Thanks to the 'hounds, these are some of the places we checked out this week.
Dillon's - How convenient to have a place just minutes away to satisfy my husband's (who is from Texas) craving for bbq brisket. I had just enjoyed an early dinner after meeting ArizonaGirl (thanks for everything, and the rec for Dillon's!), but he had had to go when I told him about it on my return home. So off we went. I ordered a small cup of chili with beans and chunks of brisket, though really was too full to enjoy it, of course. E ordered the bbq beans with brisket and smoked sausage. We even bought some by the pound to bring home, including a pint of their tasty potato salad. I also liked that Dillon's sometimes has 'burnt ends' - my favorite. An extra bonus was the half-price wine by the glass on Wednesday nights.
Yesterday we decided to check out a couple of places I had read about here - Roberto's Mexican Food, and Albuquerque Tortilla Company. At Roberto's, E had the carne asada torta and I had the carnitas taco. Great. I love that they deliver too. Located in a gas station, this is the kind of Chowhound place I love to know about. Also, we were told they just bought a building near the Wal-Mart in Anthem, so that will be their newest location.
Alas, the Tortilla Co was closed when we arrived there at about 6:00. However, we made up for it with the great shopping in this diverse area, everything from Asian to African. We stopped at a strip mall area that had a little Mexican bakery, a Oaxacan seafood restaurant (we'll have to check it out the next time we return to the Albuquerque Co), and a great Vietnamese market. We stocked up at the bakery - unfortunately, they had run out of bolillos, but we did buy empanadas with cream filling, and chocolate and vanilla pan de huevo (so good sliced and toasted in the oven with coffee this morning). The Asian market also had a butcher counter and fresh fish too - the woman ahead of us was having one of the men filet a whole fish for her, and I bought some nice-looking oxtails, and some pork belly for a recipe from the Chowhound Cookbook of the Month on the Home Cooking Board (pork simmered with bourbon), along with various other ingredients to stock my pantry.
To top off our food-filled fun day, we drove to downtown Glendale to 'celebrate' NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY (yep, any excuse) at La Perla. Great fun - we enjoyed the mariachis in the Fiesta room and a couple of jumbo margaritas. E had mole with homemade flour tortillas which was good, though we've been spoiled by a woman who runs a small restaurant in East Boston (she's from Puebla and wow her mole is fantastic). Inspired by Seth (heh), I ordered my first cheese crisp - what a tasty appetizer, I can see why these are so popular, especially mine with strips of roasted chilis and dollops of their hot salsa. My machaca chimichanga was just as satisfying. We had a good time at this place - filled with locals, friendly service, live music, and good food (though the bathrooms were quite 'rustic'). We'll be back.
We're having a good time exploring the area, and are looking forward to many many more finds thanks to you all.
Finally, tomorrow I'm really looking forward to our first visit to Tapino. I'm taking E to a 'locavore' dinner - a meal revolving around local foods "from Arizona farmers, ranchers, artisans and winemakers". The menu sounds fantastic, it's going to be a beautiful day, and I can't wait to try some of the local wine, produce, and meats that Arizona has to offer.