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In town for two weeks. Need Recs

We are in town for the next two weeks to watch son play baseball. Staying off I-10 and Elliot. Looking for good food both casual and nice but not over the top nice, just good food. We eat just about everything but Thai. Especially looking for great Mexican food. We are willing to drive some but don't want to go clear across town. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Two fun, casual and good places fairly near you would be Joe's Farm Grill
    http://www.joesfarmgrill.com/
    and the Cornish Pasty Company http://www.cornishpastyco.com/

    Carolina's has great Mexican, but not the best ambiance, but if you do not mind that it is worth checking out. http://www.carolinasmex.com/Welcome.html

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    Joe's Farm Grill
    3000 E Ray Rd Ste 101, Gilbert, AZ 85296

    1. Los Taquitos is on Eliot just west of I-10 in a strip mall. Owned and operated by a family of sisters (possilby one brother) and anything Carne Asada is good. Inexpensive for sure. Carolina's is an adventure and IMO well worth it. Joe's Farm Grill and Joe's Real Barbeque are both good but not really close to where you are. Via I-10 you are probably less than 20 minutes from some great places:
      America's Taco Shop 7th St North of McDowell for Carne Asada Tacos.
      Frontera Comida Mexico is a taco truck at Van Buren and 16th St.
      BTW 16th Street is Mexican Restaurant Row.
      Go north on 16th street and enjoy:
      Barrio Cafe - upscale Mexican
      La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop
      Phoenix Ranch Market - definitely worth a stop but tour the entire place before you decide on what to eat. You'll see what I mean.
      On 7th street near Dunlap is Los Reyes de la Torta. Everything is good but the Torta Cubano is my favorite.
      If you're up early for breakfast don't eat at your hotel when two world class hole in the wall breakfast places are maybe 20 minutes way: Over Easy on 40th St. just south of Indian School is in a converted Taco Bell. It's very good. Matt's Big Breakfast near downtown Phoenix has a national reputation. People wait hours on weekends at these places but even on weekends if you go before 8am you should be fine.

      I live not too far from where you are staying and unfortunately that area is primarily chains. You can go east on Eliot and run into alot of fast food chains. There is a pretty good Philly Cheesesteak place on Priest called Forefathers that looks like a chain but is not. Further south on I-10 Ray Road (in both directions) is about 5 minutes from where you are. Again mostly chains. If you south one more exit to Chandler Blvd and go west you'll find a couple of independent places that are not bad; That' Italian Place is in the Fry's Supermarket center about 5 minutes down the road. Further on Chandler is Babaloos, a Cuban place that's pretty good.

      If it works for you most of the upscale places have great happy hours. Fleming's just off Ray serves a terrific burger for $5. In the same upscale center where Fleming's is located is Aj's our local gourmet grocery chain. They have lots of prepared food ready to pick up and eat and a weekend patio omelet station and lunch time barbeque. With the weather this time of year it will be great.

      One last recommendation just because I can; Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles south of downtown is an adventure and has great chicken and waffles. Probably 25 minutes away.

      The only one of these places that can be a bit pricey is Barrio Cafe. All of the others are quite reasonable and most are truly casual hole in the wall places you probably wouldn't go in with a recommendation.

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      Matt's Big Breakfast
      801 N 1st Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

      Over Easy
      4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

      Joe's Farm Grill
      3000 E Ray Rd Ste 101, Gilbert, AZ 85296

      Babaloo
      Phoenix, AZ, Phoenix, AZ

      America's Taco Shop
      2041 N 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ

      Los Taquitos
      4747 E Elliot Rd Ste 17, Phoenix, AZ 85044

      La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop
      1919 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

      1. Rereading your original post I missed the fact you will be here for two weeks. In that case definitely schedule both Joe's Farm and Joe's Orginal Barbeque in Gilbert and afterwards stop at Udder Delights on Gilbert Road for dessert. Great ice cream and best Phoenix milkshake winners. These people are actually farmers.

        All the places I mentioned in my previous post can be searched on this site and you'll come up with more details including menu suggestions.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Phoenix99

          Thanks for your replies. How about other upscale places on the order of Flemings or neighborhood places with nice ambiance but not too dressy. We will probably have nice casual clothes with us, but not a sport jacket.

          1. re: tblizzard

            I concur with everything Phoenix 99 said and also live nearby. In the same strip mall as Flemings are two good choices; Roy's and Tomaso's. Both have solid food and good happy hour programs. We've also found The Keg, which is located at Scottsdale Fashion Square - about 15 minutes or less from your hotel - as good for a chain operation. We've dined there regularly but have also made dinner out of appetizers in the lounge. Also, fyi Phoenix is very casual. You won't need a sport coat in even the nicest places.

            Let me expand on some of Phoenix99's excellent suggestions:

            First, Carolina's on Mohave is a terrific place and a real adventure as is Lo Lo's. I am arbitrarily keeping you within 20 minutes of your hotel which is actually generous since, unless you are traveling with rush hour traffice at 7:30am you go can a long way. I am also going to give you some dependable choices that wouldn't be on a 3-4 day list but might be useful for two weeks.

            First, to be distances into context, you are only about 8 minutes from the airport and about 12 minutes from where the Diamondbacks play in the center of downtown. That really opens up some choices.

            Stacey's Smokehouse, 19th St. and Indian School.
            Mrs. Whites Golden Rule Cafe, Jefferson and 12th St. She is Larry Lo Lo White's mother and gave him her fried chicken recipe.
            Mucho Gusto on University in Tempe for good sit down Mexican.
            Los Sombreros on Scottsdale Rd. in South Scottsdale is a bit more upscale and adverturous Mexican.
            Phoenix Palace for Dim Sum in Chandler.
            Pizzeria Biano just off 7th St. in downtown Phoenix. Search this site for wait strategies. Yes, you will wait.
            Pasta Bar, Sens, Roosevelt Tavern and Tuck Shop are all on the north side of downtown, relatively new and worthwhile. Pasta Bar is owned and operated by the former Executive Chef and Sous Chef at Sassi, a very expensive multimillion dollar Italian in North Scottsdale.
            Rito's on 19th St. in Phoenix. There's no sign but you'll notice the crowd. You have a choice of red or green chili burro or red or green chili chimi - that's it. Dining is all outside which is great this time of year.

            Some food/adventure options:
            1. Angels' spring training field is less than 5 minutes from your hotel (btw, Los Taquitos is so close to your hotel you could walk to it).
            2. Diamondbacks start the regular season while you're in town and that field is maybe 12 minutes or so.
            3. First Fridays in the downtown art district is pretty cool. All the galleries are open and there are lots of good and some funky restaurants in the area (like Pasta Bar, Etc. but more).

            Now, some dependable nearby places that might come in handy. Not foodie level but dependable if you're here for two weeks:
            YC's Mongolian Grill is east of Eliot maybe five minutes from your hotel. Inexpensive, fresh food that you pick out to be finished on the grill. Lots of different sauce options in a make your own mold.

            Chuy's Mesquite Broiler. Probably never menitoned before on this site. In the same strip mall as Los Taquitos. Good place for simple tacos, seafood or fajitas with a beer.

            Capriotti's Sandwich Shop is a franchise out of Las Vegas but locally owned and managed. Go south to Chandler Blvd. and turn right (west) and it's in the first strip mall on your left.

            Nello's Pizzeria. Go south on I-10 to Warner and turn west. It's on the SE corner of Warner and 48th St. Not as good as Pizzeria Bianco but you won't need a waiting strategy. Good pizza, salads and so on.

            Not sure where you live but unless it's California or Las Vegas, be sure and try In N Out for the double double cheeseburger combo. There's one on Ray Road. Go south on I-10 and turn left (east) on Ray. It's down a couple of blocks on your left.

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            Pizzeria Bianco
            623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

            YC's Mongolian Grill
            3206 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282

            Mucho Gusto
            603 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

            Sassi
            10455 E Pinnacle Peak Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

            Los Taquitos
            4747 E Elliot Rd Ste 17, Phoenix, AZ 85044

            Capriotti's Sandwich Shop
            4929 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85048

            Nello's
            1806 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282

            1. re: Poerz

              Poerz, I'm questioning some of your directions, here. I think Rito's is on 14th St, and Stacy's is on 17th St. Also, I guess there are a few different locations of The Keg, but, not at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Are you thinking of Tempe Marketplace or Chandler Fashion Center, perhaps? Sorry, I just don't want out-of-town guests to become lost.

              1. re: johnseberg

                You are correct. Apparently I had a temporary (hopefully) brain cramp. The Keg is at Chandler Fashion Square. Thanks for catching this.

        2. I like to eat breakfast when I'm away from home, and while I've never eaten at Crackers and Co., it has been mentioned on this board, many times, and I would certainly check into it.

          You might be interested in El Mercado de Guadalupe, located on the intersection of Guadalupe Road and Avenida del Yaqui (aka Priest Drive). I've had some good lunches at San Diego Bay, although it has been a while.

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          San Diego Bay Restaurant
          9201 S Avenida Del Yaqui Ste 11, Guadalupe, AZ 85283

          Crackers and Co Cafe
          1285 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284

          1 Reply
          1. re: johnseberg

            Crackers was a disappointment for me. Definitely not in the same league as Matt's or Over Easy. A new place that I don't think has been mentioned is Hillside Spot on Warner just west of I-10. Good breakfast place and again, definitely a cut above Crackers. To me, Crackers is trying to be a chain. I'd equate it with The Egg and I, Etc.

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            Over Easy
            4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

          2. Thanks for all the help so far. Just got into town today and wait for a quick dinner at 8:45 at Los Taquitos. Wonderful food and great help at the counter with choices. Both of us had the three tacos with three different meats. Since it is so close we will probably try their breakfast tacos or burritos on the way to the park. The boys have an early game tomorrow.

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            Los Taquitos
            4747 E Elliot Rd Ste 17, Phoenix, AZ 85044

            1 Reply
            1. re: tblizzard

              Thanks for the update. We love Los Taquitos. Appreciate hearing about other spots you try during your visit.

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              Los Taquitos
              4747 E Elliot Rd Ste 17, Phoenix, AZ 85044

            2. Ended up at Los Sombreros last night. Food and service were excellent. My wife had the Smoked Chicken Enchiladas that she loved and I had a special chicken dish that was served with what was described as a mole without the chocolate. Very good. Hopefully no Mexican today. BTW we are staying at the Clarion hotel. This is a very basic hotel but they have a managers Happy Hour from 5:30 to 8:30 for their guests that includes free food (last night was Meatball subs and Hamburgers, potato salad and salad bar), beer (Blue Moon, Heineken, Miller Lite on tap) and wine. This is an unbelievable value.

              4 Replies
              1. re: tblizzard

                Why no Thai? Just curious. There are some good Asian places in the area but wouldn't give recs if Thai didn't float the boat.

                1. re: tastyjon

                  My wife has an aversion to Thai. There is something in it that does not agree with her. Any other Asian is fine.

                  1. re: tblizzard

                    Cyclo (Vietnamese) on Chandler Blvd is not too far from where you are. Take I-10 south to Chandler and go east. It's had some mixed responses on these boards but I've found it generally very good.

                    Also, Lee's Sandwiches on Warner. Order any of the Vietnamese sandwiches with extra meat. My favorite is the barbequed pork. These come on freshly baked baguettes dressed with lots of veggies. Very inexpensive. Take 1-10 south to the 202. Go east on the 202 to the 101 then north to Warner. Go east on Warner and it's down a couple of blocks on the right next to a Walgreens. Believe me, it's an adventure.

                    1. re: Phoenix99

                      A quick note on Cyclo -- it's BYOB, there's no liquor license there.

              2. Over Easy was great. I had the Chilaquiles. Wife had the #2 Omelet with Hash Browns. Both were wonderful. Thanks for the rec.

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                Over Easy
                4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                12 Replies
                1. re: tblizzard

                  Thanks for the feedback. You're eating well! I think it's great you've hit Over Easy and Los Taquitos, two places most visitors would never know about. I don't understand how everything at Over Easy tastes better than most other places. Even scrambled eggs. Your report on Los Taquitos reminded me I hadn't been there in months so I went yesterday for lunch and ordered a trio of Carne Asada tacos. Outstanding.

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                  Over Easy
                  4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                  Los Taquitos
                  4747 E Elliot Rd Ste 17, Phoenix, AZ 85044

                  1. re: Phoenix99

                    Not to go too far off the original topic, but am I the only one who just doesn't get the allure of Over Easy? I've been to the Scottsdale location a couple of times, and haven't been impressed. It's okay, but not somewhere I would ever go out of my way to eat or to send someone. It just doesn't make an impression.

                    What dishes are best? Is the food at the arcadia location better than the Scottsdale one (I've seen Aaron May at the Scottsdale location each time I've been, so I can't imagine it could be worse)? Every time I've gone, I leave feeling like I must've missed the things that have everyone else talking...maybe it's just not for me.

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                    Over Easy
                    4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                    1. re: crsin

                      Nah, I don't get the allure of Over Easy. I live < 1 mile from the Arcadia location and see no reason to go.

                      Check out Hillside Spot or Morning Glory Cafe at the Farm for breakfast. Also there's a farmer's market right there on 48th St / Warner every Sunday from 9a - 1p - look for the people from Trucking Good Food.
                      http://truckingoodfood.com/find-us

                      Also check out El Ranchero on 56th St / Chandler for straight-forward Mexican food.

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                      Over Easy
                      4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                      Morning Glory Cafe
                      6106 S 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85042

                      1. re: azhotdish

                        That's what makes the world go 'round. We've eaten at Over Easy (I do believe the Arcadia location is better) many times as well as Hillside Spot. Hillside Spot is much closer to where we live and is fine although their breakfast menu is pretty limited compared to OE. Just don't believe Hillside or the other spots you've mentioned compare to OE. BTW the Farmer's Market you mention is really pretty lame. Most of the produce seems to be sold by brokers rather than farmers themselves. Check out the Phoenix Farmer's Market on Saturdays for comparison. We did enjoy the recent chili cookoff in the park and then strolled through the fm but saw nothing worth purchasing.

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                        Over Easy
                        4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                        1. re: Poerz

                          I agree that the Ahwatukee market is lame, however, the offerings from Trucking Good Food are not. I've made a habit out of weekly trips to OTFM in Scottsdale over the past few months and enjoy it very much. It also makes for a perfect opportunity to hit up The Mission afterwards for a cocktail and brunch.

                          1. re: azhotdish

                            I will make a point of checking them out this weekend. I wasn't that impressed with OTFM other than McClendon's. Their produce variety and quality was excellent but their pricing is very high. The downtown Phoenix Saturday FM has really grown and is substantially better than OTFM, Town & Country FM, Ahwatukee FM and Rawhide FM. I haven't tried any others.

                  2. re: tblizzard

                    Seeing as you were willing to drive to Over Easy, perhaps you could also try Dick's Hideaway for breakfast. Most selections are pretty heavy, but good!

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                    Dick's Hideaway
                    6008 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

                    Over Easy
                    4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                      1. re: Phoenix99

                        My suggestion was actually directed to tblizzard, but, I hope you enjoy Dick's.

                        I'm kind of surprised at the lengths people are willing to go before breakfast. I would need a snack before setting out.

                        I went to Hileside Spot, today, and it was good, but, not worth the drive, for me. I would also rather have table service at breakfast time, and I found them particularly unfriendly. I suppose I'd get used to the drill, if I lived close.

                        1. re: johnseberg

                          I agree that Hillside Spot is just okay and not worth a drive from across town. For the OP, it might be a good, nearby choice. Solid cup of coffee, but food execution was inconsistent and the service lacking.

                          1. re: johnseberg

                            We went with friends to Hillside this past SUnday. IT was our first time there. We live down this way so not out of the way for us and especially convenient as we'd just finished hiking at South Mountain.

                            The food was pretty good and prices aren't bad. The kitchen was clearly having all kinds of issues though. The wait after ordering was long(which was OK with us as we were chatting with friend and enjoying the weather) and there was one point when we looked around and no one in the dining room was eatin...everyone was waiting on their orders. I"m OK with the format but they're goign to have get the kitchen working to keep up with the rushes.

                            The coffee system is a disaster too. Those teeny little air pumps, always out of coffee.

                            I wouldn't drive across town for it, but I can't thikn of any breakfast spot I'd drive across town for. I"m sure there's good ones but breakfast isn't something I'll drive a half hour for. This place isn't worth coming across town for when there's plenty of comparable or better around town. THey're trying to be LGO but aren't there(especially without the english muffins). Why drive past LGO to get to this place? On the other hand, for those of us on this side of town if they can figure out how to make it work it's a nice addition to the area...

                            1. re: johnseberg

                              Most people stay close to home or work for breakfast but there have been industry studies that show breakfast to have the most loyal customer following over any other daypart. I have no idea why.