Looking for someplace to eat this week? Our writers have done the legwork for you. Bon appétit! - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Looking for someplace to eat this week? Our writers have done the legwork for you. Bon appétit!

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Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 7:19 am | Updated: 6:40 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

$ entrees average less than $8

$$ entrees average $9-$16

$$$ entrees average $17-24

$$$$ entrees average more than $24

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS

Nello’s (4710 E. Warner Road, [480] 893-8930). If deep-dish Chicago-style pizza is what you crave, Nello’s pizzerias are where to go. The salads are scrumptious as well, especially if they’re topped with the thick house dressing. Additional locations in Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale. $

Ra Sushi Bar Restaurant (4921 E. Ray Road, [480] 940-1111). From spicy tuna rolls to lobster shrimp rolls, Ra offers dozens of sushi selections. Also worth a try are the apple teriyaki salmon and the ginger cilantro ahi tuna — along with a sake bomber or two, of course. Additional locations in Scottsdale and Tempe. $$

CHANDLER

Bahama Breeze (7200 W. Ray Road, [480] 705-7399). If fruity spirits and spicy cuisine are your thing, head to this island-inspired chain. Specialties include the coconut prawns and kebabs. Additional location in Scottsdale. $$

Cyclo (1919 W. Chandler Blvd., [480] 963-4490). Adventurous flavors, affordable prices and a BYOB policy make this locally owned Vietnamese hideaway a hot spot. The crispy lemon grass chicken and beef carpaccio are delicious. Don’t worry about saving room for dessert, because Cyclo’s $3 sweets are mini treats. $

El Zócalo (28 S. San Marcos Place, [480] 722-0303). The lush, inviting back patio — often with live music — makes a great backdrop for enjoying the flavorful chicken mole or carne asada at this downtown Chandler hot spot. $$

Swaddee (5055 W. Ray Road, [480] 785-1640). This unassuming restaurant serves what’s arguably the best Thai in town. The pad Thai, tom ka (hot and sour) soup, massaman curry and chicken spicy noodles are all outstanding choices. Swaddee has a legit five-star heat scale, so cool down by ordering the homemade coconut ice cream, a coconut milk sherbet topped with crushed peanuts. $$

GILBERT

Dual (4972 S. Power Road, [480] 840-3455). Dark and sexy with an affordable yet interesting menu including braised short ribs with gnocchi and tomato ragout ($18), pepper crusted ahi tuna ($19), fried green tomatoes ($8) and desserts that could double as art. Sunday brunch offers from-scratch scones, roasted lamb hash and eggs Benedict. $$

Flancer’s Cafe (610 N. Gilbert Road, [480] 926-9077). This neighborhood favorite does pizza, calzones and sandwiches — and it does them all well. The cafe, which doesn’t look extraordinary from the outside, packs a powerful punch inside with its warm, friendly staff. $

Joe’s Real BBQ (301 N. Gilbert Road, [480] 503-3805). Looking for inexpensive yet tasty eats? At Joe’s you’ll find plenty of smoked meats and savory sides including mac and cheese and the best beans in town. Give the lemon cake a go, too — moist, tart and tangy. $

Sushi Ave. (866 N. Higley Road, [480] 218-5700). Not only is this one of the best sushi spots in the East Valley, it’s also Gilbert’s coolest space to eat in. The black wood tables, chairs and sushi bar; dark aqua walls; earthy slate tiles on the floor and walls; and soft track lighting create a hip Asian ambience. The simple menu includes nine stirfry options for the sushi shy, including the generously portioned and spiced suicide chicken. $

MESA

Buca di Beppo (1730 S. Val Vista Drive, [480] 507-9463). Yes, it’s an over-the-top Italian behemoth, but it works well for celebrations thanks to the lively atmosphere and family-style servings. Try the garlic mashed potatoes, Caesar salad, nine-layer lasagna and spicy arrabbiata pizza. Additional locations in Chandler and Scottsdale. $$$

Crackers & Co. Café (535 W. Iron Ave., [480] 898-1717 and 1325 N. Greenfield Road, [480] 924-9977). From pancakes and omelets to salad and soup, this eatery does it all well. The extensive breakfast and lunch menu also features sinful homemade cakes and treats. $

Lil’ Pizzazz (8257 E. Guadalupe Road, [480] 357-6355). One of our favorite pizzas in town — the mini meatball and onion pan pie — is a whole lot closer now that this momand-pop place traded its Queen Creek address for one 10 or so miles north in Mesa. Calzones, salads and subs are also on the menu. $

Mangos Mexican Cafe (44 W. Main St., [480] 464-5700). Popular with downtown Mesa’s 9-to-5 set, Mangos satisfies with jalapeño-flecked carne asada burritos, enchiladas, a breakfast burrito that’s tasty any hour of the day, and refreshing pressed fruit juices. Crispy shredded beef or chicken tacos are a mere 99 cents from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily. $

Oasian (1935 S. Val Vista Drive, [480] 632-1245). Casual, stylish Asian place that puts Pei Wei to shame. If owner K.C. is there, pull up a seat at the small bar and hang out with the jovial, well-traveled storyteller. Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea are all represented on the menu. $

TEMPE

Caffe Boa (398 S. Mill Ave., [480] 968-9112). Tasty offerings at this red-brick walled Italian wine bar include paninis, pastas and a very tasty tiramisu. Looking for lighter fare? Boa has a nice list of tapas and flights as well as one of the best happy hours in town. $$

Chuck Box (202 E. University Drive, [480] 968-4712). The guys at this rustic ASU lunch spot have been serving the best mesquite-grilled burgers in Tempe for longer than we can remember. Ever a student (and alumni) favorite, Chuck Box also makes great fried zucchini. $

Dilly’s Deli (414 W. University Drive, [480] 929-0111 and 3330 S. Price Road, [480] 491-1196). Any time is a good time for soup, especially at Dilly’s. Better known for its grilled sandwiches, this popular lunch spot also serves a mean bread bowl. Our fave? The cream of broccoli. Additional locations in Chandler and Scottsdale. $

Four Peaks Brewery (1340 E. Eighth St., [480] 303-9967). Don’t expect the usual bar food suspects here. Four Peaks’ menu includes such impressive offerings as Thai hummus, the portabella veggie beer bread sandwich and the salmon BLT. Oh, and the beer — including the customer fave, Kilt Lifter — isn’t half bad, either.

Additional location in Scottsdale. $$

Papa Razzini’s (1825 E. Guadalupe Road, [480] 345-6560). Don’t be surprised if you hear the owner, “Papa,” belt out an Italian verse or two at this casual neighborhood bistro. The linguine with clam sauce is sensational, as is the free make-your-own bruschetta. $$

Pita Jungle (1250 E. Apache Blvd., [480] 804-0234). Vegetarians aren’t the only ones who love Pita Jungle, with its huge portions of mostly healthy fare. Usually crowded, with cool art on the walls, this is one spot that college students and post-grads can agree on. Additional locations in Chandler and Scottsdale. $

Rula Bula (401 S. Mill Ave., [480] 929-9500). In addition to pints of Guinness and Irish coffee with a jolt of Bailey’s, this Mill Avenue bar and grill — modeled after the pubs of Ireland — serves a mean shepherd’s pie. Other specialties at this fun, colorful hot spot include corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, lamb stew, boxty and bread pudding. $$

SCOTTSDALE

Eddie V’s Edgewater Grille (20715 N. Pima Road, [480] 538-8468). Who would have thought we could get such great seafood in the middle of the desert? The service is impeccable, the restaurant is comfortable yet elegant and the food is exquisite. $$$

Humphrey’s Pacific Rim (11144 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., [480] 551-3222). A chef/owner who personally welcomes you to his restaurant. Creative, delicious dishes like duck confit quesadillas, mango pot stickers and beef randang. Artful presentation and warm service. $$$

Marquesa (7575 E. Princess Drive, [480] 585-4848). Diners are offered an exploration of Mediterranean cuisine at the premier restaurant in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort. It’s posh, but not pretentious. Marquesa chefs’ interpretation of the cuisine is sophisticated and has earned the AAA Five-Diamond award. $$$$

Michael’s at the Citadel (8700 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, [480] 515-2575). Chef and owner Michael DeMaria’s take on contemporary American cuisine, seasoned with Mediterranean and Asian accents, has garnered the multitalented chef the status of going by his first name only. His food is fabulous. Consider any seafood main plate or go for the “classic” medallions of beef tenderloin au poivre. Sensational sweets, too. $$$$

Tapino Kitchen & Wine Bar (7000 E. Shea Blvd., [480] 991-6887). A wine bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously and offers enough tempting tapas to make an affordable meal. The sublime bruschetta and brilliantly complex foie gras dish with honey and rosemary are amazing. $$$

Arcadia Farms (7014 E. First Ave., [480] 941-5665). Gourmet salads and sweet baked treats are on the menu at this cute eatery. The patio, with linen-covered tables and a rainbow of flowers, is one of the best in the Valley. $$

Bandera (3821 N. Scottsdale Road, [480] 994-3524). Famous for its wood-fired, spit-roasted chicken, but the rest of the restrained menu is impressive as well. The thick, roasted pork chops with chorizo stuffing and apricot glaze would make a nice meal for two paired with the stellar house salad and a tin of tasty corn bread. The lamb sandwich with roasted peppers is also worth a shot. Sexy lighting and a dark color scheme create cozy confines. $$

Bloom (8877 N. Scottsdale Road, [480] 922-5666). Sandwiches, creative entrees and even more imaginative martinis are served up in this hip, oh-so-Scottsdale space. And save room for something sweet. Bloom’s Bars of Sin dessert lives up to its name. $$

The Breakfast Club (4400 N. Scottsdale Road, [480] 222-2582). The menu at this trendy Scottsdale a.m. eatery is dominated by eggs, pancakes, waffles and French toast. The huevos rancheros with chili verde and black beans are delicious. Feeling naughty? Go for the Yakima Belgian waffle or Foster pancakes — both come with vanilla ice cream. $

Cowboy Ciao (7133 E. Stetson Drive, [480] 946-3111). This Scottsdale eatery partners Western, Italian and Mexican flavors — an ambitious undertaking indeed. Borrowing from each, bold flavors have been tamed into likable dishes, from crab enchiladas to elk strip loin. $$$

Furio (7210 E. Second St., [480] 945-6600). Sexy and edgy, chef Jagger Griffin’s dimly lit cafe serves such mouthwatering delights as fresh mussels and aqua clams, tender calamari, Parmesan-encrusted shrimp and braised short ribs. And don’t forget dessert. The cappuccino cheesecake is sinfully scrumptious. $$

Fusion (4441 N. Buckboard Trail, [480] 423-9043). Expect killer cuisine and top-notch service at this husband-andwife-run eatery serving up inventive seafood dishes and a delicious Buckboard shortcake. $$

Grazie Pizzeria Wine Bar (6952 E. Main St., [480] 663-9797). Cute, charming and perfectly situated among Old Town’s galleries, this is a great place for a glass of wine with friends or a gourmet pizza. The desserts are creative and tasty as well. $$

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