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Feb 5, 2001 06:33 PM

Phoenix Restaurants

  • m

Could anybody recommend good places to eat close to the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix? If there is nothing close to the resort, please tell me about exceptional restaurants in the Phoenix area.


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  1. c
    Canon John C. Fowler

    Dear Marla: When you are in Phoenix, you will have to put real CHOW out of consideration. In Maricopa County, you do have a certain variety from which to choose. Expensive? Yes. Mediocre? Yes. Adequate? Yes. Fashionable? Yes. But true CHOW, food to give one a vast sense of pleasure, of comfort, of discovery and snug delight? No, and a thousand times, NO. Phoenix has never, in its historically brief existence, been a town for Sybaritic pleasures such as CHOWHOUNDING. Phoenix is for DEAL-MAKING, for INVESTING, for retrogressive POLITICS, for (to quote) CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION. So, in Phoenix, settle for a reasonbly good meal. It is the best you will get. (I will send my qualifications for making these judgments upon request.) Yours very sincerely, Canon Fowler

    9 Replies
    1. re: Canon John C. Fowler

      Oh, dear - I was looking, too - and hoping to find out what some of the regional specialties are. Are there any? Any workman-type cafes with cheap interesting lunches?

      1. re: barb

        Drive out to Guadalupe, it's just south of town; there you will find La Bahia de San Diego, and several decent Mexican bakeries.

        1. re: Jeremy Osner

          also try blue adobe in mesa - reasonably priced and reasonably consistent southwestern. norman's in papago plaza is also worth a try. (and canon - with all due respect - it is possible to find a good dinner in a phoenix area restaurant (with the possible exception of the west valley and ahwatukee, both of which seem to be entirely dependent upon national or local chains. stop being such a crab, sir.)

          1. re: patricia

            Dear Patricia: A courteous comment deserves a courteous answer. Maricopa County provides satisfactory restaurant food for well over a million people who choose to make their home there. Expensive, stylish, comfortable, all such places flourish in the over-heated surroundings of Phoenix. Half of the people in Pennsylvania, my present residence, would give their fortunes to go there and absorb the warmth and style of life. Phoenix, you see, is the Land of the Lotus Eaters. However, Chowhound food as described at the head of this site is all but unattainable there. There may be in Maricopa County small, cozy, hidden places where the EATS and AMBIENCE give one a special, all-but-ineffable sense of delightful DISCOVERY, so that one leaves with a sense of deepest well-being. THAT is Chowhounding, my dear. I have never found such a place near Mesa, which may be no more than my bad luck. If you know such a place, disclose it. Not 'gourmet', which has its appeal. But 'CHOW', which is beyond gourmet. I have found it all over Arizona (including Navajo chile and fry-bread at Tuba City [spectacular!]). But I have never found it in or near Phoenix. If that be 'crabbing', you must make the most of it. With kindest regards, Canon (capital 'C' for a title) Fowler

            1. re: Canon Fowler

              Just returned from a few days in Phoeniz/Scottsdale and found that there are gobs of strip malls filled with very mediocre "coffee-shop-type" restaurants. However, we did eat at two bistros that had quite good food. One was Sixth Street (or Avenue) Bistro where they served food we used to eat in the 50's, or was it the 80's? Anyway, the mussels (still very popular in most good retaurants) were good as were the frogs legs in garlic butter (which I haven't seen on a menu in several years) were delicious. They even served finger bowls (complete with the ubiquitous lemon slice) after each of those courses. Now THERE'S a custom I'd like to see reinstated. The other restaurant was Sophie's, a French bistro, on East Osborn. My friend's duck breast just melted in her mouth and my pork roast was excellent. They served the usual creme brulee (this has become a trite dessert all over California, too) and a berry tart. In the first retaurant they never heard of a "macchiato" (sp.?)so I didn't even try in the other place. There are probably some other good restaurants there, but we never got to them.

              1. re: Kit

                French Ambiance is owned by a French husband and wife. He used to be a pastry chef in Paris. I think this might be considered chow but I am a rookie to the site. It's real tiny and sits next to the Abco grocery store on 40th Street and Camelback. You can byob and dine outside to the music of the shopping carts being stacked.

                1. re: deborah
                  W. Scott Moore

                  Cafe Lalibela in Tempe has some of the best Ethiopian I have ever had. The Euro Cafe in mesa has a bunch of great chow from all over Europe...

                  1. re: deborah

                    I don't believe French Ambiance is byob any more.

                    I do agree that Cafe Lalibella is ab fab. I have to go there once a week for a hit of that complex, spicy most interesting fare.

                    House of Tricks in Tempe is pretty good and it's in an old house, not in a strip mall. same for Coup des Tartes which is still byob.

                    Has anyone eaten at the restaurant that used to be a flower shop? It's somewhere near downtown.

                    1. re: deborah

                      The place that was a flower shop is mostly a cafe w/ sandwiches and such. It is an offshoot of a very good bakery that is there too: near the corner of McDowell and 7th avenue by a big sign that says "My Florist." Too chrome and piano-y for my taste, but they sell good stuff.

                      Another nice little place in the same general neighborhood is the Coronado Cafe at (I think) 7th St. and Coronado--a converted house that serves a very small menu of well-made comfort food at fantastic prices.