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MJLO

Favorite Restaurant, in AZ?

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Ok, i'm looking for ideas for restaurants. I am tired of the same old Mesa/Gilbert chains. I would like to find more authentic locally owned places, but it's hard around here since every business is housed in a strip mall that was built within the last ten years.

So I put it to you, what is your favorite place to eat in AZ. I'd love to hear suggestions. But feel free to comment on anything. If your fav restaurant in Mcdonalds, let us know. I will say, in pertinance with Colins thread, I do LOVE in and out burger. But i've eaten there so much lately my trainer has been hounding me for it at the gym.

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Non-chain/locally-owned restaurant in the Valley?

Does that exist??

Yeah, I always try to eat at local places, of which Tucson has plenty. But Phoenix...hmm...

5 & Diner is local. I like diners, but only the trashy vibe ones, which 5 & Diner really isn't. However, I like their 24-hour location, which I believe is on 16th Street near Camelback. Ate their once at like 3am on a Sunday.

I went to this tiny pseudo-BBQ place run by a German woman in Tempe just off Mill and Fifth. Good stuff.

Also went to Las Cazuelas on Main in Mesa, which was certainly good.

Oh, but I still have to bring up those Tucson places because none of the above compare:

- The Grill: my fav, a true trashy diner, several beers on tap, almost always open, live music occassionally, some of the best food you can get

- Govinda: buffet vegan place run by the Hari Krishnas

- Mosaic Cafe: very good Mexican food with amazing horchata and sangria

- Yoshimatsu: "Healthy Japanese", very authentic, reasonably-priced, cool atmosphere

- Zachary's: Best Chicago style pizza in town

- Brooklyn: Best NY style pizza in town

- The Cup at Hotel Congress: best desserts in the city

- Viva Burrito: home of the $2 breakfast burrito

- Xoom Juice: locally-owned smoothie place, kicks the crap out of Jamba Juice

- Guilin: reasonably-healthy Chinese food, not very authentic, but still the best in town

- Dao's Tai Pan: my favorite Vietnamese place in town, with free wi-fi

I'll stop there.

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In Midtown/ Downtown:

Fate

Drip

Cibo

FEZ

Lux

Lisa G's

In Old Town:

Grimaldis

Stingray

Ra

Kona Grill

In Tempe:

Ra

PF Changs

Unos

Bamboo Club

In Arcadia:

La Grande Orange

Postino

In Biltmore and Kierland area- everything!

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Teah actually, I've been to a restaurant in Keirland, called North, I was really suprised. Keirland is in Scottsdale right? It's sad that Mesa, with all of it's people, and growth doesn't have anything like Keirland Commons in it. Is that considered new urbanism? Or is that just a developer trying to make a fabricated mainstreet America in the middle of Scottsdale? They sure do have some good restaurants there.

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Is there still a Cluck-U in Tuscon? The one in Tempe closed years ago. It was located in the building that houses a place called Acme I think. Cluck-U was great late night drunk hotwings and burgers food.

There's a place in Tempe that everyone loves. It's a steakhouse I think on Mill. It has a bit of local history and the food is reported to be good. It's on Mill right before you hit the bridge over Tempe T Lake heading north. I can't remember the name of the place but I always meant to try it out.

There's a place...I want to say Carlsbad Tavern. Pretty good. It's on Hayden and Indian School or some such.

Desert Ridge is better than Kierland. Go to Desert Ridge. Shop at Barnes and Noble and buy a book. Eat lunch at Fatburger. Shop at Tower and buy a CD and a DVD also. Go over to the gaming store and buy a pool table. Eat dinner at Rock Bottom. See a movie at the theater. You may say that you can do all this or it's equivalent at Kierland. Yet I don't think Kierland has a cinema but maybe it does. The real difference maker...the thing that makes Desert Ridge the real dead and Kierland a sad fraud is...Fatburger.

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Montis Steakhouse is the restaurant you want to try in Tempe- very cool!

I like Desert Ridge too- But I disagree that Fatburger puts it above Kierland... Kierland caters to the financially elite of North Scottsdale... You were right, no movie theater inside Kierland...

Do you guys know about City North?

http://citynorthaz.com/index.php

-A Kierland replica coming to Desert Ridge area...

I like it a lot...

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I liked Christopher's in Phoenix, but I think it is gone now.

Mary Elaine's at the Phoenician was excellent, but very, very expensive.

Wright's, at the Arizona Biltmore is handsome to look at, but the food did not quite live up to the sumptuous room.

The food at the Wigwam in Litchfield Park was god, if not quite memorable. As with the Biltmore, the rooms and patios were atmospheric, even if the food didn't excite much.

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Montis Steakhouse is the restaurant you want to try in Tempe- very cool!

I like Desert Ridge too- But I disagree that Fatburger puts it above Kierland... Kierland caters to the financially elite of North Scottsdale... You were right, no movie theater inside Kierland...

Do you guys know about City North?

http://citynorthaz.com/index.php

-A Kierland replica coming to Desert Ridge area...

I like it a lot...

Joel, is that the same as the North in Keirland i'm assuming?

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No I think you misinterpreted-

A whole new "Kierland like" development coming in next to Desert Ridge...

Check it out...

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ok ok I got it sorry. Where is Desert Ridge?

Tatum and the 101 (West of Scottsdale rd just North of the 101 freeway)

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Tucson just keeps looking better.

I had been severely missing the Vietnamese sandwiches that I used to get in Houston. They're cheap and extra delicious. But, my friend recently informed me that there was one right by campus on Speedway that has them, and indeed there is, as well as many other Vietnamese specialties. Very authentic too. It's a bit of a walk for me, but I can take the shuttle (go CatTran!).

If you're interested, it's in the "Nob Hill" development (a nod to ABQ, I'm sure) next to Bentley's on the south side of the street between Cherry and Campbell.

Just thought I'd mention that. Exciting stuff.

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I am surprised no one has mentioned Durant's. One of the oldest and most well known steak houses in Phoenix on Central.

Also the Ocean Club in Kierland is very good, but that is more of a chain, part of Mastros. Four peaks in Tempe has great food and atmosphere, there is also one in North Scottsdale.

How about Chineese over at the Cultural Center on 44th st.

Or Haps Barbecue on Washington.

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I dont get out much. My day goes from PHX to home to PHX.

My idea of a nice restaurant right now is Pollo Loco on Country Club.

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I love Durants!!

And Ocean Club- although I don't get to go much cause it is pricey!

I like La Grande Orange and Postino on Campbell and 40th street very much- that's kinda my thing lately...

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Lotsa great restaurants in Scottsdale

National Chains: Benihana (great cheap sushi), Maggiano's Little Italy, Morton's Steakhouse, Roy's Pacific Rim

Casual, Quick Dining: Local Sauce is fun, Paradise Bakery is great for a quick lunch; as a native Chinese who usually hates Americanized-Chinese food, Pei Wei is surprisingly tasty.

Local Restaurants: Cafe Citron (Borgata), Kona Grill (arizona chain pretty good), Bobby's Mancuso at Kierland, Barcelona at Scottsdale Promenade, Ocean Club at Kierland, wildfish at Scottsdale Waterfront (just went there the other day, its pretty good), i use to really enjoy Ayako at the Biltmore (sadly it closed), Thaifoon at Gainey Ranch is also pretty good

Fancier Dining: Mary Elaine's at Phoenician (great french cuisine, be prepared to shell out a bit), Marquesa at Princess, when I first moved back to SCottsdale, I tried out Vu (read about in Esquire) which is also great, Veneto Trattoria, and Christophers at the Biltmore

edit: also add Oregano's and Ra onto local restaurants that are great

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My favorite restaurant in the Phoenix area has to be Sapporo at Scottsdale Rd and Thunderbird...very good Teppan Yaki and Sushi plus the place looks fantastic. Highly recommended if you've never been.

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I went to high school in Singapore and Shanghai, and I really appreciate good Chinese food, as well as Chinese culture.

Tucson has not much of either. Guilin is probably the best Chinese restaurant, and that's not saying much (not exactly Guang Xi food either). I get really frustrated with most Americans' perception of Chinese food: miscellaneous meat deep fried and served in a thick, sugary sauce. My dad had a Chinese restaurant in the northern Houston suburbs for a while (he's white, as am I, but an excellent Chinese cook). He started out with the insistence that he would not serve General Tsao's, but so many people came in and asked for it that he had to put it on the menu. Even in Houston, there's only really one area of town where you can get authentic Chinese food.

However, one thing that has always surprised me about Tucson is 17th Street Market, which is just as good as the Asian supermarkets in other large cities. You can get frozen jiao zi, bao zi, green onion pancakes, hei cu, fish sauce, White Rabbit candies, prawn crackers, rice crackers, a few hard-to-find Chinese fruit and vegetable items, and lots of other stuff that you would never expect to find here in a town with a <3% collective "Asian" demographic (which includes Indians and Pakistanis).

Anything like this in the Phoenix area?

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The asian population is quickly growing in the southeastern valley, mainly Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler and Ahwatukee Foothills. In those cities, you can find several authentic chinese restaurants, and vietnamese/thai/korean/indian whatever. Similarly, we have large asian grocery stores. At the Chinese Cultural Center, we have 99 Ranch (huge in California) and in Tempe there is Lee-Lee Asian Market. These are both chinese markets. There is an indian grocery store in scottsdale (kind of sall though).

But at these grocery stores you can get fresh lychee, starfruit, passionfruit, all tropical fruits that are popular in asia. almost anything for fire pot (chinese)/shabu shabu (japanese)/sukiyaki. They have a lot of asian brands, asian beer, really anything you are looking for they have.

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I have another favorite i'd like to add to this list. It's not ethnic, but it is GREAT! It's called Red White and Brew, it's on Mcdowell at Power, way out in east Mesa, take the 202 Red Mountain until it ends at Power, then head towards McDowell it's in the Basha's plaza. They have the best food i've eaten in Arizona, I go there weekly now.

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I'll add another also that I had while in Flag: Mountain Oasis.

Everything is fresh, often made at the restaurant (including the salad dressings and bread), and it's very reasonably priced. I had a half sandwich and chips plus an order of six dolmas and spent less than $8. The dolmas were some of the best I've ever had (and I love dolmas), and they came with a homemade hummus dip.

The waitress was also really cool. My friend asked about the veggie burger and she was like "Yeah, that's pretty bad. It's the one thing on the menu that's actually not very good."

They're Downtown on Aspen right across from the square. It's usually pretty crowded but definitely worth the wait.

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I'll add another also that I had while in Flag: Mountain Oasis.

Everything is fresh, often made at the restaurant (including the salad dressings and bread), and it's very reasonably priced. I had a half sandwich and chips plus an order of six dolmas and spent less than $8. The dolmas were some of the best I've ever had (and I love dolmas), and they came with a homemade hummus dip.

The waitress was also really cool. My friend asked about the veggie burger and she was like "Yeah, that's pretty bad. It's the one thing on the menu that's actually not very good."

They're Downtown on Aspen right across from the square. It's usually pretty crowded but definitely worth the wait.

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Fogo E Brasa (Ahwatukee Foothills) - Brazilian BBQ is something you should try at least once

Vito's Pizza (NE Mesa) - rivals Grimaldi's

Rosita's Fine Mexican Food (NW Tempe & SW Mesa) - the best!

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Does anyone know any good restaurants in the I-17/ loop 101 area? I just found out today i'll be moving that way for work. Not sure how I feel about that yet.

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