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

Empanadas from Sydney’s at Tempe Marketplace

sydneys-tempe-logoVoted best empanada’s in Phoenix in a readers choice poll for 2015, the Sydney’s Cafe located at Tempe Marketplace is a one-of-a-kind restaurant!

The speciality is the empanadas. I tried a bunch of them! They’re all very delicious!


The Gaucho Beef has beef, cumin, paprika, beef, potatoes, green olives, and hard boiled eggs.


Then there’s the California, a mushroom, fontina, goat cheese empanada that was my personal favorite. It’s like eating mushroom soup! Delicious!


The vegetarian options are plentiful. I tried the Samosa empanada, which has curry, potato, kale, peas, ginger, cilantro, garlic, and more… Really good flavor!

The chicken empanada has smoked chorizo, smoked cheese, bell pepper, red pepper, and more. Also delicious!


Sydney’s is way more than empanadas. They also serve a variety of custom made sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts.

They also make smoothies, coffee and chai drinks, cocktails, and pastries! It’s like a coffee shop with awesome food.


Let’s start with the empanada’s, since those are the real treat. They make all of their different empanada’s fresh daily, and have more than a dozen varieties. Everything from chicken, beef, turkey, vegetarian, and spinach. And, they taste amazing! Each one costs $3.99 and you can bundle them with a meal for a value basket.


Dine in, or take-out. They also do catering. On the day I visited, they were wrapping up 800 empanada’s for delivery to a local tech company’s weekly luncheon.


Back to the food: the empanada’s are served with chips, coleslaw, or potato salad. They make all of these items fresh, including the potato chips. I love it when a restaurant makes their own chips, instead of just serving bagged chips.

They also have a variety of desserts. I tried the fig empanada which was marvelous. Hot out of the oven, and covered in a raspberry sauce. Lovely flavors you won’t find anywhere else. I also tried the pineapple cake which was lovely. It had a cream cheese based whip. One of my favorites!


The interior of Sydney’s is designed and accented with an airplane theme. There’s a tail wing from an airplane on the ceiling, and the trash cans are repurposed airline beverage carts (great idea!).

trash can made out of a airplane beverage cart

They have lots of comfortable seating, with booth and table seating along the western wall.


Most of the menu items are named after airports or airplanes in some way. For example, there’s the O’Hare Roast Beef Sandwich, and the Sky Harbor Chef.

The owners know a thing or two about the airline industry, and it shows in the design of their restaurant.


So, next time you’re in Tempe, stop in at Sydney’s and try one of the empanada’s!

Getting there

They are located inside Tempe Marketplace, across from Barnes and Noble and the splash pad.

Sydney’s Cafe
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85281
Phone: (480) 967-1171

Dehli Palace in Tempe

I don’t eat Indian food that often. In fact, it had been almost ten years since I had been to an Indian food restaurant. So, when I had the chance to try Delhi Palace in Tempe, I jumped.


This review will be brief, since I only tried the one chicken entree, and the Indian naan bread.

But it was delicious! I loved the yellow curry, and the flavor was amazing. Definitely going to become one of my regular Tucson stops.


Delhi Palace Cuisine of India
933 E University Dr
Ste 103
Tempe, AZ 85281

Umami Tempe

If you are looking for amazing ramen noodles in Tempe, you’ll want to try a place called Umami.

I visited Umami for the first time recently with a buddy from Wisconsin, and we both really enjoyed it.

The experience is similar to ordering at a sushi restaurant, in that you mark off what you want on a piece of paper. Then, a little while later they bring you your appetizers and ramen dishes.

We both ordered the ramen, and customized them to our hearts content.

The interior of Umami is simple, yet clean and refined. This is certainly not a super-fancy restaurant, but for casual ramen that isn’t bland, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Umami is hard to find, so call for directions. It’s located just west of Mill Ave. near an old church. There are plenty of free parking lots nearby. Follow the directions on the Umami web site.

I’ll admit that it was my first time in a long time having authentic ramen. I really loved it, and plan to take the whole family.

21 East 6th Street
Tempe, Arizona 85251
Phone: (480) 625-4565