The topic of my talk was:
Strip Mall Chain Hell No More
NOTE: This info is from 2009. Things have changed since then but I wanted to leave it intact. 🙂
Thanks for coming over. I’ve listed the resources mentioned in my Ignite Phoenix 5 preso plus some additional things.
Of course, once I started coming up with content for my presentation, I found I had way too much stuff to say. And also way too much stuff that most #ignitephx folks probably didn’t care about. If you’re here, I’m guessing you’re into food too!
In case anybody is interested you can find my slides here.
Below are the resources and the restaurants that I love. The only criteria is that they fall in line with my personal taste and philosophy.
One of the the things I think is super helpful is to find people/resources that like the same things that you do. If you’re not into my selections, keep looking. There will be someone out there who will be a good match and you can learn from and share things with them.
Two folks that I’ve really identified for a long time with are Michele Laudig from the Phoenix New Times and winedubar from the Chowhound boards. I pretty much dig what they dig so if I see a recommendation from them, I’m heading that way. If you like what I do, check them out too.
- Chowhound SW
- Chowhound is a great resource (with boards over the US) of very food focused folks discussing restaurants.
- You can just browse to find great info or search your specific board for whatever you are interested in.
- The Southwest board also encompasses some other areas, one of which (Las Vegas) I am very grateful for.
- Bonus thread – best things to eat in #phx
- Yelp Phoenix
- Yelp is another review site but isn’t completely food focused.
- Yelp is also segmented by city rather than region.
- One thing Yelp does much better than Chowhound is connect people.
- It has features like friending, complimenting, messaging that really foster community.
- It also has neat things like ROTD (Review of the Day), Yelp Elite (with free food & drink meetups) and FTR (First to Review) that drive engagement.
- Yelp also puts on a lot of community events which greatly helps to connect with other like minded people.
- Yelp also has a great iPhone app with an awesome Search Nearby feature.
- Urbanspoon Phoenix
- Another platform similar to Yelp. I Yelp though.
- eGullet Southwest
- Another forum site which is harder to participate on. The big deal for me is that you can find a lot of great pictures here.
media blogs / sites
- New Times Chow Bella – great AZ restaurant/food blog (especially Michele Laudig stuff) @ChowBellaPHX
- New Times Restaurant Reviews – by Michele Laudig
- New Times Best Of Food – solid recommendations
- The Dish – another great AZ restaurant/food news blog @jessharter
- Phoenix Magazine Restaurant Reviews
- EATERAZ – AZ Food Gossip Site @EATERAZ
- azcentral.com Dining
local food blogs
- Phx Rail Food – restaurants along the light rail @PHXRailFood
- Eric Eats Out – @ericeatsout
- Feasting In Phoenix – Seth Chadwick’s Phoenix restaurant reviews @phoenixfeast
- Arizona Coffee – coffee based blog & forums @arizonacoffee
- Justin Eats @JustinEats
- Good Greasy Eats – multiple contributors
- Cartel Coffee Lab – roasts own excellent beans, many varieties, awesome baristas @cartelcoffeelab
- Lux Coffee – roasts own excellent beans, awesome baristas, excellence all around @luxcoffee
- Drip Coffee Lounge – great coffee & stellar sandwiches, etc.
- Liberty Market – great coffee & great food @libertymarket
- Corleone‘s – great cheesesteaks w/Wiz
- ??? – tried a bunch but still on the hunt
- FnB – Favorite spot in town. Amazing food. Great atmosphere. Great value.
- Binkley’s – Amazing food and tasting menus, some molecular gastronomy. Often compared to The French Laundry (top rated US restaurant) for a fraction of the price. Amazing! Menu changes daily depending on ingredients. Owned & run by Chef Kevin & Amy Binkley.
- Noca – Amazing food. Owner is the most food passionate person I’ve ever met. They source like nobody else and do incredible things with those ingredients. Menu changes daily depending on ingredients. By Eliot Wexler and Chef Chris Curtiss. @restaurantnoca
- Quiessence – Amazing food in a gorgeous setting. Chef Laprad is quality/ingredient obsessed. The food is remarkable. It is located at The Farm at South Mountain. Only a few minutes out of the city but it feels like another world. Menu changes daily depending on ingredients. Also selections to do their awesome food at a reasonable price (killer pastas).
- Kai – Great food with a Native American flavor. Beautiful room & great service.
- Caffe Boa – Great slow food spot that I believe is going to be amazing with the addition of Chef Payton Curry – just happened.
- Petite Maison @PetiteMaisonAZ – Great new little French bistro spot.
- Sweet Republic – Amazing artisan ice cream where everything is made from scratch. In addition to standard flavors, remarkable classics like Cheese Course Duo, Basil Lime, Lychee Mojito. Flavors always changing. Mean rootbeer float too! @SweetRepublic
- Arlecchino Gelateria – Awesome gelati & sorbetti made from scratch. I believe that Moreno has returned to Italy but that the quality is as good as ever.
- Old Town Farmer’s Market – @OTFM
- My highlights:
- McClendon Farms
- Sweet Republic
- Phoenician Bread
- Seacat Gardens
- Maya’s Farm
- Rancho Pinot
- My highlights:
- Downtown Phoenix Public Market
- My highlights:
- Mexican shrimp cocktail
- Seacat Gardens
- Windmill Farms
- Tortillas Reynoso
- Belinda’s Pickles
- The Meat Shop
- My highlights:
- Pizzeria Bianco – transcendent pizza. it is only pizza though so don’t get crazy.
- Rito’s – best green chile anywhere.
- Andreoli – awesome authentic Italian sandwiches, food and groceries.
- Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles – best fried chicken ever
- Carolina’s – best tortillas ever
- Da Vang – super cheap awesome Vietnamese food
- Fry Bread House – personal fan of the hominy stew & the dessert fry breads
- LGO – love the croque madame & their pizzas
- Khai Hoan – awesome cheap fee
- Cyclo – great food, great character
- Fiesta Burrito – my fave neighborhood authentic Mexican fast food
- De Falco’s – awesome Italian deli
- Delux – great burgers
- Phoenix Ranch Market – love the aguas frescas bar!
- Joe’s Real BBQ – killer BBQ, home made root beer
- Joe’s Farm Grill – great fresh, interesting food
- Miracle Mile – awesome sandwiches
- Chuckbox – wonderful burgers
- Lee’s Sandwiches – killer bahn mi’s for super cheap – get the grilled pork (and yes, a chain!)
- Modern Burger – awesome sliders
- Stax Burger Bistro – awesome interesting burgers – try the lamb & feta!
- Blue Fin – great cheap Japanese food
- Cornish Pasty – huge variety of awesome pasties for cheap
- Pane Bianco – awesome sandwiches – try the $6 Sicilian chocolate, mindblowing…
- Tortas La Presa – great Mexican sandwiches
- Tortas El Guero – great Mexican sandwiches
- Phoenix Knife House – awesome Japanese chef’s knives
- Petite Fromage – gourmet cheese from around the US (& beyond)
- Fujiya Market – best selection of Japanese groceries & cooking supplies
- House of Rice – great dishes and cooking utensils
- Lee Lee – huge Asian grocery store
- Orange Table – killer breakfasts. slow service though. be prepared to wait. do the white flannel corned beef hash.
- Matt’s Big Breakfast – amazing breakfasts. be prepared to wait for a table. LOVE the hash browns (big controversy on Chowhound)
- Yasu Sushi Bistro – amazing sushi, sashimi & other Japanese dishes
- Kampai – wonderful sushi and sashimi. traditional & old school.
- Kazimerez – great funky place with tons of wine
- Terroir Wine Pub – neighborhood spot with good wine & snacks
- Sportsman’s – great wine store with multiple locations
places on my list to try
- Hana Japanese Eatery – I know, it’s a crime I haven’t been here yet
- Posh – very cool concept. pick what you don’t want & surprise!
- Rancho Pinot – way overdue though I’ve had their amazing food at OTFM many, many times.
- St. Francis – hear wonderful things about it. the decor is supposed to be amazing
- The Herb Box – hearing great things about it.
- Crudo – some great chefs. did an amazing dish at Crave AZ.
- Phoenix Palace – hear it’s the best dim sum in town. way overdue.
- Cheuvront – a cheese freak so no excuse why I haven’t been yet.
- Cafe Monarch
- Tommy V’s Pizza
places to return soon
- Quiessence – NEED to get back here
- Noca – NEED to get here more
- Yasu Sushi Bistro – Need more great sushi
- Caffe Boa – Got to go see what Chef Payton’s done
- Petite Maison – Just good & close…
out of town – but close & phenomenal
- Lotus of Siam – one of my favorite spots in the world. incredible value. changed my view of Thai food completely. often regarded as the best Thai food in the US. (Las Vegas)
- Raku – another of my favorite spots. Japanese izakaya open til 3 am. cheap & awesome. (Las Vegas)