Joes Real BBQ

Joes Real BBQ
http://www.joesrealbbq.com/
301 N Gilbert Rd
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 503-3805

To review Joes, or to not to review Joes, that is the question. Is there anyone who hasn’t eaten at Joes in Gilbert? Possibly, it could be, so what the heck. They have great food! I’ll do a review. Joes has been around about 10 years. They are in a long brick building on the north east corner of Page and Gilbert with parking in the rear and side of the building.

When you enter Joes, you walk through the seating area to get in the cafeteria style line. First you take a tray, silverware and cup for a drink. Next you take your drink from the soda fountain or grab a bottle of premium root beer. As you wind your way past the menu and the cafeteria display you can see the bbq and the sides. My favorite is the sampler platter for $12. You get a chicken breast, pulled pork, beef brisket and two baby back ribs topped with two large pieces of Texas toast. You can also get an assortment of sandwiches of varying sizes. The sausages are excellent, well cooked and flavorful.

There are many sides and you could debate the merit of coleslaw versus potato salad endlessly. My favorite is the baked beans. These are by far the best baked beans I’ve ever eaten. The mac and cheese is outstanding, the corn is great but the beans are sublime. As a side they offer thick slices of cornbread. If you have a big appetite, I wouldn’t pass it up.

Being self serve, there is no service to consider. The food is great. It’s probably the best bbq around. I rate Joe’s as 5 stars. It’s one of the only bbq places I eat in around here.

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Sakana

Sakana
http://www.sakanasushi.com/
5061 E. Elliot Road
Phoenix, AZ 85044
(480)598-0506

Sakana has multiple locations. This review only applies to this location.

Upon entering Sakana you see what appears to be a fairly typical Japanese restaurant. They have teppanyaki tables , regular tables and a sushi bar. The restaurant is clean and nicely decorated. Service is slow friendly. There is a small waiting area where you can sit if there is a long wait for a table. This can come in handy on some nights.

The teppanyaki is available in the usual varieties. Shrimp, chicken, beef etc… My favorite is the steak. While the ingredients and the presentation are common to many other restaurants, the quality of the ingredients and the seasoning is a bit better.  The steak is a bit leaner while being more tender. The seasoning is also more flavorful. I like Sakana’s teppanyaki more than most of the others that I’ve had.

Sakana’s sushi is also pretty good. The lunch specials are a good deal. You can get a cutlet plate for less than $10. The food is hot and reasonable.

I rate Sakana 3 stars. They are about average for Japanese food in Arizona.

Copper Kettle

Copper Kettle
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Meadows/5568/copperkettle.htm
1941 W Guadalupe
Mesa, Arizona 85202
(480)456-4365

Copper Kettle is an Indian – Pakistani restaurant. As far as I can tell, that means they are claiming to serve Indian food from the northern part of India. They are a buffet restaurant. I don’t usually like buffets because they sacrifice quality for quantity. When you walk in you are faced with a medium sized restaurant with a buffet in the back to the left. The various dishes are maintained at about room temperature or maybe a little higher.

I arrived for lunch and had some bland chicken tikka and some nondescript chicken tikka masala. There were other dishes that I can only identify as green, black or tan. They had various lumps in them and didn’t taste very good. I tried the several items from the Buffet and found they were mediocre to bad. The naan was the only high point of the meal. Served fresh and hot the naan was delicious. For desert they had northern rice pudding which is a finer grain than regular rice pudding. The Gulab jamun was excellent.

I really like Indian food. When I can’t identify what I’m eating, that’s just a sorry state of affairs. The few high lights weren’t enough to make up for the poor food. I give them 2 stars. That’s probably a bit generous.

Original Review: Thursday, October 15, 2009

Picazzo’s

Picazzo’s
http://www.picazzos.com
440 West Warner rd.
Tempe, AZ
(480) 831-5823

Picazzos attempts to be a semi-upscale Italian restaurant. Here’s a hint. Start by learning to cook plain pasta. We started the meal with cheesy bread sticks. Not exactly upscale, but hey, they could do something interesting to the bread sticks. Well they didn’t. Not ony wasn’t it interesting, it was bad. They served floppy flavorless bread with a glop of flavorless cheese on top. It was greasy and bland. O.K. so far so bad.

Let’s see if it get’s any better. We decided to go simple. What could be simpler than lasagna? So, with great trepidation, we ordered the lasagna. There is only one rational explanation for the dish that arrived. They must have a flavor extractor! They must have some way to remove flavor from their food, because there was absolutely no flavor in the food that we received. The meat was bland and flavorless. The sauce had no flavor. I don’t think I have ever seen tomato sauce that didn’t at least taste like tomatoes!

Here’s the scary part. The lasagna was the culinary high point of the meal! Our companions ordered penne in a cream sauce. Needless to say the dish wasn’t bursting with flavor. As a matter of fact the flavor extractor was used at full force. Worse than even the flavor, the sauce had no texture. Believe me when I say NO texture. It literally ran like water. Their dish was so bad they traded it in for a lasagna.

Dinner was about $30 couple without alcohol. Service was O.K., but the food was just awful. I would never go back again. Any of the chain pizza places would be better and cheaper than this place.

Original Review: Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gold Chef

Gold Chef
1055 S. Arizona Avenue
Chandler, AZ 85286
(480) 812-3661

O.K., What was I thinking going to eat in a place called “gold Chef”? Well, I’ll tell you. I read a few online reviews that were positive and thought I’d give it a shot. Now you know why I’m doing this. Because most other reviews are bogus.

We had egg drop soup, Spicy Shrimp with Dry heating and Shrimp and Vegetables. The egg drop soup was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. I don’t mean that in a good way. Picture thick sludge with some egg white in it. Disgusting. The Spicy Shrimp was basically mediocre shrimp with chopped onions. Not a very pleasant mix and the addition of a heavy gloppy sauce didn’t help any. The Shrimp and Vegetables was awful. The shrimp had a heavy ammonia taste and smell rendering the dish inedible. The egg-rolls were typical frozen egg-rolls that you can buy in any Asian market.

The food ranged from bad to inedible. There is no way I would recommend eating here.

Original Review: Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Cypress Grill

The Cypress Grill

1065 W Queen Creek Rd
Chandler, AZ 85248

SWC of Queen Creek and Alma School

The food wasn’t very impressive. This corner eaterie  was a disappointment. I love all types of Mediterranean food. Its one of my favorite cuisines, but The Cypress Grill couldn’t even match the tastes of Pita Jungle. I shared the chicken souvlaki entree. The dish came with 2 average sized kabobs of cubed chicken breast. The meat was lean, but it was marinated too long in a salty liquid with dry, store bought herbs. The rice was mostly tasteless and the tzatziki sauce came right out of a jar. Surprisingly, the salad was the most disappointing. Greek salad is so easy to make with a lemon vinaigrette. I found the dressing too sweet to tolerate and the lettuce possessed a bitter quality not normally found in this type of lettuce mix. My son had the gyro platter. He said he liked the gyro meat and the rice but didn’t touch the salad or tzatziki sauce. I won’t be returning because you don’t need to be fancy or expensive to offer good food. If I want kabob, I’ll go to Pita Souvli up the street, Pita Jungle a few miles away or hike up to Haji Baba for authentic souvlaki. The entire experience was sad considering I can walk to the Cypress Grill.

Greekish food  earning two stars

Original Review: Sunday, June 24, 2012