Why do the tastiest things have to be so bad for us?
Chicken sandwiches usually are my go to when I’m out, need to grab a quick lunch and I’m not in the mood for a burger or pizza. I’ve eaten a lot of them. And I especially love fried chicken sandwiches.
Welcome to episode IV of my Staycationaurant series. I’ve got a lot to share about Phoenix, so I’m breaking this post up into two parts. Here’s part one. I hope you enjoy it.
This past weekend, I attended the wedding of the son of a longtime friend in Chandler Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. And as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I was quite excited to check out the restaurant scene in “The Valley”.
We were only in the Phoenix area for few days, and half of one day would be spent at the wedding. Time was not on my side. I did manage to squeeze in several interesting restaurants though, and overall I had some great food there.
At the ripe old age of 15, I wanted a job. I needed more than the few dollars a week my parents gave me as an allowance. I wanted spending money. Ambition welled up in me, I needed to do something. My mother had previously worked at Dunkin’ Donuts and she was friends with the owner. She got me a job there.
It was June 1982, I’ll never forget it. I got hired as a porter. A porter was a part-time job, about 3 hours a day, in the afternoon. Porters did odd jobs around the shop. We cleaned the kitchen. We mopped floors. We helped bring in stock when the truck would arrive. We filtered the fryers. I didn’t love it, but I loved having a paycheck, and I loved being around all of the cute girls who worked the counter.
Continue reading “Bad Chain Restaurants III – Heartbroken”
In episode one of Staycationaurant, I vowed that while on vacation I would try as many restaurants as I could. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to nearly as many as I’d like. Things came up. I got busy. My wife had other plans. Life has a way of throwing curveballs, as we all know.
I’m ashamed to admit I had never been to DeFazio’s Pizzeria. It’s generally considered one of the best, if not the best pizzeria in the Capital Region. It’s been on my list for a while though, and I decided it would be my first stop. The pizza of course was fantastic. I knew I’d be stopping at a couple of other places afterward, so I didn’t want to eat too much pizza. That was tough. The few slices I didn’t eat were staring at me, taunting me with their cheesy goodness, daring me to eat them. But I withstood the test, and only ate half the pizza. (DeFazio’s does not sell slices).
In addition to making a great pizza, DeFazio’s is so genuine and down to earth. If you’ve read any of my other posts you know I enjoy that. I also found it interesting that the red pepper they set on the table they get locally and it’s ground fresh there. The “shaky cheese” as I call it, is shredded next door at their grocery store and is far better than the green can stuff most places have.
In the Bible, in the book of Revelation, Jesus rebukes the church of Laodicea:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Bet you didn’t know Jesus was a foodie did ya?
About once a year I travel to the Washington DC area for work. When I travel, it’s always difficult to find good restaurants—sorry, let me rephrase that—it’s difficult to find special restaurants. I’m talking about places that are unique, and have dishes that are memorable. The kind of dishes you don’t forget about the next day. Dishes you dream about long after you’ve eaten them.
Thanks to a question I asked on one of the message boards on yelp, I found such a place. Mokomandy.
Mokomandy is very much like a gastropub. Gastropubs take typical bar food and kick it up a notch. They turn dishes you’ve had a thousand times, and transform them into something special by using higher quality ingredients, and preparing them in unique and interesting ways.
Mokomandy is a mashup of Korean, Cajun and American food. Korean and Cajun? Now that’s special. They also have an excellent beer selection, and a creative cocktail menu. The food is primarily Korean and Cajun comfort dishes. I enjoyed everything I had there but one thing stood out as extra special. The house made ghost chili hot sauce.
Ghost Chilis or Bhut Jolokia, as they are also known are the hottest chili peppers in the world. Chili peppers are rated on what’s called the Scoville scale, which measures a chili’s heat. For comparison, jalapeños are rated at between 3 and 8 thousand Scoville units. Ghost Peppers are rated at over 1 MILLION. That’s about 200 times hotter than a jalapeño! Yikes.