Food, the great unifier. I find that no matter where I am or what I’m doing that most days revolve around food, I eat one meal and am immediately planning the next one. So, because of that I’ve decided to jot down a few of my favorite places in cities I spend a large amount of time… First up, Phoenix, AZ.
I lived in Phoenix for a little over 6 years, and while you wouldn’t expect this city in the middle of the desert to be a great food hub, it is!
Where do I start with this gem? Delicious, pure deliciousness! I normally try and describe them as “fancy hot pockets” though I realize that’s probably insulting, but at least now you have an idea of what I’m talking about.
Cornish Pasty Co. bakes their pasties in the tradition of the Cornwall-area of England. Throughout history there are several types of pasties mentioned; however, the Cornish variety was made world famous by the migration of miners from that area to other parts of the world.
Traditionally, a pasty is filled with meat, turnips, onions and spices. The ingredients are put in raw, folded into the pastry and crimped along the edge. The pasties at Cornish Pasty Co. are filled with everything from lamb to vegetarian chicken to a hamburger.
They have an incredible vegetarian selection- many of their regular pasties are made with faux meat. In addition to the great vegetarian selection, they have at least one vegan selection each day.
I make sure and complete every meal (almost always the veggie rosemary chicken) with a dessert pasty like this one, the caramel apple pasty. You can thank me later.
Luckily, Cornish Pasty Co. is expanding with four locations in Arizona and one opening in Las Vegas.
Full disclosure, I worked at TFK for over a year; however, I initially started working there because I loved the food. There’s nothing better than working somewhere where you actually believe that everything on the menu is delicious and agree with the philosophy behind the food.
TFK is a partnership between restaurateur Sam Fox and renowned natural health guru Dr. Andrew Weil. The menu is based off of Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet with a focus on local, seasonal food where as much as possible is prepared in house, from scratch.
A few of my favorites on the menu are the Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Farmer’s Market Salad, Mediterranean Salad, Hummus, Shitaki Tofu Lettuce Cups and several of the pizzas. For you non-veggies, the Bison Burger is a must as well as the Panang Curry and Red Chili Shrimp dish.
Dessert… oh my favorite meal! There is not a dessert on this menu that I don’t like: Flourless Chocolate Cake (recipe), Chia Seed Pudding (bananas, coconut cream and brown sugar blended with chia seeds added), Lemon Tart and the seasonal crisps (either strawberry-rhubarb or apple).
Side Note: If you’re a drinker TFK has amazing handcrafted cocktails. My favorite is the PeaceMaker, I call it a cold Hot Toddy.
Located in Tempe, this all vegan restaurant is a great delight. I’ve found things err on the side of spicy, but unless you’re uber-sensitive like I am, it shouldn’t be an issue.
While I loved having a vegetarian spot just down the road, the best part of this locale was the tSoynami- organic vegan icecream shakes! Recently they opened an adjoining location next door to serve tSoynamis and other vegan treats.
“A drive-thru?” you say… yes! Because of the ease and convenience of this place I found myself walking through its door several times a week just for one of their delicious Breakfast Buzz drinks. It’s a protein shake with banana, coffee and chocolate. I normally did sans coffee, extra banana and with soy milk (they have vegan protein powder if you’d like).
In addition to the Breakfast Buzz, they offer delicious salads (The Kitchen Sink Salad), awesome breakfast burritos (Traditional Burrito) and a hummus platter that is a meal in itself.
The best part about this place? They use a ton of organic, local produce and do without all the preservatives and crap you find with most “fast food’ joints.
I can’t list all of my favorites without mentioning my favorite coffee spot. Steve, the owner, is always friendly and I’ll warn you now, if you get into a conversation about roasting prepare to be there a while. He uses beans from a plethora of places and roasts in house. Is there anything better than the smell of roasting coffee? NO!!
The baristas are always super friendly and this is the type of place that if you’re a regular they will remember your order, even if you don’t go for a while.
I love popping in on a free afternoon, grabbing a cafe latte and nibbling on one of the scrumptious chocolate chip cookies (I’m a sucker for chocolate chip cookies). An added treat is they always have great music going.
A few other favorites:
Pita Jungle – hummus, falafels and amazing rice pudding.
TeePee Mexican Food – Authentic Mexican food from one of the best hole-in-the-wall places you could find… Presidents have visited here (apparently that adds street-cred). But seriously, the Sonoran Enchilada is fantastic.
Culinary Dropout Part of the Fox Restaurant Concept family, this place has an amazing atmosphere. You’ll always find a good mix of patrons, from hipsters to happy hour goers to forty-somethings. You MUST try the pretzel fondue… nothing else matters but the pretzel fondue.
Feel free to comment if I left out one of your favorites.