Skiing at Snowbowl, dinner at Fez, St. Patty’s day in Las Vegas and Dad’s birthday at Avanti

21 Mar

We had a great time skiing at Snowbowl a few weeks back. It had been awhile since Jack had been skiing, and it turned out that he never lost his touch. The weather was beautiful (spring skiing, think slushy snow and no-jacket required). We were able to rent equipment right on the mountain and our hotel in Flagstaff (Rodeway Inn) had all of the creature comforts of home. A great dinner at El Criollo. If you go to Flagstaff, you must eat here. We enjoyed fish and pork belly tacos, ceviche, margaritas and chicken tortilla soup. I believe they also have a Tucson location in the works, so check before you are heading in that direction. You will want to eat there. On their happy hour they have a Sonoran hot dog wrapped in bacon. Enough said!

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For some reason, a bloody mary tastes very good while you are sipping it on a mountain.

My friend Rob just headed home for South Carolina. He spent last week visiting me and Jack here in Phoenix. He also was the catalyst for our trip to Las Vegas.

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Yup, two nights (count em) at Excalibur. Our view was amazing (from the 26th floor no less). Their pool area is really beautiful. If you can pull a couple of days together and make a trip to Vegas, you should do it. A fun town, even though we didn’t gamble that much. Just a little video poker. Our hotel had Krispy Kreme (deadly) and Baja Fresh so we were able to get our feed on quite easily. We didn’t make it to the MGM Seafood Buffet as we had planned, so we will have to make a trip back in September when Carlos Santana will be playing at House of Blues. I know. A sacrifice. We did enjoy some live St. Paddy’s day music on the strip, along with a Guiness, in the spirit of showing our support for the Irish.

When we got back home, we needed a feed (I mean you can’t go from a vacation right back to the kitchen) so we stopped at FEZ. OMG. You must go and eat at FEZ. It was happy hour and Jack enjoyed a regular margarita, Rob ordered the citrus version and I stuck to Kiltlifter.

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Their dinner specials are a must-try. $8.95 for arroz con pollo (the seasonings in this dish were out of this world) and the pork chop with fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts in a lemon sauce was very juicy. Oh. Mercy. Heavens. And their fries are deadly. We had fries two ways: with rosemary and harissa spices. Quite a punch. And we shared a creme brulee and had fancy coffee with Bailey’s, vodka, Kahlua and I don’t know what else was in there.

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I just know I was feeling really good.

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Recently Dad had his birthday and we celebrated at Avanti. If you have $100 and a date (or not) go there and have yourself a special dinner. They make a pretty good manhattan (I might have enjoyed two). They serve escargots, oysters, shrimp cocktail, and the list of special offerings goes on and on. My entree was a beef shank ragu with homemade wide pasta. I cannot wait to go back and order this again. Also, next time I will have the Benito salad. It has shrimp and avocado. We all got a little gussied up for the occasion.

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It was a super-fun evening.

Today I picked up a pair of crocheted earrings from the nice lady at my Walgreens at 44th St./Indian School.

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Her daughter makes them for $5.00 a pop. I think it is such a deal. Just go and see her (I think she is the only redhead there) and place your order. Or I can do it for you.

Jack made some latkes last week with mini sliders. I think I ate three latkes and one slider and then I needed a wheelbarrow to move, honestly.

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We bought some mini kaiser onion rolls onion from Karsh’s bakery on 7th Street. They also make hot dog buns and if you don’t want to go all the way down there, you can also get them at AJ’s.

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