The American Southwest is a beautiful place reminiscent of western movies and alien desert landscapes. It is also a backdrop for other photo shoots and international travelers. I am lucky enough to have family in Phoenix, Arizona, so here is the bullet list for a short weekend trip in the “winter”–this trip was to put on Thanksgiving dinner for my dear mama.
Short plane ride from Denver to Phoenix:
- Nice black leggings
- Kenzo Paris Sweatshirt
- Yak yarn sweater
- Silk Scarf
- Black and white running shoes
In my favorite carry-on suitcase:
- Laboratory grade gravy separator
- Travel sized cleanser, moisturizer
- Less than 3 oz. CC+ cream with SPF 50
- Gift with purchase mascara
- Lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm (all with SPF)
- Eyebrow pencil
- 3 pairs of socks
- 3 pairs of skivvs
- Knit Pjs
- Skinny Jeans
- Cotton dress shirt
- Thanksgiving Recipe Binder
- Nikon Camera
- HD Video Camera (forgot that there was video built-in to Nikon)
So the trip was beautiful and our gift of cooking Thanksgiving for the family was gratefully received. Here are some of our restaurant reviews:
Lindy’s on 4th (whaa, whaa, whaa, whaa)
First of all, I can’t blame Lindy’s for this review. Believe me, there are several things that set us up for a disastrous experience. 1) this is not the burger bar I thought it was, 2) one person in our party, always orders THE WORST ITEM ON THE MENU, from the time he was 16 and in Paris, he couldn’t catch a break–if there is one item on the menu that shouldn’t be there, he will order it, and it will be lackluster at best, hideous at worst, 3) same person was in great pain, 4) other person was feeling ill, like he had the flu. So, sorry Lindy’s, even with the darling waitperson, it just wasn’t good for us. I had the “special” a burger with the philly cheesesteak on top, with horseradish sauce. It was okay, and only okay due to the actual burger patty texture, kind of processed and spongy.
Person ordered the Philly cheesesteak (we are in Arizona at a burger bar for crying out loud) on a cheese roll. Other person split that with him. All I can say was the roll was cold and somewhat stale tasting, the meat somewhat dry. I can only have Philly Cheesesteak from a few places and those place are indeed in Philly! Yes, I am spoiled, and now I miss you Philadelphia!
Bella Luna (Bellisimo!)
This family-owned Italian restaurant charmed our socks off! The elderly man with the distinctly Italian accent made us overlook the location slightly dirty water glasses (who needs to drink tap water anyway?) The pasta we ordered, to a dish, was perfection. We thought that there must be someone making the pasta from scratch back in the kitchen. The sauces were authentic and were perfection. I have never had a better plate of butternut squash ravioli, and the person who always orders poorly? He ordered the alfredo, and we all agreed that it was superb! In fact, I want to eat some of that Pasta Alfredo everyday for the rest of my life!
Joe’s Farm Grill (I’m Proud to be an American!)
I had only been to Joe’s Farm Grill for dinner, and due to horrible traffic, we weren’t able to make it for dinner after our long drive down to San Xavier and back. So, we went for breakfast. It was the kind of breakfast that makes you feel proud to be an American. Proud to be a farmer, or descended from farmers, and reminds you of goodness in the world.
I had the waffles and ribs, which were fall off the bone perfection, even though this was the morning after Thanksgiving, and one person had the sausage and egg tacos, breaking his record of ordering poorly, (you can’t count Bella Luna, since I don’t believe that they have one bad item on the menu), and the other person decided on a waffle with a fresh strawberry shake. Heaven!!!
Oh, and for a some quirky fun, trust me on this, use the restroom. Just saying.
This was the perfect send off before we went to Sky Harbor airport to return to Denver via Los Angeles.
These photos were taken just south of Tuscon, AZ at the Mission at San Xavier.