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budget restaurants in Scottsdale and near Sky Harbor

r
renshiwo Aug 21, 2006 06:40 PM

Hi all,

I need recommendations for tasty, affordable (<$10 lunch, <$15 dinner) restaurants. We'll need one lunch somewhere between Sky Harbor and the Azteca Wedding Plaza (1010 E Washington St.). The rest of the time we will be based in Scottsdale at the Holiday Inn Express (3131 N. Scottsdale Rd). I will be shopping for my wedding dress, so we will be going to David's Bridal and some smaller boutiques in the area. I am not familiar with Phoenix, so general directions to your recommended restaurants would be fabulous!

We can probably convince my mom to have one night of Mexican food, and perhaps a Thai or Vietnamese meal. Other than that Italian, German, regular American, etc. are probably more her style. She also loves dessert, so a favorite bakery/patisserie/coffee shop would be great!

Thanks!

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  1. themis RE: renshiwo Aug 21, 2006 06:54 PM

    Just west of Sky Harbor, at 12th St & Mohave (maybe take the 17 bypass and exit on 7th St/Central, take a right a block north on Mohave and drive through a tough neighborhood to 12th) is Carolina's, which can net you some seriously yummy Mexican food for $5/per. Awesome tortillas. Take the $5 you saved and put it towards dinner at Los Sombreros in Scottsdale -- just south of Thomas on Scottsdale Road -- if you've never had authentic Mexican. Fresh ingredients, depth of flavor rather than heat; least split a top-shelf margarita, or get guacamole and a couple of appetizers, if not an entree.

    There are four or five David's Bridals in the Valley, so I don't know which one you're aiming for. If you wind up at the one in Ahwatukee/Chandler -- Ray & I-10, southwest corner -- then follow Ray east past the 10 to a mile past the 101, on the south side, to visit Cyclo. Gourmet has written it up as some of the best Vietnamese in the country, and the food is very inexpensive, and it's BYO to boot. The only place in town that rated higher is Mary Elaine's at the Phonecian, where dinner will cost you at least ten times as much.

    1 Reply
    1. re: themis
      johnseberg RE: themis Aug 25, 2006 08:23 AM

      Los Sombreros has their website back up:
      http://www.lossombreros.com

    2. geg5150 RE: renshiwo Aug 21, 2006 07:05 PM

      For Mexican for lunch, don't miss the Phoenix Ranch Market. You'll think you've taken a trip to Mexico without your passport. You can easily eat lunch for $5-7 or less. It can be a little intimidating, but no fears, everyone speaks English (assuming that your first language) and most signs are in English too. It's not to be missed. It's on the SE corner of Roosvelt and 16th Street, just south of the I-10.

      Azteca is basically downtown Phoenix. You can try Mrs. White's Golden Rule for soul food. Located at 808 E Jefferenson, NE corner of Jefferson and 8th Street.

      You'll be close to Old Town Scottsdale, which can get pricey, but there are less expensive alternatives.

      I just wrote a review about Grazie pizzeria in Old Town. (see reviews from earlier today) Pizzas will easily serve two for about $10 each and salad at about $6. If you drink water, you can have dinner for $20ish. And it's really great pizza!

      Have fun and drink plenty of water!!

      1. mamamia RE: renshiwo Aug 21, 2006 09:01 PM

        Mrs White's Golden Rule for soul food. It's one block south of Azteca on Jefferson. You can actually get to it from one of the side streets because the parking is in the back anyway.

        You can also do Phoenix Ranch Market on 16th and Roosevelt, which is just a few blocks to the north and east from Azteca. The ladies at Azteca will know where it's at.

        If you are in the area around 4:30p, try Pizzeria Bianco on 7th St just north of Jefferson in Heritage Square. They open at 5:00, but it's best to get there before opening to avoid the crowd.
        There's also a new restaurant across the way from PB, Circa 1900.

        Happy Hunting!! Azteca isn't the fanciest shop around but they have tons of dresses. It's been in business since the dinosaurs for a reason.

        :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: mamamia
          Seth Chadwick RE: mamamia Aug 21, 2006 10:40 PM

          FYI - Pizzeria Bianco is closed until the day after Labor Day.

        2. b
          Baxterita RE: renshiwo Aug 21, 2006 09:06 PM

          For Thai and where you are, I'd say Malee's on Main - http://maleesthaibistro.com.

          I'm thinking you will be going to the Scottsdale Fashion Square for shopping/wedding dress shopping too? At least in that general area... If your mom's not that adventurous, they have some decent chains - P.F. Changs, Z Tejas Grill, Kona Grill, etc...

          3 Replies
          1. re: Baxterita
            Pincho RE: Baxterita Aug 24, 2006 04:05 AM

            Malee's is good but don't expect a "budget" place, it's mid-range.

            1. re: Pincho
              geg5150 RE: Pincho Aug 24, 2006 04:22 AM

              I'm not a fan of Malee's. It's not really authentic Thai, it's more fusiony. For great Thai, try Swadee at 90th Street and Via Linda in Scottsdale or Thai Lahna at 38th Street and Indian School in Phoenix.

              1. re: geg5150
                Pincho RE: geg5150 Aug 25, 2006 03:53 AM

                Never claimed it was authentic Thai. I've traveled twice to Thailand and am aware of what that means.

          2. r
            renshiwo RE: renshiwo Aug 21, 2006 10:38 PM

            Thanks, these are great suggestions. Keep 'em coming. We are going to the David's Bridal in Paradise Valley. The chains sound like the right type of food, but I would love to avoid chains if possible. Any locally-operated restaurants in the Scottsdale Fashion Square area that would fit our budget?

            1. r
              renshiwo RE: renshiwo Aug 21, 2006 10:39 PM

              And that great dessert spot! Who here has a sweet tooth?

              2 Replies
              1. re: renshiwo
                Seth Chadwick RE: renshiwo Aug 21, 2006 10:43 PM

                My suggestion is to catch dessert on your way to Scottsdale. Stop at Arlecchino's, a fantastic gelato spot at 40th Street and Campbell, which is halfway between Indian School and Camelback Roads.

                Get the Pistacho. Absolutely wonderful (along with all the other flavors).

                1. re: Seth Chadwick
                  mamamia RE: Seth Chadwick Aug 22, 2006 03:09 AM

                  ^ Pistachio, yes.
                  :)

              2. geg5150 RE: renshiwo Aug 22, 2006 03:20 AM

                Renshiwo, if you're going to hit Arlecchino's, you should plan to have lunch or dinner on the same corner. In the same shopping center is Le Grande Orange. See a review below. It's a great option for fresh salads, sandwiches, etc. You can easily eat for under $10 and it's counter service, so you don't have to add a tip.

                1. r
                  renshiwo RE: renshiwo Aug 22, 2006 07:00 PM

                  Thanks all!

                  1. c
                    cilohtac3 RE: renshiwo Aug 22, 2006 07:45 PM

                    Just east of Sky Harbor there is a fantastic, low-cost Mexican restaurant called "La Fonda". From Sky Harbor take the 202 east to Scottsdale Road and turn North (left). La Fonda is at 1126 N Scottsdale Rd, just north of the intersection with Curry Road. The salsa, chips, chile rellenos, enchiladas are all fantastic. This is authentic Mexican cuisine in an authentic setting, not gringo or touristy in its cuisine or decor.

                    Here's a map and review:
                    http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp;...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cilohtac3
                      johnseberg RE: cilohtac3 Aug 23, 2006 03:57 AM

                      I'm always willing to try a Mexican place, so I checked out La Fonda, tonight. I'm sorry that I can't agree with cilotac3.

                      The chips were cold and literally dripping with grease. The chile relleno (singular) was pretty basic, I've had worse. Rice and beans were average. It was your basic hodgepodge of entree, refried beans, rice, and melted cheese. Not particularly salty (that's a plus, IMO). I paid $9 including tax and tip (no drink).

                      Not that it really bothered me, but, the interior was really beat up. Somebody more concerned with cleanliness might lose their appetite.

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