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Apr 19, 2007 08:40 PM

Lunch Near Phoenix Art Museum

My wife and I (with our 14 year old daughter and her friend) will be going to the Rembrandt exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum on Saturday. Any lunch suggestions? We don't want anything too fancy or ethnic (14 year olds), and my wife is very anti-processed foods, so chains and chain-like places (as well as any place lacking in low-fat options) are not good options. Those constraints aside, we want good food and money is not a big issue. We'll be travelling from Tucson, and lunch will be early in the afternoon, so places very near or south or the museum preferred.


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  1. AWEsome lunch IN the art museum. It's called Arcadia Farms. Great sandwiches, salads, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AZBconcierge

      I was going to say that I've found art museum cafes in general tend to be very good indeed. Since Phoenix Art Museum serves Arcadia Farms, I can say that you can have a delicious lunch there. The menu will be, of course, very lunch-y items... sandwiches, salads, et cetera. If you're in the mood for something less light, perennial Phoenix favorite Durant's is just down the street... it's a classic steakhouse. The atmosphere inside is old-school charm... red velvet walls, dark leather booths, and the steaks are some of the best in town. They do have salads too, so that would fulfill your low-fat requirement.

      Speaking of good food at art museums, since you're in Tucson I have to share with you one of my old favorites. Cafe A La C'Art at the Tucson Museum of Art was one of my favorite places to go for lunch when I lived there. I still remember the delicious chicken salad they serve, and the fries they serve with lunch are seriously some of the best in town. And order dessert at the same time you order lunch... if you wait until after, the one you had your eye on may have already disappeared. Bonus- the relaxing atmosphere can't be beat. It's on the Museum's courtyard, and is accessible without having to pay for admission.

    2. My Florist Cafe on McDowell Rd is less than half a mile west of the museum and would fit your specifications:

      1. You might want to consider That's a Wrap on 7th Street. You will be there early enough to avoid the rush. The wraps are very fresh and lots of options including soups, salads, etc.

        Another place might be The Coronado Cafe. It is a full-service restaurant tucked into a converted home and is also on 7th Street.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Seth Chadwick


          thats a wrap is yummy. i love the godfather with salami!

          1. re: Seth Chadwick

            good call on coronado cafe..i've had some many bad service issues at my florist lately i'd be hesitant to send anyone that way....

            1. re: winedubar

              thats funny because all I've heard as feedback (don't seen TOO many people there) is the piano player was great!! never anything about food or service.

              1. re: winedubar

                My experience from last year was that the service was plodding and occasionally surly but the food was decent, albeit overpriced.

                1. re: Seth Chadwick

                  I'd agree with all of the above. My Florist should be better than it is given it's attractive location and decor. Still, while my meals there have not thrilled me, they've been good enough and I thought it met the OP's specifications perfectly. The other suggestions in this thread are all good choices, so a good lunch before a great art exhibit seems likely no matter what the choice is.

                  1. re: silverbear

                    My Florist and the Willo Market next door need to re-invent themselves. The owners need to rip the wall down between the two places and make it more of a marketplace that serves food and sells cool foodstuff...dare I say, like LGO??? Mr. Snarla and I were just talking about this last weekend. It's such a nice building, the food and concept just need a facelift.

                    1. re: mamamia

                      Phew! I thought my attitude towards My Florist was just a reflection of my own curmudgeonly nature. Every time I see that place, I think to myself that it could aspire to greater heights.

                      If they could deliver a culinary bang for the buck similar to Lola, for example, then we'd probably eat there once a month, given that it's only 5 minutes from our house. As it is, we've never made it past reading the menu at the host's station in the whole time the place has been open.

                      When we feel like making a dinner out of not very interesting finger foods, we just stay home. :/

                      1. re: hohokam

                        Just a quick note. I was driving by My Floirst on the way in to work today..Willo Market next door got a paint job. It's now blue. But what's even more interesting is that the Antique Market that makes up most of that corner is now closed. I've seen the For Lease sign up for a while, but they're out now.
                        Please please let this open up that whole corner for an LGO type concept. I don't care who does it, even the My Florist people, but make it happen and make it good.

            2. Too late for the OP, but I went to Rembrandt for the second time this past weekend, and we ate at the Arcadia Farms Cafe on site at the museum. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. The three adults in our party ordered a mushroom tart, salmon, and a ham sandwich. Our baby daughter focused on trying to eat her fist. All of us found our entrees adequate but not thrilling. We agreed that it was good enough food if eating on site is high priority, but we felt we would have eaten better if we'd driven up Central to another place like Pane Bianco, Fez, Durant's, etc.

              My greatest disappointment was that in terms of both food and decor, the cafe still felt like a museum cafe rather than a destination restaurant. I was hoping that after the dramatic renovation of the museum that the cafe would have a sleeker, more stylish look. Instead, it's a pretty ordinary beige room, and the menu reminds me of a business hotel restaurant.

              I usually don't care that much about a restaurant's look. Some of my favorite places are in ugly strip malls. For a restaurant in a major art museum, however, my expecations are higher in terms of aesthetics and design. I guess I was hoping for something like the Modern in New York, a museum restaurant that people will go to even if they are not setting foot in the museum.

              Service was good, especially given how slammed the restaurant was on a "Rembrandt weekend."

              One interesting note: There is apparently a wine and espresso place planned for a spot next to the gift shop. Perhaps that will be a little more interesting.

              Pictures attached.

              1 Reply
              1. re: silverbear

                The "wine and espresso place" looked pretty interesting, at least the architect's renders looked nice. Can't wait.
                Personally, a friend and I went to Fez on a Tuesday evening recently, and both of us were satisfied.

              2. We were visiting last weekend and after our mandatory visit to the Art Museum (my parents are big supporters there and they really wanted PayOrPlay Jr. to the see the car show, which was indeed outstanding; he also liked the Philip Curtis paintings of "pencil people"), my folks took us to Eliana's. My dad chatted with the owner and commented that they've been eating there for 19 years, and I can see why--lunch was excellent, the equal of any Salvadoran place I've been to in SoCal. The menu is small but everything we had was first-rate. Chicken soup came with a wonderfully crispy small piece of fried chicken on the side; the mojarra frita was tops; PayOrPlay Jr. loved his combo plate of Salvadoran appetizers (the tamale was especially terrific), platanos con crema were carmelized to the hilt (and the crema is irresistable) and my arroz valenciana was studded with tasty shrimp. The enslada (fruit drink) is outstanding, with little bits of fruit floating around; the horchata is delicious as well. 1627 N. 24th St., Phoenix, 602-225-2925.

                In the same neighborhood (and closer to the Museum) they also like to go to San Carlos Bay, for Mexican seafood; I haven't been in years but remember it positively. 1901 E McDowell, (602) 340-0892

                1 Reply
                1. re: PayOrPlay

                  Eliana's is an excellent suggestion. I had a wonderful time there. The people were friendly and the food was delicious. It is a nice little gem in that area.