There’s something about state fairs that brings out the best America has to offer in terms of food creativity. Screw molecular gastronomy, I want to know what the latest in fried, bacon-wrapped and Flaming Hot Cheetos is in the world. And while the Arizona State Fair isn’t known as well as some others, there was still room for some interesting bites. One thing I didn’t bite, by the way, was a turkey leg, because, well, booooring.
My lack of any sort of need for dessert has been pretty well-chronicled on this blog by now. Yet, there is one dessert that I have a hard time passing up and that dessert is pie. So, when I found out that Arizona’s best pies were on the way to Prescott before taking a quick trip to, uh, Prescott, I knew we had to make a stop at Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon City.
One thing that will make the transition from Pasadena to Phoenix doable is the fact that La Grande Orange and its family of restaurants originated there. There’s no Luggage Room yet, but hopefully some day…
Nonetheless, there is a spot called Chelsea’s Kitchen that I hoped would please me and ease me. The menu even sported the same font and design as the aforementioned restaurants, almost as though to get me excited about Chelsea’s Kitchen.
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. Plus, it didn’t hurt that I had a connection at the place and wanted to show some support.
As a good unvegan, I pretty much refuse to eat at True Food. I say that having paid them a visit before, and knowing nothing good could come of a repeat. Thus, when I found out we had lunch plans at True Food in Scottsdale Quarter I immediately made moves to incite a revolution and head to Zinburger instead. It was successful enough to get a buddy to join me and so it began.
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 caters 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.
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.
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.
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.
In the rundown city of Tucson, Arizona there is an oasis known as the University of Arizona. Within this oasis is a spot called Frog & Firkin, which my wife remembers fondly from her days as a wildcat. So, with only one meal to eat we made our way to that oddly-named “English” Pub to see if they had anything to offer beyond nostalgia.