The 3 week trip wasn't short, just the restaurant exploration time... Too much work, too little time. First stop as always was Cafe Dalat Vietnamese, as good as any Viet restaurant we've found in the SW. The Lime Beef appetizer is unique and oh so good with the caramelized onions.
Our new find, and bright spot was Taj Palace on Eubank near Constitution. We went twice (it was so good we didn't believe our own taste buds after the first visit.) We went at lunchtime and chose the buffet over ordering off the menu. Normally I don't expect much from a buffet but Taj Palace's fare is shout-it-from-the-rooftops good. The selection is > average size with everything spiced just right, especially the tandoori chicken, best I've had anywhere. You can taste the smoke, citrus and complex spices and the chicken pieces were tender and moist. Good service and gracious hosts as well.
The lone disappointment was a relatively new BBQ called Porky's Pride, up Juan Tabo in the corner of a strip mall next to an Albertsons. Nothing was bad, just flat, save possibly for the interesting potato salad. The cole slaw was grocery store fare, and the beans were sort of a knock-off of the 3 bean recipe used by Joe's in Gilbert but once again tasted flat. The hot links were....well, flat... as was the watery flat sauce (there I said it again). The brisquet and chopped pork were mildly smoked but... I won't use the F word again. In fairness the meat was fine, no evidence of being steamed.
We hit a handful of New Mex restaurants along the way including one Seferinos that moved into Perea's old location on Central near the fairground. Breakfast was solid and plentiful; red and green were both quite mild. Route 66 Malt Shop (not the diner) was good for a blue-cheese chile cheeseburger and a rootbear. Lastly was a tasty litle Thai buffet on 4th St, Thai Basil I believe. Pretty good selection and decent food was found there.
As always we're looking forward to our next visit to the Duke City.