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