Cantina Laredo (2150 E. Williams Field Rd. #123  782-6777). This Dallas import is the mastermind behind the most mind-blowing Mexican dish we've ever tried - the camaron poblano asada (sautéed plump shrimp, mushroom slices, onions and Monterey Jack stuffed into a poblano pepper wrapped in a tender 10-ounce carne asada on a small pool of chimichurri sauce). Not into gourmet Mex? The kitchen pulls off the basics as well. Additional location in north Scottsdale.
Farmhouse Restaurant (228 N. Gilbert Road,  926-0676). Formerly housed in a converted farmhouse, the restaurant lost nothing when it moved up the road to downtown Gilbert. The food is still down-home basics that will fill you up and leave you with memories of grandma. The menu features killer omelets and giant, homemade cinnamon rolls. $ Flancer's Café (610 N. Gilbert Road,  926-9077). This neighborhood favorite does everything - from pizza to calzones to sandwiches. And it does them all well. The cafe, which doesn't look so extraordinary from the outside, packs a powerful punch within with a warm, friendly staff. Additional location in Mesa. $-$ The Gilbert House Restaurant (397 S. Gilbert Road,  507-3383). This white-washed, green-trimmed cottage with weathered wood flooring offers sleepy-heads a cozy place to start the day. The typical country kitchen menu offers fluffy hotcakes, delicious eggs Benedict, apple and cinnamon pancakes with a rich cider syrup and delicious French toast. $ Grimaldi's Pizzeria (2168 E. Williams Field Rd. #102  814-7722). This New York-based eatery has been making pizza in coal-fired brick ovens for generations - and after the first bite you'll know why. The menu is basic, but the taste is anything but. Not in the mood for a pie? Try the antipasto, which features mozzarella, oven-roasted sweet red peppers, Genoa salami, olives and fresh baked bread. Additional locations in Chandler, Old Town Scottsdale and north Scottsdale. $ Joe's Farm Grill (3000 E. Ray Road,  563-4745). Organic, locally grown food with surprising taste and range. From the Americana decor and tasty hickory pork barbecue to the light and tangy BBQ Chicken Pizza, to niche favorites like the Ahi Tuna sandwich, the Farm Grill proves to be a hickory smoked leg up on the average Joe's. Try the sweet potato fries and the hot fudge cream puff. $ Joe's Real BBQ (301 N. Gilbert Road,  503-3805). Looking for inexpensive yet tasty eats? At Joe's you'll find plenty of smoked meats and savory sides including mac and cheese and the best beans in town. Give the lemon cake a go, too - moist, tart and tangy, it's delicious. $ Liberty Market (230 N. Gilbert Road,  892-1900). This grocery store turned restaurant has been a landmark in downtown since 1935. Stop in for traditional comfort food at breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you crave something a little different, try the salmon plate with lemon olive oil, greens, tapenade, chives and crisps in the morning; a fruit-infused chicken salad sandwich with a side of hummus around noon; or the apricot glazed chicken in the evening. $ Oregano's Pizza Bistro (328 N. Gilbert Road,  882-9336). Waiting for a table is the norm on a busy night at Oregano's Pizza Bistro. The pizza is worth the wait. Choose a specialty pizza or build your own on a thin crust or decadent, gooey pan crust. Any meal at Oregano's should be followed by the Original Pizza Cookie (partially baked cookie dough topped with vanilla ice cream - the ultimate chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream). Additional locations in Scottsdale, Tempe and Mesa. $ Romeo's Euro Cafe (207 N. Gilbert Road,  962-4224). The eclectic, Mediterranean-influenced menu includes more than two dozen pitas, a delightful selection of seafood and other intriguing dishes like Transylvania chicken and sunflower beef. For a fun and easy way to expand your palate, reserve a spot for one of their frequent food and wine pairings. $-$$ Sushi Ave. (866 N. Higley Road,  218-5700). Not only is this one of the best sushi spots in the East Valley, it's also Gilbert's coolest space to eat. The black wood tables, chairs and sushi bar, dark aqua walls, earthy slate tiles on the floor and walls, and soft track lighting create a hip Asian ambiance. The simple menu includes nine stir-fry options for the sushi shy, including the generously portioned and spiced suicide chicken. $ (adapted from eastvalleytribune.com) With all of these amazing spots to try... why not call Gilbert home! -Garner Real Estate Team
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