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.

An Adventure in Dining

February 1st, 2007

I want to tell you about what thought I give to rating restaurants before recommending them to you.There are a few things I consider before I would suggest a restaurant to a friend. I consider the opportunity to dine out as a priveledge for the guests who are usually wanting to take a break from their routine and invest not only in a good meal, but an enjoyable experience shared with someone they value. The atmosphere (pleasing to the eye, cleanliness, indoor/outdoor, quiet, lively, view), quality of ingredients (organic produce, fresh seafood, quality meats, wine list), value for cost (do I feel the meal was worth the expense), service (friendly, knowledgable, available), reliabilty of overall satisfaction (do you come away sated, relaxed and refreshed?) are all important players in an “adventure in dining”.

So, if you’re looking for a suggestion on where to go, consider do you want to try someplace new, take a drive, or tried and true? What’s the occasion, a special date, family time, ladies luncheon? Is the weather inviting you to sit outdoors? What type of food are you in the mood for? Hopefully there is someplace in my growing list that will meet your needs, satisfy your palate and create a memorable experience. Bon appetit!

Ristorante Guiseppe

February 1st, 2007

13610 N. Scottsdale Rd. @ Thunderbird (SW corner)

480-991-4792

10am-8:30pm Monday-Saturday, now open Sunday for dinner!

BYOB-with no corkage fee

This is one of my favorite local Italian joints. It has a very homey neighborhood feel, with great food (famous for their delicious meatballs), friendly service, and heated patio seating. You’ll be welcomed by Pasqualle the owner and Alex, his charming manager. I almost always order the eggplant parmesan with a meatball on the side. However you will enjoy just about any of the pasta dishes are pretty tasty. The atmosphere alone is satisfying to the city starved. You can’t go wrong!

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