Reviews written by melliott2811

Registered on Mar 3 06

Bombay Spice Grill in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Mar 4 08

rating star

I hope you have an appetite for rice if you are planning on going to the Bombay Spice Grill. This will be the only thing in abundance on your plate, including flavor. Offering myriad classic Indian dishes and various combinations thereof, the Bombay Spice Grill falters where it should be strongest: taste. The food is watered down to meet the same bland, Americanized standards as Panda Express, and the accompanying sauces do little to help. There are five sauces on the menu, but unlike most every traditional Indian restaurant, you may only try one with your meal (unless you would like to pay more, of course), and the portion is scant. At $8.95 a plate, the cost of an entire buffet at most Indian restaurants, you get enough rice to feed a family, your choice of two small entrees, and a small dish of sauce. The entrees are purposefully mild to appeal to all audiences, and the saving grace should be the sauce. However, even the spiciest sauce selection was tame at best. As far as vegetarian and vegan offerings, there are plenty, but the range of choices is meaningless as there is no range of flavor. There are plenty of Indian restaurants in Phoenix. If you want to experience good Indian food or be immersed in Indian culture while dining, go to one of them. If you want to watch sports and drink cheap wine in a "trendy" atmosphere while sitting next to a family of four, go to Bombay Spice.

Green in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Mar 4 08

rating star

Green has quickly become the vegetarian's choice in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Offering not only eclectic, consistently delicious food at a reasonable price, Green also offers dinner and dessert specials to augment their menu. I have to ask myself sometimes if I leave satisfied every time because the food is so good, or if it is because I end up ordering multiple dishes to peruse. Either way, this restaurant comes highly recommended. My only complaint: Green is closed on Sundays. I'm a vegetarian every day of the week!

Green Bee Produce Co-op in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Jan 14 10

rating star

I didn't know what to expect when I ordered my box, but I saw the good reviews on this site and decided to go for it. Picked it up this morning from my chosen charity, and I was thoroughly impressed with the selection and quality. My box had the following:

5-lb bag red potatoes
1 head broccoflower
2 zucchini
1 bunch celery
1 bunch asparagus
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 bag baby carrots

1 lb strawberries
5 bananas
4 Fuji? apples
1 large bag grapes
1 small bag cherries
1 personal watermelon

4 fortune cookies

This assortment cost $18.50, had no tax & I ordered online. Plus, a portion of the profit goes to the charity or school you buy from. If I had to make an educated guess (and if I were to cheat by comparing prices to Safeway's website), I would say that the produce from Green Bee presented at least 50% savings over the grocery store. The produce was also in quite good condition. There were a couple of blemishes on the greens, but nothing in the box was the kind of produce I would have passed on at the store. It was fun to receive and open the box, like it was a birthday present for my stomach.

I guess the only thing I would ask from them is to open more locations. Most of the ones they have now are in east Mesa, and the pickup times vary by location. Luckily, the charity I chose gave me a window of time instead of having to be there at exactly the chosen time. The availability of pickup will vary based on the charity chosen.

Kabab Palace in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Dec 20 09

rating star

Kabab Palace is under new ownership, and now they not only offer Afghan food, but also a variety of Indian dishes. I went there this afternoon for lunch, and from the street the building looked closed, but inside it was teeming with food. Kabab Palace is now open daily for lunch, and the buffet had a good selection of vegetarian foods, but also had its namesake kababs. The vegetarian dishes were mostly on the Indian side, but they also had Afghan bread (in addition to fresh naan). They had the buffet staples of salad, lentil soup, rice, malai kofta, paneer butter masala, daal, spinach, rice pudding & jalebi, alongside a delicious sweet pumpkin dish and their meat entrees such as kababs, chicken shawarma and goat meat. The food was not very spicy to me, and I wish they had some variety of chutneys to go along with the dishes (there was a yogurt sauce, but nothing with a zing). The restaurant was very quiet, and the wait staff was attentive. All in all, it was one of the better buffets in the Ahwatukee/South Tempe area, and that is also reflected in the price ($11.95 buffet). I wish I had picked up one of their menus to see the dinner selection, but I guess I'll have to try it again later.

King Tut Cafe in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Mar 4 08

rating star

Let me preface this review by stating that King Tut has delicious food. The food is good enough that I have endured multiple trips to this restaurant, only to be rewarded with increasingly bad service. It is not that the staff is rude, but the food can take impossibly long to deliver, even when ordering to go. The atmosphere is nice, and although I personally don't use them, hookahs are available. One caveat about the ambiance, the music is consistently awful, ranging from rap to 90's R&B. With the wide variety of Mediterranean fare in the Tempe area, I will not be returning to this restaurant any time soon.

Lola Tapas in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Mar 4 08

rating star

Lola Tapas is a small, hole-in-the-wall Spanish restaurant in the downtown area. That being said, get there early if you want a seat because the place fills up fast, and rightly so. Once inside, you will find an exceptionally intimate yet audaciously social atmosphere with helpful service. At least half of the menu is vegetarian, though vegans may find it more difficult to find something to enjoy. The tapas (Spanish appetizers served with drinks) are not large portions meant for one person and should be sampled while enjoying a beverage. Luckily, Lola has many booze-infused drinks to enjoy, including two types of Sangria. The traditional atmosphere, food and drinks make Lola worth the trip, but go with a group; this is a social restaurant despite the setting. A group trip will also allow you to order a variety of tapas to share. Lola serves coffee during the day, but I have not been there for this offering.

Pomegranate Cafe in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Apr 16 11

rating star

We went to this restaurant after finding them online and looking at the menu. They have lots of vegan and raw options, but food is not prepared particularly well. Seems like most things are straight out of package and into the pan. "Philly cheese steak" was sliced Field Roast cooked with bell peppers and onions. This is something that can be made in five minutes at home. The chips that came with were straight from a bag that was probably bought next door at Trader Joe's, and I don't think the salad dressing is made in house either. My girlfriend got a breakfast burrito, but the pinto beans tasted like they were from a can and not rinsed (plus I could have sworn the menu said black beans). I would be willing to try this restaurant again, but I would like to have something that is not just store-bought and marked up.

Preet's Chaat Corner in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Dec 14 09

rating star

This small Indian cafe has inexpensive, all-vegetarian food, but it lacks some of the staples of other local restaurants. Situated in an Indian market in a strip mall, the small setting with its mere four tables is reminiscent of Haji Baba at first. When taking your order, however, it becomes more homey, with the cook personally getting your choices and making recommendations. Since it is such a familial establishment, service can be slow, but the food is good nonetheless. Compared to Woodlands or Udupi, you won't find as wide a selection, and you won't get the range of chutneys that you might come to expect. The food is nevertheless tasty, and given the choice of Preet's or Delhi Palace, which both reside in the same strip mall, I would choose Preet's. There are fewer dishes, yes, but they are different from the standard Indian fare of Dehli Palace and more personal than the buffet at Udupi. One thing that irked me, however, was that the water was served from a water cooler, and it wasn't even cold. Communication with the staff was a little difficult, but I'll chalk that up to authenticity. All in all, good food at a good price, but if you have time to spare, make your way down to Woodlands instead for a wider selection and more vibrant flavors.

Priya in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Mar 4 08

rating star

I went to Priya once, and I have to say, I will not be returning. Of the three people in my party, all three of us got sick after eating the food, vegetarian and non-vegetarians alike. I am a big fan of Indian food, and Priya epitomizes strip mall dining. The atmosphere conjures images of a hotel room, albeit with more apathetic room service. Priya does offer a variety of dishes that may not be available at most Indian restaurants in the valley, but this is not enough to put them ahead in my book. If you love dosas, and I sure do, head up McClintock to Udupi and save yourself an evening in the bathroom.

Star of India in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Mar 4 08

rating star

I used to have more of an affinity for Star of India, but apparently my tastes have changed since becoming vegetarian. I recently went there for the buffet and was a little disappointed with the food. The service is always great and very personal, but sometimes the buffet can be lacking. It's not that the food is bad per se, but the same variety of dishes are always served. Of the six main dishes, four are vegetarian. I know at least two of those have paneer cheese, so vegans might want to call ahead first and check. I do not believe that the naan is vegan either. At any rate, last time I went, the saag was somewhat flavorless and the gulab jamun were dry, even though we arrived when the buffet first opened. This is still a restaurant I will go to whenever I am in Ahwatukee and want a comfortable, enjoyable experience.

Warning: the server will bring tandoori chicken to your table at the start of your meal unless you ask that it not be brought.

Thai Elephant in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Jun 4 09

rating star

I went to this restaurant for a work lunch. I ordered a curry with tofu, and to my dismay there were pieces of shrimp in the mix. They supposedly remade it, but finding large hunks of seafood in a vegetarian dish does not make me feel comfortable about whatever else may have sneaked in. Beyond that, the food was mediocre for a Thai restaurant. I ordered my food Thai hot but could barely notice any spiciness in the dish. It was quite disappointing. I did enjoy the mini-spring roll that was included with the lunch though; I thought that was a nice addition. If you're in the area, I recommend driving a block or so east to Thai Basil. Thai Elephant is roomier and has better decor, but the food left much to be desired. I won't dock the score for the accidental meat in my dish, but be careful if you go there, especially if you have an allergy.

Tipps 88 Thai Cuisine in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Mar 4 08

rating star

Tipps 88 is another in a long line of new Thai restaurants in the Phoenix metropolitan area. One thing that sets this one apart is their sizable vegetarian menu. They even have mock duck for greater variety. Upon entering the quaint restaurant, you are usually greeted by none other than the owner herself, an amiable woman who is ready and willing to serve you an enjoyable meal. A quick glance at the menu might put off some thriftier customers, but once the dish arrives the value is apparent. Portions are huge, and I have never had a problem customizing my order. They even let my sister order off the lunch menu at 8 PM. It's good that the portions are so large because the food is delicious. Don't try ordering it hot unless you really know what you are doing. I order food as hot as possible at every Thai and Indian restaurant I go to, but it seemed even spicier here. It probably doesn't help that you can see the slivers of fresh Thai chili in the dish (as opposed to chili pastes used by most others). I would recommend the tofu satay (sweet & sour tofu was texturally inferior in both the tofu and sauce), the kang ped veggie, the fried rice with mock duck and, of course, mango with sticky rice. The pad thai is also very good, but it does come with egg unless you ask them not to include it. Overall, Tipps 88 has become my personal favorite Thai restaurant in the valley, offering exceptional variety and service.

Woodlands Vegetarian South Indian Kitchen in Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona
Nov 29 09

rating star

Wonderful Indian food in a fast-food setting. Ever been to a Mexican restaurant with a salsa bar? It's like that, but with delicious chutneys. Yes, dosas and other entrees are served on Styrofoam plates, but that is the nature of chaat. Don't be fooled by the strip mall setting or fast food ambiance; this food is bursting with flavor. I heartily enjoy Udupi, but Woodlands serves more of my favorites, including pani poori. Also, like Udupi, they serve a wide range of dosas, and the sambar is delicious. There's no buffet, but you won't leave hungry. All in all, this is another great all-vegetarian restaurant in Phoenix. One final distinction from Udupi and Green: this restaurant is open seven days a week.

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