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phx metro cheesesteak recommendation?

I agree corleone's is just like the ones I've had in Philly. That said, I think it sucks and I do t like the ones from Philly either. I think that is something u need to grow up with.
DeFalco's on the other hand, one of the best sandwiches I've ever had of any kind (Philly with onions and shrooms). It's just awesome.

Jun 01, 2012
dombey in Phoenix

Nogales hot dogs

DENIED. I swung by yesterday and sure enough, the truck was parked in the Air Cold Supply parking lot (sorta in the back), but the dog trailer wasn't attached and no business was taking place anywhere.
Anyone ever actually confirm that the truck opens in that location? Or is it just the parking spot during the day?

Feb 23, 2012
dombey in Phoenix

Nogales hot dogs

I will check this out and report back.

Feb 16, 2012
dombey in Phoenix

Nogales hot dogs

Hi all,
I had my first Sonoran hot dog at Nogales hot dogs on 20th St and Indian School this weekend. It was the bomb.
I hear there is a location perhaps around cave creek and bell road. This is striking distance from work and hence potentially high value information.
My question is... Is that location open during the day?
And if not, where can I get a good Sonoran dog within 10 miles of 101 and I-17?

Thanks guys

Feb 14, 2012
dombey in Phoenix

Distrito -Fantastic

My wife and I were going to try Jose Garces' new restaurant "old town whiskey" on Friday night. I called the saguaro hotel, where it is located, and to my surprise, they answered "thank you for calling Distrito"... I was under the impression that Distrito had not yet opened. Turns out, Friday was their official first we changed plans and went to Distrito instead.
From what I know, there is a Distrito in Philadelphia and it is extremely well regarded. It is, like old town whiskey, operated by Jose garces, and they served modern Mexican fare.
So we arrived at the saguaro hotel , which is located at drink water and Indian school in Scottsdale. It has and interesting orders theme to the hotel, sort of partway between the valley ho and the clarendon, very modern yet sorta retro at the same time...
We valet parked, they reduce the price to five bucks if you're eating in one of the restaurants.
We had excellent service with only a few blips. The blips were totally excusable for a first night, and our server was happy to fulfill a couple of random requests. When he didn't
T know the answer, we said so and went and asked for us. So far so good.
The menu is mostly small plates, is relatively large, and there is a lot of great looking stuff in it.
We started with two ceviches, one was octopus and the other red snapper. These were both great, although not at all what we expected-the snapper was laid flat in slices in the plate-but delicious nonetheless.
Wie then had a bowl of Poole, which was excellent, followed by chorizo and shrimp tacos and the best queso funding of all time as far as I am concerned. It had chorizo, peppers, and god knows what else in it and the Tortillas were made fresh to order by a couple of guys by the front entrance.
Then we had a biased pork shoulder that was fall off the bone tender, and some chorizo and jalapeƱo cornbread that was to die for. we washed it down with some m omits and margaritas.
Needless to say, no room for dessert.
We brought home some menus because we're going to give them to a bunch of people for Xmas and offer to buy....
This is one of the best places I have been in Phoenix and to me I think it is up there with frontera /topolobampo in it and we'll be back.
Check it out and ensure this one makes it!!!

Dec 11, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Best Philly in town

Hi All,
So, I searched and didn't find anything really useful.
Maybe 2-3 years ago I started looking for a really great philly cheesesteak in Phoenix and I've now had, well, a lot of them. More than I'd like to admit.
A few weeks back, I found myself in Philadelphia for work, and I took the opportunity to check off two items from my Bucket List. The first was dining at Morimoto (10 course chef's tasting menu, INSANE, it's a worthy bucket list item), and the second was to have a legit philly cheesesteak. I was of course forced to choose between Geno's and Pat's...a close friend of mine who is from philly and whose opinion I trust when it comes to food advised I choose Pat's, so that is where I went.

I'm not going to sugar coat it; Pat's sucks. Roll was hard (some might see it positively in that it doesn't get soggy...) with a dried-out-sponge texture and basically no flavor, and there was too much of it. The onions were so greasy it looked like they had been boiled in oil and scooped out oil and all. The meat was completely missing any seasoning and was overcooked. The cheese wasn't melted into the meat (I went w/ Provolone, I can hear it now people saying I should have gone w/ wiz...). What I will give to it is the smelling cheesesteak ever, probably due to the number of steaks they've cooked on that griddle.
Maybe it is the real deal, maybe it's famous, and certainly I'm not from philly. So I realize that many will find that "I don't know what I'm talking about"...but I'll tell you what...the best cheesesteak I've ever eaten, by a country mile, is at Defalco's (Scottsdale Road & Oak, roughly). Order it with mushrooms and onions.

I haven't had every cheesesteak in Phoenix either, but I've had my share, and seriously, if you can find one that you think is better than Defalco's (and you've HAD ONE at Defalco's) I'll go down there today and order myself one.

Can you guys tell I'm hungry? lol

Just thought I'd share... :)

Nov 26, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Why do so many taco joints have "berto" in their name?

well, I'll too old to be out at 4:00 am anymore, but I was out at like maybe a quarter to 2:00 on a monday morning a few weeks back and they were open with several cars in line at the drive thru. (Juliobertos, 7th St & Glendale). I was under the assumption they were 24 hrs, but maybe just open late.

Jul 10, 2011
dombey in Phoenix


China Magic has great dumplings. it's one of the few things on the menu I can recommend; and one of the few chinese dishes I've had anywhere in phoenix that reminded me of food in China. I was actually just telling the wife we need to drive out there from CenPho and order like 3 orders of them for dinner.

Jun 05, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Los Taquitos CenPho location

that's great news on the business - probably just our consumption patterns differing...

May 08, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Los Taquitos CenPho location

Hi All, we've visited the seconday location for Los Taquitos (16th St & Glendale) a few times now and I think it is time for a quick review...

Besides being WAY closer than the original on Eliott Rd, it's way less busy as well. They have recently launched some awesome happy hour deals ($1 tacos, $3 Margaritas)...which probably has to do with the lack of business. They are situated in sort of a hard-to-see and slightly off the beaten path location, so I'm hoping they don't struggle and eventually close because no one knows it is there (support your locals!! :) )
As far as the food goes, I think it is pretty close to the original Los Taquitos, so if you like their food you're probably going to like this location especially if it saves you $10 in gas.
The service has been super spotty, which is sad because there are rarely a ton of people in there - seems like almost every time I go in, I wind up with 2 burritos or 2 of the 3 varieties of tacos I ordered. They seemingly have a TERRIBLE cash register that requires an excessive amount of touchscreen use to enter and order...seems like every time you tell them what you want, they are tapping the screen for (not kidding) 20 seconds and then they say "so you wanted what kind of tacos?" It's like they have to enter a 50-character password and answer 5 security questions to turn the register on... but I digress...
Anyways, some of the original owners are in periodically and the service really steps up when they are on site. The food has always been what we expected, our fave being the al pastor tacos.
If you're in the area, which is strangely devoid of mexican joints (unless you count Qdoba or Ajo Al's), check it out -

May 07, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

check it out

The wife and I have been missing our favorite Cambodian place in the Twin Cities since we moved, so we were extremely happy to see Sekong by Night open up nearby us in Central Phoenix. (Indian School & 12th Street)
We visitied today (Saturday) and the place was really pretty enjoyable. My wife had the seafood soup (squid, shrimp, fishballs, a variety of greenery and noodles), and it was delicious. I had the chicken curry which was pretty tasty as well. While I was given a spoon and fork and my wife chopsticks and spoon (she's Korean, I'm not), the service was exceedingly friendly.
While I haven't been to cambodia, my wife is korean and I've lived in china for a long period of time and we like to think we know good asian food. This place is in our opinion one of the better places in town...assuming you don't like any of the McAsian food they serve at most places around town. You don't get more authentic than one of their soups that has pig uterus, heart, and liver in it...(didn't try that one, lol)
This place I believe is relatively new and I'd encourage you to try it - not only because I think you'll like it but I don't want them to go out of business!!!! They're currently the self-proclaimed only Cambodian restaurant in AZ.

Sekong by Night
1312 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014

May 07, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Noca - Sunday Simple Supper - Worst dining experience in Phoenix

I agree that the OP has a right to express opinions and that NOCA is a bit of a Phoenix sacred cow.
HOWEVER, what I don't like about the review, and possibly why people didn't respond to it in an entirely friendly manner, is that it doesn't take NOCA for what it is.
Yes it is in a strip mall, yes it is small and can be loud, yes the menu is limited during the week and extremely limited in prix fixe form on sundays, but those things help DEFINE what NOCA is as a restaurant: excellent quality food at reasonable prices; in a casual atmosphere. If NOCA was on Scottsdale road, in a prime location, with a massive menu, with sky-high prices, I would never go there and it would be just another high end scottsdale restaurant.
So what I'm getting at is that "worst dining experience ever" is totally unfair. I could say the same thing about ANY restaurant just because I don't like the way they chose to define their business, e.g., "Binkley's totally sucks because it is in the middle of nowhere" or "that place sucks because the menu is so large I can never decide on something".
Not every place is going to fit your preferences, but it doens't mean they are the worst place ever. For people whose preference is the food, NOCA hits the spot and IMO they have earned their excellent reputation. I'm admittedly a bit of a fanboi; since our first visit in July 2009, we've eaten there 15 times (per my opentable account history) and only once did I walk away somewhat disappointed. I can't think of any other restaurant I have been to in my life that is as consistently excellent and does it so affordably.

Mar 18, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Insane heat in the valley of the sun?

hot is relative. haven't found any place here that is really hot if you can really handle the heat. The hottest places we've ever been were all caribbean...but haven't been to any caribbean places in phoenix yet.

Mar 13, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Scotch - where to buy

Ok, so I was pretty disappointed...AZ Wine Co on scottsdale/thomas had about 12 ft of space allocated for Scotch, but at least half of it was empty (no stickers, either). In terms of assortment, they had a handful of bottles that I don't recall seeing at the big box stores, but in exchange they didn't have anywhere near the selection that you find at those places. Looks like maybe at one time they had more, and have scaled it back.

Any other ideas?

Feb 20, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Scotch - where to buy

excellent. The excuse I've been looking for to swing by Defalco's and buy a cheesesteak...heading down right now...I'll report back

thanks guys

Feb 19, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

Scotch - where to buy

Hi all,

Outside of BevMo, Total Wine, and Sportsman's, are there any places in phoenix offering a large selection of scotch (preferably different selection than those above)?

There are quite a few places in the US that stock 300+ bottles (the places above are nowhere near that)...I'm just hoping to find some more unusual stuff.


Feb 19, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

best green chile in town?

I've been to Los Dos, Rosita's, Richardson's (before it burned down), Roaring Fork, Z Tejas and Carlsbad Tavern (and Ranch House grill, again before it burned down) - but I didn't have the GC anywhere except Ranch House, Rosita's and Los Dos. I'll have to head back and check them out.
Some other's I've had but didn't think were ridiculously outstanding are Los Taquitos (good, not fantastic), Via Delosantos (ok), Valle Luna (ok), El Nopalito (pretty good) and a few other randoms that we haven't returned to.

For what it is worth, my fave in AZ right now is at the Pork Shop in Queen Creek - they smoke the meat before making the chili and it is insane!!! I believe it is only available in a burrito for like $3. Killer peppered bacon there, too. :)

Carlsbad Tavern
3313 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

El Nopalito
2831 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

Roaring Fork
4800 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Via Delosantos
9120 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

Los Taquitos
4747 E Elliot Rd Ste 17, Phoenix, AZ 85044

Jan 04, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

best green chile in town?

distance no object as long as it is in the general phoenix metro area; preferably available in burro form but not required...

Jan 02, 2011
dombey in Phoenix

China Magic Noodle House

The wife and I have been meaning to try the China Magic Noodle House for months after reading that they make their own noodles fresh to order. The only thing keeping us from trying it is the 30 minute drive from Central Phoenix (it's on Dobson & Warner in Chandler).

I spent 8 months living in China and it wasn't an american tour. I lived with Chinese roommates and ate in local street markets the majority of the time I was has been 10 years since I left. I'm not going to say I haven't found good chinese food in the US since returning, but I have to say that what we ate today at China Magic was the first place that actually reminded me of dishes we actually had in China in terms of texture and taste. (ie I've had great food especially in NY and SF, but never saw or ate those dishes while in china)

We didn't get to sample much of the menu, as I had already eaten and we just stopped to get my wife something to eat. We started with the steamed dumplings. Depending on what you're used to, you might not dig them...but they have incredibly thick, chewy skins that were obviously made by the same noodle guy (who I'll talk about in a minute) minutes before stuffing w/ filling and steaming them. The difference between these and most dumplings you get in the US is substantial; it's a texture thing as much as it is taste. No see-through skins here. Probably the thickest, chewiest skins I've had in the US and it brought me back to China...and I loved it!!! Some of the best meals I had in China (and there were many great ones) consisted of dumplings, and I haven't really had anything like it again until today.
Best part was you get 8 large dumplings for like 5 bucks.

For our entrees we both got noodle soups. I had the beef soup, the wife had a seafood soup. Like $6 each. HUGE portions compared to most places; there is a large grapefruit-sized ball of noodles in the bowl. The noodles are the star...there is this guy behind a display window (with a tip jar, lol) that you can watch make your noodles to order. He does it the traditional way, spinning and slapping them around. You just don't see that kind of stuff in the southwest very often, and I'm very happy to see it!! The texture is completely different from most noodle soups you get for the same reason the dumplings were so great - chewy texture and great flavor. The soup base was flavorful and the beef tender - not the best soup I've ever had but it was pretty dang good.
The wife scarfed her entire bowl, and she claims we're making the 30 minute drive again in the near future.

They have a lot of different types of noodles and dishes on the menu; I'm planning on ordering the dumplings and something new next time we go...

Anyways, as you can probably tell, I'm a fan and we're exicited to have this place in town.

Dec 11, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

Steak sandwich ??

Keegan's on 32nd/Camelback has a great "Taproom Steak Sandwich". FIrst had it like literally 15 or 20 years ago and haven't really found one I like better...

Dec 04, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

Suggestions for great Sushi that is moderately priced / affordable?

Yasu is my choice as well for moderately priced. Honestly I haven't found sushi I thought was better anywhere else, although Yasu is very reasonably priced for Phoenix.

Nov 21, 2010
dombey in Phoenix


yeah as was mentioned before, I think Delux is WAY overrated. They use good ingredients and all, but I just think the burgers at 25 degrees simply taste better. I'd give delux another shot but the wife refuses to go again. :) such is life

3146 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Oct 17, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

Best Butcher in Phoenix?

yeah there is a place called "Gourmet Imports Wild Game" somewhere in phoenix that can get you a whole side of hippopotamus on a few days of notice. I'm sure they sell to anyone in the area claiming to be able to order "whatever you want". If you call the number and get the voicemail it says something about "if you're calling from africa about a delivery..." (or at least it used to).
I don't get the pork belly not being available at hobe. But you can get it at some of the asian places around town like the Super L.

Sep 14, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

Where are the best baby back ribs?

actually you can achieve "fall-off-the-bone" without those cooking methods. Those methods just speed up the process and help keep them from drying out, but it can definitely be done without.
Technically, falling off the bone means it is overcooked, but many people prefer their ribs that way. You'd get killed in a bbq competition but hey if that is what you like, prepare it that way by all means!
And for the record, best ribs are the ones I make in my smoker. :)

Sep 14, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

where to buy kaffir tree?

Hi guys,
Just went by Tropica on Broadway and Central; they don't have any in stock and don't plan on it any time soon...anyone know another place that would have kaffir lime trees?

Aug 01, 2010
dombey in Phoenix


yeah, so we didn't know about this place either until last week. Wound up going there with a group. Apparently it is owned by one of the AZ senators, which means absolutely nothing about the food, but maybe it serves as a front to launder campaign finances or something...:)
I'll save everyone some time and say it's just average unless you're really into cheese. Cheese was a bright spot for those that ordered it, but there were many selections on the menu that our group ordered and they were out of.

We avoided a bottle of wine because we drink quite a bit and we know what it costs at retail, and this place is worse than most in terms of markup. I had a glass of the Juan Gil monastrell (which is one of the best all time value wines, IMO) for something like $8.50 for a small glass; the bottle is $12.99 retail...that was one of the better sounding deals to me in terms of value. Wine list I think won some awards but it didn't really blow anyone away.

My wife and I started with the shrimp ceviche. Besides being diced way too finely, it tasted fine but I could have been anywhere having that same dish...nothing remarkable or memorable.
I had the duck on a bed of red wine risotto and some sort of gastrique...everything was fine except the risotto was so al dente I was picking it out of my molars for an hour afterwards. Other guests had various pasta dishes and found them unpleasantly al dente as well...
My wife had the nicoise and the seared tuna was edible but "not that fresh"...according to the wife. I didn't taste it because, as a rule, I don't taste things that people say aren't fresh...ha. :)
After the experience we skipped dessert.
Overall, totally forgettable and not cheap, either.
Parking was excellent; they have an attached lot.
We won't be back....there are just a lot better options for the money.

Jul 15, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

Delux v ? Burger place

I'll throw 25 degrees out there. My wife and I HEAVILY prefer to delux. Heck, I prefer Smashburger to delux.
We're all about big flavor, and delux just always comes across as bland.
I haven't had too many burgers in Phoenix so 25 degrees might not be in the running for best, but I definitely think it is better than delux.

Apr 21, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

It's PHX. Who brings the heat?

if you really want hot, like in essentially all cities, you're gonna need to find carribbean food.
Thai chilis, jalapenos, serranos, etx just aren't really hot. You can't make the food hotter than the chili itself even if you add a bunch. Hence, foods that feature these chilis just generally aren't that hot if you're into really hot.
Really the only cuisine I've ever had that I have thought twice about going back (due to extreme heat) is carribbean. I order all of my stuff XXX hot, Thai hot, 10/10 hot, whatever the magic words are at the place in question, and I love it. But a couple of carribbean places have put me in my place over the years.
Never had anything at an indian place that was really hot either, probably never found one using ghost chilis though....I'm sure if used correctly it will melt your face.
Haven't been to any carribbean places in Phx yet; but if you search specifically maybe you'll find a serious one.

Apr 19, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

Zinburger - Biltmore Fashion Park (first visit)

I'll echo what other have already said...this place is mediocre.
The wife and i hit it the other day after work as (my wife claims) their website clearly said "join us for happy hour' - we got there and, of course, no happy hour.
Not a big deal. We ordered beers - a widmer hefe for me and a black butte porter for the wife (you can't fault the beers on tap). They arrived a few minutes later and were COMPLETELY flat. Some people like their beers more carbonated than others, but both of us spent our college years in oregon, and we contributed the majority of our free cash during that period to the Widmer Brothers and the Deschutes brewery - we know exactly how much carbonation is supposed to be there, and these beers were FLAT.
We sent it back (which we usually reserve for the terrible) and were presented minutes later with new glasses of beer. Oddly enough, overly carbonated and sort of an odd head on each...we were left wondering if they have a soda carbonator that they blasted our beers with? It was striaght up strange.
On to the food...we couldn't decide between the truffle fried with truffle aioli and the fried zucchini...turns out we should have avoided both. Both were very soggy and underseasoned, we left most of both. I mean really soggy. Could have sent it back if I didn't already send the beers back...
Burgers were the best part of the meal...but still nothing to write home about. I'm not a fan of delux but they seemed about on par, despite very different ingredients. I'm more of a 25 degrees guy, and I think 25 degrees is so far superior it shouldn't really be mentioned in any kind of a comparison...
Bill was damn near $60 if I recall correctly. For mishandled beers, soggy apps and fine but not great burgers, we won't be back.

Apr 19, 2010
dombey in Phoenix

PHX - Best Coffee Roaster?

Hi All,

Looking for a really great coffee roaster in phoenix area to buy some beans...something substantially better than the beans you find in the supermarkets everywhere in town...starbucks, peet's, allegro, etc.
Does one exist? Seems like all the places I've found on the net have closed recently or don't sound that hot.


Nov 15, 2009
dombey in Phoenix