epicurina's Profile

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Tucson--good, inexpensive local places to eat

For my money, The Little Cafe Poca Cosa in downtown is absolutely fantastic for breakfast and lunch. It's the little sister to the more expensive Cafe Poca Cosa, and big flavors run in the family. Portions are enormous, atmosphere is super-casual, prices are very reasonable ($8-12 for entrees, I believe), and the chicken mole is outrageously good. One important note: The little place deals in cash only.

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Little Poca Cosa
Stone and Alameda, Tucson, AZ

May 27, 2010
epicurina in Southwest

BBQ in PHX? I'm from Texas

I've loved Stacy's in the past, but a recent experience left me almost depressed. The pork ribs were tough and fatty, greens were salty and musty, and the beans were bland. I'm hoping it was an off day.

May 20, 2010
epicurina in Phoenix

If I could have just one Mexican place in Phoenix, what should it be?

Hands down, my vote goes to Los Sombreros. The puerco en mole verde is fork-tender, and the lamb adobo should come with a spoon (to lap up all the smoky sauce). The menu covers a nice variety of regional Mex—chilequiles to the aforementioned mole.

Also, La Hacienda at the Fairmount just got a revamp from celeb chef Richard Sandoval. The tequila selection alone is worth the trip to north Scottsdale, and I must say the food was excellent, particularly the ceviche.

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

La Hacienda
7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

May 20, 2010
epicurina in Phoenix

Sunday Buffet Brunch...where?

Well, the Wrigley Mansion serves a traditional champagne brunch for $45—not sure if that tag is mid-priced. If memory serves, the spread is pretty lavish and the champagne flows freely. Also, the old manse itself is beautiful, as are the views.

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Wrigley Mansion Club
2501 E Telewa Trl, Phoenix, AZ 85016

May 14, 2010
epicurina in Phoenix

Fun post: Fav dishes at Rokerij/Richardson's?

The bacon-wrapped shrimp (from either menu) is a gimme, and the carne adovada is a dreamy plate of smokiness.

May 14, 2010
epicurina in Phoenix

It's PHX. Who brings the heat?

The Breadfruit Jamaican restaurant in downtown Phoenix serves slivered Scotch bonnet chiles in its "escovitch" sauce. A little goes a long way. Also, Malee's on Main has a Thai chile paste that, when consumed in quantity, makes me tear up. Shoot, now I want spicy food.

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Malee's On Main
7131 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

The Breadfruit
108 E Pierce St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Apr 27, 2010
epicurina in Phoenix

Spring Training in the Phoenix area

I second the Humble Pie recommendation—there are two locations, one in north Phoenix, one in central Scottsdale. Cibo is another good choice for interesting pies, and it's in downtown Phoenix, not too far from Bianco. You could always have a drink at BarBianco to check out the scene, then head to Cibo to actually eat.

Mar 02, 2010
epicurina in Phoenix

1 night in Sedona - wedding anniversary - dining recommendations?

Cafe Elote at the King's Ransom Hotel is a must. Chef Jeff Smedstad's take on regional Mexican fare is outstanding. The atmosphere is casual, and great views can be had from the patio. I just read the restaurant is closed from Sept. 1-8, though, www.elotecafe.com.

Sep 03, 2009
epicurina in Southwest

Spending the long weekend in Phoenix and area - Tempe

You can certainly stay within downtown Tempe, avoid co-ed crowds (mostly), and eat and drink well. Definitely head to House of Tricks for lunch or dinner. Menus change with the season, the food is inspired, and the leafy patio is lovely, though you may want a seat within the converted bungalow (it's still pretty darn hot). Mucho Gusto is a great, if a little noisy, destination for Mexican; the chicken mole was delish last I ate there. La Bocca pizzeria is right on Mill Avenue, Tempe's main drag, but caters to grown ups with interesting pies and a nice wine list. Harlow's is a greasy spoon and college hang-out, but the chorizo and eggs might be worth it.

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House of Tricks
114 E 7th St, Tempe, AZ 85281

Harlow's Cafe
1021 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

Mucho Gusto
603 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

La Bocca Pizzeria
699 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

Sep 03, 2009
epicurina in Phoenix

Summer deals in the PHX area?

Radio Milano is running its Neighborhood Night on Mondays and Tuesdays through the summer. For $20, you can order an entree and salad or entree and dessert. Get there before 7 p.m. to take advantage of the daily happy hour too (half-off cocktails and glasses of wine/beer) — and it's a smokin' deal. Also, get half-price bottles of wine at Bloom and The Green House on Tuesdays and Sundays, and at North on Mondays.

Jun 24, 2009
epicurina in Phoenix

Denver's LoHi SteakBar?

Any impressions of the recently opened LoHi SteakBar in Denver?

Jun 24, 2009
epicurina in Mountain States

Denver Eats.....

Rioja in Larimer Square never fails to impress with its creative spin on Mediterranean/Spanish, and although dinner here could be at the high end of your price range, it's totally worth it. A couple other ideas: the 9th Door in LoDo for delicious tapas in moderately swanky environs; Sushi Sasa in Lower Highland does beautiful fish in a clean, modern setting; and though you would have to drive, intimate Fruition serves up fab seasonal fare.

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Fruition Restaurant
1313 E. 6th Avenue, Denver, CO 80218

Rioja
1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

9th Door
1808 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202

Sushi Sasa
2401 15th Street, Suite 80, Denver, CO 80202

Jun 24, 2009
epicurina in Mountain States

Searching for "grown up" food in Tucson

I have to throw in my two cents in favor of Cafe Poca Cosa. Chef Suzana's mole is life changing. True, the atmosphere is more hip than romantic, but still very "grown up." Terra Cotta might also be a nice addition to this list; it's a long-standing favorite.

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Cafe Terra Cotta (CLOSED)
3500 E Sunrise Dr, Tucson, AZ 85718

Apr 22, 2009
epicurina in Southwest

Downtown Denver

A couple thoughts: For marvelous sushi and Japanese, head to Sushi Sasa on 15th & Platte. For tapas and live music, try The 9th Door on Blake. And Kevin Taylor inside the Hotel Teatro is the only Mobil Four Star-rated restaurant in Denver if you really want to splurge.

Apr 22, 2009
epicurina in Mountain States

Authentic, atmosphere in PHX

In downtown Phoenix, check out The Breadfruit for spicy Jamaican, Fate for hip Asian-fusion and The Roosevelt for foodie-pleasing bar food (and a fantastic beer list). In Mesa, I love Mango's Mexican Cafe; it's super-casual and inexpensive, and the Sonoran-style grub is excellent.

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Roosevelt
816 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Fate
905 N 4th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Mango's Mexican Restaurant & Bakery
44 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201

Mar 20, 2009
epicurina in Phoenix

Restaurant Recommendations in Phoenix? Large group, private room, great food

A handful of options for contemporary restos with private or semi-private dining rooms: Cowboy Ciao in downtown Scottsdale has fantastic, innovative food and the best wine list in the city. Estate House, just across the street from Ciao, serves lovely French-inspired fare. Olive & Ivy does crowd-pleasing Cal-Mediterranean. And Bourbon Steak in north Scottsdale is the best of the chic steak houses to open recently in the Valley (don't miss the truffled fries). Note: These places are in Scottsdale, but still very accessible to central Phoenix.

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Cowboy Ciao
7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Olive & Ivy Restaurant & Marketplace
7135 E. Camelback Road, Suite 195, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

The Estate House
7134 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Bourbon Steak
7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Mar 17, 2009
epicurina in Phoenix

Pie (Phx)

Though it certainly lacks in the way of ambiance and has oddball hours, Linda's on Osborn (hidden in plain sight on 24th St. & Osborn) has delish blueberry pie.

Mar 17, 2009
epicurina in Phoenix

PHX - Visiting Foodie Seeking to Impress

Peter Kasperski's four restaurants on Stetson Drive in downtown Scottsdale always impress: Cowboy Ciao, Sea Saw, Kazimierz and Digestif. For business, I'd go for Ciao or Digestif since Sea Saw has a limited number of tables and Kaz (a wine bar) has mostly couches for seating. Digestif's menu focuses on fresh comfort food, and has a young, hip vibe with servers in rock n' roll T-shirts and a busy bar. Ciao does worldly cuisine, usually with a touch of humor and a Southwest edge. But the major draw for many is the stunner of a wine list; it's really a wine novel, and includes more than 3,000 bottles.

One note: March is one of the busiest months of the tourist season due to MLB spring training, so I strongly recommend making reservations early. Enjoy!

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Cowboy Ciao
7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Digestif
7114 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85351

Feb 23, 2009
epicurina in Phoenix

Estate House: Recent reviews and recs (Scottsdale)

The restaurant's menu concept has recently changed from French-Mediterranean to include more global inspirations, and I have not been in since the switch. However, on my last visit I had a black cod dish that was wonderfully delicate, so I have to recommend going for fish entrees. Also, save time before or after dinner for a drink at Upstairs, the speakeasy-style lounge directly above the main restaurant. The patio offers fantastic city views.

Feb 23, 2009
epicurina in Phoenix

Christmas Eve dinner in Phoenix?

Rokerij features quite a few of Richardson's menu superstars (bacon-wrapped shrimp, roasted garlic plate, Chimayo chicken), so you should be very happy if you are already a fan of Richardson's & Dick's Hideaway. Make time for a drink in Rokerij's underground bar; it's got a very cozy vibe. Here's a link where you can view the menu: http://www.burningembersphoenix.com. Just for fun: Rumor has it that The Rokerij is the name of Rich's favorite coffee shop in Amsterdam.

Dec 10, 2008
epicurina in Phoenix

phx - best use of bacon

The bacon at Matt's Big Breakfast is thick cut and has a peppered rind. Not sure where it is sourced from, but it gets my vote for the best side of bacon in the city. As far as best use of bacon, try the bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp at Richardson's. Not very original, I know, but the spicy sauces and smoke from the grill make it worthwhile.

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

Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico
1582 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016

Feb 07, 2008
epicurina in Phoenix

Scottsdale: Fine's Cellar

The three styles of mac & cheese are truffled, blue cheese and carbonara. Each very distinctive, cheesy and yummy.

Feb 07, 2008
epicurina in Phoenix