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Diners, drive-ins & dives LV

I concur with Hash House a Go Go but only the first one way out by the I-215. There are now others in strip hotels and they are disappointing. Surprised no one has mentioned Nevada Chicken Cafe. I can picture Guy working the ribs and chicken on the broiler.

May 04, 2013
Poerz in Las Vegas

Are there still any hidden gems in Phoenix metro?

Many:
Los Reyes de la Torta has the best sandwich in Phoenix, the Torta Cubana.
Tacos Atoyac has had national recognition as a taqueria.
Carolina's for lunch. Yes, it's a dive but outstanding and very inexpensive Mexican food.
Rice Paper for Vietnamese.
Gallo Blanco for slightly upscale Mexican.
Barrio Cafe for upscale Mexican by a nationallly recognized chef.
Rito's for green or red chile burritos. That's the menu and there is no sign outside but you'll know you are there by the cars.
Matt's Big Breakfast. The best.
Food trucks on Friday from noon-2pm located at Central and Roosevelt.
Lolo's Chicken and Waffles. They've torn down the dump they used to be in and moved into new quarters next door. Food is the same but I miss the atmosphere.
The original America's Taco Shop on 7th street just north of McDowell.

May 04, 2013
Poerz in Phoenix

Are there still any hidden gems in Phoenix metro?

Michael Rusconi was the long time chef at Lon's. This is his first solo restaurant and is worth a visit.

May 04, 2013
Poerz in Phoenix

Dinner/lunch near Arizona Biltmore

There are a number of restaurants at the nearby mall but none that I would go out of my way for. At 24th Street and Osborn is newly opened Bink's from Chef Kevin Binkley of Binkley's in Cave Creek. Definitely worth a visit. At 32nd Street and Camelback is Central Bistro that I've found to be a cut above anything at the mall. Down on Indian School at about 36th Street is Beckett's Table which is excellent. None of these would be considered on the tourist circuit and are really designed as neihborhood restaurants. All are top notch.

May 04, 2013
Poerz in Phoenix

Great Mexican near airport?

Secreto's is definitely New Mexican. They have some good items but it's not even close to Mexican food. Carolina's is the Mothership and is every bit as much a dive as described. Keep in mind the airport is very close to 16th Street which is the Mexican restaurant row of Phoenix. Lots of good choices such as Phoenix Ranch Market, La Condesa and Barrio Cafe, generally considered one of the best Mexican restraurants is the country.

Apr 25, 2012
Poerz in Phoenix

Best Sausages / Hot Dogs / Hamburgers for grilling - large bbq

Try the Kobe by letting it marinade for a bit in a mixture of Worstershire and A1. I add a Memphis style rub to it and cook it medium rare.

Apr 25, 2012
Poerz in Phoenix

Italian tapas in Phoenix?

I've never had Italian Tapas so I have no idea. For authentic Spanish Tapas try Iruna in Scottsdale.

Apr 25, 2012
Poerz in Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix for 5 nights....food/drink recs

Lot's of good suggestions. Central Ave. has lots of places many of which are mentioned. Pane Bianco is Chris Bianco's sandwich shop. If you are there on Friday, try the food trucks on Central just south of Roosevelt. Also accessible via light rail and just minutes away is Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe, which has a national reputation. A short cab ride away is Lolo's Chicken and Waffles which is an experience you will talk about when you get home.

Apr 25, 2012
Poerz in Phoenix

Good Mexican near Phoenix

Tacos Atoyac is spectacular. It's a place you would never go without a recommendation. But once you enter, you'll know it's going to be good. Pollo Mole if they have it as a special. Closer to Glendale is Los Reyes de la Torta on Indian School. Los Taquitos is very good. Consider Barrio Cafe on 16th St. Not that far by freeway and one of the best upscale Mexican restaurants in the country. Estilo DF or food in the style of Distrito Federale (Mexico City). Don't expect chips on the table.

Apr 25, 2012
Poerz in Phoenix

Boise Restaurants

I've been in Boise about three months working on a project and have managed to fit in some dining. I'm surprised so few people talk about Chandler's. Beautiful room and poilished service. Was disappointed in the steak and annoyed they use the word "prime" in their steak descriptions to mislead us into thinking they serve prime beef. Bar Gernika is a favorite. In expective but excellent Basque food. The Basque Market serves tapas as lunch as well as in the eveing several nights. Enjoyed this alot. Addie's for breakfast hands down the best I've hit for that meal yet. The Boise Fry Co. has decent burgers but great fries. You choose from 5-6 types of potatoes, then select how you want them cooked. Lot's of dipping sauces, Etc. I like Berryhill's and they have a very good happy hour deal. Barbacoa to me is a restaurant in search of a concept. However, a drink outside on the deck overlooking the lake is outstanding. Now here's a suggestion that will surprise: The Castle Ranch Steakhouse inside the old Holiday Inn at the Airport (now the Boise Hotel & Conference Center) serves excellent RR Ranch beef and the filet is about as good as it gets. Several other non-beef items were excellent. Be sure and try the Huckleberry Ice Cream. it comes from Reed's Dairy said by Saveur Magazine as the best ice cream in the country. Right next door to the restaurant is Sports Page Bar with what I think is the best Happy Hour deal in Boise. With a drink you can get a 1/2 pound American Kobe Beef Bacon Cheeseburger for $2.95! If there's a better deal around I need to hear about it.

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Bar Gernika
202 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702

Sports Page
1425 Broadwater Ave, Billings, MT 59102

Happy Hour Bar
15400 Hebgen Lake Rd, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Holiday Inn
10 E 120th Ave, Northglenn, CO 80233

Sep 24, 2011
Poerz in Mountain States

San Juan Puerto Rico

My son and his wife - adventurous explorers and diners - will be visiting San Juan at the end of this month. They will spend several days at Hotel Convento in the old city and several more at La Concha and are looking for dining and exploring suggestions. Our daughter in law does not eat meat but seafood is ok. Our son eats anything. They will enjoy non-touristy places. Although I don't anticipate it being an issue, our son is fluent in Spanish. Any suggestions for all meals and sights are appreciated.

A Chowhound from Arizona

Craving tacos Al Pastor-Phoenix

What about La Frontera, the taco truck at 16th St. and Van Buren? I haven't been there in awhile - my bad - but I seem to recall Tacos Al Pastor using a spit.

May 05, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Trapped in downtown Phoenix

Mrs. White's is a great recommendation. Correct on Matt's but let's add Roosevelt Tavern just down the street and owned by Matt for evenings. Also, LoLo's Chicken and Waffles in lower downtown. Larry Lo Lo White is Mrs. White's grandson I believe.

Apr 28, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Farm fresh Roma tomatoes

The downtown Phoenix Farmer's Market has lots of tomatoes from multiple vendors right now. There are also tomatoes at both Scottsdale and Town & Country farmer's markets. Those are via McClendon's and are a bit pricey.

Consider Phoenix Ranch Market for all types of produce. I've found their prices are usually the best in town and quality is generally pretty good. They've got scads of tomatoes right now but most - as with other grocery stores in town - are from Mexico.

Apr 27, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Trapped in downtown Phoenix

I'm often concerned when someone says northern Mexican restaurants because it often means Americanized platters of dished up food, covered in cheese and then heated to thermonuclear temperatures under a salamander. I've spent literally hundreds of nights in Mexico and never been cautioned, "be careful, the plate is hot."

The Phoenix dining scene has been changed by Mexican restaurants that are specializing in the cuisine of a particular area of Mexico. Look for "estilo de D.F." for example for Mexico City cuisine. Having said this, here are some great Mexican restaurants within an easy drive of downtown:

Barrio Cafe
Phoenix Ranch Market
Guero's Tortas (not nearly as great as Los Reyes de la Torta but much closer)
Carolina's
Rito's
America's Taco Shop
La Condesa

Other downtown places to consider:
Pane Bianco (Chris Bianco's sandwhich shop on Central)
Maizie's Cafe
Kincaid's (great happy hour with appetizers half off)
Local Breeze
Bella Italia (a bit north on 7th avenue near Indian School but really only a few minutes and worth it for inexpensive Italian)
Hanny's (not really a fan but probably worth adding for something simple, convenient, Etc.)

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Pane Bianco
4404 N Central Ave Ste A, Phoenix, AZ 85012

America's Taco Shop
2041 N 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ

Apr 27, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Hula-Review(PHX)

Stopped by before First Friday for drinks and appetizers during their Happy Hour program. Have heard very mixed reviews on the food and our apps seemed to support this. Sweet Potato Fries just didn't do it. Not crispy and no real sweet potato flavor. Shrimp Spring Rolls were equally tasteless and the (was it horseradish and lime?) that promised some bang was equally lame. It's a great room however open on all sides during the perfect weather and a great patio. Drinks were solid and a very good Mai Tai was just $5 during HH. Service was friendly and prompt. I'd go back for drinks but probably not to eat.

Apr 04, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Best Sandwich in Phx?

It's up earlier in this thread with a discussion of which sandwiches to order and the best bread strategy but feel free to chime in with more specifics on your experiences at MM.

Mar 31, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Solo dining at Pizzeria Bianco

The Clarendon is not really close to PB although you can get to/from the light rail with a bit of a walk. Closer properties are the Sheraton, Hyatt Regency and Wyndham although another to consider is the Lexington. This hotel is a bit further but right on the the light rail. Nothing too exciting but inexpensive and in a great neighborhood. None of these hotels including the Clarendon do much for me.

Mar 29, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Is there an upscale Mexcian restaurant in the Valley?

The places you have listed are generally chain operated "Americanized" Mexican places that primarily dish up pre prepared food off of steam tables, top it all with cheese and melt the daylights out of it. If you want great Mexican food at truly reasonable prices you have to hit the real places:
Carolina's
Los Taquitos
La Condesa
America's Taco Shop
Pepe's Taco Villa
Rito's
Guero's Tortas
Los Reyes de la Torta
Etc.

All of these and others can be searched on this site. they appear frequently.

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Pepe's Taco Villa
2108 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85015

America's Taco Shop
2041 N 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ

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

Mar 27, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

In town for two weeks. Need Recs

Most people stay close to home or work for breakfast but there have been industry studies that show breakfast to have the most loyal customer following over any other daypart. I have no idea why.

Mar 25, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

May be moving to Phoenix

Phoenix is gaining a reputation for Vietnamese food via mostly small mom and pop places. Cyclo was the first to gain attention but others, including Viet Kitchen in north Phoenix are good. I still like Lee's Sandwiches for Vietnamese style sandwiches on freshly baked baquettes. Lot's of sushi places and many of them are just plain weird. Seafood? Some but not what you're used to in Baltimore. Now, if you like real Mexican Phoenix is going through an authentic Mexican growth spurt. If you don't like real Mexican I would suggest you either learn to or stay in Baltimore! Just kidding but I travel alot and Phoenix has become a top notch food city in the past 10 years. You'll have no trouble finding good food.

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Viet Kitchen
20235 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85024

Mar 25, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Nine 05 in the 3rd St/Roosevelt area closes

Honestly, I never went so I can't comment first hand but heard from a lot of people and saw quite a few postings similar to GR8DESIGNER. I believe there are many good dining options downtown now including Pasta Bar, Fate, Matt's, Roosevelt Tavern, Etc. with more on the way at Cityscape. I've heard so many people complain about downtown dining but it's lightyears from where it was two years ago and picking up steam. What I really like is the diversity of options. From Taco Trucks - think Frontera at 7th and Van Buren to Fox's new steak and chophouse coming to Cityscape and lots in between.

Mar 25, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

In town for two weeks. Need Recs

That's what makes the world go 'round. We've eaten at Over Easy (I do believe the Arcadia location is better) many times as well as Hillside Spot. Hillside Spot is much closer to where we live and is fine although their breakfast menu is pretty limited compared to OE. Just don't believe Hillside or the other spots you've mentioned compare to OE. BTW the Farmer's Market you mention is really pretty lame. Most of the produce seems to be sold by brokers rather than farmers themselves. Check out the Phoenix Farmer's Market on Saturdays for comparison. We did enjoy the recent chili cookoff in the park and then strolled through the fm but saw nothing worth purchasing.

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Over Easy
4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Mar 24, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Phoenix Farmers' Markets

I'm a regular at FM goer. I think McClendon's has the best produce and best variety however they are by far the most expensive. IMO they are the only reason to go to the Scottsdale FM and really the only produce vendor. Overall I think the downtown Phoenix FM is the best and has certainly come a long way. I always tour the entire market mentally deciding what to go back and purchase.

Mar 20, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

Endorsement: El Nopalito

Ate at La Condesa yesterday. Food came out very quickly and much, much faster than my first visit. Salsa's had signs. I had the Cochinita Pibil Quesa which was great. Those with me had beef tacos and carne asada burrito and enjoyed both.

Mar 20, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

In town for two weeks. Need Recs

Crackers was a disappointment for me. Definitely not in the same league as Matt's or Over Easy. A new place that I don't think has been mentioned is Hillside Spot on Warner just west of I-10. Good breakfast place and again, definitely a cut above Crackers. To me, Crackers is trying to be a chain. I'd equate it with The Egg and I, Etc.

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Over Easy
4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Mar 20, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

In town for two weeks. Need Recs

You are correct. Apparently I had a temporary (hopefully) brain cramp. The Keg is at Chandler Fashion Square. Thanks for catching this.

Mar 20, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

In town for two weeks. Need Recs

I concur with everything Phoenix 99 said and also live nearby. In the same strip mall as Flemings are two good choices; Roy's and Tomaso's. Both have solid food and good happy hour programs. We've also found The Keg, which is located at Scottsdale Fashion Square - about 15 minutes or less from your hotel - as good for a chain operation. We've dined there regularly but have also made dinner out of appetizers in the lounge. Also, fyi Phoenix is very casual. You won't need a sport coat in even the nicest places.

Let me expand on some of Phoenix99's excellent suggestions:

First, Carolina's on Mohave is a terrific place and a real adventure as is Lo Lo's. I am arbitrarily keeping you within 20 minutes of your hotel which is actually generous since, unless you are traveling with rush hour traffice at 7:30am you go can a long way. I am also going to give you some dependable choices that wouldn't be on a 3-4 day list but might be useful for two weeks.

First, to be distances into context, you are only about 8 minutes from the airport and about 12 minutes from where the Diamondbacks play in the center of downtown. That really opens up some choices.

Stacey's Smokehouse, 19th St. and Indian School.
Mrs. Whites Golden Rule Cafe, Jefferson and 12th St. She is Larry Lo Lo White's mother and gave him her fried chicken recipe.
Mucho Gusto on University in Tempe for good sit down Mexican.
Los Sombreros on Scottsdale Rd. in South Scottsdale is a bit more upscale and adverturous Mexican.
Phoenix Palace for Dim Sum in Chandler.
Pizzeria Biano just off 7th St. in downtown Phoenix. Search this site for wait strategies. Yes, you will wait.
Pasta Bar, Sens, Roosevelt Tavern and Tuck Shop are all on the north side of downtown, relatively new and worthwhile. Pasta Bar is owned and operated by the former Executive Chef and Sous Chef at Sassi, a very expensive multimillion dollar Italian in North Scottsdale.
Rito's on 19th St. in Phoenix. There's no sign but you'll notice the crowd. You have a choice of red or green chili burro or red or green chili chimi - that's it. Dining is all outside which is great this time of year.

Some food/adventure options:
1. Angels' spring training field is less than 5 minutes from your hotel (btw, Los Taquitos is so close to your hotel you could walk to it).
2. Diamondbacks start the regular season while you're in town and that field is maybe 12 minutes or so.
3. First Fridays in the downtown art district is pretty cool. All the galleries are open and there are lots of good and some funky restaurants in the area (like Pasta Bar, Etc. but more).

Now, some dependable nearby places that might come in handy. Not foodie level but dependable if you're here for two weeks:
YC's Mongolian Grill is east of Eliot maybe five minutes from your hotel. Inexpensive, fresh food that you pick out to be finished on the grill. Lots of different sauce options in a make your own mold.

Chuy's Mesquite Broiler. Probably never menitoned before on this site. In the same strip mall as Los Taquitos. Good place for simple tacos, seafood or fajitas with a beer.

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop is a franchise out of Las Vegas but locally owned and managed. Go south to Chandler Blvd. and turn right (west) and it's in the first strip mall on your left.

Nello's Pizzeria. Go south on I-10 to Warner and turn west. It's on the SE corner of Warner and 48th St. Not as good as Pizzeria Bianco but you won't need a waiting strategy. Good pizza, salads and so on.

Not sure where you live but unless it's California or Las Vegas, be sure and try In N Out for the double double cheeseburger combo. There's one on Ray Road. Go south on I-10 and turn left (east) on Ray. It's down a couple of blocks on your left.

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Pizzeria Bianco
623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

YC's Mongolian Grill
3206 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282

Mucho Gusto
603 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

Sassi
10455 E Pinnacle Peak Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

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

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop
4929 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85048

Nello's
1806 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282

Mar 18, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

favorites near the biltmore

Three words: Sweet Potato Fries (at Delux).

Feb 14, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix

PHX Los Betos, Filibertos, et al. - What's Good, Not?

Tortas el Guero is good but I think the best tortas are at Los Reyes de la Torta on 7th street. They also have a lot of additional items that are excellent. It's a very busy place.

Feb 13, 2010
Poerz in Phoenix