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May 8, 2009 06:52 AM

Question about Quiessence (PHX)

I'm visiting the PDX area in a few weeks and was seeking a place for lunch. There will be several children in our party and we would like to find an outdoor patio for a casual lunch. I searched the board...checked out Quiessence...sounded perfect until I noticed on their website that they suggest "business casual" for dress. We will no doubt be in shorts and more casual clothes after a morning at the botanical garden. Is this the wrong choice for our group? Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

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    1. I've never been to Quiessence for lunch so don't know the dress. Evening is definitely "business casual"

      That said, right there at the farm is the The Farm Kitchen which does lunch. You can eat on the patio or on the picnic tables in the pecan grove. Lots of room for the kids to run around, etc. Informal but tasty(sandwiches, salads and the like).

      Other thing to's 100+ here now and likely won't be cooler in a few weeks. Sure you want to eat outside?

      1 Reply
      1. re: ziggylu

        Thanks for your comments...maybe not a good option for noon with the heat.

      2. I know it is not the foodie place like Quiessence but we have visited the "Old Tortilla Factory" in Old Town Scottsdale with kids and had great experience. They have a beautiful patio, especially at night and great margarita's. Food is typical mex stuff but not bad. If it turns out to be to warm they can seat you inside.

        Much closer to the gardens. I would recommend visiting the gardens late in the day but before you loose all the light. Easier to take pictures of all the glass exhibits and you still see them litup.

        3 Replies
        1. re: duck833

          Thanks for your comments. Greatly appreciate getting an inside view from chowhound regulars...always makes for better experiences!

          1. re: duck833

            Yer kiddin' about Old Town Tortilla Factory, right? It's the quintessential tourist trap. I work at the hotel across the street and we send people elsewhere if they're looking for good Mexican food. My favorite exchange about the place was when I was seeing a couple of guests off. One was a silver-haired gentleman in his seventies, and he had the perfect radio baritone voice. We were discussing local options for food when another person joined the conversation and asked about OTTF. The gentleman intoned in that dulcet baritone, "I went there last night for dinner... it SUCKED!"

            But you're quite right about the light at the Botanical Gardens.

            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

              i completely agree...and i'd say hit the garden as early as possible. you'll be dying by late afternoon, and there's not a whole lot of shade around the garden. am is definitely best

          2. Despite the fine evening light, in late May/early June I'd personally favor visiting the garden as early in the morning as possible b/c of the heat (unless you're from a hot climate), then eating lunch indoors. Restaurant Mexico is pretty near the garden, next to the ASU campus. It has good Mexico City style food (crumbly queso fresco instead of melted yellow cheese, tasty green tomatillo sauce), including one of my favorite summer foods, the Clare burro (whole beans and avocados, with the aforementioned green sauce, served just a little over room temperature). They're also family-run, with a shelf of toys for kids at the front, and service is fast-- any young kids in your group won't have a chance to get bored or whiny. It's definitely not the foodie destination Quiessence is, but it is tasty and kid-friendly. If Mexican food isn't your favorite, Essence Bakery Cafe is also good and emphasizes local, often organic ingredients like Quiessence does, although it's such a small place I'd avoid it during the weekday 11:45-1:15 lunch rush (especially with kids).

            Quiessence does have some indoor seating. I've only been for dinner, but I wouldn't wear shorts or take young kids there even at lunchtime; well-behaved school aged kids would be fine, though.

            1. Oops, forgot the links:

              Essence Bakery Cafe
              825 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

              6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

              Restaurant Mexico
              423 S Mill Ave # A, Tempe, AZ 85281