Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fry bread and such

IMG 3414
Phoenix, Arizona, December 22, 2016—
AN ATYPICAL DAY of dining, for us, beginning with breakfast, not taken until nearly noon for reasons I'd just as soon not go into. When we did take it, though, it was a delicious cappuccino: Four Barrel coffee; Clover milk. You'd have thought we were back in the Bay Area. Giant Coffee, 1437 North 1st Street, Phoenix, Arizona; +1 (602) 396-7215

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARD, of course, it was time for lunch, and we remembered Paolo telling us about a place he and Henry had found last time they were here — an Indian place that had just been given a James Beard Award. It took a bit of sleuthing, but Dr. Google came to the rescue. It's not an imposing place, physically — a sort of shack in a parking lot on a typical high-speed crosstown avenue.

We ordered identically: Green Chile Beef Fry Bread; apple juice. Fry Bread is a Southwest Indian thing, a Native American response to the staples the Americans provided them: white flour, baking powder, vegetable oil. It sounds terrible, but they do something remarkable with it. This fry bread, baked quickly on a griddle, like a crêpe, was simultaneously light on the tongue and hard to cut with the knife. Gluten everywhere! The filling was much nicer than it looks: shredded roast beef in gravy with beans, chopped lettuce and onions, green chili. Tangy, but not too. I'd go back.

Martinelli apple juice
•Fry Bread House, 4545 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix; +1 (602) 351-2345
IMG 3422 THREE HOURS or so in the remarkable Heard Museum brought us to supper in a small local place that had been suggested to us. It would have been very pleasant indeed except that it was Happy Hour and full of noisy people — our dB meter never dropped below 88 dB and often hit the mid-90s; my ears are still ringing. We had a plate of fingerling potatoes, split and pan-roasted with olive oil, rosemary, and salt, with judicious shavings of Parmesan cheese on top. I went on to an "Italian" chopped salad: lettuces, salami, soppressata, and roasted red bell pepper in a pleasant vinaigrette.

"Champagne", J. Roget (New York)
Oven + Vine, 14 W Vernon Avenue, Phoenix; +1 (602) 687-7632

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016
(2015 restaurants)

No comments: