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Recommendations for Central E Side PHOENIX ... by Mesa College?

Hi ... this is 2nd post ... finally got the area we'll be staying in PHX ... am told it'll be by 60 & IH-10 by Mesa College.

Looking for any quality hole-in-the-wall or mom&pop places, any ethnicity, any type of food in that general area ... or convenient drive from there.

Thanks for your time & recommendations,

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  1. Well....

    I just want to be of some help before we get started. The intersection of 60/10 isn't close to Mesa Community College. It isn't far though - 6 miles.

    Oregano's, a local Italian chain is very close to the college. It's on the NW side of Dobson/Southern. The have ultra thin crust pizza, which you either like or you don't. But they do have very good sandwiches and salads.


    2 Replies
    1. re: mamamia

      Hey Mamamia,

      :-) Yeah ... the location I was given was approximate. For folks living in Houston ... being within 6 miles would be heaven! But thanks for your feedback.

      1. re: EdLagniappe

        Welcome to Phoenix, where 6 miles can take you 30 minutes! Enjoy your stay!

    2. Ed,

      Welcome to the Valley. Mamamia is correct. I-10 and U.S. 60 are miles from MCC.

      My advice is that if you are willing to travel to Tempe (which is adjacent to Mesa), you can find lots of little mom and pop ethnic places that are not at all expensive. I would recommend the following:

      Pita Jungle (Mediterranean)
      Cafe Lalibela (Ethiopian)
      Cafe Istanbul (Turkish)
      Thai Basil (Thai)
      Cornish Pasty Company (British)
      Harlow's Cafe (Breakfast/Brunch)

      All of these seem to get consistently favorable reviews, so I think you might like them.

      I wish I could give you much more info about the places around MCC, so I apologize, but others may be able to help you out.

      Again, welcome to the Valley of the Sun.

      1. Here's a link to a recent article in the Arizona Republic about two interesting Chinese restaurants in Mesa. We haven't tried either one but have put them on our list to try if we get over that way.


        Sarah C

        1. maybe 101 and 60 which is near MCC? If so:

          There's good Middle Eastern food at the corner of Dobson/Guadalupe which is just down the street from MCC. It's called Dobbi's(i may have the spelling wrong on that...it's on the SE corner). It's attached to a middle eastern market called Giado's so if you're needing to pick up any yummy middle eastern ingredients this is the place to do it! Cheap, cheerful, and delicious.

          Tutti Santi is on the same corner. We like this for Italian...particularly the Linguine Vongole with with white wine. It's a bit spendy but delicious.

          Cyclo is good vietnamese food at Dobson/Chandler blvd about 5 miles directly south of MCC. Lots written here about this place. Don't miss Angel Sweet for gelato afterwards for dessert.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ziggylu

            It's remotely possible that there was a mis-communication & I got I-10 instead of 101. Guess I can be surprised when I get there :-) But ... as I mentioned above ... 6 mi isn't an inconvenient detour for good food. Before gas started to get pricey, we'd routinely drive 50 mi out of Houston for a favorite seafood place.

            I like the sound of your recommendations as well ...

            Ciao, Ed

          2. Los Dos Molinos, 260 S Alma School Rd Mesa, AZ, is known for it's hotter than average New Mexican style food. I've enjoyed a few lunches at this location. I have always arrived early - their parking lot is a bit small.

            I was also thinking 101 and 60 is closer to MCC. If you are near any one of these freeway intersections, you are in convenient driving range to a lot of places.

            1. Mint Thai on Gilbert Rd in between Baseline and Guadalupe. I would put this place up against some of the best Thai places I have been to, and being a former DC hound, that says a ton. They are not afraid to spice things up, either. Everything is ordered on a spice scale of one to four. We like spicy food, and a three is almost too much for our family. LOVE the laab.


              1. MCC is located at the corner of Dobson and Southern in Mesa. Using this as a starting spot here are a few other “close by” options in addition to the great Tempe list already provided.

                Oregano’s – already mentioned but being so close bares a second mention as in addition to good very thin crust pizza (if you like that type) their salads and sandwiches are also quite nice. A small bar area offers counter dining in case you happen to be dining alone.

                Manuels Mexican – on Southern east of Dobson before you get to the 101. Local family place – now have about 4 -5 locations around town. Pretty good – Sonoran, comfort food style Mexican.

                TC Eggington’s – Alma School just south of the 60. Great breakfast (I am always torn between the french toast and omelets) plus fresh lunch options. Only open fro breakfast and lunch.

                Tutti Santi (Italian) – Guadalupe just east of Dobson. Good quality, not overly priced, quiet place.

                There’s another Italian place at Baseline and Dobson (NW corner) that shows up on the boards from time to time, gets good reviews, but I can’t recall the name. In addition there is a major mall, Fiesta Mall just east of the MCC campus. Here you will find the typical chains close by so if in a pinch you’ll be able to make do. The food court in the mall has a Chick-fil-a and I think they do a dang fine job on chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, IMO.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Bazel

                  Brunello's is the place at Dobson & Baseline. Also, another block south, there's the Copper Pot, a decent Indian place, and Pink Pepper for Thai, not to mention a little middle-eastern market that is a great spot to grab lunch. Can't remember the name -- it must be catching.

                  Here's the last discussion on Mint Thai, which I'd rank below Thai Lahna, Chanpen Thai, and Swaddee Thai -- so maybe not the best Thai in the Valley, but probably the best in your area. I will always try to support the mom & pops, even when the place is falling down around their ears, but when I've been the food hadn't made up for the service:


                  1. re: Bazel

                    If you get a craving for Chick-Fil-A, you're better off driving past Fiesta Mall and going to the standalone location on Stapley just south of the 60.

                    And if you want ice cream, there's Lombardo's Gelato inside Fiesta Mall. It's the stuff of dreams. They have 18 flavors, most of which rotate in and out depending on the whims of the Lombardos. Right now the rotation flavors include tangerine sorbetto, prickly pear sorbetto, and a vanilla bean gelato that just made me weak in the knees.

                  2. Thanks to all for your time & recommendations ... you've given me plenty of good options ... I won't have to resort to the PB&J ... or to McD's!

                    Now I must only hope that airlines won't ban my gelatinous butt when I go to leave!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: EdLagniappe

                      People, peopke....all those restaurants and no one mentioned Los Sombreros? (Scottsdale Rd., just north of McKellips - and a virtual hopskipjump from where you'll be, Ed) - also, Sinbad Restaurant Cafe, 5004 S. Price (just N of Baseline) for Middle Eastern (great music on Fridays/Saturdays), Mucho Gusto at 603 W. University in Tempe, Fibber McGee's at Dobson and Elliot OR Rula Bula on Mill Ave in Tempe. Check out Lombardo's Gelato stand at Fiesta Mall, too. They're on the second floor, not too far from Sears - and it is phenomenal gelato - handmade daily.

                    2. In the same strip mall as the Oregano's on Southern & Dobson, right across from MCC, there is a great Korean place called Hodori. They always give you 5-8 small kim-chi type appetizer plates, even with a $7 lunch special. If you go by yourself, you'll always have enough food for 2+ meals. My favorite is a spicy beef brisket soup, which inexplicably has cured every sickness I have ever had.

                      There are other Asian restaurants in that strip mall - the Vietnamese place and Best Hong Dining are pretty so-so at best. If you are into pho, there is a place that I don't remember the name of (I can't find a listing anywhere) on the corner of Extension and Southern that is pretty decent, better than all the other ones in the immediate area.

                      1. My favorite restaurant in Mesa is the Blue Adobe Grill. It's located on Country Club, right near downtown Mesa and about three miles northeast of the MCC campus. The menu is oriented toward New Mexican / Southwestern food. It may not be quite as authentically New Mexican as Los Dos Molinos (mentioned above), but I find the service more friendly and accomodating, and the food is quite good on its own terms.


                        1. In addition to agreeing with many of the previous posts, I'd like to weigh in in favor of Chino Bandito. A combination of Chinese-Mexican food doesn't happen very often and when it happens well, this is a treat! Definately fits you "Mom & Pop" criteria and either Mom or Pop may well be there giving you samples and explaining the ordering process. Jade Chicken Quesadillas with black beans and jerk-fried rice doesn't happen every day! It's on the SW "corner" of Dobson and Chandler Blvd, kind of tucked in the far back corner of a strip mall (behind Cyclo - another great spot- byob). This would be about six or seven miles south of your location at MCC.

                          1. The only place in the area that I haven't seen mentioned is Benjarong, which is the best Thai I've had locally (no, I haven't been to Swaddee yet). I especially love their salads and noodles. The only curry I like there is the green one though.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: IamJacksBrain

                              I have been to both, and I like Benjarong more. I have seen few places with such eager to please service, and so many great little touches that show how much they care. At Benjarong, they understand balance of flavor is key; if you order your food very spicy, they make sure the other flavors aren't overwhelmed by the heat. I can't say the same for Swaddee- one time I got beef with Thai basil, asked for it Thai spicy, and all you could taste was the heat.

                            2. Great additions to my query (since I last checked in)!

                              Thanks everyone ... have friend in PHX now w/ the list, checking out as many places as he can ... hopefully he'll shorten this list a bit for me :-)