Need advice on Richardsons (PHX)
I keep seeing the place mentioned, so I'm not sure how to try it out. The newspaper reviews indicate it's usually packed, as is Dick's Hideaway (take that Pink Taco). So how to proceed? I can't get a read from the reviews. Is it a formal night out? A place that simply gets packed with regulars? Some reviews imply it's a big bar surrounded by tables. What gives?
I'm not looking for a white linen place to impress. Just good food, day or night. If it's more wallet-friendly to try at lunch, let me know. To test it out, should I:
- Go there on a weekday and have lunch?
- Go there on a weeknight?
- Dishes to try?
Just got back from my Richardson's date and we enjoyed it very much. She lived nearby so I suggested we go last minute, thinking a 100 degree summer Monday night wouldn't be busy. Oops. It was packed and they said it would be an hour's wait, unless we wanted to cozy up to the standing room only counter. That wasn't too appealing so the hostess called over to their annex, Dick's Hideaway. They had space... the whole back room or two seats at the bar. We chose the bar.
I'm glad we got the hideaway experience because the bar is actually half-kitchen and you get to watch your food plus other dishes being cooked. My gal pal had the Carne Adovada (which I was going to order based on recs here), so instead, I ordered the green chile pork enchiladas, smothered half green/half red as suggested by the bartender when asked which was better. We shared samples and while I liked her Adovada dish very much, I was more than happy with the enchiladas - particularly the green sauce. Both sauces packed a nice warmth/heat, but I thought the green side with cheese offered and nice, sweet ying to the hearty yang of the red-sauced fare. Regardless, with rice and beans, the portions were quite large and I have a second meal in the fridge for Tue. We enjoyed watching the cooks grill and plate dishes, trying to figure out what was ordered and I was envious of their indoor, wood-fired grill. Visions of future kitchen conversions danced in my head, but I don't think I can fit a professional venting/sprinkler system in my modest kitchen. Plus I have 2 BBQs out back! It didn't come with our meals, but the grilled potato-stuffed chiles looked great. I'll be happy to go back, though I really think they should open a 3rd joint closer to me!
1. Walk into Richardson's. Check out the wait. Put your name on the list.
2. Run over to Dick's and see if there are open seats. Believe it or not, you might have better luck here even though it's smaller. If you can snag a spot, just tell them to save it for you while you run back over(you can actually go through the kitchen) and take your name off the list.
3. Sit and enjoy.
It's the best Sunday breakfast around. You will not have to eat again until dinner.
I just added four scans of the place mat from my breakfast at Dick's this morning, to my meager collection of menus:
Today, I had the breakfast quesadilla with carne adovada as my choice of meat. It came with beans and potatoes. This is probably one of the lighter items on the menu.
There is also one blackboard with NM specials and another with fresh seafood specials, each with 6-10 items.
I have only had breakfast and lunch, but I've been there late enough to notice the prices on the blackboard go up significantly for dinner. For example, a seafood item might be $15 for lunch and $25 for dinner. The lunch portion is plenty of food, and will come with a house salad, included. Check the menu scans for further guidance on the inclusion of a salad.
Breakfast starts at 8:00 at Dick's (every day) and 9:00 at Richardson's (weekends only). As I sit in other restaurants with the word "egg" in their name, I wonder why their eggs aren't half as good as at Dick's? Three egg burrito with chorizo should satisfy. Also, be sure to check the blackboard at Dick's.
The bad news. If you want a large Diet Coke with free refills, you're out of luck. You'll get a small warm bottle and a glass of ice. They do have root beer on tap at Dick's only.
There are other pet peeves of mine (TVs, ashtrays) that are hardly worth mentioning because they are overshadowed by the friendly atmosphere and excellent chow.
P.S. One of the TVs at Dick's is usually tuned to the Food Channel!
John - Thanks for scanning the menu. There's nothing on their website. Funny thing - The Los Angeles Library has an archive of menus. Most are in SoCal, but thay have some from AZ. It's fun to read what was cooking 50 years ago. Here's the start page: http://www.lapl.org/resources/en/menu...
I have always found great luck on a Saturday late lunch around 3 or 4. If you hit it before 4pm you can score there great deals on glasses of Wine for I think 7 Dollars per now?? That is all wine's on their menu so higher priced glasses become a bargain. Another time to go is Late like around 9:30 or 10:00. Don't worry about the Smoke, it's really not that bad and the people are always friendly and wonderful, it's my neighborhood spot and I never find I have to dress to impress anyone there. As Pincho stated try anything with Pork, to die for! Enjoy!
Your best bet is probably early (5 or 6 p.m.) on a weeknight, and be willing to eat at the bar if you can't get a table. There are actually not very many tables. And it's not at all formal. Although it turns into a kind of "meet up" scene, it's dark enough that you can get away with wearing pretty much anything you want if you're not concerned with impressing other singles.
Yes it's always crowded at lunch or dinner. However they do take reservations (I think that may be for four or more). It's a bar surrounded by tables, but the place is nicely appointed with a cozy feel, not downmarket.
I stopped by for an early dinner (5pm) by myself at the bar once and had a great meal and a beer. That's probably the way to "scope it out" if you must for a date/clients etc. But I'd say "just go" and not bother, chances are good that everyone will like it.
Try anything with pecan-smoked pork in it. More generally, try anything. Seriously good eats.