Good Eats in Phoenix Area?
My fiance and I (from SoCal) will be visiting my cousin at ASU next weekend, and we are looking for good places to eat. No offense to my cuz, but he has no taste in food! What are your suggestions? We are open to all types of ethnic foods, as long as they are tasty and authentic!
Phoenix is gaining a national reputation for Vietnamese (who knew?) and of course already has fabulous Mexican places all over although few authentic ones in Scottsdale. There are threads on this board for best Carne Asada, Best Mexican Etc. Restaurant Mexico is in Tempe although I personally don't think it's in the league with Carolinas, Los Taquitos, Pepes, Barrio Cafe, and many others. Mucho Gusto in Tempe isn't bad but I wouldn't put it in that catergory either. I guess Lolo's Chicken & Waffles is sort of ethnic. There's a new one on Scottsdale Road and Thomas but it doesn't have the ambiance of the original in South Phoenix. Good place for lunch andnot real expensive for the quality.
We ate at Tuck Shop (http://www.tuckinphx.com/) last night while in town for a long weekend. The place was great -- the atmosphere is lovely and the staff very knowledgeable and professional. The food is a sort of upscale comfort food -- there is a great, slightly spicy clam chowder, a ridiculously crunchy fried chicken with waffles (the interior of the chicken was perfect), fried okra and shrimp, and more. The portions are a little larger than we expected on the starter and small plates -- we could have done one fewer of each and had plenty to eat. A very pleasant dinner out.
In a very different vein I would also recommend Breadfruit -- it's byob Jamaican. The menu is a little limited but we really enjoyed the plantains and the scallops, and the fresh fruit/veg drinks are amazing.
I second Cafe Lalibela. It is unique and always satisfying.
Are you looking to stay in a particular price range? In the Scottsdale area, I'd recommend Carlsbad Tavern for a variety of New Mexican dishes that hit low to medium price points (i.e. delicious enchiladas for around $10 or a fantastic ribeye by approximately $25). Cowboy Ciao in Old Town Scottsdale is also good.
I had a great lunch at House of Tricks in Tempe although the service was extremely slow.
There are several good Middle Eastern restaurants in the ASU area: Phoenicia (a longer menu with both lunch and huge dinner-sized items) and Med Fresh Grill (lunch or smaller dinner items) very close to campus, and Cafe Istanbul slightly east of campus (with a couple of interesting varieties of sausage, and lamb's tongue sandwiches if you're lucky enough to be there when they're in stock).
I like Restaurant Mexico a lot (central Mexican rather than Sonoran like most places around here). Dhaba (pretty near Cafe Istanbul) has good Indian food (although I've had an utterly inept waiter there, it's inexpensive enough not to be a big deal). A little farther away (ca 10 minutes' drive south of campus), Kabab Palace has good Afghan food; unlike anywhere else I mentioned, it has tablecloths and attractive glassware, but is still very casual.
423 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
414 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
710 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ
1874 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281
Cafe Istanbul & Market
1310 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281
616 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
Cornish Pasty Company. That is on Hardy and University (about a half-mile from ASU campus.) Great pasties, good beer selection... beware they only have pasties (which is more like a gourmet Hot Pocket, however they are amazing and there are many many varieties). It is a small little place, but is a great spot for lunch.
Here are some places I've been to and enjoyed, recently. They seem authentic to me, but, what do I know?
Khai Hoan (Vietnamese)
Mariscos Sinaloa (Mexican seafood) 3135 S 48th St, Tempe AZ
Udupi (Southern Indian, vegetarian, vegan)
1636 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281
1537 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281