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Week of Thanksgiving in Chandler w/ Parents: Very picky eater!

Spending a week in Phoenix with my parents. We're staying at the Sheraton Wild Horses in Chandler.

We're from NYC and appreciate great food, particularly special local places, but my mother is a very picky eater. She has a 4-page list of allergies and likes/dislikes--at home she eats organic/macrobiotic, mostly a lot of vegetables and certain fish (I think it's salmon, sturgeon, halibut). My father eats everything, and I like most things, but not garlic or hot peppers.

I'd love suggestions for 6 dinners plus Thanksgiving and a great late buffet brunch. I've tried to call the hotel concierge twice, but she's never there and doesn't call back. (Is this hotel any good?)

Personally, I particularly like innovative cuisine that is exciting but not "intellectual." My favorite NYC restaurant is Eleven Madison Park (also like Picholine and Dovetail). We were in Tucson in 2009; our favorites were Janos and Hacienda del Sol.

So we need places that is flexible and accommodating for my mother plus excellent and innovative for me. My father will enjoy the good food but he's the easy one.

If there are only a couple places that fit the bill, we don't mind repeats. Personally, I'd enjoy eating at a couple of the great hotels in the area if any would meet our various needs. I'd take some extra time to admire the property and maybe shoot some photos (I like architecture though I don't know much about it--glad to see some of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings).

We might(?) take a trip to Sedona or some other place (we want to hike and sightsee). Otherwise, we don't mind a little driving (20-30 minutes?), but closer to the hotel is generally better so please factor that into your suggestions. We arrive Saturday afternoon and go home midday the following Saturday. We'd probably like to eat in or near the hotel the first night, but not absolute.

Any good suggestion would be one more than I have so far.

Thanks very much!

Steven

PS: This is our first trip to Phoenix (though I had a work trip to Scottsdale once, but all I did was work).

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  1. Well, very much in the "close to the hotel" category (seeing as it's actually *at* the hotel), one very obvious recommendation would be Kai. It's simply one of the finest restaurants in the Phoenix area.

    2 Replies
    1. re: boingo2000

      It looks great. I'll definitely aim for that on the first night and at least one other night, too, maybe Thanksgiving. Thanks!

      1. re: StevenCinNYC

        Kai isn't open Thanksgiving but the resort's 2nd best restaurant, Ko'sin, is open and offers a "Traditional Four- Course Prix Fixe Thanksgiving menu for lunch and dinner". Ko'sin isn't as good as Kai (not many places in Arizona are) but is still pretty good.

        http://www.wildhorsepassresort.com/th...

        Also, Cork has a Thanksgiving special dinner planned. It's in Chandler, about a 15 minute drive from Wild Horse Pass. http://www.corkrestaurant.net/?page_id=7

    2. Oh, the hotel is good, and the hotel restaurant is about the best we have :)

      Quiessence would also be a nice experience for you, and is in South Phoenix, not far, on a lovely old farm. Their sister property, Morning Glory, does a terrific brunch on the weekend, but not buffet. I don't have any buffet brunch recommendations, mass food grosses me out just a little. The resorts on the PHX/Scottsdale border could probably handle this.

      The House at Secret Garden will hit innovative, local/organic, and accomodating for fussy diners. They are new enough to still be hoping to build their foodie reputation. Also South Phoenix.

      My other top non-ethnic dinners: FnB, Binkley's, Noca.

      -----
      Binkley's
      6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

      Quiessence
      6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

      Noca
      3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

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

      FnB
      7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      The House at Secret Garden
      2501 E Baseline Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

      3 Replies
      1. re: themis

        Thanks, these seem great!

        I'm especially struck by Quiessence, The House at Secret Garden, and Binkley's. Between these and Kai, I think I have five dinner covered.

        -----
        Binkley's
        6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

        Quiessence
        6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

        The House at Secret Garden
        2501 E Baseline Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

        1. re: StevenCinNYC

          Binkley's is phenomenal but you should know it is about an hour's drive from wild horse pass (could be more if you are going on a weekday at rush hour). You're staying at the very southern edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area and Binkley's is at the very, very northern edge of the Phoenix area.

          -----
          Binkley's
          6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

          1. re: PHXeater

            Thanks. I had no idea. Maybe we can coordinate with being in that area prior or something.

      2. I found Wright's for buffet brunch? Is that a good choice? Anything you think is better for a buffet?

        Thanks!

        Steven

        2 Replies
        1. re: StevenCinNYC

          Friends have told me the brunch at the Camelback Inn is great. Give a call to make sure it's still going on.

          http://www.camelbackinn.com/scottsdal...

          -----
          Rita's Kitchen at Camelback Inn, A J.W. Marriott Resort
          5402 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

          1. re: scaheld

            Thanks. I noticed that one online, but I couldn't tell how it compares to Wright's. Anyone?

        2. What do people think of Elements? That's another I found online. Thanks again!

          8 Replies
          1. re: StevenCinNYC

            I recently dined there & thought it was great; both food & service were excellent. It's a perfect place to be at sunset due to its placement on the North slope of Camelback Mtn. Grab some cocktails first on the patio & then dinner inside overlooking the twinkling lights of Paradise Valley.

            -----
            Elements
            5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

            1. re: scaheld

              Sounds promising! Glad I found a place you like.

            2. re: StevenCinNYC

              I haven't been to Elements in a year or so, but last time we went it was wonderful, and it has one of the nicer settings and views in the Phoenix area. Plus, for those that care about such things, Elements does boast Phoenix's primary "celebrity chef" at this point. Beau McMillan has been a fairly visible presence on various Food Network shows.

              And it hasn't been mentioned yet, but Phoenix does boast one of the finest pizza spots in the country: Pizzeria Bianco. I believe a writer for the NYT even rated it as the best pizza in the US at one point.

              -----
              Pizzeria Bianco
              623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

              1. re: boingo2000

                Thank you. I've added Elements to the list, and Bianco looks good, too!

                I finally heard back from the concierge at the Sheraton, but she really hasn't added much yet. She did mention a place that sounded like Churro's or something, but I couldn't find it online.

                1. re: StevenCinNYC

                  She's probably referring to El Chorro. It's a place with a wonderful view and setting, but since it re-opened a year or two ago, it's gotten spotty reviews at best. I haven't been, so I can't personally speak to the quality of the food.

                  1. re: boingo2000

                    Thanks. Doesn't sound like it's worth addinb, but at least I have the name now. On the phone she said she'd email it to me but hasn't.

                    1. re: StevenCinNYC

                      El Chorro is a beautiful place to grab a couple drinks before or after a meal if you're in the area - Elements is just down the street for instance. I haven't tried food there since they reopened, but went for cocktails a couple times and enjoyed the experience.

                      1. re: PHXeater

                        Jade Bar (next to Elements inside the resort) is a fantastic spot for drinks too. (Plus you can order from the full menu at the bar.) Beautiful view and really great happy hour with well-crafted drinks. Last time we went, the bartender even stepped outside to the herb garden in the middle of making my drink to pick some thyme for it.

            3. Stayed at week at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass and a heads up this is a glorified 2-3* hotel..

              'I've tried to call the hotel concierge twice, but she's never there and doesn't call back. (Is this hotel any good?'
              Good luck on getting any type of service..if you can switch hotels, I would in a NY minute.

              T. Cooks at the Royal Palms resort is lovely..perfect for Thanksgiving
              Binkley's in Cave Creek
              Lon's at the Hermosa is fab for brunch/lunch or dinner..gorgeous patio.

              If you head up to Sedona, Elote Cafe for dinner is exquisite!
              Garland Lodge is one of the best to dine for dinner..
              2 hours from PHX.
              Go for lunch at Enchantment Resort..stunning views..make reservations.
              Expedia has $250 a night for casitas..5* resort and fab food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Beach Chick

                Thanks. I'm going with my parents, and they chose the hotel. They did get a very good rate (my mother is there for a conference), but I don't think it would have been my choice. So far, I did hear back from the concierge, but the only reservations she's made were at Kai.

                People on this board have been far more helpful, responsive, and informative than she has!