Dining in Phoenix – Off the Beaten Path

If there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s good food. Yet living in Phoenix, AZ (Chandler to be exact), sometimes it’s difficult to find something different and unique. Luckily, Phoenix and its neighboring suburbs continue to grow, and with the growth comes diversity and new restaurants to try. Now I’m no food critic, and my dining choices are purely based on my palate, yet most of these places have received good reviews from the local foodies. So if you ever find yourself yearning for something different, be sure to give these places a try!

Flaming Kabob Cuisine
[2252 E. Baseline Road, Mesa AZ 85204 – (480) 813-6555]

What happens when you take an old 5 & Diner and turn it into a Middle Eastern restaurant, you get Flaming Kabob. The Jordanian owners have been perfecting their dishes for 20 years, and it definitely shows. There’s a lot on the menu, but you can’t go wrong with the combination plate for 2.

[2240 N Scottsdale Rd # 8, Tempe AZ 85281 – (480) 941-9003]

Green is an eclectic and enviro-friendly themed vegan-vegetarian restaurant that features some interesting dishes. My favorite has to be the Argentine Po-Boy which features “strips of seitan mock steak sautéed with caramelized peppers and onions, vegan mayo and a spicy chimichuri sauce.” Needless to say, the combination works for me. The menu also features a vegan homemade soft serve soy ice cream which is well worth the try.

Sukiyaki Express
[3617 E Southern Ave # A415, Mesa AZ 85206 – (480) 830-2668]

This is the hole in the wall Chinese take-out that you dream of finding while completely lost while driving around. I’m still not sure why the place has a Japanese name (excuse my ignorance if I missed something), yet none of that matters once you try one of their hearty dishes. My favorite – Orange Chicken à la carte. The Little Lady’s favorite – Spicy Bean Curd Family Style. Both are great choices to share or enjoy alone.

Restaurant Samarkand
[7823 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix AZ 85021 – (602) 331-8991]

The restaurant is owned by two individuals from Uzbekistan. And from what I gathered, Uzbek dishes are similar to Middle Eastern dishes with a few slight differences. Our server was very gracious and made us feel at home. Actually, I don’t recall what we ordered since everything we picked was recommended. Still, the food was great and well worth the 40 minute trek across the city.

Mangos Mexican Cafe
[44 W Main St, Mesa AZ 85201 – (480) 464-5700]

I grew up eating Mexican food, so it’s very difficult for me to say what good Mexican food is and what typical Mexican food is since Phoenix is inundated with Mexican places that hardly stand out from one another. There’s a good chance that you can throw a rock and end up hitting a 24-hour fast food place that ends in “…betos”. What makes Mangos stand out from the rest is the unique atmosphere they create with their decor, and the food is a bit fresher and spicier. My favorite is the “aqua fresca” drinks which are made fresh unlike the pre-made varieties you’ll find elsewhere.

Tina’s Ethiopian Cafe
[479 N Arizona Ave, Chandler AZ 85225 – (480) 917-0116]

What really stands out about Tina’s is that you literally feel like you’re in someone’s home. There are couches everywhere, kids running around, people watching TV; which makes for a really laid back and surreal experience. The experience may not be for everyone, yet I really enjoy myself especially because Tina herself makes a big effort to make her patrons feel at home.

By the way, if you’ve ever tried one of these place or have a place to share, feel free to leave a comment and share your experiences or suggestions!

The Closet Entrepreneur

» This entry was filed under General

Start The Conversation

Leave a Comment

Please type the answer to the math equation. Click the pic to hear the numbers.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam equation