It may not be the most creative thing to name a restaurant after the street that it’s on. But when that street is 8th Street in the center of Holland, Michigan, it’s not just any street. This street is the beating heart of the town and so 8th Street Grille is a name that carries some clout, as well as a bunch of American food and local beers.
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.
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.
Traveling for work can sometimes take you to big cities with tons of food. And sometimes it can take you to places like Idaho Falls, Idaho. It’s a place with a surprising amount of options considering the airport only has three gates, but, I mean, still. So on my first night there I went straight to a restaurant within a hotel, which is usually not a good plan, but I had read good things. It was called Bee’s Knees.
Where I come from, microbreweries are known to have good food. But, as I have learned, many parts of the country (perhaps all except Oregon?) are much newer to the micro or craft brewery concept and have focused much more on the beer than the food. Arizona, though, while new to the union and pretty new to brewing seems to have struck the right chord. Perhaps it’s because there are so many damn people here from Michigan, but whatever the case I was eager to get myself a non-media meal at SanTan Brewing Company ( you can check out the media one here).
Scottsdale goes on forever. I mean, like, you drive north and north and north and you think you’re in Flagstaff but you’r still not even at the end of Scottsdale. Somewhere up there is Local Bistro, which recently was named one of the 25 Best Burgers in Phoenix. Thus, while the menu had some intriguing options, I knew the burger had to be mine.
Sometimes burgers build up a reputation. Whether by winning awards or word of mouth, it happens. This happened to Aioli Burger in both ways. Yeah, it won some burger battles, but also people told me about it and that doesn’t happen as much in Phoenix as it did in LA and Pittsburgh, so I figured it had to be real. Plus, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I got a taste of Aioli Burger at the Scottsdale Culinary Fest earlier this year. Basically, the hype was real.
Indian Fry Bread has a tragic, complicated history. Yet, it has also grown beyond that to shine a somewhat positive light on the Native Americans of the Southwest as the bread has made its way beyond the reservations. The Fry Bread Truck is proudly sling the bread around the Valley of the Sun with some interesting twists.
Kosher restaurants are a conundrum for me. I want to embrace them because of my Jewish heritage, but I also really want to mix dairy and meat, or throw in some bacon. But, Kosher restaurants have figured out a way to make the food palatable and I went to Kitchen18 in Scottsdale to find out just how palatable they could be.
Everybody just looooves the Fox Restaurant Group in Phoenix. But can there ever be too many Fox restaurants? I headed to The Greene House in Scottsdale’s Kierland Commons in my continuing quest to find out. The Greene House is a modern American restaurant showcasing things like salads, sandwiches, fish and chicken. As in most similar situations, my eyes went right for the burger.