On the 28th of June I arrived in Phoenix for what I assumed would be a fun, quick, delicious, and hot experience. I had no idea how much each of those things it would be. Sitting here, wanting to share with you all that I experienced, it quickly became clear that I could not convey the entire trip in a single post. So instead of trying to cram all my adventures into one multi-thousand word post, I decided to start with a quick overview of what I did and then one by one, share each experience.
I arrived at 8 am and was picked up at the airport by Loriann of Thyme for Cocktails. We visited her Farmer’s Market, had lunch with her hubby, and then took off to my first resort hotel.
I’ve listed my itinerary below with just a tasting of something I experienced at each location. See what I did there?
Fairmont Princess: ScottsdaleThis is the view from my balcony. I walked into my room, threw back the curtains and my breath hitched. Was it the beauty that did it? For sure, but quite possibly the refreshing nature of that glorious teal water in 110 degree heat might have played a part too.
Blue Hound KitchenI might have gone a little crazy taking pictures of the hounds in this place. But wait until I write about the food! I was just anticipating tastings, but we had courses. This first stop in my Phoenix adventures set the tone of the entire trip: food, fun, drinks, fun, laughter, and many, many Mmmmm’s.
This is the burger made famous on Diner’s, Drive-In’s and Dives. One bite, I knew why it was famous. Super juicy and full of flavor.Even though it was over 100 degrees, walking around this agriculture community (agritopia) was incredibly fascinating and honestly quite inspiring. My whole life I have been taught about self-sufficiency and self-reliance. This is taking those teaching and fully putting them into practice.
Hayden Flour Mills (Sossaman Farms)**Warning, the above picture is not gluten free** I couldn’t resist. I know this looks like a boring picture, just a few various grains on a table, but they have taken rare ancient grains and given them new life. Take that quinoa.
Queen Creek Olive MillYes, I am at an olive mill and you’re looking at a plate of cupcakes. During the course of my trip to Phoenix, I spent a lot of time on social media and this cupcake showed up on my Instagram feed. I knew I was going to be visiting this location a few hours from when I saw the picture. To say it was all I could think about was an understatement. When it was served to us after the tour, I was rather impatient, annoyed that I was following ‘the rules’ and having lunch first before I devoured the cupcake. But it was worth it.
Arizona Wilderness Brewing CompanyThose that know me, know I am not the hugest of beer fans, but I’m holding the darkest ale, which turned out to be my favorite in the bunch with notes of chocolate…yes it ALWAYS comes back to chocolate for me.
La Hacienda at Fairmont Scottsdale PrincessThe picture isn’t the best, and for that I apologize to you and to Chef Forest Hamrick but I had a spiritual experience eating this taco. The first bite literally brought a tear to my eye. The tender lobster, the creamy avocado and that sauce, I still don’t know what it was because, well, it didn’t stay around long enough for me to pick it apart or even savor it, I just wanted to devour it. And I did…twice
Vincent Market Bistro/Vincent’s on CamelbackPhoenix is landlocked, but I have never had more seafood in such a short period of time and never had quiet some many delicious offerings. The smoked salmon quesadilla was unique in that the cheese quesadilla is enclosed in a thin succulent piece of smoked salmon. The soup brought me back to childhood. It was a dish paired in comfort and sophistication.
Desert Botanical Garden Chef Demo by Chef Jason Wyrick of The Vegan TasteChef Wyrick is vegan. You all know I am not. But I can tell you that he created some AWESOME dishes where I didn’t even miss the meat. I will be recreating some of his recipes to share with you, some will have meat in them, much to his dismay. But I did learn how fantastic vegan food really is. He made this spicy and full bodied soup and added this swiss chard to it. He looked like he was deeply in love with this bunch; it was a look I recognized well as I have had it many of times in my own produce section or Farmer’s Market.
Westin-Kierland ResortAfter a long and utterly full day (both with time commitments and quantity of food), it was amazing walking into my room and looking out the window. Gorgeous. I had some downtime and it was the perfect opportunity to sit out on my balcony and do some writing. Later that night a vibrant thunderstorm rippled through the sky, so I went back outside on the balcony, did some more writing and watched the nature show.
Scotch Tasting at The Scotch Library with Bagpipes at Sunset
We’ve established I am not much of a beer drinker, you can now add whisky in any of it’s varieties as well. Although, I think with the right mixer, I might get on board with at few of these. I didn’t shoot them or even chug. We sipped. I can’t wait to share with you all that I learned about scotch and how to go about actually smelling your beverage to find the notes of flavor. I truly think with time, I might find one I truly enjoy, they do have over 200 bottles.
DeseoI struggled with what picture to share for Deseo as each component of the meal from the cocktail to the chocolate cigar was worthy to be included in this overview. But my carnivorous side ruled in favor of the steak cooked to a perfect medium rare and was so tender, a knife wasn’t necessary.
Meet Nelson Garcia-Miranda, a Cuban artist who was plucked from his humble job at Deseo when his true talent and passion was revealed. His art stopped me in my tracks. I can’t wait to share his story with you.
Before I sign off for this post, I need to introduce you to the fabulous ladies I traveled with.
Theresa Greco writes The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine. She is on a mission to share her love of healthy yet delicious food from both her kitchen and from all her travels. Theresa is serious about her food sources, and that impressed me. Plus she made me feel totally better about my own food quirks. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Theresa Greco ~ The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
Jennifer Drummond writes Peanut Butter and Peppers. She shares her food tips and her commitment to a healthy-eating lifestyle, but she also believes in moderation, as she loves her burgers. We did share that pictured burger above. I think she might eat peppers for breakfast too, I truly wouldn’t be surprised. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Jennifer Drummond ~ Peanut Butter and Peppers
Susan Benton writes 30aEats. If you want to know anything remotely related to food, from local farmers to restaurants to culinary artisans in the Northwest section of Florida, then Susan is your woman. She is witty and beyond knowledgable about all things food. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Susan Benton ~ 30aEats with daughter Caroline Coker
These ladies have all traveled together before, so essentially I am the new girl on the block. My time with them was short but completely unforgettable. They are all warm, charming, intelligent, beautiful, and HILARIOUS. I am grateful to have been added to their fold.
Foodies In Phoenix