5 Best Restaurants in Peoria and Surprise Right Now

Categories: Top Lists

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New York Flavor/Facebook
This fast-causal restaurant in Surprise brings a taste of the Big Apple to the West Valley.
Finding good eats in the Northwest Valley isn't impossible, but it's also not easy. When it comes to worthwhile, independently owned restaurants, this part of town doesn't exactly boast an abundance.

But Peoria and Surprise do claim several excellent restaurants that range from fast-casual gems to upscale restaurants well worth the drive from wherever you live. In fact, our five favorite restaurants in these two cities deliver flavors from both sides of the country and beyond.

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5 Things Minerva Won't Miss About the Phoenix Dining Scene

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Minerva Orduño Rincón
Phoenix chefs, butchering more Scottish salmon than your average Scottish fishmonger.

It's easy to love living in Phoenix when the citrus trees are in bloom, the sun is shining just brightly and warmly enough, and the local heirloom carrots are freshly picked and ever so sweet. Sadly, that relentless eight month desert heat is just around the corner, killing that carrot growing season, and any affection I have left for this town. After 12 years of loving Phoenix, hating it, and saying 'meh' to it, it's time to leave it and move on to less sandy and much greener pastures.

As I get my knives and cookbooks ready for their cross-country journey, it's time to think of those things that make the Phoenix dining scene great, and perhaps less than great. Better to get the bitter flavor out of the way first.

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5 Best Restaurants in South Scottsdale Right Now

Categories: Top Lists

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Lauren Saria
Scottsdale's ShinBay is the gold standard of Japanese restaurants in the Valley.
Head south of Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale, and you've officially entered some of the Valley's best territory for fine dining. Drive south on Scottsdale Road, the area's major north/south thoroughfare, and you'll come within reach of many of the restaurant's that have helped put the Valley's dining scene on the map. From a restaurant that embodies the spirit of the local and seasonal dining trends, to a sleek spot for some of the very best Japanese food in the Southwest, south Scottsdale's best restaurants are sure to impress.

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10 Best Places to Eat and Drink During Spring Training in Metro Phoenix

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Courtesy of Don and Charlie's
For true baseball fans, this old school chophouse is a don't-miss dining destination.
Though the big draw for spring training visitors is the 15 professional baseball teams that come to the metro Phoenix area for pre-season training, this city offers plenty to do, eat, and drink before and after the game.

From exciting new breweries to classic Mexican fare, we've gathered a list of restaurants and bars that showcase some of the best and most exciting things going on around town. There are standby dining destinations on the list, as well as some of the newest spots to break into the local scene.

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10 Best Salads in Metro Phoenix

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Katie Johnson
Going green never tasted so good.
As The Simpsons once sang, you don't make friends with salad. While that may or may not be true, there's no denying that ditching the burger and fries for something leaf-based would be one of the better choices you could make while dining out. Whether you love lettuce, hail kale, or blush for Brussels sprouts, metro Phoenix has its fair share of dishes that get Mother Nature's stamp of approval. And because going green doesn't mean leaving your taste buds behind, here are our 10 favorite salads in the Valley.

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8 Asian Restaurants in Metro Phoenix You've Probably Never Tried -- But Should

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Lauren Saria
Taiwan Food Express at Mekong Plaza serves affordable Taiwanese eats.
So you've got a craving for Asian food, but you're sick of the places that fill your usual rotation. Perhaps it's so bad that your go-to spots know your takeout order by heart.

Well, we've got the solution. Here are eight places for Asian eats that you might not have tried before. Whether you're looking to try a new international cuisine, or just want to break out of your dining rut, give these places a try and you will be rewarded.

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5 Best Restaurants in the Biltmore Neighborhood Right Now

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Photo by Dayvid LeMmon
The Gâteau Marjolaine from Christopher's and Crush Lounge is the perfect dessert for Nutella addicts.
In a neighborhood filled with luxury hotels and some of the Valley's most expensive real estate, you would expect to find some of the city's best eats. And the Biltmore neighborhood delivers. In this northeast Phoenix locale you can find excellent French and American cuisine crafted by chefs who have been cooking for longer than some of their young customers have been alive.

But there's more than just fine dining to be had in the Bitlmore 'hood. The area's strip malls and shopping districts have also attracted chefs who are serving more affordable eats, including one of the country's top pizza chefs and a restaurant where comfort food gets a modern twist.

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6 Things We Learned About Southwest Gardening at the Grow Your Own Food Summit

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Zaida Dedolph
Chef Aaron Chamberlin made lunch for the first-ever Grow Your Own Summit.
On Saturday, March 7th, Grow Phoenix hosted its first-ever Grow Your Own Food Summit. The symposium, which featured talks from local garden experts, was appealing to both seasoned gardeners and novices alike. The topics explored were as diverse as the audience, and included seed saving tips, gardening philosophy, and information about how to raise animals within city limits. A 100% local lunch, catered by Chef Aaron Chamberlain of St. Francis, sealed the deal for us.

If you missed it, don't worry -- Grow Phoenix is planning another summit for Fall 2015, and have plenty of opportunities to learn about urban farming on the docket between now and then.

Here are a few cool things we learned about growing food in the desert.

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5 Best Restaurants in Chandler Right Now

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Lauren Saria
Xiaolongbao from Chou's Kitchen.
Whether it's your neighborhood, just outside your backyard, or clear across town from your regular haunts, Chandler is a dining district that's worth exploring. You'll find excellent destinations for Asian, Indian, and Latin cuisine in this suburb, in some cases not more than a few miles from one another.

Our list of favorite restaurants right now includes some of the very best ethnic restaurants in the area, as well as a cozy neighborhood spot for simple food done well located in the heart of the city's downtown.

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5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in February

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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Lauren Saria
Crab swimming in melted butter at Little Cleo's in Phoenix
This month's best bites can be found all over town -- literally so, in the case of the smoothie from one of my new favorite food trucks, which travels to Tempe, Phoenix, and Chandler in any given week. Many of the memorable bites come from places I just recently discovered, proving that there's always room for a new favorite restaurant in your life. Assuming that you make an effort to look.

I hope you get to try some of it for yourself.

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