The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Feeling South Beach at Burger City Grill
Back in Black at Constance Perry’s
Exotic Tube Meats at Biker Jim’s Gourmet Sausages
Short and Ribbed at Hearth and Dram

‘Phoenix’

Brewing Some Pork Belly at Helio Basin

Taco belly!
Taco belly!

Breweries are the best, right? And they typically have awesome food. That’s why I was pretty excited to find out Phoenix was getting a new brewery called Helio Basin and tried to make my way there at the first opportunity.┬áPlus, it didn’t hurt that I had a connection at the place and wanted to show some support.

Falling Off the Bone at Grassroots

Oh there's the meat.
Oh there’s the meat.

When you name a restaurant Grassroots, you have to assume that meat lovers will be fearful. Aside from awesome 60s music, the name evokes a hippy dippy vegan spot. Yet, it is anything but. Sure, this Scottsdale spot┬ácaters to the veggie-loving crowd, but it caters to unvegans no less so. Plus, let’s not forget that it does harken to the 60s music crowd.

KK’s at Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles

Exactly as it should be.
Exactly as it should be.

Chicken and Waffles isn’t just for Roscoe’s. In fact, in the Phoenix area it’s pretty much synonymous with Lo-Lo’s. Lo-Lo’s House of Chicken and Waffles, that is. For a place with “Hood Classics” as a section of the menu, Lo-Lo’s is surprisingly nice and clean inside, compared to the old beat up diner style of Roscoe’s. Nonetheless, there was plenty on the menu calling my name.

Tri Tip at Twisted Grove

Untwisted beef.
Untwisted beef.

On a quest for a good burger I found myself at Twisted Grove in Scottsdale speaking with a hostess. She said something about the fact that they did not have a burger to speak of. Yet, as I began to walk to the exit, she said they did have an amazing tri tip sandwich. Like any good unvegan, I turned back around and took a seat at an open table.

Dropping in to Culinary Dropout

Eggies!
Eggies!

On the way out of Scottsdale, we made our way to a place called Culinary Dropout. I assume the allusion is to dropping out of culinary school, which might not be the best allusion. Yet, it can certainly be trusted as it is a part of the Fox Restaurant Group, which has basically taken over the Valley of the Sun. One might expect a place like this to have food way outside of the box, and while some things are unique, there aren’t really any headscratchers on the menu. This was fine by me as long as the execution was great.

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.