A November 2003 trip
to Phoenix by E. B.
Quote: I received a free accommodations certificate, so I thought I'd spend a couple days in Phoenix, Arizona. A fun-filled and busy vacation, but it left me wanting more. I'll be back, but this time, I'll book for a week.
Hotel | "E-Z 8 Motel"
There were a large number of truckers in the motel. Apparently, this is what makes up most of the motel's clientele. There is even a separate parking lot for their 18-wheelers. I wasn't sure if the neighborhood was safe, so I was very glad that my friend and I ventured out mostly during the day. The walls are very thin, so you could hear conversations outside fairly clearly.
There was a restaurant connected to the motel, but we did not try it since we wanted to try other restaurants. It looked like most of their clientele were also truckers. There is also a McDonald's right next to the motel. There were soda machines near the stairwells and an ice machine near the pool area. We did not try out the swimming pool since we had so many other activities planned. I don't think I wanted to walk around in my swimsuit around all the truckers either.
It occurred to us much later that we could have asked for a different room since the smoke bothered us, but we had almost completed our stay then. The receptionists were very accommodating. I would have to say the staff was quite pleasant, but I would not return because of the atmosphere created by the truckers.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 12, 2003
E-Z 8 Motel Phoenix Airporter
1820 South 7th Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85034
They serve plate lunches with all kinds of combinations. I ordered a #4, which was basically chicken teriyaki, bulgogi, and kalbi. I am very picky about my bulgogi and kalbi since they are Korean specialties, and I'm Korean. They were quite good. Not as good as what I expect at a Korean restaurant, but much better than what I expected from a Hawaiian local restaurant. It came with the usual two scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni. The macaroni was OK. Pretty good, but I prefer my macaroni to have some mustard in it, which isn't a favorite with most Asian restaurants. I washed it all down with a Strawberry Lilikoi drink. Mmm . . . ono grinds.
Check out their website.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 12, 2003
Ono Hawaiian BBQ
13070 W. Rancho Santa Fe Boulevard, Suite C-7
Phoenix, Arizona 85323
Restaurant | "The Navajo at Marriott's Camelback Inn Resort"
My friend has a small appetite, so she ordered a soup (something called Three Sisters) and a shrimp cocktail, which was Acapulco-style similar to a ceviche. I ordered a chicken mango wrap, which was a chicken salad with mango pieces wrapped with a green colored tortilla. It was served with spicy sweet potato chips. It was extremely filling, but my friend wanted me to split a dessert with her. It was an Indian blood peach cobbler. I have never tasted a blood peach before and it was very good. The pie was served à la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was very sweet, but good.
We left the restaurant completely satisfied. Next time I want to try the fry bread . . .
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 12, 2003
Camelback Inn, a Marriott Resort & Spa
5402 East Lincoln Drive
Scottsdale, Arizona 85253
We ended up at the Village Tavern in a shopping center. I was going to order the Monday night special (burger, beer and fries), but it was too late. Their specials end at 9:30pm. They have a happy hour from 9pm until midnight. Domestic beers are $2, imported beers are $3.
I ordered spring rolls. They were basically like fried egg rolls, filled with chicken, Napa cabbage, and carrots. There were three dipping sauces: sweet soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and Thai chili sauce. The rolls were fine. Not outstanding, but okay. My friend ordered onion ribbons, which were very, very thin onion rings. A huge pile of the oily ribbons was served with a bland sauce. It was a little like ranch dressing, but more like Thousand Island dressing mixed with mayonnaise. Definitely not something I will order again. My beer, however, was outstanding. I ordered a Red Stripe, which was served with an ice-cold mug.
Service was lacking. No one seated us. We had to wander in to find a server, who then apologized and told us the restaurant was closed. She took us to the bar. Our bar waitress was definitely lacking. I did not leave her more than the necessary 15%. Since the place was a bar, the atmosphere was loud. People were watching Monday night football, so shouts of appreciation were heard often. I might return in order to try the restaurant, but I will not go to the bar again unless I was looking to drink beers while having a loud conversation with coworkers or friends. Check out their website.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 12, 2003
8777 North Scottsdale Road Suite 234
Phoenix, Arizona 85253
I am very sorry to report that Sylvia's is only in Phoenix. I will return to Phoenix just to eat at Sylvia's. It's so worth it! Even President Clinton ate there. Sylvia has an online business where she sells and ships a variety of Mexican food products. She's been featured on the Food Network as well. Check out her website.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 12, 2003
Sylvia's La Canasta Mexican Restaurant
5502 North 7th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85013
They also cater. They had fliers for Thanksgiving pies and breads. The company has a web site, complete with menu items. You can visit it at this website.
Wildflower Bread Company
Deer Village Shopping Center
Attraction | "Taliesin West"
1. Panorama Tour (1 hour). Every day, 9:15am-4:15pm. $17.50 adults, $15 seniors (65+) / students, $5 children (4-12). This tour shows Wright's home.
2. Insights Tour (90 minutes). Every day, 9am-4pm. $22 adults, $18 seniors/students, $10 children. This tour shows Wright's home, but spends extra time in his living room.
3. Behind the Scenes Tour (3 hours). Wednesdays at 9am only. $45 per person. Reservations requested. This tour shows his home with afternoon tea in his dining room. You also have time to talk to the Taliesin West associates and take a walk to the Sun Cottage.
4. Desert Walk (90 minutes). Every day, 11:15am, weather permitting. $20 per person. May also be combined: Desert Walk + Panorama, $34; or Desert Walk + Insights, $38. Reservations requested. This tour explores the trails that inspired Wright.
5. Apprentice "Shelter" Tour (2 hours). Saturdays at 1:15pm. $30 per person. Reservations requested. This tour takes you to the desert shelters that first-year architecture students live in.
6. Night Lights on the Desert Tour (2 hours). Fridays at 6:30pm, 7pm, and 7:30pm. $25 per person. Reservations requested. This tour shows Wright's house at night. It includes everything from the Insights Tour plus refreshments.
My friend and I took the Insights Tour, which is approximately 90 minutes, but lasted 2 hours for our tour. It has everything that is included from the Panorama Tour, but also spends a great deal of time in Wright's living room. You get to sit in his furniture, which is quite expensive. The origami chairs alone cost $4,000 each.
I spent a lot of time taking pictures of his rooms and artwork. I probably irritated the tour guide who was trying to stay on schedule. If I had more film and time, I would take close up photos of the sculptures in the sculpture garden.
I enjoyed learning about Frank Lloyd Wright and his philosophy on architecture. I even got a chance to play his piano in the Cabaret Theater! I will be back again to take one of the other tours. I intend to take them all eventually! Click here to visit the web site.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West
Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd and Cactus Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85259
Attraction | "Desert Botanical Garden"
We would walk the Desert Discovery Trail, which is the main trail lined with brick. Then we would wander off into the other trails: Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Trail, Sonoran Desert Nature Trail, Center for Desert Living Trail, and the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Trail. The longest trail is the first one. It's great for kids since there are many things to touch and do. The other trails are quicker, although the Wildflower Trail is the second longest trail. We ran into a couple of birdwatchers on this trail. They intently watched all birds in the garden. I happened to step near a cactus shrub where a jackrabbit was hiding, and he was off, hopping away. The birders followed the rabbit with their binoculars.
My favorite part was the Garden Shop where you can purchase foods made from cactus like prickly pear tea, jelly, or candy. You can buy cactus salsa or desert flower tea, or even your own cactus to bring home. Since I was driving back to California, I didn't think it was wise to bring home a cactus plant, as tempting as it was. I didn't want to bring home an unwanted pest or insect hidden in the cactus' soil.
You can check their web site out
Desert Botanical Gardens
1201 North Galvin Parkway (southeast Of Mcdowell Road & 64th Street)
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
Attraction | "Cerreta Candy Company"
When my friend and I visited, we happened to miss the tour by half an hour. We saw some folks at the end of their tour. There were some children finishing up making their chocolate pizzas. I was looking for toffee for my sister, but that happened to be the featured chocolate of the day, so they were completely out. The only toffee left was the sugar-free kind, and my sister and I do not like sugar-free products.
I ended up buying a few camelbacks (their version of turtles) and a few chocolate bars for gifts. Next time that I'm in Phoenix, I'll make sure that I visit in time for their tours, now that I know the schedule. They also sell their candy through mail order or online. Their phone numbers are: 623-930-9000 or 623-930-9085 fax. Check out their website.
5345 West Glendale Ave
Glendale, Arizona 85301
+1 623 930 1000