Citizen Public House in Old Town Scottsdale leaves me wanting way more

Meh.

If anyone asked me what I thought of Citizen Public House in Old Town Scottsdale, that would be my reaction.

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The ambiance was meh. The food was meh. And the sangria was meh.

In fact, the highlight of my meal was when one of the cute bartenders (at least they have that going for them) delivered our drinks instead of our server.

The interior is bare bones and plain. The white walls are covered with a smattering of vintage photographs you’d have to squint to see–from a table not by a wall, the atmosphere isn’t artsy, it just looks like bad decorating in someone’s living room. I didn’t really understand why butcher paper covered the white tablecloth-covered tables, since that sort of took whatever class the spot had and negated it. The seating wasn’t comfy, and even though there was a patio, it was tiny and overlooked a parking lot.

There weren’t many vegetarian menu options on the small American menu, so I opted for a Grilled Cheese ($12). My gut told me to leave off the Peruvian Sweet relish, a weird red mixture, but I kept it on because I figured it had to contribute to the sandwich somehow. I was wrong. It tasted gross, and I ended up scraping it all off and wishing remnants weren’t still stuck to the sandwich. I got it with a non-noteworthy salad, and I’ve had much, much better artisan grilled cheeses that were less expensive and more filling.

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My friend said she liked her chopped salad, the same one I’ve had at Cowboy Ciao (it’s a creation of Citizen Public House chef/owner Bernie Kantak, who used to cook at Cowboy Ciao.) I also liked it there, but it’s so tiny, I can’t justify paying $12 for it–especially since I’d leave the meat off.

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Like I said, the sangria failed to leave a big impression on me, other than that it wasn’t strong. For $9 a glass, I expected something with a little more kick to it but was left disappointed.

I can’t think of any reason I’d tell someone to go to Citizen Public House. If the atmosphere had been a little prettier or livelier, maybe it’d be a fun destination, but the company I had was the only thing that kept it from boring me.

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