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Pls review my Scottsdale rest choices-what am I missing?

You are dead on with your Old Town dinner choices. CPH is awesome and FnB is my favorite spot not only in Scottsdale but the Phoenix metro area, it is our favorite place to take out of town visitors. Between the local wine list and local ingredients you will get a great taste of what our state has to offer. I recommend that when you are at FnB you at least have a glass of our AZ wine. Callaghan Vineyards is my favorite winery out here, Dos Cabezas is another one that we frequently will pull out to convince doubters that AZ produces some really good wine.

I am not sure if you know about CPH's R+D cocktail bar. If you and your girlfriends are at all into cocktails it's a must. Basically CPH has a semi secret cocktail bar upstairs. To get up there, you walk around the side of the building to find a staircase with a gate at the top. Call the number on the bottom of the stairs and they will come down get you and bring you up there. 90% of the cocktails have some sort of molecular component that they make in front of you (it's a really fun vibe), the 3 bartenders and one doorman that man the bar are incredibly friendly and passionate about what they do and the drinks are not all show they taste fantastic. My wife ordered the Gin and Tonic, they actually distilled the gin via bunson burner right in front of us. The drink was outstanding. Our favorite night in old is FnB followed by drinks at R+D. Kaz is great for wine, love the atmosphere and the list is quite impressive and a great choice if you want to go the wine route.

I couldn't agree more with Random about Herb Box and Barrio Queen. I definitely liked Herb Box over Zuzu for brunch and Barrio Queen is awesome, you are getting a Beard nominee doing street food and Silvana (the chef) can flat out cook, the food is inventive, yet comforting, definitely not your traditional Americanized Mexican food you get most places. All of these places are within a two block radius of each other.

For your other lunch you might want to take a look at Baratin. The owners at FnB launched a super casual spin off of FnB also in the same the area as the rest of your choices. Mission is great too, but if I am going to do one Mexican meal in old town particularly with more than a couple people I would do Barrio Queen. Cowboy Ciao is another one to throw in the mix. It is somewhat of an institution in old town. The CPH chef build his name as the head chef there and Pavle Milic the owner of FnB and Baratin made his name running front of house. We have always enjoyed our meals there but haven't been back since FnB opened (they are next door to each other, same price range, and my wife and I love FnB). Monarch is another one to consider for that last spot as well. It is a one man show. The place is very small one man cooks, waits tables, busses tables, runs front of house does it all and he does it really well. We have loved our meals there, great atmosphere and could be a killer place for a lazy lunch/brunch. If you go with Monarch I would be trying to make a reservation ASAP.

The weather is awesome that type of year and you are staying in the right part of town. You and your girlfriends are going to love it.

Have a great time.

Mar 05, 2012
bpreston in Phoenix

Weekend in Phoenix (downtown)

I like Teeter House (Nobuo) quite a bit, you could do a lot worse than staying there. I am not a fan of Province and would pass on that place. I would look at Arrogant Butcher (which is in the same complex as Stand Up Live) for that night. It's not overly fancy but we have always enjoyed the food there. If you have the time Pizzeria Bianco despite Chris Bianco no longer being behind the oven is always mentioned as among the country's best pizzas. Two more I like downtown are Breadfruit which is Jamaican food, and Sens an Asian tapas bar. You can also ride our safe clean light rail train up to Central and Camelback and walk to St. Francis which has great food and a really good setting. All of those will keep you from driving.

If you are willing to drive 30 minutes. FnB is my wife and I's favorite spot. Located in old town Scottsdale, amazing comfort food using local farmers and ranchers with an all Arizona wine list. It's truly something you can only get in Arizona at FnB. The service and food are as good as it gets in the valley. I guarantee you will walk away smiling from a night with Pavle and Charleen. If you decide to go the place is small and basically reservation only.

Hope this helps and you enjoy our cool 66 degree temperatures this weekend.

B

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Pizzeria Bianco
623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

The Breadfruit
108 E Pierce St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Sens
705 N 1st Street 120, Phoenix, AZ 85004

FnB
7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

St Francis
111 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012

Nov 02, 2011
bpreston in Phoenix

New Year's Trip to Dallas Need Help

Hounds,

My wife and I could definitely use your help. We are flying into Dallas for my brother in laws wedding on New Year's day. My wife and are definite foodies who will do a 10 course prix fixe menu happily but love nothing more than farm to table, fresh local food down really well absolutely no national chains. My in laws make this a little bit more challenging. My mother in law and the couple getting married are conservative in taste and budget. We won't be doing all of our meals with them but need to have options that come as close as we can to satisfying both options. We will be staying near Love Field. Here is what we are looking for:

Friday Night: We get in around 5pm so we would need something close to the hotel/airport that could accommodate the whole group, casual ideally where no reservations would be required.

Saturday Lunch: We would love to get great Texas BBQ again with the whole group.

Saturday Night (New Year's Eve): We will have access to the light rail/metro their in Dallas and would like to avoid driving that night if at all possible. Looking for three things 1. A place where the whole group could go and be happy. 2. Just the wife and I. 3. An area where with 2-3 laid back bars with great beer/wine/cocktails lists to meet the in laws and other wedding guests at after dinner.

Sunday (New Year's Day): Great bar to watch NFL games or Pizza take out in the area. Wedding is Sunday Night.

Monday Brunch/Lunch: Self Explanatory.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. This is going to be a tough trip to plan and make everybody happy.

Thanks again,
Brian
Phoenix Arizona

Nov 02, 2011
bpreston in Dallas - Fort Worth

Cava Tasting in Sant Sadurni

My wife and I were planning on taking the train from Barcelona to Sant Sadurni to do a half day or full day of cava tasting. I am wondering if anyone can recommend a winery or two to hit up for a tour and a couple of bodegas to taste some really exceptional cavas.

Thanks,
Brian

Mar 31, 2011
bpreston in Spain/Portugal

Kid-less vacation to PHX this weekend - where to eat?

FnB will be back from vacation this weekend and if you want to taste true Arizona cuisine you can't go wrong there. FnB right now is my favorite spot in the valley and is not far from the airport. You mentioned your husband is into craft beers. FnB has only one non local beer/wine on their menu it is Estrella Damm Inedit an amazing 16 dollar beer out of Spain created by one of the worlds top chefs and one of Spain's old breweries. Pavle Milic the owner will tell you the whole story, anyway the beer is jaw dropping worth the 16 dollars. The other place I would recommend is Noca which also is not that far from the airport. I have been to both places many times and never been disappointed. If you are looking for a great lunch spot Four Peaks Brewery over in Tempe is also not far from the airport and has great local beers. For breakfast Essence Bakery is known nationwide for their croissants, easily the best I have ever had. Pizzeria Bianco is either raved about or considered greatly over rated, regardless it is consistently ranked as the best pizza in the United States. If you go check the board for the best procedure on getting a table (waits have been known to be as long as four hours if you get there at the wrong time) I think the place is worth it.

Hope this helps,
BP

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Pizzeria Bianco
623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Essence Bakery Cafe
825 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

Four Peaks Brewery Company
1340 E 8th St # 104, Tempe, AZ

Noca
3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

FnB
7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Aug 17, 2010
bpreston in Phoenix

Cancun/Riviera Maya Seafood Specialities

My fiancee and I are getting married at a resort in the Riviera Maya during the month of October. The Chef at the resort has offered to cook us any meal we want to celebrate the occasion. I am wondering what seafoods are fresh and particularily tasty in the region. Are there any unique/special preparations we should ask for?

Thanks,
Brian

Aug 09, 2010
bpreston in Mexico

What are the must hit trucks at the LA Street Festival?

We are getting in on Wednesday, bummer as that Tuesday deal sounds great. I love the tips and will definitely be making a point to hit the spots on the list.

Thank you so much,
Brian

Jul 19, 2010
bpreston in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Saturday Morning Farmers Market in the LAX/Seal Beach Area

I am coming in from out of town and will be having Sunday Brunch at a family members house and would like to bring something tasty. Are there any farmers markets in that area on Saturday Mornings? If so any great items to be picking up this time of year?

Thanks,
Brian

Jul 19, 2010
bpreston in Los Angeles Area

What are the must hit trucks at the LA Street Festival?

My fiancee and I will be coming in from out of town for the week concluding with the festival. We paid the extra 20 bucks per person for the VIP tickets. Which vendors are can't miss? I really appreciate the help.

Thanks,
Brian

Jul 18, 2010
bpreston in Los Angeles Area

Moving from San Francisco

The replies thus far have been pretty much dead on. In terms of farmers markets downtown Phoenix and Old Town Scottsdale have the largest selection and best quality both run Saturday mornings with Downtown also doing a much subdued version on Wednesday nights. I have been doing my best to be a locavore for the last 3-4 years if you need recommendations for vendors I have tried most of the farms and ranches and definitely have my preferences.

In terms of restaurants FnB is one of the best things to happen to the valley in the 10+ years that I have lived here. They are almost exclusively local, sustainable and organic. Great comfort food cooked by a chef who can flat out cook, Pavle Milic the owner knows everyone who comes in there by name if you end up living in Scottsdale you will be a regular in there. Pizzeria Bianco is a great experience keep in mind that Chris Bianco the owner and chef was forced out of the kitchen earlier this year for health reasons. I haven't been back since he left the reports seem to be very much hit or miss on whether or not the magic is still there. Bianco is a huge local food guy here in Phoenix truly one of the guys who was doing it before it was popular. Matt of Matt's Big Breakfast was a bartender at Bianco and does great local breakfasts across the street from the Downtown Farmers Market. Pastabar, Parlor, and Gallo Blanco are all big supporters as well and are great casual spots. If you want something local and unique I don't think there is another restaurant in the US quite like Kai. Kai does Native American/Southwest cuisine the service and presentation are over the top truly a special occasion spot but worth the splurge. In terms of Mexican food I am with Phoenix99 16th street is great. I personally love Barrio Cafe and La Condesa does one of the best fish tacos I have ever had along with a killer house made salsa bar. Phoenix is definitely nowhere near San Fran yet but I think you will find some great hits to keep you happy.

Welcome to the valley,
BP

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

Kai
5594 W. Wildhorse Pass Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226

Pasta Bar
705 N 1st Street 110, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Gallo Blanco Cafe
401 W Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013

The Parlor Pizzeria
1916 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

FnB
7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop
1919 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

Jul 04, 2010
bpreston in Phoenix

POSH Scottsdale - ugh, what an expensive disappointment

I went in there expecting what they advertise that I would pick proteins and other choices the chef would customize my meal based off of those preferences. Unless the chef felt every other person in restaurant had my exact same taste in food he failed to deliver on the concept. I would have been content if I had seen at least one alternate choice for each course, which at least on that particular night I did not. Every two top was eating the exact same dishes. At the price point he is shooting for you had better be able to whip up some very tasty food and after the 8 dishes that I tasted I was unable to find one that I would want to order again even if I could, I do applaud your math skills. If you want to try the place the link below will get you a 90 dollar gift card for 45. So go for it my gift to you.

http://www.localdines.com/locations/P...

Happy dining

May 03, 2010
bpreston in Phoenix

POSH Scottsdale - ugh, what an expensive disappointment

For what is worth I am right there with you. Maybe they were having an off night we went too. To start with the all of the parking spots that were reserved for Posh in the garage were occupied. So we had to park across the street at the mall. When we get up there the place is virtually empty. We point out the parking issue to the hostess who responds "oh yeah well the residents of the condo complex like to park there." If I owned the place I would be towing everyone of those cars. It was a bad start. In terms of the concept there are some issues here. If I really found something there that I liked I couldn't go back and get it again the next night. My partner and I also found ourselves trading dishes all night because I preferred this to that or vice versa. It was somewhat insulting to see all of the other diners eating the same dishes. This is not improvisational cuisine. The chef found away to offer basically one tasting menu with a couple variations to every diner. I would have no problem with this if they stated that, instead you go in believing you are getting a meal customized to your tastes when that is really not the case. The food wasn't very good. It was ok but nothing that would make me want to put up all of the other problems. The price point is also quite high, I could eat and have a glass or two of wine at Noca or FnB or simply eat at Binkley's or Kai for the same price. You won't see me back at Posh again....

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Binkley's
6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Noca
3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

FnB
7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

May 02, 2010
bpreston in Phoenix

Scottsdale Must Eats? 1 week visit.

FnB hands down it's right there in old town, Pavle Milic provides some of the best and most fun service I have ever had eating out. The food is simple sustainable and as good as you will eat in the valley. I would make a reservation and request to sit at the counter. Charlene is doing a mozzerella, leek appetizer topped with a fried egg that is outstanding. Killer mains and this is a woman who can do deserts as well too so save room. You can thank me later. Have a great time this week the weather is beautiful right now.

BP

http://fnbrestaurant.com/

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FnB
7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Apr 05, 2010
bpreston in Phoenix

Anything new in Scottsdale?

I have been to all of the places listed below and will tell you FnB will not disappoint. Hands down the best service I have ever received. It's a small place so you will likely sit at the counter and if you get corner it will be great for conversation. Great atmosphere and some of the best food in town. The chef uses local seasonal ingredients and executes flawlessly this is comfort food done to perfection. You likely won't have a better experience in the valley than what you will have at FnB.

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FnB
7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Mar 21, 2010
bpreston in Phoenix

Phoenix hound looking for Arlington/Dallas spots

Potager sounds perfect for Saturday Night will we need to make reservations? Could you recommend a good Texas winery to pair with the food? This sounds perfect. Thank you so much for the tip on Potager it will also give us a little more money for a nice meal Friday Night.

Thanks again,
BP

Mar 07, 2010
bpreston in Dallas - Fort Worth

Phoenix hound looking for Arlington/Dallas spots

My fiance and I are coming into town next month for the America's Run Half. Here is what I have and am looking for.

Friday 4/9
Lunch: Off the Bone BBQ
Dinner: Looking for something a little unique to Texas 15-30 per main dish range reasonably close to the Cowboys Stadium which is where we will be staying.

Saturday:
Lunch: at the Mariners Rangers game
Dinner: We are locavores here in Phoenix and would love to find a great farm to table place that focuses on local Dallas/Fort Worth purveyors

Sunday
Post Race: Some place reasonably close with great food and large portions so I can replenish my body late on a Sunday afternoon.

All suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Brian

Mar 07, 2010
bpreston in Dallas - Fort Worth

yasu, so so.

We went on a Friday night and had a similar experience a few months back. The food we ordered that they actually had was outstanding some of the best Asian cuisine we have had in the valley. The problem was they seemed to be out of quite a few things and this was 6:30 on a Friday Night. The whole pacing thing I thought was intentional until we ordered one last dish.

At that point our waiter disappeared, 15 minutes go bye, water glasses empty, beer glass empty, 30 minutes go bye still no sign of our waiter, 45 minutes after we ordered that dish go bye and I am full on pissed. I grab another waiter and ask for check now he said he would send our waiter over. Another 15 minutes go bye and at this point I am wondering if we just drop some cash on the table leave. Waiter shows up a full hour after we ordered the dish and says it should be coming out any second, do we want to wait for it he is borderline pleading with us to stay going as far to bring out his manager saying "the dish is coming right now, you want the food it will be here any second" but doesn't offer to comp the last dish we ordered. I couldn't believe it. To me that is such a basic simple thing. I have steam coming out of my head and want nothing more then to get out of there. My girlfriend convinces me to leave a tip small but something because the food we ate was so good and that the cooks will likely receive at least some of the tip. We got out of there fast and got some Mary Coyle to finish up the night.

We talk every couple of weeks about going back to Yasu because the food was so good, but in the end our lasting impression is the service at the end of the meal was so bad we end up going somewhere else. Too bad..........

Sep 08, 2009
bpreston in Phoenix

Looking for a Saturday Farmers Market between LAX and Anaheim

Thanks guys I like easy and for an additional 20 minutes looks like Irvine is the way to go. If you ever come out to Phoenix let me know and I will return the favor.

Thanks,
BP

Sep 03, 2009
bpreston in Los Angeles Area

[PHX] Welcome Diner closing ... serving only First Fridays??

I would love to see the Welcome do more events like they did with Nobuo Fukuda and use the Diner to showcase cuisine put together by other great chefs or those who are trying to start their own restaurants. San Francisco does this with the Mission Street Food Experience and it is amazing packed twice a week great food at cheap prices giving chefs great exposure.

Sep 03, 2009
bpreston in Phoenix

Looking for a Saturday Farmers Market between LAX and Anaheim

My girlfriend and I are coming for the Disneyland Half Marathon and are going to a BBQ Saturday Night put on by some friends and would like to bring something fresh and good. Wondering if there are any farmers markets in that area on Saturday Morning? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
BP

Sep 03, 2009
bpreston in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Napa/Sonoma Tips

Hounds,

Could use some help here. My girlfriend and I are coming up from Phoenix the last week in May for a work conference in San Fran. We would like to stay the weekend in the bay and head up to wine country for a night or two (May 30th and possibly 31st).

Here is what I am looking for:

Great Tour Experiences: Neither one of us wants to drive. This is mandatory so we are going to need to get a driver or tour. What has been the best deal when it comes to this.

Wineries to visit: We enjoy all varietals to the point where we would like to spend less than 30 dollars a bottle.

Where to eat: The GF and I are both hounds so we want to eat really well while we are there. Not willing to spend the 700 or so bucks per couple for French Laundry but would have no problem dropping 300-400 for the right special meal.

Thanks for the help,
BP in Phoenix

Report: Tuck Shop (PHX)

After hearing so much about the Tuck Shop last week the girlfriend and I were excited to try it. It sounded like it would be right up our alley. A local place, focused on simple local ingredients, relatively close to our home, in a true neighborhood. I walked in and fell in love with atmosphere, this place is cool, what a great vibe they have running in there, I want my house to look and feel the way the Tuck Shop does. Two minutes after walking in I find out they have local beer available and I got more excited. The girlfriend and I waited 45 minutes and became more excited seeing how the happy diners packed into the place were enjoying themselves and presumably the food. After 45 minutes we were extremely hungry when we sat down. The menu looks great, we had a hard time deciding what to order but again the Tuck Shop comes through with the small plate format where low prices and smaller portion sizes encourage you to order 4-5 plates and share them amongst two people. I had seen this excuted to near perfection at Cork a couple months prior. We were really hungry and really excited about the place and ordered six.

That is where things took a turn, we told the waiter to bring the dishes out in three rounds of two dishes each. With the idea of being able to keep all the food hot and enjoy each dish rather than feeling rushed. I explained this to him and apparently he didn't understand the concept as the food came to our table all at once. Try getting 6 plates on a two top plus to regular plates for actual eating. No big deal if the food is good. The problem was the food wasn't good. It wasn't bad either just not particularily good. None of the six dishes had me saying "that is a great dish or I would come back for that". The Mac and Cheese was a great example, it's Mac and Cheese with prosciutto, the nature of the dish is that it is ok going to be creamy and savory then the prosciutto gives you the salty, short of doing this with velvetta it will taste good and there's did, but there was nothing that made it stand out.

I see all of these great reviews and can't help but wonder how much of the praise is due to the setting rather than the actual food. The atmosphere, location, menu and concept are all top notch, if the food was even close to as good as everything else about the place I would be a regular. I really want to give the place one more chance but am having a hard time justifying it for very mediocre food.

Feb 02, 2009
bpreston in Phoenix

Rose Bowl/Ontario Help

My father and I are flying in New Year's eve for the game the next day. I am looking for help on three topics.

1. I get in New Years eve around 7pm via Ontario. My mother is a vegetarian who won't be on the trip so when ever my Dad sees me he is looking to get a healthy dose of Red Meat, Pork, Chicken etc. Both of us are fairly adventurous with my preference being for "Farm to Table" cuisine. We are looking for a casual place between Ontario and Pasadena that will cover us for New Years Eve.

2. If any of you have been to the game we will be looking for a Pub/Bar or Tailgate between the end of the Parade approx 10am and the game at 2pm. My father is a Penn State grad and I am an ASU Sun Devil so USC suggestions will not be welcome. ;)

3. Lastly we will be looking for a good lunch place on the way back to Ontario for our respective flights out late Friday afternoon.

I appreciate the help,
Brian

Dec 29, 2008
bpreston in Los Angeles Area

Seattle's best cheap eats

Great tips guys, I read the book "Heat" about Mario Batali and forgotten about his Seattle start so Salumi is a must. We did Palomino last year which is one of my parents favorites and couldn't agree more, a killer happy hour. I hit Matt's at the Market up a few years ago and loved that place as well so you guys have clearly earned my ear great picks. I want to do some seafood so the mussels suggestions are awesome as well as some Asian food as that too is something we don't have a lot of in the valley (Phoenix).

Thanks again,
BP

Dec 14, 2008
bpreston in Pacific Northwest

Houston Help

Really appreciate the tips. We ended up going to the Farmers Market on Richmond Ave and were very impressed with the selection, we got some great Gulf Shrimp, Grass Fed beef, plenty of veggies and some jaw dropping Gelato. You all are blessed to have such a great Farmers Market as we don't have nearly the selection here in Phoenix that you all do there.

Thanks again,
Brian

Dec 14, 2008
bpreston in Houston

Portland Rose Quarter Happy Hour/Brewpubs

Guys, thanks for the tips we booked a room at the Crown Plaza next to the Arena, trip should be great. Probably check out Deschutes Brew Pub love their Mirror Pond has anybody been to the Brew Pub there?

Thanks again,
BP

Dec 14, 2008
bpreston in Pacific Northwest

Portland Rose Quarter Happy Hour/Brewpubs

My father and I will be taking the train down from Seattle on Tuesday the 23rd to get our NBA fix and are wondering where the best place to grab a beer and a bite is before the Blazers game we will have no car so within walking distance of the arena or short cab ride would be preferred.

Thanks,
Brian
Phoenix AZ

Dec 07, 2008
bpreston in Pacific Northwest

Seattle's best cheap eats

I will be up in Seattle for a week before XMas to visit my family and am looking for some great cheap eats/deals. My family hit up Tilth last year for a nice night out and loved it. That meal turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. I am sure we will be back there again this year but now I am looking for those great lunch/happy hour places. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Brian
Phoenix AZ

Dec 07, 2008
bpreston in Pacific Northwest

Houston Help

Messina Hof is very affordable any recommendations on which varietals are their best.

Thanks,
Brian

Oct 13, 2008
bpreston in Houston

Houston Help

This is great so for I can see doing some cheese and venison sausage to start follow that up with some gulf coast seafood with plenty of Veggies from Froberg and then a pie from there as well . What else do you all have how about Texas wineries? Gotta love the hounds always coming to the rescue.

Thanks again,
Brian

Oct 09, 2008
bpreston in Houston