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  • Article

    Inn Sync - New resort restaurants set a tony table

    Call 2002 "The Year of the Resort." While national economists wrung their hands over a plunging stock market, and the number of Arizona residents with a net worth of one million-plus plummeted by an amazing 31 percent (poor things -- $999,999 doesn't...

    by Carey Sweet on January 2, 2003
  • Article

    Good Wine, Cheap Chow

    Q. I enjoy trying really interesting wines with dinner, but am not confident of my knowledge. Where's a place with great food and staff with topnotch wine recommendations? A. It's hard to go wrong at Wright's in the Arizona Biltmore resort. The res...

    by Carey Sweet on January 2, 2003
  • Article

    Crash Course - Chef Jessie's Casita serves sizzling Sonoran fare

    Most days, it seems, there's not much in life I'm sure of. But there's no doubt in my mind now that this is the best tortilla soup I've ever had. Of the countless versions I've sampled over the ages, there have been chicken-stock broths that almost b...

    by Carey Sweet on December 26, 2002
  • Article

    Movie Buffet - Mexican films give new meaning to "cinema fare"

    Growing up, I couldn't help forming a deep connection between delicious Mexican food and the movies. That's because every Sunday, the Salcido Esparza family enjoyed a really good home-cooked meal followed by a trip to the only Spanish-language cinema...

    by Silvana Salcido Esparza on December 26, 2002
  • Article

    Pho Phix - Seeking noodle soup with a Bang

    Forget the ho, ho, ho. The holidays at my house find me belting out choruses of pho, pho, pho. That's pho, as in the traditional noodle soup of Vietnam. The stuff is beloved to me, and it's become my winter tradition. What better way to greet the ...

    by Carey Sweet on December 26, 2002
  • Article

    Worth the Weight - Drinkwater's City Hall piles on the portions -- and the pounds

    I've got an idea for a fail-proof, get-rich-quick scheme. First, eat out. Do it a lot, and be sure to finish everything on your plate. Next, go home and park it on the couch, exercising only your fingers for the remote control. Soon, you'll turn i...

    by Carey Sweet on December 19, 2002
  • Article

    T-t-t-t-tamales! - Visions of cornhusks dance in their heads...

    In my younger, more militant days, I remember being scandalized by a vintage Warner Bros. cartoon, "The Timid Toreador," which featured Porky Pig in a Mexican sombrero and carrying a large pot. The porker was selling tamales on the street and singing...

    by Silvana Salcido Esparza on December 19, 2002
  • Article

    Great Danish - In the Raw blends coffee and canine cuisine

    The aroma of fresh-baked muffins curls through the air -- a heady fog of carrot-ginger, corn-cheddar, and banana. The baker has just pulled the tray of miniature-sized treats from the oven and will let them cool for a few minutes before she doles the...

    by Carey Sweet on December 19, 2002
  • Article

    Check, Please!

    Q.I'd like to do something different for New Year's (no hotel buffet) but don't have a ton of money to spend. What's something cool and cheap? A.Go early bird to the party at Sapporo, the hot-spot sushi club at Scottsdale Road and Thunderbird in Sc...

    by Carey Sweet on December 19, 2002
  • Article

    Tapas Dancing - Bistro Madrid is a place for profound contentment

    After days of eating sleep-inducing Thanksgiving turkey, I'm ready for a jolt to my taste buds. And Bradley and I are absolutely starving. After spending the day fastening a new, remarkably heavy metal roof to my barn, struggling in the chill an...

    by Carey Sweet on December 12, 2002
  • Article

    Rancho Cooks Among Us - Phoenix Ranch goes to market

    While I was traveling through Mexico on a bus, I spent countless hours looking out the window as we drove through villages, townships and cities. But what sticks in my mind are the ranchos we passed and their rows and rows of corn and overgrown nopal...

    by Silvana Salcido Esparza on December 12, 2002
  • Article

    On Tapas the World - Ibiza Caf dishes Euro flair

    Call it a Spanish invasion. At the same time Bistro Madrid (see review in this issue) opened in Ahwatukee this spring, Ibiza Caf threw open its doors within rock-tossing distance of the canal at Scottsdale and Camelback. Named after an island off Sp...

    by Carey Sweet on December 12, 2002
  • Article

    Home for the Holidays

    Q. I'm looking for really good, something-special bread for my Christmas party. Any suggestions? A. I'll be filling my pantry with specialty loaves from Arizona Bread Company (70th Street and Shea in Scottsdale; and Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak roa...

    by Carey Sweet on December 12, 2002
  • Article

    Cheese Whiz - Craving comfort cuisine? Gotta have Soul in the Hole.

    Mom is making macaroni and cheese. The noodles are boiled and drained. The saucepot sits on the stove, heat rising to slow burps of milk, cream and chunked Velveeta. She takes the pan, pours the thick cheese liquid over the pasta, and frowns. "I f...

    by Carey Sweet on December 5, 2002
  • Article

    Door-to-Door - Tamale vendors take it to the streets

    I slipped on the steep cobblestone street as I tried to catch up with her. With the speed of a jack rabbit, her barefoot steps moved with short and quick motions. "Margarita, please wait for me," I implored, fearing that I might lose sight of her....

    by Silvana Salcido Esparza on December 5, 2002
  • Article

    Meow Mix - Gourmet gossips gather 'round The Table

    Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. I rely on it heavily when choosing where to eat. If, for instance, a chef tells me he despises some new place, I'm there in a heartbeat. The latest place to hate seems to be The Table, a tiny two-doze...

    by Carey Sweet on December 5, 2002
  • Article

    From Italy to Ibiza

    Q.I feel so stranded in Fountain Hills. Where can I find good, authentic Italian food? A.Skip over to Olives Big City Italian on North Saguaro Boulevard, overlooking the eastern foothills of Fountain Hills. Signatures include baked-on-site focaccia...

    by Carey Sweet on December 5, 2002
  • Article

    Mika Mouse - James and Stacey McDevitt lay a sweet egg at Mika.

    Chu-hai is an evil, evil thing. The base of that Japanese cocktail called chu-hai -- an alcohol named shochu -- tastes like nothing. Just soft, clean liquid, with a lurking shadow of melon and rice. The shochu spirit is similar to vodka, but more sua...

    by Carey Sweet on November 28, 2002
  • Article

    Da de las Gracias - Traditional tastes merge on Thanksgiving

    Yes, it's true. Once, a very, very long time ago, I got married to a good ol' boy from Kentucky. His mama spoke with a thick accent and his daddy talked like Archie Bunker. When Randy's father first met me, he turned to his son and genuinely asked, "...

    by Silvana Salcido Esparza on November 28, 2002
  • Article

    BYO CPA - Ocean Club requires deep dip into wallet

    I've just hired a CPA and am quite optimistic about the future. He promises he can make my money management both dollars I've got a breeze. I came in seeking advice on how to wrangle a major investment: not buying a house, but eating dinner out i...

    by Carey Sweet on November 28, 2002
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