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

While in Rockland, I found Fiore’s.  As the sign says the sell Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars.  Now I never gave my olive oils much thought past whether it was Virgin or Extra Virgin, and maybe the quality of one brand over another.  Well, unfortunately those days of blissful ignorance are gone forever.

I walk in and all the outer walls are lined with these small metal barrels.  I hear a voice asking me if I’d been here before.  When I say no, the lady says, “Well, you know this is a tasting bar.”

She then tells me how the store is divided into sections.  Red or dark Balsamic Vinegars are first. Then White Balsamic Vinegars, in the next section.  Followed by 2 walls of Olive Oils, plain in the first section and flavored in the second section.

I started with the Whites.  My first sample was the Summer White Peace.  Oh my . . . I could have just pour a glass and drank it.  I moved on to the strawberry, and the grapefruit.  They were just as delicious.  The flavor of each one was so pronounced that there was no mistaking the fruit it was flavored with.

I then moved to the Reds.  My friendly clerk was back, and she encouraged me to try the vinegars that were aged 18 years, as opposed to the standard 12 and to compare the difference.  Of course like anything that is aged, wine or beef, the older the better.  Well I fell in love with the Vanilla.  It has a rich deep flavor, that I can’t wait to experiment with.

She then encouraged me to try her newest vinegar, Espresso.  I’m thinking coffee flavored vinegar . . . hmmm.  But again, WOW, this was beyond good.  So, I ask her what would I use this on.  (Cause I’m pretty sure that just pouring it in my hand and licking my fingers is not it’s most practical use.)  She says have you tried it with the olive oils. . . . . ?

. . . . . Of course I haven’t, I’ve been too busy drinking vinegar.  She then begins to mix the vinegars I seem to like the best with different olive oils for me to taste.  One that could be paired with all of the above vinegars was this Blood Orange EVOO.  Again, she is good – because the different pairing bring a whole new dynamic to the flavor.  She begins to tell me how I can use the different combos on  — Salads, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, cheeses.  By now I’m taking notes, (and pictures) of my favorites.

The shop bottles your picks right there when you buy them.  They come in 3 sizes, and good thing for me they will ship them.  I returned on another day, to have a equally nice and informative clerk.  I try a few more get more ideas as well as information on the shipping process.  I promise to come back right before I leave to finalize my purchases and the shipping.

small & medium bottle

When I go in Sunday morning, on my way to the bus station and home, the Espresso that had just arrived on my first day in the store (I went back 3 times before I left Rockland), was sold out Sunday when I was buying and leaving.   I was heart broken —  when they lady, who gave me my tour on my first day (I unfortunately didn’t get her name – though she turned out to be the owner), comes out and says, “Oh, I think there’s enough in there for one small bottle.”  And she went in the back to I guess “literally” Scrape the Barrel.

I spent $80 on oils & vinegars on my last day in Rockland.  I got 4 vinegars and 2 oils, and they shipped them back to AZ for me.  My six bottles arrived well packaged and in one piece.  So I am a happy camper.  Be sure to look for the creations that come from this purchase.  I already know I’ll be ordering more.  : )

Sam LaGrassa’s

Visit Date:  August 1, 2012

Sam LaGrassa’s,

Boston, MA

Cost:  $11.70

Entree

Chipotle Pastrami

Photo from Newenglandology

Food Description:   Chipotle Pastrami – Even though I had to eat it on the run, it was very good.  Lots of meat, good bread, and the honey mustard sauce really did make the sandwich stand apart from any other good pastrami sandwich.

Rating: 8.5

Sam LaGrassa’s

44 Province St

Boston, MA  02108

(617) 357-6861

If you are in Downtown Boston, and are looking for a good sandwich, I highly recommend SLG.  Check out their to-go Menu, which I ended up using instead of the sit down experience I was hoping for.  (You’ll have to read the Boston entry to hear about that.)

Point of Reference:  Even though this is the 6th DDD I’ve visited this year, it is my first entry.  : (         But I am on track now!    I have a format for the entries and I will be adding 1 – 5 in the next few weeks.  So stay tuned and thanks for your continued interest in where the roads of my travel life lead. . . . .Later