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Feb 27, 2010 04:00 PM

Great Neighborhood Joints Around Scottsdale

I'll be at the Westin Kierland and am looking for great local places in and around the area. Especially looking for authentic Southwestern and Mexican. Help please!

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  1. Just north of Kierland a few miles on Scottsdale road is one of our favorites:

    Other folks will post the favorites near downtown Phoenix, this one is lots closer to you. Make sure to order some green tamales.

    Right at Kierland is Zinc Bistro, best steak frites in the valley. Also Greene House is good and right in Kierland.


    1. What's the radius around the hotel in which you hope to eat? This is an important question for several reasons:

      -- "around Scottsdale" is wording that describes an area of several hundred square miles. Your hotel, the Westin Kierland, is located within Phoenix city limits, just west of the border between Scottsdale and Phoenix. The location is near the mid-point of Scottsdale on a north-south axis. Keep in mind, though, that Scottsdale is 30 miles tall and 2 or 3 miles wide in most places. That means that sometimes the closest restaurants are in nearby areas of Phoenix, like Kierland, or in the Town of Paradise Valley, rather than in Scottsdale per se. It also means that a restaurant can be in Scottsdale city limits but still a long drive from another location within Scottsdale city limits.

      -- The Kierland area is an upscale shopping destination and therefore tends to be lean on places that I would consider "neighborhood joints," although there are good locally-owned restaurants like Zinc Bistro mentioned above. There just a little more upscale than my concept of "neighborhood joints."

      -- There isn't a lot of truly authentic Mexican food in that part of town, largely due to its predominantly white, non-Hispanic population. For sure, there is tasty food with a Mexican influence nearby, but expect some degree of Americanization. That's not a criticism of nearby restaurants, but an explanation of why, in duck833's words, "Other folks will post the favorites near downtown Phoenix."

      That's a lot of generic advice, I know, but if you can reply with a specific idea of how far you're willing to travel (as opposed to a generic "will travel for good food") and maybe some insight into what local attractions you'll be visiting, then it will be possible to receive good recommendations of places meeting your qualifications and aligned with your travel plans.

      By the way, Jalapeno Inferno sounds pretty good. I'll have to give it a try for lunch after my next hike of Pinnacle Peak.

      1. I've done alot of work up in that area and can't remember ever finding decent Mexican. Here's some places that we like but if you want real good neighborhood Mexican you're going to have to travel quite a ways:

        Miracle Mile Deli is at the Scottsdale Prominade just a couple of miles away. The Straw Sandwich is killer and they have many other very good sandwiches and deli staples.

        Not sure where you're coming from but if you don't have In N Out you need to try one of these. Certainly not neighborhood but very, very good old fashioned fast food hamburgers the way they tasted 20-30 years ago. There's one at Scottsdale Prominade just up Scottsdale Road.

        Over Easy for breakfast or lunch is fun and inexpensive with old fashioned diner style breakfasts. It's in the Ice Den which is probably about 3-4 miles away.

        Finally Razz's on Scottsdale Road south of Kierland. Definirtely a neighborhood place.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Phoenix99

          Carolina's has the best tortilla's around - nearly translucent, and you can watch the ladies make them. I also like the Persian Room on Scottsdale Road, where you're immediately offered wonderful complementary warm bread with butter, raw onion and basil - amazing combo.


          1. re: janeh

            I love Carolina's especially the original but none of the locations are anywhere near Scottsdale. If BStone1 wants to open it up that far then there are lots of great neighborhood places.

            1. re: Phoenix99

              I was thinking that Carolina's on Cactus might not be too far.

              Carolina's Mexican Food
              2126 E. Cactus Rd. / Phoenix

              1. re: janeh

                It's all of six miles from the Westin Kierland. Around these parts, that's a hop, skip, and a jump.

                A little mentioned thing about Carolina's is that the original location is half a mile behind the Sky Harbor rental car center. Swing in on the way to the airport, grab three dozen tortillas. Stash two in your luggage, carry the last one on for nibbling all the way home and hope that the TSA agent isn't hungry and declares your tortillas to be a liquid.