Monday, April 20, 2015

Matt's Big Breakfast

What else can be said about the near unanimous preferred Phoenix spot for the perfectly presented breakfast?  Forget about the wait or drive and enjoy the how tasty a simple waffle can be when made the right way.

The 'Must Try'- The best Waffle in town

Matt's Big Breakfast on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tottie's Asian Fusion

A perfectly fine prototypical strip mall Asian eatery.  It does have a varied menu that allows the casual dinner to comfortably explore the safer dishes of the Pacific Rim.

The 'Must Try'- Panang Curry

Tottie's Asian Fusion on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cafe Lalibela

Even though I can still hardly make out the difference between the majority of these dishes and what one encounters at the local Delhi Palace I do say that I love what these guys are doing with lentils and veggies!  The prices are splendid and this place could easily turn me into a 4 day a week vegetarian.  Three cheers for Injera!

The 'Must Try'- I'm not exactly sure how it's pronounced but try it!  Veggies never tasted so good.

Cafe Lalibela on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Chef Cullen Campbell has created more then another great Italian restaurant, he's given us a stamped passport to further explore the culinary excellence of the famed peninsula .  Each dish is expertly crafted and the menu is set up to allow you the chance to affordably navigate and enjoy his craft.

The 'Must Try'- Many splendid options but you absolutely must get the Squid Ink Risotto

Crudo on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 23, 2015

La Torretta Ristorante

Fits the old-school Italian stereotype to a T, down to the Sinatra in the background and Godfather poster on the wall.  All of the classic dishes are present as well as the all of the traditional cliches. Still, friendly service and a good place to get comfortable with some Veal Parmesan.

The 'Must Try'- Veal Scaloppini alla Parmigiana

La Torretta Ristorante And Italian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 13, 2015

Joyride Tacos

The hipsters at Upward Projects have stolen Nana's old family recipes, awesomely re-purposed another Phoenix building, and given us another reason to head up Central Ave for a Friday happy hour.

The 'Must Try'- Pick a Plate of Tacos

Joyride Taco House on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Well A's fan, 2014 was pretty good but I imagine expectations are inching higher.  The road back to the playoffs this year all starts at Spring Training and Phoenix welcomes you with open arms.  We want to do you a solid and provide you with the insiders guide to the best eats that are close to your "Muni".  Whether you like to pull a "Billy Beane" and are in search of an undervalued gem or you want to splurge while you are down here we've got you covered.  All of these are close by so you have no reason to travel far.

Here are our favorites.

The Most Important Meal
You don't be driving to the game with some serious hunger pangs.  You want to be happy and not subject to hunger driven extortion that comes in the form of a $7 hot dogs come lunch. Here are few spots close by that will start your day right.

  1. Essence Bakery-A great chance to got a great French inspired breakfast without dealing with the European snobbery.  Take your pick from the menu but don't leave with getting a few macaroons for
    the road. 
  2. Over Easy- A great throw back to the breakfast you remember having as a kid.  Sit back, enjoy the local hospitality, and do yourself a favor by ordering some waffle dogs. Don't ask, just order.
  3. Farm at South Mountain- This place is a world away from the Phoenix urban desert.  The kind of place you take the kids to on a Saturday morning before the game to get some fresh food, kill some time, and take in some crisp air.
  4. Crêpe Bar- Sure this place has crepe's in all their traditional glory but step off the beaten path for one of their regionally inspired offerings like the breakfast burrito crepe.  After all we are just north of the border.
Lunch Time
While you can't argue with action on the diamond most ball park food is beyond suspect.  Save your digestive track and your wallet a little pain by taking in a few of these places prior to the opening pitch.
  1. Rehab Burger- A triple threat that will give you a spot to wet your whistle, mellow out, and enjoy Old Town's best hamburger.  Who says you need to be by the beach in order to have a cheeseburger in paradise.
  2. Defalco's Italian EateryCraving some Italian Sausage?  Look no further then the closest thing that Scottsdale has to something that could survive in North Beach.. This long time staple has a deep menu and enough options to make multiple visits.
  3.  America's Taco's- We are just a few hours from old Mexico so we can claim some authenticity.  Straight from Sinaloa this place serves up some of the best Carne Asada and Al Pastor in Phoenix.. Complete the meal with some Mexican corn on the cob or elote.
  4. Rula Bula- Brussels Sprouts never tasted so good.  The place is tops for ambiance and good Irish comfort food.  The perfect place when you want to visit Mill Ave but don't want to deal with the college debauchery.

Dinner is the best time to cut loose and open up the wallet.  You are centrally located to some of best options in the Valley.  Here are a few that are all close to the ball park action.
  1. Gertrude's- Not only are you minutes away and in the most lush desert setting in the Southwest you will also be treated to the culinary wizardry of some of the best minds in the business. This place brings the best Arizona has to offer by utilizing fresh ingredients directly from the farm and pasture to the plate
    Gertrude’s brings the best Arizona has to offer by utilizing fresh ingredients directly from the farm and pasture to the plate. - See more at:
  2. Caffe Boa- Chances are that you will want to head back down to Mill Avenue to take in the buzz generated by Arizona State University.  Boa offers perfect melding of Italian and American offerings.
  3. Stockyards- Touted as the 'Original Arizona Steakhouse' this is a great place to experience our western heritage.  A completely red blooded experience.
  4. A Mexican Double- We couldn't select just one great spot for Mexican in the area.  Here are two of our favorites. The Mission is Mexican 2.0.  But the menu goes far south of old Mexico and offers a fresh take on many of the core dishes that define Latin cuisine.  Also, the Barrio Queen, the latest offering from local legend Silvana Esparza, has the area's best and widest selection of tacos.

We could go on and on but we figure that this should tide you over during your desert stay.  Any more suggestions and you might have to take up a more permanent residency.  Feel free to visit for a list of more approved suggestions that cover the entire Valley of the Sun.
We want to a reward your "Green Collar" baseball with a red carpet Spring Training experience.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Make it at home: The Osso Bucco & Spaetzle at Beckett's Table

Beckett's Table is one of the destination restaurants in the greater Arcadia Area.  Want the flavor but not the crowds?    This recipe is one of our favorites.

At Beckett's Table they use a 3" tall piece of center cut pork shank.  This cut of meat is perfect for cooking confit style until it is "fall off the bone" tender.  Before they confit the pork we brine it in a dry rub of sugar, salt, fresh thyme & bay leaves, spices, shallots & garlic overnight to add a very tasty flavor into the dish. This tender and flavorful piece of pork is perfect on top of spaetzel and sautéed veggies.

Spaetzle Recipe: (serves 4)
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 pinch nutmeg
dash white pepper
oil for sauteing
butter to finish
mix together all the ingredients except the butter & oil
using a whisk, stir until the batter has a very thick pancake like consistency
let the batter sit in the fridge for up to an hour before cooking
to cook use a double boiler with a perforated pan on top
pour some of the batter onto the perforated pan & push it through with a flat  rubber spatula
once the batter has been pushed through, lift the perforated pan & gently stir the noodle like pieces in the boiling water
strain the noodles out & place into ice water
once cool through remove from water, drain well and place onto a cookie sheet or flat surface

place salad oil in saute pan
once oil starts to smoke, add in the spaetzle
stir around immediately so the spaetzle does not stick
once it starts to brown, flip the spaetzle
add some whole butter, herbs, salt & pepper & serve hot

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Chicago Cubs 2015 Spring Training Dining Guide

A warm welcome to our dear friends from the Windy City.  Chances are you've either been to the Valley before or you have a random Uncle who now resides in one of those fancy retirement communities that dot our landscape.  While you might be familiar with what the greater Phoenix area has to offer we are confident in our ability to introduce you to some new gems during your stay.  And the great thing is they are all moments from your beloved ball park.

Let's get started...

A Hearty Way to Start Your Day
The East Valley is home to many long time transplants from the Midwest so there are plenty of hearty 'corn fed' options that will start your day on the right foot.  Here's a few we like.

1.     Over Easy- A beloved recent addition to the breakfast landscape that offers the from scratch cooking, throw back décor and Midwestern hospitality. Sit back, enjoy the local hospitality, and do yourself a favor by ordering some waffle dogs. Don't ask, just order.
2.     Cracker and Co- Another destination that will serve a full day sustaining breakfast.  Your dishes will be swimming in creams and calories but don't worry, you're on vacation.
3.      Liberty Market- The crown jewel of historic Gilbert.  Owner Joe Johnston has done a marvelous job creating a menu and atmosphere that captures the farming roots of the area in a modern bistro setting.

Loving Lunch
 While you may be spending most of your afternoons at the diamond you don't need to waste all of your calories and food budget there as well.  There are numerous places close by that can provide you with a memorable lunch.

1.     Cornish Pasty- The folks at the Cornish Pasty Company have transformed this simple staple into a family of sweet and savory meat pockets that have a flavor to satisfy most appetites.
2.     Empanada Republic- How about a meaty or sweet pocket with a Latin flare?  The Republica has the best empanada options from virtually every nation south of Mexico. 
3.     Rancho de Tia Rosa- This place is spacious and decorated ceiling to floor with some of the most kitschy Mexican decor  but don't let that distract you from the best Mole and salmon tacos in town. The location in North Mesa has since closed, head to the other spot in Gilbert.
4.     The Queen Creek Olive Oil Mill- As it is a good 20 miles southeast of the stadium this is best enjoyed as a half day excursion. Come to tour the working olive mill and stay to enjoy the myriad culinary delights that are enhanced by this timeless oil. 

Supper Time
Pass up the temptation to drive into Scottsdale or Phoenix and savor the up and coming East Valley scene.  There are plenty of options to suit most tastes and here are a few of the most distinguished.

1.     Beaver Choice- You walk in and it looks like Ikea, You look around at the patrons and you swear you are at a Bingo night in Duluth. Enjoy the Prairie Home Companion vibe of this place and sit back for an evening enjoying the best Scandinavian and Canadian food in all of Phoenix.
2.     Joe's Farm House- The farm is a wee bit of a drive but the journey is easily rewarded upon your first bite of a fontina burger.  The artfully renovated mid century farm house has been re-purposed into something called 'agritopia' and it will open your eyes to what it means to eat farm fresh.  Cap off your visit with one of their date shakes.
3.     Backyard Taco- With all of the hipster joints turning a small taco into $5 affairs it is nice to find the old dives that serve them up right.... sizzling hot and cheap.  A solid spot that provides a great authentic street taco experience.

We could go on and on but we figure that this should tide you over during your desert stay.  Any more suggestions and you might have to take up a more permanent residency.  Feel free to visit for a list of more approved suggestions that cover the entire Valley of the Sun. Remember, just because you might be spending your afternoons at the diamond doesn't mean you have to tolerate its food.

And remember Cubs fans...this is the year!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Steak 44

The good folk behind the masterful Mastro's have created a steakhouse for the next generation.  Yes, the meat is all expertly executed but the real treats come when you explore the supporting cast which are a clear step above the traditional steakhouse sides.

The 'Must Try'- The Crispy Shrimp

Steak 44 on Urbanspoon