Mac’s Broiler & Tap

August 8th, 2007

6430 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe at Guadalupe

480-755-3050

neil@macsbriolerand tap.com

This is Tempe’s version of a Cheer’s bar, small, intimate and local, with a great grill menu and selection of beers as well as a full bar. I split a gorgonzola burger with my sister and was delightfully stuffed. This is a place I’ll bring my husband back to visit!

Souvia for Tea

August 8th, 2007

4320 N. Miller Rd., #107, Scottsdale at Camelback

480-947-3133

www.souvia.com

I’m learning to keep my eyes open for little undiscovered spots (to me) like I would in my travels. How delighted I was to happen upon Souvia, a premium loose leaf tea and herbals shop in Scottsdale. With friendly and helpful service, I walked away with a modern tea brewing gadget and some wonderful Darjeeling tea, of which they had three varieties, and a sample of some almond/coconut herbal tea I can’t wait to try after dinner some evening. Tammie Coe delivers fresh pastries if you would like to sit, and enjoy a cup or a pot. They also host free classes once a month which I plan to attend with a friend!

d-vine bistro and wine bar

August 8th, 2007

3990 S. Alma School, Chandler (at Ocotillo)

480-782-5550

www.dvinewine101.com

Here’s a nice wine bar with a view. I’m always impressed when there’s an outdoor view of greenery and trees, accompanied by a showering mist system on the outdoor patio, live music seeping out from the bustling indoor lounge. It’s apparent this is a popular spot for the young locals. The service is friendly and attentive, and the food looks to be eclectic and creative, however I only came for a glass of wine with a friend. The list was interesting and reasonable which you can peruse on their web site. There are two locations, Chandler and Mesa at the NE corner of Power and McDowell, but I would make the trek back here just to enjoy the view!

Joe’s Farm Grill

August 8th, 2007

3000 E. Ray Rd.

480-563-4745

Sun-Th 11-9, Fri-Sat 11-10

www.joesfarmgrill

By the same owners of Joe’s Real BBQ in Gilbert, comes a farm-friendly restaurant, using as many local ingredients from their own Agritopia fields and supplementing through other local farmers as well. Using the most healthful ingredients such as local natural beef for their burgers, and transfat free oils for frying, dressings and marinades, Joe’s takes common foods such as pizzas, fries, salads, and ribs to the next level. The menu changes to reflect what’s in season. I appreciated the clean lines and minimalist decor which makes this a popular spot for young families, not having to worry about spills, and the view of what’s left of the surrounding farm, including picnic tables under the trees, was inviting and soothing on the eyes. They are also conscientious about recycling the paper, plastic and glass products. Place your order at the modern counter, but try to have your mind made up as a line quickly follows behind you. Desserts seem to be popular for ice cream lovers with items such as fresh berry shakes, and sundaes.

The Farm at South Mountain

February 1st, 2007

6106 S. 32nd Street, Phoenix just south of Southern

Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar 602-276-0601

Morning Glory Cafe & Bakery 602-276-0601

The Farm Kitchen 602-276-6360

Call for hours or go to www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com

Choices abound here at the farm, located in the midst of a pecan grove, you feel like you’ve gone to California for the day. Enjoy a fresh, country breakfast outdoors at the Morning Glory Cafe. They offer omelets, french toast, quiche and homemade granola, as well as fresh muffins to start. Portions are big, but take your time as you refill your own coffee in this lovely outdoor setting. Open from 8am-11am weekdays, or 8am-noon on weekends.

Or how about lunch on a picnic table or by a fountain in the patio consisting of homemade soups, fresh garden salads, sandwiches and desserts, and a cup of pecan flavored coffee. The Farm Kitchen is open 8am-3pm daily.

If it’s dinner your after, begin with happy hour, Tues.-Fri. from 5-7pm, or dinner from 5pm-10 pm (lunch from 11am-2pm) at Quiessence. Near the back of the property, they offer contemporary American farm fresh cuisine. Literally, they use fresh picked produce from Maya’s garden out front!

Take time to enjoy wandering the property, visiting their Garden Territory gift shop or Cottage Gate Antiques. This is just another way to spend more time relaxing here as you won’t be in any hurry to leave.

Crackers & Co. Cafe

February 1st, 2007

535 W. Iron Ave, #131, Mesa @ Country Club

480-898-1717, www.crackersandcompanycafe.com

7am-2:30pm, daily

This breakfast and lunch restaurant is a nice place to go, especially with your lady friends for the decor, though men like it too. They have a wide range of menu items, breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, salads and fresh soups. I always save room for their incredible berry cobbler, or german chocolate cake but they have other yummy desserts as well. There is always a crowd here, and some patio seating available when the weather permits.

Croque Famous Sandwiches

February 1st, 2007

13610 N. Scottsdale Rd. #25 @ Thunderbird SW corner

480-607-1285

9am-3pm, Mondays-Saturdays

This is an unusual luncheon shop as they use original recipes, fresh ingredients and homemade sauces on their baked baguette sandwiches with a European flair. I rarely order fries while eating out-but always do here.  They have daily specials, homemade soups, and tables outdoors.It’s the food, not the atmosphere that brings back me here!

Blu Burger Grille

February 1st, 2007

15425 N. Scottsdale Rd.

480-948-3443,

11am-9pm, closed Sunday

www.bluburger.com

I recently discovered this small, hidden little gem of a burger joint. The owners bake everything fresh on site, and use quality ingredients to build their burgers, well, you build them to be exact.  Not just beef (Angus or Kobe) mind you, but you can choose from crab cake, veggie, lamb or turkey as well. Choose from four types of buns, sauces, cheeses, and other extra toppings, along with a side of fries (skinny or sweet ), cole slaw, onion rings. Or, let them build one for you. Beer and wine are available, as is outdoor seating.

Euro Pizza Cafe

February 1st, 2007

12645 N. Saguaro Blvd. #11 (on the Lake in Fountain Hills)

480-836-0207

11am-10pm daily

BYOB Can be purchased at Grapeables Wine Bar next door

I am a creature of habit, and return to this restaurant simply to enjoy the view of the Fountain on the Lake, while eating a caprese salad and bowl of the fresh soup of the day. The pizzas are okay, even though I am not crazy about the crust. The menu has changed and added some nice Greek appetizers, however, it is sitting on that patio with that one of a kind view that keeps me coming back.

La Fontanella

February 1st, 2007

4231 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix

602-955-1213

4:30-9:30 Monday-Sunday

Look for coupon in the Rep

This is a fine, chef owned and operated authentic Italian restaurant where you might like to go on a special occasion when you’re looking for a relaxing, pampered evening. From the service, linens,  homemade dipping oil and fresh bread, daily specials (sometimes the fish is fresh caught by the owner!), and reliable standards (the rosemary rubbed lamb chops are my favorite),homemade desserts (this is where Berto’s gelato originated) this place is sure to please.

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