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Boston foodies looking for recommendations in Phoenix & Gilbert

scootie May 31, 2010 03:56 PM

We're staying in Gilbert on South Market Street for a few days and then moving over to the Marriott in Phoenix for a few days. We'll have a car so we don't mind driving 30 min or so for great food. We're looking for the best carnitas, enchiladas and chips/salsa. Any recommendations for BBQ? And finally, is there a restaurant (any type of cuisine) that should not be missed?

  1. Bill Hunt Jun 4, 2010 09:53 PM

    Not sure why NOCA did not pick up on the links, but here is their URL: http://www.restaurantnoca.com/

    Well worth the effort. Note: their Sunday meal is a pre fixe and is "simple," as per the name "simple supper." Their menu is such, that we've never quite been satisfied with the Sunday meal, though it is reduced in price.



    1. Bill Hunt Jun 4, 2010 09:48 PM

      For the "not to be missed," I'd suggest NOCA and Binkley's, those the latter is outside the driving distance (Phoenix is over 500 Sq Miles, so it IS big). Still, each is worth the effort.

      BBQ is a bit tougher. Honey Bear's on Central, at about 2300 N (just south of Thomas Road) has good pulled pork, though the slaw is not "chipped," Carolina-style. Still, the best that we have found, and we've given many a chance.

      We have had very good meals at Desao at the Westin Kireland Commons, not THAT far away.

      A bit away from your locales, El Conquistador is a good Jaliscan restaruant, and will be a bit different, from the general Sonoran/Mexican fare prominent in Phoenix. Web site: http://feastinginphoenix.com/?p=108



      6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

      El Conquistador
      16428 N 32nd St # 101, Phoenix, AZ

      1. p
        Phoenix99 Jun 1, 2010 10:01 AM

        There's a Pro's Ranch Market in Mesa that would be closer to your Gilbert stay. Also, in Gilbert you need to hit Udder Delights for either ice cream or a shake. Dairy farmer owned and yum!

        Three Phoenix BBQ places to try are the original Honey Bears on east Van Buren, Notorious P.I.G. and Stacey's. None compare to the great Texas, KC or Memphis places but order right and they're pretty good.

        1. ipsedixit May 31, 2010 09:23 PM

          If you like pizza, should probably put Pizzeria Bianco on your itinerary (even with Chris no longer in charge in the kitchen).

          For Mexican choices see this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/708118

          Pizzeria Bianco
          623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

          1. twodogs May 31, 2010 05:14 PM

            For Carnitas,any Pro's Ranch Market food court has the real deal,most of the smaller places don't have what I consider carnitas though it will be on the menu.The closest to you would be 16th.St and Roosevelt.
            For Enchiladas it's Rosita's Place .2310 E. McDowell,their chips and salsa are great too.Actually both of these places are fairly close to each other.

            Rosita's Place
            2310 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006

            1. johnseberg May 31, 2010 04:07 PM

              Which Marriott? I would guess Desert Ridge, but, I believe there are at least two others in the Phoenix city limits.

              I haven't had any great BBQ in Phoenix, but Joe's Real Real BBQ in Gilbert probably gets some of the best all around reviews.

              Joe's Real Barbecue
              301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234

              3 Replies
              1. re: johnseberg
                scootie May 31, 2010 04:11 PM

                Yes, we're staying at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix.

                1. re: scootie
                  johnseberg May 31, 2010 09:40 PM

                  I like the carnitas at Los Sombreros, but I'm more likely to order the puerco en chipotle that is also based on slow roasted pork. The chips and salsa are pretty good, but, I've never had the enchiladas. I tend to avoid their seafood. It's in between your locations, maybe a little closer to Desert Ridge.

                  I like the New Mexican style enchiladas at Dick's Hideaway / Richardson's / Rokerij. Also, the unique repollo and corn enchiladas at Via Delosantos are some of my favorites. I like the enchiladas at Carolina's, for the sauce, but, I think it is a bit of an acquired taste, Carolina's is a counter service place, and I think the enchiladas are a little diminished by the fact that they're served in a polystyrene carton.

                  La Condesa has a very good salsa bar, although they have had some staffing problems, in my experience, and it can get neglected. The rest of the food is very good, if a bit rich. This is also a counter service place.

                  Like twodogs, I also like Rosita's Place and Pro's Ranch Market. Ranch Market is a big Mexican grocery store with a great food court.

                  Carolina's Mexican North
                  2126 E Cactus Rd Ste 100, Phoenix, AZ 85022

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

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

                  6335 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ 85016

                  Via Delosantos
                  9120 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

                  Rosita's Place
                  2310 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006

                2. re: johnseberg
                  Bearhawkeye Jun 1, 2010 02:24 AM

                  I don't know of a standout place for Mexican specifically in Gilbert for that part of your stay, although I'm sure there are some decent ones. Since you also specifically mentioned BBQ, I agree that Joe's Real Barbecue is a must. I haven't tried a lot of bbq in Arizona, but I think many of those that have would agree that Joe's is clearly among the best. As far as additional Gilbert spots than can't be missed, the owner of Joe's also owns 2 other well regarded unique spots: Liberty Market and Joe's Farm Grill. For pizza, Oregano's is a small popular Arizona only chain with a spot in Gilbert. Oregano's, Joe's Real BBQ, and Liberty Market are all within a block or so of each other in downtown Gilbert.

                  There are also a few notable places a few miles away in Chandler. El Zocalo Mexican Grill in downtown Chandler gets some good reviews for its enchiladas and chips/salsa (per your request), among other things including its patio. Other generally well regarded options in Downtown Chandler for dining or drinks include San Tan Brewery, Murphy's Law Irish pub, Urban Tea Loft and the Bistro at Kokopelli Winery among others. For some variety, a few miles down Chandler Blvd from Downtown, there's Cyclo for Vietnamese and ultra casual Chino Bandido for Mexican/Chinese fusion. Both often get positive and sometimes glowing reviews.

                  The above spots are all inexpensive to perhaps moderate in the Gilbert/(NW-ish) Chandler area. If you are looking for something very unique and upscale, Kai at Wildhorse Pass in Chandler is regarded among the best restaurants in the country. I haven't been to all of them, especially recently, so others may have more recent personal input.

                  I'll leave it to others as far as Desert Ridge and other area options.

                  Cyclo Vietnamese Cuisine
                  1919 W Chandler Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85224

                  Joe's Real Barbecue
                  301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234

                  5594 W. Wildhorse Pass Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226

                  El Zocalo Mexican Grill
                  28 S San Marcos Pl, Chandler, AZ 85225

                  Chino Bandido
                  1825 W Chandler Blvd Ste 2, Chandler, AZ 85224

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

                  Kokopelli Winery
                  35 W Boston St, Chandler, AZ

                  Liberty Market
                  230 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ

                  Urban Tea Loft
                  11 W Boston St # 2, Chandler, AZ

                  Oregano's Pizza Bistro
                  328 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234

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