January 31, 2010

Special event at Pesto Brothers in Flagstaff this Thursday (2/4/10)

This Thursday (February 4, 2010) Pesto Brothers (120 N. Leroux St. Flagstaff AZ in the Old Town Shops) is hosting a special wine dinner. The multi-course meal is $49 per person, tax and tip included.
On hand will be Eric Glomsky, wine maker for Page Springs Cellars & co-owner of AZ Stronghold Vineyards, whose wines will be featured/served with dinner. Seating is limited. For reservations call 928-774-3020.
This event will be the first Flagstaff Tastecasters event. The Flagstaff Tastecasters are a group of local foodies (that I am a member of) that use social media to broadcast their experiences at restaurants live as the meal is happening. You can follow my experience at the event from 6-8pm on Thursday by watching Twitter's #tastecasters or me @AngeleOutWest.

Here's the menu for the special event prepared by Chef Richard:

Page Springs Vino de la Familia Blanca
Grilled bruschetta with warm tallegio, house made sweet onion jam, imported prosciutto & reduced balsamic

Arizona Stronghold Mangus
Seared duck ravioli with walnut herb pesto & shaved manchego

Page Springs Vino del Barrio
Spiedini of marinated sirloin on a saffron & red pepper risotto fritter & braised spaghetti squash

Arizona Stronghold Dayden Rose
Espresso Panna cotta with roasted banana sauce

*Vegetarian or Gluten Free Options Available for all courses! Please notify our staff when you make your reservation.

January 26, 2010

La Fonda - A Flagstaff local favorite for traditional Mexican food

La Fonda
1900 N 2nd St
menu at: lafondaflg.com

A restaurant for locals in the know is LaFonda. This always busy at luinch Mexican food gem has been around since the 50s. The family later also started several other Arizona Mexican restaurants.
LaFonda has one of the best lunch specials in town. For 7.50 you get a 2 item combo plus rice, beans and a sopapilla.
The food is traditional Mexican. Nothing TexMex about the food here.
My fav here: Lunch special A- a cheese enchilada and chicken picaro. Always fresh and served piping hot rolled up to the table on an old fashioned cart.
The salsa is self serve on the table, as is honey. The salsa is "cure your sinus issues" hot. Mmmm. It's thin and not too chunky.
My kids love that honey is on the table. They put it on their chips and love it.
To finish the meal: a sopapilla. This light, fluffy puffed up tortilla-like dessert is delish with honey drizzled across the top.
All in all, LaFonda is a classic no-frills restaurant with good food and a down-home atmosphere. It's where I go when I want Mexican for lunch in Flagstaff.

January 17, 2010

East Coast Deli and Grill opens in Flagstaff, a look at their menu

  • East Coast Deli and Grill
  • 1300 S Milton
  • 779-0039
  • menu below

Flagstaff has a new sandwich shop. The East Coast Deli is a Pittsburgh style deli with many of that area's specialties on the menu. They serve down to earth priced meals breakfast, lunch and dinner. (See menu below to see all that they serve up right now.)
East Coast Deli is in the former home of Ay Caray in the strip mall next to Picassos on Milton Rd. It was pretty busy when I stopped in and picked up a menu. They offer student discounts and free wi fi in addition to daily soups and other specials.
Here's a look at their menu:

You can find specials and some photos of the place on East Coast Deli's facebook page HERE.

January 16, 2010

Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff: New Jersey Pizza Company

The Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff guide continues today with wings from the New Jersey Pizza Company.

New Jersey Pizza Company
224 E Cedar
menu: pizzaflagstaff.com (but they just got a new menu that's not online yet as of 1/16/10)

New Jersey Pizza used to have three kinds of sauces for their wings: Thai peanut, buffalo and sweet BBQ. But as of January 16, 2010 they only have one sauce: buffalo.
What's weird is the new buffalo takes like a weird concoction of a peanut sauce meets buffalo sauce. If you look at the photo above you can see that the wings are drowned in this sauce. Look carefully and you can see distinct swirls of the peanuty brown sauce and the red buffalo sauce.
All I can really say about it is that it is definately unique. First bite, I was intrigued but by wing #2, not so much. I liked their old wings much better.
Maybe something weird was going on in their kitchen today cause the pizza was no where near as good as normal either. New Jersey is someplace worthy of giving a second chance to, but I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to try their wings again.

January 15, 2010

Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff: Fratelli Pizza

Looking for the best hot wings in Flagstaff? This article is part of the new Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff guide that samples the wings of the city so you can find your favorite. Today's wings are from Fratelli Pizza.

Fratelli Pizza (downtown location)
119 West Phoenix
menu at: http://www.fratellipizza.net

Fratelli is a classic Flagstaff pizzaria. Known for their fab slices, they have worthy wings too. Fratelli's wings come in only two options. The wings are crispy without being dry. An order is 8 wigs. You can get half and half if you want. They come with a handful of baby carrot, a big ol cup of Fratelli's fab ranch dressing and some lettuce (that can make a nice simple salad to cool down after the spicy buffalo sauce). Here's a look at how the flavors shake down:
Spicy buffalo- No kidding about the spicy. These are surprisingly hot being there's no regular. Bold flavor that is quite addictive. I couldn't wait to go back for another one for some more burn on my lips.
BBQ- More of a rib glaze than a pure barbeque sauce. Dark brown and super sticky. Mild flavor and sweet and sticky like honey.

January 12, 2010

Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff: Big Foot BBQ

Looking for the best hot wings in Flagstaff? This article is part of the new Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff guide that samples the wings of the city so you can find your favorite. Today's wings are from the ever popular Bigfoot BBQ...

Bigfoot BBQ
Basement of the Old Town Shops, downtown Flagstaff at Leroux & Birch
Menu at: bigfootbbq.com

Bigfoot is a Flagstaff staple. They have one of the best salads, some of the best sides, some of the best wings and some of the best housemade buttermilk ranch dressing for those wings in town! You can get them by the dozen or half dozen. On Mondays a dozen wings are half off - making for a bargain dinner, especially when paired with their garlic romano fries. Mmmm. Here's a look at the wings of Bigfoot:
BBQ- These are the best barbecue wings I've tried in town. Sweet but not too sweet, mellow, a touch smoky. Highly satisfying.
High Octane- Some of the most popular wings at Bigfoot. A nice flavor, not gonna burn ya out. Can see the flecks of black and red peppers. Spicy, tangy and flavorful.
Regular- Has a nice light coating of the regular buffalo sauce that you can fin on many of Bigfoot's buffalo items tangy with only a hint of afterburn.
Teriyaki - Another intersting take on an asian inspired wing, this one is a touch sweet a touch salty in soy sauce kinda way a touch tangy, reminiscent of teriyaki sauce without going full asian restaurant flavor.

January 11, 2010

Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff: The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse is home to this installment of Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff.
The Smokehouse used to be a favorite of mine for bbq when they were a small little shop based in a trailer outside The Museum Club. But when they moved to their new location in a strip mall with sit down dining, things changed. I've gone back a few times to give them a chance and work out those kinks but I haven't been happy with their food.

The Smokehouse
3510 E. Route 66
website (but no current menu) at: simplythebestbbq.com 

The Smokehouse wings are ok but nothing special. They're really dried out tasting (sadly like the other things I've gotten here lately). They taste a little generic - coated and fried then served tossed in sauce. The sauces are the best thing about The Smokehouse. They're homemade and lean towards sweet more than spicy. There are four sauces on the menu at The Smokehouse. Here's a look at how they stack up:
Honey BBQ- This is realy sweet and syrupy not too barbecue tasting.
Habenero Hell- Surprisingly not as spicy as the name implies. Heavy on the vinegar flavor for a super tangy wing
Honey Mustard- Very sweet and syrupy with only a hint of mustard flavor. The kids will like this one. Mine licked it off their plates but refused to eat the actual wing.
All in all I'm disappointed that The Smokehouse is a far cry from its successful, moist, flavorful tasty  roots. They were among my fav Flag bbq joints, but no longer. Not sure if I'll be going back unless I hear they're changing back to their old ways.

January 8, 2010

Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff: Ski Lift Lodge Restaurant

Looking for the best hot wings in Flagstaff? The ones at Ski Lift Lodge are definite contenders. This article is part of the new Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff guide that samples the wings of the city so you can find your favorite. Today's wings are from the Ski Lift Lodge Cabins and Restaurant...

Ski Lift Lodge Cabins and Restaurant
Hwy 180 at the base of Snowbowl Rd (map)
menu and specials online at: arizonasnowbowl.com

About a ten minute drive north of downtown you'll find the Ski Lift Lodge Cabins and Restaurant... home to about 8 flavors of wings that come highly recommended. They make all their own sauces here, except the jerk rub (but then that's not a sauce). You can get them by the half or full dozen, one flavor per six wings. On Thursdays (they're open from 4-9pm with happy hour from 4-6 with discounts on drinks and appetizers) they have half price wings all night. Great deal. Here's a look at what to expect in their flavor rainbow:
Mild - tangy flavor captures the essence of buffalo without much heat at all. Nice job, this is hard to do.
Medium - adds about 5 degrees of heat and a more vinegary taste to the mild
Hot- working my way up the fire line, this one just adds a touch more peppery taste but you don't really taste the extra heat 'til after eating them. I like that kind of backburn.
Injured Skier-  whoa momma... that one is spicy. I like spice but this is fire.
Raspberry Chipotle - cools the mouth after the Injured Skier wings - and boy will you need it! Almost refreshing and so interesting to the taste buds. Not like any other wing I've tried. Made with fresh raspberries and a touch of chipotle peppers back in the kitchen. Mmmmm. I would have loved to taste this one with a hef beer, but they don't have it at this time.
BBQ- thick sauce has a little extra ketchup-y taste than most barbeque sauces, but not overly sweet, very mild.
Teriyaki - all sweet almost honey-like. Dare I say almost tastes like there's a hint of beer flavoring in there somewhere. A surprisingly good wing that I will order again (and my kids loved this one too).
Blackjack Jerk- dry rubbed wings with a little sweet mixed in with the flavors of pepper and other spices. This wing needs a little more moisture for my liking but the flavor is going in the right direction.
All in all- I'd opt for a combo of wings with three sauces here: medium, teriyaki and raspberry chipotle... for maximum flavor and uniqueness. The atmosphere at the Ski Lift Lodge is so comfortable and homey too (and a really nice wait staff), you may just stay a while.

January 7, 2010

Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff: Granny's Closet

Looking for the best hot wings in Flagstaff? This begins the new Hot Buffalo-style Chicken Wings of Flagstaff guide that samples the wings of the city so you can find your favorite. We start with the ever-popular Granny's...

Granny's Closet
218 S. Milton Rd.
menu at: Grannys-Closet.com

When you ask people in Flagstaff where to go for wings 9 times out of 10 they'll say Granny's. Granny's has 7 types of wings everyday. You can buy them by the full or half dozen. On Wednesdays they're 40 cents each all day.  Here's a look at each type of wing style Granny's serves up:
Plain - just the wing, no sauce, as simple as humanly possible.
Medium - lots of tanginess not too hot nice and moist perfect for a spicy lightweight
Hot - turn up the spice by one notch on the medium what I would call a traditional hot wing
Suicide Jabenero - the smell is powerful and tickles the nose this one is serious business about its spiciness while still flavorful. Be sure to have a beer or coke or water on hand after these. Burning my lips but in a good way still fifteen minutes after eating them. Whoa nelly.
BBQ- these are barbeque sauce coated: sweet, mellow and saucy
Spicy BBQ- sweet and tangy with a touch spicy, mostly as an afterburn
Teriyaki - a pleasant change of taste. more of a soy sauce taste than a traditional sweet terriyaki not spicy or tangy distinctively its own thing

Where to celebrate food holidays in January in Flagstaff

January is the month of celebrating everything from hot tea (the whole month is National Hot Tea month) to hot toddys (January 11th is Hot Toddy Day) and pastrami sandwiches (January 14th is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day) to chips (January 29th is National Corn Chip Day). Here’s a look at some other fun food days of January and where might be a good place to celebrate around town…

January 4: National Spaghetti Day
Head to Pasto (19 E. Aspen) for some of the finest spaghetti in town. Sure they have a menu full of inspired Italian dishes, but sometimes you just can’t beat a bowl of classic spaghetti and with their delish sauce, and why would you want to…

January 7: National Tempura Day
Enjoy the battered and fried yet still delicate Japanese goodness of tempura at Karma (6 E Route 66). Start your meal off with shrimp, sweet potato, broccoli or onion tempura served with a soy tempura sauce.

January 12: Curried Chicken Day
Head to the Himalayan Grill (801 S. Milton) for celebrating chicken curry. You’ll enjoy the boneless chicken, onion and house herbs and spices in their tomato-based sauce.

January 15: Strawberry Ice Cream Day
The new Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers (2675 S Beulah) makes a great strawberry shake or concrete using their vanilla frozen custard (basically a rich, creamy ice cream) and strawberries.

January 16: International Hot & Spicy Food Day
A day dedicated to hot and spicy – and Flagstaff has so many great choices to celebrate. From Thai spiciness at Dara Thai (14 South San Francisco) which makes some fantastic Pad Thai (go level three at least to feel some burn) amongst many other great dishes to Mexican hotness in the tasty salsas galore of Salsa Brava (2220 E. Rte. 66) and Las Gorditas (2900 N West St).

January 20: National Cheese Lover’s Day
Enjoy the art of cheese with Brix (413 N. San Francisco) Artisanal Cheese Plate. Pick three or five of their fine selections with poached natural apricots and house-made lavosh. Brix’s cheese menu ranges from French to Swiss to America selections of cow, goat and sheep’s milk cheeses.

January 27: Chocolate Cake Day
Criollo Latin Kitchen (16 N San Francisco) may not the first place that comes to mind when you think cake, but you’ve got to try their spiced Venezuelan chocolate cake. It’s spiced with three types of chilis combined with Venezuelan chocolate. Heavenly!

January 28: National Blueberry Pancake Day
La Bellavia (18 S. Beaver) is the place to go for this celebratory breakfast feasting day. Their blueberry pancakes have the right amount of morning sweetness to bring a smile to your mouth. Plus studies have found blueberries (though not the pancake part) may help you get rid of belly fat and have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruits. So blueberry up!

January 30: National Croissant Day
Celebrate this fine day with a breakfast croissant sandwich from the Dog Haus (1302 E Route 66). These big delicious sandwiches are made fresh to order with your choice of bacon or sausage plus egg and cheese if you want. Fine way to start the day.

Check out even more food holidays in January at thenimble.com.

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