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  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Restaurant Makeover: It's easy to confuse change with progress. Let's hope confusion between the two doesn't break out at one of the Valley's premier dining spots, the Chaparral Room at the posh Camelback Inn. For umpteen years, folks went to th...

    by Howard Seftel on October 29, 1998
  • Article

    Grill Talk

    Montana Grill & Bread Company, 3717 East Indian School Road, Phoenix, 553-8553. Hours: breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Can we talk? It's time we had a discussion about grills. It seems that just about ...

    by Howard Seftel on October 22, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Tough Customers: When you attend the theater, do you demand the actors put on Rent? At football games, do you urge the players to dribble the ball? When you go to a Garth Brooks concert, do you insist he perform a medley of LL Cool J's hits? Of ...

    by Howard Seftel on October 22, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Holding Serve: I got a long, angry note from a waitress who's put in eight years on the job. According to her, "It's getting rugged out here." She wants to remind the public that the server-diner relationship is a two-way street. "Everyone on th...

    by Howard Seftel on October 15, 1998
  • Article

    East Side Story

    Crackers & Co. Cafe, 535 West Iron Avenue, Mesa, 898-1717. Hours: Breakfast and Lunch, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., seven days a week; Dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m. You want affordable housing and good schools? The East Valley's got them. You ...

    by Howard Seftel on October 15, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Bugged: Remember the old joke? Diner: Waiter, there's a fly in my soup. Waiter: Lower your voice! Or everyone else will ask for one. It's not a joke anymore, at least according to an enormously entertaining new book. It's the Eat-A-Bug Co...

    by Howard Seftel on October 8, 1998
  • Article

    Diverse Taste Scenario

    Little Saigon, 1588 West Montebello (Christown Mall), Phoenix, 864-7582. Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. A hundred years ago, in America's biggest cities, new neighb...

    by Howard Seftel on October 8, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Taking Stock: I was intrigued to learn that P.F. Chang's, the oh-so-trendy Chinese restaurant, is considering going public. Its operators have filed for an initial public offering, looking to raise almost $60 million from stock to finance expansion. ...

    by Howard Seftel on October 1, 1998
  • Article

    Slice Guys

    Santisi Brothers, 2710 West Bell, Phoenix, 789-7979. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. I moved away 26 years ago, but my family and friends back Ea...

    by Howard Seftel on October 1, 1998
  • Article

    Super Savors

    When people meet me and discover what I do for a living, they invariably ask two questions: 1) What's your favorite restaurant? 2) With all the eating you do, how do you keep yourself in such magnificent physical condition, so lean, muscular...

    by Howard Seftel on September 24, 1998
  • Article

    Quick-Fixes

    The year is 1961, and people are not very interested in cookbooks. Only 49 cookbooks were published the year before, and even the redoubtable Julia Child is having a difficult time getting her first manuscript, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, ac...

    by Paul Morris on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Noonraker

    Coronado Cafe, 2201 North Seventh Street, Phoenix, 258-5149. Hours: Lunch and early dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. What's the highlight of your workday? For most working stiffs, it's the lunch break. When that noon bell rings, ...

    by Howard Seftel on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Home on the Range: I'm not sure if "Cowboy Ciao" is the kind of restaurant name that's going to lure many customers. It sounds a little too cutesy, doesn't it? Initially, I imagined someone named Rocco in the kitchen, jangling the spurs on his b...

    by Howard Seftel on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Mangia Wars

    Coco Pazzo, 4720 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 946-9777. Hours: Lunch and Dinner, Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The old Roman Empire ran out of steam about 1,500 years ago. But it looks li...

    by Howard Seftel on September 3, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Cheese Wiz: A few weeks ago, I had a problem I rarely run into: deciding where to take out-of-town friends and their three kids to eat, on our own nickel. We wanted a nice place, not too fancy, but not a dive. The menu had to offer interesting f...

    by Howard Seftel on September 3, 1998
  • Article

    Main Dish Antenna

    (Ace Cafe writer Howard Seftel is on a hunger strike. Our guest columnist surveys the gustatory delights of PBS.) Somehow television cooking shows have made an interesting metamorphosis over the past couple of decades. Originally intended as educat...

    by Paul Morris on August 27, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Late-Night Dining: After the big hand hits the 12 and the little hand reaches the 10, there aren't too many eating-out choices in the Valley that don't end in ". . . berto's." One particularly good one: Carlsbad Tavern. It moved a few months...

    by Howard Seftel on August 20, 1998
  • Article

    The Norman Tabernacle

    Norman's Arizona, 4410 North 40th Street, Phoenix, 956-2288. Hours: Lunch, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. Christopher. Vincent. RoxSand. Franco. Razz. Eddie. The Valley ...

    by Howard Seftel on August 20, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Occidental Tourist: About six weeks ago, I gave Silver Dragon (8946 North 19th Avenue, 674-0151) an exceptionally good review. I praised the Hong Kong-style fare, but noted that, unless you were Chinese, you'd probably never get a chance to sample it...

    by Howard Seftel on August 13, 1998
  • Article

    Foam Booths

    Gordon Biersch, 420 South Mill, Tempe, 736-0033. Hours: Lunch and Dinner, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week. It's hot. It's sticky. It's August. How do you find relief this time of year? If you've got some vacation time and disposable income...

    by Howard Seftel on August 13, 1998
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