More Delicious Treats
In Store in Phoenix
Phoenix Promotions Coordinator
Part of the excitement of traveling to new cities is the chance to sample the local cuisine, and attendees at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Phoenix in March will certainly have ample opportunity to do so.
Last month's Sightlines featured dining options within walking distance of the Phoenix Convention Center. This month's column highlights a few of the other unique favorites that are mentioned time after time when talking with local residents. These restaurants are outside the immediate downtown/convention area but are worth a short drive to personalize a trip to the Valley of the Sun. This list was compiled with the help of the Board of Directors of the USITT Desert State Region.
Organ Stop Pizza - 1149 East Southern Ave., Mesa, 85204; phone: 480-813-5700
Serves pizza, pasta, and subs, but the main attraction is The Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. Organ Stop's Wurlitzer is one of the largest and finest in the world. This massive instrument contains more than 5,500 pipes, numerous percussions, countless traps, and even dancing puppets! It has four turbine blowers that provide the wind to create the sound, and the 40-foot ceilings in the restaurant create excellent acoustics. The organists are world-class musicians who perform every half hour during restaurant hours.
Los Dos Molinos - 8646 South Central Ave., Phoenix; phone: 602-243-9113
Serves New Mexican cuisine. Los Dos Molinos is the perfect place for people who like their food hot! Molinos makes the food fresh, and the menu warns, "Sorry we do not provide a mild sauce - I do not know how to make 'mild.'" The restaurant decor is an authentic hacienda style and features a large patio area that is perfect for enjoying one of the best margaritas in Phoenix before a meal.
Postino Wine Café - 3939 East Campbell Ave. Phoenix; phone: 602-852-3939
Serves antipasto, bruschetta, panini, and salads. One popular panini is the grosso, which contains salami, prosciutto, capocollo, mortadella, and provolone. The space, carved out of the old Arcadia post office ("postino" means "postman" in Italian), has walls that alternate between institutional block and high-gloss panels painted in dark and fashionable colors. Glass garage doors roll open in nice weather turning the restaurant into a giant " Arizona room."
House of Tricks - 114 East 7th St., Tempe; phone: 480-968-1114
Serves "New American," a delicate fusion of French and Southwest flavors. House of Tricks is located in two adjacent houses with an outdoor patio bar and fireplace between them. One house is a small 1920's cottage, and the other is a 1903 brick and adobe house restored to its turn-of-the-century feel. The wine menu is one of the most thorough and affordable in the Valley of the Sun, yet neither the quality nor selection is compromised with a cellar of more than 2,500 bottles.
La Grande Orange Café & Grocery - 4410 North 40th St., Phoenix; phone: 602-840-7777.
Serves French-inspired yet simple American food. The design of the café is innovative, fresh, and contemporary allowing patrons to dine at one of the indoor tables nestled within the store or outdoors in the Java Garden. The café also has a grocery store that offers a variety of convenience items; one-of-a-kind cakes, pastries, and desserts; and rare yet affordable wines. Just around the corner is La Grande Orange Pizzeria, offering simple yet tasty pizzas.
Cyclo - 1919 West Chandler Blvd., Chandler; phone: 480-963-4490
Serves Vietnamese food and regional cuisine, including desserts and regional beverages. Cyclo's location in a strip mall between a dry cleaners and a pharmacy may seem an unlikely location for a culinary treat, but rest assured that there is no better Vietnamese food in the Valley. Not only is the food excellent, but owner and menu designer Justina Duong acts as a goodwill ambassador for her country, bringing her guests little tastes of menu items and urging them to try something new.
Angel Sweet - 1900 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler; phone: 480-722-2541
Serves Italian gelato. Voted best ice cream shop in Phoenix by Arizona Republic, New Times, Get Out magazine, Sunset magazine, and Food and Life magazine. In 2004, Angel Sweet was chosen as one of the great American ice cream parlors in the nation by the book Everybody Loves Ice Cream. Each day they make more than two dozen flavors of fresh gelato, and all ingredients and equipment are imported from Italy.
Stockyards Restaurant and the 1889 Saloon - 5009 East Washington, Phoenix; phone: 602-273-7378
Serves steaks, seafood, and salads. Stockyards is billed as "Arizona's Original Steakhouse" and was recently added to the City of Phoenix Historical Register for both its central role in Arizona's cattle industry and its relevant architectural style. The building was built in 1954 and was recently restored including the original 1950s black leather booths, a pressed-tin ceiling surrounded by etched glass, a stone fireplace, wood shutters, and vintage photos. The 1889 Saloon features a massive, hand-carved mahogany bar and an equally massive cut-glass chandelier. Also in the bar is an 1887 player piano complemented by piped-in country music.