Saturday Mornings at Singh Farms
It's impossible to overstate how wonderful it is to spend a Saturday morning at Singh Farms in Scottsdale. Located on Thomas Road just east of Loop 101, this farm practically hides in plain sight. Venture inside a desert oasis full of fresh produce, eggs, and bread. The setting is nothing short of magical and you're welcome to wander the grounds, visiting the chickens and horses, provided you stay on the path and don't trample the plants.
Cocktails at Bar Crudo
Whether you're looking for a classic cocktail made with expert precision or craving something totally new, Bar Crudo is the best destination in town for serious drinkers. The small but talented crew of bartenders at this Phoenix spot consistently delivers excellent service and quality cocktails that we believe rival better-known destinations from coast to coast. We may not have as robust a cocktail culture as larger cities, but we do have Bar Crudo.
Devoured Culinary Classic
If we were to die and go to culinary heaven, we have a feeling it would look something like the annual Devoured Culinary Classic. In fact, just thinking about the incredible array of bites that we're bound to taste this year is enough to get us excited about 2015. The two-day event basically brings together everything there is to love about the local food scene in one place -- from top chefs to local wineries, even panel discussions on food- and drink-related topics.
French Onion Soup at Zinc Bistro
There's something about a great bowl of French onion soup that always seems to satisfy. Luckily for Phoenix diners, you don't have to look any further than chef Matt Carter's Zinc Bistro for a near-perfect example of the dish. The Onion Soup Gratinee at the Scottsdale restaurant arrives with a melty, crunchy-on-the-edges skirt of Gruyere cheese that gives way to a rich, meaty broth. Once you break through the cheese you'll taste and smell the thin slices of caramelized onions. Carter achieves a perfect ratio of broth, onions, and cheese so every bite is a beautiful balance of flavors.
Pie Social Chefs
Seeing a food event from the inside out, start to finish, is a humbling experience and every year we marvel at the talented chefs who volunteer to be a part of the annual Pie Social we throw with Roosevelt Row. This year we had more than a dozen veterans and first-time competitors put their pie creations into the mix, making for the most successful event to date. Being able to see the community come together for an afternoon of pie eating and friendly competition is easily one of the highlights of our year.
We may not have "littles" (as in Little Italy, Little India, etc.) in this town, but we do have Baiz Market to satisfy our craving for all things Mediterranean. Not only can you spend hours perusing the aisles of spices, olive oil, and more, you can also stop for a bite at the little restaurant inside the market. At Baiz, you'll find everything from a bag of excellent freshly baked pita to baklava, Turkish coffee beans, and CDs from your favorite Middle Eastern musicians.
The Patio at OHSO Brewery
There are few better ways to spend a weeknight than sitting on the patio at O.H.S.O. with a cold glass of local beer. The fact that the Arcadia area restaurant and bar's tap list is constantly changing makes this a real destination for beer lovers and one that just happens to come with a pretty memorable view of Camelback mountain at sunset. The fact that you can bring your dog -- or pet your neighbor's adorable pooch -- is just the icing on the cake.
Mostly right now we're thankful for Welcome Chicken + Donuts, Phoenix's long-awaited answer to the artisan doughnut trend. One bite of the restaurant's classic cake doughnut with chipotle sugar and you might never be able to eat a simple glazed doughnut again. But we're also grateful for doughnuts in general including Fractured Prune Doughnuts, the create-your-own shop that opened in Chandler earlier this year, and for Nocawich's donuts that will coming to Tempe sometime next year. These days we've even got doughnuts on wheels, courtesy of Rollover Doughnuts.
Lunch at FnB
FnB might just be the most underrated lunch spot in Scottsdale. With the popularity of chef Charleen Badman's seasonal American cuisine and the wallet-friendly price point of the restaurant's daytime menu ($12 for a top-quality sandwich? Yes, please.), you'd think people would be flooding this spot every day. Then again, we'll just count our blessings that we can usually get a table; we're not complaining about how serene the restaurant can be during the day with a pristine salad before you and a glass of Arizona-made wine.
Ramen Night at POSH
It used to be that Tuesdays were just another obstacle between Sunday and Friday night. But now, thanks to Tuesday ramen night at POSH in Scottsdale, we look forward to the second day of the work week and seeing what chef Josh Hebert has in store. The usual flavors of ramen are always worth a trip, but when the chef unveils one-night-only specials such as his own take on Ivan Orkin's garlic mazemen ramen you can bet we drop everything to be there.
Local Restaurants at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
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Maybe we're especially grateful for this one because we're staring down the barrel of the busy travel season, but we couldn't be more happy to have stellar dining options at the airport these days. In Terminal 4 you can have everything from Cowboy Ciao's Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry to a cold pint of locally-made Four Peaks beer. Even Terminal 2 has chef Silvana Salcido Esparza's new Barrio Avion to offer, making this year's winter travel woes just a little more bearable.