Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lets go to Jerry's

Jerry's Restaurant
2323 E Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016

(602) 956-2870

After eating at Denny's one too many times, having boring breakfast in an over crowded, kid screaming filled room I had to find a new place to go! Thank you Jerry's! This diner has been an original since 1966...or so they say, that was a bit before my time. Luckily they have redecorated since then, with cute diner pop art and shiny chrome back splashes. The booths are as you would expect burgundy Naugahyde lining the walls. The front windows are trimmed with black and white checker window ruffles and there is a view of Thomas.

Jerry's is not fancy or flashy, it is really good food at a very good price. The omelets are the perfect size and they are not afraid to use the cheese, and in my book that is a good thing! The sink omelet is all the important food groups wrapped in a fluffy eggs
(peppers,ham,bacon,tomatoes, cheese...yum) And you can choose pancakes instead of the hash browns and toast! These are not your average pancakes either!

The french toast is lightly golden, with the perfect not too soggy, not too dry texture. And plenty of creamy whipped butter.

The coffee is bottomless, hot and though it isn't gourmet it is pretty tasty and will do the trick!

Jerry's menu has all the usual diner food, but they seem to care a little more about the way it is prepared than most chain diners. The burgers are hand made and cooked to order, portions are just right and the service is always punctual and friendly.

So if you are looking for a casual place to eat for minimal expense (under $20 for two) check out Jerry's they are doing it right!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Five Cent sale!

If you have not heard BevMo is the ultimate in beverage shopping! They have everything you could possibly want from beer, to wine, to assorted liquors, and gourmet cheese and crackers . They also carry any accessories you may be in need of in your home bar...

you do have a home bar right?
You can get all your glass ware, stem ware and decanters. Also any kind of wine opener and frozen drink dispensers! Not sure there is anything they don't have. You can order kegs of all sizes and the accoutrement to make your next keg party a hit!

And anyone respectable wino know about the 5 cent sale! Where BevMo selects a wide variety of wines to choose from where you buy one get the second identical bottle for only 5 cents! That is almost as good as buy one get one free!!! This is a good time to stock up and try new wines, and the staff is required to try all the wines so they can help you pick the perfect vino....How do I get THAT job!

This is one I chose, a Shiraz from South Australia.

90 PTS WILFRED WONG. Sturdy and predictable, the consistent Tintar Shiraz comes up big again with '06 vintage; ripe and lasting on the palate with plenty of palate impact; finishes well.

I will keep you posted on if it was worth it!

Check out the website also for wine and beer tastings and other events. Also you can order your wines on line they will box it up for you, so all you have to do is pick it up and enjoy!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's a Kilt Lifter! Beer that is...

Four Peaks Brewery is a local favorite in Tempe Arizona. You can find some of the best local brews on tap daily, great food and a fun energetic atmosphere. The building is a turn of the century red brick ware house built in 1892. In its past lives the mission revival style building was Pacific Creamery and later Bordens Creamery.

This building is constructed almost entirely of red brick with wooden ceilings.

Four Peaks has a large patio with plenty of umbrellas, heaters and a great misting system, (key in Arizona!) making the patio a comfortable hang out all year round.

As soon as you walk through the doors you are faced with the large wood bar that runs almost the entire length of the room. Behind the bar there is a view of floor to ceiling stainless steel brewing tanks, a beautiful sight!
In 2008 Four Peaks won "The best beer for wine snobs" award, I would have to concur!

Both in the restaurant and in my home kegorator I have enjoyed their most well known ale,
Kilt Lifter® Scottish-Style Ale
The award-winning Flagship ale is an ale made in the tradition of the great strong ales of Scotland. Amber colored, malty sweet with underlying note of smokiness.
Alcohol content approximately 6.0% by volume and ALWAYS ON TAP!!
Medals - Great American Beer Festival (GABF) 1998 & 1999 & 2003 - Bronze - Scottish-Style Ale

This trip I tried a different beer the Sunbru Kölsch Style Ale
A very light golden ale that is malty sweet, almost honey-like in the nose. This ale has a light to medium body and a very delicate flavor. Easy drinking, it has very low bitterness and a soft dry finish. 5.2% alcohol/volume. This style originates from the city of Cologne, Germany where all twenty eight breweries are dedicated to brewing only Kölsch. This one will be definitely be coming to my home kegorator this summer!

While you will probably want to go for the beer, you will HAVE TO stay for the food. This is not just bar food! It is great Burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, salads and of course Kilt Lifter beer battered fish and chips! All the food ranges from $5 to $20 dollars.

Happy Hour is daily from 3-7 pm and 10 pm to close, this includes $3 pints and $11 pitcher. Other times a pint will run you $4 and a Pitcher is $13. Everything on the menu is paired with one of their handcrafted ales.
Four Peaks Brewing Company
1340 East 8th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281
Parking is a bit tough, (but well worth it!) or it is only 5 minute walk from the Apache/Dorsey Light Rail stop.

Friday, March 27, 2009

HOW TO.....

I just wanted to mention some things, for those of you new to the Blogging world, or even the computer world. Any thing that is underlined in an article is a link. You may click it and it will take you directly to the website named. For example, if you wanted to go check out what other fantastic things Trader Joe's has to offer. Simply click on the underlined Trader Joe's and there you are!

Also at the bottom of each page there is a link that says "older Posts", that will take you back to previous posts you may have missed if you were slacking and not checking in every day...Yes I expect you to check back every day! This is why I am working my fingers to the bone to update my blog daily!

So any other questions? Also you may write comments, if they are negative I will try to ignore them! If they are helpful....Thanks, please don't point out misspelled words and such...

Ok carry on and make sure you check out all the blogs I am following, they are good! And FREE!

I will be back soon with something more interesting!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Trader Joe's...lets go shopping!

For those of you lucky enough to live by a Trader Joe's you will understand what I am talking about. For those of you who don't...you may have to move...

Trader Joe's is my favorite place to shop for groceries, its small and everything I have tried there is good. Also it is pretty darn cheep and angles toward the healthy side. I love their vitamins, produce, pasta sauce (Trader Joe's Vodka sauce is the best!) and of course the wine!

You have all heard about the famous two buck chuck right? Well Trader Joe's is the home of the "cheap" wine...and it is GREAT for cooking, and perhaps drinking if you like having a hangover. That is just my opinion of course!

They do carry many really good wines and oodles of really inexpensive wines. I like to try out different wine varietals from TJ's first, that way I am not breaking the bank. A couple of my tried and true favorites from TJ's are the Black Mountain Cabernet $4.99, and Alexander and Fitch Cabernet $5.99. Of course the Alexander and Fitch Cab is for some reason missing in action these days... So sad, but if you find it, it is a must try!


Any and all kinds of cheese your little hearts desire! I love the Cotswold Double Gloucester with chives. Great with crackers and someday I will try it on a baked potato.
One of my other favorite finds is the Chopped Garlic, Basil and Cilantro cubes. They are perfect for cooking with. They are kept in the frozen section so they don't go bad as quick as fresh, but they still taste just as good. So very convenient.


They have banana bread mix, banana nut cereal, and of course tons of bananas right now!


Trader Joe's always has beautiful flower bouquets and they are very reasonably priced! So go ahead and buy that special someone (maybe yourself!) some pretty flowers, some great cheese and a bottle of wine and before it gets too hot enjoy your patio!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pita Jungle....Not just grass!

A girlfriend and I try to meet for lunch every couple of weeks, and we always end up at the same place!

I think I have eaten at all the valley Pita Jungle locations and have tried a variety of menu items, from the pita pizza to the honey pasta to the portabello burger. Now I always seem to get the same thing, Because it is so good!

The atmosphere in all the locations is very artsy, and hip. The dinning room usually has a high open ceiling with duct work exposed (on purpose), the warehouse look? It does make for a pretty loud lunch, but who needs to hear their food...The kitchen opens out to the dinning room, so you can see exactly who is making your food! The wait staff all look like they are artists or tree hugger...is that PC? Who cares its my blog! I like the look, makes me want to be healthy, get a tattoo or maybe recite poetry...

Even their website is cool...Pita Jungle

First of all if you are someone who is able to have a glass of wine at 11 am (before the lunch RUSH) then by all means don't let me stop you! Its noon somewhere! I get the Cartlidge and Browne Pinot Noire, because I feel a good Pinot is the perfect day drinking wine. This Pinot has a darker color than some and a full flavor, not too fruity. Not a great match with my lunch... but who cares!
Cartlidge and Browne Pinot Noir - 2007
Sources: Monterey, Solano County, Mendocino, San Luis Obispo, Sonoma Tasting Notes: Rich baked cherry flavor and suggestions of baking spices, anise, and cola.

First off my friend and I start with a small order of half garlic dip; a puree of potato garlic, and lemon. The other half is usually the roasted red pepper hummus. If there is any chance of running into Vampires (or maybe a really nosey coworker...) during your day, the garlic dip will keep you safe for hours!

The red pepper hummus is just pretty and delish!

For our main lunch we each order the small Greek salad, not sure why its called small, its anything but! I get mine with the marinated grilled chicken breast on top. Not sure where they get their chicken breasts but they are always huge! My friend and I split the chicken. You might want to ask for your "small" salad to be put on a large plate, otherwise you will be wearing it!

The Salad is Romaine lettuce with Kalamata olives, cucumbers, lots of red onion, feta cheese and tomato wedges. The dressing that comes on this salad is their citrus vinaigrette, and it is the thing that got me hooked on the Pita Jungle in the first place. I have asked for the recipe...but they won't tell me! Of course I have practiced making it many times and I can say that the main ingredients are most likely lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, perhaps white wine....yeah that's all I've got! I could almost drink the stuff so I get extra.

If you are looking for nutritious and delicious food, Pita Jungle is always my first recommendation. And contrary to popular belief, there is no grass on the menu...of any kind!

Alice in Wonder Land

DON'T BE SCARED! So I was sitting at the Phoenix Country Club having an ice cold beer with my pal, rock star Alice cooper....Or Coop as we like to call him.....

Yeah yeah, so he didn't actually know we were having beer together...and since he doesn't drink...maybe I was it was me in wonderland, This is my story though! I love his radio show "Nights with Alice Cooper", He is freakin hilarious!

Over the past year or so The Phoenix Country Club has gone through some changes...both Political and Physical. I will NOT be getting into the Political. My favorite change though was the remodel of the "Mixed Grill". The space where men and women can eat and drink in the same space if they so choose (don't ask!).

They did a wonderful job of opening the room, adding a patio that looks out at Tee Box number 1, the 18th, and 9th hole. The patio has beautiful fans that keep the area cool (so far). Also the "L" shaped bar faces out to the patio and the great view. The room is enclosed, barely, with glass walls and floor to ceiling sliding glass doors. The bar has large sliding glass windows that in the spring are open and airy. In the wonderful Phoenix summer months we hope those windows will keep the air conditioning in and the heat out!Friday night happy hour at this bar has gone from looking like Heavens waiting room to a hopping social scene. There are people actually sitting and standing around the bar! What a concept! And you gotta love the bartender Heather! She handles these golf dudes like a pro!
As you can see The Phoenix Country club is now of Rock Star caliber, and I will no doubt be enjoy many delicious beverages on the new patio in the days to come. Heather, I need another drink!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Golf...What else would you do on a weekend.

Golf...They say it is a relaxing game.... Well it starts out that way...If you first have a tasty blood mary or 3.

I personaly only play Golf if it is a sun shiny 73 degrees, with a slight breaaze coming from the west and about 3 clouds in the sky...AND there is absolutly nothing else to do. Well and if I want to spend quality time with my guy...

In the beginning the ball is good and lands on some green stuff...The green if you are lucky...and the rough if you are me.

Then as the day wears on MY ball is drawn to the sand....It is thinking beaches....

So I find every sand trap on the course!

So of course if I am feeling generouse I will make it through 9 holes. Only because I know what is waiting for me at the end!

Phoenix Country Club
2901 N 7th StPhoenix, AZ 85014(602) 263-5208

The mighty Artichoke...How do you eat that thing?

I often wonder who looks at a plant like this and says....hmmm that looks mighty tasty!

The Artichoke as it is called these days, here in my house at least, has had a long journey! I am told it started in Naples and from there traveled to Venice, where I am sure it had a lovely time floating down a canal in a gondola.

Artichoke them stopped by Chateauneuf du Pape (House of the pope, by the way) Maybe to pray...But I think it was drinking wine. Back in those days it was still small and young and was considered an aphrodisiac, a morsel that was preserved in a sugar syrup. While the French Artichoke bathed in Sugar and enjoyed some french wines, its cousins where being delivered to England by the Dutch. Ha!I knew this was a food of my people!

There the Artichoke lounged in the gardens of Henry the VIII at Newhall, these plants sure know how to live! Of course there is no place like home! So some of the Artichoke hitched a ride with the French and came to Louisiana others hitched a ride with the Spanish and came to California. I don't think it is a coincidence that both of those countries make some really good wine...The Artichoke obviously likes them some vino!

Today, nearly 100% of the US crops of Artichokes come from California. 80% of that in Monterrey County and Castroville claims to be "The Artichoke center of the world".
Now that the Artichoke has settled in what I like to call Paradise, I still think they are drinking California wine and lounging in the coastal sun, and why wouldn't they!?
Now that we have covered some history, lets get to the part where we eat the Artichoke! I have more that one friend ask me, "how do you eat that?" And "How do you cook it?" I can only speak for myself but I think the very best way to eat an Artichoke, is very carefully...
Over the years I feel I have finally mastered the Artichoke, not to say that sometimes it doesn't end up a bit mushy...some people LOVE their vegetables mushy ( I am not one of them). The simple way to cook an Artichoke is to steam it. So you just chop off all but about 1/2 and inch of the stem place it in a pot with a steam basket in it and about 1-2 inches of water. Do not let the stem become submerged. Place a lid on it and turn it on medium heat. Now just walk away for about 45 min. DO NOT remove the lid during this time, you are just letting the steam escape. Yes these take patience! After 45 minutes you may test the Artichoke for done ness, by pulling on a middle leaf. If it comes off easily they are done! If not keep cooking.....till done.

OK a quick lesson on eating an artichoke that is steamed. You simple pull the leaves off and scrape the tender meaty section off with your teeth...Not the pointy end! Of course you will probably want to dip this into something first...I am getting there! When you run out of edible leaves, the purple ones are tough to eat...stop. The fuzzy part (the choke) is not edible, yes you will choke on it, you can scoop or cut it out. Then enjoy the BEST part! The Heart!

Tips! Yes we all love Tips! To speed up the artichoke cooking and eating process I like to cut them in half cut about 1/4 of an inch off the tops (the pointy parts), cut out the choke and then steam. This way they cook in about 30 minutes and you don't have to work as hard to eat them. I am all about not having to work to hard to eat my food!

The artichoke can also be grilled, marinated, stuffed, sauteed, and even FRIED! The hearts are great in salads, Pastas,cheesy dips and even risotto...there just isn't much this veggie can not do.

Now in my house, there are to types of dipping sauces, the Bur Blanc, and the aoli. The Bur blanc (my personal favorite!) otherwise known as the butter sauce. The easy fast way, is to put REAL butter about 1/2 a stick (yeah full calorie!) in a small microwavable bowl add some Kosher or grey salt, garlic powder and a squeeze of lemon. Yes you can do thit on the stove in a pan over low heat...if you anti microwaves. You may have to taste it a couple time so get it just how you want it. This is of course just one serving, so you will have to figure it out if its for a crowd! Then microwave for 10 seconds at a time till melted. DO NOT boil it, it will separate and is just not as tasty. Dip and enjoy!

The second; the Aoli, is really a flavored mayonnaise sauce. In my house it is simply mayonnaise with lemon and sometimes garlic.

So go forth and cook some artichokes! Nutritious and Delicious!

Artichoke, cooked boiled, saltedNutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 50 kcal 220 kJ
11.95 g
- Sugars 0.99 g
- Dietary fiber 8.6 g
0.34 g
2.89 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.05 mg
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.089 mg
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.111 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.240 mg
Vitamin B6 0.081 mg
Folate (Vit. B9) 89 μg
Vitamin C 7.4 mg
Calcium 21 mg
Iron 0.61 mg
Magnesium 42 mg
Phosphorus 73 mg
Potassium 276 mg
Zinc 0.4 mg
Manganese 0.225 mg
Percentages are relative to USrecommendations for adults.Source: USDA Nutrient database