When I arrived in Phoenix I found myself going to far too many fancy pants modern Mexican restaurants. So I asked around for where I could find the good stuff and was directed to Burrito Express. It sat on my list for a while as I tried plentiful other places, but I finally made it to the Scottsdale location and found that it had burritos and they were prepared in an express manner, hence the name.
Old Town Scottsdale has a dark side. I thought I was going out for a night of Mexican food and bowling, only to find this dark side. When I arrived at Casa Amigos I was a little taken aback by the loud music not only playing from within, but also at every other place around Casa Amigos. You might say I was even more taken aback by the weird semi-night life that was also happening within. It was like college, but not. Vegas, but not. Twerking, but not. I suppose Old Town Scottsdale is really its own special kind of place, but I was interested in the food.
When you see a place called Sip, I think it’s fair to assume it won’t be serving food and instead focuses on drinks. But Sip Coffee and Beer Kitchen is more than just a place for caffeine and liquid depressants. It’s also a place to grab some food. And, on Friday nights it’s happy hour prices for appetizers.
Just when I was tiring of the repetitiveness of Fox restaurants, I happened upon a spot called Blanco Tacos. Sure, Mexican food might be the only restaurant type more prevalent than Fox, but there is still plenty of room for growth. Blanco Tacos takes the mildly upscale and trendy approach to Mexican food and the menu isn’t strictly limited to tacos.
The space between fast food burgers and gourmet burgers is a crowded one. Over in Portland a spot called Killer Burger did so well in that space that they decided to set up shop in Scottsdale. Scottsdale is oh so different from Portland, but hell, I’ll take any new burger spot outside of a vegetarian patty specialist.
Scottsdale is pretty sterile city. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it is a thing that seems to preclude the concept of hidden gems. And, yet, I heard word of not just a hidden gem, but one right around the corner from me. Plus, it could only have had a more apt name if it was right next door. It’s called Convenient Corner Market and it dishes out sandwiches with bread baked in-house every day.
Ramen is fantastic, right? I mean, we can all agree on that. But we can also agree that summer in Phoenix is not the time for ramen. So, although I knew Obon in Scottsdale had great ramen from carrying out a couple times, I made a different choice when I decided to stick around long enough to eat in the restaurant.
I have a hard time driving by burger places regularly without paying a visit. And yet, Lush Burger in Scottsdale evaded my belly for too long. This would have to be remedied and so I made my way there. I was amused by the naming of the burgers on the menu, ranging from Jay Does ‘Shrooms to Hello….?!?! Can Anyone Get Me A Bacon Cheeseburger Around Here?!? with amazingly lengthy descriptions.
When I left LA to move to Phoenix I had one major concern. No, it wasn’t the heat in the summer, it was the lack of ramen. You see, LA spoils you with a lot of Asian food, but ramen is easily one of the best of them. People go through life only knowing ramen from a dry cup and I feel terrible for those people, but is it better to have ramen and lost it than to never have had ramen at all? Lost or not, ramen has returned to my life in the form of Ramen Hood in Scottsdale. I headed out for the grand opening to see if it would fulfill my needs.
Some BBQ places have a reputation that precedes them. Others, you just kind of drive by a bunch and decide it’s time to pay a visit. Porkopolis in Scottsdale is the latter, and I finally decided to pay that visit. I was greeted by possibly the friendliest waiter a BBQ restaurant has ever seen and the scent of smoke and meat juices.