Once upon a time there was a sub-genre of movies called Spaghetti Westerns. They were Western movies that were produced by Italians, making them look and feel different from your more traditional Westerns. Old Town Scottsdale is kind of set up to look like the old west. And in Old Town Scottsdale is an old school Italian place called Italian Grotto. It’s like spaghetti in the west, but there is good, bad and ugly about it.
I generally try to avoid fancy restaurants. Really, they just aren’t my thing. But special occasions call for special eats, and so I found myself at Citizen Public House in Old Town Scottsdale in need of some food. And then, like a week later I found myself back there again. No joke, it was crazy.
In the short time I’ve spent living in Phoenix, I’ve had me a few burgers, but I until heading to Rehab Burger Therapy, I had not yet made my way to a place specializing in those delicious ground beef and bun combinations. I arrived in Old Town Scottsdale thinking I was going to go to town on some meat on meat action, but my meal took an unexpected turn.
Is there anything better in the world for two brothers to do than to build a brewery? Well, that’s what one pair of brothers thought (allegedly) when they put together Two Brothers Brewery, a microbrewery with locations mostly around the Chicago area, but also one in Scottsdale because Chicago places seem to feel welcome here.
There are a few things that you can always assume I will want to try. One is cheese dip and another is gigantic burgers (among other things). So, when I heard that a place called Roaring Fork in Scottsdale had something called the Big Ass Burger, it didn’t take much convincing to get me there. Getting me to eat outside in the middle of the desert summer, on the other hand, was a different story. But such is life when you want to take advantage of what is one of the best happy hours in the Phoenix area.
Chicken and Waffles isn’t just for Roscoe’s. In fact, in the Phoenix area it’s pretty much synonymous with Lo-Lo’s. Lo-Lo’s House of Chicken and Waffles, that is. For a place with “Hood Classics” as a section of the menu, Lo-Lo’s is surprisingly nice and clean inside, compared to the old beat up diner style of Roscoe’s. Nonetheless, there was plenty on the menu calling my name.
Over in Old Town Scottsdale is a spot that has Scottsdale written all over it. It’s called Cowboy Ciao and is kind of a blend of the cowboy-ness of the area and the hoity-toity as well. After a quick look at the menu, I realized that with a few slight changes to the menu I would love to eat just about everything. That is, because just about everything had a hint of vegetable to please the “ciao” crowd in addition to the “cowboy” crowd.
After landing in Phoenix, the wife and I were in need of some food. She likes pickles and I like pigs, so we stopped at a place called Pig & Pickle. With a name like that, you could probably guess that it was trendy, hipsterish and had some sort of deviled eggs. Well, at least the first two are right, but I suspect deviled eggs will make their way onto the menu at some point. The menu had a nice variety of piggy items and even a few that weren’t if that’s not your thing.
It’s very rare that I require a TV in restaurant. After all, my favorite sport of college football is often finished before it’s anywhere close to dinner time. But every once in a while it happens, like when I was in Phoenix and my Tigers happened to be playing in the World Series (yes, this review is way delayed). My upcoming family recommended Don & Charlie’s, a Mecca for baseball fans and my family took the suggestion.
When I think of New Mexico, a couple things come to mind. 1) Bugs Bunny should’ve taken a left turn at Albuquerque. 2) Carlsbad Cavern is supposed to be awesome. 3) They love green chilies on everything. Well a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona has taken a pun from Carlsbad Cavern, thrown green chilies in and somehow failed to include Bugs Bunny. It’s called Carlsbad Tavern and I went in search of a burger instead of a bunny.