Showing posts with label Scottsdale eateries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scottsdale eateries. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scottsdale: Where Murder, Mykonos and Mission Meet

We met – I think – on Twitter. . . perhaps two years ago. . .

Since then, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, blogs and email  we’ve become what might be described as modern day pen pals.

The Scout and I have also  become hooked on the murder mysteries, set in Greece, written by our far-away friend.

Arizona Spring 2012 131So, learning that author Jeffrey Siger had a stop in Seattle on his fall book tour was pure delight – until we realized that we would be in Arizona.

The travel gods were smiling on us though, as Jeff  is appearing this week at Poisoned Pen Books, in Scottsdale and had a bit of free time today. . .

Enough time for the three of us to meet and enjoy a long lunch in the heart of historic, artsy Old Scottsdale.  Upon meeting, we agreed it seems somehow as though we’ve known each other for some time.

ScottsdaleNov2013 020
Jeffrey Siger and the TravelnWrite team

We share a love of Greece; he divides his time between Mykonos and the United States. He gave up a law practice to follow his dream of writing novels much as we quit the 8 – 5 work world to pursue our adventures.

PicMonkey Collage

We lunched at the Mission Restaurant (it’s next door to a Mission built in the 1930’s) and is a place you need to add to your bucket list if you’ve not dined here yet.  We will definitely be returning!

PicMonkey Collage
Guacamole made tableside, Mission margarita and Torta

I sipped my Mission Margarita while watching our guacamole being made table side. Then it was difficult at best to choose from main courses that included pozole, tortas, tortillas, ensaladas, sopas.  We didn’t dare even peek at the dessert menu!

If You Go:

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Scottsdale/Phoenix area: Jeff is appearing at Poisoned Pen Books, 4014 N. Goldwater Blvd. #101, 888-560-9919, www.Poisened,  Wednesday, Nov. 13,  at 7 p.m.
Seattle:  Jeff will be at Seattle Mystery Book Shop, 117 Cherry St., 206-587-5737,can meet him from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.
Check his website for a full schedule of appearances.

Jeff also contributes to a blog called Murder is Everywhere. A most interesting read.

Mission Restaurant, 3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, 480-636-5005

That's it for today, Hope to see you back again on Travel Photo Thursday. We are linking up today with Marcia Mayne’s Foodie Tuesday at Inside Journeys.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Scottsdale’s “Club Grub”

Scottsdale2013 055Whew! We just crossed the finish line after a nine day eat-a-thon in Scottsdale, Arizona. Let me tell you. . .

There is just something about the food in Arizona's 'Valley of the Sun' that makes us throw our Diet2Go out the window. And this trip,contributing to the culinary temptations that snugged up our clothes, is what we’ve dubbed, “Club Grub”.

Not “Pub Grub” –  “Club Grub.”  I am talking a whole new food source:  eateries tucked away in golf courses; some in clubhouses and others in freestanding restaurants.

We don’t even play golf – but we spent a lot of time ‘at the course’ this trip!  Note: these aren’t the members-only places -  all three of our recommendations below are open to the public!

The Grill at the TPC Scottsdale

Scottsdale2013 183

While munching lunch at The Grill, we had this view over the 18th hole of the Stadium Course at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel. 

Scottsdale2013 185Tucked away in a corner of the clubhouse, this place has more than 50 craft beers, cocktails, a gastro-pub style menu, patio (with fire pits – not needed this time of year) and a Happy Hour.

The Grill is located at 17020 N. Hayden Road.

Troon North

Scottsdale2013 050 Our Seattle/Scottsdale friends, Mike and Joanne, told us to try Happy Hour at the Troon North Golf Club and for that we owe them big time!

We had some of the best- tasting and best-priced margaritas in this restaurant (also tucked away in a beautiful clubhouse), that we’ve had anywhere in Scottsdale. The HH price $4.50 (as compared to the Happy Hour $10 margarita at the nearby Four Seasons).

Troon North also offers full menu options but there were so many temptations on the Happy Hour list we never got beyond it. 

The photo below is of Dynamite Flatbread, $6, a mouthwatering chicken, cheese combo on  focaccia bread, just one of the HH offerings.

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Troon North is located at 10320 E. Dynamite Blvd., Scottsdale.

Tonto Bar and Grill at Rancho Manana

The interior of this restaurant has such a wonderful Spanish/Old West feel to it, that it is difficult to choose between sitting inside or on the patio. Both provide beautiful views of this Cave Creek golf course. 

The menu also has so many choices that it should be difficult to choose between them but I have become so enamored with their Southwestern Cobb Salad that I always order it.  (Going there for lunch means I will take enough home  for dinner as well. As you can see from the photo below. . .it is rather large).

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This place, like we've noticed at other restaurants, offer a choice of protein toppings for the salad. Mine was chicken and The Scout chose roast pork from the half dozen choices; price depends on the protein chosen.

Tonto Bar and Grill is located at the golf course at 5736 E. Rancho Manana Blvd., Cave Creek.

If you go:  A good source of Arizona golf course information is:

Your turn!  Do you have any “Club Grub” recommendations for the Phoenix/Scottsdale area?  How about any for golf clubs near where you live or in places you’ve visited?  Tell us about them!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Taste of Travel: Reata Pass Scottsdale AZ

Arizona Spring 2012 236A dust-filled rocky trail once led over Reata Pass just to the north of downtown Scottsdale, Arizona. In 1882 there was a one-room stage station there that served the coaches traveling between Phoenix and Fort McDowell on the Verde River. 

Reata Pass is now where we have our timeshare ‘home away from home’ at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Residence Club.  So close were we to the summit that from our place we could see the old water tower.

Our location put us conveniently between three wonderful Scottsdale eatery traditions: the Cavalliere family’s Reata Pass Steakhouse (which was closed for the season) and their Greasewood Flat outdoor eatery (click the link to read about it.)

Arizona Spring 2012 214This time – with a whole week in which to explore the area – we ‘discovered’ Pinnacle Peak Patio – and I say that with a smile because the place has been around since 1957 and we’d never even heard of it until last week.  (Have you noticed? There is just too much to discover when you travel!)

Arizona Spring 2012 243Perhaps a bit touristy, but if you want a taste of the Old West – not to mention some good ol’ Western hospitality – this expansive eatery and brewery (Cowgirl Blonde Ale and Gunslinger Stout among the brews) is the place to go.

We made two visits: once to belly up to the bar and sip some margaritas and the second time to fulfill a need for animal protein.

Arizona Spring 2012 242We dined at the outdoor picnic tables (open from April to October) and listened to some country music. Looking to the west we saw Pinnacle Peak and to the east Troon Mountain.

A  post about this place wouldn’t be complete without mentioning “Big Marv” Dickson – ‘a man of many steaks’ – who came to work here back in the 60’s as a dishwasher/landscaper and progressed up the food chain, you might say. He now holds the distinction of ‘having cooked more than 11 million mesquite grilled steaks.” So. . .that might be a tall tale, but with the number of steaks we saw being served we have no doubt it might be true.

Arizona Spring 2012 240

This was our picnic table view of  Troon Mountain, elevation 3,478-feet (1,060M). To put that in perspective, the elevation of Washington State's Snoqualmie Pass is 3,022-feet (921M).

If You Go:  North on Pima Road to Happy Valley (you’ll see Pinnacle Peak) Follow Happy Valley to Alma School Road. Left on Jomax to reach Pinnacle Peak Patio (10426 E Jomax Rd. 85262, phone 480-585-1599) or continue on to Greasewood Flat and Reata Pass.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

High Plains Drifters Kick Off ‘Sun-Seeking Season’

The High Plains Drifters (that’s us) will soon be celebrating ‘Sun Seeking Season'. That’s the time of year when our Pacific Northwest days begin and end with the same gray, dreary weather. . . and we start seeking sunny destinations.
We kick off this year’s Sun Seeking Season in Las Vegas at The Villas at Polo Towers on The Strip (3745 Las Vegas Blvd. S.). 

Polo Towers, just a block or so from the better-known Paris Resort (photo above), will be our base for a week. Our one-bedroom, one-bath condo -- with full kitchen, living and dining areas -- will be one of our sun-seeker  ‘homes’.  We plan to bask in the sun at poolside, read some books, do some cooking ‘at home’ and, of course, explore all that we can.

DSCF0064Then we’ll aim our rental car south, so that we can spend a few days in Scottsdale, watching those magnificent sunrises at the same place we stayed last spring, The Scottsdale Links Resort (16858 N. Perimeter Drive).

Both of these  ‘homes-away-from-home’ are ‘time share’ resorts. We don’t own at either place, but our timeshare ownership at other properties allows us to participate in the exchange management company, Interval International’s  ‘Getaways’ program that offer accommodations at greatly reduced rates, literally, at a fraction on of a cost of a hotel stay.

Although we were reluctant to enter the timeshare world a few years ago, now that we’ve taken the plunge, we are sold on the concept.  It is much like having a second-home, but without the responsibilities of full ownership. The other nice thing is that our ‘home’ can be anywhere in the world . . .where the sun is shining!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scottsdale Eateries - off the beaten path

Don't you love it when people who've visited a place, or those who live there, tip you off to some wonderful eatery that you would never in a million years have found on your own?  We had several recommendations for Southwest 'finds' that were so great I need to pass them on to you, with a big thank you to those who told us about them:

Greasewood Flat dining area
j.smith photo, (c) 2011
Greasewood Flat: If you've not been to this 30-year-old local favorite atop Reata Pass, then you haven't experienced Phoenix/Scottsdale to its fullest.  And one trip will likely not be enough to get a taste (quite literally) of the place.  Greasewood Flat is a massive open air dining field of sorts enclosed by a fence made up of old time farm and ranch equipment.  You'll sit at one of those picnic tables while eating one of the best burgers ever made and washing it down with a tall cool one or two. There's usually a big bonfire going and if you time it right, a band will be playing. Those country gals and guys will be struttin' past doin' the Country Two-Step and it likely won't be long before you are tempted to join 'em. 
(27900 N. Alma School Parkway, Scottsdale, 85262, 480-585-9430)

Reata Pass Steakhouse:  Located just next door to Greasewood Flat in the original 1882 stage coach stop on Reata Pass.  Even if you are stuffed from that burger I suggested, you'll want to go inside and take a look around, then put it on your list for the next visit.
  •  This year we visited the Reata Pass Cavalliere's Farmer's Market, held each Sunday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The booths are tucked in between the two eateries.  Homemade pickles, salsa and jams were being sold and the smell of the whole pig roasting on a spit made our mouths water. It was also hard to resist the homemade vanilla ice cream being served right out of the mixer.

Breakfast at the Pinnacle Peak General Store
j. smith photo, (c) 2011
Pinnacle Peak General Store:  We would never have stopped at this place had our friends, whose recommendations we value, suggested it.  As you are driving past it on Pima or Pinnacle Peak Roads, it appears to be a service station with a sign reading, "General Store" on the adobe hacienda-style building behind it.  "You have to have breakfast there!" we were told and so we went.  What a find!  The interior still houses a post office (like none you've ever seen) and an eating area amidst a museum of country western memorabilia.  We chose to sit in the sunny courtyard near the fountain with its hacienda-like feel to eat our enormous breakfasts.
(8711 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, 85255, 480-991-1822)

Overeasy Cafe: Was recommended by a friend in Portland, Oregon who used to live in Arizona. We didn't get to this one, but I checked out the menu and with plates called, "The Crying Pig, The Mile High and The Pollo Loco" (that last one is 'crazy chicken' for you non--Spanish readers), we have it at the top of our 'next time' list.
(This place has just expanded and now can be found at  two locations:  The newest is at 4730 E. Indian School Rd. #123, 85260, 602-468-3447 and also at 9375 E. Bell Road, same phone number.)

Tomorrow I will tell you about our finds in Tucson. If you have recommendations for Scottsdale/Phoenix please tell us about them by using the comment box below. 

Note:  Don't be put off leaving a comment because you have to fill in an email address.  It doesn't appear on your comment; it is a security measure to make sure you aren't some robot roaming the blog and spamming. You can chose how you are identified: by name, nickname, or anonymous (but then wouldn't you want us to know who made a great suggestion?)


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