We started our trip thru AZ and NM flying into Phoenix from Boston. A work friend had suggested Carolina's not far from the airport which was a good snack, a chicken tamale and machaca green burro w/ 2 waters was $9. Food was tasty if very beige. After checking into our hotel in Scottsdale, we hit Frasher's for happy hour. The owner is a St. Louis fan so lots of displaced Midwesterners watching the playoffs. My $3 cocktail was kinda crappy, A's beer was better and a plate of 3 pork sliders for $6 was okay. We caught the Thurs. artwalk and saw Bobby Goldsboro's stuff at one gallery. I even got to use my limited Russian at another before stopping into Cowboy Ciao on Stetson. We'd had such a great experience there 3 years ago and while nothing was bad this time, you can't go home again. The app of pork belly was tasty but not crispy, came w/ hard boiled eggs, potato and greens for $13. Keeping in mind that almost every order of food is split between the two of us, we moved on to FnB where I was so sure Pavle would remember us but he needed some reminders. We got the entrée of bucatini w/ lobster mushrooms, corn, squash blossoms for $25. As mentioned in the FnB thread, it was a nice dish but not worth the price tag. I was too full for booze or dessert.
Fri. morning we had a hard time finding a bakery or café of any sort, ended up at Au Petit Four for good but pricey croissants and found Cartel for an eventual iced coffee (their baked goods looked nice). Shopped at the newish Record Room (good stuff) then decided to brave the hot sun at the Arizona State Fair for half priced admission. Tried fried bacon (photo below) for my first time, two bites was enough. Also got some fried pickles but they were subpar, passed up fried butter haha. After a few rides and games, we needed to sit somewhere comfortable and hit the relatively new Brathaus on N. Scottsdale for happy hour (http://brathausaz.com/), Payton from Café Boa's sausage factory (his wife who works at FnB had given us a card for a free pretzel the nite before). It was all really good, tasty pretzel w/ cheese sauce ($3 extra but not needed with the interesting mustards, photo below), excellent spicy sausage, tons of beer and a few good choices for HH, friendly people. This ended up being one of my favorite meals of the trip. Didn't eat again until late when we hit the Nogales hot dog cart on E Indian School (rounding out our all pork diet). A. liked it a lot better than me, it was fine but the roll was super mushy and the dog was a tiny little thing. Glad I went tho. We headed out fairly early on Sat. and hit the Old Town farmer's market in Scottsdale rather than the Camelback Mkt, there were tons of choices there. Saw Payton again and got a nice huckleberry lemonade, a breakfast burrito from someone and a blackberry honey bran muffin that lasted me 3 days. Not much produce but good food and product choices.
Will get northern AZ and SF/ABQ on the Southwest board soon.