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Bryan's BBQ - Cave Creek

Yes, I've tried Tonto B&G and Cartwrights. Both have the nicest atmosphere and the wait staff are top notch. I don't eat red meat, so am limited to veggies/chicken/fish...they were mediocre in my very humble opinion. Although I recall the green chile mac and cheese was very good at Cartwrights. I'm no expert, but the chicken up here in Carefree/Cave Creek tastes like frozen.

Oh...gosh. Do try San Soucci if it opens again. It ain't ground breaking, but it's such a lovely little old school French place. Just go...and thank me later! It's a hoot.

Re: the egg thing. Have you tried the torta place on 7th...used to be La Pressa Torta. Man they do the soft egg on the sandwich nicely.

Back to the topic at hand...I drive by this place A LOT. No smoke. No smell.

But, hey....Like I said in my first post....the place was very nice. The lady at the register, very nice.

Anyone had the chicken here lately?

Aug 09, 2009
Elmo in Phoenix

Bryan's BBQ - Cave Creek

Well, I stopped by Bryan's today. The lady at the counter (think she was an owner) was very, very nice. The shop is very nice.

I ordered a whole chicken and a pint of olive cole slaw to go. I ate as soon as I got home, so the chicken was still warm. It was quite bad. Tasted like a cooked chicken from a bad grocery store with really bad bbq sauce on it. The cole slaw tasted like the crappy stuff at a bad grocery store deli with the addition of some black olives.

Who knows, maybe it was an off day...but I don't think so. I drive by this location frequently and never smelled anything being bbq'ed. So....I hate to think it, but I do think it was pre made stuff from the Fry's down the street, re-packaged.

Hope I'm wrong, and if anyone tries this place and likes it....I'll give it another shot.

I was so hoping for a decent place to go in Cave Creek. Pickins are slim up here....well other than Binkley's and San Soucci. Hate to say it but Bryans was as bad as Harolds and that is pretty durn bad.

May 13, 2009
Elmo in Phoenix

Moving to Carefree...

You know, I've given Carefree Station 3 chances. 1 brunch, 2 dinner. While the place is lovely and the menu looks good it is pretty expensive and kind of misses the mark IMHO. But it's so charming I do like going. Will give it one more chance when the weather gets cooler.

Jul 23, 2008
Elmo in Southwest

Best Sandwich in Phx?

Good thread. I now have some new places to try this weekend.

I like Pane Biano of course. That bread is wonderful. Andreoli is also very, very good. The family that runs it is very nice. But my fav is the Havarti, asparagus and arugala sandwich at Bertha's Cafe in central phx. I actually dream of that sometimes. The flavors are complex, the aspagus just a bit crisp, the cheese melty, the arugala perfectly bitter and the dressing is spicey. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I don't know how they came up with this concoction, but it is a winner.

Jul 23, 2008
Elmo in Phoenix

Review: Pizza A Metro - Phoenix (w/ photos!)

Seth, another good review! I stopped by there for lunch today (sat) and it is truly a gem. Had the mozzarella, anchovy, tomato pizza (regular size - fed 2 PLENTY!). Yummmm...fresh mozzarella, not too heavy on the not too salty anchovies, real tomatoes, great chewy crust. Caesar salad was quite nice too as was the bread plate.
I can't WAIT until the Scottsdale place is opened. I don't get over to central PHX much, but it's good to know I have a place to go (other than Crazy Jims, Pane Biancho and the nice Calabria (sp) Italian Deli).

And, just a heads up to anyone that doesn't know the area well...Keep your eyes open if you go there at night. It's not the worst area, but it's not the best and it's good to be aware if you have to park father than the little Circle K parking lot.

I hope the owners have a lot of success. Nice place!

Jul 19, 2008
Elmo in Phoenix

Looking for an excellent Cream of Mushroom soup in Phoenix

Oh, I just had some wonderful cream of mush soup at Cafe Bink in Carefree. It is presented in a large shallow bowl with a mound of mixed mushrooms...then they ladle the soup over. Really, really good.

Jul 18, 2008
Elmo in Southwest

Moving to Carefree...

Welcome to Carefree! I live just a few miles north of the "downtown" (that's a bit of a joke) and love it up here. You are in for a huge change from NYC...but if you love the desert you found the perfect spot. There reall aren't any small dive bars like in an urban sense. You will have to ask for that in a general phx post then drive a bit to find those.

Up in Carefree/Cave Creek there are fun things to do. In downtown Carefree there are a few restaraunts - none are fantastic, but they are nice and close. The little wine bar/cafe close to the sundial is very pretty and comfy (the food is hit or miss). The tapas place downtown is quite good.

The Boulders resort is just down the street. I've had mediocre results with their gourmet room. Just a warning. The cute little shoping mall El Pedregal is filled with cute art shops/touristy things and I think there are 2 pretty decent restaurants on the top floor. They don't seem to last long up there, so I can never keep the names straight. Pretty nice atmosphere and decent food/fancy cocktail kind of places.

Harolds has been mentioned. It's in Cave Creek and quite the hang out. The food really is pretty bad, but if you go on a fri night it is pretty amusing the things you will see. A lot of real cowboys and plenty of posers. Lots of bikers real and the "attorney/weekend warrior" type...especially Sat/Sun a.m. The closest thing to a real DIVE is a biker bar across the street from Harolds...I can't remember the name but you will find it. The pres of the Hells Angels hangs out there (I wish I was kidding). It is fun to people watch if you are into the unusual. Some of the women are dressed up in the most outrageous, tiny leather motocycle outfits...it's a hoot.

The Cavecreek Coffee Co. has been mentioned. It's a real hang out. Always something going on there. They used to have a good music scene at night. Not sure about now. LeSans Souci is the most precious old fashioned french restaurant (closed in summer), but I just saw a for sale sign, so you'll have to keep your eye open. It's kind of across the street from Binkley's.

For pizza the Bad Donkey at Tom Darlington & Cave Creek is really quite nice. The couple that own it are locals and really try to treat you well. The cobb salad is pretty darn good. The pizza's are pretty good.

For lunch (other than Cafe Bink), go down Scottsdale Road to the Safeway/Target center. There you will find an outpost of an Az legend, the Herd Museum. Check out the museum for indian art, but most importantly have lunch at the cafe. The mini cakes are delicious.

Down on Jomax is a restaurant called Mosaic. It is pretty upscale and very nice for a long dinner. As someone else mentioned, check out the DC Ranch strip mall (it's very high end--but still a strip mall!) for the tapas place. Very good. Also try the fish restaurant there, I think it's Eddie V's? The happy hour is pretty darn good.

Jul 18, 2008
Elmo in Southwest

Hot dogs phx/scttsdl

My husband LOVES hot dogs but we haven't found a great one yet.

He's tried the Chicago place on Scottsdale/Thunderbird, pretty good. Ted's in Tempe wasn't so great. The fries were fried in rancid oil, I think. Should we give it another shot?

Personally, I like the turkey dog at Wienerschnitzel (sp), because I don't eat red meat and the HAVE a turkey dog. Ha ha.

And, on a tangential subject....has anyone been to the sausage house in mid-phx? Do they make sandwiches or is it just a place to buy sausages?

Feb 07, 2007
Elmo in Phoenix

Need Restaurant Recommendations for a New Yorker in Scottsdale for an extended weekend

I agree about Arribas. I bet they were great a few years ago.

El Encanto is a great place for kids. Even the 16 year old will enjoy it. And, yeah, I guess the food isn't stellar, but it's pretty good. Last time I went I had the spinach enchilada and it was nice. I think when you have kids with you it's cool to think of a place they would enjoy more than having an ultimate dining experience.

Plus walking around Cave Creek is fun. A tourist trap, yes, but kind of fun.

Feb 07, 2007
Elmo in Southwest

Fav lunch spots phx/scttsdl

Hey silverbear, I've wanted to try Udupi, now I will.

I like Sabuddy, haven't had the falafel. If you are up in the Carefree area there is a similar restaurant. Maybe Lebanese or Jordanian? Not Israeli...but the food is quite similar. Try the baba wrap. It's a babaganoush (sp) sandwich and just wonderful. Also, there is an Egyptian place at Scottsdale and McDowell in the old mall. Have you tried their buffet? Pretty good. The taboulleh is the BEST. They put pomegranite in it.

I love the chicken and humous at Pita Jungle. My husband thinks PJ is dirty and not very good, so I rarely get to go. I kind of like the vibe there myself.

I can't believe I still haven't been to T. Cooks. I guess this sounded to "main stream" for us, but I'll give it a try at your suggestion.

Do check out La Pressa Torta. You won't regret it.

Feb 07, 2007
Elmo in Southwest

(PHX) Codfather on Bell

Is this the one that was in Fountain Hills? I had it on my list but then they moved. I heard the food was pretty good.

Feb 07, 2007
Elmo in Southwest

DT Phoenix lunch suggestions

The Barrio Cafe 7th Street South of Thomas (I think) is awfully good. Alot of good reviews for this place on this site. Very, very creative Mexican food.

Feb 07, 2007
Elmo in Southwest

Fav lunch spots phx/scttsdl

I'm new here and love reading about new places. I thought I would share some of my favorite places for lunch (usually go on Sat and Sun). Hope others share their favs.

La Pressa Torta on 7th Street south of Hatcher. If you like the Ranch Market you will LOVE this place. Fresh juice drinks and huge portions of delicious mexican food. Try the shrimp tacos and a lemon/lime drink. Really stellar.

Le Sans Souci in Carefree. This place is just so fun. It's like stepping in a time machine to the 1960's. Old fashioned french food with professional waiters. The sunday brunch is fun. The food is not trendy, but comforting. The crowd is a hoot...alot of spry 90 year olds mixed in with the local Carefree crowd. Good eggs benedict and florentine.

The Golden Budha by the airport....on 40th street I think. Really good dim sum.

The Olive and Ivy near the water canal Scottsdale and Camelback. The egg sandwich is the best I've ever had. The place is a bit too cool for school, but the staff is friendly so I put up with it.

Sushi on Shea. Best sushi in the Phx hands down. Try the lunch special with handrolls. It comes with a fantastic little fresh salad and bowl of miso soup.

I look forward to reading your recs.

Feb 07, 2007
Elmo in Southwest

Favorite roast Chicken recipe?

My first post here after lurking a long time. I LOVE roast chicken and have to admit a fondness for Zankou in Los Angeles, even though it's a bit off.

I take the best chicken I can get (fresh, organic, whatever) cut the back bone out with shears, remove the fat and gross stuff and flatten/lay it on a bed of cut up carrots, turnips, potatoes on a foil lined (spray with a bit of cooking spray), rimmed cookie sheet. Let it sit to reach room temp...about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450.

In a small food processor throw in 2 or 3 large garlic cloves, 1/3 cup good mayo and some fresh thyme. Process until pretty smooth and spread it over the chicken.

Sprinle with alot of kosher salt and a some fresh black pepper.

Put pan in oven and turn temp down to 400. After half hour turn over the veggies that are not under the bird so they don't dry up. Put back in and cook for another 30-45 minutes, depending on how big the bird is. I usually cook a 5 lb for about 1 hour and 15.

Take out of oven and move the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes. Then carve and serve with vegs.

Way better than Zankou, but inspired by it.

Feb 05, 2007
Elmo in Home Cooking