I can always tell when Spring Training kicks off in Arizona. Suddenly, there are more out of state license plates than Arizona plates driving around town, and the traffic seems to double overnight. Not to mention, my family and friends always seem to plan their visits right around the month of March; I’m assuming it’s because of me and not because they want free room and board while they attend the Spring Training games. 🙂
One of the things I love about living in Arizona is the vast array of choices we have for dining out. There are so many great places to eat! I have a list of all of the restaurants I want to try, and in almost three years I don’t think I’ve made it to even one quarter of the restaurants on my list.
For visitors coming to Arizona in Spring, there are plenty of the standard restaurants you can find in almost any city, but if you really want to enjoy dining while you’re here, I’d like to share some of my favorite restaurants. And because I haven’t even made a dent on my list of restaurants to try, I’ll also share some of the restaurants I haven’t made it to yet, but that always receive rave reviews in local media. I was hoping to put this dining guide in one post, but I realized I have too many good things to say about these restaurants, so look out for part two of the Arizona Spring Training Restaurant Guide!
Postino Wine Cafe–Postino is a great place to go if you’re looking for a light lunch or snack. Postino’s menu consists of panini style sandwiches, salads, and small plates consisting of gourmet cheeses and meats, and housemade pretzels (which are fantastic, by the way). But for me, the best part about Postino’s menu is the bruschetta. Postino has over 10 different and unique bruschetta, including brie and apples with fig, smoked salmon with pesto, prosciutto with figs and mascarpone (my personal favorite) and the traditional bruschetta with mozzarella, tomato and basil. I have tried all of them, and let me tell you, they are a-mazing.
In addition to the dining menu, Postino also has an excellent wine list featuring a large selection of varietals from all over the world-many of which you won’t find in most restaurants. And the best part is, Postino offers $5 wine and beer by the glass from 11-5 every day of the week!
Postino has two locations-one in Central Phoenix and the other in Arcadia. Both locations are relatively close to the airport and spring training locations in Scottsdale, AZ, and both offer a classy, casual environment and a great patio for enjoying Arizona spring weather.
The Vig–The Vig was one of the first local restaurants I visited when I moved to Arizona almost three years ago, and it’s still one of my favorites. I love everything about The Vig, from the unique and flavorful cocktails, the fabulous food menu, and the one of a kind atmosphere. From the outside, The Vig doesn’t look like much, but walk inside and you’ll find a chic, casual, yet upscale environment. I know that casual and upscale at the same time seems like an oxymoron, but that’s the best way I can describe it. You’ll see people at the Vig wearing jeans and t-shirts and others dressed for a night on the town. It’s a great place to mingle, visit with friends, and people watch.
The Vig has so many great items on the menu- I have yet to try anything that hasn’t been good. But my absolute favorite thing on the menu is the Thai Chili Vings. These things are like no other! They’re crispy but not breaded so they aren’t too heavy, and the sauce…oh man, the sauce…it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Literally. I even tried to re create them on my own blog, and even though they were good, they were no comparison to the real thing. And if you’re in the mood for a burger, the Vig Azz burger is a must try. Oh yeah, did I mention that The Vig has a special for half off all bottles of wine on Sundays? EVERY Sunday?!
There are two locations for The Vig; the original location is The Vig at Arcadia, and The Vig Uptown which opened within the last few years. Both are close to Spring Training locations in Scottsdale. While I enjoy going to both locations, I think the original Arcadia location is the best of the two; they have a great patio with live music on Sunday. But, if you’re in the mood for Bocce Ball, the Vig Uptown has a great place to play!
The White Chocolate Grill-White Chocolate Grill is one of my favorite places for traditional American fare in a very comfortable, warm environment. This is a great place to bring friends, family, and children as it has a very relaxed atmosphere. The White Chocolate Grill also has an incredible happy hour with reduced prices on their fabulous signature cocktails and tasty appetizers and small plates.
The Pear Martini is one of the best cocktails on the menu; I have it every time I go to the White Chocolate Grill. If you’re heading to the WCG for an appetizer or light meal, be sure to try the AZ Egg Rolls, the Sliders, or the BBQ Baby Back Ribs (they also serve a full entree of ribs if you prefer). If you’re planning on staying for lunch or dinner, you cannot go to the WCG without trying the Tomato Gin Soup. And as for entrees, I love the Rotisserie Chicken Crepes, the Stacked Chicken Enchiladas, the French Dip or the Turkey Dip. The steaks are also wonderful, and so are the salads. You really can’t go wrong at the White Chocolate Grill.
Stay tuned for the second installment of the Arizona Spring Training Restaurant Guide next week!