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.


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


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).


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.


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

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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.




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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.





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