The Unvegan

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Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame 2017
One and Another Citizen Public House
Media Night at SanTan Brewing Company
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‘Arizona’

An O.H.S.O. Decent Lunch

Been cucumbered.
Been cucumbered.

In a land of perpetual drought (Arizona), there is a place that dares put cucumber slices in its water, thus ruining its precious resource. That place is O.H.S.O. in Arcadia, Scottsdale and while scholars maintain that the meaning behind O.H.S.O. was lost thousands of years ago, today it means a few things. One is biking, another is dogs, yet another is brewery and finally it also represents brunch.

Chowing Like a Cowboy at Cowboy Ciao

Damn you arugula.
Damn you arugula.

Over in Old Town Scottsdale is a spot that has Scottsdale written all over it. It’s called Cowboy Ciao and is kind of a blend of the cowboy-ness of the area and the hoity-toity as well. After a quick look at the menu, I realized that with a few slight changes to the menu I would love to eat just about everything. That is, because just about everything had a hint of vegetable to please the “ciao” crowd in addition to the “cowboy” crowd.

Stuck Between a Pig & Pickle

Should've seen it coming.
Should’ve seen it coming.

After landing in Phoenix, the wife and I were in need of some food. She likes pickles and I like pigs, so we stopped at a place called Pig & Pickle. With a name like that, you could probably guess that it was trendy, hipsterish and had some sort of deviled eggs. Well, at least the first two are right, but I suspect deviled eggs will make their way onto the menu at some point. The menu had a nice variety of piggy items and even a few that weren’t if that’s not your thing.

Torpedo Time at The Chuck Box

Like a real grill.
Like a real grill.

After a failed attempt to visit a Detroit Coney-style restaurant in Phoenix, we made our way to The Chuck Box in Tempe. This was by no means a lesser choice because The Chuck Box is a local legend, just an unanticipated one. When we arrived, the place was nearly empty. Although being as early as we were this was not a surprise, yet there was still a smell char-grilling in the air and a ragtag group of guys looking to take an order.

Burro-ing at La Fonda Del Sol

A mighty burro.
A mighty burro.

When on a quest for more food in Phoenix/Scottsdale, we unsurprisingly found ourselves at another Mexican restaurant. This should not come as a surprise because nearly every restaurant in Phoenix is Mexican, but this was another classic: La Fonda Del Sol. The name means something or another about the sun, and once again I found myself face-to-face with burros instead of burritos.

A Crusty Lunch at Grimaldi’s

Nice and crusty.
Nice and crusty.

While Phoenix has Pizzeria Bianco, it isn’t exactly a city known for its pizza. This may be because pizza isn’t exactly what you crave on a super-hot day, yet Phoenix has managed to import Chicago-style deep dish through Oregano’s and New York style pizza with Grimaldi’s. Grimaldi’s does coal brick oven pizza and actually started out in New York so I was expecting it to be pretty good.

Cheese Crisping at Tee Pee

Umm so like a quesadilla.
Umm so like a quesadilla.

As one might expect, Phoenix is known for having some delicious Mexican food. One of these supposedly good Mexican spots is Tee Pee, which opened in 1958 and predates approximately every resident of the state of Arizona. Having been around since forever, Tee Pee not only has a wide variety of Mexican food, but also some American mixed in. None of these is more American than the Cheese Crisp.

The Dip at The Vig

Take a dip.
Take a dip.

After a fruitless attempt to grab happy hour down in Scottsdale town, we consulted a nifty little thing called NoWaitApp and found out we could get seated immediately at The Vig in McCormick Ranch and made our way there. The Vig seemed to be a combination of trendy and sports bar-esque food that was right up my alley. So far up, in fact, that I had to consult the waitress before choosing what to order.

Feeling Fancy at Cucina Rustica

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Oh, hey lasagna.

Sedona isn’t exactly a fancy-pants place. It’s more for new agers and outdoorsy people than those who prefer to put on a suit and tie every day. So when we told a couple different people we were celebrating our marriage up there, they all suggested eating at Cucina Rustica in the Village of Oak Creek, which was apparently the place to go for such things. As evidenced by its name, Cucina Rustica is an Italian place with a fair variety of options at slightly pricey, but mostly reasonable prices considering the place is for tourists.