The Unvegan

Featured Reviews

Damn Near Perfection at Tokyo Fried Chicken
Previewing at Borneo Kalimantan
A Touch of Canada at The Kroft
Birria at Burritos La Palma

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Tacos for the Sol

Dos tacos.

Hot on the heels of visiting perhaps the most overpriced (but still tasty) Mexican place I have ever been to, La Hacienda, I took a trip to Scottsdale Quarter to eat at Sol. Sol’s prices may not rival La Hacienda’s, but it is certainly in the upscale Mexican food family. Of course, it is not lost on me that while “sol” means “sun” in Spanish, it is also the name of the money in Peru.

Feeling at Home at Detroit Coney Grill

Lit.

My wise wife once said, “You can take the man out of Detroit, but you can’t take the Detroit out of the man.” When I was living in LA, one of the most exciting things to happen was the opening of Coney Dog, a Detroit-style chili dog spot. Due to probably a number of circumstances, that business failed. In Phoenix, however, a spot called Detroit Coney Grill seems to have made all the right decisions because it now has THREE locations in the area. And for some reason the Tempe location closes at 7:00, so I made my way out to Mesa to try it out for myself.

La Hacienda of The Princess

Most expensive guac in the world.

The word “princess” does not exactly evoke words like “affordable,” down to earth” or “reasonable.” So, when I found out we were going out for Mexican food at a place called La Hacienda at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess Hotel, I braced for the worse in terms of how expensive the meal would be. I truly just can’t understand the purpose of expensive Mexican food unless the place is blazing new trails. I hoped that La Hacienda would do just that.

Waking Up for Snooze

Very un-unvegan.

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate mornings. Yet, I love breakfast food with all of its bacon and eggy goodness. It’s a conundrum that I am coming to terms with in the Phoenix area, which I believe to have the highest per capita breakfast restaurants. My latest was Snooze┬áin Scottsdale, which is inappropriately named as far as I’m concerned, but the line of people waiting to eat there didn’t seem to mind.

A Shady Bowl of Ramen at Umami

Such a combo!

Arizona State University is home to about 90,000 students, and while they don’t all go to the main campus in Tempe, that is unbelievably massive. So, I figured they had to have some good ethnic food because when you throw out such a wide net the students can’t all be white. Thus, when given the option of a couple of different ramen spots, I picked Umami in Tempe because I thought it had a better chance of being good than one in another area. Plus, school was out for summer and that always helps.

Living in Eggstasy

Benedict on over.

Perhaps one of the most underrated songs of the 90s was “Ecstasy” by Rusted Root. And while none of the lyrics are really related to eating at a breakfast spot called Eggstasy in Scottsdale, I nonetheless found myself unable to get the song out of my head for the duration of my meal there, and also it is stuck in there now, as I write. But I digress, what matters is the food, and actually the service for once.

Dinner and a Movie at Roadhouse Cinema

Not as good as the movie.

Movie theaters have come a long way over the years. Comfier seats, better picture and sound, and booze in the lobby. But while I’ve seen food in a theater, I’ve never quite seen a theater like Roadhouse Cinemas in Scottsdale. You see, Roadhouse Cinemas doesn’t just have a food, they have a full on restaurant in which you can order at and then choose whether to eat at the restaurant or in the theater with fancy seats and trays that rotate out.

All of the Rice and Meats at the Persian Room

It has to start with rice.

Persian food is a special type of Middle Eastern food, and thus I was very excited to learn that Scottsdale has its own Persian restaurant, appropriately named the Persian Room, because it’s basically one big room. With Persian food. And like any Persian restaurant worth its salt, its menu was vast and filled with all sorts of meats and rice. Essentially it was the kind of place that was made for an unvegan.

Dining with St. Francis

Eggs and stuff underneath.

St. Francis sounds like it should be some sort of a new band, as opposed to a trendy restaurant in Phoenix. Yet, if it were a band I would obviously not be writing about it up here on my meat blog. But anyway, St. Francis is kind of a modern American spot with industrial designs and a shocking amount of toys for children to play with. I went on what was one of the hottest days ever recorded on earth.

Eating Off a Cart at Steak Your Claim

Nothing to see here!

The food cart scene in Portland is huge, and weirdly enough it took me until my fourth visit to the city to truly experience this uniquely Portland thing. You see, until food trucks or the carts you might see in other cities, the carts in Portland are actually semi-permanent structures and clusters of them take up whole city blocks. At the Alder Street “Pod” I found Steak Your Claim among the carts and knew it was made for me.