Original Chop Shop: Focus on Fresh

RaeAnne Marsh

After the excesses of the holidays, it’s good to find a place focused on healthy eating. The Original Chop Shop is built on a simple concept, executed simply, and summed up succinctly in the restaurant’s tagline, “Just Feel Good Food.” Fresh, whole ingredients go into the scratch-made menu, from “between bread” (sandwiches) to protein shakes… [More]

Feast for the Eyes: Framing that Meaningful Business Dinner

by Mike Hunter

From the beginning of time, man has looked to climb higher and higher heights to show off a sense of success. The Rainbow Room at 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan is home to celebration every time GE makes that next big deal. It is also the best view of New York City. Here are some… [More]

Over Easy: Breakfast for Lunch and Vice Versa

by Mike Hunter

At Over Easy’s recently opened site in the Biltmore Business Park, eye-catchingly yellow umbrellas set the mood for cheery, and the interior brightens it even further with yellow chairs and banquettes set off by brilliantly white tile in a spacious ’50s diner style. The patio’s attraction is its location, affording a view of the commanding… [More]

Soup’s On

by Mike Hunter

Soup has become a prominent menu item at popular fast-casual eateries. Some even lead with it in their name. Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup Enchiladas and soup is what the storefront lettering promises. The soups nicely complement the variety available for create-your-own enchiladas. 3313 N. 7th St., Phoenix (602) 279-5080 Panera Bread There are always several… [More]

Bobby-Q: Hot for Barbecue

by RaeAnne Marsh

The Valley of the Sun is known for saguaros, golf courses and … barbecue. Bobby-Q is nationally recognized by barbecue aficionados, and offers its ribs in a vintage countrified setting featuring reclaimed woodwork and antique gas lamps that enhances the dining experience. Owner Bob Sikora’s first expansion from the original location at Dunlap and the… [More]

Pasta Amore

by Mike Hunter

Pasta is a perennial favorite in many forms. Here are three local restaurants to enjoy its menu versatility. Aiello’s Northern Italian cuisine in white tablecloth elegance. 777 E. Thunderbird Rd., Phoenix (602) 547-3354 Marcellino Ristorante More than 200 house-made pasta specialties, with infused fresh pasta. 7114 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale (480) 990-9500 Va Bene The… [More]

Chelsea’s Kitchen: Roadhouse on the Canal

by RaeAnne Marsh

The sense of “come on in and visit” starts with the short walkway meandering through the grassy front yard past shallow ponds to the expansive front porch. Part of the LGO Hospitality family of restaurants, Chelsea’s Kitchen exudes a roadhouse ambience despite not technically meeting the definition of being beyond city limits. Dine in homey… [More]

It’s Patio Time Again 

by RaeAnne Marsh

We’re getting into the balmy weather so appreciated by outdoor enthusiasts — including those who enjoy dining al fresco. Here is a sampling of restaurants whose patios are as great as their menues. Zinc Bistro In addition to its secluded patio, this French bistro also offers sidewalk seating for some great people-watching in the heart… [More]

The Crêpe Club: Fare with Flair

by Mike Hunter

If a visit to Paris seems out of reach for a weekday lunch, it’s time to expand lunch options to a small salon at Biltmore Fashion Park. Open there a little more than a year after expanding from its origins as a popular food cart on the ASU Tempe campus, the crêperie keeps that casual… [More]

A Taste of …

by Mike Hunter

With a slight alteration to the adage: Diversity is the spice of life. And spices are a cornerstone of culinary diversity among cultures. Here are some of our favorite ethnic eateries. Barrio Café Since 2002, Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza has been celebrating regional Mexican favorites with such flair that she’s put Barrio Café in the… [More]