August 31, 2009

Where to find good lunch specials in Flagstaff

Flagstaff lunch specials
By Angele Sionna

Back to school time is here. Time for meeting and greeting new classmates and colleagues… or getting to know the ones you have even better. A perfect way to do so is a nice lunch out on the town. So here's a few places with good grub and lunch specials to maximize your hard earned cash and enjoy friends and food.

El Charro
409 S San Francisco St
About as close to campus as you can get (about 2 short blocks north of the Wall Aquatic Center) is this little family run Mexican dive. It has been a part of Flag for decades. For $7.50 here you get a soda or iced tea, 2 choices of items from the a la carte menu (like a cheese enchilada and a guac tostada - my favs), rice, beans, and a sopapilla or tortilla. The service here is always friendly and attentive to boot.

Fratelli Pizza
119 West Phoenix
A great spot to relax and enjoy a friend or two or five is Fratelli. Fratelli's atmosphere prompts conversation and the staff always has a smile. The lunch special here is hard to beat and served up quick. For six bucks you get a soda, a slice and a side salad or a soda and two slices (I like to get a pesto slice and salad with ranch). You can upgrade to a beer instead of a soda for $1.65 more – tax included!

Hot Wok Express
1000 N Humphreys St (at the far west end of the shopping center)
For about $6, Hot Wok Express- just north of downtown and just south of the hospital- has a lunch special to satisfy and it’s even better if you’re in a hurry. You can call ahead and pick it up at their drive thru window. A total bonus! My favs here are the Moo Goo Gui Pan, Orange Chicken, and Chicken Lo Mein. Along with the entrée you also get soup, fried or steamed rice, an egg roll and crab puffs included in that lunch special price.

Swaddee Thai
115 E. Aspen Ave.
A little bit of paradise tucked inside an unassuming building downtown is how Swaddee Thai feels when you walk in. The lunch specials here are about $8 and include a salad, egg roll, steamed rice (except noodle dishes) and your choice of a chicken, beef, pork, or tofu entrée. Those include red, green, or yellow curry, pad thai and others. And you pick your level of spiciness to suit your palate. Go to to check out all the options.

1175 West Route 66 (inside the Radisson Woodlands Hotel)
When you think lunch specials you may not think of Sakura, a place known more for date night or a special celebration, but their teppanyaki lunch specials are quite a good deal, considering. For $9 to $12 bucks for the single item entrees you get a mini-feast – consisting of your meat or noodle selection (I rec opting for the grilled hibachi chicken or steak), soup, steamed rice and hibachi veggies plus a little fire show and get to watch the chef make lunch right in front of you... And boy is it yummy! Now don't go there looking for a quick bite, as I’ve found it takes at least an hour - depending on the crowd and number of chefs working that day. You can check out their full lunch menu at

August 22, 2009

Best sandwiches of Flagstaff

Filled with goodness: Flag’s tastiest sandwiches
By Angele Sionna

They may be among the most basic of meals but the good ones are anything but boring and routine. A great sandwich can be a feast of delectable bites. To get the best ones – you’ve got to have the best ingredients layered in perfect combination. Here’s a look at some of Flagstaff’s tastiest sandwiches…

Crystal Creek Sandwich Company
1051 S Milton Rd Ste A
Crystal Creek is a Flagstaff classic, routinely voted best deli sandwiches by locals and students alike. Among their many beloved is the Grand Rapids with Genoa salami, ham, turkey, roast beef, bacon, avocado, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and provolone cheese –plus mayonnaise, tomatoes, cucumbers, Italian dressing and lettuce. For the vegetarians – try the Crystal Veggie with avocado, cream cheese, walnuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheddar, Swiss and provolone cheese, mayo, tomatoes, cucumbers, Italian dressing and sprouts on a wheat roll.

Josephine’s Modern American Bistro
503 N Humphreys St
For lunch, check out Josephine’s unique sandwich selections. So many great choices it’s hard to pick one. My favs - the Po-Boy Crab-Cake Sandwich, which features their yummy-licious Southwestern Crab Cakes with a spicy remoulade, lettuce and tomato on a hoagie, and their Caprese with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil –of course- plus prosciutto and baby greens all on a toasted garlic ciabatta roll with a balsamic reduction and basil infused olive oil. The flavors in these are as special as they are delectable.

Beaver Street Brewery
11 S. Beaver St.
They may be known for their beers and burgers, but Beaver Street makes a mean Rustic Portabello sandwich. This baby is a whole thick, juicy portabello mushroom basted with their “secret, spicy stout sauce” and grilled up, then put on a ciabatta roll with sprouts, tomatoes and an artichoke-olive pesto sauce. Delish. Another fan fav here is their Meat Loaf sandwich made with their “world famous” meatloaf topped with Swiss cheese, salsa mayo and beer mustard. Homey yet oh so much more.

Pesto Brothers Piazza
Old Town Shops at Birch & Leroux
Lunch at Pesto Brothers equals some Italian classic sandwiches. Of particular note - the God Father. Salami, cappacola, provolone, lettuce, tomato & dressing make up this hot sub of goodness. Others to try include their unusual pizza “sangwich” – which is pepperoni pizza served on bread – and the Meatball with Mozzarella and sauce.

Oregano’s Pizza Bistro
605 W Riordan Rd
Oregano’s baked sandwiches are among the favs of sandwich lovers in town – for both meat lovers and veg heads. The Veggie Wedgie is a thick and hearty nutrient and flavored filled choice. It has eggplant, portabello mushroom, and provolone baked on focaccia then stuffed with roma tomatoes, spinach, goat cheese and feta cheese. Plus aioli dressing on the side for a delicious dip. To satisfy the carnivore in you – try the Italian Stuffed packed with pepperoni, capicolla, salami and provolone baked up then topped tomatoes, onions, green peppers, lettuce, black olives and Italian dressing. You can get gigantic full size sandwiches or juniors of both these. Don’t be fooled, junior is plenty big to fill you up.

Pita Jungle
320 South Regent Street (Next to New Frontiers)
On the pita side of the sandwich world, Pita Jungle is a tasty bet. My recs here – the Shawarma (aka Mediterranean Roasted Chicken) Pita. It has hot grilled chicken breast with mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, pickles, garlic sauce and tahini. So different and oh so good. You’ll crave this one! Another goodie - the Philly Steak Pita. It has steak, sautéed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese all wood-fired in a Greek pita. Of course, they have classic beef gyro pitas and falafel pitas worth a try too.

*This article originally appeared in Flagstaff Live!, also written by myself*

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