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  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Over the Cracker Barrel: A few weeks ago, I wrote a favorable review of Cracker Barrel, a Tennessee-based chain with some 350 branches across the country. The company is currently moving into the Valley in a big way. I thought the down-home fare...

    by Howard Seftel on August 6, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Tempe Eats: People do weird things. Some collect string. Others follow baseball batting averages. Roisan Rubio obsessively wanders over every square inch of downtown Tempe. From First Street on the north to 10th Street on the south, from College...

    by Howard Seftel on July 30, 1998
  • Article

    'burb Feeders

    Desert Moon Grill and Saloon, 15415 North 65th Place, Scottsdale, 607-1811. Hours: Lunch and Dinner, Monday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. "Oh, East is East, and ...

    by Howard Seftel on July 30, 1998
  • Article

    Meet the Christopherians

    Christopher's, 2398 East Camelback, Phoenix, 957-3214. Summer hours: Thursday through Saturday, 6 p.m. to close. The enormous floral centerpiece at Christopher's--large enough for a gangland funeral--looked way past its prime, the flowers worn and ...

    by Howard Seftel on July 23, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Name Game: What's in a name? Does arroz by any other name smell as sweet? That's the question at Mayan's. For years, this popular west-side Mexican restaurant was called Minga's. But now that the old proprietors have teamed up with new partners a...

    by Howard Seftel on July 23, 1998
  • Article

    International Harvest Store

    Editor's note: Regular Cafe writer Howard Seftel is dieting this week. Our guest columnist dodges Seftel's calorie crucible entirely by exploring a unique greengrocer. Guadalupe Farmer's Market, 9210 Avenida del Yaqui (at Guadalupe Road), Guadalupe...

    by Kaytie Johnson on July 16, 1998
  • Article

    Elegance Graveyard

    Mancuso's, 6166 North Scottsdale Road (The Borgata), Scottsdale, 948-9988. Hours: Dinner, 5 to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Arizona has its share of ancient wonders: the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater. I suppose you could add Manc...

    by Howard Seftel on July 9, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Summertime, and the Livin' Is Easy?: If you have to spend June, July and August in the Valley of the Perpetual Sun, you know there ain't no cure for the summertime blues. But you can ease your misery somewhat by taking advantage of special resta...

    by Howard Seftel on July 9, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Recipe for Disaster: If you want to start a restaurant chain these days, it's absolutely necessary to have a "hook." Theme-restaurant pioneers Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood were among the first to figure this out. They in turn spawned successfu...

    by Howard Seftel on July 2, 1998
  • Article

    Carnivore Cruise

    Tijuana Country Club, 3820 East Ray, Ahwatukee, 704-0881. Hours: Dinner, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week. For the past 25 years, a generation of Americans has been pounded with messages about the evils of red meat in general, and beef in partic...

    by Howard Seftel on July 2, 1998
  • Article

    Asia Vu

    Silver Dragon, 8946 North 19th Avenue, Phoenix, 674-0151. Hours: Sunday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30 to 10 p.m. Silver Dragon's employees have their marching orders: Gweilos to the right! That's where all the non-Chinese "forei...

    by Howard Seftel on June 25, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Restaurant Update: Ever since it opened, Gregory's Grill has been one of this town's best restaurants. If a fabulous recent meal there is any indication, the food can't get much better. So chef/proprietor Gregory Casale is doing the next best thing: ...

    by Howard Seftel on June 25, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    'Cue Tips: Nobody likes criticism. And not too many of us accept it with class and good grace. Two who do are Joe Johnston and Tim Peelen. They're proprietors of Joe's Real BBQ, at 301 North Gilbert Road, 503-3805, in "downtown" Gilbert. A few w...

    by Howard Seftel on June 18, 1998
  • Article

    Bright Bites, Big City

    Milanos, 16 West Monroe (San Carlos Hotel), 258-1600. Hours: Lunch and Dinner, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. The Jeopardy! category--Geography. The answer, for $500: The lunar surface, the ocean floor and downtown Phoenix. Ten years a...

    by Howard Seftel on June 18, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    Subsidized Dining: Everyone knows there's no such thing as a free lunch. But the National Restaurant Association, an industry trade group, thinks there should be. And if the group gets its way, guess who'll be picking up the tab for this "free" meal?...

    by Howard Seftel on June 11, 1998
  • Article

    Me Starvin', You Chain

    Piatti, 7704 East Doubletree Ranch Road, Scottsdale, 951-1199. Hours: Lunch, Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner, 5 to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Why is it that food sophisticates--and I cheerfully admit I'm one of them--turn up the...

    by Howard Seftel on June 11, 1998
  • Article

    Dive, He Said

    Editor's note: You won't find any food in this Cafe column--strange things happen when award-winning food writer Howard Seftel takes a vacation. This week our guest columnist describes one of his favorite food-free environments. Welcome to saloon soc...

    by Brian Smith on June 4, 1998
  • Article

    Second Helpings

    High and Mighty: From its Camelback Mountain perch at the swanky Phoenician resort, Mary Elaine's offers a stunning view of the twinkling Valley below. But the view isn't the only riveting sight this restaurant delivers. Take a look at your plat...

    by Howard Seftel on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    The Man Who Came to Diner

    Winger's, 3247 East Bell, Phoenix, 787-1732. 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, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. When, exactly, were "the good old days"? Nobody seems to know ...

    by Howard Seftel on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    Bistros of Burden

    Meza Luna, 4240 North Winfield Scott Plaza, Scottsdale, 947-9500. Hours: Lunch and Dinner, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Dinner, Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. In 1915, French psychologist Emile Coue developed a mantra, which he encour...

    by Howard Seftel on May 21, 1998
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