Restaurant Reviews

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West Side Sorry West Side Sorry
Northwest Valley eateries come up short
, February 27, 2003
For the first time in my life, I'm wishing that I adored baseball. Specifically, baseball as played by two teams: the San Diego Padres and the... More >>
Beers and Butt-head Beers and Butt-head
A beer in the hand is worth two in the bird
, February 20, 2003
The morons who built my backyard fire pit had everything figured out to the last detail, except for one thing. They forgot that fire – a critical... More >>
Holiday on Spice Holiday on Spice
Resort restaurant setup is less than Sage
, February 13, 2003
Imagine chef Vincent Guerithault as cafeteria server, ladle in hand. Or Christopher Gross behind the counter at a 400-seat hotel coffee shop,... More >>
Cyclo Maniac Cyclo Maniac
Finally, fair Vietnamese fare
, February 06, 2003
Too many people I've met wrinkle their noses at the prospect of joining me for a Vietnamese meal. I can't get them to seek out delicacies like... More >>
Yuck Fin Yuck Fin
Satisfying seafood in Scottsdale? Not at these prices.
, January 30, 2003
I remember with remarkable clarity the first time I realized that fish wasn't just something you ate breaded, deep-fried and dipped in tartar... More >>
Yippee Kai Yea Yippee Kai Yea
Inspired new resort restaurant goes native
, January 23, 2003
Sometimes I think I'll go nuts if I'm faced with another plate of ho-hum restaurant chicken-and-vegetables, steak-and-potatoes, or... More >>
Chile Reception Chile Reception
Carey Sweet tries her best to find something wrong with Barrio Café.
, January 16, 2003
Silvana Salcido Esparza must know what it's like to be loved. Since opening her Barrio Café last summer, she's been positively drowning in... More >>
Aimless and Andes Aimless and Andes
The world slows down at Mesa's Peruvian Palace
, January 09, 2003
If I'd blinked, I wouldn't have noticed it. But there, tucked in a nameless Fry's shopping center in a particularly anonymous-looking part of... More >>
And the Wiener Is . . . And the Wiener Is . . .
Dogging the town's frankfurter joints
, January 02, 2003
It's a few minutes past the noon hour, and my hot dog lies limp and ruined, a wizened gray tube of half-eaten meat on a soggy heap of... More >>
Crash Course Crash Course
Chef Jessie's Casita serves sizzling Sonoran fare
, December 26, 2002
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.... More >>
Worth the Weight Worth the Weight
Drinkwater's City Hall piles on the portions -- and the pounds
, December 19, 2002
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... More >>
Tapas Dancing Tapas Dancing
Bistro Madrid is a place for profound contentment
, December 12, 2002
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... More >>
Cheese Whiz Cheese Whiz
Craving comfort cuisine? Gotta have Soul in the Hole.
, December 05, 2002
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... More >>
Mika Mouse Mika Mouse
James and Stacey McDevitt lay a sweet egg at Mika.
, November 28, 2002
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,... More >>
Training Tables Training Tables
Fife Symington is practicing what he teaches. Meals at the ex-gov’s Arizona Culinary Institute are a delectable bargain.
, November 21, 2002
What drives someone to cook? And I don't mean throwing together a comfy dinner for family, or even a labor-intensive gathering for friends. I... More >>
The Last Straw The Last Straw
Iguana Mack's lacks flavor, flair
, November 14, 2002
It's been the kind of week I'd rather just forget. Nothing's been going as smoothly as it should. Now I'm camped out at Iguana Mack's, a new... More >>
To B or Not to BYOB To B or Not to BYOB
Bring your own bottle -- but not high expectations -- to boring new bistro
, November 07, 2002
Michael Lewis shakes his head politely as I boast where I'm heading for dinner. Owner of Drinkwater's Liquor and Cheese in north Scottsdale, he's... More >>
The Qwest for Service The Qwest for Service
Nick & Tony's is good enough to survive in the belly of Scottsdale Fashion Square
, October 31, 2002
I hate Qwest. This is not a random pronouncement, but an unwavering truth. If Qwest could be whittled to one person, I'd hunt him down, strap... More >>
Pullet Surprise Pullet Surprise
At Windows on the Green, the chicken is worth crossing the road for.
, October 24, 2002
Pity the humble chicken. Few edible creatures are so vastly consumed, yet so socially snubbed. We may roast a chicken for our relaxed family... More >>
Coyote Ugly Coyote Ugly
Prive straddles line between restaurant and nightclub
, October 17, 2002
Some things are just so male. There are events that fascinate guys in ways I'll never understand. Like last week, after a squirrel crawled into... More >>
Villa Manila Villa Manila
East meets East as Chandler goes Flipino.
, October 10, 2002
New baby smell. If a manufacturer could package that, I'd buy it by the bucket. And I don't even like kids all that much. But the owner of Manila... More >>
IV League IV League
At the Scottsdale Athletic Club's Eurasia Bistro, you can get your water plain -- or with a twist
, October 03, 2002
Elisabeth has given me an IV bag, and while she had suspected I would like it, she's surprised at how very much. It's a thing we do, my sister... More >>
Acacia Mistaken Identity Acacia Mistaken Identity
Four Seasons fancy meets Arizona casual on new and much-improved menu
, September 26, 2002
My guest for dinner at the Four Seasons Resort's flagship restaurant, Acacia, is finally relaxing. He's settled back into his oversize,... More >>
Best Seller Best Seller
No doubt about, Sea Saw is unequivocally good sushi
, September 19, 2002
I just read a Stephen King novel, Hearts in Atlantis. It's not a typical King thriller, but a nostalgic fantasy look at the 1960s, and it made... More >>
Worshiping the Devil Worshiping the Devil
, September 12, 2002
My tab for three martinis will be $22.50. Plus tax and tip. Ouch. Is it just me, or does meeting a friend for a drink these days require a pretty... More >>
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