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Sep 9, 2010 05:52 PM

Phx expat coming home (for a bit)

Since moving away from Phoenix almost four years ago I've been pretty absent from the boards and haven't spent much time trying new places on my visits back. I've tended to go back and visit my old favorites and haunts. I'll be back in late October for almost a week and think I have some time to try some new places. I'll pretty much be exclusively in Central Phoenix and will require my friends to travel to me!! (Hey, I'll be on vacay and it's my birthday, I can make demands.)

For points of reference, here are some of my faves.

I will DEFINITELY be having brunch/lunch at Dick's Hideaway, the carne adovado is the best! No trip is complete without. I need another breakfast option for a Saturday morning. Typically, that choice would be LGO to hang out and get tasty bites and visit with friends. I'm willing to try something else. Someone suggested St. Francis or The Vig on 16th Street. Thoughts?

Casual dinner on Friday night. My flight gets in a 6:30 and I'll want to have a casual dinner with a few friends. Something like Phoenix City Grille, The Rokerij, Delux Burger. Nothing too fancy, preferably a place that we won't need a reservation or have a wait. Under $100 for three people. What's new?

I'll be celebrating my birthday dinner out with a few good friends and my parents. Looking for nice atmosphere and great food. $75 a head with drinks would be the max. Coup de Tartes was one of my faves for a special occasion meal. Other past b'day dinners included Tarbell's, Durant's, T. Cook's, elements. What would you recommend, or should I stick with tried and true faves? No steakhouses, please. I was thinking possibly Noca.

One interesting request...on a Sunday afternoon/early evening looking for a central meeting spot with drinks and snacks for a group of friends to gather, but come and go as they please. Mostly, just to hang out, but tasty bites and drinks are important, too! Past locations would have included The Monastery (so sad, that it's gone), Duck & Decanter or even Spinato's on 16th Street. There will likely be 8-12 of us and probably a couple of kids.

I'll have a few other lunches open, so let me know what I should check out. Cocktail bar suggestions are good too, I love a good drinking hole. My faves have been the old El Charro, Jade Bar at The Sanctuary, Merc.

Thanks in advance, y'all! Let me know if you'll be in new city is a great dining town and I've made it my job to try as many great spots as possible!

Phoenix City Grille
5816 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

3146 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

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

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

3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

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  1. Hey, good to hear you're coming back!

    The one all of us hounds have been going crazy over is FnB, next door to Cowboy Ciao where Sea Saw was for some years. It's great simple cooking, with locally sourced ingredients and wines. Especially of note is their Friday and Saturday late-night menu from 10 to midnight. This is turning into THE weekend industry hangout. I've seen Chris Bianco there, I've sat next to Payton Curry (formerly of Digestif, now chef at Caffe Boa), I've been in between the ladies who run Sweet Republic and Hana, I've seen Joe from Joe's Real BBQ there... the list goes on like you wouldn't believe. They have two dishes available in addition to the regular menu: One is always chilaquiles, and you never know what the other one is going to be, except that it's going to be darn good. A recent one was braised beef brisket with slaw, mac & cheese, and watermelon. I think this week is going to be banh mi. Both dishes are $10. I really can't say enough good things about the place.

    Cowboy Ciao
    7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    Caffe Boa
    5063 E Elliot Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85044

    7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    1. I like both St. Francis and the Vig Uptown. I think you'd enjoy brunch or dinner at either one. Some people I know who have been underwhelmed by dinner at St. Francis have spoken more favorably about brunch, although I've enjoyed all meals there. I'd also say the Vig Uptown would be good for your Sunday afternoon/evening drop-in get-together. It's an informal place, the indoor bocce court would provide some entertainment, and bottles of wine are half price on Sundays. I have no experience with F&B, mostly due to its Scottsdale location, but have heard nothing but good feedback from everyone who has been there.

      1. For your Friday night dinner, I would recommend either late night @ FnB (although the waits can vary) or recently-opened Nobuo at Teeter House. Odd parallelism, there.

        Noca would be a great choice for your birthday, I'd say. Other contenders for that meal would have to be Posh or Quiessence @ The Farm.

        For a central meeting location, the Vig Uptown isn't a bad suggestion. I'd probably throw The Main Ingredient or SunUp Brewing into the mix.

        A few of my favorite lunch spots in town are The Mission (brisket, cubano torta, almejas al vapor), Chestnut Lane for a classic turkey BLT, Pho Thanh for vietnamese / bahn mi, Petite Maison for a croque madame or burger, Pane Bianco, Liberty Market (Gilbert), La Condesa or Gallo Blanco for casual Mexican.

        Have a great trip! The carne adovada is still killer.

        Pane Bianco
        4404 N Central Ave Ste A, Phoenix, AZ 85012

        6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

        3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

        Liberty Market
        230 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ

        Chestnut Lane
        4233 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ

        Gallo Blanco Cafe
        401 W Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013

        Petite Maison
        7216 E Shoeman Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        1. sunday early afternoon evening might want to do postino

          wine is $5 bucks before 5 per glass and it is low key with good food with some tasty bruscetta / salads / sandwiches

          i think there is one over on central...i always go to the one on 40th and campbell

          1. If you have not yet dined at NOCA, I strongly suggest that you add them to the list. I still find it one of the most exciting restaurants in the Phoenix Metro Area. The other two are Kai's and Binkley's. There are some great reviews on this board on NOCA, and then there are my 4 - 5.

            Enjoy your trip back,


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