The Wannabe Foodie In Me

March 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm (Restaurants)

 

Whether it’s fact or fiction about the true life of a foodie, I wish I had that title.  Just picture it. Your job is to review restaurants – the atmosphere, experience, service and food.  I could do that. I do that without getting paid. I’d do it pro-bono! A restaurant isn’t just about the food. To me, it’s about the entire experience.

My definition of a true restaurant experience

  •  The build up – “Where do you want to eat tonight?” The question is on the table. So, what do you say? Well first up is figuring out what you’re in the mood for. Do you want to eat outside? Looking for good wine? Great Italian? Tasty Pizza? Spicy Mexican? So many questions, but it’s crucial to figure out your mood before you decide on the place.
  •  Time to do some searching. Checking out sources like yelp (www.yelp.com), AZ Central (www.azcentral.com), Urban Spoon (www.urbanspoon.com) local blogs and magazines. These sources are always a great way to find some hidden gems around town.
  •  Expectations – We all create them for whatever we are doing whether it’s imagining the perfect dress or finding the perfect dinner spot. But, the way you keep your expectations at a reasonable level is by deciding what you will actually define as a success. Then, you’ve got to stick with the expectations set in place. If you’re visiting Arizona and you want a true cowboy feel, you might want to lower expectations for a 5-star meal. If you are looking for that 5-star cuisine, be willing to fork out the cash to get it. It’s all about realistic expectations and it’s important to set those before you go into the night.
  • Dinner time! The moment you’ve been waiting for. Dinner time is here and you’re finally on your way to your dining destination of choice. Ok. Are you ready? I hope you’re hungry and in a good mood! When you get there, think about your “checklist” for a good meal and let the adventure begin!

Lindsey’s Top Five Ways to decide if it’s a Keeper:

  1. Does it have a good atmosphere? Is it unique and not like 10 others you’ve been to?
  2. Can you have a conversation without screaming or feeling like the awkwardly silent couple next to you is listening to your every word.
  3. How are the waiters? Good or bad? Do they come by too often? Not often enough? Or do they bring you a refill when you  still have ¾ of your drink left so now you have two drinks sitting in front of you?
  4. How’s the food selection? Is it the cuisine you were hoping for? Is it tasty enough to want your plate and your neighbor’s too?
  5. Overall, how do they treat  you as a guest? Do you leave wishing you  could experience it all over again?

If the restaurant lives up to your checklist’s expectations then you’ve found your treasure my friend. Be sure to tell others (www.yelp.com) subscribe to the restaurant’s newsletters (specials!!) and visit often so they know they are loved!

To my Arizonians, here are just a couple restaurants that passed my checklist test depending on my mood of the moment. Share your favorites too!

Le Grande Orange – www.lagrandeorangepizzeria.com/

Chelsea’s Kitchen – www.chelseaskitchenaz.com/

Tommy Bahamas – www.tommybahama.com

Postino – www.postinowinecafe.com/

Arcadia Farm – www.arcadiafarmscafe.com/

Olive and Ivy – www.foxrc.com/olive_ivy.html

Blanco Taco – www.foxrc.com/blanco.html

Carlsbad Tavern – www.carlsbadtavern.com/

House of Tricks – www.houseoftricks.com/

Rustler’s Roost – www.rustlersrooste.com/

Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse – www.pppatio.com/

Spotted Donkey Cantina  – www.spotteddonkeycantina.com/

Hanny’s – www.hannys.net/

Rokerji – www.burningembersphoenix.com/

Dick’s Hideaway – www.burningembersphoenix.com/

Zoe’s Kitchen – www.zoeskitchen.com/

Duck ‘n’ Decanter – www.duckanddecanter.com

Tru Food Kitchen – www.foxrc.com/true_food_kitchen.html

Tee Pee – www.teepeemexicanfood.com/

Coronado Café – www.coronadocafe.com/

My Florist – www.myfloristcafe.com/

America’s Taco Shop – www.americastacoshop.net/

Honey Bears BBQ – www.honeybearsbbq.com/

Two Hippies – www.twohippiesburgers.com/

Luci’s – www.yelp.com/…/lucis-healthy-marketplace-phoenix

Bandera – www.hillstone.com

AZ 88 – www.yelp.com/biz/az-88-scottsdale

Cien Agave – www.cienagaves.com/

Old Town Tortilla Factory – www.oldtowntortillafactory.com/

Grimaldi’s – www.grimaldis.com/

Deluxe – www.deluxburger.com/

Bungalow – www.bungalowbarandgrill.com/

Sauce – www.foxrc.com/sauce.html

Stingray – www.stingraysushi.com/

Bon Apetit!

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