PHX: Downtown suggestions please (no car!)
My husband is attending a conference based at the Hyatt on N. Second Street starting September 9th. I need to plan a Sunday lunch and a Wednesday lunch (both will be around 1:30) as well as dinners for Saturday through Wednesday nights (fairly early - around 6:00). Full bar is preferred. Beer/wine a must. Our budget is moderate ($8 to 15 entrees) and our party size will range from 3 to 6 people, mostly men aged 40 to 50. I can get them to splurge on a taxi a few times and from what I have read here these need to be for Phoenix Ranch Market/Tradiciones and the Fry Bread House. They will accept a wait only if there is a bar available for that purpose. Need to stay fairly mainstream - nothing too exotic. We hail from North Carolina. I would really appreciate any suggestions! Thanks
This is going to be pretty tough. Most places within a few blocks of the Convention Center cater to the lunch trade. In addition, the low price point for entrees will knock out some nearby dinner favorites such as Kincaid's and Durant's. Would you be willing to go up to the $20-25 range for entrees? The savings in cab fares might offset the higher entree prices.
By the way, the Fry Bread House does not have a liquor license, so keep that in mind. It's probably a better choice for one of your lunches.
Coach & Willie's - Heh!
As I type this, I'm sitting here enjoying a couple slices of leftover Mignon pizza from Coach & Willie's obtained after the dreadful loss to the Giants last night.
It was my first time in there and if the Mignon pizza is any indication of how the food is, then I'll be heading back on future visits to Chase Field. The pizza crust was perfect if not just a smidge underdone but still had loads of flavor along with a duo of crispness and chew. It was topped with roasted garlic, carmelized onions, and filet cooked to your liking. I was fully prepared for a pizza with "tough" beef on top but this was different. It appears that they are actually using filet. The beef was easily chewed through on the first attempt at a bite. Scores major points for me. It was happy hour which meant that the pizza and my one beer were both 1/2 off. The total bill was just under $10. Hard to beat.
Anyway - my point is that it seems like a decent place with decent food. I understand that the location is probably pretty good but it seems like it's tucked away. ( Behind US Airways arena )
I think based on the criteria, you will have a wonderful time at Sam's Cafe at the Arizona Center, just two blocks away. I always have a good time at Bar Smith as well which is just 1 block south of the hotel. I'm just four blocks from the Hyatt and probably been to every restaurant within walking distance 10 times... and Sam's, Bar Smith, and My Big Fat Greek Restaurant reign supreme in my book.
The choices named above are probably good given your constraints. For steak and seafood, Durant's and Kincaid's are good. Durant's is more unique but a cab ride away; Kincaid's is a local outpost of small chain but walkable from the Convention Center.
2611 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
1602 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85006
Kincaid's Fish Chop/Steakhouse
2 South Third Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
455 N 3rd St Ste 114, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Fry Bread House
4140 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013
Coach & Willie's
412 S 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
My Big Fat Greek Restaurant-Phoenix
455 N 3rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003
130 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
I wanted to chime in on Kincaid's. I visited their happy hour (half off appetizers) during the AZ Auto Show and thought it was really good value, particularly the Classic Sampler (Teriyaki Tenderloin was amazing) and the Meatloaf Sliders were good as well. I had the wings, which I really enjoyed.
Romeo, the owner/chef of Euro Cafe, cooked with Nick for years -- I believe it was at Nick's Golden Cuisine, at 38th/Thomas and/or 37th/Indian School -- before opening his own place with his wife, and with Nick's blessing, in Mesa at Longmore & Southern in the late 80s or early 90s. At first, Euro Cafe's menu was very similar to Nick's and the food was very comparable in quality, quantity and price. Over the years, they have evolved, although I've never been to Euro since it moved to Gilbert and haven't been to 101 since Nick arrived there. I hope he makes it -- good cook, poor businessman, terrible at choosing locations ... Like when he open his cafe at Hayden and Osborn virtually next door to the mob-run Uncle Sal's ... they wouldn't let him serve pizza and the rest is history ...
I don't believe anyone's mentioned Cibo as of yet. It's a bit of a hoof but it falls well within your price range. Very good artisan thin-crust pizzas, antipastos, Italian wines and beers in a historic house. Your early dinner time should insure there won't be too much of a wait.
Also, for a bit of a splurge I'm pretty sure you won't be unhappy with Circa 1900, fine dining across from Pizzeria Bianco in Heritage Square. The space is lovely, it's in a Craftsman bungalow, and they do a lot of locally-sourced organic ingredients.
I'll also second Sam's Cafe for nonthreatening southwestern close by. They do a good happy hour, it's a good spot to meet up.
Finally, for the novelty factor and for decent bar food, consider Alice Cooper's Town just south of the arena. Your group is of an age that will appreciate the memorabilia. Hard Rock Cafes wish they had a fraction of the cachet of Vince's place, and the food is decent, and local bands sometimes play.
603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 850103
628 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Alice Cooper's Town
101 E Jackson St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
For lunch option, Crazy Jim's at 3rd Ave and Washinton is in walking distance. Good salads, subs, pita. Have lunched at Portland's a few times which is at Portland and Central - quite, prompt - business lunch service, straight forward food.
Calabria deli at Roosevelt and about 3rd or 5th ave is a good option too. Not too far away to walk but if it's still over 100 degrees may just be too hot.
If you're thinking of going as far as Roosevelt:
Did anyone else mention Carly's Bistro yet? Very affordable, trendy atmosphere, and good beer list/cocktails. Food is sandwiches and pita-wrap things that are good, not great. Hours: all day, IIRC. I've gone for lunch and I know they're open for dinner on First Fridays...
Also in the area is a bar that has gotten some pretty good reviews although I haven't made it there myself: The Roosevelt Tavern. Some food (not typical bar fare - owner is Matt Pool of Matt's Big Breakfast - great breakfast) and apparently pretty long beer list. Open from 5 until 12 on weeknights, not typical for downtown...
816 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
128 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
I'm thrilled to have so many good options. This is really going to secure my post as the Dining Director (an unpaid post)! Will report back on our luck. Based on the weather forecast, 100% cotton is in order. Thank you!
At 7th Ave. & McDowell (short cab ride from the Hyatt) there's a restaurant called My Florist which is rather different. The entrees are restricted to soups, sandwiches and salads along with a bar. Therefore, the prices will definitely fall easily within the parameters you set up. What makes this restaurant special, however, is the really cool decore and the music from one of the Valley's most talented pianists. Even if you don't get there for dinner, I recommend hitting it for breakfast or lunch.
re: Fendel V
This is a big thank you to all of the folks who sent suggestions. We had a very nice trip to your city.
Sam's Cafe was our first stop. We ate there twice. The food was very good. The service was a bit unpolished but earnest. Chix enchiladas and the chips were interesting.
Focaccia Fiorentina was also a double stop. The food was a good value. Only disapppointment was they wouldn't let us purchase wine and wouldn't tell us why. They clearly had some in a cooler. Oh well, had my first Italian beer instead.
Kincaid's was amazing. The halibut cheeks special on Thursday was worth every penny. So was the Kincaid's Amber Lager. Service was professional.
Coach & Willies was a B. Fish & chips, burger, and a southwest style salad - nothing bad and nothing super but we were full for a reasonable price.
While I was on a Grand Canyon tour with the tour group Detours - would recommend them - the guys went to Seamus McCaffrey's and said it was OK. A Sedona note: the tour guide ordered our lunch from a place called Sedona Memories and it was the best turkey sandwich I have ever, ever had and I used to own a deli. I subed mayo for the cream cheese but other than that had it their way.
A classmate from long ago treated me to lunch at Barrio Cafe. What a treat. Of course the guacamole was a must. I had the Mayan style pork and enjoyed it very much.
We have a trip to Scottsdale planned for April 08. Will want to get your ideas again! Thanks