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Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport - where breakfast and dinner?

We will stay at Aloft Phoenix and we are seeking a place to have a good breakfast and dinner. It has to be around the airport, we will pickup the rental car at the airport (maybe breakfast at the airport?). Anyone experience with Ruby's Tuesday, which is around the corner of Aloft? Is it expensive? Can I find pricing anywhere?

The restaurant at Aloft seems to be not so extensive.

Thank you all.

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  1. Ruby Tuesday is a national chain. On their corporate site, you can select the location you're interested in and then click on the menu link to get pricing information.

    I'm a little confused as to your plan and/or constraints. On the one hand, it sounds like you will have a car of your own, but on the other hand you say that you are interested only in places near the airport (or your hotel).

    If you can give us a clearer idea of your travel time/distance constraints, your budget constraints, and any likes or dislikes as far as cuisines, then we might be able to come up with some ideas.

    1. Breakfast at the airport wouldn't be my first choice, but if you're pressed for time, it will suffice. Standard airport HMS concession food for the most part. $9 breakfast burritos at the bars and cinabon are about it by the gates. If you're in terminal 4, there's a Paradise Bakery and Oaxaca which will both do a decent breakfast.
      As for dinner, I would pass on Ruby Tuesday's. Standard American chain fare with nothing real exciting going on. They focus on burgers, which unfortunately, are not great. Just up the 44th street about a 1/2 mile from where you're staying is the Chinesse cultural center. Szechwan Palace is a pretty good bet there for dinner. Golden Buddha is also a pretty decent Chinese restaurant there. Is there something you're looking for in particular or just looking for the closest meal? Price range?

      -----
      Golden Buddha
      668 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

      Szechwan Palace
      668 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

      1. First, please avoid Ruby Tuesdays.

        How far are you willing to drive? You are close to the Arcadia area which has a lot of great restaurants. Over Easy is very popular for breakfast but can also get very busy. La Grande Orange is just up the street on 40th and Campbell. It is a cluster of places that include a market/high end grocery store, bakery, pizza restaurant and a bruschetta place. Depending on your budget I might also recommend Chelsea's Kitchen on 40th street north of Camelback.

        Of course, depending on how far you are willing to travel, you may have more options. I would suggest including more information about your visit.

        -----
        Chelsea's Kitchen
        5040 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

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

        3 Replies
        1. re: rhirhic

          Reading your post and we are flying into Shy Harbor around 8AM. Will take your suggestion and give Over Easy a try..but don't know which location? Will 8:30 am be too late? Thanks

          1. re: SLadd

            Over Easy at 4730 E Indian School is closer to Sky Harbor. You might have to wait for a seat at 8:30 on weekends, but, probably not very long.

            1. re: johnseberg

              Went today. They say the line starts around 9:00am on weekends. I've never had a problem finding a seat on weekdays.

        2. All,

          First, thank you all for your reactions. Very helpful. It is our first trip to the States.

          For your perspective, we arrive on day 1 around 7PM. I think that (considering a jet-lag from Europe and being tired after a 15 hour flight) we seek at night something simple and very close to the airport or our hotel (Aloft at Washington Street). Therefore, the only restaurant I could find was Ruby's.. but better to avoid if I hear that. Are there on the airport some O.K. restaurants for +- $ 30/person?

          At day 2 we will be woken up around 4AM and pick-up our rental car at 7AM. In the meantime some extensive, high quality breakfast would be appreciated. Unfortunately, we prefer to be at / around the airport again as we will pick up the rental car again.

          Will arrive at Terminal 4 (British Airways).

          Is Cofco Center easy to reach by taxi?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Instinctes

            Given the circumstances, I would have a salad at Ruby Tuesdays on day 1.

            The better breakfast places don't open until 6:30 or 7:00. I can't add much to what has already been said. I like Harlows, in addition to Over Easy. I think they're both at least 3 miles away.

            You won't find taxis roaming the streets. You'll need to call for one. The good thing is that your hotel is in the middle of the airport and some cab driver hangouts.

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

            1. re: Instinctes

              You shouldn't have any trouble getting a taxi to Cofco center. I don't know that you'll be able to flag one - just have the front desk call to have one dispatched for you and they should arrive promptly. Be sure to take note of the dispatch number for the ride back, too. I would steer clear of airport restaurants myself. It's essentially all fast food from the same concession company that I find a bit too salty and processed for my tastes.

              On day two, since you want to stay close, the best choices for breakfast would probably be at any number of neighboring hotels that have on site restaurants which will be open early to serve their early risers. The Radison, Hilton Garden, and Marriott are all within a mile and will be open by 6am. You could also try Bill Johnson's Big Apple on Van Buren. They are a sawdust on the floor type place and open at 6am.

              1. re: Instinctes

                Ruby Tuesday is acceptable in a pinch -- not creative, but serviceable and right next to your hotel.

                The Cofco Center is within walking distance -- just about 1/3 mile north of your hotel.

                The Stockyards is a Phoenix classic, and a good bit of local culture for a first-time visitor. It's about 3/4 mile east of your hotel along Washington Street. It's by far my favorite near the Airport.

                Keep in mind also that the Airport Aloft is across the street from a light rail station. From the 44th St. / Washington Station, you can take the train either east into Downtown Tempe or west into Central Phoenix for many more dining options.

                The next morning, you may with to have breakfast at Carolina's. It's a local institution known for its tortillas and breakfast burritos. It's a bit of a dive, although safe during daytime, especially since all the police and customs personnel from the Airport seem to eat there. It's located near the west end of the Airport at 12th St. & Mohave, a half mile from the Airport Rental Car Center. My advice is to take either the airport buses or a taxi to the rental car center and then proceed immediately after to Carolina's since it does not open until 7 AM.

                1. re: Instinctes

                  Ruby Tuesday, while a US chain, is a step above many. The owners of the chain, Sandy Beall (pronounced "Bell"), is a stickler for quality, at that type of restaurant's price point. The fare can be very nice, considering the fact that they ARE a chain. While I have never dined at that particular location, we have had some good meals, at say the Knoxville Airport location. Is it the "best" of US, or even AZ cuisine? No, but we have been in your shoes, and have dined at/near our hotel, when doing the San Francisco (or Los Angeles) flights to Europe. Do we expect the best of that country? No, but then we've been flying for 13 - 15 hours, so we "cut the restaurant some slack." Also, Sandy Beall's son, Sam, runs one of the finest, destination dining resorts in the US, Blackberry Farm, in Tennessee. He's a sommelier (along with 4 others), and they administer to a 300,000 bottle wine cellar, plus have 4 executive chefs for that resort. Absolutely world-class, and one of the best resorts in the US. Somewhere in the family, they "get it."

                  When we go to London, we have an advantage. We stay at the Park Lane Hilton, and always dine that first night at Galvin at Windows. Nice to have a Michelin starred restaurant, right up from our room! When we used our flat in Mayfair, we had a great FR restaurant, 1.5 blocks away, and dined at Le Boudin Blanc on our first night. Who wants to drive, or cab too far, after flying trans-Atlantic?

                  Now, near the airport, and your hotel, there is a great restaurant, Restaurant NOCA. They are many steps above Ruby Tuesday, and you will see that, from the moment that you sit down. The wine list is short, BUT is ideally paired to the cuisine from Chef Curtiss. Some fun US cuisine.

                  Now, NOCA will be more than US$ 30/person, but not by THAT much. I'd recommend doing a few appetizers, rather than any mains. The wines, while fairly priced, will run that tab up.

                  I have to admit that I seldom do any breakfasts here, but then I live in PHX, but others can make recs. In that area, I am at a loss, but others will help you. If you needed breakfast in Shepard Market, Mayfair, London, I could help - just not where I live. [frown]

                  Enjoy, and thank you for coming to PHX.

                  Hunt

                2. For dinner on day 1 there are lots of serviceable restaraunts two miles north on Thomas or Indian School. Red Devil Italian on Thomas, The Vig, Zipps, or Beckett's on Indian School would all be a few minutes drive and be much more enjoyable than Ruby Tuesday. All would be a $5-10 dollar cab ride from your hotel. For breakfast that early (before 7am) you may be limited to fast food or the hotels listed. If you can wait try, Acacia Cafe on 36th and Indian School or Bertha's Cafe on 32nd and Indian School.

                  -----
                  The Vig
                  4041 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                  Red Devil Italian Restaurant
                  3004 E Bell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032

                  Beckett's Table
                  3717 E. Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kmarg

                    i would rather eat at ruby tuesday than zipps...yuk

                  2. A little bit of deja vu for me on this thread. The only time I was in Phoenix for a week (3 years ago) we drove our rental car directly from the airport to Carolina's on East Mojave for lunch (early Saturday afternoon) back when it was their only location and before we drove back to the airport the following Saturday AM we had our getaway breakfast at Over Easy when they had their only location in that converted Taco Bell. I had the best scrambled eggs there that I have ever had, so it was a memorable trip partly because of selecting those 2 unique places for the first and last meals. And both places now have multiple locations because of their success. So having a rental car really helps Chowhounding, and you need to take advantage of it.

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: KyMikey

                      The second location of Carolina's looks like it has been around longer than you think.
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/94606