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.
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).
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.
Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.