Friday, April 25, 2014

reviewsBlog

 

Taco Haus

PHMEB10The duo behind Brat Haüs score with modernized Latin grub – meager taco menu notwithstanding.

The most surprising thing about Taco Haus, the new venture from the Brat Haüs team of Dave Andrea and Payton Curry, is how few tacos are on the menu – five, to be exact. That turns out to be a good thing, since the tacos are the weakest link on the compact menu of modernized Latin grub.

 

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Bink’s Scottsdale

PHMEB07A more approachable Binkley’s? The perennial James Beard contender satisfies expectations at his new Scottsdale outpost.

Kevin Binkley is a masterful chef – and it was never up for debate. From the moment the James Beard-nominated culinarian opened his eponymous post-nouvelle showplace Binkley’s in Cave Creek, his chapter of influence on Phoenix dining was written and filed.

 

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The Henry

PHM0514Flash-7Part comfort-minded eatery, part corporate nerve-center, this new offering from Sam Fox is everything a flagship should be.

When it comes to Sam Fox immersion, it seems the rich are getting richer. Anyway, that’s one take on The Henry and its prime Camelback corridor location, just a half mile down the street from Fox’s popular North Italia trattoria. Great news for Arcadia folk, but what about the rest of us? C’mon, Sam – open something in the sticks for once.

 

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Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

PHM0414 Slideshow EBSDPerfect poached eggs and squeal-inducing sweets make Denver’s hip brunch spot worth the wait.

Dining shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all experience: Just ask Jon Schlegel, founder of Denver-based Snooze. The trendy breakfast joint opened in the Mile High City in 2006, preaching a doctrine of scratch recipes, eco-friendly practices and customizable plates – a formula so popular it spawned seven more locations.

Phoenix is the latest city to hit the Snooze button. Town & Country’s former Souper! Salad! underwent a facelift in the process, transforming into a retro-modern diner with circular lounging booths, atomic-era starbursts and a ‘70s bowling alley palette.

 

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Slanted Rice

The Tran family’s new nosh spot in Scottsdale puts an Americanized spin on Vietnamese dishes.

Your eyes are not playing tricks. The plate is slanted. Clever, given the name of this fourth Vietnamese eatery from the Tran family, known for putting a modern – and American – spin on food from their homeland.

If you’ve eaten at the Trans’ Rice Paper in Phoenix, you’ll recognize a good portion of the menu at Slanted Rice, a stylish Scottsdale spot located in the same upscale strip mall as Houston’s and Bink’s Scottsdale. You’ll also recognize the Tran flair for design in the dining room, which is elegantly splashed with shades of gray. The only things out of place are the three TVs jammed into the corner bar, one perpetually tuned to the Food Network.

 

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Kai

With new maestros in the kitchen, Arizona’s most decorated restaurant doesn’t miss a beat.

Without a doubt, there’s no restaurant in Arizona quite like Kai. The highly decorated minister of Native American-influenced fine dining, located inside the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort on the southern fringe of the Valley, has long delivered one of the region’s most prized and respected eating experiences. “Cherry Sweet Grass Smoked Quail Breast with Slow Braised Mole Adobo Rabbit”? Pretty unique, that.

 

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Wiener’s Circle

Do your wurst at local Sonoran hot dog stands.

Leave it to Phoenix to take a Mexican culinary tradition and smother it in condiments. Sonoran hot dogs migrated north from the Sonoran Desert, finding loving homes in Phoenix, Tucson and L.A., along with seemingly endless dressings. A basic Sonoran hot dog (or estilo Sonora) boasts bacon, beans, chiles and mayonnaise, but you can also find them bulging with diced tomatoes, fresh or grilled onions, ketchup, mustard and a thin guacamole sauce.

 

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