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Our 10 Favorite Restaurant Reviews of The Year — So Far

This week we reviewed The Brickyard in Chandler, a new-ish spot with an above-average menu of New American cuisine and some of the best cocktails in the southeast Valley. But that's just the latest local spot we've scoped out for your dining convenience. Here are 10 of our favorite restaurant reviews of 2016 so far.  

The Elusive Cuisine of Mexico's Distrito Federal Is Found at Machete Azteca in West Phoenix

The food from the Distrito Federal, the metropolitan area encompassing Mexico City, is particularly scarce throughout the Southwest. Thank goodness, then, for places like Machete Azteca, a counter-service West Valley restaurant that specializes in D.F.-style antojitos, caldos, and barbacoa.

Cafe Agit in Mesa Serves Korean Bar Fare From Padak to Pupae

Korean fusion, as practiced in the kitchen at Cafe Agit, turns out to be a quirky collection of Korean and American snack foods — you’ll find both American and Korean-style chicken wings, for example, along with classic Korean barbecue plates like bulgogi – all of which have been adjusted to the Western palate, and served in a fantastically cavernous bar setting.

CoR Tapas & Wine Brings Tastes of Spain to Midtown Phoenix

If you have even the slightest interest in Spanish cuisine, or count yourself as an aficionado of the gastronomical unit that is the small plate, you may want to bump CoR to the top of your required eating list.

Ezekiel’s Restaurant in Ahwatukee Excels at Soul Food Favorites

Ezekiel’s Restaurant has been in business since 2012, and since then, it’s become the restaurant of choice for Ahwatukee locals craving home-cooked fried chicken and barbecue, and Southern sides like potato salad and collard greens.

American Way Market Café in Chandler Does Great Food in a Vintage Setting

It’s clear that the team behind the American Way Market Café, which includes owner Mike Wood and general manager and resident baker Jared Allen, have designed American Way not as a snack bar or coffee stop, but as a full-fledged destination for breakfast or lunch.

Duza’s Kitchen in The Coronado Neighborhood Is A Welcome Addition to Central Phoenix Dining

Duza’s Kitchen is tucked into a section of a converted home adjacent to Tuck House, a sleek and sunny space with a warm, insular neighborhood vibe that’s reflected in the Julia Child quote emblazoned on the restaurant’s signage: “People who love to eat are the best people.”

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Tratto: A Bianco Restaurant Without Pizza? Not To Worry

Tratto, which opened in May, is the newest restaurant to join the small but flourishing Bianco family restaurant empire.

At Shawarma King in Glendale, Falafel is the Standout Dish

The Shawarma King rendition of falafel is exceptional, and a sort of marvel of contradictions: densely built, yet light enough to snack on by the handful. It’s crunchy on the outside, with a surprisingly springy, spongy interior.

Diner 50 in Phoenix Offers Midcentury Nostalgia and Tasty, Classic Food

The decor is a throwback, sure, but the food is even more so. The restaurant’s slogan is “Eat Retro,” and that’s far from an exaggeration.

Tacos Chiwas Is An Outstanding Addition to McDowell Road’s Mexican Food Scene

This is top-notch Mexican food, made with slow-simmered meats and freshly pressed corn tortillas, and seasoned to near perfection.

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