Monday April 23
Starting out the day at the Tucson location of the Phoenix mini- chain Cartel Coffee lab- made me realize something.
Coffee snobbery may exist. Cartel Coffee is one of those new third wave coffee houses (aka pour over) that I wish would just "go away" Cartel coffee goes a step almost ridiculing you for putting any type of cream, milk of sweetener in their
coffee. Those of you (I'm assuming the majority of you) that are satisfied with their maxwell house and Mr. Coffee and don't get my going "ga ga" for coffee houses (probably the same way I don't get your going "ga ga" over bacon) probably understand where I'm coming from .
Anyway, enough ranting, yes the coffee was outstanding at at $3 per 16 oz cup and $3 for each refill it should be!
I made the 90 minute jaunt back to Phoenix
and actually had another decent cuppa coffee at Copper Star Coffee a few miles north of Downtown.
After taking care of some personal business it was time for lunch Carolina's Mexican Kitchen
A cement square of a structure that has even less atmosphere inside than it does outside. But what it lacks in atmosphere it makes up for in what it delivers. Carolina's Mexican Kitchen
means alot to me from a Roadfood
perspective . Some of you may remember that when I first started taking digital photos on my trip reports, 6 years ago, Carolina's was the first place I started doing so.
And like 6 years ago, I ordered the same thing.
Their fantastic loaded Chimichanga. For those who don't know, the Chimichanga was invented in Arizona, actually it was invented in Tucson at El Charro back in the 1920's. Well, I couldn't tell you about the one one there, but the Chimichanga at Carolina's offered a hot crunchy exterior and a very flavorful and not overly spicy interior.
It went well with a respectable horchata (free refills too)
After lunch, I had another stop to make. My plans were to hit the Tamale Store
out on Cave Creek Road in Phoenix and compare their green corn tamales to the ones I enjoyed in Tucson. I made a call in advance when I first arrived on Friday and the lady I spoke to assured me they would have some green corn tamales when I visited on Monday afternoon. Well when I got their, they were closed, no explanation.
I called and the recording confirmed their hours. What a bummer- Travelin Manned
- for the first and last time on this trip.
The rest of the day was wide open, my initial plans were to do some more outdoor sightseeing but with temps expected to soar past 100 degrees I had enough of the desert heat Before starting this trip, I had no idea the temps
courtesy of good ol' global warming were going to average 15-20 degrees above average.
I opted instead to head to Old Town Tempe first. Home to ASU, Old Town Tempe caters to college students
I stopped here at Sparky's Old Town Creamer
y where they were passing out samples.
I went for something very unique- The Raspberry Dark Chocolate Habanero - a free topping was included- I added peanuts to this interesting combination, they warned me this would be spicy, and although the ice cream itself did not wow me- yes, it definitely had a kick- enough to make my eyes water- unfortunately I forgot to get a photo.
I continued on people watching and noticed these interesting signs right next door to eachother Thinking like a student, I figured I would begin here. And immediately afterwards go here, right next door
Afterwards I drove to one of my favorite brew pubs- Four Peaks
in Tempe- and ordered the best beer on the trip, the Kilt Lifter- a refreshing Scottish Ale- one of my favorite beers in the country.
After enjoying my beer, I continued on to Old Town Scottsdale where I was greeted by this cowboy
Old town had some pretty cool shops-
and some great scenery as well.
I tried to ask these folks for help in finding a good western wear shop but they weren't much help- all they did was just sit there.
After checking into The Scottsdale Cottonwood Resorts (a steal for $50 on priceline) I was ready to head back to the Barrio in inner city Phoenix for some more eats.
Since I was green corn tamale deprived from earlier in the afternoon, I decided to head to the place where I would have had breakfast (if I decided to) two days earlier prior to heading to Tucson. La Tolteca
A bakery, market and restaurant all rolled up into one- Receiving accolades on both Yelp and Urbanspoon, when, I walked in I could see why.
I approached the counter, checking their website before arriving, they had exactly what I was looking for.
I gave my order, and when it arrived I sat down in the dining room
I ordered two Green Corn Tamales (I had to save room for dinner which was immediately afterwards)
If I knew how big they were going to be, I would have ordered one- they were hum-on-gous and incredibly good.
I'm not sure if they were better that that at the Tucson Tamale Company but they were at least just as good. If I have the opportunity to ever return to Phoenix again, I would certainly return and try their other items as well. Truly a fantastic find.
Immediately after my snack, I made my final stop for the evening. Rosita's Place
Like La Tolteca, there were nothing but glowing reviews on yelp and urbanspoon. So I was set on Rosita's.
Once again, I had the opportunity to share a meal with foodbme
who was there when I arrived.
Fresh and hot chips arrived at the table- and when I mean hot and fresh- I don't think they could have been any fresher- I declare the chips at Rosita's Place
the best of the trip.
And the red and green couldn't have been any better- in fact the red really had kick to it.
I ordered the Machaca plate
I never had Machaca before. It was tender and juicy and served with flour tortillas on the side.
I heard great things about Rosita's horchata on the web.
Not only was it the largest glass of Horchata on the trip, I also declare it the best- not too sweet but packed with "cinnamony" flavor.
Rosita's place was another great find, and I would certainly return again.
It was a pleasure dining with foodbme
once again. He is a great ambassador to his adopted city.
Afterwards I headed back to my hotel in Scottsdale as I had an early day to look forward to. Tuesday April 24
Flying out of Phoenix this morning, I really wanted to head back to Copper Star for coffee but decided to get coffee in Scottsdale since I didn't know what traffic would be like heading back to the Airport. I unknowingly ended up at another "pour over" coffee house called Echo- voted best in Scottsdale for obvious reasons- good, yes, expensive yes. I asked the barista why pourover coffee was so popular in Arizona, she didn't know, she assumed it was popular everywhere. Well as it turns out there was very little traffic heading back to the Airport.
I arrived and departed Phoenix for new adventures. This is the end of this trip report, however the trip continues with a new trip report beginning sometime in the middle of the week.
<message edited by wanderingjew on Mon, 05/14/12 7:42 PM>