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

Ethiopian Food in Phoenix – Abyssinia Restaurant & Cafe 

We literally had our first date in over 10 months the other night. At least, our first without the kids.

Ethiopian Food in Phoenix Abyssinia Restaurant Photo

We made the drive downtown to Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant, for our first time ever. It was absolutely fantastic and an awesome cultural experience. All of the food was prepared using authentic Ethiopian recipes and served family style.

And you eat with your hand!

Ethiopian Food in Phoenix Abyssinia Restaurant

We ordered two dishes, our first was the chicken tips meal, and our second was the beef.

If you have never been to an Ethiopian restaurant, I suggest you ask the waiter for a recommendation. We did, and I’m glad we did! I had no idea about the size of the dishes (huge!) and what would taste the best.

Food Ethiopian Food in Phoenix Abyssinia Restaurant

They have vegetarian and gluten free options on the menu.

Each dish is served on a platter and all of the ingredients are placed on top of an Ethiopian style pancake. The best way to describe it is a pancake, but it’s a high-protein pancake that is apparently served with all dishes.


In a random twist, it turns out I know the owner and her husband. They’re immigrants from Ethiopia and are bringing real Ethiopian cooking to Phoenix AZ.

Getting there

It is located near downtown Phoenix on Indian School Rd. just east of 7th St.

Abyssinia Restaurant
842 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85014
Phone: (602) 795-4113

ZK Grill

Have you tried ZK Grill yet? That stands for Zaytoon Kabob Bistro. It’s a great fast-casual option for a delicious Mediterranean meal.


ZK Grill has some delicious and authentic Mediterranean food that is sure to satisfy!


Entrees are also huge, and come with rice and a big salad. Our dishes came with almost a half-head of lettuce!

I ordered the lamb and beef platter, and definitely enjoyed myself. The lamb filet slices were perfectly cooked. They were not overdone in any way, and tasted really fresh.


I’ve also really enjoyed their hummus dishes on previous visits. The other thing that’s really good is the gyro meat. Absolutely delicious!


ZK Grill recently underwent a pretty big remodel and transformation. They have new seating and artwork. Definitely give it a try if you’re looking for either take-out or dine-in. Enjoy!


Getting there

Located on Tatum Blvd. north of Thunderbird.

Greenway & Tatum Center
4757 E. Greenway Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Phone: (602) 354-3663

Thai Basil at Paradise Valley Mall

While working on a rush project for a client, we decided to pause and break to order some dinner. We decided to order take-out from the new Thai Basil at Paradise Valley Mall.

The Thai Basil at the mall is located on the south entrance, next to the Starbucks.

Thai Basil is one of the better-known Thai restaurants in the Phoenix area, and has numerous locations around the valley. Thai Basil is considered by many of my friends to be the best Thai food in the state.

We ordered the following: A red curry with chicken, a pineapple Thai fried rice, and a drunken noodles with chicken dish. They were all really fantastic!

thai-basil-phoenix-2015-07-05 18.57.32

Above: Red Curry with Chicken

If I could find one way to describe the food, it would be that it tasted more authentic than other nearby Thai restaurants. Maybe because the red curry was less sweet than others I’ve tried. It has a real Thai curry taste and I think it had less brown sugar than I’m used to which explains the flavor difference.

thai-basil-phoenix-2015-07-05 18.56.30


Above: Drunken Noodles

The other nice plus was that the drunken noodles were served with fresh vegetables on the side. Something that other Thai restaurants don’t offer as part of the entree. We really liked the drunken noodles. Big noodles mixed with fresh vegetables, soy sauce, and chicken and spices. Delightful!

thai-basil-phoenix-2015-07-05 18.43.29-1

We really are beginning to love the pineapple fried rice. We’ve been ordering that from every place we go lately. What a great dish! If you have a hankering for a fried rice, give it a try!

thai-basil-phoenix-2015-07-05 18.56.26


Above: Pineapple Fried Rice with Chicken

Thai Basil has a really beautiful interior. They have awesome blue and purple mood lighting that makes the restaurant look futuristic. They also have a bar where you can eat if you are by yourself (that’s where I sat while waiting for the food to be ready).

thai-basil-phoenix-2015-07-05 18.39.55

Enjoy your visit to Thai Basil!

Getting there

Located inside Paradise Valley Mall, on the south side in the middle by the Starbucks. You can park and enter the restaurant without entering the mall.

Paradise Valley Mall
4550 E. Cactus Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Phone: (602) 788-0899

Little Miss BBQ

Have you heard about Little Miss BBQ?

There’s a 15 minute wait most days!

I’ve never felt so nervous about a simple barbecue order. Standing in line with a bunch of other folks talking about what they are going to order. Asking what is best, what they’ve had there before. It’s apparent that I’m the only one who had never been to Little Miss BBQ. Perhaps it was the 15 minute wait in line behind other barbecue fans who were discussing their orders.

In this photo, above, you can see the turkey.

If you haven’t been to Little Miss BBQ, go! It is quickly becoming famous in Arizona. In fact, it recently made Yelp’s list of top 10 restaurants in America. Seriously! It’s that good.


And, it has made my top list of best BBQ places in metro Phoenix. Little Miss BBQ serves all of their meat by the pound on butcher paper, and also offers a variety of sandwiches and sides.

Above, a photo of the brisket and sausages.

All of their meats, including the brisket, sausage, pork spare ribs, turkey breast, pastrami, and beef short ribs are cooked using oak and pecan wood from Arizona. Everybody I’ve spoken with heartily recommends the “fatty brisket”, but they often sell out early.

little-miss-bbq-sidesAbove: Cole Slaw and Potato Salad

For sides, you can get these awesome grits that are flavored with jalapeño cheddar. Absolutely delicious! They also serve up beans, potato salad, and cole slaw but don’t have chips or fries. I kind of like that they don’t have those. Feels a bit more healthy.

Here’s a picture of the interior where you place your order.

Don’t miss a trip to Little Miss BBQ when you are in downtown Phoenix!

Little Miss BBQ
4301 E. University Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: (602) 437-1177

Tee Pee Tap Room

Having been around for almost 40 years, this Mexican restaurant brings local flavor to the table. If it’s your first time be sure to try the football sized Chili Relleno’s, which take about 20 minutes to bake, and contains enough eggs, chili’s, and cheese for two people.


The building is old, the orange booths are retro, and the food is great. It’s not a quiet restaurant, so if you’re looking for a nice quiet corner this isn’t the place. You’ll find some of the best Mexican food you’ve experienced at the Tee Pee.


It’s a perfect place to take friends from out of town or just about anyone who loves Mexican food. Don’t miss this one!

How much? $5-10

Where? Indian School and 40th Street on North Side of Indian School.

Atmosphere? Pack ‘em in and serve great food. Your typical 40 year old restaurant with orange booths and chips and salsa.

When? 11:00am- 9:00pm. This restaurant gets really busy on weekends and it could take you an hour to get a seat.

Reviewer: Chris Tingom

Manhattan Pizzeria & Sub Shop

Note: Manhattan Pizzeria & Sub Shop is under new ownership (since this review was written), and on a recent visit (2012) it was all vegetarian.

This small pizza and sub shop first opened in the mid 1980s and offers up a fantastic menu with New York City flavor.

We like the submarine sandwiches they have, try the Bronx Bomber, or the Chicken Parmigiana (it’s tops!). These subs are by far some of the best we’ve eaten; they’re certainly a notch above the big-name submarine shops you’ve tried.

The place to go for lunch with co-workers and friends when you want a great sub sandwich but want something two steps above fast food. This isn’t the place to take clients, as the atmosphere isn’t good enough for a serious conversation with somebody you’re trying to impress.

How much? $4 – 5 for subs. Pizza starts at $11.

Where? Manhattan’s is on 7th St. just south of Missouri or north of Camelback. You’ll see it on the west side of the street. Get a map and see the menu at

Atmosphere? Sit outside and enjoy the fresh air, or sit inside. Seating is limited as this is a small shop. Take out and delivery available.

When? Mon-Sat 10:30 AM – 9 PM.

Reviewer: Chris Tingom