Yes, I am yet another traveler seeking advice from locals re: dining options. My wife and I are flying into Phoenix in early May, then embarking on a 2 week road trip with most of our destinations in New Mexico. I will endeavor to be specific with my criteria as I am aware that a general search of this board would yield hundreds of recommendations.
1) In major cities, proximity to hotels where we are staying so that we can utilize taxis and do not have to worry about restricting our alcohol intake.
2) No seafood or sushi: I live in the Pacific Northwest and get amazing fresh seafood all the time.
3) Moderate price range (specifically, entrees in the $20-$30 price range. We can stretch for one or two meals, but we are not looking for restaurants in the "Mary Elaine" price range).
4) Food that is specific to the region would be a bonus. (i.e. I can get good French food or Chinese food in Vancouver; I cannot get good southwestern, Mexican, or New Mexican food, plus there is a dearth of decent steakhouses in Canada). When possible, food with in-season, local and organic ingredients.
5) Restaurants with good wine or beer lists.
6) Seeking recommendations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
OK, I better stop there or else no one will read further.
Destinations: Phoenix (Sat, May 10): Staying at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort, 5401 N. Scottsdale Road (Not far from Camelback Mountain). Staying at the same place on Friday, May 23. Looking for a restaurant close enough to be able to taxi to and from.
Tucson: Sun-Mon May 11-12: Staying at the Windmill Inn at St. Phillip's Plaza.
Close to Silver City, NM May 13-14. (actually in Gila NM).
Santa Fe: May 15-19 (one night in Taos during this stretch): we will be close to the Plaza, so we can walk.
Carlsbad: May 20-21
Las Cruces: May 22
Phoenix: May 23 (fly home on May 24).
Any advice would be appreciated, and I'd be happy to return the favor for chowhounders traveling to Vancouver/Victoria (I regularly post on the Western Canada board).
Thank you in advance.