AAR Staff Wants You to Eat Well in Our Neighborhood

by Sage Dillon on June 3, 2010

Arizona Association of REALTORS® Building

Arizona Association of REALTORS® Building

Next time you visit AAR’s midtown Phoenix office for a class or committee meeting, be sure to reward yourself with a stop at one of these delicious, locally owned restaurants.

America’s Taco Shop
http://www.yelp.com/biz/americas-taco-shop-phoenix
Eat: carne asada burritos and al pastor tacos. Drink: horchata, jamaica and Mexican Coke in a bottle. Enough said.

Burger Joints
You’ll have to Yelp ‘em yourself.
We couldn’t help but notice a trend in Director of Business Services Nick Catanesi‘s list of favorite lunch spots. This guy likes a good burger. His picks: Two Hippies, Lenny’s Burger Shop, Original Hamburger Works and Lucky Boy Burger Shop.

Cherry Blossom Noodle Café
http://www.yelp.com/biz/cherryblossom-noodle-cafe-phoenix
Art Director J Thurston has a soft spot for this noodle slurping spot. A little basket of homemade quick breads and a salad get your lunch off to a good start.

China Chili
http://www.yelp.com/biz/china-chili-phoenix
Just across the street from AAR, China Chili gets you in and out in a hurry. Staff favorites include orange chicken and Mongolian beef. They’ll add veggies or sub in brown rice, if you prefer.

Coronado Café
http://www.yelp.com/biz/coronado-cafe-phoenix
A favorite of Ron LaMee, vice president – information services, this café in a historic home is a little pricey for lunch ($10+ for salad or sandwich), but the food is fresh, tasty and well-presented. It’s a classy but informal place to take someone for a good impression. 

Durant’s
http://www.yelp.com/biz/durants-phoenix
Enter through the kitchen to access this old-school Phoenix haunt that never disappoints. And it comes recommended by a name you trust: AAR General Counsel and Assistant CEO Michelle Lind.

Fez
http://www.yelp.com/biz/fez-phoenix
The burgers are stellar, and the sweet potato fries will knock your socks off. “Totally yummy!” says Niki Burridge, business applications specialist.

The Fry Bread House
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-fry-bread-house-phoenix
This Tohono O’odham-owned shop serves up fry bread folded like a taco and stuffed with red or green chili beef. For dessert, get one topped with chocolate and butter. Warning: Two fry breads in one meal is a little much. Trust me. I’ve done it.

Gallo Blanco
http://www.yelp.com/biz/gallo-blanco-cafe-phoenix
The $2 tacos are so good—plan at least three to make a meal of it. A plus: The historic Clarendon Hotel is a pretty swank place to dine. And the pool’s open to all comers.

LoLo’s Chicken & Waffles
http://www.yelp.com/biz/gallo-blanco-cafe-phoenix
Fried chicken. Waffles. If that doesn’t sell you right there, you were raised wrong. Add a side of collard greens, smothered potatoes or fried okra if you’ve got no other plans for the afternoon but a nap. Be sure to pick up Monica Schulik, executive assistant to CEO Tom Farley, before you head over.

Pane Bianco
http://www.yelp.com/biz/pane-bianco-phoenix
If you can’t stomach the sometimes three-hour dinner wait at Pizzeria Bianco, get the next best thing at the lunch-only sandwich spot. There’s no indoor seating and few menu choices, but they can get away with just about anything when the food’s this good.

Park Central Deli
http://www.yelp.com/biz/park-central-deli-phoenix
Formerly called Miracle Mile, this deli delivers hefty sandwiches to the lunchtime crowd. Lore Brown, administrative assistant – government affairs, chooses the pastrami with Swiss. “Oh boy, is it good!”

Postino Central
http://www.yelp.com/biz/park-central-deli-phoenix
This outpost of the popular Arcadia spot has delicious salads, kickin’ bruschetta and a beautiful patio.

St. Francis
http://www.yelp.com/biz/st-francis-restaurant-phoenix
If you wanna fancy it up, the business lunch promises you three courses in 30 minutes—for a wallet-busting $18. You’re paying for the scene and scenery.

Switch
http://www.yelp.com/biz/switch-phoenix
“Very mellow, relaxed atmosphere, delicious food and great service!” says Sam Takach, professional development assistant. She was seconded by boss Barb Freestone, senior vice president – professional and business development.

That’s 15+ options for your dining pleasure, but we’re sure to have missed your personal favorite. Is it Duck & Decanter? Thai Hut? Blue Fin? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan Steward June 3, 2010 at 10:12 am

Sage: What a wonderful topic and how timely for me. New to the Valley, I can pretty much “eat” my way to or from the office.
Thanks.

Francces Flynn Thorsen June 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Good job! Great blog post … I’ll refer to this post next time I am in the neighborhood … and Yelp my own two cents afterward. ;-)

Sage Dillon June 3, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Oh, Jan, it’s a dangerous neighborhood to work in. I’ve gained 10lbs since starting here! ;)

Thanks, Frances! We look forward to reading your reviews on Yelp. :)

D. Patrick Lewis June 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I would just like to add Duck and Decanter to the list. Close by and a locally owned business. http://bit.ly/b20ZPZ

Great resource for many of us. Thanks!

Christine M. September 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm

That’s a Wrap was always my favorite in that area! http://www.thatsawrapphx.com/

They’ll sub tofu for free if you are meatless… and have yummy pasta salad!

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