When trying to decide on the perfect Mother's Day restaurant for Sunday, we thought going to the source — East Valley moms — was our best bet. After spending a few hours chasing down kid-toting women, we found a handful of moms willing to share their picks.
“I don't know, somewhere nice. I've always wanted to try The Melting Pot, but I heard that was expensive. But there's Shabu-Fondue in Chandler — I guess I would go and try that out. I like chocolate fondue; I've never tried the regular fondue.”
SHANNA ADAMS • MESA
“If someone treated me? Camelback Inn! They have an amazing buffet. It is huge. It's the whole center restaurant room and out by the pool.”
HEATHER PITTMAN • CHANDLER
“I like On the Border. They make the (guacamole) fresh right in front of you and the chips are really good. I'd probably pick that because I like Mexican food.”
CHARITY LITTLE • MESA
“Mimi's Cafe. I get a muffin and salad and bread — I just love that you get a lot of stuff for what you're paying for. The atmosphere is very nice, cute and girly-like. I like Mimi's because there's variety, and I love the muffins.”
LORI HALVERSON • MESA
“My favorite would probably be Macaroni Grill. The food is awesome. I like the singers, they serenade you. The atmosphere is fun and classy. The bread is good.”
JENNY SMITH • MESA
“I like The Landmark because I love their soup, I love their prime rib, I love everything, their salad dressings. And they have a wonderful salad bar. All those old pictures, it's really neat.”
SHERI WHITING • GILBERT
WHERE OUR DINING CRITIC WOULD TAKE HER MOM
Crackers & Co. Café
This French- and farm-styled restaurant is so popular it opened a second Mesa location May 1. The huge menu is filled with interesting breakfast and sandwich choices as well as enough sugary treats to satisfy any sweet tooth.
1325 N. Greenfield Road, Mesa, (480) 924-9977 and 535 W. Iron Ave., Mesa, (480) 898-1717, www.crackersandcompanycafe.com
If you think Brad Pitt's a chick magnet, wait until you walk into this super-cute cottage and patio lunch spot. Specialties include gourmet sandwiches and salads as well as delicious desserts.
7014 E. First Ave., Scottsdale, (480) 941-5665, www.arcadiafarmscafe.com
House of Tricks
For an upscale yet unpretentious experience, this Tempe house of haute cuisine and shade trees can't be beat. I'm guessing mom never made lasagna quite like this — sun-dried tomato basil pesto, goat cheese ricotta and sweet pepper marinara. Yum.
114 E. Seventh St., Tempe, (480) 968-1114, www.houseoftricks.com