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Cafe Bink (Carefree, AZ)

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Ate there this weekend. The experience was great, but the food was just OK.

First off, I would say the patio is a wonderful place to spend a fall afternoon. Sitting in the shade, looking across Tom Darlington Road at the mountain vista is special. The restaurant has a killer location, and atmosphere.

Me and my SO each had a bowl of soup, and split a sandwich. She had the butternut squash soup, which she loved. They presented the soup, as a bowl, with a crouton in it, then they poured the soup at the table out of a small tureen. This is a classy service step (and one of the many things they do here, to "turn it up a notch" just a bit)).

I had the french onion soup, which was great as well. This soup takes a long time to cook right (reduce the onions over and over), so not something I will make at home. It was pretty good at Cafe Bink. The flavors were balanced, if a bit salty.

We then split the corned beef sandwich. I was pleasantly surprised to find the corned beef was obviously home made (in hindsight, I guess most of the items on the menu were probably made from scratch, as that is the Binkley way). The sandwich was fine, but nothing amazing.

Finally, we split a baby order of french fries. We are glad we got the baby, as it was a very large portion. The fries themselves were pretty great. Crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The 3 sauces that came with them (truffle catchup, garlic aioli, and sauce vert) were not great. The catchup was overwhelmed by the truffle, not balanced, the sauce vert didn't have much of a taste, and I didn't try the aioli (I am mayo averse).

Overall, while the quality of the food was all pretty good, I wouldn't say that any of the dishes were really outstanding, and probably not worth the high prices. Nothing we had "wowed" us.

I have to give major props to the service. We had our 14 month old in tow, and the staff bent over backwards to make us comfortable (the server even offered to have the chef make a special macaroni and cheese dish - off the menu for her). I am the kind of person who is very self conscious of my child interfering with other peoples meals, and generally uncomfortable with taking her out. The staff really put me at ease, and allowed me to enjoy my meal. I can't say enough how their attitudes really enhanced our experience. From what I saw, the service at Cafe Bink is excellent all around.

So bottom line, I can't exactly recommend Cafe Bink as a destination restaurant, it probably isn't worth the drive. But, if you are already in Cave Creek, or Carefree, you could certainly do worse. One thing is for sure, the staff will bend over backwards to make sure you have a great experience, and that says a lot

Binkley's Restaurant
6920 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Cave Creek Cafe
15202 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85023

Cafe Bink
36889 N Tom Darlington Dr, Carefree, AZ 85377

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  1. It's funny - I had almost the reverse experience. Excellent food but extraordinarily slow and unattentive service. The eggs benedict were cooked perfectly, and we really enjoyed the bacon they used, although SO and I both prefer a little more flavor in our hollandaise. Loved their bread, but it took 20 minutes to get it. In fact, our meal took two hours even though the place wasn't full. Which was fine, because the patio truly is a pleasant place to spend a nice afternoon. We left agreeing with you - that we wouldn't go out of our way to eat there, but would stop in if we were looking to spend an afternoon in Carefree.

    1. Thanks for a helpful review. Question: About the only time I'm in Cave Creek is to hike Spur Cross. I'd love to replenish all the calories I've burned with a relaxing lunch at Cafe Bink, but worry that an outfit of shorts, t-shirt, and hiking boots might not be appropriate. What's your assessment of the atmsophere at Cafe Bink, particularly on the patio?

      Cafe Bink
      36889 N Tom Darlington Dr, Carefree, AZ 85377

      3 Replies
      1. re: silverbear

        I've been there numerous times and would say that you would be totally fine there at lunch wearing hiking attire. It's a casual place to begin with, especially so at lunch.

        1. re: silverbear

          The restaurant is completely casual. You could definitely go there in any attire. The servers wear jeans.

          I think they were going for the "neighborhood hangout" vibe, so you should feel comfortable in any attire.

          1. re: Booger

            Thanks to both of you for the replies. I'll keep Cafe Bink in mind.

            Cafe Bink
            36889 N Tom Darlington Dr, Carefree, AZ 85377

        2. I've been to Cafe Bink twice in the last two weeks, and had a fantastic experience on both visits. The service was very good, and actually quite quick. The thing that really stands out is the exceptional quality, and incredible attention to detail and thoughtfulness put into all the food; they seem to make everything they possibly can in-house--down to the pickles and bread--and it shows. I have to disagree with Booger on the corned beef sandwich, though. I loved it, and can't recall a corned beef sandwich I've enjoyed more. The roast beef, and chicken sandwiches I've been able to try were also great, and those fries really are phenomenal.

          To me, the prices are completely fair considering the quality, and the fact that they make most everything. I live 20-25 minutes away and find the trip completely worth it.

          To answer silverbear's question, last time I went I was wearing shorts, sandles and a t-shirt, and didn't feel out of place. I think you're fine wearing anything (as long as it's something) during lunch.

          Cafe Bink
          36889 N Tom Darlington Dr, Carefree, AZ 85377

          1. ok, so I'm a little confused....you use words like "she loved it", " was great as well" (meaning other things were also "great") yet you just say the food was "ok" ????