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lunch spots - biltmore area (PHX)

so i'm moving offices from peoria to the biltmore area. i know there's a lot, but i'm wondering some of your favorites for lunch. my mental list: lgo, pita jungle, au petit four, delux, zoe's, duck and decanter, bertha's... i probably wouldn't drive more than 10 minutes each way, and i'll be coming from 22nd and highland.

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  1. Padres, too, and a range of places in Fashion Square. Several "fast food" in the Best Buy/Michael's plaza. Baby Kay's in Town & Country, - and always Trader Joe's for a quick pick-up salad. Many other places, depends on your budget/taste/time.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Alice Letseat

      ooo the coconut shrimp spinach salad from padres sounds good!

      1. re: Alice Letseat

        I finally tried padres a few days ago and was kind of disappointed with the food as well as the atmosphere. I kind of felt like I was eating in a high school lunchroom, and the food was only average. =/

        1. re: abbefaith

          i'm always surprised when i hear things like that, because i just love padre's. they've got some new summer salads that i really dig, and they just rolled out calamari that is better than any other place i've tried. i could live on an island for many years with nothing but the pomegranite margarita, and their standard menu stuff is great.

          plus, i always feel totally welcome and part of the group when i'm there. everyone is having fun, the waiters are totally cool, the owner is always around... i don't know, its my neighborhood hang out spot, and i love it.

          1. re: hzp

            maybe it is much better as a dinner spot than lunch? when i was there the place was almost completely empty, and the whole group i went with thought their meals were only so-so.

      2. I would suggest both Tradiciones and Golden Buddha for dim sum. GB may be at the high end of your drive range, but I think it's worth it. I have somehow never managed to order more than $10 worth of dim sum and I always leave stuffed and glad I went.

        1 Reply
        1. re: themis

          i have never tried dim sum but i've always wanted to. thanks for the info. =)

        2. I live around the corner, so here's my list, in addition to Alice's which I'd agree with.

          Pat's Pizza or Niccolli's Deli (but don't bother with Nicc. when you're in a hurry)
          Super Dragon
          City Grill
          Texaz Grill
          Richardsons
          Padres
          Vincent's Bistro
          Sylvia's La Canasta
          Mary Coyles
          Duck and Decanter
          Fresh Gourmet 2 Go...
          Fish market

          I'm sure there are more.....

          6 Replies
          1. re: hzp

            We love Christo's for a quick, inexpensive lunch. All entrees come w/ their warm yummy bread and a salad w/ the house dressing. It is great if you are hungry!

            Don't forget Delux,
            or Miracle Mile Deli in the Camelback Colonade.
            Capital Grill has some great lunch offerings...burgers, salads...calamari w/ sweet and hot peppers!

            1. re: ciaogal

              i definitely won't forget delux! i'm almost afraid to be in such close proximity of it. =)

              does christo's have a site?

              1. re: abbefaith

                Check out the french pockets at Vintage Market and let me know what you think...no one ever seems to mention that place for lunch. I think it's great because you can sit outside in the shade when it's beautiful out.

                1. re: azhotdish

                  ooo the turkey french pocket with raspberry cream cheese, green chiles and mozzerella is right up my alley. i'll report back in a few weeks!

                  1. re: abbefaith

                    the roast beef is my fav (with extra horseradish) and the baked ham...it's almost dessert!

            2. re: hzp

              wow i have a lot of eating to do. thanks. =)

            3. There's a new(?) Greek joint in Town & Country, between Trader Joe's and Baby Kay's. We had lunch there a couple of weekends ago (spanakopita and pork souvlaki pita). Not gourmet but it definitely hit the spot. One caveat--the kitchen seemed a bit slow on our visit.

              5 Replies
              1. re: hohokam

                That's My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. Completely forgettable since they expanded beyond two restaurants.

                1. re: Seth Chadwick

                  Yeah. It's nothing exceptional, but I tend to have pretty low standards for the typical weekday lunch. As long as it's reasonably well-prepared, quick, and not too pricey, I'm happy. I wouldn't consider it to be a "destination" dining experience, to be sure; however, most of the time for me, convenience is a major selection criterion for lunch spots.

                  1. re: Seth Chadwick

                    It could be MBFGR, which recently took over the old Tuchetti space, but it could also be a reference to Cyprus Pita Grill, which as I recall, was a nightmare for you.

                    1. re: silverbear

                      That's probably the reference - CPG is between TJs and Baby Kay's. Oh, Baby Kays, how I love that crayfish etouffee.

                    2. re: Seth Chadwick

                      I didn't think they were all that memorable when it was just the one restaurant in downtown Tempe. The thing that drives me bonkers about them is that they use Sigmas in their signage since they look more Greek than using Epsilons. The result is anyone who knows half a lick of Greek would read the sign as My Big Fat GRSSK Restaurant.

                  2. A couple more I'd recommend as I work in the same area...

                    Pie Zanos in Town & Country
                    Middle Eastern Bakery & Deli (16th/Thomas)
                    El Nopalito (24th/Thomas)
                    Vintage Market (Biltmore Fashion Park near Saks)
                    Greekfest (20th/Camelback)

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: azhotdish

                      Question about Greekfest: Is it really worth the money? I've never eaten there, mainly because the prices seemed pretty high to me ($18 for their moussaka, as I recall). Just curious as to what about the food and/or dining experience makes it so that they can charge as much as they do. I want to believe it's really worth it, but I need some convincing. ;-)

                      1. re: hohokam

                        I am simply amazed that Greekfest stays in business. I agree that the prices are high, and the food is not significantly better than at Greektown up in Sunnyslope. It never seems very full, partly because it is hidden behind the Bank of America branch. In addition, there's the adjacent coffee bar, which seems to be in a perpetual state of grand opening. I think there is real potential for an upscale Greek restaurant in the area -- one in which higher Camelback Road prices would be justified -- but I don't think Greekfest has found the right formula for that concept.

                        1. re: silverbear

                          Yes, the prices are high, no question. I did dinner there a couple months ago with a group - couldn't tell you what I ordered but it was forgettable (although the recommended bottle of wine was good). All I go there for is the calamari - it's very good.

                          1. re: silverbear

                            Money laundering operation for the mob? I kid. I kid.

                            For some reason, I had it in my mind that Greektown had closed. I see now that they are on 7th St x Butler. Were they once on Glendale or Northern near 7th Ave? I remember going to a pretty good Greek restaurant somewhere around there several years ago. Just wondering if it's the same outfit in a different location.

                            1. re: hohokam

                              Yes, Greektown was formerly located at 7th St. and Glendale. I think the original building has since been leveled to make way for yet another Walgreen's or something of that ilk. The restaurant then moved a mile-and-a-half north to its current location.

                              1. re: silverbear

                                Greektown makes the best Taramosalata....
                                It's worth the trip!
                                I buy it in the Jar @ Sprouts...not the same.

                        2. re: azhotdish

                          thanks i've never been to any of those. the pie zanos menu looks pretty interesting.

                          1. re: azhotdish

                            Many, many options in your immediate vicinity, in a wide range of price, conveneince and quality. In addition to those already mentioned -- Kokopelli Grill, NYPD, Kyoto Bowl, Tacone, Pick Up Sticks, Shogun Express, Baja Fresh, Chipotle, Corleone's, Puggzie's, Togo's, Harvey's the Wineburger King, Soma Express, Taylor's, Wally's, Luke's, Scott's Generations, a major concentration/cluster at 24th/Osborn (ask Seth for details), A & J's Barbecue, Moto, two AJ's, Wild Oats, Tokyo Express, Cherry Blossom, Oregano's, Tacos del Mar, Zoe's (not a fan), Fuddrucker's (not a fan), Pizza Heaven, Manhattan Pizza, Paul's Little Philly, Chicago Hamburger Co., McCormick & Schmick, Steamers, Fish Market, and many, many more. I have eaten at all but a couple of these places in the last few years, some of them many times.

                          2. Within Biltmore Fashion Park, there are three places I like for lunch:

                            Christopher's Fermier Brasserie -- Enjoy it while it lasts. It will close soon and be replaced by another Christopher Gross restaurant elsewhere in the mall.

                            California Pizza Kitchen -- A national chain I am not too proud to recommend.

                            Sam's Cafe -- A regional chain of southwestern restaurants. Not as authentic as Richardson's, but enjoyable on its own terms.

                            1. Only ones I haven't seen listed yet, and I recommend, are Houston's (Esplanade), Keegan's & La Madeleine (32nd St & Camelback).

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: scaheld

                                La Madeleine has closed all PHX locations.

                                1. re: silverbear

                                  so sad. =( i love their tomato soup and creme brulee.

                                  1. re: silverbear

                                    Really? I hadn't heard that but it's not surprising. I visited the Camelback location three times I think and every time they messed something up. You'd think that would be pretty hard, considering it's soup/sandwiches.

                                    1. re: silverbear

                                      And how I miss them. It was on the pricey side for casual food, but some of that tomato basil soup (or cream of mushroom if they had it), one of their entrees, and a glass of wine really hit the spot every now and again.

                                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                        it was definitely a good alternative to the food court on occasion at fashion square. good soup, bread & butter...couple decent sandwiches too.

                                  2. I'll list my favorites.

                                    1. Padre's
                                    2. Rokerij
                                    3. La Grande Orange (BLT FTW!)

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: AZBconcierge

                                      Vintage Market is closed at the biltmore.

                                      1. re: drewb123

                                        Do you know if they closed completely or if they moved to another location? Was a great place for lunch and a glass of wine...

                                            1. re: hohokam

                                              I had no idea there was a second location at 24th and Baseline. While the loss of the Bilmore location is disappointing, it's nice to see more interesting restaurants sprouting in the South Mountain area.

                                          1. re: drewb123

                                            that's bad news. i really loved their roast beef french pockets.