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Just moved to Scottsdale/N. Phoenix and need food help!!

d
dellexson Jan 20, 2010 02:34 PM

Hey everyone! I am just not sure where to begin! I moved from NYC and am used to reasonably priced wine bars, and small funky restaurants with an intimate vibe.. you know, the kind of place where you feel like you're in someones house or something. I have looked on tons of review sites to find comparable places but everything I have found looks really expensive! (I moved here to SAVE money, sheesh!) I would love some advice on some non-chain-restaurant places to try out! We like literally every kind of food from american to thai to ethiopian middle eastern bla bla bla, I don't care as long as it is well done! Can anyone help me out?

  1. silverbear Jan 20, 2010 09:18 PM

    I think there's a potential mismatch between the area specified (essentially the northeast corner of the Phoenix Metro Area) and the type of place specified ("small funky restaurants with an intimate vibe"). I don't spend a lot of time north of Shea Boulevard, my arbitrary dividing line between the central and northeastern parts of the metro area, but I can think of a lot more places meeting your description south of Shea than north of it. I'm hoping some of the regulars on this board from your part of town can come along and prove me wrong.

    If you choose to come south for some meals, I'd focus on older, more walkable neighborhoods such as Uptown, Coronado, Evans-Churchill, Arcadia, Old Town Scottsdale, and Downtown Tempe. That's where a lot of adaptive reuse is going on in restaurant design, resulting in places that feel like someone's house because they once were someone's house. There's also a new emphasis on patio dining. In the past, that occurred mostly at the resorts, because most non-resort restaurants were in shopping centers where the only real view was of a parking lot. When restaurants are placed in older structures with street and neighborhood views instead of big parking lots, there's a lot more that can be done in terms of attractive outdoor dining areas.

    Some examples:

    Cibo -- craft pizzas, salads, etc. in a renovated house

    the Roosevelt -- pub with rotating beer and wine selections; artisan takes on bar foods

    Postino -- popular winebar with locations in Arcadia and Uptown (Postino Central)

    Petite Maison -- casual, country French. Most entrees under $20. Don't know the history of the building but it feels like a small house

    House of Tricks -- Mediterranean / French / Southwestern blend near the ASU campus in Tempe

    Nine 05 -- contemporary Asian fusion in a renovated house

    Kazimierz -- speakeasy-like wine bar in Old Town Scottsdale

    -----
    House of Tricks
    114 E 7th St, Tempe, AZ 85281

    Cibo
    603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 850103

    Roosevelt
    816 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

    Postino Winebar
    3939 E Campbell Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85018

    Kazimierz World Wine Bar
    7137 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    Postino Central
    5144 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

    Petite Maison
    7216 E Shoeman Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    Nine 05
    905 N. 4th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

    1. azhotdish Jan 21, 2010 08:41 AM

      "you know, the kind of place where you feel like you're in someones house or something"

      this descriptor fits FnB in Old Town Scottsdale to a T.
      http://www.fnbrestaurant.com/index.php

      i would also recommend Cafe Monarch.

      2 Replies
      1. re: azhotdish
        m
        MesaChow Jan 23, 2010 01:24 PM

        I second FnB as an excellent option. We visited for the first time last night and were treated as if we were old friends. Really wonderful meal. Chef previously had a restaurant in NYC, so perhaps OP will find him/herself right at home....but with AZ flavor given the local produce, wines and beer.

        1. re: MesaChow
          Rubee Jan 23, 2010 01:33 PM

          FnB is a favorite of mine too (Old Town Scottdale/Southbridge). I also love their all-Arizona wine list .

          -----
          FnB
          7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      2. a
        AllPhoenix Jan 21, 2010 10:59 AM

        Sounds like you're in my neck of the woods. Silverbear's right about homey being sparse around here; mainly because it usually requires a neighborhood with some history and things here are newer. Below is a list of places to try that at least meet the price and quality requirements, if not exactly spot on the atmosphere front. I think they're all pretty well covered in the board if you look them up.

        Floyd's Kitchen closest to what you're looking for - across street from PV Mall http://www.floydskitchen.com/
        Chino Bandido http://www.chinobandido.com/
        Carolina's North on Cactus http://www.carolinasmex.com/
        Over Easy Scotts. (not my favorite, but is the fav of many others) http://eatatovereasy.com/
        Javinos wine bar/restaurant http://www.javinos.com/
        ABC Bistro 74th St/Shea

        Since you're from NYC, I'm not even going to attempt to list italian or pizza places ;-)

        3 Replies
        1. re: AllPhoenix
          p
          Phoenix99 Jan 21, 2010 12:42 PM

          Curious as to why Over Easy is not your favorite? We've had great experiences there. Not as cool as the original on 40th but still excellent.

          1. re: Phoenix99
            a
            AllPhoenix Jan 22, 2010 09:53 AM

            It's just a matter of personal taste. I've spoken with many others who love the N. Scotts. location. What I perceived as flippant service and poorly made food seriously put me off. However, you can't beat the price in that neighborhood.

          2. re: AllPhoenix
            d
            dellexson Jan 21, 2010 01:46 PM

            Just looked at the website for floyd's and I think you hit the nail on the head. That looks awesome!

          3. d
            dellexson Jan 21, 2010 01:43 PM

            This is great, thank you all so much! I sort of figured that my neighborhood wouldn't have a TON of places I was describing but these suggestions are just great! Much closer to what I like than what I have been seeing elsewhere! I can't wait to try them :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: dellexson
              a
              AllPhoenix Jan 22, 2010 09:56 AM

              Let us know what you think of these places and if you find any others. Restaurants change so fast around here, what's good today may not be tomorrow. We need constant updates to stay in the know. Enjoy!

            2. johnseberg Jan 21, 2010 08:17 PM

              Here are some reasonably priced places that I would go to on a fairly regular basis when I lived in Scottsdale, not too long ago. I could never find any great bargains in Scottsdale.

              Humble Pie http://www.humblepieusa.com
              Carlsbad Tavern
              Fresh Mint (vegan
              )Persian Room
              Tottie's Asian Fusion (original location)
              Los Sombreros
              Pita Jungle

              -----
              Pita Jungle
              7366 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

              Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
              2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

              Carlsbad Tavern
              3313 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

              Persian Room
              17040 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

              Fresh Mint
              13802 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

              Tottie's Asian Fusion
              7901 E Thomas Rd Ste 108, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

              1. m
                Mattoclock Jan 21, 2010 10:05 PM

                Petite Maison, is possibly the best priced great restaurant in Scottsdale.

                Floyd's, we had a really long wait there but I don't think it's typical, just one of those nights and the food was pretty good.

                Just tried the Herb Box at DC ranch tonight and I really think that match's well with your not too over priced / intimate setting criteria.

                Here's one suggestion that's different, if you don't mind a bit of a drive. Drive to Pinnacle Peak mountain. Walk a bit on the trail up and around the mountain, great views and not a difficult trail. Then after go to Sassi and eat the appetizers at half price in the bar. It's only happy hour Tuesday - Thursday, 5-7pm. But it works well with the mountain closing early with the short days. Its nothing like NY neighborhood, but its a great way to connect with the new place you live.

                1. c
                  charlieboy Jan 22, 2010 07:26 AM

                  Having moved from NY a few years ago I understand your dilemma. Our dining out days have dwindled considerably and a lot a of the smaller places we enjoyed are now out of business. Most of the restaurants in this part of town are new so they lack that particular intimate vibe you're looking for. Have you tried Humble Pie across from the Desert Ridge Mall? We like it there, its not a huge place, size-wise It might fit the bill. They have happy hour wine specials and the wood oven pizzas and their price are pretty decent. If you're looking for a tasty burger two places come to mind. White Chocolate Grill, 101/Mayo Blvd has a good burger as does 25 Degrees at City North. Been to Petite Mason for a quiet lunch and really liked it, I'm sure the evenings there are great too. Still haven't found anywhere that's even remotely close to great Thai as Srip in Woodside.
                  We've had great recommendations on this board so keep checking.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: charlieboy
                    j
                    janeh Jan 22, 2010 10:06 AM

                    Aw...this is what's great about the chowhound community. Welcome to AZ!

                    1. re: janeh
                      d
                      dellexson Jan 22, 2010 05:20 PM

                      This is a really helpful cool board! Thanks a lot guys! I will definitely let you know how I do with these places.... Tonight we are going to a place called crush'd wine bar.. anyone been there? We have a gift certificate and it looks cool so we figure we should use it. I'll keep you all posted!

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