It’s been months since I wrote a Staycationaurant post on the blog. If you’ll remember, staycationaurant is the corny term I created by mashing together the words staycation and restaurant. I’ve defined it as a vacation day (or days), in which I while away the hours eating at interesting or unique places. For today’s post, I think I’ve found a business that qualifies as both the former and the latter.
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.
Welcome to part 3 of what I’ve coined as a ‘Staycationaraunt’. I’ve been chronicling my overeating-at-special-restuarants in Staycationaurant I and Staycationaurant II. Please check out those posts if you haven’t already.
In my last post, Feeding Twenty Three Thousand, I recounted the horrible food served at the tech conference I attended. It wasn’t all bad though, because I failed to mention the conference was held in Chicago.
I had never been to Chicago, so I was very excited to go, and obviously, I was most excited to find some great restaurants. That task is not as easy as it would seem. A big city like Chicago is loaded with great restaurants, but it’s not just great food I like to seek out. I love places that are unique or special in some way, or at the very least, considered to be the best at what they do. Best pizza, best tacos, etc. And they have to be cheap. I just cannot afford high end dining.
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.
What do you do when you have 10 days vacation and no plans?
For the next 10 days, I’m pulling out all the stops and going on a restaurant binge. Normally I wouldn’t subject my wallet (and my waistline) to such insanity, but I have a rare opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m taking advantage of it. I’m going to eat at as many restaurants as I can during my time off.
I’m calling it a staycationaurant. It’s an amalgamation of the words stay-cation and restaurant. I actually think it has a nice ring to it! I’ll tweet it and maybe it will go viral. People all over the country will say to each other, “Where did you eat on your staycationaurant?” There’ll be debates on reddit over who invented the word. Eventually they’ll trace it back to me and I’ll become famous!
Yeah, probably not.
Today, mostly by chance, I visited three different places. They’re all unique, all small, all locally owned, and all special.