Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Random Restaurant Reviews

For anybody interested in reviews of local restaurants, here is my take (in a completely non-ordered kind of way):

1. 129 1/2 An American Jazz Grille (cortez st): One of our favorites. The food is AWESOME, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the live band is great. Nothing else like this in the area.

2. Bill's Pizza (Cortez St): Best pizza in town! Fresh ingredients, 3 different sauce choices, and no matter what you get on your pizza it melts in your mouth. Only downside to this place is that it is cash-only (they do have an ATM on premisis, that will steal ~$3 of your money to do business with you)

3. Esoji (Gurley St): Some of the best sushi i have ever had. Not the greatest restaurant layout, and the help was still learning the ropes. The sushi-chef is a charismatic older man. He is a little hard to understand most of the time, but is always having a good time. Every piece of sushi that came out to us (and there were plenty) were delicious! On the expensive side for Prescott (i downed $40 worth of fish in an hour, and could have kept on going), but well worth it.

4. St. Michael Cafe & Bistro (Corner of Gurley/Montezuma): Interesting restaurant. Part of the historic St. Michael hotel, so everything gives off that old-time feeling to it. The menu is contemporary, and for the most part very tasty. Some of the dishes don't seem to fit in with the rest (Mediteranean Lamb, and Hamburgers at the same place..?) but they manage to pull everything off very well. Coffee here is in the top ten of the town, so don't be afraid to try a cup. Ask for Ralph as your waiter.

5. Geniovese's Italiano Ristorante (gurley st): I'm honestly not a huge fan of this place. The food is always good, but generally not what i would expect for the prices that they charge. The staff often have a 'mightier than thou' complex that makes you feel like a moron for even opening your mouth.

6. Kendal's Burgers (cortez st): I have to admit: i have a soft spot for this place. Everything is greasy, you have to wait way longer than you should for food, and the staff always seem to be contemplating committing harai kiri at any moment. But it is just so.....good. It has a very home-made feel to it, like you shouldn't care about the puddle that quickly forms in your basket. Just eat and enjoy.

7. Hugo's Mexican Cantina (montezuma st): My perfect kind of restaurant. An absolutely tiny hole-in-the-wall mexican joint, where the guy cooking your food (and standing about a foot from the guy taking your order) is actually.... MEXICAN!! The food is awesome, it all has cilantro in it (like mexican food should). The only downsides to this restaurant are that seating inside is limited (which for most months is okay, because it is hotter than hell inside) though outside seating is available, and their credit card machine is often 'on the fritz'; so take cash with you to be safe.

8. El Charro (montezuma st): Here is the other side of the mexican coin. El Charro has been in business since i was a little kid, and it was a place that we went to often while growing up. It used to be a good place to eat. I'm not sure what happened, but in the last 5-10 years it has been headed on a down-hill track. First off: the wait staff doesn't know their menu. Most questions are met with blank stares, or some oblique reference to what they think is spicy or not. The food can't really be called mexican. It may look mexicanish, it may smell mexicanish, but it most definitely does not TASTE mexanish. Avoid this place if you and your taste-buds are on good terms.

9. Pangea Bakery (Firehouse plaza on corner of Goodwin and Granite): I absolutely love this place. For one thing: it doesn't try to be something it isn't. This is a hippie restaurant. The person taking your order is most likely going to have dread-locks being held back by a 20-year old bandana. And thats OK. They are first and foremost a bakery - so the break here is awesome. This translates well to the sandwhiches that they sell. The flavor combinations are out of this word. Ciopolinni onions with roast beef, and a little bit of barbeque sauce. Fresh pesto with fresh mozzarella and spinach. Come on: those are GOOD flavors. Plus if you want a custom baked goodie, give them a day or two notice, and they will whip up just about anything you have in mind.  Only downside is cash-only.

10. Biff's Bagels (Firehouse Plaza on corder of Goodwin and Granite): I like Biff's, i really do. They have good bagels, even if they are a bit harder than most are used to. And their sandwiches ARE good. But recently they have been jacking up their prices to the point where you would think you were eating at Esoji if you were to look at the bill. A $10 bagel sandwich, and a $5 smoothie drink better be the best tasting things i eat all day: but they aren't. They fall short. The $2 pastry that i pick up next door for desert is the real treat.

11. Goodwin Street Liquor Outlet Deli (goodwin st): I used to like the Liquor Barn deli that previously occupied this space. It was good, it was cheap, and it was good. This new restaurant charges an arm and a leg for 'cuisine' that seems like the red-readed stepchild that got booted out of some eastern city. The food is not good, the help is not good, and the prices are rediculous. Avoid.

12. Sweet Tarts (Cortez St): Prescott has never had a French(ish) food joint before. We didn't know what to do when Sweet Tart opened up. Did you go for the tarts (which are diving), or did you go for the food? In the end you go for both. When you finish that delicious quiche or salmon burger, and Alain (the proprietor) walks by and shakes your hand and asks "Time for something sweet?" it is impossible to say no. They also just expanded to the store next door, so they finally have enough room that you might get a table during lunch hour rush. 

One other thing to note about Sweet Tarts. They have a dinner. On Saturday Nights. It is expensive. If i only had $50 and was going to die on sunday, i would go here for dinner on saturday. It is reservation only, so call and let them know you are coming.



Well I hate to say distraction is bringing this post to an end, but my camera just showed up, and i have to welcome it into the family.

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