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“Met friends at a new place”
Review of Carlsbad Tavern

Carlsbad Tavern
Ranked #87 of 1,308 Restaurants in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Southwestern, Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Bar scene, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Founded with the mission of bringing unique New Mexican cuisine to Scottsdale diners, Carlsbad Tavern & Restaurant has been serving up authentic, spicy and flavorful food for nearly two decades. Created by Michael P. Capriola and named in homage to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southern New Mexico, the restaurant opened in 1995 at Scottsdale Road and Earll Drive. The original location was developed with an eclectic New Mexican theme, including bats, Mexican movie posters, Roswell memorabilia and a newspaper menu called The Daily Guano. In 1998, the restaurant moved to Hayden Road, just south of Osborn where the bat cave theme was further developed, making the most of the water feature, The Guano Canal, on the patio and providing a cave-like interior in the dining room and bar. Carlsbad Tavern’s philosophy centers on providing guests with an entertaining environment, excellence in the kitchen and friendly, efficient service. While the sign touts New Mexican “grub,” the quality of food and attention to detail in preparation has always been of utmost importance. Many of the original and core dishes are still being served today. Favorites (carne adovada, osso bucco, crab-stuffed poblanos) requested by regulars – aka “bat fans” – are daily specials. Over the years, Carlsbad Tavern’s menu has consistently won accolades on the local and national level, including: • 20 Places for Hispanic Dishes: Enchantment Platter, Arizona Republic, September 2011 • 10 Favorite Spicy Dishes: Habanero Cheeseburger, Phoenix New Times, September 2011 • Top 100 Dishes in the Valley: New Mexican Potstickers, Phoenix New Times, August 2011 • One of 51 Ways to Beat the Heat, Phoenix Magazine, July 2011 • Best Burger in Phoenix/Scottsdale in Travel and Leisure Magazine, May 2011 • One of the Top 85 restaurants in Phoenix Magazine, January 2011 • Habanero Cheeseburger, Best Burger in Arizona, Food Network Magazine, 2009 • Best Restaurant, Food Lover’s Guide to the Valley; Phoenix Magazine, 2007 • Best Pork Dish for Carne Adovada, 50 Best Dishes in the Valley; Phoenix New Times, Jan. 2009 • Best Patio Dining, Best of Phoenix; Phoenix New Times, 2001 In addition, Carlsbad Tavern prides itself on providing locally-brewed and micro-brewed beers on draft, as well as a comprehensive wine list with wine pairings suggested on all entrees. Happy hours offer a discounted menu, and a reverse happy hour and menu in the evenings draws out industry workers from throughout the Valley, who appreciate the atmosphere, the quality of food and the company. Carlsbad Tavern continues today under the ownership of Andrew Capriola and Judith Merritt. As a family-run restaurant, Carlsbad Tavern welcomes all ages and offers excellent food and service in a relaxed and welcoming environment for casual dining, special occasions, group events and parties and just hanging around the bat cave with a draft beer.
Reviewed February 19, 2014

Went to meet Tim and Jo at their new favorite quick stop. The happy hour had fair priced beer, and a discount on some appetizers. We had the guacamole dip, good, with a little zip, and the chicken Quesada's. The servings were small, but good. At regular price, I would not be back, but for happy hour, it's ok. The outside dining area was unique, and pleasant, and the service was good.

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1  Thank BRIANE_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2014

Thanks for meeting friends here and giving our happy hour a try. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed the food and the drinks you ordered and we do hope you return for happy hour again soon. We'll be glad to welcome you back.

Andrew Capriola
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 - 203 of 341 reviews

Reviewed February 16, 2014

Very good food- portions large which is a good thing- drinks were good and Service was great. We had reservations and were seated very quickly by friendly staff. Food came out quick.

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Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2014

Thank you for choosing to dine with us. We are pleased to hear your service, food and the ambiance exceeded your expectations. We look forward to having you back again soon.

Andrew Capriola
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Our dinner tasted like authentic New Mexican food. Enjoyed the atmosphere on the patio. Will return here to try other dishes on the menu.

Thank Katollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2014

Thank you for choosing to dine at Carlsbad Tavern. We are so pleased you found the food to be authentic and delicious! We look forward to serving you again soon.

Andrew Capriola
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Enjoyed our most recent visit to Carlsbad Tavern, particularly the friendly, attentive service of our waiter. Ate inside in one of the restaurant's spacious booths, taking in the eclectic decor, and enjoyed the generous portion sizes of our meals.

This visit, though, was really a standout simply because our server made us feel like valued customers. A great place to bring the family.

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Thank DesertDweller32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Thank you for choosing to dine with us at Carlsbad Tavern. What a joy to read your review and hear how special your service was. We appreciate this feedback and will share it with our team.

Andrew Capriola
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

Two of us went to Carlsbad Tavern for a light lunch and Arnold Palmer drinks. We shared an order of eggs Benedict on crab cakes. These were served with potatoes, a jalapeño hollandaise, and black beans with melted cheese. I was able to take a portion of the potatoes and black beans to my husband, since he missed this lunch. The Benedict was spicy enough to please us, since we like spicy dishes.
The waitress was very accomodating, and gave us a box for our leftovers. The brunch price was very reasonable. We sat at the bar, since the restaurant was crowded indoors. I was pleased to see that they offered hooks under the bar for hanging purses, etc. They have very nice seating outside in their patio areas..Would definitely return someday.

Thank Cheryl D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Thank you, Cheryl! We are so pleased you enjoyed your brunch experience at the restaurant and we look forward to serving you again soon.

Andrew Capriola
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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