill
28 S San Marcos Pl, Chandler, AZ 85225

Latitude 8 Thai Grill
11 W Boston St, Chandler, AZ 85225

La Stalla
68 W Buffalo St Frnt, Chandler, AZ 85225

SanTan Brewery
8 S San Marcos Pl, Chandler, AZ 85225

Mar 20, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

one night in phoenix - looking for off the beaten path yumminess

Ok so you're going to be staying in Central Phoenix... That helps...

Well if you're after Mexican faire, here's my suggestion... it's certainly not a hole in the wall, but you can't go wrong with Barrio Cafe... It's only a couple of miles from where you're staying... I literally dream about the lobster quesadillas... The chef is a James Beard nominee for the second year in a row...

Our food truck scene is just getting off the ground after some legislative red tape and I don't know a whole lot about the specifics. Maybe some other users can chime in...

Good luck!

LBX

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Barrio Cafe
2814 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

Mar 18, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

one night in phoenix - looking for off the beaten path yumminess

Phoenix is a big place... Can you tell us where you're staying? Will you have a car? Are you willing to drive a few miles?

Mar 18, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Tutti Santi by Nina - Gilbert

Tried the new Tutti Santi location in Gilbert (Greenfield/Warner) tonight. What a disappointment...

First of all the food was fantastic. They brought a very lightly dressed salad with a single tomato slice before our entrees. The salad was forgettable. I ordered the Veal Marsala with Fettuccine Alfredo. Mrs. LBX had the Chicken Della Casa. Both were absolutely delicious. We ordered an appetizer portion of Gnocchi for our 14 month old daughter. The portions were very small. I'm not sure if the Gilbert crowd will tolerate the prices with the small portions they're offering. The appetizer portion of Gnocchi was literally about 12-15 small pieces in a small ramekin with Alfredo and Red sauce which was $10.95.

The reason it was a such a disappointment is that the service was horrible. I was carrying my daughter while we were brought to our table by the host/bartender. He left us with our menus and walked away before we even sat down and didn't offer us a high chair. My wife had to go get one. We were able to order drinks right away because the bartender came to check on us but we didn't see a waitress for quite some time. We did get water and bread fairly quickly but we never saw the busboy again. It took about 15-20 minutes to get our salad after we ordered our entrees. Then it took about another 15-20 minutes to get our entrees. Which is an eternity when you're dining with a 1 year old. She's very well behaved but sitting for 40 minutes before she gets her food is not easy for anyone.

There were 12 other people in the restaurant aside from us. There was one waitress covering most of the tables (a lot of them outside on the patio, we were inside), one other waiter who was also making antipasto plates in the open portion of the kitchen, the host/bartender, and one busboy. So I guess my point is that they were not very busy and we should have been better taken care of. The kitchen couldn't have been very busy. It didn't seem like there was food flying out of there. It was apparent they the skeleton crew they had was definitely stretched to the limits.

We will probably be back to give them one more shot to get it right because the food really was terrific. Hopefully they can work out their service issues. Otherwise I fear they will suffer the same fate as Amarone that they replaced...

LBX

Mar 14, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

Non-Restaurant Foodie Gems?

Queen Creek Olive Mill is something you should put on your itinerary... It's only about 45 minutes from downtown.

http://queencreekolivemill.com/

If you have a day, maybe check out the wine regions of Southern AZ... Sonoita, Elgin, Wilcox... It's about an hour south of Tucson and definitively a doable day trip. AZ Vines and wines will have much more information. There's also the Sedona wine regions and Vines and Wines will have that info too.

http://www.arizonavinesandwines.com/

Good luck and let us know what/where you end up!

LBX

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Queen Creek Olive Mill
25062 S Meridian Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85242

Mar 13, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix

House at Secret Garden

Attended the Slow Food Phoenix event at The House at Secret Garden tonight... Amazing food, beautiful setting. Open since October, I highly suggest you try it out. Sweet potato planks are amazing. Homemade pasta was terrific. Had the Shrimp and Grits at the beer for brains event a couple of weeks ago. Just spicy enough. Great job Chef Christofolo and team.

I also have to give a shout out to the Slow Food Phoenix team and Wendall from Crow's Dairy who brought his super delicious goat's cheese.

http://www.slowfoodphoenix.org/
http://www.crowsdairy.com/

LBX

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The House at Secret Garden
2501 E Baseline Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

Mar 08, 2011
Lunchbox76 in Phoenix