PHX Feedback - NOCA, Houston's, Metro Brasserie
My husband and I just returned to San Francisco from two separate weekends in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area and I thought I would post a small excerpt of feedback for future searchers. Based on recommendations from the board, we ate twice at NOCA. The first time was great and the second time disappointing. The first night was for a Sunday Night Supper. The owner and maitre'd are great and friendly, but our waiter was not. The food was great (I had the fried chicken - soo good) and cotton candy so much fun. The second time was off their a la carte menu and nothing was great. The crab summer rolls smelled off and what was supposed to be "mango" was just a drizzle of flavorless sauce. The "panzanella" should never have made it on their menu. When you hear panzanella you think of juicy tomatoes, crusty bread moistened in balsalmic vinegar and fresh greens. Their version had NO greens, hardly any other vegetables and just chunks of overly buttered completely hard bread. Just awful. Their cheese ravioli special app (we got as an entree) somehow managed to be bland and salty at the same time but the best item of the three. I know everyone here loves NOCA, but this is just honest feedback. Hope they are not resting on their laurels??? Ironically, after being disappointed with a local spot, we turned to Houston's - a chain we know from San Francisco - and it was totally consistent and good as ever. We love the grilled fish sandwich there with house made coleslaw and fries. Just good comfort food. We do want to give a shout out to Metro Brasserie in Old Town Scottsdale, where we ate at three times! I cannot get enough of the chicken salad sandwich - the golden raisin chutney is killer - and my husband loves their burger. Great outdoor patio with music on Sunday mornings. We also made the mistake of eating at the Macayo's on Scottsdale Road b/c we drove by it and were craving Mexican - without a recommendation - it was utterly dismal and horrible. Don't go.