Thai House: The curry’s & my favorite dishes

Thai House just might be the best thai food in Scottsdale. All of the curry dishes at Thai House are served with white rice, and include either chicken, beef, tofu, shrimp, salmon, or duck. Lots of options! The dishes can be ordered on a heatness scale of 1 through 5, with 5 being the hottest. Oh, and just a note: You can ask for multiple meats to be included in each dish (may be an extra charge).

I have photos of most of the dishes here, and will update this post with additional photos as I take them.

As of this writing, I have checked in to Thai House 70 times on the Swarm app. No kidding. I’m probably their number 1 customer when it comes to frequency.

Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry

This curry dish has a distinct peanut taste. Let me clarify that: if you like peanut butter, you’ll love this dish! The curries at Thai House have two distinct ingredients, and in this one they have potatoes, and fresh vegetables. The Massaman Curry is one of the milder curries, because of the sweetness provided by the peanut butter. It is served over white rice and the peanut butter will really blow you away.

Panang Curry

Perhaps the most popular of the Thai curry dishes, the Panang Curry is sweeter than the others because brown sugar is used to create the curry. This is one of my favorite foods and Thai House is my favorite place to order Panang Curry in Arizona. It’s absolutely perfectly created, and has tons of flavor. If you’re new to Thai curries I recommend starting here. What makes a Panang Curry so popular and delicious is the use of brown sugar to create the base. This, along with fresh curry and chicken and vegetables creates one of the worlds greatest comfort foods.

Red Curry

Red Curry

The Red Curry dish has become my favorite Thai curry dish. If you like a Panang Curry, then you will definitely want to try a Red Curry. If you’re looking for a little bit less sweet curry, that has a little bit more spice, go with the red curry! It is served with the same ingredients as the Panang Curry, and doesn’t have potatoes. The red curry has such a delicious and refined flavor. Surely one of the best curry dishes. Like all of the curry dishes, it is served with white rice and your choice of chicken, beef, shrimp, salmon, or tofu. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the “red” doesn’t mean it’s spicy. You can order this dish with no heat. I like to order mine with a “three” (out of five) on the heat scale. Nice and spicy, but still consumable. The dinner portion comes with enough for almost two-meals.

Green Curry

The green curry is a milder curry with excellent flavors. The green curry has a base of vegetables with potatoes and brings out the curry flavors that aren’t as sweet as the red curries.

Pinapple Curry with Shrimp

Uses the red curry as a base and adds in delicious shrimp. The pineapple adds a sweeter flavor to this dish. If you like the Panang or Red Curry, you’ll also enjoy this one.

Other favorite dishes:

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

We’ve tried all kinds of other dishes at Thai House, including the traditional Pad Thai. Easily one of my favorite pasta dishes in the state. The Thai House Pad Thai is served with crushed peanuts, lots of noodles, and your choice of meat. The flavors are spicy and if your comfort food is Pad Thai, this one will satisfy.

Pineapple Fried Rice

One other dish we often order is the Pineapple Fried Rice. It’s absolutely awesome, and can be ordered with no spice, or hot — your choice. This one is served with pineapple’s, cashews, rice, and yellow spices (not hot). Definitely one of the best side dishes that you can order. Can be ordered with no heat, or up to 5 on the scale.

Pan Fried Noodles

Pan Fried Noodles with Chicken

A personal favorite and our recommendation if you want a noodle dish. The pan fried noodles are absolutely a winner every time and the way it is fried in the pan creates awesome flavors. Can be ordered with chicken, beef, or any of the other meat options.

Teriyaki Chicken

One of the milder teriyaki chickens I have tried, but more authentic. While some teriyaki dishes have an extremely strong flavor this one doesn’t overpower the natural taste of the chicken. Served with white rice and broccoli and carrots.

Getting there

Go check out Thai House! They have two locations in Scottsdale, and one in Mesa. I’ve been going to the location on Shea most of the time.

Thai House On Shea
6949 East Shea Boulevard
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Phone: (480) 991-5004

Thai House
15576 N Pima Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85260-1915
Phone: (480) 607-2214

Superstition Marketplace
1155 South Power Road #121
Mesa, AZ 85206
Phone: (480) 924-1623

Paradise Valley Burger Company

We have been on a quest to find the best burgers in Phoenix. On a recent Saturday we visited Paradise Valley Burger Company.

Kids Paradise Valley Burger Company

Paradise Valley Burger Company Burger

Paradise Valley Burger Company Hamburger

Paradise Valley Burger Company Tots

Paradise Valley Burger Company

We arrived at 2 pm and there was a line. Yes, a line at 2 pm in the afternoon! It’s obvious that this hamburger place is a top destination for north Phoenix hamburgers!

After perusing the menu, we decided on two burgers and some sides. We ordered the PV Burger with Bacon, and the Beach House Burger.

We didn’t get any drinks, but just had water. They have some good looking milk shakes, however. They do not serve beer.

For sides, we ordered French Fries, French Toast Fries, Sweet Potato Tots, and Cole Slaw. It was a lot of food!

All of the entrees had very unique flavors. Fresh and unique flavors that taste like home. The hamburgers were booth double patties, and came with a sweet bun. The toppings were fresh and tasty. The bacon was crisp and thick cut. Personally, I would prefer to have one thick-and-juicy meat patty rather than two patties. I think there’s more room for the patty to have flavor if you can cook it to order. That aside, these are very good burgers and Paradise Valley Burger Company deserves the recognition.

My hamburger was really delicious, and definitely satisfied my hunger. My bun was perfect and a little bit sweet. It stayed together and held my burger in place. Paradise Valley Burger Company is always introducing new burgers. They have a constant stream of photos up on Facebook.

I’ll definitely be back! And I have been back…

Don’t let the simple strip mall appearance fool you. These guys know how to make a really good hamburger. They’ve been featured on the national television show on Food TV called Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Compared to other nearby hamburger places, Paradise Valley Burger Company has awesome side options!

If you’re looking for something sweet, do not miss the French Toast Fries which come with maple syrup. Just imagine thin strips of French Toast cooked or fried to a crisp. They’re sweet and when you dip them into the maple syrup they’re even sweeter. Definitely one of the best sides available.

On the healthier side of the table, we had the cole-slaw which is a house-made original recipe. This was also a favorite and we’ll be ordering it again next time. We had a hard time identifying the flavors, but it may have had a pickle in it. Works really well!

The French Fries and Sweet Potato Tots were both excellent. They are served with ranch, ketchup, or a ketchup and Siracha hot sauce mix hot sauce mix. Quite good!

The ambiance is casual and simple, and after you place your order at the counter you seat yourself. No tipping is required.

Every month Paradise Valley Burger Company creates a different special burger for the menu. I recently tried one that had two beef patties beer battered with pickled onions. Delicious!

They do have options for the kids menu: you can get chicken nuggets with French fries. Honestly, they look like the Mickey Mouse nuggets from Costco. But, that didn’t really matter to our 4-year old daughter.

Getting there

Paradise Valley Burger Company is located on the south east corner of 40th St. and Bell Rd., in Phoenix. They have plenty of free parking, and indoor and patio seating.

Paradise Valley Burger Company
4001 E Bell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Phone: (602) 535-4930

Arcadia Farms Cafe

Arcadia Farms Cafe is located in Old Town Scottsdale and is a fine-dining restaurant with a casual atmosphere. The restaurant is situated in what appears to be an old home, and offers seating on the patio, or indoors.


Arcadia Farms boasts an extensive menu that is created with fresh local ingredients. They even list the local companies they buy their ingredients from. The menu is a mix of sandwiches, salads, and other entrees. We love ordering the sandwiches and salads, but tend to always order a few of the extremely delicious appetizers.


Some of the delicious appetizers include a brie cheese platter that comes with apple slices (it is all baked) glazed with balsamic vinnager. It’s delicious! Another favorite is the bruchetta plate, which includes a couple of different topping varieties.

One of my favorite sandwiches on the menu is a turkey, brie, and green delicious apple sandwich served on a walnut bread. The combination of brie and apple slices can’t be understated — it is fantastic. But, when you bite into the delicious walnut bread (with raisins) you’ll know they haven’t scrimped on the bread. This is such a delicious sandwich, that I’ve ordered it several times.

We also tend to like the sangria, but they don’t sell it by the pitcher any more. I’m not sure why, but sangria is best when you order it by the pitcher. They have a fairly large wine and beer menu. So, you’ll be covered.

Arcadia Farms Cafe is a perfect destination for a family brunch, or a romantic dinner for two. The patio is a favorite in our family, and we’ve made a tradition of eating here on Christmas Eve.


Don’t miss the delicious fruit and ice cream desserts!

Getting there

Located in Old Town Scottsdale on 1st Ave. Parking on the street is always free and easy to find. They accept reservations, but they are rarely so busy that they can’t take walk-ins. Enjoy!

Arcadia Farms Cafe
7014 E. 1st Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: (480) 941-5665

Thai Elephant

I had a chance to stop in at Thai Elephant on Monday for a business lunch.

I ordered the Red Curry, and my colleague ordered the Panang Curry.

My red curry was delicious! While there are lots of great red curies around the valley, this was certainly one of the best. They have a lunch special, and the two of us got out of there for about $24 including a tip.

thai elephant

The lunch special includes a small eggroll, white rice, and the curry dish. They also provided us with a sweet soup that was awesome. A nice touch that many local Thai restaurants don’t provide.

They accept all major credit cards.

The Thai Elephant interior is nice and comfortable, and decorated sparsly. It’s a popular place for business lunches in the Tempe area.

Getting there

Located on University Rd. on the south side of the street.

Thai Elephant
815 W University Dr
Tempe, AZ 85281
Phone: (480) 966-0351

Croque Famous Sandwiches

A designer I work with suggested we go to lunch and so we met up at a local sandwich shop called Croque Famous Sandwiches.

Croque is conveniently located at the south west corner of Thunderbird Rd. and Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ. It’s super close to my home as well!

I’ve actually reviewed Croque before. About 15 years ago I used to frequent this sandwich shop with my grandfather. We would visit and over time tried all of the sandwiches.


Click here to view my review from 2001.

Today, Croque is still located in the same strip mall location, and they have expanded their food options to include breakfast options, as well as rice bowls and soups. The Asian rice bowls are apparently really popular, but I have not tried them yet.

Back to the sandwich: I ordered my old favorite, the Croque Madame sandwich, pictured in this post. This is by far my favorite sandwich at Croque, because of the great flavors. I only wish they would put more of the garlic sauce on it. I even paid for extra sauce, but it sure didn’t go far.

Also, the bread is a bit on the dry side. I’d much prefer if the bread was fresher and not as dry.

Despite these criticisms, I’ll be back at Croque for a sandwich very soon!

Croque Famous Sandwiches
13610 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Phone: (480) 607-1285

The Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale

logoThe Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale is one of my all time favorite places to take friends and family. For over half a century The Sugar Bowl has been serving delicious ice cream in Old Town Scottsdale.

Now that I think about it, I’ve been a customer for at least half of that time. My parents introduced me to the Sugar Bowl back in the 1980s, and we’ve been introducing friends ever since.


The last time I wrote about this classy dessert place was in 2005!

So, what can you order? Much more than just ice cream, you can enjoy malts, shakes, cones, sorbet, and cookies and cakes.

They also serve a wide selection of food entrees, like tuna fish sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, and other tea-related items. They really have an extensive menu. During the spring and fall they will typically serve a fresh orange shorbet or ice cream that they make. It’s quite a treat.

ice cream from sugar bowl


The interior of The Sugar Bowl is painted pink, with white accent. It’s like stepping into an old fashioned soda bar from the 1950s.

The Sugar Bowl
4005 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: (480) 946-0051

Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Scottsdale

My favorite burger place in all of Arizona is Hopdoddy Burger Bar. While some other burger places come close, Hopdoddy is a full point ahead of the rest of the burger places in town.

So far, I’ve tried about 6 of the burgers and have never been disappointed.

I wrote about this place a few months ago, and decided to make a return visit. My finding? It’s still the best burger in Scottsdale!

hopdoddy scottsdale terlingua

The main picture at the top of this post is the Terlingua Burger from Hopdoddy. It has chili con carne, Tilamook cheddar, and corn fritos! I love it!


The burger above is the Magic Shroom Burger which has goat cheese from Arizona, field mushrooms, mayo, and pesto. Delicious! The goat cheese goes amazing with burgers!

hopdoddy scottsdale menu

Here’s a picture of the menu at Hopdoddy. So you can choose your burger before you head in!

hopdoddy scottsdale

Here’s a photo of the location in Scottsdale, AZ.

hopdoddy scottsdale beers

Lots of beer on tap!

hopdoddy scottsdale milkshake

Awesome milk shakes! This is a chocolate milk shake!


Another shot of the Magic Shroom Burger.

hopdoddy scottsdale burger

Here’s what the interior of the restaurant looks like.


The line for ordering.

Getting there:

Hopdoddy Burger Bar
11055 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Phone: (480) 348-2337



Urban Picnic

We stopped in at Urban Picnic for lunch recently, and had their delicious wraps for lunch. Urban Picnic is a small sandwich and soup shop located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Mesa. Within walking distance to coffee shops, antique shops, and salons.


They specialize in amazing salads, wraps, sandwiches, and more! The more includes awesome house-made teas, Izze drinks, and a big kids menu. The vibe is fancy… and, dare I say, urban. We loved the seats against the wall where we could watch people come in, order, and mill about.

On the day we visited, there was a massive rainstorm. The sort where you can only see a few yards in front of you. Here’s a picture.

They have a menu that changes frequently, so I’m not 100% sure whether these items will be available in the future.

Turkey Wrap

Spicy Chicken Wrap

Kids meal with mac and cheese

If you are in Mesa, definitely give Urban Picnic a visit! It’s a great spot for lunch in Mesa!

Urban Picnic
218 W. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
Phone: (480) 246-8366

Bertha’s Cafe

On August 10th, the team went over to look at a possible office space location and decided to treat Peter to lunch.

We had never been to Bertha’s Cafe before, but knew we had to try it.

I had the Chicken Pesto (Sliced chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, roasted red peppers and pesto mayo) and it was very good!

Bertha’s Cafe
3134 E Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: (602) 955-1022

Five inexpensive lunch spots in Phoenix

I’m all about the high quality lunch but sometimes spending $10 to $15 on lunch is out of the question. That’s when I like to get the most bang for the buck. So in this article I’m going to highlight some of the five best meals in Phoenix for under $8.

  1. Pei Wei Asian Diner – I’m positive this entry will surprise a few people. However it shouldn’t. Pei Wei opened for the express purpose of providing ala cart takeout food at a lower cost than their sister restaurant P.F. Changs. The best meal to order is the Pad Thai and you can usually get out of the door for $7 + change without a drink. It’s a lot of food and it’s good.
  2. Einstein’s Bagels – Thinking about lunch and a stop at Starbucks for lunch? Prepare to spend $10. Or you can go to Einsteins and get a Spinach and Bacon Panini with coffee for about $6 out the door. Einstein’s provides unlimited coffee refills which means you can get all the coffee you want for that low price. If the Spinach and Bacon Panini doesn’t wet your appetite you can usually combine other entries for just two dollars more.
  3. Rubios Fresh Mexican Grill – Walk in and buy the Tres Tacos deal (you can get steak, chicken, or of course my personal favorite the fish tacos). This meal is about $6 and for the money quite tasty. Or if you want a quick snack get the individual tacos for about $1.99.
  4. NYPD Pizza – It’s a great place to get good pizza by the slice and you can usually walk away satisified without having bought a whole pizza.
  5. TexAZ Grill – Some of the best chicken fried steak in town and a nice old style saloon atmosphere. This restaurant is a Phoenix legend having served good food for years. One night a week they serve catfish which is excellent. But most people go for the chicken fried steak.

Runners up: Subway daily special, Sacks, Kona Grill (Scottsdale), FatBurger, In-N-Out Burger, and Flo’s Asian Kitchen (Scottsdale).

Share your own in the comments.