I'm not calling what I write a review. It just doesn't qualify. I'm sketchy with details, my writing is too scatterbrained, and there are no pictures. So this is just a report on my dinner tonight at Fry Bread House(FBH). I asked about FBH a couple of weeks ago, and got some good feedback from people here. I've passed by it countless times, but tonight it was time to go in. Plus, my strict diet starts Monday *wink* *wink*.
My perfect dining accomplice for this evening was Mom. Husband is out of town on business, but it doesn't matter anyway. I need Mom to go with me because she's the connisseur of the FBH's fare. It's what we've always eaten at home. So she would be the ultimate thumbs up/down on the matter. So it was me, Mom, and Kidlet.
We arrive about 7pm and the parking lot was full. Granted, there are only about 10 spaces, but it was jammed. Mom had to park in the lot next door. The line was out the door, so I knew something was up. People don't line up out the door for crappy food.
7:15 - I order. Give us your best FBH!! This was make it or break it. If they can do a few family favorites well, they will have forever fans in us. So we decided to try a bit of everything, foods that we know very well. I ordered the Hominy Stew(Posole). Mom ordered the Red Chile. I also bought a red tamale to try. We actually got the specials, which include a side of fry bread.
tick tock...tick tock
*glaces at watch*
7:45 - We got our food. I think we've become such an impatient society. But knowing that good hot fry bread takes some time to make, orders come out a little slower than expected. Plus it was packed, and we knew the kitchen was on full throttle doing the best they can.
The red chile.
My mom has always made homemade red chile using the real New Mexico chiles - dried, pods removed, then rehydrated in boiling water. Then they're blended with water to make a thick sauce that has the consitency of applesauce. This is cooked with chunks of beef to make the stew. My mom adds potatoes, FBH does not. Once she got passed the heat of her chile, she said that it was very good. "They use real chile, the make it right," she said. She commented on them not using potatoes, but she really enjoyed it. She may have licked the bowl, I'm not sure.
She also makes posole every Christmas Eve. That and the tamales she makes are what we eat for our traditional dinner. She makes killer posole and she's been selling tamales to friends and co-workers at holiday time for years.
The first thing I noticed about my posole was that it was we call "white", meaning there's no red chile in the stew. I need a little chile, so I took a couple spoonfulls on my moms chile and stirred it in. It was hot off the stove, very hot. But it was spiced perfectly. The hominy was plump and cooked to a perfect 'al dente'. And the beef chunks were big and tender. I've only ever had posole at two other restaurants in Phoenix: Richardson's and Los Dos Molinos.
-Richardson's posole is done well. It's a little on the spicy side, which I'm not used to. I'm used to the chile complimenting the flavors of the stew, not asserting itself as the primary flavor. Still, it's done well. It's the only thing my dad orders there.
-The posole at Los Dos Molinos is so damn spicy that I couldn't even eat it. For those familiar with the food there, you know what I'm talking about. I ordered the posole there once, and never again.
FBH is hands down the best of the three.
It was big. But as I was unwrapping it, I realized that it was big because there was quite a bit of masa(the corn 'cake'). I'm not used to thick masa, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It was ok. What I didn't enjoy about the tamale was the beef filling. Mom said, "It's spiced right", but the sauce was too thin and watery. Again, maybe I'm just used to things a certain way.
The fry bread.
What's not to like? It's hot, it's thick, it's chewy. A perfect accompanyment to the soups, and Kidlet liked it.
There was pure cross section of people in here. Native Americans, Hispanics, Whites, a woman dressed in hospital scrubs, a biker, kids. The dining area is a bit small, with about 12 tables, which I'm sure is more than sufficient seating for the usual non-Friday night crowd.
Prices. This is where I get fuzzy.
The specials were about $5.50 each, tamales are $2.75, and drinks are..what drinks seem to cost everywhere.
All told, I dropped about $17 for dinner.
**If you take kids, ask for the "Child's Size Drink" - kids get free drinks
As we were leaving, Mom said, "I'm glad I finally tried this place after driving by it for years. I'm going to bring your dad."