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Oct 7, 2008 11:15 AM

Restaurants Near Paradise Valley/Scottsdale AZ

I'm headed to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain this weekend. I am not renting a car, so will be relying on a cab or perhaps (if lucky) walking to places to eat. I need recommendations for the following meals:

Breakfast - 3 days

Brunch/Lunch - 3 days

Dinner - 1 day

The places should be close to the resort so I don't spend a lot of money on transportation. Casual places that serve great food and aren't chains would be great. Nothing too expensive, as I'm going out to fancy dinners two nights I'm there. Food types of all sorts are welcome - but if you can give me some great, great places for breakfast/brunch/lunch, that would be my first priority. Thank you!

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  1. I strongly recommend that you either rent a car or switch to a different hotel. The Sanctuary is a very nice resort, but it's not in a walkable area at all.

    I recommend that you eat at least one meal at Elements, the house restaurant. It's quite well-regarded.

    Other "nearby" (in relative terms) places:

    T. Cooks -- upscale Mediterranean on the other side of Camelback Mountain
    Tarbell's -- Modern American @ 32nd St. & Camelback
    Delux -- Burgers, salads, and more @ 32nd St. & Camelback
    NOCA -- haven't been there yet, but getting rave reviews on this board; also at 32nd St. & Camelback

    Sorry, but I can't get placelinks to work right now.

    15 Replies
    1. re: silverbear

      Thanks for the help. We're going for the resort mostly, so switching isn't an option and the rental car is too expensive to just sit in the lot, but we don't want to stay on-site for the entire visit. We have reservations at Elements our first night there, so we're covered. I have done a little research and came up with some stuff for breakfast and dinner - have you ever been to any of the following? According to google maps, they're all less than 7 miles from the resort, so we could take a cab.

      Orange Table
      Pischke's Paradise
      JP Pancake

      For dinner which do you recommend, if you've been to either:

      Los Olivos - the one on 2nd Street
      Frank and Lupe's Old Mexico

      I heard good things about Furio for dinner - any thoughts?

      Thanks again for your help.

      1. re: JBITH13

        Orange Table and JP Pancake are fine choices for breakfast in my experience. I believe Pischke's is closed.

        I'd definitely recommend Frank and Lupe's over Los Olivos. The former is reasonably good, highly flavorful New Mexican food. The latter is rather average and gloppy Sonoran food in my experience.

        No experience with Furio.

        1. re: silverbear

          F&L has yet to impress me. And I've never expected much. I live nearby and thus keep going back. Maybe it's the playful, relaxed decor. Maybe it's the promise of good New Mex-inspired fare. But for some reason I've never been wowed by the food. And when compared to equally low key joints in New Mexico, it totally undelivers.

          I like their beans, their chips and salsa. They have some good staff as well. But their red and green chile sauces wouldn't merit debate in most of NM, plus they are sparsely applied and kind of watery. I took friends there on Friday and everything was great until the mains arrived... enchiladas were cold and the cheese not melted. Before that, I visited and ordered a combo plate, but didn't realize until after than several things promised were never delivered. Bottom line: they aren't sharp across the board.

          I get the sense that there was once a well-meaning owner who wanted to be distinct, but in time began catering to the midwest tourists and the fare was dumbed down and is no longer given much passion. No proud NM eatery would serve enches with cold, unmelted cheese inside.

          I'm hoping the NM styles will venture west. Richardson's does a good job, but otherwise, I'd not be sending visitors to anyone else just yet.

          1. re: tastyjon

            For the most part, I agree. F&L is not a show-stopper by any means. Nevertheless, in a one-on-one comparison with Los Olivos, it wins.

            I agree, though, that the OP should probably look elsewhere for more options in terms of New Mexican, Mexican, or Southwestern food.

            And the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that a rental car would be cheaper than all those cab fares.

            1. re: silverbear

              I was at Los Olivos about a month ago and ordered the fish tacos - unbreaded fish and not even served with a lime! I have no idea why the place is packed - the only redeemable quality is has is the salsa.

              1. re: foodbme

                Los Dos Molinos is good stuff, but it's WAY out of the way for someone staying at Sanctuary. Richardson's (and its secret twin bar/restaurant around the corner, Dick's Hideaway) would be a better choice.

          2. re: JBITH13

            Pischke's is gone! The owner shot himself.
            Go to the Breakfast Club on Scottsdale Rd in Old Town across from the Galliera.
            I think the Orange Table sucks.
            Los Olivos is Old time Scottsdale but good Mexivcan food. Frank & Lupes is OK Too.
            Not impressed with Furio. Too Mod & Phony for my tastes.
            The resort is located on Lincoln Dr. El Charro Lodge is on the same road near your place. Been there forever, excellent place to capture "Old Arizona" .
            For Lunch, go to AJ's Market. It's on Lincoln Dr near Scottsdale Rd. It's an upscale Super market with an excellent food service department, Good for lunch or takeout. Have tables outside. Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Sushi & DESSERTS/BAKERY! You could have the Cabby wait, pick up yourfood, go bck to the hotel, sit by the pool, and have a great lunch!
            Go to MSN's City Guides/Restaurants/Phoenix and put "Restaurants in Paradise Valley, AZ" in the search boxes and you will get tons of places nearby. The section of Scottsdale Rd North & South of the intersection of Scottsdale Rd & Lincoln Drive is loaded with places. Maximum cab ride 1-3 miles.

            1. re: JBITH13

              Los Dos Molinos on the South Side of Phoenix is (New Mexico style food) is THE BEST Mexican food in PHX. Certainly you have to be able to take the heat, but if you can, then this is quite simply the best Mexican food in Phoenix. Unfortunately, it's about a 30 mile cab ride. For atmosphere, you can't beat this southside location of Los Dos Molinos, which was formerly the home of cowboy star Tom Mix. The place offers authentic New Mexican cuisine---a rarity in this neighbor state---which ranges in flavor from hot to hotter to wildfire. The food is electric but the atmosphere is relaxed. Take your time to savor blue corn enchiladas, adovado ribs and chile rellenos. Cool off with the raspberry iced tea or a sweet, fried dough sopaipilla.

              1. re: foodbme

                The Downtown location of LDM (12th St. & Washington) is much closer to the Sanctuary and serves the same menu as the South Mountain location.

                1. re: silverbear

                  I live in New York City, and we have Los Dos Molinos here (I checked their site, it's the same place), so I'd like to go somewhere that I can't eat at here.

                  1. re: JBITH13

                    Yes, it's the same menu in all four Arizona locations and the location in Manhattan.

                    1. re: silverbear

                      Yes, the menu may be the same, but I'll bet a Burrito the food tastes different and better in AZ and you can't duplicate the Ambiance! I'll also bet that Tom Mix never lived in the Big Apple!

                  2. re: silverbear

                    Yes, but doesn't have the History and Ambience that the one on Central Av has!

                    1. re: foodbme

                      I've been to 3 LDM locations - on S. Central, Washington, and the one in NYC. The New York version just doesn't cut it, Central Avenue is it.

            2. You've got an interesting challenge here.

              Sanctuary is beautiful, but part of that comes from being a bit "on it's own." If you don't mind a small hike, you can hit some of the other resorts within a few miles. But if you want to get out of the immediate area, you'll need transport.

              Check with the hotel... they might have a shuttle. If not, there are some eateries that will send a car. Otherwise, you'll need to cab it. It's not that far to some choices, but if it might seem pricey to taxi for a meal, make a day of it. You can get dropped off at the mall or Old Town and spend a day there. In these areas, there are lots of eating options for different meals at different price points.

              8 Replies
              1. re: tastyjon

                Thanks for all the feedback. How far from the resort is Old Town?

                A car rental is very expensive (we checked) and it doesn't make sense for use only because we're not going to leave the resort except to eat, so it will only be a few times during the weekend.

                Is there a good Mexican/New Mexican restaurant within 10 miles of Sanctuary?

                Any other good breakfast/brunch spots that are within that same 10 mile radius?

                I'd love to find some great local spots to eat, but don't want to go too far - surely there's a lot of things within 10 miles? Most of the restaurants I saw were within 6 miles, as I'd said in my original posting.


                1. re: JBITH13

                  Sanctuary to Old Town Scottsdale = 4 miles


                  The problem with the area around the Sanctuary is that it is affluent, predominantly white non-hispanic, and low density. That means you can find plenty of upscale resort fine dining, along with major chains in Scottsdale's retail district, but relatively few charming hole-in-the-wall places.

                  If you really want some adventurous eating and want to expand your radius to 10 miles, a lot of Central Phoenix, including 16th St and 24th St., becomes an option. Some ideas there:

                  Barrio Cafe -- semi-upscale Interior Mexican
                  El Napolito -- divey, cheap Mexican with good mole
                  Rosita's Place -- Phoenix institution with fiery salsas and classic Sonoran food
                  La Barquita -- same description as El Napolito
                  Phoenix Ranch Market -- food court inside the supermarket and full-service restaurant Tradicones

                  Note all of these are in grittier neighborhoods than the Sanctuary because that's usually where the best "ethnic" food is located. If you are going to be dependent on cabs make sure to have the number of the cab company you are using and call ahead to get your taxi. Hailing a cab on the street is unheard of in Phoenix. Also make sure to have precise directions to the restaurant because it's likely your cab driver won't have heard of many of them.

                  1. re: silverbear

                    I had Sunday Buinch Buffet at Tradicones this past Sunday, It was very good. They have both "American" as well as Mexican specialtys. The Entertainment was very good, Traditional Mexican Folk Dancing with very nice authentic costumes and Mariche Music. Quite entertaining and the variety of food was nicely done.
                    You should make reservations if you're going.
                    If you cook any Mexican foods at home, go next door to the Ranch Market and pick up spices and stuff you may not be able to get at home.

                      1. re: JBITH13

                        Yes, it's on the South end of Old Town. Too "Skip & Buffy" for my tastes!

                    1. re: JBITH13

                      I think Richardson's and Los Sombreros are your best Mexican/New Mexican options. Los Sombreros is only open for dinner, and closed Mondays. Richardson's and Dick's Hideaway have long hours between the two, and are good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

                      Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
                      2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

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

                      1. re: JBITH13

                        I'll throw out some breakfast/brunch options within that radius:

                        Cafe ZuZu @ Hotel Valley Ho
                        Acacia Cafe (Sunday Brunch)
                        Taylor's Cafe
                        La Grande Orange
                        Village Tavern (Sunday Brunch)

                        Regarding Furio, I've only been to happy hour; it's great, but I have not heard much about dinner. Not sure of your age, but think modern furniture, downtempo electronic music, a mid-20's to 30's crowd.

                        La Grande Orange Grocery
                        4410 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                        Acacia Cafe
                        3701 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                        Taylor's Cafe
                        5053 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                        Cafe Zuzu
                        6850 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                        Village Tavern
                        8787 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

                        1. re: JBITH13

                          Honestly, a lot of this has to do with your travel habits and vacation intent.

                          The Sanctuary is a gem of a place and part of the reason for this is because they've carved out an intimate little corner on a the side of a mountain. It's not in the middle on nowehere, but it's not in the middle of Times Square. Some folks are happy to hang about and not go anywhere. Others want to venture out.

                          I'm more like the latter. And as a frequent traveler myself, going out for a meal is folded into other plans. For example, we have some world class restaurants (Binkley's, Kai, etc) that are a bit of a journey and would be a sizable cab fare. And if going in the evening, there's nothing else in the area - so it's a trip there and right back. On the flip side, you can head into old town for some tourist stuff and shopping, try out a few happy hour places, and then have a decent meal or few. It can easily be a half day or more of wandering, so a cab trip there isn't as distinct.

                          As mentioned, Old Town is kinda not there with good Mex/NM. The Breakfast Club is a fave for brekkies, but the lines can surpass their value.

                          But if timing a window to visit, you're better served hitting it for happy hour, evening dining, nightlife. Mornings are quiet. At lunch, things open up. But it's more of PM spot.

                      2. Here's the web site for AJ's Markets. As mentioned above, a good place to grab lunch as well as Wine, Munchies, etc for your room!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: foodbme

                          A few other restaurants in the close proximity to your resort are Ranch Pinot Grill....

                          Humble Pie @ Hilton village...great wood fired pizzas, salads and wine list....grab a patio seat and enjoy the open bar area in which you can look into the kitchen and watch the pizza makers...

                          The Borgata has 3 new restaurants...none of which I have tried...but do look interesting:

                          Sugarbaker's which looks like a fun place for Breakfast...and dessert


                          J. Alexander.'s

                          The Borgata is located in between MacDonald Dr and Lincold Drive on Scottsdale Rd...your resort is located just off of MacDonald Drive.....

                          1. re: ciaogal

                            I'll echo what the others have said:

                            Noca is a good choice for dinner.

                            T. Cooks at the Royal Palms is a good choice for any meal (they have (IMO) the best brunch in town).

                            Humble Pie is a good "cheap" meal - pizza/salads

                            Richardson's - great New Mexican food

                            Lon's - probably 2-3 miles away from the Sanctuary - cool location in a old school hacienda.

                        2. you can't beat sitting outside @ El Chorro Lodge on Lincoln Dr.
                          I know it has already been mentioned.......their mesquite grill, sticky buns and classic cocktails are worth the visit.
                          Visiting El Chorro is like being in a time's classic old time Phoenix....with some of the prettiest views in town!
                          They do a great Sunday Brunch...this is the perfect time of year to dine al fresco!

                          El Chorro Lodge
                          5550 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ciaogal

                            El Chorro place link...

                            El Chorro Lodge
                            5550 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

                          2. La Grande Orange would be a good choice for breakfast or lunch. It is not too far from your hotel, and if you take a cab you won't have to worry about valet parking :) Maybe The Sanctuary has bikes you can borrow?? A bike ride + coffee and breakfast at LGO would make for an enjoyable morning.