Phoenix business trip with three collegues
Hello All and thanks in advance for your advice.
We are from New York City and will be in Phoenix for two nights. I am a huge foodie and one collegue is a professional chef, so we are looking specifically for regional specialties. However, we are traveling with our manager, so proximity will also be important. Our hotel is at W Dunlap & 17 ,skimming through the board it looks like the below are closest...
4.9 miles Richardsons
6.4 miles Blue Adobe - Country Club Rd., Mesa - New Mexican
12 miles Cowboy Ciao
12 miles Roaring Fork
13 miles Los Somberos McKellips & Scottsdale Road
13 miles Carlsbad Tavern - Scottsdale - New Mexican
14 miles Los Dos Molinos -- hot, hot, hot
How far would you travel to eat, did I miss any and is any one far better than another?
i would really consider Vincents, which isn't on your list. He is routinely recognized as one of the Valley's best chefs, and he does a french/southwest fusion. althyough i've dined at each resstuarant on your list, I still feel that truly, no one rises above Vincent. Particularly for the crowd you'll be entertaining. Plus, its an experience. It is also not light on the wallet....
its 40th and Camelback, which is about what.... 6 maybe 7 miles?
as a heads up, the hotel isn't in the greatest area, so there's absolutely nothing around there thats in the decent range to eat.
Pass on Blue Adobe. The last time I went there is was dismal - but I admit it's been awhile. My choice, as you describe the diners, would probably be Richardson's, assuming that everyone accepts that there is some smoking still allowed, and either Cowboy Ciao or Roaring Fork. The later is more regional.
I like Carlsbad, but don't think it is quite as good as richardson's or Los Somberos. My personal opinion of LDM is that it's pass it's prime and living off the tourist books.
The establishments listed as a dozen or more miles away are all in Scottsdale. The drive will be a long 12+ miles since you'll be driving on east-west surface streets rather than freeways, which tend to run more north-south.
A closer option for southwestern food is Sierra Bonita Grill at 7th St. and Glendale Avenue.
For more casual Mexican food, you might try two establishments in Sunnyslope, a neighborhood just east of your hotel's location:
El Bravo -- 7th St between Northern and Dunlap
Via de los Santos -- Central Ave just north of Dunlap
By the way, I like Blue Adobe, but I think your mileage figures are off. Blue Adobe has two locations - one in Scottsdale and one in Mesa -- and neither is that close to your hotel.
For two nights with a chef in tow I'd go with Cowboy Ciao and Los Sombreros, with Roaring Fork and Kai as worthy backups.
Blue Adobe and Los Dos would get a complete pass. Los Dos is good for hot, but it's overgarlicked and salted as well, and I think they may use ethylene glycol in their margaritas.
i can't say enough good about fry bread house, if you are looking for regional food - fry bread is specifically a navaho speciality....i love richardsons, i echo the vincent's sentiment, and would also throw out kai - which is substantially out of the way..kai is at wild horse pass, and also specializes in local/indigenious culinary trations *chollo cactus buds, buffalo, etc*...
of course there is always pizzeria bianco ;) but if you don't want to wait a thousand years, try pane bianco for lunch...
for breakfast you can't beat matt's big breakfast..and i literally take every single out of town visitor to phoenix ranch market - its like a trip out of the country in central phoenix. of all the valley locations, the best is at 16th street and roosevelt...which is a stones throw from tammy coe, on 5th street and roosevelt, for the worlds best cupcakes...
i can't believe i forgot to mention rancho pinot - fantastic food, amazing chef, been around forever, vintage quirky cowgirl interior, and chef chrysa kaufman grows/picks alot of the fruits/veg/etc *the kumquat marmalade she picks from her moms land, the eggs in the asparagus appetizer come from her chickens, etc*
Two more recommendations
If you do have time for breakfast at Matt's - yummy.
Roaring Fork has always been a favorite of mine but I haven't been back since Robert McGrath left so I can only hope it is as good as it used to be.
Second on the hotel being a bit in the middle of an OK neighborhood - it's close to a corridor of big buisnesses (like Honeywell) which is why I am guessing you are staying there.
Here is a second vote for Via de Los Santos - but designate a DD if you want to drink the marg's. Last time there I needed a nap after :)
Also at 16th and Bethany Home Road on the SWC is Phoenix City Grille. While not a big time topic on the board I think it a fine choice and one of the better in the vicinity.
I would concur with the PCG recommendation. I believe it's under the same ownership as Sierra Bonita Grill, mentioned in my first post above. Sierra Bonita has more of a southwestern feel, but both are solid neighborhood restaurants within five miles of the OP's hotel.
For what you're asking, I would put Richardsons at the top of my list, with Barrio as a close second. Phoenix City Grill and Sierra Bonita are nice backups, maybe easier to get in, and more comfortable atmosphere for some.
I'd vote for something like Sanctuary on Camelback if for no other reason that you can sit there and have some decent chow among red rocks and panoramic views that are unique to the area and are world's apart from New York.
As a local, I love many of the suggestions put forth. As a traveler, however, I'd want to experience a place that has good eats, but that also lets you experience the destination, and has some other social destinations nearby.
It's not a fave place of mine, but visitors adore - if not more than adore - Greasewood Flats. They can build fire. Eat a burger. Dance with a cowboy. Drink beer. At the same time I must admit there's a charm going on.