Hot!Raising Arizona

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JRPfeff
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/01 22:20:00 (permalink)
buffeted-buster,
 
That is not ham, Sam I am.  We call those smoked pork chops where I come from, or even Kasseler Rippchen if dining at one of them fancy German joints.
 
jrp
EdSails
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 01:48:13 (permalink)
Foodbme

EdSails

Believe it or not, I have never tried a Sonoran dog, but you've made me want to search one out here and try it, BB. At least you were gone from Tucson before the ASU Riots yesterday!

There were no "Riots". Just some fun loving kids expressing themselves. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcK35ZZyVAA

 
Leave it to the news. By the time I heard about it the thing was only slightly smaller than the '65 Watts riots! " />
Foodbme
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 02:08:35 (permalink)
EdSails

Foodbme

EdSails

Believe it or not, I have never tried a Sonoran dog, but you've made me want to search one out here and try it, BB. At least you were gone from Tucson before the ASU Riots yesterday!

There were no "Riots". Just some fun loving kids expressing themselves. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcK35ZZyVAA


Leave it to the news. By the time I heard about it the thing was only slightly smaller than the '65 Watts riots! " />

My Daughter was a Senior at USC getting ready to Graduate when the '92 Riots broke out. There was a question if Graduation would take place. It did with armed National Guard on the rooftops of buildings at USC and foot patrols on duty. 
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 07:34:32 (permalink)
buffetbuster -
We loved Diablo Burger on our visit.  We all disliked the tractor seats and took our food to the outdoor tables and enjoyed the people watching.  The burgers and fries were really good but the milk shakes were exquisite!  BTW - both selections looked marvelous and I do enjoy the branded "bun!"
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 07:46:03 (permalink)
Looking for dessert in downtown Flagstaff, we quickly found The Sweet Shoppe & Nut House

This was actually on our radar the night before and we had plans to stop in after our Thai meal, but by then, they were already closed.
 
When reading about this candy store, it received good reviews for the gelato and the candy apples.  There were no other customers when we walked in, which gave us some time to chat with the young girl behind the counter and to ask plenty of questions.  Unfortunately, no gelato because the gelato maker had caught fire.  Is this where the burnt sugar flavor comes from? They did have a big assortment of candy apples to choose from. 

Johnny and I both made our selections, which she packed in a big bag for us. 

She had told us that she was new to the job and her boss had just stepped out for a moment.  Meanwhile, the flood gates had opened and there were now at least a half dozen other customers in the store.  You could see she was already getting stressed out.  We took our candy back to the room and dug in.
 
Johnny was a big fan of his smores marshmallow on a stick,

with a dusting of graham cracker and a ribbon of chocolate.  His other two choices were the almond toffee bar on the left

and the macadamia praline, with thick, soft caramel.
 
The best thing I ordered was the dark chocolate peanut butter bucket.  

The chocolate had a deep, rich flavor, the peanut butter wonderfully creamy.  Too bad I didn't get more of these.  The mint meltaway bark

tasted of real mint and the best part of my M & M candy apple

was that the apple was perfectly crispy.
 
Obviously, we couldn't eat all of this in one night and snacked on for the next few days.  If you are passing through Flagstaff, this place id worth the stop.  BTW, when I looked at their website, I saw they had a second location.  Only this one is in Bridgeville, PA, less than a half hour away from me.  It was recently reviewed in the local paper.
 
The Sweet Shoppe & Nut House
15 E. Aspen Avenue
Flagstaff, AZ
928-255-4919
 
When we were eating at Diablo Burgers, our waitress overheard us discussing where to go for dinner.  She suggested a local pizza place that she also worked at and I did look it up and it does receive high ratings.  But, we knew we would be eating pizza twice once back in Phoenix, so we ended up just staying in the hotel for the night. 
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 07:48:20 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner

buffetbuster -
We loved Diablo Burger on our visit.  We all disliked the tractor seats and took our food to the outdoor tables and enjoyed the people watching.  The burgers and fries were really good but the milk shakes were exquisite!  BTW - both selections looked marvelous and I do enjoy the branded "bun!"
Unfortunately, no milkshakes on the day we visited.  Truthfully, I have forgotten why, but it was a disappointment.  And those tractor seats were awful! 

ChiTownDiner
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 07:56:47 (permalink)
buffetbuster

ChiTownDiner

buffetbuster -
We loved Diablo Burger on our visit.  We all disliked the tractor seats and took our food to the outdoor tables and enjoyed the people watching.  The burgers and fries were really good but the milk shakes were exquisite!  BTW - both selections looked marvelous and I do enjoy the branded "bun!"
Unfortunately, no milkshakes on the day we visited.  Truthfully, I have forgotten why, but it was a disappointment.  And those tractor seats were awful! 


Our mold does not fit their mold...
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 08:04:36 (permalink)
CTD-
You got that right!
 
CarolinaJim-
Thanks for weighing in on the breakfast meat at Trapper's Café.  There is no doubt that the restaurant knows what they are talking about, in that it is pork chops.  The fact that they called it cured, though, threw me off.  And I will have to be on the look out for Kasseler Rippchen the next time I am eating German.
 
 
My goal is to have this report done before leaving for Cincinnati next Thursday.
love2bake
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 08:58:20 (permalink)
Ooooh--that Sweet Shoppe looks wonderful!  As do those pies you had a few posts back.   
 
For sure, I'd also have loved that burger Johnny got with the grilled onions, bacon, etc.--that was a thing of beauty--and his Tom Ka soup.  Mmmm... I could just about smell those Belgian style fries, too. 
 
Meteor Crater is such a mind-blowing place.  I felt foolish paying what seemed to me like a high admission fee (at least 15 years ago, now), but it's such an experience that you can't get any other way!  Amazing.
 
Fun report!!
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 09:27:31 (permalink)
Thanks love2bake!  When I saw how much it cost at Meteor Crater, I was also a little surprised.  At that price, not sure we would return, but we were still glad we did it.
 
And you would have loved those pies!
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 10:46:12 (permalink)
Friday February 21, 2014
 
It was another early start for us and when we got in the car, it showed it to be only 22 degrees.  Knowing that we would be headed for Phoenix (did you get that TJ!), I was curious to see just how big of a temperature swing we would be seeing.
 
Johnny is a fan of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so for breakfast, we ate at Brandy's Restaurant & Bakery,

a place he had seen on the show.  We were the fist customers of the day when they opened at 6:30.  On the way to the table, we passed a small bakery case. 

Although these items looked good, Brandy's is definitely a restaurant first and a bakery second.  The interior is comfortable,

with tables and booths, plus art for sale on the walls.
 
For some reason, we both deviated from our usual breakfast routine and ordered lattes.  On the left is Johnny's pumpkin spice latte

and on the right is my peppermint latte.  We both agreed they were too sweet and we would not order them again.
 
They really have a nice menu at Brandy's and I can't remember the last time having this hard a time deciding what to order.  Johnny got the banana pancakes,

which came in an order of two and were big enough to fill up an entire dinner plate.  These had a spongy interior, with a slightly crisp exterior and were according to the menu, made from scratch.  While Johnny did have syrup available, he mostly used the excellent whipped strawberry butter,

which they brought us on request.  He also got one fried egg,

which looked rather lonely on this plate.
 
I am a big fan of benedicts and ended up going with the bacon avocado benedict. 


The apple cider cured bacon was really good!  The hollandaise sauce was thin, with a slight lemon flavor.  Still, the best of the plate goes the rugged home fries,

which are so often undercooked, but not here.  These were crispy on the outside, had a creamy interior and were well seasoned.
 
The service here was slow, though no fault of our waitress.  She seemed to be the only regular waitress working (there was a teenage girl helping with coffee refills) and by the time we were done with our meal, the restaurant was half filled.  Who knows, maybe someone called off.
 
As we walked back to the car, the air was definitely filled with a strong scent of smoke.  One of us said it must be one of those pesky gelato maker fires they have around Flagstaff!
 
Brandy's Restaurant & Bakery
1500 E. Cedar Avenue #40
Flagstaff, AZ
928-779-2187
 
We started south back towards Phoenix.    
EdSails
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 12:18:55 (permalink)
I have been to the Grand Canyon and that was an experience. Some day I hope to make it to the Petrified Forest and Meteor Crater------they both must really put the world and life in perspective as well as being incredible places to see.
 
BB--Are you sure the gelato machine didn't catch fire when they were making Johnny's s'mores?

TJ Jackson
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 12:38:22 (permalink)
buffetbuster
(did you get that TJ!)


post edited by TJ Jackson - 2014/04/02 12:39:36
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:08:07 (permalink)
A coworker has a gorgeous framed photo of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona on her office wall.  I have looked at it so many times, there was no way I was going to be this close and not go see it for myself. 

And it is just as beautiful in person.  The interior is surprisingly small,



but still impressive.  The view from the church looking out over the landscape

may be even more stunning.
 
We did drive around the town of Sedona a little bit, but we didn't really have the time we needed to spend here.  Both Red Rock State Park and Slide Rock State Park are nearby, but both are hiking parks, which wasn't possible.  So, we got on I-17 south headed for Phoenix.
 
Our next stop was at Rock Springs Café,

which sits right next to the interstate in Black Canyon City.  This place is best known for their pies, as you can tell by the pie art

and the cases full of pies


as soon as you walk in.
 
We were told it was going to be about a ten minute wait, so I walked over to the empty bar room and Lookout Loretta!, they had the hockey game on tv. 

The Olympics were going on and being a big hockey fan, it was killing me to be missing all of the games.  Especially on this day, since the USA vs. Canada semifinals game was being played.  By the time Johnny came to get me to say our table was ready, the second period was just ending.
 
My girlfriend and I had dinner here two years ago and thought it was average at best.  Since we had some serious eating to do once we reached Phoenix, Johnny and I decided to just get three slices of pie to split.  Here

is the available pie list.  First up mixed berry crumb,

with at least strawberries, blueberries and blackberries inside.  It was mostly bland soft crumb with very little fruit and this was a terrible slice of pie.  Neither one of us took more than two bites of it.  On my previous visit, I enjoyed the Tennessee Lemon,

but today it is was not good.  Not really tart, not really sweet, it was just lifeless.  The clear winner of the three pies was the coconut cream. 

While the coconut filling did have good flavor, the ratio of topping to filling was way off.  I do not recommend these pies, as they do seem to be mass produced.  If you want good pie in Arizona, go to Trapper's Café or Fran's Place. 
 
There were two good things I can say about the place and that is the little cowboy hats used as lids for the hot sauces

and the Arizona state flag inspired doors

in the bar.  After we finished eating, I went back to the bar and finished watching the disappointing 1-0 loss for the Americans.  Bad pie and a loss in hockey.....  I don't have fond memories of this place.
 
Rock Springs Café
35769 Old Black Canyon Highway
Black Canyon City, AZ
623-374-5794
 
We continued south to Phoenix. 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2014/04/02 13:23:40
rumaki
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:20:57 (permalink)
This is such a great report.
 
I'm curious to know what folks think about the practice of putting a slice of orange (or an orange twist) on breakfast plates, as they appear to do at Brandy's? Do people actually eat them?  Do they get recycled in the kitchen to go on to the next diner (I hope not!)?  Beaumont Inn used to do this (orange slice next to the cornmeal batter cakes, orange slice next to the eggs and sausage, etc.), but on our most recent visit, they appear to have stopped.
 
I know it is supposed to be a decorative garnish (witness the "lonely" egg above that has an orange slice alongside in BB's report).  But I am allergic to fresh oranges and may not be able to eat something if the orange has rested on top of it (next to it is probably OK).  Unless it's a place I frequent, I feel like I have to ask, every time, "Do you garnish your breakfast plates with fresh orange slices?"  And I feel like an idiot when I do it, but even more of an idiot if I don't and the orange slice shows up.
 
Someone must like them, I suppose, or restaurants wouldn't do it.
  
Sundancer7
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:27:13 (permalink)
My brother and I had breakfast in Sedona a few years ago when we were racing in Phoenix with NHRA.  Beautiful enchanting place. 
 
Paul E. Smith
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Foodbme
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:30:06 (permalink)
rumaki

This is such a great report.

I'm curious to know what folks think about the practice of putting a slice of orange (or an orange twist) on breakfast plates, as they appear to do at Brandy's? Do people actually eat them?  Do they get recycled in the kitchen to go on to the next diner (I hope not!)?  Beaumont Inn used to do this (orange slice next to the cornmeal batter cakes, orange slice next to the eggs and sausage, etc.), but on our most recent visit, they appear to have stopped.

I know it is supposed to be a decorative garnish (witness the "lonely" egg above that has an orange slice alongside in BB's report).  But I am allergic to fresh oranges and may not be able to eat something if the orange has rested on top of it (next to it is probably OK).  Unless it's a place I frequent, I feel like I have to ask, every time, "Do you garnish your breakfast plates with fresh orange slices?"  And I feel like an idiot when I do it, but even more of an idiot if I don't and the orange slice shows up.

Someone must like them, I suppose, or restaurants wouldn't do it.
 


I usually eat them. I like a little garnish on a plate. Some are done better than others. 
Foodbme
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:35:10 (permalink)
So sorry to hear about your Rock Springs Café experience.
I've been singing their praises on RF to everyone.
The last time I was there was 2 years ago and everything was fine.
Something (Ownership, Pie Baker etc.) may have changed.
post edited by Foodbme - 2014/04/02 13:37:00
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:39:54 (permalink)
Foodbme-
Here is what we were thinking.....  
 
No doubt that this used to be a little undiscovered Roadfood-type gem for many years.  But, then it got discovered.  The crowds started coming.  And the only way they could meet the demand for pies was to start mass producing them.  All this is speculation on my part, but we all have all seen this before.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2014/04/03 14:05:03
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:41:35 (permalink)
My wife eats the garnish and I eat the 4-egg omelet, home fries and toast...I also tend to look more..."well fed"....
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:56:08 (permalink)
EdSails 

BB--Are you sure the gelato machine didn't catch fire when they were making Johnny's s'mores?

Ed, I wish I had thought while at the candy store!

buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 13:59:14 (permalink)
rumaki-
That must be a real pain being allergic to fresh oranges, because you see it being used as a garnish very frequently.  And no doubt the only reason it was on that plate was to make the egg a little less lonely.  Do you ever have to send food back because of this? 
 
In answering your question, I only eat it maybe 50% of the time. 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2014/04/02 14:00:26
rumaki
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 14:07:27 (permalink)
buffetbuster --
 
Yes, sometimes I do have to send the food back. 
 
It's almost impossible for me to ever order  fresh fruit salads because they almost invariably have fresh oranges in them, but I understand and expect that.  Ditto duck in orange sauce, etc.
 
The problem for me is the introduction of the fresh orange as a garnish, not an ingredient.
 
Unfortunately, my allergy is real -- I can have (and have had) an anaphylactic reaction to orange oils and the "fumes" from a freshly cut or peeled orange -- and I have to ban oranges from all my classrooms.
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/02 14:24:22 (permalink)
rumaki-
Wow!  That is a serious allergy.  No wonder you have to frequently ask or send back the food, even if it is a pain.  You just never know when it will show up on your plate.
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/03 14:04:09 (permalink)
By the time we got to Phoenix, it was now in the low 80s, which meant that we had experienced a 60 degree swing in temperature, which I don't ever remember feeling before. 
 
Our first stop in town was a place that wanderingjew had recently reviewed for Roadfood, Tacos de Juarez.  The outside has some dramatic murals. 


Even though it was well past lunch time, the place was full, with the only seats being at a small table for two next to the door.
 
We were immediately given good chips, plus both green and red salsas,

with the green being the spicier of the two.  To drink, we both went with horchatas,

which was on the thin side and tasted more cinnamon than sweet.  This was one of the better horchatas of the trip.
 
As an appetizer, we split an order of the tostada ceviche. 

This was shrimp, onion, tomato and cilantro all chopped up fine, sitting on a thin crispy fried tortilla.  Everything tasted fresh and was very refreshing!  We also split a lengua (beef tongue) taco 

and we found the meat to be chewy and flavorful.  They only serve the lengua in soft tacos.
 
Johnny's entrée was the outstanding chimichanga,

which wasn't as long as we had seen elsewhere, but this was plump and stuffed with machaca, a dried, spiced tender beef mixed with jalapenos and onions.  The exterior had a nice crispy shell and was topped with sour cream and fresh chunks of guacamole.  Chimichanga perfection!
 
This time, I was Captain Combo, going with the cheese enchilada and flauta duo. 

The latter was in a shell that was so tough, it was difficult cutting it with a knife.  The interior was regular dried beef and not machaca, which we confirmed with the waitress.  The cheese enchilada was soft, not overly cheesy and easy to love.
 
Looking at my photos of the menu now that I am home, how in the world did we not try the pineapple chipotle chicken wings? 

That sounds fantastic!
 
Our waitress was a real cutie pie and even though she struggled a little with the communicating with us due to her limited English (and our limited Spanish), she took great care of us.  With where we were sitting, the line of people waiting to pay was right next to us. 

As I was taking my food photos, a very large Hispanic man started a conversation saying he has been coming here for years and said the food was both the best and the cheapest in Phoenix!  We saw no reason to dispute this. 
 
At the risk of giving wanderingjew a swollen head, Tacos de Juarez is an outstanding Roadfood find!
 
Tacos de Juarez
1017 N 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ
602-258-1744
 
There was a pie place nearby we went to visit, but it turns out that they had closed shop.  Knowing how bad rush hour traffic could be in Phoenix, we decided to get off the roads and checked into our hotel.   
post edited by buffetbuster - 2014/04/03 14:59:13
TJ Jackson
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/03 15:18:51 (permalink)
P I Z Z A
T I M E
buffetbuster
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/03 15:39:49 (permalink)
TJ-
You are 100% right.  Pizza time will be next.
TJ Jackson
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/03 15:41:13 (permalink)
Can we have the kicking and scratching pic first?
Foodbme
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/03 18:50:59 (permalink)
TJ Jackson
Can we have the kicking and scratching pic first?

Be careful what you ask for!
I'm as excited to see the report as you are!!!
We may BOTH be surprised!!
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Raising Arizona 2014/04/03 18:58:52 (permalink)
Seriously dude, you mention a "cutie pie" waitress, then don't include a picture of her?  C'mon Cliff, Man does not live on Mexican food alone.  A good looking waitress every once in a while gives us a better perspective on life.
 
Buddy
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