Best Airport Food Phoenix 2012 - Zulu Caffe
As pleasant a surprise as any new restaurant in the Valley this year, this casual bistro situated in the quiet Scottsdale Airport hits all the right notes: affordability, comfortable atmosphere, friendly, low-key service, and, most important, really good grub. Chef Brian Ford, who worked for years at South Phoenix's fine-dining establishment Quiessence before running his own place, the ill-fated Madelyn's in Anthem, for a couple of years, has returned to the Valley after a three-year stint in Colorado. His small but uniformly excellent breakfast and lunch menu is tasteful and tasty, using seasonal, hand-selected ingredients. Nothing is too flashy (omelets, sandwiches, salads), but all of it is well executed in manageable portion sizes and prices (most items are under $10). We love the crispy, housemade potato chips with blue cheese and scallions, an outstanding frittata with a tangy garlic tomato sauce, a shockingly good BLT with guacamole, and top-flight French toast with bananas. Most of us likely will never have reason to fly in and out of Scottsdale's tiny municipal airport, but that doesn't mean you won't find us there, watching the corporate jets and single-props take off and land as we dine on simple but truly satisfying American classics.