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hungryinaz's Profile

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Dolce Vita Italian Grocer - Tasty/authentic Italian in Mesa!!!

Please, please, please help keep this new gourmet Italian restaurant/deli/grocery in business (not that they've doing poorly, it just wasn't THAT busy when I stopped in and I really want them to stick around!). Dolce Vita Italian Grocer was opened by the Italian couple who've been running the very successful Gelato Dolce Vita for years now at Brown and Higley. The new Italian place is within the same building as the gelato shop and on my visit, both sides were being run by the same 2-person crew. The small but truly Italian meats and cheeses are of the highest quality and priced accordingly despite the very casual service and atmosphere. The menu is simple - homemade pasta dishes and sandwiches - but very, very good. If you've been thinking of stopping in, please do so! I've been missing the old Sanguini's on Power and McDowell for YEARS and this new spot does a pretty good job of filling the void.

Oct 09, 2012
hungryinaz in Phoenix

NYC Chowhound needs help! 5 days in Scottsdale

i think daniel10 nailed it (although i'm sad to hear arcadia farms isn't good anymore, it was 5+ years ago!). i would add that carolina's is not the best representation of az mexican food. it's been around forever so it has a loyal following and the tortillas are tough to beat BUT i'd suggest la condesa, barrio cafe or gallo blanco over carolina's all day long. also, greasewood flats is NOT on a cliff. it's almost entirely outdoors with picnic tables and dirt floor - very rustic "wild west".

Apr 10, 2012
hungryinaz in Phoenix

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

I second what Random987 said. Also, Kaz bar is great. Largest wine "book" I've ever seen and cool atmosphere.

Feb 26, 2012
hungryinaz in Phoenix

4 Nights in Mesa - Good and Local

You had me at Chili's, I hope I can save you!

OK, so you're actually closer to Tempe than downtown Mesa if you're near the Riverview mall. Even Oldtown Scottsdale isn't that far - if you can spend 10-15 minutes driving then I would expand your search to Tempe and Scottsdale. Both have MUCH better options than Mesa and Mesa is HUGE so you may want to repost something that says you're by Riverview mall so the ideas are more focused on your location.

You are close to one of the Valley's tastiest New Mexican spots - Los Dos Molinos (Blue Adobe is also good NM, probably more refined IMO). Very hot salsas, delicious chips, killer empanadas and great margs. A good calorie splurge! Oregano's may also work for you, it's a local pizza/pasta/salad chain but mostly tasty and festive. If you're into ethnic, there's a whole strip mall of Asian places by Oregano's on Dobson but I haven't tried any. I think I few are suppose to be good.

House of Tricks is one of Tempe's most charming restaurants and they have a nice outdoor bar. It's just a few miles west of you. For great sandwiches at lunch, Dilly's Deli is not too far either. If you're not afraid of a dive-y place, my favorite carne asada street tacos are at Susie's which is probably only a few miles from you. Delicious beans and rice too but I've never had anything BUT the carne tacos so I have no clue if the rest of the menu is any good. Those tacos are killer though! Just a bit northwest near the Tempe/Scottsdale border is DeFalco's Italian Grocery - probably the best Philly in the Valley and they are a true Italian deli with other tasty items including pizza. More of a lunch spot but they do an early dinner as well. If you were willing to go a little past DeFalco's into Oldtown Scottsdale, you'd have a LOT of great options there.

As for anything within a mile or two of Riverview, there's not much! And all the restaurants at the Tempe mall are not worth a stop IMO.

Feb 13, 2012
hungryinaz in Phoenix

My new favorite Italian restaurant - Cuoco Pazzo

Wow, this place really lived up to the Chow love! Thanks for the post! Went last night and had one of the more memorable meals of the last few years. I wish someone had warned me about the ADDICTIVE homemade focaccia which I doused in the herby/spicy olive oil ... went through two plates of the stuff!

As per the above reviews, we ordered the crispy ribs and - shocker! - loved them. I wouldn't call them "crispy" per se, but they were lip-smacking good (with a hint of French toast flavor!). We did a cheese plate (nicely done and they didn't skimp on cheese), beet salad (light, palate cleansing and enough to share), Bibb Caesar salad (good and also shareable) and incredible orecchiette with sausage. I thought I'd had homemade pasta before but I've never had anything like this - SOOOOOO yummy.

Attention beer-lovers: They have a very unexpectedly good selection of craft beers on tap, including 2 on nitro. Our server, Mario, let us sample the nitro-poured Lefthand Milk Stout and an ESP - both were tasty.

We can't wait to go back!

Dec 14, 2011
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Best Philly in town

Another vote for DeFalco's philly being the BEST!!! It's one of the few food items in the Valley that I crave ... very glad I live a half hour away! DeFalco's, in general, is a must-visit spot.

Dec 14, 2011
hungryinaz in Phoenix

5 R Chai Thai Bistro in Mesa

Any word on the new 5 R Chai on McKellips and Recker? I found a New Times "Throwdown" blurb on the Tempe 5 R Chai vs. Thai Elephant but it's not too detailed. Those 2 restaurants are neighbors and owned by sisters - 5 R Chai in Tempe is order at the counter style.

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Thai Elephant
Phoenix AZ, Phoenix, AZ

Jun 17, 2011
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Hot summer specials??

Anyone know of some good summer specials going on in Phoenix/Scottsdale/Tempe area? I typically see this thread pop up around now but I haven't seen it yet. Thanks!

Jun 13, 2011
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Wine tasting in Monterey, Santa Cruz, Carmel area

MRYfoodie nailed it - Parsonage is best all around wine, Talbott has killer chards. Only thing I would add is that Georgis has a great back patio area - it's the prettiest tasting space IMO. But, it's also the most expensive tasting although the pours are generous and one tasting could be shared by two.

May 09, 2011
hungryinaz in California

Next (4/6)!

It took 2 hours for my password to come through as well but now it's not working. Did you have to try to log in tons of times before it actually let you into the system?

Apr 06, 2011
hungryinaz in Chicago Area

ARRACHERA CARNE ASADA... does it exist in PHX?

agree about roberto's being nothing special. gallo blanco at clarendon has killer carne asada tacos. another fave mexican place is el nopalito - its in a shady strip mall but shrimp tacos aregreat as are many of the other taco options on their menu.

Mar 18, 2011
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Thai Patio in northeast Mesa?

Finally got a chance to try Thai Patio and it was as good as any Thai I've ever had - and I'm pretty much a Thai-aholic. Soooo happy to have a great Thai place within 2 miles of my house, it's a culinary miracle for me. Went for dinner and went for lunch the very next day. Had to resist going a third day in a row. Fantastic flavors and generous use of veggies in the 3 dishes I've tried so far - Drunken Noodles, Spicy Basil and the BBQ pork lunch special.

And 2hungry was right, they bring some pretty good heat with their dishes. We usually go past medium for heat but stuck with medium and it was just the right amount of burn.

Can't thank Thai Patio enough for opening in my Asian-deprived section of the Valley (northeast Mesa)!!

Mar 05, 2011
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Dinner at Toast Carmel Valley

Tried Toast for the first time last night and it was very, very good. Funny, but the calamari was our least favorite of the few things we tried. It wasn't bad, just not rave-worthy but we did find the use of green grapes interesting.

The beat salad with Humboldt fog cheese, candied walnuts and mache was delicious. Portion size wasn't very big (diners can get half or full and I was glad I went with full) but the components were of the freshest and highest quality. Also had the mixed greens with cucumber ribbons which was a very good, simple salad. Dressing on the later reminded us of the sesame ones used in those free salads you get at Japanese places but minus the creaminess and a more citrus-y.

The mussels in Riesling and butter sauce were melt-in-your-mouth amazing! We both decided they were the best we'd ever had. Came with great skinny fries and the complimentary bread was used to sop up every last drop of the yummy broth.

Dessert was a panna cotta with granola, drizzle of honey and fresh strawberries. Wow! Savored each bite, would order again and again.

Wine list was local but not updated - we didn't see our favorite local winery, Parsonage, on the list so we asked and they had both the merlot and pinot.

Toast is also open for breakfast and lunch.

Feb 18, 2011
hungryinaz in California

Give me Some Happy Hour Love

Rubee - Thanks for the great photos! Hadn't heard of Onyx and it looks/sounds great. Which were your faves? I'm a sucker for a soft, buttery, salty homemade pretzel and I never come across them so I'm leaning toward trying that!

Jan 31, 2011
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Thai Patio in northeast Mesa?

2hungry - Is there another Thai Patio? I noticed you posted that you liked the new Thai Patio before the one on McKellips was opened so I'm a little confused.

sleepoveroverture - You're right, it's called Thai House and it's very tasty! I'm just hoping to get my Thai fix somewhere closer as I live just up the road from the Thai Patio while Thai House is a good 15 minutes.

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Thai House Restaurant
1155 S Power Rd Ste 121, Mesa, AZ 85206

Jan 31, 2011
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Give me Some Happy Hour Love

Agree with Daily Dose rec although we've struck out on mixed drinks at Dose (haven't tried Dr. Hendricks though). DD also has an amazing burger that's half off during HH on Fridays.

BLT Steakhouse has a great HH and a nice patio with views of Camelback. Cocktails are well crafted but on the smaller side. Food is excellent and they offer free, addictive bar snacks. Jade Bar at Sanctuary has a nice HH as well, especially if you give bonus points for setting/view.

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Daily Dose
4020 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

Dec 15, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Thai Patio in northeast Mesa?

Anyone know anything about the Thai Patio that's opening in northeast Mesa next to Lucky Lou's on Power and McKellips? We desperately need good Thai food in our 'hood and I'm hoping this place can deliver.

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Lucky Lou's
1929 N Power Rd Ste 103, Mesa, AZ 85205

Dec 14, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Great lunch spots along the Beeline Highway from Fountain Hills to Mesa..

If you like Mexican food and want something tasty and fast, there's a Senior Taco about a mile off the Beeline. I have not been to the Fountain Hills location, but the one by my house in Mesa (the name sounds very chain-y but I believe there are only 2 locations) is yummy. My husband is addicted to the red chili carnitas burrito with rice instead of beans and the shrimp burrito is very good as well. Great fresh salsa bar, too. Nice option if you end up wanting to make a quick stop ... or if you haven't tried any Mexican spots in AZ yet. It's not our best Mexican but it's pretty darn tasty. FYI - Senior Taco by me is order at the counter and I'm guessing the FH location is as well. You could order to go and enjoy in the nearby Fountain Hills park which has great views of the mountains and a lake.

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Senior Taco
12958 W Indian School Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Dec 14, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

good eats in Mesa Arizona

Not sure how this thread popped up again but I'd like to ask Askrula why she chose the spots she did? I, for one, specifically replied to her post with:

"Red, White and Brew is a fine, easy, inexpensive, large-portioned spot but not a place I'd imagine an NYC chef getting too excited about. "

Not exactly a ringing endorsement ... anyway, just feeling a little defensive after the "lower your expectations" comment, especially if it was aimed at the entire Valley and not just Mesa. We have some amazing restaurants, they just get lost in the sea of chains!

citylarki - I've lived in Las Sendas for the last 8 years and have been to and agree with all four of the northeast Mesa spots you mentioned. Excited to try the chicken kabob sandwich, my husband and I always split the lamb gyro.

Got Sushi has had it's ups and downs with me over the years but lately, like in the last year, I've had some great sushi there.

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Got Sushi
6744 E McDowell Rd Ste 102, Mesa, AZ 85215

Aug 04, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

RELEASE COMING!

Hope to see a Chow app soon. Also, I may be missing it, but is there any way to give feedback on the recipes - like a star rating or something? I'm guessing the recipes on here are much more interesting/tasty than the ones I typically use on allrecipes.com BUT I don't use chow.com recipes because I don't see any quick way to reference how the recipe turned out for others (there are comments but those are not a "quick" way to check quality).

Thanks!

Aug 04, 2010
hungryinaz in Site Talk

scottsdale happy hour and summer specials update

Thanks for the info! I actually ended up checking out Daily Dose's HH on Sunday and loved it. Two key things make it easy to hit - 1. It's every single day! and 2. It lasts until 8 p.m.! No need to really "plan" in order to make it to this HH which is really nice. As for the food, we tried the jalapeno/cilantro hummus (really good/spicy with tasty/herbed pitas), mac and cheese w/ chorizo (naughty but yummy, large portion), calamari (ok) and meatballs (another huge portion, good but think we were too full to enjoy). Next time, I'd order the hummus and probably the chicken nachos as they sound really good and have Dapuma's thumbs up.

I highly suggest checking this HH out, it's one of the better food-based HH's I've tried (haven't hit Roy's HH but that one sounds pretty great as well).

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Daily Dose
4020 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

Aug 03, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

scottsdale happy hour and summer specials update

Dapuma - Thanks for the Daily Dose tip, I didn't know they had happy hour and man does it look tasty! Lots of interesting apps for half off 4-8 daily. I have yet to try this place but I loved Fusion so I'm assuming the food at DD is pretty good.

Have you tried any of the DD apps? Do you know if happy hour is only at the bar and/or if it's tough to get a spot? Thanks!

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Daily Dose
4020 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

Jul 27, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Chicago Michelin Star Restaurants Prediction

From the Michelin web site:

"Stars represent only what is on the plate. They do not take into consideration interior decoration, service quality or table settings."

Jul 19, 2010
hungryinaz in Chicago Area

BBQ in East Valley/Scottsdale

Is R&B up and running again in some form?? I would love to hear that it is!

Jul 09, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Copper River salmon 2010?

I bought it at the Costco in East Mesa a few days ago and it was delicious! I can't remember the price per pound but I bought the cheapest piece I could find which was almost $19. It was enough for 4 for dinner.

Jun 10, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Castroville Artichoke Festival - anyone been?

I love artichokes and have always wanted to go to the festival but I can't find any specific details about the cost. I know adult entry is $10 but does that include any free food once inside the event? If there is a cost, what would, say, the famed fried artichoke cost? Any feedback on the event would be very helpful - it's May 15 and 16! Thanks!

May 14, 2010
hungryinaz in California

Looking for Best Pizza in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area

I second Classic Italian Pizza, probably the most under-hyped pizza place in town.

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Classic Italian Pizza
1054 E Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283

Apr 10, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix

Happy hour in Carmel / Carmel Valley???

Anyone have a favorite happy hour in Carmel or Carmel Valley (Monterey Bay area, not SoCal)?? I'm in need of some deals! Thanks in advance.

Mar 16, 2010
hungryinaz in California

Long Beach to Big Sur

If you're going past Big Sur to Carmel, I would suggest taking the very scenic Carmel Valley Road 13 miles inland to Carmel Valley's wine tasting rooms. You could spend an entire day and walk between them all - Parsonage and Talbott are 2 of the best. If you did make that trip, you can grab tasty, cheap sandwiches at the Carmel Valley Market.

In Carmel, I've put together many lunches at the Carmel Cheese Shop. It's like something you'd come across in Italy - tons of cheeses, all available to sample. They also have a few salami options, great baguettes and olives.

Big Sur Bakery is a great stop any time of day and I would think it would fall under your "interesting" category as would most of Big Sur!

Mar 14, 2010
hungryinaz in California

Any Good Restaurant in Mesa?

Agreed, Sushi Kee is a total hidden gem. It's in an old, ugly strip mall but I've had some very good sushi there.

Jan 15, 2010
hungryinaz in Phoenix