Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Steak 44

PHM0714Flash-1-5Attention, meat lovers: Another Mastro family miracle.

Do we really need another high-end steakhouse in the Valley? Based on how tricky it is to snag a prime-time dining reservation at Steak 44, the hottest table in town, I say: “Evidently so.” Even with a few dozen shrines to bovinity in our midst, we are insatiable. Steakhouses are primal magnets and we are drawn to their altar of sizzling beef, stiff bourbon and service bordering on excess.

 

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Hot N Juicy Crawfish

PHM0714Flash-1-6Vegas import deals a winning hand with fresh Cajun seafood and down ‘n’ dirty dining.

Hot N Juicy is either the best place in metro Phoenix to take a first date – or the worst. Tables are covered in white plastic, utensils are nonexistent and bibs are provided to ensure Mill Avenue diners don’t dribble onto their Sun Devil T-shirts. Meals come in plastic baggies. Sea critters are served whole, eyes and all.

 

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The Tamale Store

YOU WON’T BELIEVE HOW fluffy– and utterly delicious – the handcrafted, corn-husked tamales from theTamale Store are. On the other hand,maybe you’ve already discovered them at one of our local farmers’ markets.It seems there is always a line at their market stalls.

 

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The Post

PHM0614Flash-1-6Subtle spices and sweet endings materialize at east Phoenix’s best-kept secret.

Months before a new restaurant opens, my inbox is typically flooded with promotional info. Local newspapers blog about the new addition, foodies post on Chowhound message boards; there might even be a Facebook contest or streetside banners advertising the grand opening. Not so for The Post. When the Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport hotel leaked news of its new restaurant in late 2013, it was as if The Post materialized from thin air.

 

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Pink Pony

0614PHMEB07Spring training knickknacks aside, the venerable
Scottsdale steakhouse is all but unrecognizable after a gastropub-minded makeover.

While sipping a Moscow mule at the Pink Pony’s horseshoe bar in downtown Scottsdale, I watched a man approach the bartender. “This isn’t the Pink Pony I remember,” he said with a note of astonishment and nostalgia.

 

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El Chullo

0614PHMEB10Find delectable dishes served with a side of Peruvian pride at this Phoenix eatery.

Chef Omar Velarde is proud of his Peruvian heritage. The comfort food he serves at El Chullo is plated with a smile and a side of Andean trivia. For example, the eatery’s namesake is a woolen earflap hat worn to protect against chilly mountain winds. Chullo patterns are unique to the wearer, with designs indicating ancestry, wealth or marital status.

 

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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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