15 Metro Phoenix Restaurants to Visit During Spring Training 2013

Jamie Peachey
Bryan's Black Mountain BBQ
Bryan's Black Mountain BBQ

Except for the intoxicating smell of smoke, which hits your nose the instant you open the door, there's not much about this family-friendly, cowboy-themed BBQ joint in Cave Creek that feels 'cue typical. For starters, the place is neat and clean and in perfect repair, not much of a "joint" at all. But you won't need ramshackle atmosphere to tell you that chef-owner Bryan Dooley has mastered the art and science of barbecue. His sliced brisket could be a benchmark for brisket anywhere (Texas, I'm looking at you), and his ribs require a bit of gnawing instead of falling off the bone -- as great ribs never do. Nothing on his menu is an afterthought either, which means the baked potato salad and green olive-studded cole slaw are first-rate, and the house-made ice cream sandwich is not to be missed, no matter how stuffed you feel (and trust me, you will). Dooley also offers a great selection of craft beers and fantastic seasonal specialties such as summer's heirloom tomato sandwich (flecked with sea salt Dooley smokes himself) and fresh watermelon wedges sprinkled with diced jalapeño and drizzled with honey. $-$$

Essence Bakery Café

If you're a whiz at languages, you'll probably surmise that Eugenia Theodosopoulos isn't French. But never mind her mouthful of a Greek surname. The woman trained at Ecole Lenôtre and ran her own catering company in Paris for five years. She's got the whole pastry thing down cold, and her super-flaky croissants, elegant macarons and sinful bostock are the delicious proof. A small pastry case near the entrance to her casual, green-designed café holds these and other irresistible sweets, but first, you should probably order a French-inspired breakfast or lunch built around locally sourced ingredients and bolstered with Greek specialties from Thedosopoulos's childhood. Breakfast might be Croque Madame or brioche French toast, while lunch could be Quiche Lorraine, lemon and basil free-range chicken salad, spanakopita or a grass-fed beef burger, topped with tomato, arugula and balsamic mayonnaise. Her daily lunch specials are so good they often sell out by noon, so plan accordingly. $-$$

Location Info

Barrio Cafe

2814 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Binkley's Restaurant

6920 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

6130 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Essence Bakery Cafe

825 W. University Drive, Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

FnB Restaurant

7125 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Hana Japanese Eatery

5524 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Trattoria Bianco

4743 N. 20th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Los Olivos Mexican Patio

7328 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Now Trending

From the Vault