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April 12, 2018


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Sadly, Havana Cafe on Camelback closed in 2014 and the one on Greenway in NW Phoenix closed a year later.

As long as you're headed to South Mountain Park, you might as well stop off at the south Central Avenue location of Los Dos Molinos. The food is great, and the building was Tom Mix's house for a time in the 1930's. Just know that when the waiter says a dish is spicy, he's not kidding.

My bad for missing Los Dos. Some of the best New Mexican-style anywhere. The wait is worth it.

Nice list here. I’d add:

- Poncho’s for Mexican food
- Pomo for pizza
- any of the Ranch Markets for all things Mexican
- Bikini Lounge for a funky dive bar experience
- Crescent Ballroom or the Van Buren for a show and people-watching

-Bliss/Rebar: Gay bar and restaurant but anyone would feel welcomed. Great vibe and just off of Roosevelt Row. A ton of new apts and condos in the area with a highrise underway but still easy to access.
-Seamus MacCaffrey's: Great Irish Pub with live performances on most weekends. Right in the middle of downtown on Monroe near Central Ave. Next to the historic San Carlos.
The next 2 are definitely not old Phoenix but are located on Central Ave.
-Chico Malo: A good, sometimes great, restaurant serving mostly Mexican fare but with South American influences. It's located in CityScape in front of the open area/plaza.
-Match: A newer restaurant that began swrving food the same time the uber hip FOUND:RE Hotel opened its doors. The resataurant has sliding glass walls that open up when the weather is right. It overlooks Portland Park.

Frequent visitor to the area. For tasty meals I would suggest The Salty Sow On Cactus & Rusconi’s On Tatum. Michael was the chef @Lon’s several years ago. The Salty Sow’s chef has been a JAMES Beard nominee in past years.
The craft brew scen in the area has grown quite a bit, My favorite is Craft 64 in Old Town Scottsdale for their AZ beer &locally sourced pizzas. The OHSO chain is also a good lunch spot as well as a airport shop now @Terminal 2.

Where the heck is Tatum?

Sitting and having a drink at the Arizona Biltmore never ceases to please me. I love eating on the patio at El Chorro Lodge paying homage to Camelback Mountain. My personal “Cheers” locale is Tarbell’s. I should have a barstool with my name on it! Driving Lincoln drive west from Scottsdale Road into Phoenix always fills me with joy as does driving south on Tatum from Shea to 44th Street. Driving through Papago on Galvin Parkway sweeps me into Sonoran dream. Thus, desert botanical garden is my fave of faves for semi-cultivated places to roam. I love the Phoenix Art Museum, too. It’s a beauty. Old town scottsdale captivates and I still enjoy a Saturday morning repast at the Breakfast Club. Sometimes I just like to park the car in a lot of east Washington and just watch the planes land at sky harbor. Yes, the valley of the sun is my happy place, even though I was born and raised in Denver and don’t have a single relative in Arizona. Who knows what got into my DNA?

For clarity; Rusconi’s restaurant is in a strip mall on the NE corner of Shea & Tatum.

I have been eating with the Molinas since Mama started in Springville, AZ.
Durants, If you drink and prefer Martinis, stirred not shaken.
I go to The Barrio for the Flan.
Los Olivos of course since about 1950.
Sing High, do not ask about the underground tunnel.
Both the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard have decent food accommodations. Check the hours of operation.

My suggetions
you will need reservations for this great Jamaican certified food and rum.

http://phxpublicmarket.com/cafe/ an easy place for some reasonably priced food

On Grand avenue. Best place for Mexican HOT Chocolate. https://www.yelp.com/biz/barrio-cafe-gran-reserva-phoenix

Italian: Mi Amiga and her kids like both the Bianco’s places. http://www.pizzeriabianco.com/locations/

Other Places I frequent; Doug From Mexico’s, OTRO http://www.otrocafe.com/ and Gallo Blanco http://galloblancocafe.com/

Asian: Mi Amiga has known Tootie and family for about 75 years; http://www.tottiesasianfusion.com/

A little place mi Amiga and I like at 32 Street and Camelback . The Twisted Grove, https://www.opentable.com/r/twisted-grove-parlor-and-bar-phoenix?page=1

I think you can like Phoenix without necessarily thinking it's great. The "wow factor" tends be muted but there are a lot of good restaurants, some of them even nationally famous like Pizzeria Bianco. The competition has the effect, too, of upping the overall culinary level.

What interests me is how restaurants have become a factor in creating little urban nodes in established neighborhoods. Probably the best known is the 40th & Campbell area anchored by the original Postino's and its sister La Grande Orange. It has the added benefit of being close to some of Al Beadle's best Phoenix buildings.

Another node is Central & Camelback, with an even larger number of restaurants (including, again, the same Postino's empire with satellites like Windsor, Federal Pizza (in an Al Beadle building no less) and Joyride. Changing Hands is close by, too, with its full-service bar.

Sam Fox, Inc. has a big restaurant agglomeration on 7th St north of Missouri. What was a so-so area of strip malls and dubious apartment complexes has become something of a destination. There are other hot spots like at 16th St and Bethany Home Rd, Roosevelt Row, and 7th St & Oak.

Phoenix may not have great bones but it does have some pleasant neighborhoods like Arcadia, Uptown (including the historic districts of Medlock Place, Windsor Square, Yaple Park, and Woodlea/Melrose). The gentrification here has helped give Phoenix a greater sense of place even as it raises housing prices to uncomfortably high levels. Gentrification gets blamed for a lot of things, but it also shows that people value older and more authentic neighborhoods and will invest in them. Phoenix may never be a first-tier city, but the thirst for the "good life" is pushing it ever so gently into a higher plane. If it's not exactly a miracle, it is welcome.

Dreamy Draw Park
Mountain View/North Mountain Park (next to each other, park at the latter)
Tapatio Cliffs

The parks can accommodate the full range of rugged to fully accessible outings. The Cliffs are private property but well-known among us Sunnyslope/Moon Valley Gen-Xers as the high school makeout spot. If you listen hard enough, and when the skies are dark, you can hear "In the Air Tonight."

Town & Country plaza is a very pleasant hidden gem of a throwback, but in order to sustain itself, it has to whittle itself away. The old bricks and trees there hold a lot of history. I fear it will soon be gone.

Mesa art center is a fabulous venue for art, performance and architecture. The Stockyards restaurant is well worth the trip too.

Gallo Blanco? Alexi’s? Mi Patio? El Portal? Richardson’s? Bianco Pizzeria? Vincent’s? The Gladly? Sierra Bonita? These and a ton of others! Sure are a lot of good restaurants in Phoenix now!

Probably the best Jamaican food I have ever had is at the Breadfruit on Pierce. And the Rum Bar there has some outstanding drinks with the bartenders putting on a great show concocting their potions.

El Norteno- 7th Ave and Roosevelt- real good dive food.

Richardson's- love it- or for a quick meal, Dick's Hideaway.

19th Ave and Greenway- Chino Bandido....cruise Sunnyslope for some real fun.

BTW- Jon, I took your invite liberally on the leave PHX page.

Really excellent points by Concern Troll on the previous thread, "Do I return to my home state." Recommended reading. CT nails it.

I think that Woody's at first ave and Mcdowell or Jordan's on Central were the best of the old line Mexican resteraunts. I also miss Bill Johnson's Big Apple.
In my salad days of the 50's it was all about the Polar Bar on Cenral and my "office" The Three Palms on 7th Ave.

Ah Nostalgia!
To quote that gret American philosopher - Satchel Paige: "Don't look back something might be catching you"

I would recommend Rosie Mccaffreys Irish pub on callback and 9th rd. A great Irish pub that was listed by msn.com as 1 of USA 's best Irish pubs. It is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from a light rail station. For vegetarian food Green vegetarian restaurant in central Phoenix and Tempe are excellent. Caffe boa is a very good wine bar by a light rail station in tempe-

For the location of Rosies Irish pub, I meant camelback rd and 9th. Also, while I do not like shopping a whole lot (I am into minimalism, the Nordstrom's last chance clearance store on camelback and 20th street is a great place for cheap clothes- for example, I once saw a new white Armani suite for 80$ (It was not my size) and women line up for handbag sales when the store opens up in the AM. Lost leaf club in and the nash jazz club are good places for live music in downtown.

Roger, i knew all dem places.

When it comes to Mexican food don't Forget the Tee Pee. Located in Arcadia at about 44th and Indian School it is one of the oldest continuously operated restaurants in the Phoenix are. There was a time When President Clinton and President Bush liked to eat here.

+1 for Tee Pee. I used to love eating there when I was a kid, and was delighted to stop there for dinner last month.

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