Hot!Raising Arizona

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buffetbuster
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2014/02/27 08:41:08 (permalink)

Raising Arizona

Cousin Johnny and I took our annual vacation together recently, spending a week or so in the Grand Canyon State.  We usually take our trips in Spring or Summer, but since we were going to Arizona, we thought this might be a good year to get out of the Northeast Winter for a change.  And considering how brutal the weather has been this year, this turned out to be a wise decision.
 
Thursday February 13, 2014 
 
My flight into Phoenix wasn't until later in the day, but my morning started in such fine fashion, I had to include it in the report.  The afternoon before, Poverty Pete called to say that he was going to be in Pittsburgh.  Truly terrible timing, as I would have loved to have taken him to a couple of local Roadfood spots on this night, but at least I could meet him for breakfast.  At 6:30AM, I picked him up in the lot of a local grocery store where he parked his truck and we headed out.  During our previous conversation, I told him we would have to eat at one of the local nearby chains, as I didn't have much time since I was only working half a day.  But that's no way to treat a friend, especially someone who has taken me to so many wonderful places in Nashville over the years.  So we drove to Carnegie to eat at a place I recently reviewed, Gab & Eat.
 
A favorite for both wanderingjew and myself, the Gab & Eat is everything you look for in a Roadfood breakfast stop.  PP and I grabbed a couple of empty seats at the counter near the far end, which did not offer a good view of the grill and the swirl of activity around it.  I recommended the mixed grill,

a popular Pittsburgh breakfast dish which is a jumble of eggs, potatoes, peppers, onions and in this case, the excellent made-in-house sausage.  Just so we could sample both, he chose the hot sausage and I went with the sweet.  Oddly enough, the eggs in this case were fried as they are almost always scrambled instead.  Never seen that before.  Here is a photo I got of PP

enjoying his meal.  He seemed to especially like the thick Italian toast that comes on the side.  Neither one of us came close to eating our entire meal, since even the half portion sizes we ordered is a huge plate of food.
 
One of the things I noticed different about the Gab & Eat this time is that they cleaned all of the writing off of the walls.  You used to be able to write your name or whatever you wanted directly on the walls, but it was all scrubbed off and replaced in the back by this section.
 
Not particularly sure why this is necessary, but apparently they felt it was important to their customers.  I dropped PP off at his truck, said goodbye and was at work by 8:45AM.  
 
Once at the airport, I had enough time to grab a quick lunch at Bar Symon.  Now, I don't watch the Food Network and could care less about celebrity chefs, but I do like eating here because I can find Cleveland's favorite sandwich, the polish boy.  Unfortunately, they said they no longer have it on the menu.  I threw a couple of bucks down on the table and started to leave when the manager came over and mentioned that they still had all the ingredients to make one.  The only thing they were lacking was the hot dog bun, which is how it ended up looking like this. 

The coffee bbq sauce they use is a little unusual, but this was still a very good sandwich, highlighted by the juicy kielbasa with a serious snap when you bite into it.  Also enjoyable is the thin rosemary French fries,

though I don't care for the vinegary lola ketchup.
 
Despite the snow in Pittsburgh, the flight was delayed just a few minutes.  Next up, Arizona!              
post edited by buffetbuster - 2014/02/27 10:31:27
#1

331 Replies Related Threads

    wanderingjew
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 08:52:57 (permalink)
    Great start buffetbuster
     
    Always good to see Poverty Pete
    I'm glad you both made it to one one my favorite breakfast joints in Pittsburgh
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 09:05:51 (permalink)
    I am anxiously awaiting the Journey of BB in Arizona.  I have been allover the state many times.  I find it enchanting and a food paradise.  My brother and I have raced there many times with NHRA.  I have spent many days in Phoenix, Tucson and some strange totally Indian towns west of Tucson.  We stopped where the telescopes are and went up to the elevation where they where.  Great view.  We descended and drove west to fill up with gas in a totally Indian town.  Very weird as we went in to a grocery store and discovered so many wonderful foods that was not available anywhere else.  We were the only white guys there.  They were very polite..
     
    BB, we are looking forward to your report.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN  
    #3
    EdSails
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 09:06:39 (permalink)
    That polish boy still looks good. Great start to the trip!
    #4
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 09:56:31 (permalink)
    Is that really the half order for breakfast?  If so, that's huge!
     
    Luvin your Polish Boy...and PP is nice also! 
    #5
    Poverty Pete
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 10:10:13 (permalink)
    Greg, you have no idea.  It's even larger than the photo shows.
    BB and I each had a half order, and both of us took more than half of that away in take out boxes.  I don't believe a full order would even fit onto a normal sized plate.  I highly recommend the hot sausage, and the grilled toast was "to die for!"
    Shout out to TTM.
    #6
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 12:16:43 (permalink)
    I have to get that mixed grill -- with the hot sausage.
    #7
    billyboy
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 12:43:28 (permalink)
    Great stuff, BB & PP.  I need to get to Pittsburgh one day for a mixed grill!  Looking forward to the rest of the trip!
    #8
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 12:50:24 (permalink)
    billyboy

    Great stuff, BB & PP.  I need to get to Pittsburgh one day for a mixed grill!  Looking forward to the rest of the trip!

    Oh, there's so much more to get in Pittsburgh. But watch out for portion sizes. They don't know the meaning of moderation when it comes to the amount of food served in Western Pennsylvania. And that's a good thing.
    #9
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 12:52:06 (permalink)
    CTD-
    Yeah, that's really the half size.  Although it is so big, you almost never hear of anyone ordering the full size.
     
    PP-
    So glad that we were able to get together that morning.  I would have been really upset had you come to Pittsburgh at a time we couldn't get together at all.  BTW, did the Giant Eagle let you park your truck there?
     
    Michael-
    From what I know about you, the Gab & Eat would quickly become a favorite of yours.  The hot sausage isn't generally hot, although every once in a while, it can be a real scorcher!
     
    Thanks to everyone else for the comments!
    #10
    MellowRoast
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 12:58:39 (permalink)
    Thumbs up report, Buffetbuster -- and what a magnificent sandwich.
    #11
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 13:24:51 (permalink)
    It seems once having arrived in Phoenix, everything went in slow motion.  It took a while to collect the luggage.  There was an incredibly long line to catch the shuttle to the car rental facility.  Once there, the area around Budget Car Rental was a mass of humanity.  Luckily, I am a Fastbreak member, so I could bypass the line and go straight to the car.  Otherwise, I might still be there.
     
    Dinner was at Blue Adobe Grill

    in nearby Mesa.  This is a New Mexican restaurant and the Sterns recommended the carne adovada in 500 Things To Eat.  By the time I walked in the door, it was already 8:25PM and they close at 9:00, so they were mostly empty. 

    The hostess tried to put me at the darkest table in the restaurant, but my 50+ year old eyes don't do well reading menus in the dark, so I had her switch to a table against the wall with better lighting.
     
    Service was not the best.  It took at least 15 minutes before I had anyone approach my table and bided my time with the chips and the dark salsa. 

    First up was the green chile corn chowder. 

    This was very creamy, with big chunks of green chile, but no discernible heat.  When the waiter asked if I wanted red or green chile on my entrée, of course the answer was Christmas! 

    The menu actually calls the carne adovada pot roast and it indeed was fork tender.  The red

    was fiery hot, but I preferred the flavor of the green

    better.
     
    Blue Adobe Grill
    144 N. Country Club Drive
    Mesa, AZ
    480-962-1000
     
    Wanting something quick for dessert and preferably near my hotel, I made a stop in Tempe to find Paletas Betty

    The area nearby has lots of restaurants and bars, but I was able to find a parking metered spot just a block away.  It was a surprise to find that you are required to put change in the meter up until 10:00PM.  With it being 9:50 by now, I thought about not putting any coins in, until I saw a man walking around handing out tickets.
     
    It must have been a fairly busy day at Betty's, because they sure didn't have much inventory left.  Here are the available flavors for this day

    and there was no doubt the choice would be zarzamora,

    a combination of blackberry and lavender.  By the time I got into my room, it was partially melted and unwrapping it caused a big mess, but that just aided in getting to the big chunks of fruit that much easier.  This was a great way to end the night.
     
    Paletas Betty
    425 S. Mill Avenue
    Tempe, AZ      
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2014/02/27 16:07:33
    #12
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 13:31:06 (permalink)
    Oh, this is going to be another good one. Keep it coming, Sir.
    #13
    pnwchef
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 14:15:19 (permalink)
    Looking forward to some good picks, the Super Bowl is there next year. It just may be a nice place to visit in early Feb.........nice report so far BB........
    #14
    Poverty Pete
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 14:50:30 (permalink)
    The manager at Giant Eagle was very gracious.  I was made to feel welcome, and stayed about 10 hours after you dropped me off.  Even if it hadn't been snowing, I think he would have been fine.  Next time I'm in town,  that will be my first choice for parking.  They also have a really good salad bar.
    MH, the mixed grill with hot sausage and Italian toast is the way to go.
    #15
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 15:09:42 (permalink)
    Thanks BB.
    #16
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 15:11:36 (permalink)
    PP-
    Good to know.  I have plenty of grocery store choices around here, but Giant Eagle just went up in my estimation.  That and the fact that they carry Graeter's ice cream!
    #17
    leethebard
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 15:33:12 (permalink)
    Don't get to Phoenix and Flagstaff much anymore. so I'm glad to hitch a ride along with you. If you're near a Red Devil Pizza place, give it a whirl!!!
    #18
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 16:09:49 (permalink)
    I don't undersdtand the one choice thing?!?!?!
    #19
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 16:29:18 (permalink)
    That Polish Boy looked incomplete without the fries sitting on top of the slaw.  I can't believe a place in Pittsburgh put them on the side.  It looked more like Fathead's "Southside Slopes" sandwich than a PB Deluxe.
     
    I wouldn'ta sent it back to the kitchen though.
     
    Nice start bb!
     
    Buddy
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 17:37:41 (permalink)
    pnwchef
    Looking forward to some good picks, the Super Bowl is there next year. It just may be a nice place to visit in early Feb.........nice report so far BB........

    Seems there's a MAJOR assumption that the Chickenhawks might be participating????????????
    I had the pleasure of joining BB & Cousin Johnny during their visit and look forward to the rest of the report!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2014/02/27 17:40:05
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    Texascajun
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/27 22:00:07 (permalink)
    Great start again. The portions at Gab and Eat are crazy and the green chile sauce in Arizona looks great.
    #22
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/28 07:40:26 (permalink)
    BuddyRoadhouse

    That Polish Boy looked incomplete without the fries sitting on top of the slaw.  I can't believe a place in Pittsburgh put them on the side.  It looked more like Fathead's "Southside Slopes" sandwich than a PB Deluxe.

    I wouldn'ta sent it back to the kitchen though.

    Nice start bb!

    Buddy
    Buddy, I used some of the fries to complete the Polish Boy.  You can't expect yinzers to know too much about sandwiches from Cleveland.   

    #23
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/28 14:00:06 (permalink)
    You've put my mind at ease.
     
    Still, piling  Frech Fries on a sandwich is part of Pittsburgh's Culinary Culture.  To leave them off seems contrary to your yinzer instincts.
     
    Unless they were left off intentionally as a statement (cue the ominous music).  I'm familiar with the rivalry and hostility between the Burghers and the people of Cleve's Land.  Maybe the folks working at Bar Symon said, "You can make us serve this foreign devil sandwich, but you can't force us to compromise our French Fry on a Sandwich traditions."
     
    Buddy
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/28 14:34:35 (permalink)
    Be sure to hit Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale!
    #25
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/28 14:42:54 (permalink)
    Well, earlier this morning I wrote the next segment, only to have it disappear when I pushed post message.  Ugh!  This is why I always post my trip reports in small portions.
     
    On a brighter note, Johnny texted me with the suggestion that since we ate so much food on our trip, this report should be called Grazing Arizona! 
     
    MJ-
    That did occur to me while we were out there, but there are just too many other good places to go.
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2014/02/28 14:44:42
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/28 14:44:48 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    Well, earlier this morning I wrote the next segment, only to have it disappear when I pushed post message.  Ugh!  This is why I always post my trip reports in small portions.
    Does not compute...
    #27
    pnwchef
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/28 14:46:36 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    pnwchef
    Looking forward to some good picks, the Super Bowl is there next year. It just may be a nice place to visit in early Feb.........nice report so far BB........

    Seems there's a MAJOR assumption that the Chickenhawks might be participating????????????
    I had the pleasure of joining BB & Cousin Johnny during their visit and look forward to the rest of the report!
     
    fbme, I think it's a dream come true if it happens. It would make traveling easy for the home team. Seattle gets to play Denver during the season, in Seattle.........I can hear the roar of the crowd already...I may come down for a few weeks during that time and stay for the Mariners Spring training.......pnwc
    #28
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/28 15:09:27 (permalink)
    Bianco's?
    #29
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Raising Arizona 2014/02/28 15:55:22 (permalink)
    TJ-
    Yes!  But I bet it doesn't show up until around page 12!
    #30
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