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Apr 25, 2007 10:00 PM

PHX - Places that have never let you down

A lot of restaurants seem to be hit or miss. Great one visit, middling or worse the next. What are some of the places that never seem to let you down? The ones I for me are:

1. Shish Kabob House. It's almost always empty when we go, yet the food has been excellent on every visit. The hummus alone usually brings us, but the gyros and koubedah are also first rate.

2. The Farmhouse. There's always a line and the wait is usually longer than it takes to order and eat. Outstanding scrambles, great bacon, and those cinnamon rolls... Caloric heaven.

3. JP Pancake. Again, another busy breakfast place that has a line, although here it takes longer to order and eat. But the food is worth it. The cinnamon French toast is my favorite, after the Frosted Flake-crusted French toast at the Phoenician. The wait staff is fun, too. Rachel gets pretty feisty, especially if you don't ask for no butter before she sets your plate down. If you've seen it, you know what I mean.

4. Welcome Diner. Simple menu, great food. My favorite hot dogs. Not for the claustrophobic. Semi-uncomfortable stools.

5. Tokyo Lobby. My favorite sushi place. The food has always been amazing, both in taste and presentation. I've been for dinner and lunch, and both were done to the same standard. Even the basic rolls seem to have a little something extra. Like the cinnamon in the shrimp tempura. I love the Monkey Brains. Don't ask, just order. :)

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    1. In no particular order:
      Restaurant Mexico
      Caffe Boa
      Los Sombreros
      Such is Life/Asi es La Vida
      Filito's (RIP)

      1. NEVER let me down? Hmm ... That's a Wrap -- hundreds of lunches there, all good -- specials, regular wraps, soups, all fabulous ... Akaihana, Sushi Ko, Kampai and Dozo -- excellent sushi, every time, many, many visits ... Pizza Town in Tempe, one of my faves since 1983 (haven't been there for a year or so -- still around? Please advise) ... Pane Bianco -- outstanding every time. The three regular sandwiches are superb, yet the daily market sandwich is frequently just too good to pass up.

        Oh, yeah -- Blue Fin, Central Avenue ... dozens of wonderful lunches, with everyone one served up fresh, hot, reasonably priced, and with warmth and friendship. Love the lightly char-broiled chicken and fresh steamed vegetables over brown rice, and the curry bowls.

        7 Replies
          1. re: abbefaith

            I'm not sure of the address, but I think Seth reviewed it at some point, so his site probably has the address in the review.

            1. re: abbefaith

              This seems accurate.

              That's A Wrap
              800 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006

            2. re: misohungrychewlow

              That's a Wrap is on the west side of 7th Street, north of Palm Lane, south of Monte Vista, slightly south of a Coco's. It's in a ramshackle old house with a small parking lot and a big sign out front.

              That's A Wrap
              800 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006

              1. re: misohungrychewlow

                Damon Brasch, owner of That's a Wrap, also owns the vegan restaurant "Green" on McKellips and Scottsdale Rd. I love almost everything I've tried there!! (Salads, apps, sides, rice and noodle bowls, sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts.) Fantastic little place.

                1. re: starlightjulian

                  Yeah, I haven't seen Damon around much at That's A Wrap lately, but kudos to him and the staff for maintaining a high quality vibe and great food experience at a nice price. I haven't been to Green yet, but even though I'm an omnivore, I have little doubt that I'll find good eats there.

                  1. re: misohungrychewlow

                    Do yourself a favor and visit Green soon! Their chicken substitute is very good-just don't order the Buffalo chicken wings (they're made of mushrooms and are very stringy). The jerk salad and the spicy peanut salad are great!! I've tried the mock chicken and the crispy tofu... sublime!! Though I haven't tried it, yet, I've been told by many that the "No harm chicken parm" is delicious. Honestly, I've tried most of the menu items with delicious results, with only a handful of misses, thus far.

                    Please let me know what you think!

                    2240 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281

            3. Durant's
              Pepe's Taco Villa
              Fry Bread House
              Red Devil (McDowell location)
              Pedro's (Glendale)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Seth Chadwick

                I forgot Red Devil on my list, although I'm not a fan of the atmosphere at the McDowell location. The Bell Rd. restaurant makes me happier for some reason.

              2. Shish Kabob House -- is that the place next to Restaurant 28? I've always wondered if that was any good.

                4 Replies
                1. re: grrlscout

                  I don't know Restaurant 28. Shish Kabob House is the SE corner of Olive and 51st Ave. Don't let the nearly empty restaurant fool you. It's got some great food, especially the hummus.

                  1. re: Firenza00

                    That's the one! I'll have to check it out sometime. Hummmmmmmmus.

                    Check out Restaurant 28 for some soul food, if you dig that sort of thing.

                  2. re: grrlscout

                    Yes, Restaurant 28 and the Shish Kebab House are located in the same ugly strip mall. I've never tried 28, but SKH is quite good. The hummus, rice, and kebabs are consistently high quality. The only thing we haven't liked is the falafel, which we found dry, crumbly, and bland. My experience has been that falafel is consistently good only when served in Israeli, Lebanese, or Egyptian restaurants. In Persian, Turkish, Greek, and other peripherally Middle Eastern restaurants, the falafel generally suffers. A lot of these restaurants offer falafel because customers expect it, but they don't do it justice. Enjoy SKH by sticking to the more Persian parts of the menu, as well as Middle Eastern staples such as hummus that are hard to prepare badly.