SanTan Brewing Company

“Sometimes it feels as if Scottsdale has a monopoly on dining hotspots, but SanTan Brewing Company, part of Chandler’s San Marcos Plaza, proves there’s other life in the East Valley. The vibe here is distinctive — its Gen X and Y mix is more grown up than Tempe’s college-centric crowd, and much more down to earth than Scottsdale’s see-and-be-scenesters. Try the beer sampler to get a taste of the housemade brews (we’re partial to the hefeweizen), and be sure to bring an appetite. Juicy burgers (like the Kasbah, made with lamb, chopped dates, pistachios, and smoked gouda), pizzas, sandwiches, and stick-to-your ribs entrees like crabcakes and fish and chips will help you drink all night long.”
– Phoenix New Times

8 S San Marcos Plaza (at W Commonwealth Ave), Chandler • (480) 917-8700

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Different Pointe of View

Different Pointe of View is a distinct and unforgettable dining destination that over its 25 year history has evolved into a culinary experience just as memorable as its stunning views atop North Mountain in Phoenix.

The genius of Different Pointe of View is its aptitude to make fine dining an enjoyable and relaxed experience. Guests of this renowned, mountaintop restaurant are treated to an innovative and bold menu in an atmosphere that is as sophisticated as it is approachable. Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the dramatic panoramas of the Valley’s desert landscape, the city’s twinkling lights and Arizona’s breathtaking sunsets. Whether seated indoor or out, the sense of dining on top of the world cannot be ignored.

Located at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

11111 N 7th St (south of E Thunderbird Rd), Phoenix • (602) 866-6350

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 5:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Durant’s

“The first and last word in old-school cool. For more than half a century, the house Jack Durant built has served up class by the barrelful as well as classics like sautéed chicken livers, oysters Rockefeller, lamb chops with mint jelly, and Delmonico steaks, to name a few. Serious fressers can eat their way to a plaque on the wall by polishing off Durant’s 48-ounce porterhouse, and you get to do so in leather booths that once hosted Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and Robert Mitchum, among other luminaries. Walking through the kitchen to the dining room is an experience in and of itself. And the bar crowd is lively and entertaining. A pricey joint at times, but worth every penny.”

Best Martini – Phoenix New Times

2611 N Central Ave (at E Virginia Rd), Phoenix • (602) 264-5967

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cafe Lalibela

We serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Delightfully different, we have received several awards for our unique and great tasting cuisine. We have been voted Best Vegetarian Restaurant of Phoenix by New Times and Best of Phoenix One of a Kind Exotic Ethnic Restaurant by Arizona Republic.

Traditional Ethiopian cuisine consists of Injera and wat. Injera (pronounced in-jeer-ah) is a crepe like sourdough tasting bread. It is made from Teff, a grain indigenous to Ethiopia. Wat (pronounced what) is a stew like sauce, which can be made from vegetables or meat or both. The meal is eaten by tearing off a piece of injera with your hands, scooping up some wat with it and then enjoying.

Best Ethiopain Restaurant – Phoenix New Times
Best Restaurant for a First Date – azcentral.com

849 W University Dr (at S Hardy Dr), Tempe • (480) 829-1939

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blue Nile Cafe

Blue Nile Café has style and substance. The food is as homey and satisfying as any meat-and-potatoes meal, with way better seasonings. And thanks to moist injera (a kind of thin, spongy sourdough bread), you don’t even need to eat with utensils. The above-mentioned beef dish is cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and ginger, while tender yedor watt, a chicken entree, dazzles with spicy berbere sauce. Hearty vegetarian dishes get the same slow-simmered treatment, and appetizers are just as intriguing; we’re partial to the kay seer salad (a tangy mix of beets, potatoes, chilies and lime juice) and the addicting, deep-fried sambussas (crisp golden pockets of meat or vegetables). If you can, snag a table in the back room, where colorful woven basket-tables add to the authentic experience.

“Blue Nile shows that food is one of the finest things about Ethiopia.”
Best Of 2007: Best Ethiopian Restaurant
Best Of 2002: Best Place To Go In De-Nile
Phoenix New Times

933 E. University Dr (east of S Rural Rd), Tempe • (480) 377-1113

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Worst restaurant meals revealed

On the Extreme Eating Awards’ list in the June issue of the public-interest center’s Nutrition Action Healthletter:

• The Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta Carbonara with Chicken, which, in addition to the 2,500 calories, has 85 grams of saturated fat. That’s more saturated fat than a person should consume in four days, Liebman says. The dish has four cups of white-flour pasta, smoked bacon, chicken, and Parmesan cream and butter sauce.

• Five Guys’ Bacon Cheeseburger without toppings, 920 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat. That’s like two McDonald’s Quarter Pounders, Liebman says. A large order of Five Guys’ french fries, 1,460 calories — about triple the calories of a large order of fries at McDonald’s. The bacon cheeseburger and fries tally 2,380 calories.

• P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo, 1,820 calories, 7,690 milligrams of sodium.

• Bob Evans’ Cinnamon Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes, 1,380 calories and 27 grams of saturated fat and 7 grams of trans fat. A fourth of a cup (about 4 tablespoons) of syrup is another 200 calories.

• California Pizza Kitchen Tostada Pizza with Grilled Steak, 1,680 calories, 32 grams of saturated fat and 3,300 milligrams of sodium.

• California Pizza Kitchen’s Pesto Cream Penne, 1,350 calories, 49 grams of saturated fat and 1,920 milligrams of sodium.

• Chevys’ Crab and Shrimp Quesadilla, 1,790 calories, 63 grams of saturated fat and 3,440 milligrams of sodium.

• Outback Steakhouse New Zealand Rack of Lamb with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables, 1,820 calories, 80 grams of saturated fat and 2,600 milligrams of sodium.

• The Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake, 1,670 calories and 48 grams of saturated fat. “A tower of any food is rarely a good idea,” the center’s newsletter says.

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Lo-Lo’s Gets Shout Out From Charles Barkley

The post-game show after Tuesday’s Phoenix Suns playoff victory was catered, on national television, by Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles, which received a hearty endorsement from former Sun and current broadcaster Charles Barkley.

During the “Inside the NBA” segment on TNT following the game, broadcast outside the US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix, crew members delivered plates of fried chicken, waffles and gizzards.

Host Ernie Johnson said it was Barkley’s favorite restaurant in Phoenix. Co-host Kenny Smith, a former Houston Rockets player, asked Barkley if it was like Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles.

“It’s better than Roscoe’s,” Barkley said.

Barkley gave an informed pitch for the restaurant, saying it was operated by the grandson of the owner of Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe and saying it was so popular that a second location had just opened in Scottsdale. Johnson held up a menu showing the Lo-Lo’s logo.

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 2:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Scottsdale’s TeaGschwendner becomes TeaTime

In a refreshing change from small, independent shops being gobbled up by large chains, TeaGschwendner (the Goliath) is now TeaTime (the David).

The Old Town Scottsdale store, which opened in spring 2009 as a partner location to the Germany-based tea retailer franchise, has just been purchased by Scottsdale resident Dewey Schade.

Schade is a primary partner with other investors, yet the tea shop’s day-to-day operations will continue to be run by founding store manager and in-house tea expert Bob Williford.

“Over the past eight months, the national management team in Chicago changed, and the new team is putting an emphasis on opening franchise stores in major markets rather than pedestrian-friendly destination stores like ours in Scottsdale,” Williford said.

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 2:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Gilbert bakers compete in Food Network’s ‘Cupcake Wars’

Jessica Cuff will be the first to tell you she thinks the cupcakes she and sister Jenna Flowers bake at The Coffee Shop at Agritopia (which they co-own with their parents Steve and Jeanne Flowers and Jessica’s husband Curt) are as yummy as any cupcakes she’s eaten anywhere.

And she’s been everywhere to check out the competition, including the iconic Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village. Now her boast has been put to the test.

This past March, the sisters teamed up and went to LA to compete in “Cupcake Wars,” a reality cooking show on the Food Network that begins its second season June 13.

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 2:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Radio Café closed as restaurant

Although it was only open about a month, Radio Café has already closed – as a restaurant, at least.

After three weeks of renovation and menu re-tooling, it was meant to be the new and improved version of Radio Milano, an Italian-inspired restaurant that got off to a sputtering start in 2007.

In its new incarnation, Italian dishes were replaced by a more casual and accessible menu whose most notable feature was lower price points.

And sushi.

But now it’s all moot. Radio Café served its last supper Wednesday night, re-opening today as a venue for private events.

LGO Hospitality founder and president Bob Lynn (the brains behind La Grande Orange Grocery, La Grande Orange Pizzeria and Chelsea’s Kitchen) says that with summer coming, it seemed like the smarter thing to do, pointing out that LGO restaurants (particularly Chelsea’s Kitchen) get tons of requests for private parties but are unable to accommodate big parties. They simply aren’t set up for it, nor can they schedule events during business hours.

Radio Café, which offers its new menu, Chelsea’s menu or any customized menu customers care to create, solves the problem rather neatly. Seven private parties are already on the books.

Details: Radio Café, 3950 E. Campbell Avenue, Phoenix. 602-956-6600, radiocafeaz.com.

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Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment