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Archive for the ‘Restaurant Reviews’ Category

Devoured Culinary Classic

My favorite time of the year in Phoenix is here at last!  Time for the best (in my opinion) culinary festival in Arizona, Devoured Culinary Classic hosted by the Phoenix Art Museum, Local First Arizona, and R-Entertainment.  The purpose of this event is to promote local, independent food and drink purveyors in the Valley and to show that Phoenix is indeed a phenomenal international dining destination. Taking place in the beautiful courtyard of the Phoenix Art Museum, one can sample menu items from various independent restaurants in the Phoenix area as well as sip craft beers and local wines all from Arizona as well.  Attending this event also means you get general admission for the day to the art museum.  Honestly it really is one of the finer culinary festivals in Phoenix, I even prefer it to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.
If you went last year you’d undoubtedly remember Payton Curry, then of Caffe Boa , butcher a whole pig for all to see.  Currently, Curry has left Caffe Boa and is starting a venture of his own dubbed Guerilla Gourmet.  I know many of the food loving community will anxiously be awaiting more information about that.  News also broke today of a new mystery restaurant being unveiled at Devoured on Sunday. Staff of this ghost restaurant will be there to answer questions for media and future diners.

At FnB's stand with Pavle Milic..check out those butterscotch puddings!!

Highlights for me last year were newcomers FnB , and also a fresh and fun booth with the tastiest cheddar corn dogs EVER from District Kitchen.  I Really enjoyed the wines from Su Vino Winery also. That’s just a short clip of the dozens of booths that were there. They were all excellent, but these were a few that really stood out to me.  The Devoured Culinary Classic is definitely an event not to miss. There are still a few tickets available at the museum for Sunday for $69.  Saturday is sold out.  Post event review to follow.

Chip and Ruby’s Ice Cream and Games

I recently had the opportunity to visit Chip and Ruby’s, a new ice cream parlor in Old Town Scottsdale.  More than just ice cream, Chip and Ruby’s has a full game room that give out tickets your child can trade for prizes at the end of their fun.  Chip and Ruby’s has so many delicious flavors of ice cream. I couldn’t believe when I saw on the board one my childhood favorites, Superman ice cream.  Normally you can only find this flavor in Michigan or Ohio, but Chip and Ruby’s had it and it was amazing.  They have frozen custard and also my daughter’s favorite, raspberry and blue raspberry Icees.

love this furniture

 The games in their game room are very child friendly.  My three and four year old had no problem understanding how to play these games and they had a ton of fun.  My favorite aspect of Chip and Ruby’s was their décor.  The one of a kind ice cream/waffle cone tables and chairs are totally nostalgic and bring out the little girl or boy in every person that walks through their door. They are just too cute. Even down to the soda cups and ice cream bowls, everything is so well thought out and chosen for such a fun theme.

fun and easy games

 You can book your child’s birthday party at Chip and Ruby’s and not pay that much more than what it would cost at Peter Piper. However, at Chip and Ruby’s you’re getting a way cleaner atmosphere in a more quaint space with more privacy.  They will even bring over pizza from the neighbor pizza joint Best of Italy. Your child and his/her friends will get a delicious ice cream treat, tons of tokens and of course fabulous prizes after they count up their tickets.  Contact Chip and Ruby’s for more info at 480.990.6000

yummy ice cream

 My children had a really great time at Chip and Ruby’s and I got to enjoy some of my childhood with their unique ice cream flavors. We can’t wait for a chance to return.

Chip and Ruby's on Urbanspoon

The Pita Room

Lots of you know I live in beautiful Fountain Hills, Arizona.  This is the town of one of the world’s tallest free standing water fountains and it is a wonderful little town to live in.  Unfortunately, we are a twenty minute drive from any larger city and when it comes to good affordable restaurants, they are few and far between.

You can never go wrong with Anthony Redendo’s joints.  Redendo’s Pizzeria and Sofrita are two great places where you can always be assured to get great quality, delicious food.  Sometimes I want something different, and although I know my husband would love to talk me into hitting up the Senior Taco drive-thru, I decided to try something different.

I would have to say Middle Eastern/Greek cuisine is my all time favorite food to eat.  Give this girl lots of garlic and slow cooked meats and I’m a happy camper. I’ve been wanting to try the Pita Room in Fountain Hills for awhile now.  Previously it was dubbed The Pita House, and I wasn’t very impressed by take out I got from there before, so I never rushed back to try the Pita Room.

So happy I finally went in for some take out last Friday night.  I was craving a gyro and boy did I get one. Their menu is simple: gyros, falafel, pitas, hummus, lamb kabobs, chicken kabobs, etc.  The do have a website, but no menu on the website, so you have to just walk in your first time, bring home a menu, then from there you can order by phone.

So, I got a lamb gyro and “medi fries”.  I get my gyro very traditional, just meat, red onion, tomato, and tzatziki sauce.  This gyro was so full of meat that I had to give half of it to my husband.  It was tender, fresh, and oh so yummy.  The Medi fries however, were the highlight of my night. Let me just start by saying the french fries at the Pita Room are something you will become addicted to.  They are double fried, like french bistro style fries, golden brown and heavenly.  If you get them “Medi” style they are tossed with fresh dill, fresh chopped garlic and a little bit of salt. OMG, I actually had to go back again on Saturday for dinner just to have those fries again.

On Saturday I got chicken kabob in a pita with the medi fries. Again, my pita was chalk full of delicious marinated grilled chicken pieces and is by far my favorite pita now.  Here is a picture when we went for dinner on Saturday.

chicken kabob pita with Medi fries

I look forward to many more trips to The Pita Room and urge all of the locals or even people visiting Fountain Hills for the day to try it.

Pita room on Urbanspoon

Sonic Drive-In Giveaway

To all of my readers…I am SO sorry I haven’t posted in two months.  Shame on me.  I have just been so ill the last two months with morning sickness and I wasn’t able to do anything, let alone blog.  Now I’m feeling much better and am able to drink coffee again (hooray), which means I have energy and can get this blogging done.

Today I want to roll out the Sonic Drive-In  giveaway that I was suppose to do a good month ago.  Luckily, the people of Sonic are AMAZING and totally understood my situation as to why I was tardy with this.

Who doesn’t love Sonic??? I have never met a single person that would turn down a cherry limeade or some amazingly crunchy tots.  Sonic is America’s Drive in and their food is undeniably addictive.  My favorite you ask? Popcorn chicken and chili-cheese tots of course, with a diet cranberry limeade for the most delicious refreshment. 🙂

too much yumminess to choose from

Enter today to win a $25.00 gift card from Sonic.  For being so patient I am also sending the winner the remainder of my Sonic gift card, which is for $23.00 , that’s a lot of tots folks!!

Entry into this giveaway is easy, just follow these few steps and you’re entered to win. You may enter as many times as you like until Friday. If entering more than once you must refer a new friend to my facebook fan page.  Thank you so much.

1) Like Sonic Drive-In here on Facebook and here if you’re on Twitter

2) Like Food Tramp Diaries hereon Facebook and here if you’re on Twitter.

3) Suggest the Sonic Drive-In facebook page AND the Food Tramp Diaries facebook page to one friend (for every new entry you must suggest to a new friend)

4) The most important step: you must post a comment to this post as your entry and include your email address.  If you don’t comment, you haven’t officially entered. 

Good luck! I will choose a winner on Friday with the help of random.org

The Serving Spoon

Their claim states “There ain’t no better breakfast” and BOY are they right.  While I was in L. A. this June I was told by  fellow food blogger and BBQ dude, Tony Morales that I should definitely check out The Serving Spoon.  He knew I had an affinity for soul food and simply said it was the best ever.  How could I pass that up?  Also, it was merely a 15 minute drive from my hotel.

I went on a Saturday morning and it was packed…a line of people waiting outside as well as people waiting  on chairs inside.  I had to be back to my hotel at a certain time to get to my event so I was wondering if I would even have time to get breakfast?  The food smelled so good in there, I wasn’t leaving without at least putting my name on the list and giving my all.  I told the hostess it was just a party of one and I got seated  up at the breakfast bar right away, no waiting!  I really felt bad because there must have been about 20 people or more waiting for tables, but that’s just how they roll and I was happy.

I already knew what I was going to get, crazy I know. However, I had read a ton of Yelp reviews on this place and saw many pictures and decided from there what I would have. I think the server was a little shocked that I ordered right away, so I explained I had come from Arizona and was prepared.  I didn’t know when I would ever be coming back here again, the old adage, “go big or go home” came to mind so I obliged.  I ordered the “Raphael Saadiq” good morning breakfast which came with 2 eggs over medium,  grits, wing drumettes, and cornbread which I passed on since I was getting a waffle as well.  In retrospect, I totally should have gotten the cornbread that came with the meal, to try a bite.  I just didn’t want to appear too overzealous.

Im in breakfast heaven

Talk about some perfect grits…these were it.  Loved that they used margarine as a topping instead of butter. I seriously felt like I was sitting down in in my grandma’s kitchen instead of a restaurant.  It was really great.  The wings were unlike any I have ever eaten.  I liked that they were simply breaded, no sauce.  The breading was super crunchy and perfectly seasoned and you could tell it was a homemade batter.  My waffle was a whole other magnificent story.  It was soft and slightly chewy with a light crunch around the outside of the waffle. The sprinkle of cinnamon on top totally rocked it, with a dab of margarine and warm maple syrup…OH MY!

whoa, what a waffle

Before I paid my bill I was running over the weekend plans in my mind to figure out when I could get back here again?  What an amazing, homemade, and delicious meal.  Unfortunately, too much vodka that same evening made it near impossible to return the next day 😉 However, I will be back Serving Spoon, mark my words. If you’re in West Hollywood, type their address into your GPS and just go, no excuses or you’re missing out.

Serving Spoon Restaurant on Urbanspoon