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East Tempe/Mesa/Scottsdale recs?

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Hi everyone -

My family and I are converging on the Phoenix area in a couple weeks - we rented a condo in what i've been told is "east Tempe" - near the freeways. I'm looking for some chowish places to eat where we can avoid alot of traffic or can get good take out to bring back to the condo. Have a 18 month old son which means - lunches out, early diners or bringing in food.

We love interesting food - stuff we don't get much in Seattle (so don't need alot of asian recs unless there's someplace just really great). Love mexican, new mexican, middle eastern, delis, GELATO (finally i can eat it someplace where it's warm out!), breakfast spots (my son is up at 5am), good coffee. Will head into PHX for navajo fry bread (the place not far from the Native American art museum) for sure.

I've been perusing the board, and have found the following - please add and comment...

Blue Adobe Grill - Mesa
Carlsbad Tavern - Scottsdale (will probably choose b/t these two for a dinner w/o the child)

Kabab Palace - Tempe
El Pollo Supremo
Grill El Quetzel
Whole foods for gelato - tempe
Lombardo's in tempe marketplace (gelato)

Need more recs for sure - thanks in advance!

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  1. There are a lot of casual places for lunch and dinner near Arizona State University (downtown Tempe) that are fine for kids any time of day. My favorites (and places I take my own toddler):
    Restaurant Mexico - family-run, Mexico City style food (on Mill Ave)
    Med Fresh Grill - great middle eastern (also on Mill Ave)
    Lalibela - Ethiopian - (University Drive and Hardy)
    Cornish Pasty Company (University Drive and Hardy)
    Harlow's - breakfast - University Dr (tends to be busy on late weekend mornings though)
    La Fonda - Sonoran style Mexican (Scottsdale Rd near the 202)
    There was a post on Chowhound recently about gelato you might want to check out, too.

    Kabab Palace is probably okay for a young toddler at lunch, but dinner would depend on how cooperative he was feeling that night; it's not a really formal place, but it is pretty quiet, and has white tablecloths.

    El Pollo Supremo is a fast food chain; it's fine, but nothing special.

    The Farm at South Mountain is a nice place for weekend brunch, and kids can run around the grounds, especially if your table is on the edge of the seating area.

    1. Good ideas in both posts above. Let me add an endorsement for these places:

      Guerrero's -- lunch only; informal Mexican along Apache just west of 101 Freeway
      Chill -- gelato and frozen yogurt @ Apache & Dorsey
      Pita Jungle -- Middle Eastern influenced with a healthy feel; also at Apache & Dorsey
      Tasty Kabob -- Persian; right next door to Pita Jungle
      Haji-Baba -- Middle Eastern on Apache between Dorsey & McClintock
      Khai Hoan -- Vietnamese on Apache between Dorsey & McClintock
      Pho Mesa -- Vietnamese on Dobson just south of Broadway in west Mesa
      Asian Cafe Express -- Cantonese at Dobson & Main in west Mesa
      Sushi Eye -- Japanese @ Elliott & Kyrene
      Efes -- Turkish @ McClintock & Guadalupe

      All are family-friendly. I've taken our 15-month old to many of these places. I've also taken the little one to Kabab Palace, and the owner, who is a father himself, was very accomodating.

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      Pita Jungle
      1250 E Apache Blvd Ste 113, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Sushi Eye
      780 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284

      Asian Cafe Express
      1911 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201

      Kabab Palace
      710 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ

      Haji-Baba Middle Eastern
      1513 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Tasty Kabob
      1250 E Apache Blvd Ste 116, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Khai Hoan
      1537 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Pho Mesa
      502 S Dobson Rd Ste 3, Mesa, AZ 85202

      Efes Turkish Cuisine
      1701 E Guadalupe Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283

      Chill
      1250 E Apache Blvd 104, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Guerrero's Mexican Food
      2148 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

      1 Reply
      1. re: silverbear

        One more: Four Peaks Brewing Company -- microbrewery with great beer and very good food; Dorsey & 8th St. The restaurant has high chairs, and I've seen kids there, although I would make it a lunch choice since things get pretty busy at happy hour.

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        Four Peaks Brewing Co
        1340 E 8th St, Tempe, AZ 85281

      2. Just got back from Tempe last week and we love the Chuckbox for one of the best cheeseburgers..on University near ASU..
        Carolina's for the best Mexican and that is on Mohave & 12th street near the BOB/Chase Field..it's a dive and cheap but one of the best ever!!
        Matt's Big Breakfast is always good..

        www.mattsbigbreakfast.com

        1. For a different breakfast, try Phoenix Ranch Market at 16th and Roosevelt in Phx. The counter in the store has a big selection of things like tacos, tortas, sopes and gorditos and all the toppings to put on them (huevos en salsa, huevos con nopalitos, huevos con chorizo, menudo (weekends) and lot more I didn't have time to look at. Fruit drinks from the agua fresca counter. There are plenty of bench tables to eat at. My wife and I split a big torta with huevos en salsa and all the trimmings (smear of refried beans, slab of white cheese, lettuce and crema) for $2 and tax.

          The place is loud and busy. A small child will hardly be noticed.

          1. You can't leave out Ted's.
            http://www.tedsonline.com/
            Cash only, great hot dogs.

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            Ted's Charcoal Broiled Hot Dogs
            1755 E Broadway Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282