the entrance to carlsbad tavern in scottsdale azDid you ever go back to a restaurant that you thought you loved and remembered why you stopped going? That was the revelation when we went back to Carlsbad Tavern in Scottsdale after many years from our last visit.

Our friend, who used to live in Arizona, was visiting us and wanted to go there. He was the person that introduced Carlsbad Tavern to us many years ago. I had such good memories.

It looks cute as soon as you walk up to the entryway, which is nicely lit at night. Then you step into the pretty patio with a waterfall. I think the last time I went was with Jimmy and we sat on the patio at a 2-person table. And I think that was the time I ordered something and had a difficult time eating it because it was so spicy. But I forgot about that.

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Before we moved to Arizona, we had visited many times.  My Mom lived in Mesa and she took us to Old Town Scottsdale.  But I didn't find Los Olivos restaurant until a few years later when I went to Arizona on a Girl's Week Away.

During that trip, we split up a bit in Oldtown and I thought I was getting lost.  But I found Los Olivos Mexican Patio and the exterior decor piqued my interest, plus I love Mexican food.  I had to go find the rest of the group so we could have lunch there.

the entry to los olivos restaurant oldtown scottsdale

The fun entrance that made me want to see more

The "Blue Room"

As we walked inside the restaurant, we were amazed at the first dining area we were able to eat in.  I called it the "ocean room" with its strange blue ceiling and the aquarium.  I'll call it the…

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scottsdale black bear diner restaurant plaque

We were introduced to the Black Bear Diner in Gilroy, CA, where my Mom lived until her passing last year. My brothers and their families weren't as enamored with it as Mom was, and we also became fans.

This is not fine dining. It is an affordable family restaurant that prides itself on homemade food. I didn't think of taking a picture of Jimmy's chicken pot pie - it looked fantastic!

The menu is also a bit different than the Gilroy restaurant. The Arizona restaurant doesn't have the wonderful garlic fries that Gilroy has and it was one of the first things I checked. Gilroy is the Garlic Capital of the World so I can understand why they have them and Scottsdale doesn't. They also didn't have my favorite turkey sandwich with cranberries.

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