Papa’s Italian Restaurant

“Started out Great Then Crashed”
3 of 5 Stars Reviewed May 8, 2017

On a recent week-end to Prescott we stopped here for dinner since it had a pretty high TA rating.

Nice layout with several rooms. We ordered the calamari appetizer and a meat lasagna to share, along with their house Malbec wine, which by the way was fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed the appetizer and side salad and then the waitress brought out the wrong entree — Ravioli. My husband said he ordered the meat lasagna and she said oh no, I’m sure you said the ravioli. I agreed with him that he ordered the lasagna saying I would have noticed him ordering the wrong thing since we were sharing it. She took it back and after a loooooong wait finally appeared with the lasagna. This is what was on the plate: a pile of sausage sauce (which I must say was pretty good) mixed with browned mozzarella underneath (how did that happen?) some ricotta and one small lasagna square somewhere in there. What made it even weirder was there was grated mozzarella on top which was not melted at all and she put it on the table and said be careful of the plate, it’s very hot. What?? The plate was cold. Sooooo gross. We’re not sure if she served us this disaster on purpose because she was mad, or what. Anyway, I’m sure this is a pretty good restaurant, but for us, it definitely ruined our meal and our evening out :( We probably won’t be returning.

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Prescott Starbucks

“Great Location and Size”
5 of 5 Stars Reviewed May 8, 2017

I love this Starbucks. It’s conveniently located right on the highway and is absolutely huge, offering both indoor and a large seating portion outside as well. The workers were beyond upbeat and helpful…all in all a great Starbucks experience.

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Prescott Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

“Big Juicy Delicious Burger”
4 of 5 Stars Reviewed May 8, 2017

We had the BBQ burger with the frizzled onions. SO big and juicy and delicious! You can also upgrade to sweet potato fries which I did and I got them exactly how I ordered them…extra crisp! Come here when you have a hankering for a good burger. A little on the expensive side though.

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Prescott Lone Spur Cafe

“Great Food Service & Value”
5 of 5 Stars Reviewed May 8, 2017

My title says it all for me. We had a large party of 6 adults and 2 toddlers. Our waitress was a real gem…pleasant quick and my coffee cup was always filled. Every single person loved their meal and the best part was when the check arrived. $77 :)

I had the raisin bread french which was coated in corn flakes. If you want something sweet and crunchy to start off your morning, this is definitely the ticket! I will definitely go back and recommend it to others.

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Basil & Garlic

“So Disappointed”
2 of 5 Stars Reviewed March 29, 2017

After reading the good reviews my husband and I decided to go one evening when craving pizza and salad. We ordered a white pizza with spinach and garlic and an antipasto. Both dishes were tasteless, probably because of low-grade ingredients. Also, we had a pretty rude waitress. Sadly, won’t be returning :(

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Restart Bar

“Great Way to Begin Your Day”
5 of 5 Stars Reviewed February 22, 2017

So Restart is going to get a similar review I gave the main restaurant, Sonata. It’s connected to the restaurant and my guess is they wanted to make good use of the small extra space to restart their customers’ day. They have succeeded in my book!

Over the rainy holiday week-end I needed a little sunshine on our day off so my husband and I went for a cup of coffee. We ended up with coffee, a green drink and a G-Bowl. All were made fresh upon our order and were equally delicious and healthy…what a great way to start the day. The service was also extremely cheerful and attentive. I’ll be going often!

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Portillo’s Hot Dogs (Scottsdale)

“Fast Food at its Worst”
1 of 5 Stars Reviewed January 11, 2017

For the life of me I don’t understand the good reviews of others. Maybe this food is acceptable in Chicago,but I’ve never had worse.

Let’s start with the burgers. A large disc of rubber that must have been laying under some heat light somewhere for hours. It was topped with about half a head of iceberg lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo and ketchup. Nothing could save it. The hotdog with chile and onions was even worse…it tasted uncooked. Horrible. The fries and onion rings were probably frozen.

I will never come back. Oh…it was a fun atmosphere with a 50’s Diner vibe.

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Maverick Coffee (Scottsdale)

“Poor service, luke warm coffee”
3 of 5 Stars Reviewed December 16, 2016

I’ve been there maybe 3 times and each time it takes forever to get a mere cup of coffee and when you finally get it it’s not even hot. Maybe that’s the newest way to serve coffee but it’s not for me. Won’t be going back.

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Street Cafe and Coffee Lounge (Scottsdale)

“Coffee With a Cause”
5 of 5 Stars Reviewed December 16, 2016

What can be better than patronizing a restaurant that is a non-profit with proceeds going to local hungry kids? Not much. Everything is locally sourced, and I assume donated. But don’t be fooled. There is great food to be had here.

My husband loved his huge plate of ham, eggs, potatoes and toast — $5 as are all breakfast entrees. My sister-in-law and I thoroughly enjoyed our steel cut oats with organic figs and candied pecans. It was delicious and neither could finish half of the huge bowl. Anywhere else in the area these entrees would have been upward of $10.

Please go there to enjoy delicious, local food and support a good cause at the same time.

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Gelato Spot (Phoenix)

“Convenient Location for Good Gelato”
4 of 5 Stars Reviewed December 6, 2016

Their gelato is as good as any I’ve had and delivered all the usual flavors. I went out on a limb and ordered something outside of my usual pistachio — salted carmel. It was very good. My husband stuck with his tried and true…chocolate. The location is close to my house which is good, or maybe not lol.

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Domino’s Pizza (Phoenix)

“Made a Believer out of Me”
4 of 5 Stars Reviewed December 6, 2016

After trying Domino’s many, many years ago I have never had it again, and always referred to it as disgusting elastic pizza. Well, my husband has been telling me that they’ve made a big change and trying to convince me to try it again. OK, so after I had a particularly hectic day at work he suggested he pick up a thin crust on his way home from work. I thought, as least I have some wine to go with it if it’s still as horrible as I remember.

So…my mind has been pleasantly changed about Domino’s Pizza. The crust was really thin and crisp, even after his 15 minute drive home. The sauce, cheese and toppings all good as well. And talk about a good price!

OK, I’m not saying that this will be my #1 place for pizza, but its now in my pizza repertoire :) Give the new Domino’s a chance, you might be glad you did.

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Paradise Valley Burger Company
‘A 5-Star Burger’
5 of 5 Stars Reviewed December 6, 2016

I first heard of this place on DDD about a year ago. I saw it again on a rerun and thought, what am I waiting for — it’s maybe 10 minutes from my house! Good decision.

I decided to order the simple Paradise burger with cheese. I figured if they make great burgers this would be the best way to test it. My husband ordered the Texas BBQ burger. I must say it was probably the best burger out I’ve ever had. I say that because I think the way I make burgers is best and that’s exactly how they make them here — 2 smaller burgers served on 1 bun. There’s more surface for crunch and you get juiciness w/o rareness. The bun is a squared off, buttered toasted brioche bun — perfect. The toppings on both burgers complimented the burger but didn’t over power the delicious juicy taste. I ordered the homemade chips for my side, which were just OK, not hot or even warm :( My husband’s fries were much better. But I was there for the burger, not the sides.

We can’t wait to go back and vowed to order a different burger every time. You should definitely go when you get a hankering for an awesome burger at a very reasonable price.

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First Watch: Scottsdale
“My Favorite Breakfast Destination”
5 of 5 Stars, Reviewed November 17, 2016

Can’t say enough about First Watch for Breakfast/Brunch. Healthy when you want to be healthy, but also wonderful if you want to be slightly naughty. I’ve visited them all, but I must say this is my least favorite as they gave my daughter and I a hard time when we brought to their attention our coupon was for buy one entree get one free, and they tried to give us a side dish as the free entree. They tried to fight us on it and we thought it was just rude on their part.

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Creamistry, Scottsdale

“A New and Fun Experience with Ice Cream”
4 of 5 stars, Reviewed November 17, 2016

I had no idea this place was here, but happened on it while going to the Mall with out of town family. We went on a weekday afternoon so there was no problem with long lines but it does take longer than average to get your order. It was kind of weird that we were interested in the process and asked questions, but the workers were not very friendly or knowledgeable.

It’s kind of exciting to see how your choices get cloud blasted before your eyes into a cup of ice cream. While tasty, the texture was very different — almost stretchy.

This is the perfect place if you have allergies or a restricted diet. You’re in control of exactly what you’re getting. I think all restrictions were pretty much covered, so if that’s the case with you, you might want to make a habit of this place. Prices are kind of high, but I don’t think much more than Cold Stone, etc.

I might go again if I’m in the area but it’s not someplace I’d go out of my way for, just my opinion.

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The Joy Bus Diner
“Good Food for a Great Cause”
5 of 5 stars, Reviewed November 12, 2016

Since there is really no signage you won’t even know this diner is here. I happened to see a sign posted outside while passing by the other day. This morning on our way back from an airport run my husband and I passed it and decided to give it a try. We had no idea that The Joy Bus is a not-for-profit organization that donates food and visitation to cancer patients — genius idea!

OK, it’s small and could use better silverware and furniture, but hey…it runs on volunteerism and not profit, so I’m assuming everything is donated. However, the food was really good, the prices can’t be beat and everything was served with an upbeat smile. I also purchased a jar of homemade jam for the cause. All in all, 2 of us had a delicious breakfast, coffee and a jar of take home jam. Including the tip it still came to less than we usually spend on breakfast out. That, coupled with their great cause, deserves 5 stars in my book!

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Luci’s at The Orchard

“A True Hidden Gem”
4 of 5 Stars, Reviewed October 22, 2016

What a great concept!
1. Hidden and out of the way.
2. More than enough parking.
3. Three eateries surrounding common grounds.
4. A splash pad to keep the kids occupied while you enjoy your coffee/meal.

A friend and I came for breakfast. Both enjoyed what we ordered — my pumpkin crepes were fantastic. Coffee was just OK. My friend said she ordered the bold and it was very good. No one asked me about coffee strength when I ordered mine so it was weak. It’s a little awkward how you order as you’re holding up the line as you view the menu on the wall.

I know it’s new and they probably have a few kinks to work out. I will definitely come back w/the grandkids and family next time and try lunch or dinner. I would recommend it.

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Black Cow Cafe, Sedona

“Best Ice Cream Ever”
5 of 5 Stars, Reviewed October 12, 2016

We went in since it said the ice cream was homemade. Not too many flavors to choose from but my chocolate was unlike any chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had before and the addition of fresh pecans put it over the top. Everyone absolutely loved the flavor they had. I highly recommend and will definitely go back.

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Open Range Grill & Tavern, Sedona

“Amazing View with Very Good Food”
5 of 5 Stars, Reviewed October 12, 2016

The view of Sedona’s red rock doesn’t get much better than this — especially when it’s on an outside terrace. We all enjoyed the food. 2 of us ordered the bison burger, although I should have followed my server’s suggestion and ordered it med rare. The sweet potato fries came out exactly as I ordered them, extra crispy! It went great with the nut brown beer.

The other 2 in our party ordered pulled pork and a salmon salad and really liked them. Our server was wonderful and held off on serving our beer until our food came out. I would recommend going here and will return.

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Steak 44, Phoenix

“Typical High End Steakhouse”
3 of 5 Stars, Reviewed September 23, 2016

If there were halves I’d give it a 3 1/2.

The positives: good service, attention to detail, beautiful interior, a follow-up call the next day (whaaat…I almost gave a 4 for that alone)

The negatives: terrible sides (we ordered 3), food was overly creamed and salted, LOUD, overpriced.

I think I have a pretty good picture of high end steakhouses in the Valley, I’ve probably been to them all. Here’s the thing — if you say you have wonderful, aged pieces of beef, why dilute them in flavored butter, salt, etc? They should be able to stand on their own, right? Also, a high end steakhouse should pay way more attention to their sides. Honestly, the mashed potatoes tasted like they were from a box and the creamed spinach was more like creamed cream and no spinach. The corn that everyone raved about tasted like canned cream corn with a layer of bruleed sugar on top.

There were 3 of us — each ordered a ribeye, (which was delicious) 1 wine or beer, 1 side. Outside of that was 1 appetizer we shared and 1 salad. No bottles, no dessert or coffee. Bill w/o tip was $385. I wish we had gone to Donovan’s.

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Chop and Wok, Scottsdale

Under Average Typical Chinese Fare
2 of 5 Stars, Reviewed September 19, 2016

It’s located right up the street from me so my husband and I decided to try it since we wanted Chinese food. It was just OK. My orange chicken was overly breaded and made soggy by sitting in the too sweet orange sauce. His lo mein noodles tasted like they had been sitting around in the sauce a long time and were mushy. We probably won’t go back.

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North Italia, Scottsdale Kierland

“Nice Spot for a Shopping Lunch”
4 of 5 Stars, Reviewed September 19, 2016

Very enjoyable spot to take a break from shopping with nice atmosphere and great service. The 2 of us shared 3 appetizers — the kale salad, the artichokes and zucca chips. All tasty, nothing to write home about. I’ll definitely go back for dinner to try their entrees, especially since they make their own pasta.

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U.S. Egg, Scottsdale

“Everything Under The Sun Served Quickly”
4 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 31, 2016

This restaurant is literally up the street from my house and I just now got to eat there. I always thought it would be just a run of the mill diner with average food. I was pleasantly surprised early last Saturday when my husband said let’s go get breakfast at U.S. Egg, I’m starving. Off we went.

I had the California Benedict since I like avocado with my egg breakfast. I ordered the english muffin on the side and the hash browns well done. What a shocker when that’s exactly how my order arrived and in record time. The hash browns might just be the best in the area. The only downside is they offer no green drink :( Are they cheap? No, they are just as expensive as all other competitors in the area. Breakfast for 2 = $33.

They offer lunch and dinner as well and I look forward to going next time I crave a burger and beer since beer is on the menu as well! It also seems as if this location has been recently renovated. I will go back and urge others to give it a try as well.

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Blanco, Scottsdale

“Our Go To Takeout”
4 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 24, 2016 

Never had a bad meal here. Great standards, chips, guac, you name it. Love the short rib burrito, my favorite. We order for takeout at least once or twice a month.

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Citizen Public House, Scottsdale

“Mixed Feelings”
3 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 24, 2016 

Came here for my birthday expecting much more. We ordered several dishes and they all ended up just being average. Our favorite was the pig ears…seriously.

I think the big draw here are the drinks, they sounded really interesting but we’re just not big on mixed drinks. All of the staff went above and beyond, making it an enjoyable evening.

I might come back for HH when I’m in the mood for an adventurous cocktail and of course, the pig ears.

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Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar, Scottsdale Kierland

“Soggy Salads”
3 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 16, 2016

I ate here many years ago and really liked it. However, I just came with a friend who visited on vacation. We both ordered salads that were recommended by our server. At the end we both looked at each other and said, That was just OK lol. We were expecting better.

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RA Sushi, Scottsdale, Kierland

“Consistently Good Sushi”
4 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 16, 2016

Consistently good and a great value. Fun vibe, we like to sit at the bar when the place is full. Love their HH and it lasts til 7pm which is a real plus!

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Postini, Scottsdale

First Rate Everything
5 out of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 16, 2016

I’m so glad another Postino opened up in my area!
On a girls night out we had cheese/charcuterie board which was fabulous, panini sandwiches, salads, wine. All were great and the service was so friendly and attentive. I’ll be coming back for sure and will recommend to others.

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Zinc Bistro, Scottsdale Kierland

End it with the Souffle
5 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 15, 2016 

Ate here many many times, always good. Just had a most memorable meal…wine, farro salad, divine short ribs and ooooh that chocolate souffle. Order it when you order your meal as it takes time. Left with a smile.

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Oregano’s Pizza Bistro

“This is Serious Italian”
4 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 13, 2016
OK, so I’ve lived in Az for 12 years now and never set foot in an Oregano’s, thinking it was fast food Italian American and wasn’t worth the visit. Wrong! After going for lunch yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by how good their sauce was. Sauce is the bar I set for if an Italian restaurant is worth its weight in salt, and their sauce was pretty darn good! We had delicious meatballs and sausage in red sauce topped with mozzarella. Although the side caesar salad was a little soggy it was pretty good.

The service was quick and pleasant and the bill didn’t break the bank, which is shocking for an enjoyable meal in Scottsdale. I’ll definitely return to try their pasta, which looked mighty good at other tables.

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Inchin Bamboo Garden
“Just Average”
3 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 5, 2016

We thought this was going to be a different experience but it was sort of just like going to a Chinese restaurant. Although I must say the dessert (darsaan with vanilla ice cream) was extremely different and tasty.

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Daily Dose Midtown Bar & Grill

“Another Breakfast Winner”
5 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 3, 2016

Went with friends for breakfast and all dishes were winners — especially mine. It was eggs benedict but instead of sitting on an english muffin it was on crispy polenta and had a roasted pablano pepper. 2 other pancake dishes were equally delicious. Love the large coffee mugs! Great service with a smile. I will definitely return.

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The Habit Burger Grill

“Great Burger & Sweet Potato Fries”
4 of 5 Stars, Reviewed August 1, 2016

This is the perfect place to go when you want a delicious juicy burger but you don’t want a fast food burger or one you’re going to pay $15 for. I wish I had gone sooner. The sweet potato fries were perfect — I asked for extra crisp and that’s exactly how I got them. Friendly attentive service as well. I’m definitely going back.

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Shakes and Cones, Scottsdale

“Ordinary yet Expensive”
3 of 5 Stars, Reviewed June 28, 2016

OK, I get it, everything is organic so they’re going to charge more. But what I don’t get is why they don’t keep costs down a bit since the space is so small it’s literally a walk-up window with no seating. And how about more flavors — there’s just vanilla and chocolate with the usual toppings and mix-ins. Kind of like Cold Stone, but healthier?

I did like what I ordered — the Vanutzel — served ‘blizzard’ style it’s vanilla ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels and nutella topped with whipped cream. The small was $7 and change. Not sure if I’ll return.

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Chez Vous, Scottsdale

“Great little French Bistro”
5 of 5 Stars, Reviewed May 28, 2016

A little slice of France on Scottsdale Rd. Had a girls brunch and everyone loved what they had. From my delicate quiche to the Croque-Monsieur. Champagne was even served. A bit pricey but totally worth it for the right outing.

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Drexyl Modern American Food, Scottsdale

“Happy Hour needs Real Improvement”
3 of 5 Stars, Reviewed May 28, 2016

Since this restaurant is relatively new I’ve been wanting to go there for a while now. There are so many restaurants in my area I usually first go for HH. If their HH is good I’ll go back for a meal. I’m sorry to say, their HH failed big time for me and my husband.

I don’t want to go into detail since I don’t like trashing a new business — there’s always room to improve when you’re new. 3 stars because the service was great, even if a bit overly attentive.

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Bink’s Scottsdale

“Very Enjoyable, despite being pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

This was the first Binks my family has been to. We decided to celebrate after my daughter’s wedding — there were 5 of us.

I must say our waiter was fantastic. Very attentive, full of information about the food, but didn’t overdo it like some.

Yes, all of the plates were small but we didn’t mind since we decided to just order an array of dishes for sharing. This way we got to sample a lot of them.

Our choices from the Appetizer menu were all good — the foi gras, pupusa and bbq octopus. I’d go back tomorrow just to have the foi gras again.
Onto Local Produce — Very good kale salad and divine beet salad.
From the Hot — the fried red potatoes were really good.
Onto entrees — I was told the sand dabs were amazing. I had the pork belly but was a little disappointed that there was no crust on it and the sauce it was on was a little too salty.
Sweetbread nuggets and butternut squash soup were also ordered and enjoyed by others but I didn’t try them.

Afterward we all ordered cappuccino and 3 desserts — the donuts, cheesecake and lemon soup. I especially enjoyed the refreshing lemon soup. When all was said and done the tab came in at $199. Yes, a little high considering only 1 glass of wine was ordered but it was a really enjoyable dining experience. Plus I like leaving a restaurant not feeling stuffed to the gills. I’d definitely return to try out the rest of the menu.

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Armitage Wine Lounge

“Average Food, great atmosphere”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Since I love being at The Market Place @ DC Ranch my girls and I came here to celebrate 2 of our birthdays.

The atmosphere was great with couch and table seating along with traditional tables. We were seated in a nice quiet corner where we could talk, otherwise the music was too loud. The food here was a real disappointment. Since we like to share plates we ordered about 6 things, some of which were appetizers and some sandwiches and salads, and nothing really stood out…just average. The one thing below average was the prosciutto melt…it was pretty gross. The meat was thick and tasted like super salty corned beef or something. Our server had a bad attitude and made rude comments.

When there are so many amazing restaurants in the area I don’t think I’ll ever be returning here.

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Roaring Fork

“Happy Hour a Real Winner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

I’ve been here only 1 time and it was for happy hour. I wanted to try their Big [–] Burger I’d heard about. Wow — what a value!! And it was delicious to boot.

First off, this burger was huge…and cooked to a perfect medium as ordered. It was topped with bacon, red onion, tomato, pickle and came with a special sauce. There was a little cauldron of crispy french fries on the side. Cost was $10….yes, I said $10. An unheard of bargain in Scottsdale. Everyone else at the table raved about the pork green chile. The best news from our waitress was that happy hour runs all night during the summer. So happy to be a local :)

I can’t wait to go back…maybe even for dinner.

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The Mission

“Top Notch in all Areas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

My daughters brought me here for my birthday celebration. My kids are brilliant!

1. Service. It was impeccable. Our waiter was friendly, helpful, upbeat but not over-bearing. Just right.

2. Ambiance. OK, it was a little dark at first but you get used to it quickly. Besides, it makes you focus on the gorgeous chandeliers and lighting. I want the one above the bar in my kitchen! They also have outdoor seating and I can’t wait to sit there once the weather cools off.

3. Food. Wow — please do yourself a favor and start with the guacamole which is made table-side by a guy rolling around his delicious cart. Mild, medium, spicy — your choice on the spot. Genius! My daughter and I split the Duck empanada for an appetizer (which will be my main course next time I go) and the pork tacos. High marks for the presentation of the tacos served on a salt block. Those in our party had salads and scallops also and everyone loved every bit.

As we were discussing what to have for dessert, voila — our waiter appeared with a sparkler and pumpkin bread pudding topped with ice cream and a sauce which was like a caramel sauce with maybe with a whiskey kicker. It was great. On the side to wash it down? Mini chocolate shakes with a chocolate chorro. Coma time!

Can’t wait to go back once the weather breaks to take advantage of their outdoor dining. Highly recommended.

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Kazimierz World Wine Bar, Scottsdale

“True Hidden Gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

When I say hidden gem I’m not kidding. Someone from the group we were meeting there had to meet me on the street so I could find it as it had no signage and you were let in at a side door. Had the cool feeling of a SpeakEasy.

Once inside it was kind of cave-like and dark and had great live entertainment. I felt like I was in NYC back in the day. Wines were great, food the same.

My one complaint and why I couldn’t give it 5 stars — the ladies room. Without getting too gross, let’s just say this. When I got home that night I literally had to wash the bottom of my Tory’s before walking into the house. Yea, that bad…

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The Herb Box, Scottsdale

“Consistently good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Came several Saturdays in a row with a group after working out. Our large group was always accommodated with a smile, even though we gave special orders.

Food is always solid. The blackened salmon on a bed of greens always delicious Saturday after Saturday. Blackened yet juicy with nuts and dried fruits mixed in with the greens. I could eat this for lunch every day and not get sick of it.

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Cartel Coffee Lab, Scottsdale

“Best Cappuccino in Phx”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

I went to the one in Old Town, Scottsdale. I ordered a decaf cappuccino as it was late and did not have high expectations but was really wowed! Service was exceptionally friendly and the cappuccino is rivaled only by the ones I’ve enjoyed in Europe.
Will go back to Cartel whenever I have the opportunity.

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Mimi’s Cafe, Bell Rd., Glendale

“My Fave for Breakfast”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Love their breakfasts, especially the stuffed french toast.
Great atmosphere and the service is always pleasant. Good muffins and sweet breads too. Breakfast is always solid here.

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Pappadeaux, Phoenix

“Wonderful every time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

I love this place. Have dined here many many times with large groups and never has anyone had anything but high marks for their dinner. My personal favorites?

– Crawfish bisque
– Mediterranean Calamari – the best anywhere
– Crab cakes
– Any of the Chef Selections
– All of the desserts.

Come hungry with a group!

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Vivace Restaurant, Tucson

“Best Pizza in AZ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

My entire family loves everything about this restaurant — the friendly owners, wait staff, incredible happy hour drink deals and especially the pizza! They’re all fabulous but our favorite is the Sausage and Roasted Cipollini Onion pizza. It almost makes me sad my daughter moved to Phoenix – we never go anymore. I vow to make a special trip this year :)

Visited January 2012

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Union Public House, Tucson

“Perfect Place for Sharing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

While my daughter lived in Tucson this was our favorite spot for drinks and shareable plates. My favorite is the BBB – Brussels sprouts, beets, bacon and honey – a perfect sweet & salty way to get my veggies in. We’ve also enjoyed the salads, chips, pretzels, you name it. Other guests I’ve been with who ordered meals such as fish and chips and Chicken & Waffles were amazed as well.
Great beer list too. Expect for it to be a bit noisy — its 1 big open room but its fun when you’re with a group. I would recommend it.

Visited January 2012

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Pita Jungle, Phoenix

“A Happy Hour Disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I went to the Norterra location close to my house, as always, looking for a closeby Happy Hour. No luck here. My husband and I ordered everything on the HH menu with maybe 1 or 2 that were OK. We didn’t want to short-change the place, so we ordered a chicken topped flatbread as well. No help there either. Very friendly attentive waitress.
I won’t be going back.

Visited November 2012

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Fair Trade Cafe, Phoenix

“Go for the Coffee & Sweets”
3 of 5 stars

Reviewed November 5, 2012

Went here for breakfast with my daughter. My mocha and her iced soy latte were great. To satisfy my sweet tooth I ordered the ginger cookie which was amazing — truly. Points for the free cucumber water.

The savory dishes were my only complaint. An egg, ham and cheese for my daughter and a tomato, egg and avocado on a sundried tomato bagel for me. Daughter said hers was good, mine was terrible. It came absolutely undressed, I mean no flavor at all. The only thing that helped me eat half of it was salt, pepper and hot sauce.

I might go again for a coffee and sweet treat — only if I’m in the area.

Visited November 2012

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Elements at Sanctuary, Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley

“Beautiful Setting & Views, Great Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

We came here for my daughter’s 27th birthday. The setting and views stole the show. The up-close mountain views and lighting were amazing.

The food was very good…not spectacular. Everyone really enjoyed what they ordered — we had a real assortment. My short ribs served on a bed of truffled mac & cheese was delicious but not fall-apart tender. I shared the fois gras appetizer which was sweet, salty, rich and sat in a tender buttery crust. Please don’t pass it up, it was worth every penny! Our shared desserts were very good as well, but again, nothing spectacular. Our waiter was attentive but not as professional as I’d expect at a restaurant of this caliber.

So when everything was said and done — of the 5 adults in the party, a few ordered drinks and appetizers along with our entrees and we shared 3 desserts so the bill was really up there — Including tax and tip it was around $450. Pretty steep but I felt that when you consider the setting and views, the value was still there. I would definitely go again for a special event and can’t wait to try out their Happy Hour for a real value!

Visited October 2012

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Tammie COE Cakes MJ Bread, Phoenix

“Top Notch Out of the Ordinary Desserts”
5 of 5 stars
Reviewed October 20, 2012

I’ve been ordering specialty cakes and treats from Tammie Coe since I moved here 9 years ago. If you’re looking for a customized dessert with an artistic flare for your special event, this is the place to go.

Ever since we ordered a Louis Vitton handbag cake for my daughter’s wedding shower we were hooked! The best part is that her creations not only look awesome, but taste amazing. Fresh moist cakes, delicious fillings and fondant that is never overly-sweet like most.

We also like her cupcakes and out of the ordinary cookies. The rosemary polenta sables are my favorite :)
Visited October 2012

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Modern Steak, Scottsdale

“I go for the Burgers!”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed October 20, 2012

The only reason I feel I can’t give Modern Steak 5 stars is because every time I go I order the Kobe burger — yes its that good. Topped with cheddar, smoked bacon and a thousand island sauce it always hits my burger craving spot. Oh…and always remember to upgrade the regular fries to the parmesan truffle fries — you won’t be sorry.

My favorite time to go is when taking a break from shopping at Fashion Square Mall. Wash your burger down with a Retail Therapy cocktail and you’re set!
Visited October 2012

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Zinc Bistro – Kierland, Scottsdale

“Lovely French Restaurant”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed October 20, 2012

I’ve dined at Zinc Bistro many times — sometimes while shopping at Kierland and sometimes with Zinc as a planned destination. I can honestly say I’ve never been disappointed or had a less then wonderful experience.

The wait staff is always attentive and above average and the food is top notch. My favorites are the flat iron steak salad, basil grilled chicken sandwich and smoked tuna salad on olive toasts (an amazing new addition) from the lunch menu. For dinner I usually enjoy the cheese and charcuterie platter with a glass of wine or any of their delicious salads. Always make sure to include an order of their amazing house frites with marjoram, paprika and fleur de sel, and if you have room for dessert their chocolate souffle is a ‘to die for’ must!
Visited October 2012

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Arcadia Farms Restaurant

“Worth every Penny”
5 of 5 stars
Reviewed October 20, 2012

I’ve been waiting for a long time to try this place and when I found myself having to treat a friend of mine for sewing my drapes and I thought, why not treat myself as well! So we headed on down to Old Town for a leisurely breakfast. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but when you walk through those doors you’re in for a treat — this place is truly a hidden gem. There are nooks and private rooms galore, both indoor and out. We decided to eat outdoors in the back of the restaurant.

Let me start with the coffee which was deep and delicious and served with cream — always a good first sign. We usually like to order a sweet dish and a savory one to share and satisfy our sweet and salty urges. We decided on the Fresh Berry Crepes and the Breakfast Quesadilla. Both were nice sized portions and simply delicious. The quesadilla was filled with eggs, sausage, cheese and crisp roasted veggies. It came with a side of guacamole and salsa that rounded it out nicely. The berry crepes were even better — light crepes filled with sweet mascarpone cheese in a pool of fresh blueberry/strawberry sauce and topped very lightly with a sweet whipped cream. What could have easily been an overly sweet dish was prepared perfectly with just a touch of sweetness. These 2 dishes together made for a great balanced breakfast :)

OK, the $30 tab was a little pricey for breakfast for 2 but SO well worth it. When you eat amazing food in an awesome setting you don’t mind, or at least I don’t. I can’t wait to go back for lunch.

Visited October 2012

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Kona Grill, Phoenix

“Surprisingly good”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I always have low expectations when eating out in a corporate chain, but was pleasantly surprised this time. We met our visiting family there since they were staying in the area. Everyone really enjoyed their meals — especially those of us who ordered fish. Fresh, delicate and prepared very well.

I will definitely return and this time save room for dessert as the dessert menu looked awesome.
Visited November 2011

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Upper Crust Pizza & Wine Bar

“Excellent pizza in Phoenix”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I had to meet my daughters at the Cave Creek and 101 Costco around dinner time so before I left I dutifully searched TA for reviews on restaurants in the area. What a find when it came back with Upper Crust!

First I love the idea of 2 separated rooms — one for the bar crowd and another quieter room for families. We chose the quiet family room which was appreciated :) We ordered a med pizza which was huge and a small antipasto which was also huge! Not only do they serve large portions but the food was actually great — this is my kinda place. We ordered a regular pie — which had a thin crust and surprise — fresh mozzarella.

I had to hold back a star since that was all we ordered. I look forward to going back, maybe to sit in the bar room for happy hour. If you’re looking for great pizza, go here.

Visited September 2012

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Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Phoenix

“Low Quality Pizza”
2 of 5 stars
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Very low quality but the price is also really low. Even worse than Domino’s. Eat here when you’re on a strict budget only.

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Tutti Santi Ristorante, Glendale

“Expensive but worth it”
5 of 5 stars
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Great wood-fired pizza, appetizers and entrees. Love going here for a girls night out for apps and wine or for birthdays. Delicious thin crust pizza. Not cheap, but a good value. Save for a special occasion.

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Hot Bagels & Deli, Phoenix

Great NY Style Bagels”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Delicious chewy NY style bagels. One of my favorite places for breakfast.
Great specials, can’t beat the value.

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Betty’s Nosh, Glendale

“Always count on a decent meal here.”
3 of 5 stars
Reviewed September 15, 2012

The food is average and the service is above average, but not worth the high price. Go here when you’re in the mood for mushrooms as that is their specialty. My fave is the one stuffed with angry shrimp.
Don’t skip dessert — I’ve never had a bad one here :)
Visited September 2012

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Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Co., Glendale

“Low Quality Food”
2 of 5 stars
Reviewed September 15, 2012

I really wanted to like this place for good ‘go-to’ bar food in my neighborhood. No such luck. Soggy flatbread, buffalo chicken sliders which featured a rubbery chicken patty and cold fries. Save your money and go to McDonald’s for similar food…scratch that — McDonald’s always has hot fries. It earned 2 stars because the service was very good.

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La Grande Orange Grocery, Phoenix

“Average food”
3 of 5 stars
Reviewed September 4, 2012

I was a little disappointed as I heard so much about this place. I went for breakfast on a Saturday. It was crowded, noisy, and you had to order and then wander around for an open seat to pounce on. Our breakfast fare (muffin, yogurt with granola, egg sandwich) was just average.

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Seasons 52, Phoenix

“Great place for business luncheon”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed September 4, 2012

I attend a monthly business luncheon here. The private room is well appointed and the food is always good as is the service. There is always a salad, a chicken dish and a flat bread — all very good. They also have single serve desserts in tiny glass dishes. Just enough for the sweet tooth.

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Del Frisco’s Grille, Phoenix

“A Great Time at DelFrisco’s”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed September 4, 2012

This was my second time here — the first being a private party, after which I vowed to return. The private room was beautiful with walls lined in their wine stock and was well attended to by the servers. I’m assuming the Host made arrangements for the food ahead of time which was continually being re-stocked at a buffet table. The food was all very good and everyone raved about the tuna tacos which I didn’t have since I’m not a big raw fish fan. Everything else I had was perfect.

My second time here was for a girls night out where we celebrated 2 birthdays. When I made the reservation I was asked if it was a special occasion and I told them of the birthdays. First off, we’re not an easy group to serve, lol. We were seated by the bar which we found to be too noisy and we were given another table. We like to order plates for sharing and our waitress was more than accommodating — even cutting sandwich platters into 4. The cheese steak eggrolls are simply delicious as was the mushroom flatbread and burrata & heirloom tomato salad, We ordered a half carafe of wine. The service throughout the night was impeccable and we never felt rushed, as we like to linger.

A nice surprise followed our meal when they came out with 2 large martini glasses filled with rum cake balls and a candle for the 2 birthdays. I look forward to coming back to Del Frisco’s.

The downside was the noise factor. If you’re looking for a quiet, romantic night out don’t come here. If you’re looking for a great night out sharing food with friends with attentive service, do come!

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The Herb Box, Scottsdale

“Wine and appetizers with the Girls”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Loved all of the small plate offerings. We ordered the Market cheese board a flatbread and a few small plates with our wine. A nice friendly environment for a girls night out with awesome food.

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Local Bistro & Bar, Scottsdale

“Order the Drunken Bread”
3 of 5 stars
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Went here for dinner on a double date. I read reviews about the drunken bread so of course that’s how we started things out with a glass of wine — great choice! Crusty bread soaked in wine, topped with gruyere and then sent to the broiler. 1 order was plenty for 2 as an appetizer.

I split the chicken parmigiana, which was disappointing. It was pounded thin – milanase style, don’t know why – topped with cheese and a terrible, sour tasting red sauce. I always feel that if a restaurant is going to serve something Italian they need a good sauce, or all else fails — which it did.

Service was overly attentive as they removed dishes before some were even finished…that bugs me. The large open room was loud so don’t go here for a quiet evening.

Everyone else seemed to really enjoy what they ordered, but personally I don’t think I’ll go back. Too many other good restaurants in the area. I will however try to duplicate the drunken bread in my own kitchen!

Visited August 2012

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Cafe ZuZu, Scottsdale

“Great Bloody Mary Bar Brunch”
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed August 13, 2012

I finally made it here for Sunday Brunch after hearing that they had a Bloody Mary Bar and I am a Bloody Mary hound!

At $5 each this was a great value. They bring you a tall glass with vodka and ice. A trip to the well-stocked Bar offers 2 kinds of bloody mary mixes, plain tomato juice, clamato juice or V8 as your base. Add-ons include cocktail onions, celery stalks, cuke speaks, stuffed green olives, spicy salami, lemons, limes, several hot sauces and a host of spices. Hope I’m not forgetting anything… Mine was divine and since I’m not a big drinker, the amount of vodka was enough to make 2 drinks!

I opted for more of a lunch meal (the chicken breast and brie) which was delicious and went perfect with the bloody mary. Everyone else had breakfast dishes and I didn’t hear a complaint from anyone!

I’ve always enjoyed Cafe Zuzu for dinner and now will definitely return again for their brunch. The atmosphere, food and drinks can’t be beat!

Visited August 2012

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5th and Wine, Scottsdale

Great place to get together with friends”
5 of 5 stars
Reviewed July 20, 2012

This was my first time here and I hope to come back again and again.

The setting was perfect for getting together with friends — we sat at a large couch with chairs and table in the middle so no one felt left out at the end of a table.

The food was nothing short of amazing. We all pretty much ordered an array of appetizers with the exception of a prime rib dinner. Everyone raved about their dish. I had 2 of the bruschetta choices — brie, fig and apple & mascarpone, fig and prosciutto. I have never had such melt in your mouth prosciutto and believe me, I’ve had my share of the stringy variety. Next I ordered the buratta mozzarella and tomato which came with a basil pesto and more bread than I could handle. The cheese was perfectly runny and delicious.

Wine list is extensive and prices are reasonable enough to buy a bottle or 2. The service was attentive and pleasant.

I can’t wait to go back to 5th and Wine and will recommend it to everyone.

Visited July 2012

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El Chorro, Paradise Valley

“Great Food – Top Notch Service”
5 of 5 stars
Reviewed June 13, 2012

We were literally on the road after Sunday services looking for a nice Sunday Brunch. After searching Sunday Brunch in Phoenix on our phone, El Chorro came up as an option. I remembered seeing it on my last stay at the Monte Lucia and it looked beautiful and private, so off we went.

Thank goodness a complimentary basket of cinnamon buns came with entrees as we were starved — my husband claimed they were the best cinnamon buns in Phoenix. I agreed – sweet, gooey, salty and not at all doughy.

I ordered their Bloody Mary, eggs/sausage/potatoes. The drink was delicious, although a tad on the spicy side for me, but that was quickly taken care of when my server, Alec, brought me a small tomato juice. May I say that these potatoes were the best breakfast potatoes I’ve ever had. They were dark, crispy and perfectly seasoned — just how I like em!

My husband ordered the BLT&A – the classic with the addition of avocado. He requested a fried egg on top which he said made the perfect sandwich.

So OK, a grade of A on the food, but what really made this a great experience was the setting and the service. The grounds were gorgeous and the view of Camelback Mountain breathtaking! I was sorry we went on such a hot day and couldn’t enjoy sitting outside to soak it all in, but our high top table in the airy Bar was also very nice. Our server Alec was the icing on the cake here. The word ‘attentive’ just doesn’t come close to how we were treated. Besides showing up at the right times to ask, refill, serve, etc. he also gave us a history of the place and encouraged us to take our time when we finished and walk the grounds. I’m glad we did. We can’t wait to go back for their Happy Hour and perhaps another Sunday Brunch.

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