There are girls. There are goats. Then, there is The Girl and the Goat. It isn’t just some restaurant, but is a restaurant that still requires booking two months in advance even though it’s been around for the better part of a decade. Of course, it also happens to be in Chicago, which has a lot of people who like food. It probably doesn’t hurt that the founder and Executive Chef, Stephanie Izard, won Top Chef, went to the University of Michigan and honed her skills at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.
Scottsdale is pretty sterile city. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it is a thing that seems to preclude the concept of hidden gems. And, yet, I heard word of not just a hidden gem, but one right around the corner from me. Plus, it could only have had a more apt name if it was right next door. It’s called Convenient Corner Market and it dishes out sandwiches with bread baked in-house every day.
Nothing really says “awesome” quite like “family friendly brewery.” Such places are the best of both worlds, contributing to the cycle of having babies because you drink, then drinking because you have babies. New Holland Brewing on 8th Street in Holland, Michigan is one such place. Renowned for its beer, it has a comfortable back patio for kids to hang out at and one very attractive menu.
The Sicilian Butcher is hardly the first restaurant to make a variety of meatballs its centerpiece. Yet, it most likely is the best-decorated of any such restaurants. It treats meatballs much as a build your own burger treats…well…burgers. You pick a meat, you pick a sauce and you pick what the Sicilian Butcher calls a bottom. You can order the meatballs bottomless, but this is highly misleading as they come without a base as opposed to being unlimited. After much consideration, I opted for a bottom.
Ramen is fantastic, right? I mean, we can all agree on that. But we can also agree that summer in Phoenix is not the time for ramen. So, although I knew Obon in Scottsdale had great ramen from carrying out a couple times, I made a different choice when I decided to stick around long enough to eat in the restaurant.
I have a hard time driving by burger places regularly without paying a visit. And yet, Lush Burger in Scottsdale evaded my belly for too long. This would have to be remedied and so I made my way there. I was amused by the naming of the burgers on the menu, ranging from Jay Does ‘Shrooms to Hello….?!?! Can Anyone Get Me A Bacon Cheeseburger Around Here?!? with amazingly lengthy descriptions.
I always enjoy finding places off the beaten track. It certainly helps if the places actually churn out good food, but sometimes being off the beaten track can somehow enhance that flavor. D’Railed in Idaho Falls is not just off the beaten track, it’s literally on the other side of the tracks. Yet, I had read some things about the food being d’licious and wanted to find out for myself.
Idaho Falls is undoubtedly a pretty place – situated just a couple hours from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. So, when I heard the view at The Sandpiper was one of the best, I expected a good view and mediocre food. That’s because there is often an inverse correlation between good food and a good view due to the high cost of obtaining that view. I immediately found out the view was great because of a lovely little canal flowing right by the patio.
When I left LA to move to Phoenix I had one major concern. No, it wasn’t the heat in the summer, it was the lack of ramen. You see, LA spoils you with a lot of Asian food, but ramen is easily one of the best of them. People go through life only knowing ramen from a dry cup and I feel terrible for those people, but is it better to have ramen and lost it than to never have had ramen at all? Lost or not, ramen has returned to my life in the form of Ramen Hood in Scottsdale. I headed out for the grand opening to see if it would fulfill my needs.