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Looking for good eats near Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho in September

Er...John, I mean. Had a tastyjon flashback, I guess. ;-)

1 day ago
hohokam in Phoenix

Looking for good eats near Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho in September

Jon's kind of right. There are some good places to eat in the vicinity, but few of them are what I think of as being both road food and within easy walking distance. Below is a list of some of my nearby favorites. I've put stars on the most road food-ish options.

Lunch and/or Dinner:
*Cornish Pasty Company (~5 away minutes on foot)
*Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles (~30 minutes on foot, 15 minutes by bus, 5 minutes by car)
FnB (10 minutes on foot)

Breakfast:
The Orange Table (15-20 minutes away on foot)
Cartel Coffee Lab (coffee and pastries only, 10 minutes on foot)

There are other places pretty close that fall well outside of the road food definition, but I'll leave those out of the discussion for now.

Jul 29, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

One night in bangkok

Thanks for reporting back. Glad to hear that you enjoyed your meal.

May 29, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

One night in bangkok

Here's a list of my walking distance picks (sorted by distance from the Westin):

'Pomo Pizzeria (brilliantly done Neapolitan pizza, lasagne, antipasti. Wine and beer for sure. Not sure about cocktail scene)

Blue Hound Kitchen (New American, mixological cocktails)

Pizzeria Bianco (Legendary artisan pizza. Wine/beer only)

Nobuo at Teeter House (Modern/upscale Japanese. Wine, beer, some cocktails)

Other nearby options:
Public Market Cafe (Healthy and homey offerings. Beer, wine, cocktails)

The Breadfruit and Rum Bar (Refined take on Jamaican cuisine. Seriously impressive rum selection, plus classic and inventive rum cocktails)

Cibo (yet more pizza)--10-12-minute walk from the Westin.

May 27, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

One night in bangkok

Nothing in easy walking distance. Some folks are keen on Carolina's and Rito's, which are probably the nearest options. Rito's closes at 4:00, and Carolina's isn't exactly a dinner-and-drinks sort of joint; so, I'm not sure either of those will work for you.

Gallo Blanco, which is about 3 miles from the Westin, might fit the bill, though. You can get there in around 10 minutes by cab, or 25-30 minutes by light rail and foot.

May 26, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

Chicken Fried Chicken

You know, I just checked the online Lo-Lo's menu, and this is indeed on there in the "Lolo's Famous SoulFood Platter" section.

I never noticed this on my visits there. I guess my usual order (thigh, waffle, greens or grits) fills me up so thoroughly that I've never even contemplated ordering anything they that would consider to be a platter of food [oof!].

May 24, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

Chicken Fried Chicken

I can't speak to the deliciousness of their offerings, but My Mother's Restaurant might have the sort of thing you're looking for.

For someone like me, who doesn't find the bones in a chicken breast to be obstacles to enjoyment, Lo-Lo's would be my top recommendation.

May 19, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

Long shot question: Where can I buy a Hario coffee grinder in Dallas?

At the time, the need was such that only a brick-and-mortar retailer on the west side of Dallas County would have worked.

Feb 20, 2014
hohokam in Dallas - Fort Worth

Long shot question: Where can I buy a Hario coffee grinder in Dallas?

Sorry about the late reply. Yeah, Davis Street (down in Oak Cliff, I think?) was the only lead I had, but they were going to be closed before I could get down there.

I popped into Ascension for a couple of drinks (with no expectation of finding a grinder), and both were excellent. This might be my go-to spot for a while, as it's closer to the west side of town, which is where I end up when I'm in the area.

Thanks for doing the legwork!

Feb 17, 2014
hohokam in Dallas - Fort Worth

Long shot question: Where can I buy a Hario coffee grinder in Dallas?

Coming into Dallas today and would like to bring my own coffee brewing rig. Problem is, I don't want to tote my electric grinder along with me. Anyone here know of a shop where I can pick up one of the Hario hand grinders?

Feb 08, 2014
hohokam in Dallas - Fort Worth

Long weekend in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Have you been to Atlas Bistro since the recent chef switch? I was lucky to have some of Chris McKinley's food before he left, but haven't been in since Michael Dei Maggi took over. Just curious about which version of Atlas you're referring to.

Feb 07, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

Long weekend in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Four-hour waits at Pizzeria Bianco tend to be the exception, not the rule, these days. With two locations serving dinner and lunch, the wait times are considerably shorter than they have been in the past.

Jan 31, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

Phoenix -- sunset cocktails and more

That area is not within my usual orbit, so my knowledge is somewhat sketchy.

Other than the Cafe at MIM (The Musical Instrument Museum) and LAMP Pizzeria, both of which are highly regarded, I don't know of anything worthy that's very close to that resort.

http://mim.cafebonappetit.com/hungry/...
http://www.lamppizza.com/

My favorite place for traditional ingredient-focused Italian food is Andreoli Italian Grocer, which is about 15 minutes away. Some are put off by the no-nonsense service and the ambience, but the food is always made with care and isn't duplicated by anyone in town. I suggest ordering primarily from the whiteboard list of daily specials, not that the standard menu items (especially the arancini) aren't worth trying. I hear informed raves about Andreoli's pastries, which I've yet to find space for after lunch.

http://www.andreoli-grocer.com

Joe's Real Barbecue has its fans, but their sauce-heavy style isn't one that I am keen on. Not really worth the drive, as far as I'm concerned. People I trust about such things give the food at Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue very high marks. The restaurant is located in the town of Cave Creek, about 20 minutes north from where you will be staying.

http://www.bryansbarbecue.com/

Binkley's and Cafe Bink are two other very good local options in the Cave Creek/Carefree area, both are a bit east of Bryan's. Cafe Bink is a casual sister restaurant of the decidedly upscale (but not stuffy) flagship Binkley's.

http://binkleysrestaurant.com/
http://www.cafebink.com/sister-restau...

Can't speak to the beer festival--my personal expectations would be for long lines and limited food.

Jan 22, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

More Rice, Please!

Ah. OK.

Actually, Zam Zam is on the west side of 40th, not the east side. It's a little easier to spot if you're heading south on 40th, as their signage is more visible from the north and east sides of the building.

Jan 12, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

More Rice, Please!

While out running errands yesterday, I was reminded of Zam Zam World Foods--east side of 40th St, just north of McDowell. I don't recall how big their selection was on my last visit, but they might be worth checking out too.

Jan 12, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

More Rice, Please!

Baiz Market (20th St @ Fillmore-ish) might be worth checking out. They deal primarily in Middle Eastern goods, but they do have a good stock of ingredients specific to the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent.

http://baizmarket.com/

Jan 10, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

No more late bargains at Petite Maison

FnB offers special late night dinner menus on Saturday nights starting at 10:00. The per-item price usually tops out at around $10 on these Late Night Love menus.

Citizen Public House serves their regular dinner menu until 11:00 all week and a late night menu until 1:30am Thur-Sat.

Dec 23, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Seen Matt's Big Breakfast lately?

I've eaten at the new location several times. I'm not sure how it could be considered *more* claustrophobic than the original spot, which had about 30 sq feet of unoccupied floor space.

The space has a different look, to be sure. It's not quite as bright inside (probably due to lack of the south-facing windows), but I've never felt it to be dark and uninviting.

Ernie and her crew still serve up warm hospitality and food made with care, so it's going to take a bit more than a shift from homey, vintage decor to a look incorporating corrugated metal to keep me from going.

Dec 06, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

happy hours in scottsdale

If oysters are your thing and truly anywhere in Scottsdale is option, then you might consider Casey Moore's in Tempe, which is closer to Old Town Scottsdale (6-7 miles) than is far north Scottsdale (20+ miles). Their happy hour runs from 3 to 7, with $1 off wine, drafts, and well drinks and $2 off apps.

You'll need to call to see what kinds of oysters they're offering on any given day.

Nov 22, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Any BYOB restaurants or places with corkage fees?

Atlas Bistro and Hana are the two that I'm most familiar with.

Most people would probably consider Atlas is to be more of a "special bottle" spot than Hana. I love the food at Hana, but I don't know that the casual atmosphere there corresponds to what most diners would think of when choosing a restaurant to enjoy a bottle that they've been saving for a special meal.

Nov 10, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

How about the quietest restaurants?

Now that the milder weather is back with us, restaurants with outdoor seating can be good bets for less loud dining. We not avid brunchers, so I can't offer too many suggestions on that front. Below are some general recommendations for quieter dining options in the areas you're considering.

FnB is great for lunch or dinner. The indoor dining areas can get a little loud, so I'd recommend you ask for/reserve an outdoor table.

Crudo (dinner Tue-Sun; brunch Sun) has some limited outdoor seating, but with its relatively dispersed seating arrangements, the main dining room tends to be fairly quiet too.

Pizzeria Bianco at Town and Country shopping center has outdoor seating too, but, as with Crudo, I've not found the indoor dining room to be too loud.

Bink's Midtown might also be a good bet for you. We were disappointed with about half of the dishes we ordered on our only visit there, but others have raved about it.

House of Tricks in downtown Tempe is a wonderful spot for outdoor dining. You'll probably need to reserve a table near the edge of the patio to get some quiet, though. The indoor dining rooms can be quite loud here.

Christopher's has never seemed particularly loud to me. I tend to sit at the counter so as to take in the kitchen action, so I can't speak to what it's like out in the main part of the dining area.

Nov 08, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Help for Phoenix Visit end of October 2013

Just to clarify for out-of-town visitors, The Royal Palms is in Phoenix proper, about a mile and a quarter west of Scottsdale.

Oct 24, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Help for Phoenix Visit end of October 2013

As far as I know, the timing of Noca's return to dinner service is still TBD, but my sense is that it will be after your visit. Crudo and Atlas Bistro are both worthy of consideration IMO.

Oct 24, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Places near I17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff_

Maybe examples will help:

People line up for Bianco's pizzas, which makes sense to me.

People line up for Cheesecake Factory, which makes no sense to me.

People do *not* line up for Crudo, which makes no sense to me.

The point being what other people do or do not line up for does not necessarily correlate well with my preferences. Likewise, what I would queue up for probably doesn't map onto what some other people like.

Obviously, some people like the pies at Rock Springs Cafe. And just as obviously, I am not one of those people. I'd like to be one of those people, but so far, I haven't had a piece of pie there that made me think, "Wow. I need to take time to stop here again." The fact is, I'm not crazy about pies made with canned fruit. The pies I've had there have been made with canned fruit; ergo, I haven't cared much for their pies.

If I'm going to be giving a visitor advice about where to go or not go, I really only have my experiences and opinions and information about their tastes to go on. How long the line is at one place or another doesn't enter into the judgment for me, unless the visitor expresses concern about something like having to stand for a long time, dealing with bored fussy kids, or time constraints.

Oct 24, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Places near I17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff_

When I think about all the things people line up for, I notice that queue length is not a reliable indicator of whether or not I will like a place or its product.

Oct 23, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Margaritas: alt orange liqueurs, anyone try these in a marg?

I like the Clement Creole Shrubb, but only in rum-based drinks. To my palate, its inherent rumminess stands out more than its orange-ness in a margarita.

I've tried swapping Pierre Ferrand dry curacao for Cointreau in my margaritas at home. Taken straight and in margaritas, the boldness of the orange components in the two liqueurs seem comparable to me. The curacao, however, has a bitter edge and a distinctly lower level of sweetness. When making margaritas, I count on the sugar in the liqueur to balance the sour and bitter elements of the lime, so for me, the curacao hasn't proven to be a viable alternative.

Oct 22, 2013
hohokam in Spirits

Places near I17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff_

I've found the pies at Rock Springs Cafe to be unremarkable on my visits, but you know, everyone has different expectations for such things.

Given the distance/time constraint (close to I-17) and the relatively short duration of the trip (2 hours from Central Phoenix), I'd say your best bet is to eat before you leave Phx metro or after you arrive in Flag.

If you're willing to loosen the constraints a bit, a stop at Page Springs Cellars for a creekside snack and glass or two of wine under the trees might be worth considering. This will add around 40 minutes of driving to your trip (15-20 minutes each way between I-17 and the winery), but it doesn't usually come with the traffic hassles of a Sedona or Prescott excursion.

http://pagespringscellars.com/menu/

Oct 22, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Help for Phoenix Visit end of October 2013

With the addition of lunchtime service at the downtown location and the addition of pizzas to the menus at all 3 Bianco locations, the dinnertime wait downtown has eased a bit.

Oct 10, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Euphemistic Food Names

I think we're back to the point about calling a food by its "native' name doesn't really constitute a euphemism. Guanciale (and pancetta, for that matter) are merely elaborations on the names of generic mammalian body parts (guancia=cheek, pancia/pancetta=belly).

One could argue that cotechino is somewhat less transparent, with the root lining up, more or less, with "rind" or "hide", but I don't think either of those meanings is particularly obfuscatory.

Oct 09, 2013
hohokam in General Topics

Euphemistic Food Names

Good point, but the literal translation gives no hint as to what "mystery" ingredient is.

Oct 08, 2013
hohokam in General Topics