Tempe/Phoenix Reccs=Thanksgiving Weekend
I will be in town from LA for the USC/ASU football game (Thanksgiving Day). I am thinking about staying in Tempe for a day or two and then moving to downtown Phoenix.
Looking for good steak, seafood, mexican or italian. Also where should I stay for a sample of Phoenix nightlife. I know Tempe has all that Mill Avenue stuff going on. What's similar in the Phoenix area? Or is Scottsdale better?
Since we will take cabs, proximity or walking distance is ideal.
Heh, I like your username.
If you're staying on Mill for a couple of nights, the chow situation is improving there. It used to be I would only ever recommend Caffe Boa for Italian/Mediterranean (on Hayden Square; 5th and Mill) or House of Tricks for bistro American. Now, you have Dragonfly for Vietnamese and Restaurant Mexico for Mexican.
If you want nightlife and you will only be cabbing it, you should stay in Scottsdale rather than downtown Phoenix. Scottsdale has clubs and great restaurants and a trolley running around old town and downtown to get you around.
If you've got a car, you can get a few more options in Tempe beyond Mill Ave. You might try San Diego Bay over in Guadalupe (about 3-4 miles) for Mexican seafood. Steak I eat at home so I can't help there. Classic Italian Pizza is a good place for wood-fired pizzas (Baseline between Rural and McClintock). Tricks is good and has a very nice outdoor bar.
Scottsdale is definitely the place for clubs.
If you're making a trip for the SC/ASU game, I'm assuming you're a big sports fan, and if that's the case, I'd recommend Don & Charlie's in Scottsdale for steak. I don't think it has a great reputation on this board, but I've always enjoyed it thoroughly. During Spring Training, it's a must-visit for both fans and baseball personnel. The decor is all sports memorabilia.
I've had their rib eye, prime rib and filet mignon/baby back rib combination several times each and enjoyed them all. The meal begins with a rather unique bread basket with chopped liver.
During Spring Training, it's not easy to get a reservation. I don't know what it's like this time of year, though.
EDIT: to add that downtown, I also like the baby back ribs at (Alice Cooper's) Cooper'sTown sports bar behind U.S. Airways Center.