When April and I were commuting between Phoenix and Tampa, as soon as she would arrive in Phoenix, the very first place we would head to for dinner was Tarbell’s.  Even now, Tarbell’s is our favorite, go-to-spot for dinner, and we head there at least once a week. The first restaurant in Phoenix to serve food that was fresh, local, and preferably organic, Tarbell’s on 32nd Street and Camelback provides a seasonal menu that will fill you flavor. Terry has been a regular at Tarbell’s since it first opened in 1994.


When coming home from Tampa to Phoenix- Tarbell's was the first stop

In the entire fifth season of Iron Chef America there was only one competitor who beat the Iron Chef and that was Mark Tarbell in the famous  “Battle Apple” against Cat Cora. You can get a taste for that victory as the apple dessert is on the menu, and something April orders regularly.

JJ is an honored guest here- whenever he comes in and Jillian, a waitress,  quickly brings him his favorite mashed potatoes and some vegetables.  Most of the staff have been with the restaurant for over ten years – and we know them all.  Harry, the bartender, is not the original Harry’s – but he is an institution (once he knows your favorite drink, before you sit down a waiter will be bringing it to you).


JJ quietly enjoying a bottle at Tarbell's

We love to start out by splitting the house pulled mozzarella with organic tomatoes, arugula, and topped with balsamic vinegar. Fresh mozzarella is delightful, and such a better flavor than the commercial bought that most restaurants serve.

While Camelback Avenue is known for steak restaurants (Ruth’s Chris, Morton’s, Capital Grill, and Donovan’s) – none of them rival the New York Strip of Tarbell’s.

Mr. Fish of the moment is flown in from both coasts and changes daily – although I am partial to Alaskan halibut—recently made with a pumpkin seed crust and a lemon cous cous.

For vegetarians, his vegetarian plate is so delicious (ingredients are all local, including from his garden) that even Terry has ordered it.

When you are in Phoenix, and want to eat a great meal, in the tradition of local food- this is the restaurant you want to come to.

Tarbell’s is located at 3213 East Camelback Road, Phoenix 85018. Phone is 602-955-8100, and is open 7 nights a week from 5pm to 10 pm (Sunday til 9). It is closed New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the staff party on Super Bowl Sunday.


Tarbell's, 3213 East Camelback, Phoenix 85018