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Aug 20, 2010 09:03 AM

It's been years... Need your thoughts

About 8 years ago, my husband and I began celebrating our anniversary in Scottsdale and proceeded to do that for the next few years. It's been a few years and can use some fresh suggestions and thoughts.

Next week we will coming down for 4 days from Chicago. We are staying in far north Scottsdale but don't mind driving a little for a good time. We plan to spend the days at the pool so we would be going out after 5pm. We don't enjoy dressing up on vacation since we do it enough at home.
We like good food, but we don't consider ourselves "foodies". We have small appetites. We will usually order a couple of things and share so we can taste different things.

Renegade Canteen is on the list since our favorite place was the Roaring Fork.
Some others on our radar...
Humble Pie
Cien Agaves Tacos
spotted donkey cantina
carlsbad Tavern
Cowboy Ciao

Any thoughts on my list above or different suggestions? We are completely open and grateful!

Cowboy Ciao
7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Roaring Fork
4800 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Humble Pie
6149 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Renegade Canteen
9343 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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  1. Binkley's in Cave Creek would fit several of your criteria ... new (to you), fairly casual, not too far from N. Scottsdale since it's in Cave Creek. "Small appetites" would work there if you just go for the four course tasting menu since portions are small.

    But it's sort of a "foodie" place since chef Binkley is doing some non-traditional things to the food, that would be my one worry about sending you there.

    Anyway, on OpenTable it's usually rated one of the top 2-3 in the greater Phoenix area for "Best Overall" and "Best Food" and is wildly popular with the local food critics. Chef Binkley trained with Thomas Keller at French Laundry and also at Inn at Little Washington (Pat O'Connell), two of the top chefs in the US.

    Not sure if they are open at the moment, they close for vacation in July ... they also have a more casual cafe (Cafe Bink) in Carefree which has good food, if just want a 'taste'.

    http://binkleysrestaurant.com/ is a link to both places
    http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/d... link to the over-the-top local review (I've dined there twice and like it but nothing like this guy


    Anyway, since you're already far north it's worth considering ...

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

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

    1. This recent thread addresses a similar situation:

      I'm surprised this is the first I've heard of Cien Agaves Tacos. I also haven't been to Spotted Donkey or Renegade, but, I have enjoyed your other choices.

      2 Replies
      1. re: johnseberg

        Thanks, guys! I appreciate your replies.

        I had read that post(and all others) before I posted. I certainly didn't want to clutter the board with another "foodie visiting from..." post. Most posts asking for suggestions are foodie related and considering we aren't super adventurous eaters, I was hoping for delicious, casual eateries.

        From everything I've read I think I should add Carolina's to my list. Agree or Disagree?

        1. re: Gelato_in_Roma

          Completely agree. It's truly nothing fancy, but is one of my very favorites for old-school Sonoran Mexican food.

      2. I just got back and wanted to share with you guys what we ended up doing.
        We had breakfast at the resort every morning and spent the days poolside.

        The first night we wnt to Humble Pie for happy hour/dinner. We ended up having the S.O.P. pizza (sausage, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce), couple of salads and beers. We actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Plus, it was cheap!!

        The second evening we went to Cien Agaves tacos. Those shredded beef tacos were amazing! We also had the tasty cumcumber margarita. The other tacos we had were nothing to write home (or here) about. Afterwards, we stopped by The Gelato Spot (G Spot) for some Gelato. It was ok... That's Amore is MUCH better!!

        The third evening we started off at Renegade Canteens bar. We ordered the Green Chile Pork and a couple of beers. Service left a lot to be desired. We were ignored at first but then one of the bartenders reluctantly made it over to us and took our order. I ordered extra tortillas and was charged $1 for 3 little, hard tortillas. I really wanted to love this place since we were huge fans of the Roaring Fork, but unfortunately for us, it didn't do anything for us.

        So, we left and went to Jalapeno Inferno. Their Green Corn Tamales were some of the best I've had anywhere! Super duper yummy!

        On our last evening, we started off at Sprinkles for cupcakes(dessert first) and then went to Cowboy Ciao for an incredible meal. Had the Stetson Salad, the Scallops with beet risotto, and the short rib risotto. Wow! Everything was absolutely wonderful.

        Our final day, on the way to the airport, we stopped by Z Tejas for a quick lunch. I wish we had one of these up by us. We were really wanting to go to Carolinas but my husband had had some stomach issues on this trip and I didn't want to add to it, especially with the plane flight. On our next trip down, it'll be the first stop.

        Cowboy Ciao
        7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        Roaring Fork
        4800 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        Humble Pie
        6149 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

        That's Amore
        7605 E Pinnacle Peak Rd Ste 3, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

        Gelato Spot
        4010 E Greenway Rd Ste 2, Phoenix, AZ 85032

        Renegade Canteen
        9343 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260