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.
The food court at Century City mall is one of the best. It may have some chains, but it is a long way from the fast food filled food courts of the world. Strangely, there is some turnover in restaurants, but they always seem to be replaced by a similar restaurant with the same name. Case in point: Sorabal, a Korean place, was replaced by Bibigo, a – you guessed it – Korean place. Sure, Bibigo is a different concept from Sorabal, but my point still stands.
For a pre-movie dinner, I found myself at the Century City food court once again and looking for something new. Some of the competitors in the food court have found the best way to bring in new customers: sampling.
I will sample almost anything put in front of me, as long as it has no vegetable qualities. You wouldn’t buy a car without giving it a test drive, so why buy a meal without knowing how it will taste? Well obviously, this isn’t always possible, but when it is I think it’s great to take advantage.
The Rotisserie Works offered me a sample of their Hawaiian BBQ chicken and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had a nice sweet BBQ taste with the hint of some pineapple-like fruit. After a few other tastes, I decided the Hawaiian chicken would be filling my belly that evening. The order of chicken came with two sides, and I looked at the menu with mild distaste. All but two of the sides had words like “squash,” and “spinach,” so I ordered their mashed potatoes and mac and cheese.
EDIT: This location is closed, but I mean, you can find one of these elsewhere and they’re all the same.
Though rare in Southern California, Fuddrucker’s is a pretty common burger chain with an uncanny name. The Fuddrucker’s I found was in the Century City mall’s food court, sandwiched among many fancier looking places. After a short perusal of the other restaurants, Fuddrucker’s became my top unvegan option.
One thing that is unique to Fuddrucker’s is that that they put no toppings or condiments on your burger. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger knowing that they wouldn’t be putting any terrible vegetables on it. Rather, once the burger is served, there is a virtual cornucopia of toppings to add to the burger. Sadly, most of these were vegetables and no good to me.