Phoenix food finds

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JRPfeff
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2010/12/18 15:36:31 (permalink)

Phoenix food finds

Although Phoenix is our nation's 5th largest city, I think it is poorly represented at Roadfood, less so than even Arizona's much smaller second city of Tucson.  This can be attributed to the newness of the place, the shear number of franchised fast food and casual dining restaurants, and the feel of the area being just a part of very-East L.A.  In fact, the people I work with go out to eat nearly every day of the week, but only hit local, non-chain restaurants about a quarter of the time.

I am starting this thread to focus on my new mission.   I intend to make this a thread a place to post reviews of Roadfood-worthy places in the Phoenix area.  I'm starting with a rerun of a review from this summer.

ORIGINAL 6/28/10 POST:  Fritzi's Heart & Soul BBQ
A certain individual from the Keystone State asked me to be on the lookout for Roadfood worthy places in the Phoenix area.  I do believe that I have found one.

I first spotted Fritzi's on Google maps when I was looking for a hotel location in Goodyear, AZ.  I checked the website and was not impressed, so I knew this place had potential.



Fritzi's is located in an out-building in front of Sam's Club.  It is very modern and clean looking - both bad signs for barbecue joints. 

Upon opening the door, I was overwhelmed by the smell of hickory and by the impressive menu on the chalkboard.  There are also several autographed photos of Phoenix pro athletes on the wall, and a chef from another restaurant, still in uniform, was sitting down to eat. I knew I made a good choice.



Bobbi chose the open face pork sandwich with mixed greens and sweet potato casserole as her sides.  She really enjoyed her pork and the sweet potatoes.  She said the pork was extremely well pulled, with no identifiable fat or gristle.  She chose to bypass the slaw that was offered on her sandwich.



I ordered the brisket sandwich and was warned that the brisket was pulled.  Not believing that brisket could be pulled, that cemented the deal.  I had the slaw and mac & cheese for my sides. 

My brisket was indeed pulled, and also quite tasty and juicy, too.  The sauce differed from the sauce on the pork and had a bit of kick.  I really liked the slaw.  It was different from any other slaw I have had, we think Fritzi may use buttermilk, but no one would tell the secret.  The mac & cheese was above average.  Serving sizes were on the large side, too.



The staff of the restaurant was very friendly, we had three different people stop by to chat.  Fritzi came by with her grandson (and his bowl of pork) to talk.  I later caught her feeding him.  With that look on his face, you know it is excellent barbecue.


post edited by JRPfeff - 2010/12/19 09:49:48
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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 15:41:55 (permalink)
    Entry No. 2, from buffetbuster's Year in Roadfood - 2010.
    buffetbuster
    4. Pittsburgh Willy's - Chandler, AZ

    A Pittsburgh themed hot dog stand in the Valley of the Sun, I had to stop in.  The most popular item is the Wild Willy, which puts the Pittsburgh only lunchmeat, chipped ham (and cheese) on top of the hot dog.  Apparently, not only us yinzers appreciate it, because it has won several awards for best local hot dogs!

    [link=../Restaurant/Reviews/6795/pittsburgh-willys]http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/6795/pittsburgh-willys[/link]

    #2
    rumaki
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 15:42:10 (permalink)
    I've only been a visitor to Phoenix, but I always enjoy fried chicken at either Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe  or LoLo's Chicken and Waffles.
     
    And my guilty pleasure -- old fashioned Chinese-American "cuisine" at Sing High Chop Suey restaurant on West Madison, near the courthouse.  They have great rumaki, and the rest of the food is passable, although there's way too much celery in the egg foo young.
    #3
    Foodbme
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 16:53:56 (permalink)
    JRPfeff,
    I agree with your analysis of the comparison of writeups for Tucson verses Phoenix.  Under the "Search Local Eats" feature, there are 21 entries for Tucson and only 9 for the entire Phoenix Metro area. There have been many entries for places in Phoenix, but they're scattered all over numerous threads on here so it gives the impression that there's not much written about Phoenix Roadfood because they're in the Forum Conversations as opposed to "Official" posts on Digest Posts. A place needs to be officially written up with pictures and submitted to Digest Posts and Approved before it gets on the list that you look up when you do a search by town or state. Very few of us have taken the time and effort to do an official write up for Phoenix places and the Sterns have directed their attention primarily to Tucson with not many write ups for Phoenix. Don't know why that is--Maybe they'll explain it sometime.
    My point is unless you're willing to submit the required info to have a place put on the DIGEST POSTS, any entrys in the Conversations section will get lost in the shuffle.
    .
    Welcome to the Valley!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2010/12/18 17:03:18
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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 17:11:13 (permalink)
    I found this place by accident.  I purchased a Groupon for $40 of prime meat for $20 at Hobe Meats in Phoenix.  When I went in to redeem my voucher, I was the only patron ordering meat.  Everyone else was waiting for their Saturday "B.B.Q." Special.  I had already had lunch that day, but I put Hobe Meats on my list of places to try.

    I made it today and ordered a Tri-Tip sandwich.  While I was waiting, it became evident that those just might be Vienna Beef Wieners in the hotdog deal.  I don't know if it is available Chicago Style at that price, but all the required ingredients are here.  All "B.B.Q." specials include a side and a beverage for $5.

    My tri-tip arrived in a stryo box after a bit of a wait.  The meat was tender and succulent, although it didn't have the smoky barbecue taste I was expecting.  The meat was still very tasty, with a pronounce peppery flavor, and the serving was huge, I'm guessing about 1/2 pound of meat.  The cheese didn't add much to the flavor of the sandwich.  The beans had a barbecue sauce flavor and were good enough to eat, but nothing special.

    Since seating was at a premium (2 tables, 8 seats), I requested photography rights before allowing anyone to join me.  These ribs belonged to a teenage boy who is a regular at Hobe with his mother.  I have no clue to cooking technique and flavor for the ribs, but did not smell any hickory at the market.  Mom ordered the ribs, too, so that's another vote in their favor. I think I'll try the ribs on my next visit, unless a CSD is available.

    I was told that a cupcake bakery was just to the south, and a Chinese bakery and an Italian deli were just to the north in this strip mall.  Definitely a Roadfood rich area.

    Hobe Meats, 6044 North 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016, (602) 604-2333.  Serving meals only at lunchtime on Saturdays.
    Europa Pastry Cafe, 6522 N 16th St # 1, Phoenix, AZ 85016, (602) 274-6047 ‎
    Asahi Bakery, 6056 North 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016, (602) 234-3093 ‎
    Cupcakes By Designs, 1528 E. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014, (602) 277-2300 ‎
    Wicked Kitchen Gourmet, 1590 E Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014, (602) 492-4334
    Niccolis Italian Grocery-Deli, 6102 N 16th St, Phoenix, Arizona 85014, (602) 279-5335 ‎
     
    post edited by JRPfeff - 2010/12/18 21:30:01
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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 19:44:20 (permalink)
    rumaki - I am starting to notice a variety of (non-Mexican) ethnic restaurants in the valley.  Your old time Chinese-America restaurant idea got my attention.  Thanks.
    #6
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 19:54:21 (permalink)
    Foodbme - Chicken or egg?  Roadfood book or a digest post?  I believe the Tucson focus is driven by the books.  I'll make some digest entries to prove myself wrong.
    I look forward to Roadfooding again with you.
    Jim
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 19:56:28 (permalink)
    Damn! I pay half the price they charge for Genoa and hot capicaolla and sharp provolone, and the stuff I buy is all imported from Italy.
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    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 21:40:02 (permalink)
    Very nice report - thanks so much for the great information.  I have a business trip to Phoenix (Chandler, actually) scheduled for early February.  These look like some great places to try.  I have been looking on RF for more details about places to visit, and this report is very helpful.  I suppose I could go to Ted's for a hot dog when in Phoenix, but that might be a bit foolish, given all the Ted's locations here in Buffalo.  Thanks again for the good work.
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 22:09:54 (permalink)
    JRPfeff-
    Pfantastic idea pfor a thread!  If you don't mind, I will write about a pfew of the places I visited during my recent vacation.
     
    #10
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/18 23:56:50 (permalink)
    buffetbuster - This is open to anyone.  Please add those places of interest.
    Jim
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    Foodbme
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    MiamiDon
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/19 07:12:47 (permalink)
    JRPfeff

    Foodbme - Chicken or egg?  Roadfood book or a digest post?  I believe the Tucson focus is driven by the books.  I'll make some digest entries to prove myself wrong.
    I look forward to Roadfooding again with you.
    Jim

     
    How does one make a "digest post"?  I thought that was just for Roadfood.com personnel.

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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/19 09:52:09 (permalink)
    I just changed the thread title - it used to be "Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds."  That was getting kind of obnoxious for me and may have discouraged some others from contributing to the thread.
    jrp
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    boyardee65
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/19 13:29:28 (permalink)
     I have been in the Phoenix area off and on for the last 20 years. I think that this thread is great. There are a lot of family run restaurants here that deserve to be included in the reviews section. Having said that, I don't really know if just regular members are allowed to post Digest entries. However, I would like to recommend a few places of my own.
     
      Richardson's... an American type bistro that was recently gutted by fire. According to FBM they are once again up and running in the north central location on Bethany Home Road. I haven't been there in years but I had the best wood fired pizza there (before Pizzeria Bianco opened.)
     
      Texaz Grill... a true Texas joint serving steaks cut to order and the best C.F.S. this side of the Rio Grande. Plate sized and fork tender!  Also a plus, they serve ice cold Shiner Bock. The atmosphere is pure Texas!
     
      Harvey's Wineburger on N. 16th Street off Camelback is a unique place. Part bar, restaurant , lounge, it is a casual mix of people from older regulars to the tragically hip. This place has been around for a long time. At least since I took my first trip to Phoenix almost 30 years ago. Service is spotty at times but the burger and the rings are worth the somewhat lackadaisical attitude.
     
      I honestly don't know where to get great BBQ in the Phx. area. I have tried a lot of places over the years and mostly I am disappointed. Honey Bear's had a great reputation years ago but on recent trips the meat was dry and a little tough. There a few places in the out lying areas of Phoenix to get good "Q" according to our own Foodbme.
     
     JMHO
     
      David O.
     
    #15
    acer2x
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/19 15:15:23 (permalink)
    For BBQ, Stacy's in central PHX, a hole in the wall, is my choice:
    http://www.stacyssmokehousebbq.com/
    Bobby Q's is very good too:
    http://www.bobbyq.net
    Scott's Generation mentioned above is a very good Jewish deli.There's a good bakery in the same shopping center.
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/19 15:15:28 (permalink)
    To my knowledge, anyone whose been on here for a while can post a "Digest" restaurant, however, no newbees and there are certain Criteria that must be met like you need to include pictures. If Bruce or Stephan or Michael would post the criteria it would be very helpfdul. I've attempted to add a Digest report but was turned down because I didn't include pictures. I don't do pictures so you won't see anything from me.
     
    Boyardee65,
    I'm not sure if Richardson's has re-opened yet or not.
    For decent BBQ try: http://www.hapsbbq.com/ 
    Also Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert: http://www.joesrealbbq.com/
    OR Waldo's BBQ (The one on Main in Mesa): http://www.waldosbbq.com/
    and Tom's BBQ: http://www.tomsbbq.com/ in Tempe
    MiamiDon,
    I believe anyone except a newbee can make a Digest Post.
     
    #17
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/19 15:47:16 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    MiamiDon,
    I believe anyone except a newbee can make a Digest Post.



    I know how to (and have) made comments on Roadfood Digest posts, but I have never seen a Roadfood Digest post by other than Ayersian, Bruce Bilmes, Michael Stern, etc.
    Oh well, it's a mystery!
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    boyardee65
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/19 22:21:32 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    To my knowledge, anyone whose been on here for a while can post a "Digest" restaurant, however, no newbees and there are certain Criteria that must be met like you need to include pictures. If Bruce or Stephan or Michael would post the criteria it would be very helpfdul. I've attempted to add a Digest report but was turned down because I didn't include pictures. I don't do pictures so you won't see anything from me.

    Boyardee65,
    I'm not sure if Richardson's has re-opened yet or not.
    For decent BBQ try: http://www.hapsbbq.com/ 
    Also Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert: http://www.joesrealbbq.com/
    OR Waldo's BBQ (The one on Main in Mesa): http://www.waldosbbq.com/
    and Tom's BBQ: http://www.tomsbbq.com/ in Tempe
    MiamiDon,
    I believe anyone except a newbee can make a Digest Post.


     
    Sorry FBM. I thought that you had mentioned that Richardson's had reopened. Must be wishful thinking. I'll be in the Central Phx. area next week and I'll find out for sure. Thanks also for the "Q" tips!!
     
    David O.
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    ayersian
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/20 01:20:13 (permalink)
    Digest posts can only be written by RF Team members -- sorry, guys. But actually, we did post on Phoenix last summer on the old Digest here. We went to 6 places in about 16 hours, way too short of a trip.  I think Jane Stern used to live in Tucson, thus the connection.  I don't believe they've spent a lot of time in Phoenix, that's all.    Chris
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/20 02:37:17 (permalink)
    I guess I'm like the Pregnant Hooker---I've been Laboring under a misconception!
    Tell me Ayersian, what was I thinking of where I tried to submit a Restaurant Review and was told by Bruce that I needed pictures and a more detailed writeup in order for it to be posted. What was that about?? What section would that be published in?
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    Michael Stern
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/20 03:31:25 (permalink)
    Not that there aren't plenty of good places to eat in Phoenix, but consider that Tucson was a vital trade center since before the Gadsden Purchase. Prior to the Civil War, Phoenix did not exist. The point is that, like New Orleans, Charleston, and San Francisco, Tucscon's deep and complex culinary/cultural roots naturally support a more robust food scene.
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    mr chips
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/20 07:40:32 (permalink)
    Anyone can post a review of a restaurant but it must have pictures. That is different from the digest section.
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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/20 09:54:32 (permalink)
    Michael -
    I agree about the relative newness and lack of culinary tradition in Phoenix. But after living here a very short while, I've heard from several people who cannot wait to get out of Tucson due to the relatively limited offerings there for food and entertainment.  You don't have over 4 million people in any metro area (over four times Tucson's size) without having some cultural and culinary diversity.  Besides that, Phoenix is a huge tourist destination, attracting multitudes of Snowbirds and Cactus League fans. 
    The tourist/visitor aspect gets to the gist of my quest.  When I arrived in Phoenix last summer there was not much in the Roadfood books to direct my dining choices.  None of the places identified were anywhere near the West Valley which made them at best a weekend destination.  Those glistening big box chain restaurants on every corner look very attractive when that's the only choice.  It doesn't have to be that way. More Roadfood recommendations are definitely needed for the area, and not just in the fashionable East Valley.  We'll find them then let you judge and publish them.
    Jim
    post edited by JRPfeff - 2010/12/20 10:12:30
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/20 10:43:48 (permalink)
    Michael Stern

    Not that there aren't plenty of good places to eat in Phoenix, but consider that Tucson was a vital trade center since before the Gadsden Purchase. Prior to the Civil War, Phoenix did not exist. The point is that, like New Orleans, Charleston, and San Francisco, Tucscon's deep and complex culinary/cultural roots naturally support a more robust food scene.

    Being an old History Teacher, I appreciate your historical references HOWEVER, Tucson's " deep and complex culinary/cultural roots" are in one cuisine--Mexican food. I've been living in the Phoenix area for 10 years and had been traveling out here frequently since 1972. The diverse food scene in Phoenix has exploded in the last 10 years. Many "Roadfood Qualified" places were in existance prior to and are currently in place. Because the Metro area is so expansive, over 300 square miles, it appears that these places may not exist but they're there! Conversely, Tucson is more condensed and so places are more concentrated and visable, 12th Av for example.
    You need to update your knowledge of the places Phoenix has to offer. Great place for an Annual Roadfood Roadtrip!
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    Michael Stern
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/20 11:34:46 (permalink)
    JRPfeff

    We'll find them then let you judge and publish them.

    Jim: Yes, please!
     
    Foodbme: You are so right. I was waxing poetic (first cup of coffee) when I wrote deep and complex. Deep, yes. Complex, maybe not so much... unless we want to compare and contrast fine points of Oaxacan vs. Sonoran vs. Sinaloan dishes.

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    rumaki
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    Re:Pfoenix Pfood Pfinds 2010/12/20 11:55:54 (permalink)
    JRPfeff:
    Sing High claims to be the oldest continuously-operated Chinese-American restaurant in Phoenix -- I think it dates to the mid 1920s.  There apparently was a Chinatown in the city many years ago, but it is long gone.  Sing High's menu has an amusing story about how the place got its name.
    The exterior of the building resembles that of the Orpheum Theater up the street (which is on the National Register of Historic Places) but the interior "ambience" is strictly linoleum, plastic booths, no frills. Curiously, there's a birdcage in the middle of the room with a stuffed cardinal in it.  The waitresses appear to have worked there forever, and are very nice. 
    As I said, most of the  food is, at best, passable (although I really did like the rumaki, which is a hard-to-find treat), but the place is usually jammed with customers at lunchtime.
     
     
     
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