Phoenix


Matt’s Big Breakfast

Matt’s Big Breakfast

Visit Date:  March 18, 2012

Phoenix, AZ

Cost: $8 – $10

Matt’s is located in downtown Phoenix.  It is as tiny as this picture implies.  When they are busy, (like a Sunday monring), you add your name to a list and wait outside on chairs and benches on this corner, but on both of my visits it was worth the wait. (Since I wrote this post over a year ago – Matts has moved. Right down the street to a bigger location. But the food was just as good.).

Entree

The Chop & Chick

Food Description:  A Pork Chop with Scrambled Eggs and Home fries.  Yes, I ordered a side of bacon. The DDD episode said they had slab bacon that they ordered in “special” from a local butcher.  Plus, who can pass up bacon.  So I went for the pork overload.

 I order another side dish, this Toast with homemade preserves.  I’m not a bread fanatic, but for those of you who are, I’m sure you’d enjoy it.

 Rating:  8.5      –    The only thing stopping me from giving it more, is the simple fact that I couldn’t order everything I wanted to try.  I did go back the following month and had the Belgian Waffle.  It was equally good.

Menu – Click on the link to see Matt’s full menu.  They are only open for breakfast and lunch, and it truly is a good way to start a Saturday or Sunday morning.

 

Matt’s Big Breakfast

801 North 1st Street

Phoenix, AZ

(602) 254-1074

Giuseppe’s

Visit Date:     March 16, 2012

Giuseppe’s on 28th

Phoenix, AZ

My Cost:   $  About $25.00  (that’s what happens when you wait too long to blog, you lose receipts.  lol)

Giuseppe’s was the first DDD I visited when I was on my Stay Cation, back in March.  I had a full meal, including an appetizer, with plenty of leftovers to bring home.

Entree

Bolognese Ragu

Food Description:  Fresh homemade pasta, with a rich 7 meat sauce.  It was good and filling.  (It tasted even better the next day, though I was wishing I had saved more.)

My Rating:  7     (At least one for every meat – lol)

Giuseppe’s has an extensive Italian menu, and I picked the Bruschetta for my appetizer.  Of the 7 choices (that number seems to be a repeated theme), you can choose 4.  Making that choice was hard.

Though, I finally decided on, #1 – Fresh Tomato with Fresh Basil, #3 – Creamy Gorgonzola cheese, honey, #4 – Prosciutto, fig and goat cheese, and #6 – Chevre (goat cheese) and marinated sun dried tomatoes. (Pictured in that order).

Giuseppe’s is located in a strip mall in central Phoenix.  I arrived around 4:30 p.m. right before the dinner crowd started.  Good thing, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten a seat.

It is small inside, and they have a take out window as well.

But they make good use of space, and have a good wine selection as well.

Giuseppe’s On 28th

2824 E. Indian School

Phoenix, AZ  85016

(602) 381-1237

Taking time off from work and staying home has never been my idea of a vacation.  Veranda Beach has never been a destination for my places to visit.  So this is going to be a first for me. This March vacation, was added vacation time for me.  I have more vacation time this year, and I thought it would be nice to take a vacation before my busy time of year, in April,  where I will be working 50 hr work weeks.  So, instead of cancelling my vacation I am going to do a stay-cation right here in Phoenix.

I often think that we don’t explore where we live enough.  Our friends and family come to visit and want us to show them the sites.  Either we’ve been there so much that we are immune to there wonder (Niagara Falls, for me in Buffalo), or we have never been to the tourist attractions in our own city. So for 4 days, I’m going to visit Phoenix.  So what is there to do . . . .  Once again I head to the internet, and my plan begins to form.

First, I’m going to rent a car.  Though, I could probably do what I plan on the metro – my regular transportation jitney – I think renting a car sounds more like vacation.  Plus it will allow me to cover more ground faster, as well as take care of some errands that only a Stay-cation would allow.

Errands – Since it’s a stay-at-home vacation, there are a few house keeping tasks that need to be done.  Since, I am renting a car I will have to do a few errands that having that car affords me . . .  Like . . . . Taking boxes of stuff to the Goodwill . . . Going to the shoe repair place that is across town, and getting new heels put on 5 or 6 pairs of shoes (more than I would usually carry on the bus).  That should be enough – it is a Vacation!

Site & Tours – What’s a vacation without tours.  There has been an ad at my bus stop since Christmas advertising a Frank Lloyd Wright Exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum.  I’m an Architecture & Planning Major and Frank Lloyd Wright has always been my favorite Architect.  So even though I’m not much of a museum person, I have wanted to see this exhibit. What better time than for my Stay-vacation. One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses is here in Scottsdale, so to keep with the theme, (You know how I love a theme!), and to make as much use of the car as possible, I will visit Taliesin West.

Food – You  know a vacation has to have food.  Here is my opportunity to start my DD&D quest and hit of couple of Phoenix’s Diners, Drive-in’s & Dives.  It also may be a good opportunity for me to hit some of my favorite restaurants that I’ve missed since I gave up driving.

Friends – Good Food, Good Fun, Good Friends – That’s what it’s all about.  Sooo, I guess I need to plan a little get-to-gether with those friends that we have been saying.  “We need to get together soon”.  It will be St Paddy’s Day weekend, and a good excuse for friends and drinks.  So, I need to get the word out and see who is available.

All Plans need a budget – so check in tomorrow to see the final Itinerary and the proposed budget.

Well, it’s Friday morning, and after our morning coffee, I figured we needed to keep the party going from last night. Soooo, in the spirit of “Tripping the Light”, we broke out the champagne and had Mimosa’s, the Cocktail of the Day.

It was a lazy day – the start to winding down already floating in the air.  I just hate that point in the vacation where you’re still on vacation, but already starting to worry about the fact that it is almost over.

So, we put forth a great effort to make the most of the day.  Jenn tried to get a little more sun, to finalize her “Deep Dark AZ” tan.  I figured I’d try to get a nap in for what I knew would be our long night at the Casino.

Well as evening approached we geared up for one of Jenn’s favorite things – a trip to the Casino.  I held it off to the last night, knowing that she could have a good time there, no matter the outcome.  So we girls dressed – Jaclyn was joining us.  (see previous post).  We picked up Nicky, the other advid gambler and headed to Talking Stick Resort Hotel & Casino.

Our gamers were itching to get started, so they headed off in search of the perfect slot machine.  But they were soon frustrated, because the casino was having some kind of malfunction.  It seemed like over half of the machines were waiting for an attendant, to pay out very small amounts, like $2.00 or less.  People had just walked away, leaving the machines unusable. (We later found out there was some comupter problem.)  After a frustrating hour of so, we decided to eat dinner in hopes that the problem would be solved when we were done.  And it Was!

Our Diva, choose to spend most of her night at the electronic Roulette Table, which is where she had had the most luck.  At about 1:00 a.m. we drug her out of there (No problem keeping her up late tonite.)

As the EXTRAVANGA nears it end – We chaulk up another day of Good Food, Good Fun, and Good Friends!

Keep Tripping the Light Fantastic!

We packed up and hit the road for the start of Jennifer’s second week in Phoenix. Week 1 was to share my world. Week 2 is to explore the state of Arizona. Jenn has been here many times, usually just staying with me at my house. Another goal for the trip was for her to see some more of the state.

Monday, morning arrives. We get up and hit the road, heading north to Flagstaff, AZ and the Grand Canyon.  Phoenix is in the valley, and our drive takes us from a 1000 ft elevation to 7000 ft in Flagstaff.  This elevation changes the scenery from dry  sandy ground and low trees and shrubery to green mountains, large trees and and average 20 degree drop in temperature.  From Flagstaff, it’s another hour drive to the Grand Canyon National Park.

 

We enter the Park which has a $25 per car fee – though it is good for 7 days, find a place to park and get ready to hike.

Our first glimpse of the Canyon is spectacular.  For anyone who says it’s just a hole in the ground, obviously has never seen it.  It is massive. 277 miles long from east to west, 18 miles wide, from the North Rim to the South Rim, and over a mile deep.

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We hiked the rim trail from Mather Point to Bright Angel Lodge, where we had lunch and rested.  Then took the shuttle bus back to our starting point and car at Mather Point.  It is about 5:00 p.m. and time for us to get out of the park before it gets dark and our hour drive back to Flagstaff and our hotel for the night.

We went to Oregano’s for dinner.  It was recommended with 5 stars on GPS.  It was that or Olive Garden, and since neither of us had ever been to Oregano’s we choose that.  Though it was a Chicago Style Pizza parlour it was very good.  I had the Grandma G’s Rosemary Chicken Pizza.  It had red pepper pesto, garlic chicken,  gorgonzola cheese, carmelized onions, 4 cheese blend and fresh rosemary.

From there it was back to the hotel, to rest up and get ready for our trip to South Arizona and a Tucson Resort.

Still Tripping the Light  . . .Pat

Well, since we have been on the road, we are behind a couple days in our blogging.  So, we are combining Sundays entry.  Jen’s is first followed by mine, Enjoy

Day 6 – Sunday, July, 2011
Although not at home, my Sunday started as usual. Pat and I went to church at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church where Bishop Alexis Thomas is Senior Pastor. What a great word we heard, You’re Not In This By Yourself, Hebrews 1:13 & 14. Bishop Thomas reminded us that we are not who we are and where we are in this life because of something that we’ve done or because of human circumstances, but because of divine intervention. God had and still has his hands in it and is directing the course of our lives.
Angels were created by God and they are messengers…escorts who go ahead of us to clear the way before we get there. They clear not only the obstacles from our way that we see but also those things that are unseen as well.
Remember when the women went to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus for burial? Along the way they talk amongst themselves about how they would move the stone from the tomb. However, God was already at work on their behalf and before they even arrived at the tomb the angels went before them and moved the stone away. We need to stop spending so much time worrying about how! We need to prepare ourselves…be prepared…be in position and allow God to do the rest.
If you are not ashamed, speak into your own life right now…”Angels, go to work on my behalf.”

After church, we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then home to the pool for a relaxing afternoon. Later in the evening we went to the Mens Warehouse Picnic at Dave & Busters. We had a good evening with Pat’s friends and co-workers.
Tomorrow it’s off to the Grand Canyon. Remember, Good Food…Good Drink and especially GREAT FRIENDS!!!
God Bless. Talk to you tomorrow. . . J

Pat’s Version

Well after yesterday, we did what we do. We got up Sunday morning and went to church. Service and the sermon was good.

After church, we also did what all good church people do. We went to eat. Cracker Barrel was the choice. We ate heartily, figuring that that would hold us until we went to my company picnic, later that evening.

We then went home, finished up our blogs from Saturday, and headed to the pool. By then I needed a nap, so I floated the way I do it best – in the pool on my float, in still watetr. I went to sleep. Flipped over when I got too hot on one side and went back to sleep. About 4 hours later, I know I need to get out. At this point, I’m getting the deeper darker AZ tan, instead of Jen. Now don’t get me wrong, I will be sending the Diva home, with that Deep Dark Arizona Tan, that I promised.

In the evening, we headed to Dave & Busters, the location of my company picnic. For my NY peeps, yeah we  have picnic indoors in AZ, you know why, because IT’S TOO HOT outside. lol    Jen got to meet some of my c0-workers, and put faces to names.

I unfortunately was the DD – a role I have never held before.  So, there were no cocktails for me to share.  We were hungry after leaving the event, and ended up at the Darkhorse, for that end of the night cocktail.  Tomorrow begins our road trip.  Lots of pictures then . . . Pat

Well, as promised we headed out today to try something different. We tried, we failed, we laughed! (After, it was over). Thank God there are no pictures, that we know of,) But I get ahead of myself.

Our Saturday mornings started out just fine. I slept in a little, but decided I had to walk today. My scale has crept up a pound everyday, so even though it was later than usual, I went.

Then it was off for another breakfast at The Good Egg, and to pick up the rental car. Now I’ll let Jen tell you about the car experience. After we got started we headed to Mesa to go tubing down the Salt River. Now here is where it gets interesting.

When, Jenn was telling me some of the things she wanted to do at the Grand Canyon, she mentioned White Water Rafting.  I laughed and said, yeah right, I don’t know if we are up to that”.  So I figured, instead we would go tubing here in Phoenix at the Salt River.  It is a popular summer activity that many people do here.  So I asked around got some pointers from people, looked up the web site, read everything on it, and even called.  Weeeelllllll . . . . .

We head up there, with our cooler, sunscreen, snacks, camera etc., and 2 sheets.  I had been told to bring an old sheet to throw over the inner tube because they are black and the sun makes them too hot to touch.  Probably the best thing we did, those sheets saved our life.  I was a little apprehensive, for one I have never been, so I’m not crazy about taking people places that I haven’t tried out.  Two, so many people come back really sunburned, because you’re on the water and you really can’t get off, just because you are uncomfortable.  Three, though drinking is one of the big past times there, the sun and alcohol do not go good with people being smart.  But anyway, we get there – I’m wondering how we are suppose to take this cooler with us on the inner tube, and how do you keep your other stuff dry.  But there are people with really big coolers, ones on wheels and all kinds of stuff, so I figure there must be a way.

When we get to the counter, I tell the girl, we have never done this and how are we suppose to navigate this cooler and our stuff.  She says “Oh, your cooler is small, you’ll be fine.  Here let me show you, and she gets in a tube and says “Just put the cooler in next to you and it will stay there.”  Hmmmm, I think – *( side eye.)  But okay, she suggest we leave our cell phone, money etc in the car.  There is nothing up there to buy.  So, we get our tubes,  I take our stuff back to the car.  We tie the car key onto my swimming suit top and all we have in a bag they provide is our sunscreen and my old sneakers that I’m planning to put on.  (Oh, because she says that when we get to the end, we need to paddle our tube over to the edge to get out in plenty of time, otherwise you will float further down the river a few miles and have to walk back, and that it is rocky there and the current is kind of strong.)

Hind sight is 20/20.  Really at that point we should have asked for a refund, got in our car and headed to the nearest bar.  That would have been more our speed.  But no, we discuss our apprehensions and move on.  We get on the bus.  Ride to the top, but tell the bus driver we want the lower point, which is only a 2 hour float and not 4 hrs.  (We knew that would be too much).

Well, we get off the bus and head down a hill to the waters edge.  At this point we both have on flip flops.  The sand that is popping up on our feet is really hot and we comment on that.  Then we get to the water,  spread our sheets, try to move away from the edge.  With some struggle and a litte help from some kids on the beach (thank God you weren’t there to see that)  we get in.  We’re floating, somewhat, and somewhere.  Evidently straight for a tree.  (Now what is that darn tree doing in the water in the first place).  A man warns Jenn, which I don’t hear, nor do I see the tree yet.  I’ve just got in my tube good.  Jenn jumps out, and as I’m floating by she says “Pat watch out there’s a Tree!  So, I scramble out of my tube, in time to miss the tree, but am now on the other side of the tree, standing up in knee high water, with a current, that I realize is pretty strong.  The rocks are large and slippery, and I’m wishing I had my sneakers on which are in the bag that Jenn has.  At that point I see one of my flip flops floating down the river.  My left one is broken and not helping me at all with my current dilemma.  How to get the heck out of this water! ! !

I look for Jen, who I don’t see.  That darn tree is blocking my view.  But I try to ease my way to the river bank, with no shoes, rocks, and hold on to the hugh inner tube and my cooler.  I see Jen, she is on the shore, and I’m still inching my way to the edge, thinking I’m sure glad I brought those sneakers.  When I get to the edge, I ask, “Do you have the bag?’  Jenn says, “no I couldn’t hold on to that, “. 

So at that point there is no discussion between us as to whether or not we are trying this again.  We just telepathically know, that we are going home.  But between us and the bus is about 400 ft of hot sand, and we have 1 shoe between us.  Well thank God for those sheets, which we have managed to hang on to.  Jen, starts out with 1 shoe and sliding her bare foot along on the sheet.  I can’t quite do that because I would need 2 feet on the sheet, and I’m not that coordinated.  So I have to run over this hot sand from one shady spot to another.  We are taking a zig zag route to the bus stop trying to find shade, and the shortest distance through sunny spot.  Well, that sand was so darn hot, my feet were burning so bad and at each shady rest area, I just wanted to cry and curse. 

At some point, I get something stuck in my foot.  I do pull it out and so now I”m bleeding as well.  In between sunny areas, I am taking water and ice out of the cooler and trying to pour it on my burning feet, just so I can get the courage to take the next step.  At some point we are near the stop.  Jenn is at the top of  the hill, and we just want to be done with this.  So I take the plunge, and run up the hot sandy hill over the equally hot asphalt and jump on the bus.

We get back to turn in our tubes and the girl says you went from point 2 to 4.  I say, we didn’t go anywhere, we got in the water, got out, went to the bus, and came back.  (You should have seen the look on her face).

We slide across the parking lot on our sheets, get in the car, turn on the air, and try to drink water.  It is at this point, as we are driving away, that we realize that in our clever preparation, we froze the water so that it would stay cold, and it hasn’t melted enough to quench our thrist.  We bust out laughing, realizing that we are out in the middle of the desert, with frozen water, trying to float down a river with no shoes, and the hilarity of the situation just got the best of us and we laugh until we cry. 

Once back in civilization, we see a Walgreens, and I say we can get some flip flops.  My Diva says, “we can’t go in we don’t have any shoes on.”  I tell her I don’t give a damn.  Of course she sits in the car, I get shoes and water.  We laugh some more, and then did what true Diva’s do.  We went to DSW and bought real shoes.

Well, read Jen’s for the rest of the evening, and lots of pictures.

We certainly tripped the light fantastic today.  We laughed until we cried.  We survived!  Be sure to keep up, we head for the Grand Canyon next week.

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