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PHX: Carlsbad or Richardson's

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Taking friends from out of town to dinner and we want to give them a taste of NM. Which do you think is better for overall food quality, service, and value? Carlsbad Tavern or Richardson's?

Hubby vetoed Los Sombreros since his meal was clearly undercooked last time and the customer service trying to take care of it was horrible (my seafood crepes were unbelievably delicious--so I'll be going back with my girlfriends soon!).

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  1. Based on those criteria, Richardson's would probably be best.

    For something closer to real NM-style food, however, I might suggest Los Dos Molinos instead. Though, over the years, we've had various negative food- and service-related experiences at their restaurants.

    I can't vouch for it personally, but I've heard good things about the NM-style food at Si Señor in Chandler.

    I hope this doesn't confuse the matter. :-)

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

    Los Dos Molinos
    8646 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85042

    Los Dos Molinos
    1010 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

    Los Dos Molinos
    260 S Alma School Rd Ste 137, Mesa, AZ 85210

    Sí Señor Restaurant
    600 N Alma School Rd, Chandler, AZ

    1. Richardson's. Hands down.

      The overall quality and depth of the food is much better than Carlsbad, although I think Carlsbad is quite good.

      1. Richardson's or for the same great menu in a more subdued, quiet space -- Dick's Hideway just a few steps away. Mmm... now I'm craving Tomatillo Toast!

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        Dick's Hideaway
        6008 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

        1. We like them both. We eat at Carlsbad more often because it's closer to us(and usually tied in to when I need to pick something up across the street at Penzey's.)

          That said, I'd say overall Richardson's is the better option so for visitors that's where I'd take them. Especially since we've found the service at Carlsbad to be really hit or miss, with company I'd hate to have them experience one of the bad visits.

          We live in Chandler. Si Senor isn't bad and fills the bill when we don't want to drive anywhere but I wouldn't compare it to either of them.

          And I"m probably the only body in the Valley that really dislikes Los Dos Molinos so take my advice with a grain of salt. :)

          1. As an ex-resident of NM, I have to go with Carlsbad Tavern. Richardson's is a chop house, and a good one, but it is only faintly New Mexican. When a good friend moved here from there, I took her to RIchardson's, all excited that she would not have to leave the good stuff behind, and to this day, whenever my Chowhound proclivities are mentioned, she sniggers and goes on and on, 'Since when is SEA BASS from New Mexico,' etc. Since then she thinks I have no palate to speak of.

            hohokam is right -- there are options closer to actual NM cuisine, and I would put Los Dos before Richardson's, as well. But nothing really measures up, for me. I would take them to any of our wonderful actual Mexican places -- Barrio Cafe sounds good, for what you're after -- and forget the copycatting.