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Another family Thanksgiving vacation, looking for cheaper ideas

simieats | Nov 18, 201110:55 PM

Hi Phoenix Hounds,

I've been a general lurker on this site for years (I travel a lot for work, and Chow is the first place I go to find local eats) and this is my first post, yay. I'm visiting PHX next week with my parents and little brother, and am looking for some help. 

Just read this great thread started by StevenCinNYC:

So many great suggestions, definitely going to try Binkley's, NOCA, Quiessence, Fnb, and of course Kai, so feel well prepared for the fine dining experiences. I was wondering if anyone had tips for more options on the cheaper end of the spectrum. 

Here are the specifics of our trip:

-My parents and brother are coming from the Bay Area. Baby bro is easy, he loves everything. My parents are Indian, don't really eat red meat (baby bro and I do) and are, shall we say, frugal. Not to say cheap, though; they'll happily fork over dough for amazing food - my mom loves Michael Mina places, they went to Manresa in Los Gatos for their 30th anniversary and loved it - but expensive food really has to wow them or they (ahem, my dad) feel gypped. On the other end of the spectrum, they love cheap eats that are quality food, but not if that means greasy - I tried getting them in to East Bay taco trucks when I was in college but they just couldn't get in to greasy Mexican, or perhaps I was just picking bad trucks (this was 10 years ago and I've eaten a lot of meals since then). Their favorite inexpensive place in SF is the Chinese spot House of Nanking. Bottom line: value in restaurants means a lot to them. 

- As it does for me too. I live in NYC now and my favorite spots are places with great food, great vibes and that are affordable as well. NYC is having a great resurgence in places like this: The Meatball Shop, Torrissi, & Cocoron  are some of my faves in this genre. I guess I just find the challenge of running a restaurant that does great food inexpensively in a good room really exciting, and I like to support restaurateurs who are doing this. 

-Anyway, our favorite genres as a family are: Mexican (interior or contemporary are the faves, but I do want to find an excellent taco truck to win them over, I'm sure I can find one in previous threads), New American/local organic, Sushi (I'm a Japanese food FREAK, soba, yakitori, ramen, yum yum all of it), Chinese, North/South Indian, Cajun/Southern, Pizza, Seafood. And of course, all the buzzwords apply as much as possible: local, seasonal, sustainable, ethically raised, etc. - I'm a yuppie for goodness' sake.

And of course I'm super pumped to get in to Southwestern cuisine generally, it's the one part of the country I *don't* cover in my job, so I'm not well-versed. 

-We're staying at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, but would travel far, 45 mins - 1 hour, for a great meal, especially one in an interesting setting.

- Will probably be doing 4 dinners and several lunches.  

- One day trip to Sedona - saw an Elote Cafe rec in the other thread, is this the best? My folks are considering retiring in Sedona and plan to check out Prescott too, any great spots around here?

-We need a place for Thanksgiving dinner, saw somewhere that NOCA is doing a turkey day prix fixe, does that seem like a safe bet? Mom and I want turkey, Dad could care less. 

-Any good ice cream places? I'm currently obsessed with Jeni's ice cream from Columbus, OH and want to know if any other joints around the country can top her Pistachio and Honey ice cream. There has to be crack in it, I'm convinced. 

-We're not into touristy/sceney places, I like to eat at the favorite places of people who actually live in a given city. 

Sorry to go on and on, must be first-post jitters. Thank you so much for any help! 


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