We swear: Theses new restaurants in the Valley will make for interesting April dining.
Rocky Point Seafood Restaurant
Opened: December 2019
Similar to my Cock N’ Tails visit (below), a trip to Gilbert revealed another resto rebirth. This relaxed strip-mall fish shack used to house the wonderful Guedo’s Taco Shop – happily, it’s even wonderful-er as this new incarnation, with an extensive menu of economical south-of-the-border ocean fare. The lively, bracing ceviche de pescado ($6.99) can be snarfed straight from the Styrofoam cup, though the flat, crunchy tostadas make a better bed for it. The shrimp enchilada ($7.99), available with green or red sauce – I went green and found it mild and to my liking – is a snug nest of firm and flavorful little crustaceans. Follow it up, if you need something sweet, with a postre of rather fancy flan ($4.99).
Must try: I was curious to see what fish and chips ($10.99) were like, Rocky Point-style, and loved the results: soft tilapia instead of cod, lightly breaded over thick, starchy spuds. It reminded me a little of the fried smelt one gets back East, only better.
3107 S. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert , 623-248-7855, rocky-point-seafood-restaurant.business.site
OEB Breakfast Company
Opened: November 2019
Aptly named is the Not So Boring Brioche French Toast ($12), with its distinctive infusion of orange flavor edged with cinnamon, at this stateside outpost of a Canadian chain. (Evidently, the only one in the U.S.) No less yummy is the Nutella French Toast ($13) with marshmallow and cocoa for a s’mores-style effect. On the savory side, it should come as no surprise that OEB offers more than 10 variations on poutine, starting with Soul in a Bowl ($17) – eggs and potatoes fried in duck fat, cheese curds, bacon lardons and hollandaise. They also have a variety of eggs Bennys with flawlessly poached eggs – firm globes while intact, but gloriously runny once broken. My choice was the Dijon- and dill-topped, blue-crab-carpeted HoLY CRaB!!! ($15.50), capitals and punctuation theirs, but reflective of the taste.
Must try: Don’t miss crispy pierogi ($10), stuffed with potato and served with cream cheese.
17757 N. Scottsdale Rd. , 480-597-4463, eatoeb.com
Cock N’ Tails
Opened: February 2020
After four years of Four Corners columns, I’m visiting new restaurants in the former locations of old restaurants more and more often. But this hipster hangout is on its third iteration: Formerly, it was Joe’s Midnight Run, then Hatter and Hare with a sexy Alice in Wonderland theme. This time it’s a rock ’n’ roll theme – hence, from the appetizer menu, Bad-to-the-Bone Marrow ($12), offering the usual two and a half spoonfuls of rich, decadent beef-bone innards, with bacon and mushrooms. Grilled Shrimp Cock N’ Tails ($16) offers good-size chilled shellfish with subtly zingy cocktail sauce, while the flat iron steak ($23) comes with a memorable side of mac and luscious, faintly granular cheese. For an “encore,” hold up your figurative lighter for the apple crumble pie with pistachio gelato ($8).
Must try: The chicken potpie ($16) – the name of which, the menu points out, is made up of “our three favorite things!” – packs succulent bird and veggies into a light, flaky phyllo pie.
6101 N. Seventh St., 480-702-0662, cockntails.com
Sol Flower Cafe
Opened: December 2019
O brave new world! This café resides in the lobby of a sleek and snazzy like-named medical marijuana dispensary in Sun City. I’m trying to imagine how science-fiction-y that sentence would have sounded 30 years ago. No card is needed to partake of the (non-enhanced) bites created by chef Dean Armijo, so even non-card-carriers might want to stop in and squelch their munchies. The Devil’s Mess breakfast burrito ($8.75) is an angelic scramble of three eggs with chorizo, onions, spinach and just the right amount of chiles. The overbearing Noble multigrain bread slightly upstages the turkey club ($9.50), though bird and bacon are well-executed. An egg and avocado sandwich bafflingly named the Flanched Flarney Garney ($8.25) similarly sources from Phoenix Public Market – also the café’s hookup for a variety of cookies and other such goodies that are, pardon the expression, baked.
Must try: The lentil curry soup ($3) balances the punch of the curry and the smoothness of the legumes on a delectable dime.
13650 N. 99th Ave., Sun City, 623-246-8080, livewithsol.com