San Francisco eats, The Break Room, Jay’s Gyros and Red Devil

23 Jul

We were so glad to be able to take a trip to San Francisco to visit Jack’s sister, brother and their families this summer. His sister Apple put us up (or put up with us rather) for 3 nights and then we spent a night at a tiny hotel just outside of Chinatown. As you can see here, Jack’s sister is …fabulous! She is standing in front of her husband Alfonso’s low rider Impala. We rode in it. And yes, it goes up and down :)

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But this is what you want to know, right? Here’s what we ate:
Seafood at the Wharf…including calamari, sourdough bread and shrimp cocktail.
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The bread at Boudin, also at the Wharf is a must eat. I was eating a half baguette of raisin/chocolate bread. I wish we would have stayed a few more days so I could eat several of these.
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We also took pictures of their bread made into animals. We spied turtles and a crab. Very creative!
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Near the Wharf is Buena Vista bar. It has been there since the late 1800’s, so we felt we had to visit. They are famous for their irish coffee (Jack’s choice) and I tried to impress the bartender with my knowledge of liqueurs and ordered an Aperol (he was unimpressed). But the drinks did produce a nice buzz all the same.
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In North Beach, we had dessert at a restaurant called Mona Lisa that has a vintage Fiat convertible in front of it. The owner is genius because he lets you sit in it to take pictures and then lures you into his restaurant. Smart! I need one of these. Jack really liked this car.
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Here’s the fancy desserts we ate there. Lemon ice for me (in a lemon no less) and tiramisu for Jack.
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Across the street from Mona Lisa there is a candy shop where Jack found some enormous jaw breakers. We didn’t eat anything there but it is one of those old timey places that is fun and nostalgic.
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We really enjoyed the Castro District. Drinks at Twin Peaks and then snacks at Hot Cookie. Their enormous cookies are really delicioius (not pictured). Mine had pecans and chocolate chips. And Apple had something called a Sexy bar. I’m not old enough for one of those…however, we did buy a pair of the red underwear for a dear friend in SC (you know who you are!)
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And when we got home we discovered we still had to eat. Haha. That’s my segue.

One of my favorite places to eat near work is Jay’s Gyros. Last week Linda and I were there and I had a chicken sandwich with onions and peppers. Lookie lookie.
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I was impressed by the quality of the bun, for me the bread needs to be perfect if it is going to be a good sandwich. These guys have a great little place on 48th St./Broadway. Also I have tried their gyro salad and it is very tasty and a good value.
Recently I was with my bro Mike, Cindy and Linda at Red Devil at 31st St. and McDowell. We enjoyed their zucchini and mushrooms, combo pizza (they will make a thick crust pizza for you if you ask) and dessert. Make note, that their desserts are really worth the trip. I had spumoni, while Linda and Mike chose cannoli and Cindy ordered cheesecake. No complaints from anyone at the table. In fact, it got really quiet. You can see why.
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After dinner Linda and I went over to her daughter’s bar, The Break Room. http://www.yelp.com/biz/breakroom-bar-and-grill-phoenix-2 The lovely Adrian (not pictured) will make you a drink called a rusty fox.
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Watch out, though, because it’s potent. It’s a good scene, there are pool tables, darts, karaoke and juke box. And a kitchen! The menu which I haven’t had a chance to enjoy in about a year and a half, has changed (new ownership), it’s very big, with sandwiches and appetizers. I’m getting back there soon for a bite. And a drink, of course.

McAlpines, Herb Box, First Draft (Changing Hands), The Henry, Khyber Halal

30 Jun

Mom invited us over for tacos today. Her translation of tacos is flautas, typically made with a beef roast, but today she made them with chicken. She fries the corn tortillas and then bakes the filled flautas in the oven. It is a recipe she learned from her Mom, grandma Sutherland, when they lived in Yuma. The flautas are magical. Afterwards, we treated her and my bro Mike to dessert at McAlpines. Jack and I were recently there for lunch and we were impressed with the quality, environment and the price. Mike and I both enjoyed chocolate malts. Mom ordered the “Parisian” and Jack (not pictured) chose a hot fudge sundae.

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The service is friendly and it’s a wonderful place to go and cool off this summer for something sweet. Also you can buy vintage clothes. Jack picked up a green hawaiian shirt with yellow pineapples on it the last time we were there. Very Hawaii 5-0!

We went to see Chef today. If you’ve ever been at a crossroads in your life (I’m sure that has never been me haha) you will appreciate this movie. A great performance by Sofia Vegara. I really enjoyed the story. If you are into the food truck scene at all, you should also go and see this.

Speaking of movies, I recently bought a DVD set of I’m So Excited! It’s one of my favorite movies right now by director Pedro Almodóvar. I wanted to give a copy to my friend Rob in South Carolina and also I promised a copy to a friend at work.

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The director is a little out there so I’m going to have to give her a disclaimer. But most people know I’m pretty goofy so hopefully she expecting a movie from me that reflects that. ;)

Thursday we worked a half day so I decided to have lunch at Herb Box and see a movie at Camelview 5. I tried Avocado Love, which is avocado, arugula and fennel on whole grain toast.

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Often times when I eat out I feel like I need some kind of meat/chicken/fish protein, but at Herb Box I never miss it. It’s because everything they make there is fresh and seasoned so well. They know about acid/salt/bitter/sweet balance. Sometimes I get the Veggie Nosh which is a trio of a beet salad, hummus and chick pea/quinoa salad. They usually will substitute the tzatziki for hummus for me and it’s one of the first dishes I tried there that I fell in love with. Yes I use the love word a little too much when I talk about food. But there it is.

Jack has been grilling a lot since we moved back to Phoenix. The complex has a fancy gas grill that heats up quick. Recently he put some steaks on the barbie and they were amazing.

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He’s very photogenic, no?

On Saturday we made a trip to Bluewater Grill for lunch and it’s becoming one of my favorite places to eat because their seafood louie salad is substantial and fresh. I really like their louie dressing. The salad has shrimp, crabmeat, a variety of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and egg. Jack decided on oysters, and something from the lunch menu; white clam chowder and a shrimp louie salad.

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Did I mention he’s photogenic? lol

The lunch menu is very reasonable, so it’s a nice way to go if you are a newbie.

A parcel arrived from South Carolina last week with some goodies from Rob. He has been to many estate sales and is a great shopper. He also seems to know my size. Lookie lookie.

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I felt very glam in this dress. Kind of Audrey Hepburnish.

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This suit makes me feel like Katherine Deneuve (without the hat).

There was also an Asian style dress in my care package, and a stripey summer short sleeve sweater that reminded me of something that Liz Claiborne might have designed. Rob is the ultimate shopper. If you ever need a personal shopper and want to fly him out from Greenville, SC I’m sure he would be up for it. He can also remodel your kitchen, bathroom and put in a bamboo floor. His portfolio has recently grown so there’s a lot he can do that I’m not even aware of. A total professional, this one.

Last weekend I was with Mom, Mike and Cindy at First Draft having a iced coffee.Image

 

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I learned of Daniel Alarcón just recently and read his earlier book Lost City Radio. I enjoyed it so much that I had to order his latest novel. Changing Hands was happy to do this for me.

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Normally I don’t mention restaurants here unless they are local. I don’t think The Henry is local but I’m giving them a mention because their location at 44th Street and Camelback has beautiful architecture and I’ve had breakfast there twice now with my Dad and it has been very enjoyable. Here’s the inside of the place.

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They make a steel cut oatmeal that both Dad and I have tried and it’s very tasty.

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It comes with some type of chutney that is not too sweet.

Also I noticed they have avocado toast on their afternoon menu and I’ve asked them to put it on the breakfast menu, since I’m trying to go a little healthier these days. I’ll keep you posted on this.

Jack and I really enjoy middle-eastern food. Recently we tried Afghani food at Khyber Halal on 24th Street, just south of Indian School. It is very reasonable and fresh tasting. Since Jack is a big fan of lamb, he chose lamb shank and I tried the chicken briyani.

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It is a rice dish that comes with big chunks of chicken and is spicy. Thankfully it comes with a cucumber salad to cool you down. The staff is very friendly and will explain any dish to you. We also tried the hummus and it was delicious. We also brought home some baklava and I shared it with my friends at work and one of them said it’s the best he ever tried.  There was so much food we had leftovers for the next day, which makes us very happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herb Box, TeePee, Hazelwoods, Autumn Court, Desert Jade, Tropical Snowflake, Essence

16 Jun

We’ve been eating out a bit more lately. Partly because Jack’s the main cook and he’s been thrown under the bus recently. If you’ve ever seen your sweetie suffer stress at work, you know it’s tough. I get out pretty late at work so sometimes getting a meal out seems more practical.

Since Jack came over to this side of town, we’re spending more time at restaurants in the Arcadia area…this weekend we were at TeePee (41st street/Thomas) where he enjoyed chorizo with eggs and I had the green chile burrito with red sauce. Spicy. We liked everything we ate (which typically we do).

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After lunch we went to Tropical Snowflake (32nd St/McDowell). Mango raspado with ice cream for Jack and frozen strawberries with cream for me. Love this place.

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Desert Jade is a Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood we have been to recently – twice in fact. The first time we ordered house fried rice, spicy beef with vegetables and potstickers. Then the next day we went back for some more house fried rice – since Jack was going to eat the leftovers from the previous day, and was out of rice. It’s reliable and inexpensive.  We’ll be there often.

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We have been to Hazelwoods twice also recently (36th st/Indian school). They have dinner specials every night. Last Thursday Jack had the steak special with green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. I was feeling on the lighter side and enjoyed a greek salad with chicken. The quality of the food is really surprising, for a sports bar.

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Their fried zucchini and wings are also delicious. They have a great selection of draft beers, too.  And lots ot TV’s. So you can watch soccer, baseball and basketball all at once.  I used to go there for trivia night and that was fun. Lots of brainiacs.

Another local Chinese place we have been to this month is Autumn Court (37th street/Indian school). I seem to remember the owner is (was?) a relative of the China Doll people (used to be on 7th St./Osborn and we used to eat there a lot as a family; there were fabulous egg rolls). We really liked the food at Autumn Court although I don’t remember exactly what we ate. Potstickers maybe with some type of beef dish and rice. Jack remarked that the rice was very good quality. He is a bit of a rice man. Buys it in 20 pound bags. He will twitch if he doesn’t have some at least every three days (not really. I do tease him a little though). They have a nice drink selection. I will try something with vodka and lychees next time. They were out of sticky rice with mango and Jack said he was going to give the owner a hard time about it the next time we go.  :)

Dad and I celebrated Father’s day a little early last Friday (when I work a half day I tend to employ my dad as my partner in crime, sometimes at Otro, The Parlor, AT Oasis…the list grows). We went to Herb Box, one of my favorite restaurants in old town Scottsdale. Dad chose the butternut squash enchiladas and a couple of mango boozy drinks that looked very refreshing. I opted for the veggie nosh which includes chick peas with quinoa, hummus and a beet salad. They will usually substitute tzatziki for the hummus for me, which is my favorite thing they make. They use a homemade yogurt that has a good dose of fresh dill. For me it just presses the right buttons. I also ordered some sweet potato chips and a cucumber basil mojito. All good choices.

I’m not sure about you, but I really notice flooring and architecture at restaurants. The Herb Box has one of the best bathroom floors, as far as I can tell. We have a concrete floor at home and if we don’t recover it with bamboo, I would like to have this done.

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Around the corner of Herb Box there is a little store called Garage. It’s filled with cute clothes for girls, boys, women and a few guys things. Pricy. There are purses, jewelry, beautiful colored scarves and a lot of ridiculous things. I found these key chains that shoot balls out of their mouths.

Can you tell I’m in the easily amused department?

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Another place Dad and I were at recently is the First Draft Book Bar (at Changing Hands Bookstore’s new location on 3rd Ave/Camelback). They get their pastries from local bakers and there are wines and local beers. I bought three books (two new and one used and one more for my mom) and Dad and I enjoyed some drinks. I tried a pretzel from MJ Bakery and Dad had a muffin which he said was very moist.

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The bookstore also has gifts and one of my favorite things.

Puppets!

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Essence is one of mine and Dad’s favorites (38th St/Indian school). I always take pictures of the pastries when I go there because they are so pretty…although I don’t always order one. Trying to maintain my girlish figure you know. Her eclairs sometimes have boozy fillings.

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I really like their homemade granola that comes with dates and seasonal fruits. Dad likes the huevos frencheros (french style scrambled eggs) that come with little baked potatoes that I usually snatch away from him since he says it’s too much food.

Recently the owner/chef Eugenia gave Dad and me both an organic apple turnover.  Her pastry is so light and the apples were not too sweet. I think I will have to bring some of these to Mom this week.

One of the places Jack and I will always go regardless of where we live (if we ever decide to move to Thailand that might be the exception) is Mekong Palace.

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We love all of their restaurants that serve great Chinese food, dim sum (see picture above), smoothies with boba, pho and most of all there is a huge asian/international market with produce, fish (where they clean and cook it for you if you want), a butcher with meats from every animal with every part such as duck heads (beaks included) and you can also buy the things on your regular grocery list like milk and eggs. And they have a good beer selection. I wish we lived closer to them because I would be there every day. The last time we were there we saw these baby mangoes. Aren’t they cute?

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Jack had recently bought some regular sized mangoes of the same variety at Ranch 44 market – now called Super L Ranch Market so we didn’t take any of these home (yes we also shop the competition).

 

 

Noodles Ranch, New China Gate, Raspados Rico, The Gladly, Oasis Raspados, Fez, Chompies, Avanti and competing with the Italians for more $ spent per capita on food

27 Apr

It occurred to me that we’ve been eating out a lot lately. Even more than usual. I specifically think I am starting to compete with the Italians who are supposed to spend more income per capita on food than in any other country. We could check, but I’m pretty sure I might be winning.

Last night we needed a quick and hearty feed so we ended up at Chompies for dinner, where we got a to go pastrami sandwich. You must go and get one. It is nice that they are big enough for two (or maybe three) to share. It’s become one of my favorite places to go and get a sandwich.

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We always buy dessert when we get dinner there. Love their hamentachen. Here you can see the apricot and raspberry flavors.

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This week a new raspado place opened, just across the street from Jack’s, at Hancock and Scottsdale Road. It’s called Raspados Rico. We went yesterday after stopping at Chompies. It’s very colorful and there are lots of tables and chairs so you can sit and stay awhile. I decided on a 60/40, which is like a 50/50 bar. It has orange sherbet, vanilla ice cream and then you get a can of orange Fanta to pour over it all. Lookie lookie.Image

The place looks very clean, and the fruit is a little different than I’ve seen in other places – there was guava in syrup, which I would like to try on my next visit, over some shaved ice. With lechera, of course.

A couple of nights ago I was out with my bro Mike for dinner at Fez – they were participating in a fundraiser for AIDS research/outreach…so we had a wonderful meal there with lettuce wraps, bruschetta and I had some lamb sliders (see below) and Mike enjoyed a bean pattie, a vegetarian option they serve. He said it was tasty. I’m always leery of vegetarian food, I guess because I like eating meat…but sometimes you try a veggie dinner that is flavored and cooked well. Good for your health. I need to try some more of that. In the meantime, I’m planning my next lamb burger. I hear they make a great one at Citizen Public House (whose sister restaurant is The Gladly, which I will mention shortly).

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After dinner Mike suggested we go to Red Hut, a new coffee house at 7th Street and Roosevelt. I think it used to be a Krispy Kreme, or was it a Quiznos? Anyways, I had ordered an americano that was very strong (and my 4th coffee that day) and Mike chose a latte with almond milk, which he was very pleased and surprised to find that they had on hand. He tells me a lot of coffee shops don’t have almond milk and he prefers it to soy. I grabbed a cranberry scone for breakfast the next day and it’s one of the best scones I’ve tried in awhile.

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The nice man behind the counter told me they are made by a local bakery that brings them in every other day. So either I’ll be trekking down to 7th Street and Roosevelt once a week or I need to find out where they are made…my brother also mentioned the quality of the coffee at Red Hut was very good and he is going to find out if they sell it by the bag. Will keep you posted.

Earlier that day I had been to AT Oasis coffee shop with Bianca and my Dad where we tried the Ful, which is fava beans cooked for 5 hours (according to Aisha, the owner/chef) and they are drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with tomatoes, onions and jalopenos. It is one of the tastiest foods I have tried lately. She uses some nice spices, and I can’t quite tell what they are, but one of them is cumin. And she brings you pita bread so you can eat with your hands. Love that. She also performed the Ethiopian coffee ceremony for us which I had witnessed a couple of weeks back but I was keen that Dad and Bianca would also experience it. You should too. 46th Street and Thomas. She also has great pastries made by Karlene Carlson, who will also bake you a cake or pie for that special occasion (or just because). Her contact info is karlenelynn@gmail.com

I’m really going to have to start watching it (my intake). I mean, one day I’m at Tropical Snowflake having a chamoyada…

and a few days later I’m in Tempe at the new raspado place.

In my defense, it is warming up outside.Image

;) It’s hard to be a girl with a complicated palate. I’m always craving something.

Occasionally I share something with you that is not food related. Recently, Dad introduced me to a new author from Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hahn. He writes a lot about mindfulness, which is important to remember, especially since most of are multi tasking a lot. I think we lose something in that. Anyways, here’s the the cover of book. 

I passed it onto one of my friends at work, who shared it since with others.Image

The illustrations are very sweet also.

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Jack picked up some food from Princess at the 101 and Broadway a few nights back. We like to get the princess platter, and for about $16.00 you get chicken, meat cubes, kefta and some lamb, with rice, salad and hummus. It’s really a steal. We always have leftovers for lunch for both of us. 

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The hummus is very smooth and rich. I usually eat most of it. Image

As I mentioned, it’s an enormous amount of food. Jack also brought back some delicious baklava (not pictured) that was great for breakfast the next day. Princess has a market where you can buy lamb, tea, coffee, cookies and all kinds of interesting foods from other places. They butcher their own lamb, which I think is very interesting.

This week Dad and I met at Bertha’s Cafe for breakfast. It was my first time there, and Dad suggested a waffle with fruit.

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It was a great waffle …and they also made me a chicken curry salad to take for my lunch which was very tasty and fresh. We met Bertha, who is sweet and obviously doing great things. There are lots of breakfast and lunch choices. And yummy baked goodies. I spied a banana cake I will have to go back and try.

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She is at 32nd Street and Indian School.

I almost forgot to mention Easter. It was a double celebration. On Saturday my Mum and Dad came over with Linda and Jack made a ham, a corned beef, and I put together a pasta salad and Mom made her famous cinnamon rolls.

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And Linda brought her tasty deviled eggs. She has those down to a science. She put thousand island dressing in a few of them, and they had a nice tang.

The next day (Easter Sunday) we went to the buffet at  Avanti with Wanda, Fran, Dad and Sharon. They had a super brunch with all of our italian favorites…orchiette with red sauce, meatballs, chicken vesuvio and lasagne. There was also a cold salad station with enormous fresh shrimp/cocktail sauce, salami, cheeses and the dessert table boasted tiramisu, creme brulee, cannoli, brownies, cookies… and they also make a pretty mean manhattan.  Quite the spread. They are doing this again for Mother’s Day. I highly recommend it.

New China Gate is a mom and pop chinese place we found recently at McDowell and 77th Street, next to the Fry’s.  Very reasonable prices and plentiful portions. Here’s the house fried rice.

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Here’s the lemon chicken. It’s very crispy and tart.

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I think this is hunan beef. It’s a little spicy, which we like.Image

Considering that we eat out so much, it’s probably a good thing that most of the places we frequent are cheap. And it’s important to mention (again) that we always eat the leftovers. Usually we have leftovers. So maybe we aren’t spending as much as I think?

Another reasonable place we go to once in awhile is Noodles Ranch at McDowell and Scottsdale Road. Jack likes their big bowl of Pho and we share a papaya salad and potstickers.  And then I get some fresh spring rolls to take to lunch the next day, at Jack’s suggestion.

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I’m so very lucky that Jack looks out for my lunch. When he cooks he does this too. He makes a lot, I mean.

Recently Dad and I were at The Gladly for brunch. They make their own bloody mary mix with roasted tomatoes and they put in olives, house-made pickles and cured sausages. It’s like a drink that you can also eat. Fun for me. Dad really liked the food, and so did I. So much so that I was keen to go back for happy hour, where the prices for some stuff are cheaper, like the liver pate, super yummy nuts and pastrami sandwich. And I tried a negroni for the fist time. It’s a lovely thing.

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I recommend two (or three). They’re on tap and only $5 at happy hour. Yes!

The food is just great. Here’s the pate. I love capers and the pickled onions with the mustard, on little toasts.

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They also host cocktail themed dinners.

So… when I’m feeling flush I’m going back for that. Their next one is this Tuesday April 29 and here’s the menu.

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Single malt ice cream? Oh, my.

Also, one of my favorite places, Pig and Pickle is doing a fundraiser for the Tammy Dykstra foundation on May 8. They are donating 50% of the proceeds. pigandpickle.com

 

 

 

Oasis Raspados, Otro Cafe, someone to bake your pies/cakes and home cooking

2 Apr

So …it’s warming up. And that means I’m spending more time at Oasis Raspados. 32nd Street/McDowell. Recently I was there with my friend Rob who was visiting from South Carolina and he wasn’t really getting his mind/mouth wrapped around the whole spicy/salty/sweet/fruity thing that the chamoyada is (I think that’s bad grammar).

I digress.

That’s okay. Oasis has ice cream and other more mild flavored treats like fresas congeladas con crema (frozen strawberries with creme) for folks who aren’t into the spicy frozen treats.

But I’m a purist. I’m sticking with chamoyadas with mango, thank you very much.Image

 

A few weeks back Rob and I were at Jennifers on 36th Street and Indian School when we met one of their servers, Karlene. She happens to be a pastry chef (yes!) and she will make you a pie or cake. And possibly deliver it for you. Here’s the peach pie she made for my Mom for her birthday.

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Her mad pastry skills saved me a bunch of time. Here is her email address if you want her to bake for your next event. karlenelynn@gmail.com

Jack made soup for us a couple of nights ago. He had this broth that had been previously frozen when he made “chicken in a pot” (last post I think). He added lemongrass, onion, carrots, tomatoes, bamboo shoots, rice noodles, garlic and all the other stuff he calls “magic fairy dust.” It’s a healing soup. If you have a bad day and you eat this, you will feel better.

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My brother Mike actually called it medicinal. He’s a smartie.

They bought us lunch at work this week. It was our end of month meal, and they either feed us breakfast or lunch. This time it was hot dogs. I love me a good hot dog.

In actuality, I had two.Image

One with chili (not pictured) and this one with sauerkraut and relish. It was so delish.

We always appreciate the free lunch. :)

Jack made lumpia last night. They are filipino style egg rolls. I’m pretty sure these had chicken in them but I’m not sure what else. He serves them with a sweet & sour type sauce that I don’t have a picture of.

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These are made with love, you can tell.

I’m a bit of a shoe whore (how do I segue to this?) as most of you know. Recently I was at Scottsdale Fashion Mall and spotted these platforms. I am pretty crazy about them (see picture below).

Unfortunately I suspect they cost the size of my rent payment, so I am glad to be surrounded by other like minded shoe whores who give me shoes they no longer wear, or pick up at goodwill (you know who you are …Linda)

A local boutique, Frances on Camelback had beautiful shoes, the last time I checked. It might be time to pop back over there one of these days…they carry shoes from Remix in Los Angeles and they are fabulous. Platforms, which I like. They give me height.ImageIn the meantime, a girl can dream….

This morning when I woke up I noticed my windows were tinted. Jack took my car over to a local tinting shop while I was at work yesterday. Image What a nice surprise! He’s a keeper.

I’m convalescing today, not sure if it was the fish balls we had last night (they disagreed with me) or if it’s a flu bug. Either way, the cookie fairy felt I needed a pretty iced cookie to cheer me up. These are from AJ’s Fine Foods and they bake them at Barb’s Bakery (24th St.). They are amazing. They make them for all seasons. I suggest you pick up a box and take them into your co-workers for Easter. You will be instantly popular.Image

The sandwich fairy brought me this beautiful braut (from The Pork Shop) sandwich today on ciabatta bread with sauteed tomatoes, peppers and onions. Convalescing isn’t so bad, it seems…

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Bianca and I went over to Otro Cafe (7th St/Bethany) last weekend for lunch. A carne asada torta, paella and inca salad were on our menu, along with a calimocho for me (half red wine and half coke) and a bloody mary for her.

It was her first time. And she loved it. Image

And who would not? Now I need to go back and try their open faced blt. I’ve seen it on facebook and it is speaking to me.

 

 

The best news in my neighborhood and recent eatings

28 Mar

So glad to find out today that Food City, my local neighborhood market will be open through June or July of this year, and is not closing at the end of this month, which I was previously told.

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We get a little spoiled with our favorite (and hopefully local) supermarket right down the street. Sometimes we forget to shop local. Well, that’s why it’s important. When you see one of your favorites close, think of that and be mindful where you shop.

Enough lecture.

Rob returned to his home in South Carolina recently from his visit to Phoenix, and he’s been planting. Yesterday sent me a picture of some new members of the garden.

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He’s always doing something, whether it’s landscaping the family home, making a beautiful bedspread or painting the front porch for a family member. He’s thoughtful that way. A good one to have around.

Need a little giftie for that niece or nephew? Poor little rich girl on 36th Street and Indian School has dolls and handmade monsters.

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They are so cute and they are already named. I’ve bought 4 already. Keeping this one.

Got a haircut today with my mum at Magañas (our favorite place) on 32nd St. and McDowell. The ladies there are so nice. See Sonia or Lupe. And usually someone there speaks enough English if you don’t speak Spanish. It’s very reasonable and Mom always leaves happy.

And my brows are less Frida Khalo.  Mom looks fabulous…

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Today after haircuts we went to A.T. Oasis at 46th St. and Thomas. It’s a new Ethiopian coffee shop and they make sandwiches and also sell bagged coffee, coffee drinks and baked sweets. I spotted what looked like some lemon pound cake that I will have to try next time. Today we picked up some bags of beans for my boss and his assistant manager, since they have been so good to me.

 

 

We have to look out for our people. I always try to do so locally.Image

Last night Jack made chicken in a pot. He uses a whole chicken, lemongrass, onions, a whole head of garlic, ginger and a dash of this and a dash of that (his words). Then he uses the broth to make jasmine rice and then we drink the leftover broth. Image

Really a very homey and tasty meal. He makes a couple of dipping sauces (not pictured) with hot green brined thai peppers/fish sauce and another with soy sauce and sugar. He’s an amazing cook. I’m convinced some day Mario Batali will try to whisk him away from me to be his sous chef. I would have to fly to NYC or Vegas to spend weekends with him. Hmmmm I don’t mind travel…

I digress. Travel gives me wanderlust. Or thoughts of travel. Or thoughts of food.

Before I met up with Mom today for haircuts, I met Dad for lunch (I needed sustenance to make it through the afternoon you know) at The Parlor. 19th St. and Camelback. They have a pizza with sausage, sage and raddichio. It is a great combination, and they use local sausage.

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They were voted best pizza in 2011, I think it was, and when you try their pizza you will know why. What a crust.

Our potluck at work this week was a huge success. Lookie lookie at all the goodies.

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Bianca made green chile and Ruben did the deviled eggs, I made the pasta salad (it was fabulous) and Joanna made mac and cheese, Lea did her famous bbq meatballs (in the crockpot – genius) and there were other yummy things that everyone contributed. The piece de resistance was my kahlua fudge cupcakes.

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I made the frosting with an Abuelita Mexican chocolate tablet, marshmallows, butter and confectioners sugar. They went quick!

Last weekend we went to Prescott for a night and on the way home we stopped at Pappadeaux for lunch. I-17 and Peoria. Image

This place has amazing seafood. I had crawfish bisque and a salad.

They make a dressing that has dijon mustard in it, I think it is their signature dressing, you must try it. Can’t wait to go back. Their menu is huge. Jack had some kind of gumbo with lots of seafood in it, and he was on cloud 9. There are little porticos/patios outside that are very private if you want some intimacy with your sweetie.

When Rob visited recently from South Carolina, we had breakfast at Essence one morning and were mesmerized by all of their goodies.

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Gilles (I might not be spelling his name right) offered us each a free large macaroon (not pictured) and I gave mine to Rob, since we had already eaten (homemade granola for him with chocolate croissant and a chocolate croissant for me.) How can one go wrong with chocolate after all? He ate them both and said they were just heaven. Get yours at 38th St. and Indian School. If you are lucky you might meet the chef/baker, Eugenia. When I see her I say, “Yes, chef!”

 

 

Banking, shopping and eating local….and eating at home

24 Feb

I’m in love with the nice folks at Desert Schools. They have helped me these past three years get my financial house in order (albeit my small financial house). I was reminded of them today when I was using my new phone rest Jack gave me. Various lending institutions visit his workplace, being a dealership, and he gets free stuff :) Mostly pens, magnets and occasionally something like this phone stand. Image

I’m pretty sure if you go open an account with these guys they will give you one. It is very useful for reading recipes (you need to read the whole recipe – more on that later) or watching jib jab animated cards you get from friends…

So speaking of reading the whole recipe, I made a fanny farmer blueberry recipe this weekend.

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The muffins look beautiful yet I failed to read the bottom part of the recipe where it says “do not use both the regular flour and the pastry flour” yet the ingredient list had them both listed.

http://www.food.com/recipe/fannie-farmer-blueberry-muffins-430475

Meh. Anyways, we ate some of them, Jack took a few to work and I plan to do the same. Thankfully it won’t ruin my kitchen reputation as the last 3 batches of jello I took to work didn’t set properly. So expectations might be low. Image

Jack made a delicious pork roast yesterday (see my leftovers today above) and I helped with the details of chopping garlic and onion for the broccoli and roasted potatoes. He rubbed the roast with herbes de provence and mushroom flavored salt, olive oil, kosher salt and some other kind of fairy dust I’m not sure of.  He let it marinate for several hours and then browned it on all sides then popped in the oven to bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. He then pulled the roast out to rest and cooked the juices with a little red wine so there was a jus. Just tender and delicious. You should make this roast. It was about two pounds so there are leftovers for me and Linda today and some for Jack’s lunch.

On Saturday I needed a feed so I headed over to our neighborhood Chinese place Little Shanghai. My aunt Char introduced me to them about 10 years ago, we would go together for dinner and she would treat me, which when I was younger and broker, it was very much appreciated. She likes their roast duck and shrimp in lobster sauce. My favorites are chicken lo mein and grandma’s salad, made with a mirin vinaigrette, cabbage and pork. This salad is so good, and you can enjoy it the next day. It just gets better with time. My lunch of choice on Saturday was chicken lo mein and samosas (new on their menu). And I have leftovers too for lunch tomorrow.

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Speaking of meals, I had a great lunch with Linda at BBQ Co (near 40th St./Broadway) last week. A BLT for me and a crispy chicken salad for her. Get the Jr. salad when you go as they are enormous. My favorite is their cobb salad with saulsalito (spelling?) chicken. Very juicy bird. With bacon bits and their homemade honey mustard dressing. And you should also go because they have Fairytale Brownies for dessert and on their menu they have a sandwich called the big thang (smoked brisket sandwich).

You know you want to order that. At least just so you can say big thang.

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Being a huge fan of foreign films (how do I Segway to that?) I was at Harkins Camelview 5 last week to see Gloria (a Chilean film) and I just loved it. The main actress, Paulina Garcia, is a force of nature. If you like foreigns, you should go and see this.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_(2013_film)

 After my movie I stopped at AJ’s Fine Foods to get some Spanish chorizo and La Brea Bread (does that sound snobby?) and I found these beautiful ranunculus, I could simply not resist buying them. A little pricy but a girl needs something pretty once in awhile.

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