December 20, 2009

Lucky Foods for the New Year (and where to find them at Flagstaff restaurants)

Would you believe that good luck in 2010 may be as simple as eating the right things to ring in the new year? All over the world, there are New Year’s customs that involve eating special foods to bring good fortune over the upcoming twelve months. Here’s a look at some of the customs and where you can find some of the foods in Flagstaff…

Southerners eat up black eyed peas and collard greens to bring luck in the new year. Tinderbox (34 South San Francisco Street, 226.8400) is your best bet in Flagstaff for some Southern charmed foods. (If you were wondering, the legend of the lucky black eyed peas comes out of Vicksburg, Virginia during the civil war. The town supposedly ran out of food but was saved when they discovered black eyed peas.)
Southerners also add corn bread to their New Year feasts, corn bread symbolizing the wealth of gold. You can find corn bread at Big Foot BBQ (120 N. Leroux, 226-1677), Beaver Street Brewery (11 Beaver Street, 779-0079), and Satchmo’s (1924 East Arrowhead, 774-7292).
Another on the lucky list: noodles. The Japanese find good fortune in them. Get served a tasty helping of Japanese-style noodles at Karma Sushi (6 E Rte 66, 774-6100) and Sakura (1175 Old Route 66, 773-9118).
Cabbage and sauerkraut are considered to bring luck. You can find authentic German sauerkraut at the Matterhorn Grill (103 S Birch, 226.7388). For cabbage, check out the Corned Beef and Cabbage at Collins Irish Pub (2 N Leroux, 214.7363). They’ve also got you covered with their Fish and Chips – made with lucky cod.
If all else fails – anything green from broccoli to lettuce to grapes, even green jello will supposedly buy you some new year’s luck, as green represents money. On that note, a salad’s got you easily covered with all the green. Add an extra blessing by adding shrimp (a Japanese food eaten at the new year to represent long life). So for that extra lucky, long life salad try the Southwestern Shrimp Caesar at Oregano’s (605 Riordan Road, 773.8600). Speaking of green things, keep 12 grapes in your pocket to eat at midnight. In Cuba and Spain, this is considered to bring good fortune in the 12 months ahead.
For your sweet tooth – consume your luck by devouring a filled donut, as is the tradition of several European countries. Stock up ahead of your New Year’s Eve bash with good ones from Malone’s Bakery & Deli (1490 S. Riordan Ranch Road, 913.0133) or Mountain Delights Bakery (inside the Flagstaff Mall).
Whatever you do – don’t eat lobster or chicken to ring in the new year, both are considered to bring bad luck.
But do leave a little something of each food on your plate, no matter what you order. It’s considered to symbolize a well stocked pantry and luck for the year ahead, at least according to the Germans.

Sources for background on lucky foods for the New Year: and

This story also will appear in Flagstaff Live's December 31, 2009 issue.

December 14, 2009

Oregano's Bistro in Flagstaff

605 W Riordan, On Riordan at Milton, Flagstaff
Menu at

Oregano's is a comfortable family joint that has something for every one and it smells good in here!
The appetizers are among the best in town and a must order from the menu, even if its for your whole meal. The best of the best- a basket of their waffle fries (the best fries in town), the GuacaTony (which it like bruchetta meets pizza meat chips and guacamole) and the calamari.
For the main course there's gianormous salads (my fav being the southwest shrimp ceasar), pastas, baked pastas in bread bowls, Chicago-style stuffed pizza (it takes a while, so order that before you go), thin crust pizzas, and deluxe hot sandwiches (both for meat lovers and vegetarians). All the sandwiches come with a side of the yummy fries. There's also lunch specials.

Kids menu includes a slice of pizza for two bucks or pasta for 3. Kids drinks are 69 cents.
The dessert menu is brief but delish for warm gooey cookie lovers. They usually will give you one for free on your birthday to boot.
The waitstaff is friendly, complimenting the colorful decor and laid back feel. Sometimes the lunch wait is long, sometimes you'll get lucky. In the spring/summer the patio is the best spot to sit (there's no a/c). In the winter the booths are the best.
All in all, Oregano's is one of the best places to go relax and have a great meal!

Wildflower Bread Company opening in Flagstaff in January 2010

Wildflower Bread Company is finally getting ready to open its doors in Flagstaff. We're less than a month away from the January 12, 2010 scheduled grand opening.
Wildflower will be located at Aspen Place at the Sawmill on the Southeast Corner of Butler & Lone Tree. They'll have free wifi in addition to their food offerings.
In the meantime you can check out their menu which features soups, salads, breads, hot cocoa, coffees and more HERE.
Wildflower is an Arizona-based bakery.

December 13, 2009

New Year's Eve menu for Brix in Flagstaff

New Year’s Eve 2009 at Brix is a four course prix fixe menu for $75.00 per person. They're another good choice if you're going to the big Pine Cone drop at the Weatherford Hotel (the party kicks off at Leroux and Aspen at 8pm with fireworks at 10pm and midnight). They're nearby the action. Here's a look at their menu, though it's always subject to availability:

Pate of Sonoma county duck, sauce gribiche and pickled fennel

1st course
Savory crepes, braised foxfire farms lamb leg, bmr feta, roasted eggplant and piquillo peppers. (vegetarian option available without lamb)

2nd course
Choice of:
Winter minestrone soup, parsnips, yukon gold potato, carrots, grilled i’itoi onions
Mcclendon baby green salad, buttermilk vinagrette, tomato confit, andalo crisp, and spiced walnuts

3rd course
Choice of:
Truffled butter poached Creekstone New York steak, herb roasted fingerling potato, honey glazed baby carrots, substance cabernet demi-glace
Pan-roasted wild striped sea bass, braised tuscan kale, brown beech mushrooms, champagne beurre-blanc, shaved radish and pickled red onion salad
Cider-brined roasted heritage pork loin, potato, apple-bacon gratine, roasted Anaheim chiles and bacon mustard emulsion

BMR chevre goat cheese cake, candied oranges and beets
Flourless venezuelan chocolate cake, meyer lemon syrup and Frangelico cream

Make reservations at 213.1021.

Italian New Year's feast menu at Pasto in Flagstaff

Several places around Flagstaff are having special New Year's feasts. If you're going to the big Pine Cone drop at the Weatherford Hotel (the party kicks off at Leroux and Aspen at 8pm with fireworks at 10pm and midnight)... you'll want to dine in the downtown area as well. If you're looking to leave 2009 with a belly for of delish Italian - Pasto is your place.
Here's a look at their New Years Eve menu, a five course meal for $65 per person or $85 with the wine pairing.
1st course: Cypress Grove Midnight Moon and Purple Haze (cheese) with almonds and honey.
2nd course: House-cured pork belly, lentils a la Romana, Marinated artichoke hearts, crostini and truffle oil.
3rd course: Choice of: Risotto with roasted beats, portabella and chive oil, or Buckwheat taglietelle with baby heirloom tomatoes, garlic and basil.
4th course: Choice of: Wild boar pot roast, collards, cranberry mostarda, or Ahi charred rare, smoked tomatoe brodo, saffron aioli, or Roasted butternut squash in phyllo, Fra'angelico crema, or Eye of prime beef baracciole, duxelle, blistered bok choy.
5th course: House made peppermint bark, hazelnut bark, honeycomb truffle, white chocolate saffron truffle, dark dipped florentina, cranberry brittle, mascarpone, spiced pear, candied tangerine, and pistachio goat cheese.
Call for a reservation at 928-779-1937.

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