Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekend of Mass Yelp Reviewing

I totally failed at the "Blog Every Day" attempt, but I'm making it up by posting the blog entry that I had written yesterday, but forgot to post later in the afternoon. Fortunately, I had saved it in Google Docs so I'm able to post it from my phone during lunch. Two more entries will still be posted tonight.

This weekend I went on a bit of a Yelp Review spree as I started making a list of all the restaurants I've been to over the past few months. This is just a portion of them, but I figured I would compile this collection and share it with everyone. Most are good reviews with one, not so happy outburst.

Steve's Grill (4 Stars)

I've been to Steves a couple times for a late afternoon meal and drinks.
It's a nice short walk from the lightrail towards the Hyatt. Every time has
been a pretty good experience. The food is good, and the prices aren't that

The thing I want to point out is the drinks; they're fantastic! I'm the guy
who doesn't care much for beer and goes for the mixed drinks (go ahead,
laugh). Steves has some of the biggest margaritas I've seen. The price isn't
too bad and when waiting for your food, it's nice to have that giant drink
and enjoy downtown Phoenix with some friends.

The outdoor seating is nice and sheltered by the buildings, so the sun
doesn't cook you while your food is being cooked inside. Honestly, I've
never sat inside, I love the outdoor seating so much! Bring on the 110
degree heat!

Honey Bears BBQ (5 Stars)

Finally! An amazing place to get fantastic BBQ sandwiches in Phoenix! I went
here for the first time a few weeks back (totally blanked out on the Yelp
reviewing). Some co-workers suggested we go there, saying it was one of the
best places in The Valley for pork BBQ. They were right!

It's a tiny restaurant, and chances are you've driven by it a couple times
but just have never noticed it. It's nothing fancy inside, just great
service, great food and happy customers. I had one of the massive pork BBQ
sandwiches on the menu and had flashbacks of the days when I lived in the
Carolinas. MmmMmm deee-licious!

I could go on all day writing about how good Honey Bear's is, but I'll just
let you go try it for yourself. Go on! Go!

Los Reyes de la Torta (5 Stars)

It seriously doesn't get much better than this when it comes to Mexican
cuisine in North-Central Phoenix.

After hearing about this place on Man Vs. Food (as I'm sure many others
did), a bunch of us were inspired to try the Torta Del Rey during lunch one
day. This thing is monstrous! The size is incredible, and the taste is out
of this world! I ate half of it and had to take the rest with me to eat
later in the day.

Other than the epic Torta Del Rey, this little restaurant is just one of
those great hole-in-wall places that has the best food in the area. If
you're in SunnySlope for the artwalk, stop by this place before-hand and see
how far you can get into the King of the Tortas!

Tommy Bahamas Tropical Cafe (4 Stars)

This is my favorite place to eat (so far) at Kierland. I honestly didn't
know Tommy Bahama even had a restaurant, but hey! It's pretty delicious

The last two times I've been here I had the Habana Cabana Pork Sandwich (my
all time favorite) and the Old San Juan Shrimp and Scallops (in this amazing
curry sauce). The price is, quite high. However, you can't beat the
beautiful patio seating, friendly service, great drinks and delicious food!

Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville (4 Stars)

I'm surprised this place go such bad reviews. I had a great experience here,
but I was also visiting during a weekday. On a Thursday afternoon, this
place is pretty much all yours. We sat outside by the huge WestGate
fountains, which is always entertaining to watch on a sunny afternoon.

The staff was friendly, the restaurant was pretty awesome (of course) and
the food was great! I had the Cuban Sandwich and it was probably one of the
best ones I've had. Though it is a little pricey, the portions are huge! So
expect to get filled up.

Pei Wei Asian Diner (5 Stars)

Pei Wei has always been a HUGE favorite of mine. I've been to a couple
locations in The Valley, but this one I've been going too more than others.
I've always ordered online and picked up the food after about 15-20 minutes,
and every time it's always there waiting for me!

Wait time? Hardly! If you do wait, it's a total of maybe 2 minutes? By then
you're just walking back from getting your soda from their new touch-screen
soda machine.'s touch screen. There's so many flavors of drinks in
this thing! My favorite is to mix Orange Coca-Cola and Vanilla Coca-Cola.
Mmmm, goes great with the Orange Peel Signature dish!

Aside from the epic soda machine and tiny (if any) wait time, the staff is
super friendly, even during its busiest times. And trust me, this place can
get packed during the lunch hour.

PARKING TIP: If you're looking for a parking spot during the lunch hour it's
nearly impossible. However, if you park on the north end of the Walgreen's
next door (under the trees), there's almost always a spot. If that's full,
then the spots at the front of Walgreen's on the east side are always
opened. All you have to do is walk around the corner and BAM! You're at Pei

PF Changs (2 Stars)

My first time at PF Changs was at this location. This was also my last time
at a PF Changs. It's not because they had terrible service, or bad food; it
was because they just...didn't have anything special.

I'm a die hard Pei Wei fan, and quite honestly, I feel as though PF Changs
is just an overpriced, watered-down version of Pei Wei. I felt like the
portions were small and the flavor just wasn't there. I would much rather
get an Orange Peel Signature Dish to-go at Pei Wei and enjoy an afternoon
lunch in the park.

Harkins Theater Norterra (4 Stars)

I've been to this theater more times than I can remember. It's an extremely
nice theater that typically isn't too crowded, even on opening nights.

The staff is friendly (I've never seen a sad, angry or rude employee). The
student prices, which are offered at all Harkins Theaters (I think) you
can't beat: $7 with a student ID.

The only reason why I'm not giving them 5 stars is because they have, on
multiple occasions, have given me the wrong ticket. I ask for the 8pm, and I
get the 7pm. So they make me go back to the counter and get a new ticket
while everyone waits for me. They're quick to get me the new ticket, but
after a few times, it kind of gets annoying.


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