Whether you’re a native of the Glendale area, or you’ve just moved here, you’ve probably noticed the small restaurants that dot the strip malls in this area. They can be a little unnerving, and it might seem safer to stick with fast food or well-known chains. But, if you’re willing to stretch yourself a little and try a small restaurant, you can get some amazing food. These are what I see as three of the best small restaurants in the Glendale area. Try one, or all of them, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
For a great Glendale breakfast or lunch, go Kiss the Cook. While you might question the name, this is one of the small restaurants in Glendale to get breakfast or lunch. When you walk in, the first thing you realize is that the dÃ?Â©cor is decidedlyÃ¢Â?Â¦country. That is to say it is quaint and charming, but nothing matches. Ultimately though, the quirkiness just adds to the appeal of the restaurant. The place is always bustling, but even at peak times the wait isn’t long and the service is friendly.
Of course, the most important aspect of any small restaurant is the food. Here, Kiss the Cook excels. Every breakfast comes with a basket of miniature muffins, baked fresh daily. I’m not sure we’ve tasted them all, but I’ve had plain muffins, blueberry muffins, raspberry muffins, banana nut muffins, and bran muffins. They’re all delicious, and having to share a basket with someone, or more than one someone, can require some negotiation. Fortunately, you can avoid this conflict by ordering an extra basket of muffins. When it comes time to choose a breakfast or lunch, the choices are just as appetizing and plentiful as the muffins. Start with the fresh squeezed orange juice, and go from there. Any omelet is guaranteed to be a tasty, fluffy treat, and you can create your own by choosing the ingredients. Don’t overlook the delicious seafood omelet though! If that isn’t your thing, go for the country breakfast or a stack of pancakes. Whatever you do, don’t skip the country potatoes. They’re diced, seasoned, and fried. Not exactly healthy, but definitely some of the best in Glendale. If you’re there for lunch instead of breakfast, the sandwiches are just as good as the omelets, and they can be served on your choice of breads. The one downfall is that you can’t get fries with anything, although the sandwiches do come with a bag of potato chips.
The best thing about Kiss the Cook is that the great food won’t break the bank. Most of the breakfasts or lunches are less than six dollars, and the portions are generous. If you have room for dessert you can have a milkshake, or a slice of cake or pie and still be under twenty dollars for a meal for two.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the restaurant is called Kiss the Cook because when the servers bring the check they also bring out a Hershey’s Kiss for each person.
Kiss the Cook is located at 4601 West Glendale Avenue. The phone number is 623-939-4663
If you’re still hungry for lunch, go Greek. The Golden Greek, that is. This small restaurant probably has the best Greek food in all of Glendale or Phoenix, if not all of Arizona. This is a family owned place, so the waitress and cooks get to know the local clientele. The dÃ?Â©cor is minimal. A few posters of Greek landmarks, and some authentic Greek music are all that sets the mood, but it turns out to be more than enough. Since this is a family owned restaurant, there’s only one waitress. This can result in a wait during peak times, but the food is well worth it. There’s such a family atmosphere here that you can often strike up a conversation with a complete stranger standing in line ahead of you.
The menu is an extensive rundown of Greek and Italian specialties, but in my mind there’s only one thing to order at this restaurant- a gyro plate with the traditional Greek lemon rice soup. The gyro meat is seasoned to perfection, the bread is made fresh daily, and the veggies and rice make a perfect side dish. My husband would say to be sure to start your meal with the Greek salad, complete with black olives and feta cheese. If none of that strikes your fancy, try the hummus and pitas, the stuffed grape leaves, or an Italian favorite like lasagna. For dessert, don’t be afraid of the baklava or the rice pudding. They’re both made fresh, and both excellent.
Like Kiss the Cook, none of this delicious Greek food will break the bank. The gyro platter is under $7, and I usually end up taking some home, since the waitress will bring you more bread if you ask. Even for dinner, the entrees are mostly less than $8, meaning that again you could get a meal for 2 for under $20.
It is usually best to go during off-peak times, since locals flock here for lunch and dinner. The Golden Greek is located at 7126 North 35th Ave. The phone number is 602-841-7849. Oh, and don’t go on a Monday. They’re closed.
Just in case you’re still hungry and looking for something different, I have one more recommendation for a great small restaurant in Glendale. This is another family-owned operation in a humble location where the quality of the food really shines. The name is 1 Brothers Pizza, but this small restaurant’s clam to fame is the huge calzones. They’ll take care of your hunger problem in one giant forkful. Don’t order one if you’re in a hurry. The dough is made when you order, and the cook gives it time to rise before stuffing it full of cheese, meat, and veggies, then baking it. If you’re a picky eater, the calzone can be stuffed with whatever you’d like, including sausage, bacon, tomatoes, peppers, or just cheese. There are other food options as well. Most of the Italian standards are here- spaghetti, chicken parmesan, and alfredo are on the list along with the pizzas. While you’re waiting for your food you can play a game of pool, watch tv, or just relax and chat. And what you’re served isn’t one of those wimpy, soggy calzones that you pick up and eat. One of these monsters requires a knife and fork, and can easily feed 2 people. You can also order a family sized calzone that is big enough to satisfy a small herd. Once again, none of this will break the bank.
1 Brother’s Pizza is located at 6222 N. 43rd Ave. The phone number is 623-842-2277.
Well, I hope I’ve convinced you to try one of these places. They might be a little bit out of the way, or out of the ordinary, but the food and personal attention is well worth the risk. Happy eating!!