The Bottom Line
It's not the most expensive restaurant in Scottsdale, but you can expect to pay $15 or more for lunch and a soft drink, including tax and tip. The dinner menu is basically the same as lunch, with about six "Mexican Platters" added ranging from $10 to $18 per entree.
- Two dining rooms, one darker in the bar, one lighter and a little more barrio.
- Large outdoor patio, well-misted in summer
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days per week.
- Happy hour special prices
- Strange artwork, unappealing to me
- Patio faces parking lot
- Cafe Carumba serves breakfast lunch and dinner. Weekend brunches and happy hour are popular.
- Large selection of small plates to share or have as a meal.
- Five types of Eggs Benedict!
- While there are some Mexican dishes here, Cafe Carumba is better described as Southwest cuisine rather than Mexican.
Guide Review - Cafe Carumba
Not so much a Mexican restaurant as one with Southwest selections, you'll not get chips and salsa here, nor will you find machaca platters or albondigas soup. Cafe Carumba offers up some American and Mexican menu concepts, and adds their own touch of Southwest flair to them. For breakfast, you'll see French toast and corned beef hash, as well as Migas and Huevos Rancheros. For lunch you'll see burgers, sandwiches and salads, but with a zing of jalapeno, poblano peppers or goat cheese. For dinner, the platters bring on more Mexican style but are still distinct from any combination plate you'll get at Garcia's or Macayo's.
We stopped into Cafe Carumba for lunch. The two of us shared the Chiptole Southwest Eggrolls ($7). Freshly prepared, they were spicy with the sweet chili glaze. It was my favorite part of the meal! The guacamole didn't seem to go with the eggrolls because of the sweet/spicy sauce, but heck, I love guacamole with anything so I won't complain. The 1/2 pound burger was big and juicy. If you like goat cheese -- and we do -- you'll find several menu items include it, and the Caramba Burger ($10) is one of them. Very good, with a choice of regular or sweet potato fries, beans or fruit. The Santa fe Chicken Artichoke Sandwich ($10) was recommended by the server. It came on a ciabatta roll, with chicken, bell peppers, onions, cheese. It was nice for those that prefer less spicy, a bit bland in flavor (I'd rather have two more orders of Southwest Eggrolls!). The moral here is to ask the servers which items are spicy and which aren't so you can order your preferred taste. The Southwestern Cobb Salad ($10) was a popular item for the salad eaters in the room, and it was appealing looking. It was equally tasty, with diced rosemary chipotle chicken, goat cheese, bacon, tomato and some avocado (wish there was more) with a nice, sweet raspberry (I'm guessing) dressing. I can certainly recommend it.
Cafe Carumba is open seven days per week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice. (07/10)