The Parlor Pizzeria Phoenix AZ

Meh, i’ve experienced better….to bad the delicious food had to suffer the wrath of the horrible service on more than one occasion! On one of our visits our server brought us the wrong Pizza, which was a build your own. We ordered 3 items on each of our pizzas, both were ladden with Jalapenos; which one would hope would garner a check back at least one time during the meal. But no matter how much extra heat was packed on by the clueless chef, the server didn’t return until at least 15 minutes after someone else took another 15 minutes to bring me a refile of iced tea. I understand that if the refill was free it wouldn’t be a priority, but the pizza for one was $9.00, my salad was $12 (a horribly unseasoned ceasar salad that tasted like it was dressed in plain mayonaise) and my sisters pizza was $14, so we didn’t expect such a horrible experience. There wasn’t a warning on the build your own pizza menu that made us aware that by ordering jalapenos on our pizza it would be served suicide style. This day in particular only had a handful of patrons too. Our server not only sucked majorly, but he lacked the traits of a mediocre server, poor guy, poor parlor. If his section is the only one open next time, i’m goin to california pizza kitchen or mama mia’s, maybe even le grand orange.

Even with the horrible and pretentious servers I definitely recommend the Funghi pizza, as it is a blend of roasted wild mushrooms, Goat cheese, truffle oil and chives (but I have them hold the chives). Its a tad bit oily, but very tasty. The spinach salad made with applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes, white cheddar, avocado, hard boiled egg and topped with a white balsamic vinaigrette is fabulous as well! A great appetizer to start the meal off right is the caponata bruschetta made with sweet & sour eggplant, roasted peppers, pine nuts, currants and an herbed ricotta spread.

The parking is hard to come by during meal times, so if you can wait; I recommend enjoying this restaurant after popular meal times.

the parlor pizzeria
1916 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-248-2480
http://theparlor.us

Gallo Blanco Cafe & Bar Phx AZ

It was great from the very first time….fish tacos while lounging by the pool, but even better when we experienced the restaurant full service. Eating at the Gallo Blanco Cafe & Bar for a sit down dinner was definitely much better than just sampling the food at the pool. It is my favorite American-Mexican restaraunt. The food has an american twist on the old favorites. The fish taco is topped with guacamole and pico de gallo. The house salad is made with romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, Cotija cheese, pumpkin seeds, orange, jicama, and tortilla strips finished with a citrus vinaigrette and tastes absolutely delicious! I wanted to order another one. The savory taste of the roasted pumpkin seeds left my mouth singing with joy. I can’t wait to eat it again…..soon.

The tacos are served on a taco party tray…its a fiesta in itself. I had the fish tacos, which for this day was Ahi tuna-lucky for me, porque es mi favorita; but on a sour note-when the server announced the fish in the fish taco, not the noted menu item, she never announced the price increase. I didn’t mind paying the extra $2.00 but she should have disclosed the price increase  too. The tacos are on soft shell, which tasted homemade, but this time they tasted store bough (not so fresh). The red cabbage is an american twist gone great! I normally don’t enjoy the white sauce on fish tacos, but i think this one might have had a citrus twist and i didn’t mind it at all. The ahi tuna was lightly seared to perfection! It was bright red and melted in my mouth!

The sides are served ala carte here, which is very american. The beans were great with the tortilla strips, which tasted like they were made in house. I also liked the roasted tomato salsa, it was so spicy and flavorful, not much tomato, just how i like it! One thing I definitely didn’t enjoy, but got the joke (green tomatoes instead of red tomatoes are definitely american) was the rice made with green tomatoes. It was a cross between soft, fluffy and hard sticky rice (that from the bottom of the pan when you leave the pot on the stove and then scrap it) served mixed with a tomatillo salsa made with too much onion…..very weird and not tasty at all! That was one taste of rice, where once is enough, next time i’ll just have to order two salads and more tacos!

The guacamole ala americano, served with their thick tortilla chips, was really just halves of an avocado and a citrus salsa, which had grapefruit slices in whole slivers. A little too much onion and fruit for me, but it was still tasty. I’ll definitely order this again.

The sangria was a little cup of heaven. It was perfect. Not too sweet, not too much liquor, not too bitter and laden with diced fruit. Our service was great as well! There was always a server around; asking about the food, with a keen understanding of knowing when not to interupt. That is superb service, they are around and available, but not hoovering. The decor is very fun. We sat in the window at a tall table with a perfect view of the uptown high rise buidlings. Our meal was served up with a beautiful backdrop, spanish music enveloping the room and a delicious twist on the food I grew up with, making it exactly the way I wanted it, I just wish the spanish rice brought me home.

Gallo Blanco Cafe & Bar
401 W Clarendon Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013
602-327-0880
http://galloblancocafe.com

Kincaid’s Phoenix AZ

WOW! Finally a restaurant in the desert that has me head over heels. Location, service, freshness, menu, view, large but intimate dinning room, I can go on and on! It was Valentines day, our 10th year anniversary-last minute date with this being our 20th choice. They were wide open, no reservations needed. Not only are they located in the Heart and Soul of downtown. It is so close to the new convention center, that several times during the meal I had the urge to reach out and grab the building to pull us closer; as I chose the table closest to the edge on the patio near the convention center and sat right in the center of the table looking out. The view was so breathtaking, I almost forgot we ordered the best appetizer ever!

The Classic Sampler included Roasted garlic prawns over tasty mashed potatoes, teriyaki tenderloin over rice, hot red King crab and artichoke dip served with the tastiest bread sticks. Everything was superb! This could have easily been a meal in itself. We shared a salad at the suggestion of the waiter-expecting a portion that could be shared, but received the smallest-most delicious salad. It was served chopped style (yup this is the real deal when it comes to Chop houses) with a delicious ranch dressing. Next time we will each order our own because I wanted MORE! I didn’t mind as it made more room for the bottle of wine. I ordered the Grilled North Atlantic Maine Lobster Tails which were served with grilled asparagus, melted butter for dipping and fresh lemon. My love ordered the Bone in Rib Eye 20 oz. (which is Creekstone Farms’ premium Black Angus beef, corn fed and aged 28 days for flavor and tenderness). All steaks are grilled and seasoned with a custom rub, then topped with steakhouse butter. A definite plus is that they are all served with crispy buttermilk onion strings and red jacket mashed potatoes. It was so delicious I had to copy and paste the menu as this is one restaurant that is sure to be tried even just once. If your a Phoenician or a lover of Phoenix as I, then you can finally be proud to know that downtown Phoenix is the home to one of the Best Chop houses in all of my 13 country travels!!!!

Kincaid’s
2 S Third St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
602-340-0000
http://www.kincaids.com

Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe Phx AZ

Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe is one of my all time favorite restaurants when I’m in Arizona! The food is always fresh and delicious; however the service always lacks desire. This is definitely a place that requires a good 2 hour serving for dinner, so be prepared. For lunch you can be out in an hour, but you will have to keep on top of the server for your check and then beg them to take payment! They slack big time in this sense, not sure why.

It pays that the food is always fresh and very tasty, not to mention very affordable. I love the sushi. Even though they don’t offer a big variety, they always have fresh fish, served in very tasty combinations. My favorite rolls are the crunchy eel roll, the dragon roll and the Caterpillar roll. A great twist is the pasta offerings. My favorite pasta is the Penne Al Arrabiata because its spicy and delicious! The servings of their pasta is large enough for me to have enough left over for lunch the next day too. They used to serve a complimentary slice of banana bread that is absolutely divine- however these days you have to pay for it. They always have fresh desserts too!

This place is great for dates, long conversations and those who need to stretch their time together. Everything is wonderful and you will be pleasantly surprised with the beautiful decor in a strip mall….. you’ll feel as though you have entered another land once you walk through the doors, because its so cute and quaint, definitely not what you’d expect. Go try this place, you’ll love it!!!

Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe
914 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85014
602-248-9090
http://cherryblossom-az.com

Chart House Cardiff CA

Floor to ceiling wall windows that overlook the ocean, plus food prepared to perfection! The last time I was there was right before the Comicon in San Diego, but much to my surprise this location is not considered San Diego. Its located just outside on South Coast Highway 101, a nice drive along the water front too.

My meal began with the Lobster Bisque ($8.99) which was exquisitely creamy and ladden with bits of lobster. I’m a big fan of Lobster Bisque, but rarely is it created with such a precise blend of each ingredient. I highly recommend it!

I then had the Chopped Spinach Salad ($8.50) served up with chopped egg, bacon, radishes and mushrooms over chopped spinach of course, topped with a warm bacon dressing. Yummy! My taste buds were jumping for joy with each bite of this sumptuous salad, which could have been a meal in itself.

My entree was a fabulous cut of Filet 8 oz ($31.99), served medium rare. The Filet was perfectly cut and grilled. There wasn’t one bit of fat on it anywhere. They grill their steak with a dab of butter and season it just right. I also had a side of the Sizzling Mushrooms ($7.99) which were the perfect pairing for each bite of my pink in them middle Filet. I love this place; every dish they prepare is done with skill and pride.

The service was superb! Very attentive and anticipatory. Not one need was ever unattended, and not one thing had to be requested. Everyone was spot on!  The hostess, the food runner and the server must have been trained in a 5 star academy because each was pleasant and very customer oriented. I totally recommend this place for everyone looking for a special place to share with that special person.

Chart House
2588 South Coast Highway 101
Cardiff, CA 92007
760-463-4044
http://chart-house.com