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LAX - PHX Hound - Please help narrow it down

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If I'm lucky, I have but a mere 27,375 meals left in my life, and can't afford to waste one. I have about 18 of those to spend in PHX.

Must do's -
Eh, not so much -
Avoid at all cost -

Cowboy Ciao
Mastro's
Durant's
Estate House
Rancho Pinot
Daily Dose
Quiessence
Pizza Bianco
T Cooks
BLT Steak
Sol Y Sambra
Digestif
Binklys

Also, does PHX have any small, local, or street foods that are a must. How about any standout mexican sit down.

Thanks in advance. I just knew you would.

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  1. I don't think you have any on your list worthy of an 'avoid at all cost.'

    Must:
    Binkley's
    Quiessence
    maybe BLT Steak. I am not a fan of the pure steakhouse, but this place I don't mind.
    Add: noca

    Eh, notso --
    Durant's
    Daily Dose

    Honorable mentions, places of which I think are worth special effort:
    Sol Y Sambra
    Digestif

    For local/streetfood, Phoenix Ranch Market. There is a sit-down joint if you want to enjoy the weather and have a margarita, but you might do better strolling the mercado for your meal. Carolinas, 12th St and Mohave, couple blocks north of I-17. Fry Bread House, many mentions on the board. For good sit-down Mexican, Barrio Cafe, 16th St south of Thomas.

    4 Replies
    1. re: themis

      Exactly the type of response I was hoping for. Keep'em coming.

      1. re: WileysHungryAgain

        Where exactly are you staying and does distance from that location matter?

        1. re: azhotdish

          Staying in the Biltmore area. Will travel for the real deal. Once drove three hours in S. Carolina for BBQ

          1. re: WileysHungryAgain

            I hope that BBQ didn't disappoint!

    2. Definitely try Pizzeria Bianco, at the very least you'll be able to compare with Pizzeria Mozza.

      Other "Must do's" that I would include would be Quiessence and Binkleys.

      The other places on your list -- esp. Mastro's and BLT -- I would pass; no need to come to Phoenix and dine at corporate chain steakhouses.

      1. I'm from Tucson so my recs are limited, but we made a Saturday overnight trip out of dinner at Cowboy Ciao and a night at Royal Palms. Not the best meal I ever had, but very, very good and a very enjoyable, relaxing and FUN place. Great service, too!

        1. L.A. is lacking in New Mexican food, so I'd fit in a trip to Richardson's or Carlsbad Tavern. I also think Barrio Cafe is much better than similar restaurants in L.A. for quality sit-down Mexican food. Quiessence is a great idea for dinner, but if you can't get there, try the adjacent Morning Glory Cafe for a memorable breakfast.

          Enjoy your trip!

          3 Replies
          1. re: dustchick

            Again, thanks for all in insight.
            Barrio +1
            Cowboy +1
            Pizza B +1
            New Mexican +2
            Quissence +1
            Binkleys +1

            Anyone doing any decent "Bistro" there?
            Sweetbreads on any menus lately?

            1. re: WileysHungryAgain

              For Bistro Fare (which I love...) I would suggest Zinc Bistro. Also, Metro (which is relatively new and has some mixed reviews, but I've been hearing some very favorable things as of very recently) or Bistro 24, which is at the Ritz Carlton near where you're staying. I've never had a miss at Zinc Bistro, and it's in a nice outdoor shopping center that is fun to wander in the afternoon or evening. They also have nice outdoor seating.

              I had sweetbreads at Estate House that were fabulous, but I've heard that it has slipped. I also recall having them recently at NOCA, but I don't think they're regularly on the menu.

              -----
              Zinc Bistro
              15034 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

              Bistro 24
              2401 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016

              Metro Brasserie
              7114 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

              1. re: ejs1492

                Vincent's has them on the menu all the time.
                http://www.vincentsoncamelback.com/me...

                -----
                Vincent On Camelback
                3930 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

          2. Los compadres is my new fave place for just good ol mexican

            The Fry Bread house as well-AWESOME!!!

            these are 2 cool not fancy good eats.

            Mastro's has good steak.

            Binkley's is a MUST for a chef's tasting/wine pairing dinner

            -----
            Fry Bread House
            4140 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

            Los Compadres Mexican Food
            4414 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

            1 Reply
            1. re: drewb123

              Thanks again for all. Will do a proper report when I return home. Not making it to as many as I would like.

              I LOVE CATCHING UP WITH THE FAMILY!
              Reminds me of why I left home in the first place.

            2. For a memorable street food item, I recommend stopping by Nogales Hot Dogs on the SW corner of 20th and Indian School. It's a fantastic hotdog cart that serves a bacon wrapped hotdog in a bun topped with beans, tomato, onion, and a little mayo. Top it with your choice of shredded cheese, salsa verde, etc. They set up sometime in the early evening and go late into the night. The place is run by very friendly people and the spanish soap operas in the little tv is always entertaining

              -----
              Nogales Hot Dogs
              1945 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

              1. I would avoid Barrio's. At one time it was a great place to indulge in some authentic Mexican cuisine. Now it is an assembly line plain and simple, the goal being to turn the tables asap. We had dinner there last night and were rushed through in 38 minutes (6 of us) our wine order was opened after we were half way through our entree!!! The duck tasted like liver,,... I could go on but why. Awful experience especially since I had taken out of town guests with me.