Cafe Reviews

Second Helpings

New Eats: We don't need census takers to tell us the Phoenix population is exploding. Just check out all the new restaurant openings. The places below either recently opened their doors or are about to begin business.

Razz's: The former chef de cuisine at Different Pointe of View, Erasmo Kamnitzer, has left the warmth of the corporate security blanket to strike out on his own. Look for him at Scottsdale Road and Shea.

Paris After Dark: If we ever give a Best of Phoenix award for Best Restaurant Name, this spot is a lock. Occupying the location that once housed Top of Central (8525 North Central), it features entertainment and eclectic cuisine.

Morton's of Chicago: One of the two powerhouse prime steak-house chains (Ruth's Chris is the other) is finally coming to the Valley. The competition should be fierce, especially because Morton's will be located right next to the Ritz-Carlton--only two blocks from the Camelback location of Ruth's Chris.

Andale Mexican Grill: It bills itself as a "New Mexican concept." It will take over the defunct Tony Roma's at 18th Street and Camelback.

Bar One: A combination sports bar, nightclub and cafe, set at Pima and McDowell in Scottsdale.

Steamed Blues: The Valley can use a crab house. This one swims up near Eighth Street and Camelback.

Sidney's Pizza Cafe: The first out-of-state branch of a popular Minneapolis-St.Paul restaurant. Look for international fare. The proprietors promise everything is made from scratch, and no entree is priced over $10.

Red Rock Dessert Cafe: A unique concept for this town: an upscale, white-linen-tablecloth dessert place. There'll be light meals--quiche and salads--but the emphasis is on dessert. High-class wine list, too. It's a few blocks south of Fashion Square, at 4175 Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale.

Mueller's Black Forest Inn: Achtung! There's a new German restaurant in town, near Scottsdale Road and Camelback. I'm ready to try the Lachsfilet Helgoland: marinated salmon cooked in foil, topped with cucumbers and dill.

Carvers: Just like it sounds: a place for steaks and prime rib. But the location is interesting: the far northwest Valley.

Old Town Tortilla Factory: Remember LaChaumire? Well, you won't be seeing any escargots in its new incarnation. You will see an intriguing Southwestern/Mexican menu, with international touches. The restaurant is at 6910 East Main in Scottsdale.

Crocodile Cafe: Yet another California chain, coming to Sixth Street and Mill in Tempe. Check out the usual suspects--salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and grilled meats and fish--at student-friendly prices.

Hollywood Trenz: A Planet Hollywood/Hard Rock Cafe wanna-be that I hear will be opening early next year up on Bell Road.

Cheesecake Factory: It's still only a rumor, but I understand this successful Southern California chain is coming to the Valley. It's noted for enormous portions and topnotch cheesecake. I wouldn't mind if this rumor were true.--Howard Seftel

Suggestions? Write me at New Times, P.O. Box 2510, Phoenix,

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Howard Seftel