Holy Bat Cave!
I am sure by now that you know that Carlsbad Tavern is a shrine for all things batty, but a unique concept isn’t enough these days to survive among all the great places to eat if you can’t deliver great food as well. And Carlsbad delivers unique, tasty New Mexican cuisine at affordable prices. What’s not to like about that?
Carlsbad is located just a hop, skip and a jump from Old Town on Hayden Road south of Indian School. The restaurant is easily spotted by their creative sign, which foretells of batastic things inside (yes we know batastic isn’t a real word!)
Ever wanted to visit Carlsbad Caverns, well here is the Scottsdale version, without the guano or long lines. Upon leaving your car, you enter through the archway and are immediately greeted with a gushing waterfall, cave-like walls and an outdoor river. No hiking boots required either! During the winter months, the outdoor patio is the best place to sit for a view of the river but once the temperature rises, indoor is the ticket to a comfortable meal. Bat paraphernalia adorns every free inch of the wall space and a few of the critters will even flap their wings over your head (not real ones, I swear!) We had a blast roaming around looking at all the curiosities and the servers were more than happy to point out anything we missed!
More fun awaits you when you peruse the menu, it’s actually a newspaper, The Carlsbad Daily Guano, and the inside is full of options. Keep in mind that Carlsbad features New Mexico cuisine so most of the dishes will have a southwest flair. Green chili, roasted corn salsa, jalapeno bacon and chorizo are featured in many dishes.
Schmooze tried the Tesque Chicken Salad (yes we needed to get a translator to pronounce it) which our server told us was a new addition to the menu. The salad featured tender tortilla-crusted chicken breast, spinach, mixed greens, jalapeno bacon, corn, and tomatoes, topped with tortilla strips and tossed in a lime vinaigrette. Word to the wise for those who like simpler food, this salad definitely has a kick to it, not too spicy but bold!
3313 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251