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Jun 24, 2007 06:13 AM

Visiting Scottsdale in September.

Hi. I'll be visiting and staying with a friend in Scottsdale the first week in September. Not sure what part of Scottsdale she's in but we'll have a car and plenty of time so Phoenix is an option too. Looking for inexpensive, locally owned (no chains) places with a casual vibe and a liquor license for lunch and/or dinner. My friend doesn't eat meat, (but is adventurous) so places with vegetarian options would be great. I like almost any kind of food but am looking for cuisine I can't find back home in Boston. Naturally my friend will have her own favorites so maybe I can introduce her to new ones with your help! Thanks.

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  1. stuff you can't find back in boston & affordable...

    barrio cafe

    good affordable non-chainy (but not super az)

    la grande orange
    orange table
    pita jungle (is a local chain though - 4 locs)

    1 Reply
    1. re: ccl1111

      I would also add Cowboy Ciao and Roaring Fork, Carlsbad Tavern, La Tradiciones in PHX and even La Marquesa @ the Princess...and Los Sombreros...
      Maybe El Charro for Mesquite Grilled Steaks and the spectacular Views as well as Elements @ Sanctuary.... (Chef MacMillan is from the Boston Area)
      No Mountain Views in Boston
      Having lived in Boston for many years.....there in an abundance of Great ethnic food...but not Great Mexican/Southwestern Food.....

    2. Cornish Pasty Company would be a nice option - its located in Tempe, not far from Scottsdale. They have vegetarian options as well and its very inexpensive, with a super casual atmosphere. They do serve beer, wine and cocktails as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ggdinero

        marquesa is has shut down for a few weeks now. They are no longer in business.

        1. re: drewb123

          oops....I was thinking of la Hacienda @ the Princess......oops!
          Thanks drewb123

      2. i'd add richardsons, rancho pinot, and say you can't come to visit phoenix without at LEAST having drinks at durants :)

        1. I will second Barrio Cafe for a restaurant you (probably) won't find in Boston (never say never). Another "Mexican" restaurant to try is "Such is Life" (or "Asi es la Vida"). I use the quotes since most of the rest of the country has no idea of real Mexican cooking cuisine; both Barrio Cafe and Such is Life have stuff from Yucatan, Oaxaca, and other parts of Mexico other than Sonora (which is great, but is not all of Mexico; please don't shoot me).

          Richardson's is New Mexican, which is great; it is *not* what most people from the East coast would think of as "Mexican"; other New Mexican restaurants are Carlsbad Tavern (Scottsdale) and Los Dos Molinos (South Phoenix).

          Los Sombreros may look like your "standard" Mexican restaurant, but the food is anything but. Many of the dishes are influenced by Mexico, but if your friend isn't adventurous, take that into consideration.

          There are also numerous Mexican style seafood places in the valley (if "no meat" doesn't mean "no seafood"). Check out San Carlos Bay Seafood (and others).

          If you're talking straight Vegetarian, the choices are more limited. Most of the Latin restaurants have limited vegetarian options.

          There is one other option, but I'm not sure if its open when you're here. At the Four Seasons (yes, I've been to Boston; stop cringing) in North Scottsdale, the restaurant Sassi should be open by then (yes, they close for the summer). They have a number of great appetizers, including vegetarian, and you can sit outside (you won't melt) and enjoy the evening. In early September, they probably have some good deals for dinner.

          7 Replies
          1. re: JC1954

            JC1954...are you sure Sassi closes for the Summer? I just received a summer promo from them for a 3 course summer dinner for $29....we were hoping to take advantage of it...
            They are also offering complimentary wine tastings Wednesdays 5-7
            and an Antipasti Hour 5-7 Tuesday-Friday

            1. re: ciaogal

              Sassi does not close for the summer. I'm having dinner there tomorrow night. Also, although it is near the Four Seasons, it is not "at" the Four Seasons. Ciaogal, is the summer special open to everyone or just if you received it directly?


              1. re: barry


                The special is open to everyone.....

                1. re: ciaogal

                  Looks as if the special is only on select evenings.....
                  here is a link to the special

            2. re: JC1954

              Thanks for your thoughtful suggestions-they sound like what I'm looking for. And if the "1954" is your birth year-we're the same age so you've gotta be OK!

              1. re: mtm7654

                Lon's at The Hermosa Inn
                T. Cook's at The Royal Palms
                Mastro's Ocean Club at Kierland Commons

                I do a lot of business in Scottsdale and this is where we take clients. They are all great. Mastro's has less of the Arizona ambiance, but it has fantastic seafood.

                1. re: jessicaggh

                  Unfortunately it's no longer Mastro's Ocean is now just Ocean Club....Mastro's has sold their stake in their restaurant chain......I have heard that the quality and service are still stellar and over the top...enjoy!

            3. Very....very casual but try The Fry Bread House. It looks very tacky but it is Native American food (cuisine is too fancy for this place). But trust me...Frommer's loves it and you won't get a Navajo taco back east.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lobolady

                Whole-heartedly seconded. FBH is a definite experience. I like the chorizo combo with lettuce, beans, and cheese. The also have some great stews to dip the bread in. And the dessert fry bread is great, if you have room. We love it, but don't get there too often.