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Last minute weekend picks- please help!

Lots of amazing places a much further drive away like Kai's at Wild Horse Pass and fabulous restaurants in North Scottsdale or Cave Creek but around the area there are lots of amazing places as well.

Every out of town guest I've ever taken to Lon's has been blown away... amazing hacienda ambiance & wonderful unique dishes. T Cooks is legendary but I've always found the food good but not great. Cowboy Ciao is an eclectic, foodie place, and a "can't miss" anytime I've been there.

One of great steakhouses is Mastro’s City Hall, which was started by longtime Scottsdale mayor Herb Drinkwater’s family. Further up the street is a wonderful local steakhouse called Dominicks... great ambience, live music and great setting. Another fav is Christophers… wonderful local chef who is a fav for intimate special dinners. Don't forget about Eddie's House, run by local chef Eddie Matney who always combines food in very unique dishes & this is much more casual. Elements at the Sanctuary Resort is fabulous. Vincent’s is a local very high end place fav that uses French cuisine with Southwestern flair.

For something really casual... Don & Charlie’s is just up the street & is a guy’s guy place with lots of sports memorabilia – a spring training favorite with decent food, great portions but mostly just a fun place to watch a ballgame & grab lunch. Wild Fish is noisy and a place to be seen for the young hip Scottsdale crowd.... good food but if you want great fish & a much more relaxing setting, I'd recommend Ocean Club about 10 miles north.

If you want to drive further, let me know & I can suggest others but the above list will serve you well within 5 miles of where you are staying (with the exception of Kai's & Dominicks).

Cowboy Ciao
7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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

Eddie's House
7042 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Nov 09, 2011
Indulgences in Phoenix

Oil vs. Butter in Muffins, Cakes, etc.

I'm Latina... we have a Mexican Christmas cookie that's like a shortbread but also made with anise like biscotti. It's called a Biscocito. It's ONLY made with lard. If you melt the lard first then cream it with sugar, you get the lighter consistency. I've had friends try to make it with canola oil, crisco and/or butter because lard is sooo unhealthy but nothing comes out with the flaky, light consistency or taste. You might want to try it!

Jun 17, 2011
Indulgences in Home Cooking

Best steak and wine with ambiance

If you go to Capital Grille, you MUST try the Kona Rub. I've taken dozens of people there & each time I recommend the rub. Most decline as it sounds awful... decaf coffee, carmelized shallot butter etc. But, when they taste my steak, each time they wish they would have ordered the rub. I get it on the bone in Delmonico... it's spectacular. Been to steakhouses all over the country and while the cuts of meat might be a bit superior, the Kona Rub makes Cap Grille my fav steakhouse in the entire country! Glad we have two here in Phoenix, but I do prefer the Biltmore location to North Scottsdale!

Capital Grille
16489 North Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Jun 17, 2011
Indulgences in Phoenix

please nominate: best tasting steak you have ordered in past 90 days

Excluding Kobe & Wagyu . . . the Bone in Ribeye at Metropolitan Grille in Seattle. The Kona Rub on aged Porterhouse or Bone-in ribeye at Capital Grille in Phoenix.

Jun 12, 2008
Indulgences in General Topics

True Steak Lovers

Ruths Chris isn't in the same category as Donovans, Mastros or Capital Grille. RC serves their steak on a scalding platter with boiing butter - totally changes the flavor fo the steak and has a tendency to overcook it.

In contrast, this hard-core carnivore LOVES the Kona Rub on anything at Capital Grille. My favorite cut is a bone-in ribeye but everything is good there and they always bring it rare just like I order it. The rub doesn't sound good -- brown sugar, coffee & shallots I think -- but it's indulgent. Every person whose ever accompanied me there has tasted my steak and loved it. Of course, you have to like rubs on your steak. If you prefer a plain old steak, try Donovans or Mastros. Donovans is quiet and relaxing. Mastros is noisy but romantic ambience if you can find a slower night - location in No Scottsdale is better than Fashion Square for Ambience. Capital Grille is much more masculine decor but it's much more quiet, if not romantic.

I eate at steakhouses around the country and Cap Grille is one of my top 5. But, you can't go wrong with Donovans or Mastros. Mortons and RC are a step below these three.

Durants is overrated. Old Phoenix money and old decor - lots of downtown professionals after dinner haunt because of convenience. It's not in the same league with any of the above steakhouses.

Jun 12, 2008
Indulgences in Southwest


Smith & Wollensky is nice but my favorite is Capital Grille. not sure why others don't like it. They have a Kona Rub that is wonderful on everything but especially their bone-in ribeye. It's my favorite steak and my favorite steakhouse in the entire country. Some don't like it because they prefer they steaks charred without rubs on them -- personal preference. However, every single person whom I've ever taken to CapGrille has LOVED the Kona Rub. It doesn't sound that good (coffee, brown sugar, shallots) but it's indulgent on the steak. I wouldn't have tried it but for the waiter's recommendation and now it's what I get every time I go back there.

Cap Grille is one of my favorite steakhouses in the country. It's as good as Coerpers in Milwaukee or Mastros in Phx-Scottsdale. I can't speak much about the local favorites but Cap Grille far exceeds any of the other options in my humble opinion.

Jun 12, 2008
Indulgences in Southwest

Ever been to Morton's in Phoenix?

Mortons and Ruth Chris are ok. The best steakhouses in Phx-Scottsdale are Capital Grille and Mastros. Both have great Prime & aged steaks. Capital Grille has phenomenal rubs like the Kona Rub; Mastros and Donovans are more traditional style - depends upon your taste. Capital Grille is more masculine type decor but quiet. Mastros is always noisy -- espcially Fashion Square location -- but if you can find the right night or time, it's much more romantic (try Pinnacle Peak location). Can't go wrong with Capital Grille, Donovans, or Mastros.

I hate Ruths Chris -- even thought I'm a bona fide carnivore -- as the steak gets served in a scalding hot dish bathed in boiing butter. It's far too rich, changes the taste of the steak, and if you like your meat rare, it's hard to get it cooked properly as it's as if the butter keeps cooking the steak while it's sitting on your plate.

If you go to Mastros, you have to share a dessert. They are decadent. My fav is the hot butter cake. Sounds disgusting and it would be if you were to eat the entire serving but it's wonderful for a few bites with an after dinner drink.

Enjoy the anniversary. However, after such a huge steak at any of these locations, not sure how much romance will follow.

Jun 12, 2008
Indulgences in Southwest

Phoenix area steakhouses

Ditto on the El Chorro comments. Great view and ambience . . . below average food. Best steakhouses in Phx/Scottsdale are Capital Grille or Mastros. Try the north scottsdale location of Mastros instead of downtown Scottsdale, whish used to be Drinkwaters. This location is much more quiet and doesn't get the "in" after work crowd that downtown Scottsdale gets. I still, however, prefer Capital Grille's Kona Rub on anything but especially on the bone-in ribeye. Phenomenal. Every person whom I've ever taken to CapGrille has tasted & loved the Kona Rub. It doesn't sound good (coffee, brown sugar, shallots) but it really brings out a great taste in the steak and forms a delicious crust on it as well. If you like rubs etc on your steaks, this will be your favorite.

Jun 12, 2008
Indulgences in Southwest

Steakhouses in greater Phoenix area

A huge carnivore, I've eaten at some of the best steakhouses around the country, but we in Phx/Scottsdale are blessed to have many wonderful selections. Two locations of Capital Grille and two of Mastros compete with any steakhouse in the country. Try the Kona Rub on anything at Cap Grille; my favorite is always the bone in rib-eye, which is marbled to perfection. Every single person I've ever eaten with has tried my Kona Rub and it soon became their favorite as well. Donovans has phenomenal steaks too but I like the rubs, quiet ambience of Cap Grille the best. All locations of Mastros (Drinkwaters is now Mastros too) are very very noisy. Mastros does have great aged steaks. Cap Grille is more of a masculine decor although quiet. Mastros has more ambience and romance although it gets so noisy, it's hard to enjoy the romance. Donovans also has great steaks but the preparation isn't quite as excellent as Mastros and Cap Grille. Cap Grille & Mastros are markedly better than RC& Flemings; and a little better than Donovans or Smith & Wollensky.

Don't be misled by the many locations of Cap Grille around the country. I'm convinved it's because many carnivores like me who travel often, want a top-notch steakhouse wherever they go inthe country. Unless there's a renowned local steakhouse like Coepers in Milwaukee or Metropolitan Grille in Seattle, I'll always choose CapGrille. Enjoy!

Oh by the way, for those who never eat at Ruths Chris, beware of steak coming in a hot metal platter of boiling butter. Wayyyyyy too rich and who needs more fat added to a great marbled steak. And even if you order your steak rare, it is often overcooked because it sits and "frys" in the butter on your plate. UUUGH.

Jun 12, 2008
Indulgences in Southwest

Five Seattle Dining Experiences Not to Be Missed?

Since others have offered the "distinctly Seattle" type restaurants, I'll leave that to the locals. I travel a lot on business and one of my favorite steakhouses inthe country is Metropolitan Grille in downtown Seattle. They have a wonderful Ribeye and the Kobe steak is phenomenal. However, for the difference in price, their normal aged ribeye is almost as good as the Kobe. My favorite food is steak so you won't find me indulging in a sushi and other delights from the Pacific NW, but when you want a good hearty steak with great service, a nice wine list, and phenomenal steak, try Metropolitan Grille. It's my first stop every time I'm in town.

Jun 12, 2008
Indulgences in Pacific Northwest

Great steak in Milwaukee

Capital Grille is my favorite steak house in the country - (although I've never eaten at the Milwaukee location) ... followed shortly thereafter by Coerpers (although it's been years since I've been in Milwaukee).. You'll love the Kona Rub at Capital Grille. It's Kona coffee, brown sugar, etc. In fact, this is probably the same reason that I love Koerpers because of how they charbroil their steaks with a sugar rub. Capital Grille is a man's type decor - not really romantic but phenomenal wine, outstanding service, & quiet. Coerpers is in downtown Milwaukee, in kind of a seedy area but it's frequented by many professionals from downtown. It's been a while since I've been there but the decor used to be very old style steakhouse and a bit noisy (has that changed with new name & management?) I've eaten at steakhouses around the country when I travel om biz as it's my favorite meal and nothing holds a candle to these two steakhouses. Don't be fooled by fact the Cap Grille has multiple locations . . . that's likely because people like me want an always reliable upscale steakhouse and will seek one out whereever we travel. I hate other franchises like Mortons & Ruths Chris & tolerate some like Donovans because they have such great cuts of meat. But I tend to love the local favorites like Coerpers in Milwaukee, Metropolitan Grille in Seattle or Mastros in Phoenix . . . all that being said, I'd never pass up a chance to eat the Kona Rub on a bone-in ribeye at CapGrille. Some cuts of meat are aged, others have phenomenal dry rub. Nice wine list too.