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lunch spots - biltmore area (PHX)

abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 07:47 AM

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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    Alice Letseat RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 07:57 AM

    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
      abbefaith RE: Alice Letseat Apr 6, 2007 10:18 AM

      ooo the coconut shrimp spinach salad from padres sounds good!

      1. re: Alice Letseat
        abbefaith RE: Alice Letseat Jul 6, 2007 07:08 PM

        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
          hzp RE: abbefaith Jul 8, 2007 10:27 AM

          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
            abbefaith RE: hzp Jul 8, 2007 04:28 PM

            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. themis RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 08:20 AM

        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
          abbefaith RE: themis Apr 6, 2007 10:39 AM

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

        2. h
          hzp RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 08:40 AM

          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
          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
            ciaogal RE: hzp Apr 6, 2007 08:52 AM

            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
              abbefaith RE: ciaogal Apr 6, 2007 10:47 AM

              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
                azhotdish RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 10:50 AM

                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
                  abbefaith RE: azhotdish Apr 6, 2007 10:52 AM

                  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
                    azhotdish RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 11:10 AM

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

            2. re: hzp
              abbefaith RE: hzp Apr 6, 2007 10:39 AM

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

            3. hohokam RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 09:05 AM

              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
                Seth Chadwick RE: hohokam Apr 6, 2007 09:19 AM

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

                1. re: Seth Chadwick
                  hohokam RE: Seth Chadwick Apr 6, 2007 09:30 AM

                  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
                    silverbear RE: Seth Chadwick Apr 6, 2007 09:31 AM

                    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
                      azhotdish RE: silverbear Apr 6, 2007 09:33 AM

                      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
                      JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: Seth Chadwick Apr 7, 2007 05:16 AM

                      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. azhotdish RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 09:05 AM

                    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
                      hohokam RE: azhotdish Apr 6, 2007 09:15 AM

                      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
                        silverbear RE: hohokam Apr 6, 2007 09:34 AM

                        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
                          azhotdish RE: silverbear Apr 6, 2007 09:36 AM

                          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
                            hohokam RE: silverbear Apr 6, 2007 09:59 AM

                            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
                              silverbear RE: hohokam Apr 6, 2007 10:01 AM

                              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
                                ciaogal RE: silverbear Apr 6, 2007 10:05 AM

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

                        2. re: azhotdish
                          abbefaith RE: azhotdish Apr 6, 2007 10:49 AM

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

                          1. re: azhotdish
                            misohungrychewlow RE: azhotdish Apr 6, 2007 03:12 PM

                            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. silverbear RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 09:38 AM

                            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. scaheld RE: abbefaith Apr 6, 2007 10:04 AM

                              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
                                silverbear RE: scaheld Apr 6, 2007 10:07 AM

                                La Madeleine has closed all PHX locations.

                                1. re: silverbear
                                  abbefaith RE: silverbear Apr 6, 2007 10:10 AM

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

                                  1. re: silverbear
                                    azhotdish RE: silverbear Apr 6, 2007 10:11 AM

                                    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
                                      JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: silverbear Apr 7, 2007 05:18 AM

                                      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
                                        ccl1111 RE: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Apr 7, 2007 09:56 AM

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

                                  2. a
                                    AZBconcierge RE: abbefaith Apr 7, 2007 12:32 PM

                                    I'll list my favorites.

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

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: AZBconcierge
                                      drewb123 RE: AZBconcierge Jul 7, 2007 09:40 AM

                                      Vintage Market is closed at the biltmore.

                                      1. re: drewb123
                                        sunshineinaz RE: drewb123 Jul 7, 2007 03:01 PM

                                        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: sunshineinaz
                                          drewb123 RE: sunshineinaz Jul 7, 2007 03:38 PM

                                          not sure.

                                          1. re: sunshineinaz
                                            hohokam RE: sunshineinaz Jul 7, 2007 05:42 PM

                                            Info can be found on their site:


                                            1. re: hohokam
                                              silverbear RE: hohokam Jul 8, 2007 04:38 AM

                                              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.

                                          2. re: drewb123
                                            azhotdish RE: drewb123 Jul 7, 2007 08:56 PM

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

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