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UGA Chowhound wants good eats in Phoenix

A big group of us (10-12) will be going to Phoenix for the UGA vs. ASU football game the third weekend in September. We are staying in a house on N. Central (6000 block) and will be in town for 2 nights, not including Saturday night at the game in Tempe. What I would like to know from you experts out there is where do you suggest we chow down on Thursday and Friday nights? We will have a car, so that isn't a problem, but I know that the group doesn't like to drive too far to eat. Our age group is from 35-55 and we tend to be a little loud after a few martinis, so something too fancy would be out. We want good food and something that we can't find in Athens, GA. For instance, when we were in New Orleans, we had the best time in a run down little Oyster bar in the French market! I would also like to know of a few hidden gems for lunch. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks from Athens, GA!

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  1. Hello From-Athens, GA!

    Based on your location a natural suggestion is Richardson's or Dick's Hideaway. Especially if you could get the big table at Dick's. The food is great, drinks good and strong and depending on exactly where your house is...is just minutes from the restuarants. Also, a little loud is not a problem.

    Also great in the area is Rokerij (owned by Richardson's/Dick's management) and Marcelino's (great Italian) up the road. Also fun might be Lola's Tapas just down the road at 7th Street and Camelback. Their communal table would be really fun for the group.

    Durant's at Central and Virginia is retro-fabulous for classic steaks and martinis in a dark classic environment. They are open for lunch and dinner and would be memorable in either case.

    Another great option (would definitely need to call ahead) is Coup des Tartes. It's tiny, charming and BYOB so you could all swing by AJ's on Central and Camelback (not far from your house) and buy a few great wines and have a great dinner. They have a private room, which may be just right for your group - get noisy in peace. :)

    Any particular type of cuisine you all are looking for??

    6 Replies
    1. re: HomeCookKirsten

      Agreed for your local chow.

      Being in the collegiate mode, I would also suggest heading to Tempe for lunch or dinner on Fri. Hit Mill Ave. and just walk about. There are lots of places, but some of the chow faves are:

      - Cafe Boba. More sophisticated than the local college digs but you need not dress up. Think good wine and italina fare.

      - Rula Bula. An Irish pub with good Irish/Brit fare. Think Shepherds pie, Irish stew, etc.

      There's a new pizza place getting great reviews and a few more faves which others will hopefully suggest.

      If it were me, I'd hit FatBurger for some bulk and then simply go hopping down the street. Either way, you'll habe a blast.

      1. re: tastyjon

        Better for bulk... Coconut Club on the north end of Mill. It's a college bar that just happens to serve up some of the best Hawaiian BBQ in town.

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        Coconut Club Bar & Grill
        414 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ

      2. re: HomeCookKirsten

        As the owner (?) of two Bulldogs (different coloration from UGA XIV), I second Richardson's (New Mexican with a twist). Loud is OK and the regional fare is great and will be unique.

        A bit farther down the road, I also recommend Cowboy Ciao, in old town Scottsdale - not far by Phoenix standards. Great food (SW take on Italian, or Italian take on SW) and wonderful wines. Noise level is a bit high for me, but sounds about right for the group.

        Enjoy and have a wonderful time. My pups will likely be watching the game on TV, in hopes that UGA makes the trip. I think my "girl dog" wants to have his puppies...

        Hunt

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        Cowboy Ciao
        7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico
        1582 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016

        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Our new Uga VII will be there!! He is VERY handsome!

          1. re: klfarlowe

            Yes he is. The local paper ran a photo. My bad, as I was thinking that UGA's "number" was much higher. Been a while since I was last in Athens. If he's making the trip, I hope that it cools off some more around here. Now, you DO understand that I cannot pull for GA, even if UGA is on the sidelines, in this contest, but it's one of the few.

            Hope you find some good places (I know they are here, but proximity might limit you a bit) to dine. Phoenix (Metro) has some great restaurant options at most levels and most cuisines.

            This is also a very active board and the folk here will have some great recs for you.

            Safe trip and a good game!

            Hunt

        2. re: HomeCookKirsten

          I would caution against Coup des Tartes. I seriously doubt that "we tend to be a little loud after a few martinis" would be looked upon too favorably. Doesn't sound like charming is what these folks are looking for, IMHO.

          Deb

        3. Something you can't find in Athens, GA?

          Try Chino Bandido. http://chinobandido.com/

          1. You can make reservations at Richardson's/Dick's for the big table in the cellar room. It seats twelve, and because of the setup, it's the only way your whole group will be able to sit together.

            They also have a wonderful breakfast/brunch, so you have that option as well. Great coffee, carne adovada with eggs...yum.

            Phoenix City Grille is a good option for late night dining as well.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mamamia

              Wow, great suggestions! Richardson's sounds like our kind of place and I could introduce New Mexican cuisine to my friends. And it is not far from where we are staying. Chinobandito sounds intriguing. Thanks for the help!

              1. re: klfarlowe

                Do not recall all of the replies, re: Richardson's, BUT in the same strip-mall, and just around the corner (from Richardson's front door, head East to the corner, turn North and go about 3 doors) is Dick's Hideaway. It's joined at the kitchen by Richardson's and is usually not as full. To the best of my knowledge, the menus are identical, or nearly so. It's a bit brighter, and not normally as loud, but still very lively. If you cannot get into Richardson" (do not know if they take reservations), don't hesitate to go to Dick's. We usually just head there first.

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  hi there,

                  just to clarify - richardson's takes reservations - always have. you just need to have 4 or more peeps in your party

                  hope that helps :)

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Reserving the big table at Dick's will be the only way the group will be able to sit together, if that's important.

                    A sidenote: We went to Richardson's last weekend. Service there is usually spot on, but we received poor service from our waiter. Our whole group was scratching our heads on this one....we wanted to slip some cash to our bus boy/guy/dude because he was better than the server. But until we see a pattern, we'll keep on going.

              2. If you find yourself near ASU at a time other than for the game, it's well worth checking out Four Peaks Brewery. Excellent food, good beer, and a great atmosphere off the beaten path (well, considering how popular the place is, I guess the path is *well* beaten).

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: boingo2000

                  We got a reservation for the big table at the Rokerij. Richardson's and Dick's were already reserved. Thanks so much for all of your posts! We are planning on going to Tempe on Friday night to get into "game mode". I will take the suggestions and go forth into the wild west!!
                  Kat