Attitude, Interests & Goals
Attitude. In each community, the residents attitude plays an important role in its character. For example, a community in Arizona that shares a common positive attitude towards local business is more inviting to entrepreneur-like minds. If local businesses are inclined to believe they will receive a positive reaction from the community, they are more likely to take the plunge. It is our opinion that for each local business created and sustained within a community, there is a positive reflection and an increased desirability. A community's attitude will ultimately play a role in it’s own value.
The Creek Side Taco Shack is a local taco shop in Queen Creek, AZ. It’s the kind of place that you’ve driven by so many times and often wondered about. Over the years there have been different restaurants to give it the old neighborhood try, but never quite seemed to gain the traction.
The location is both strange and genius. It feels as if it doesn’t belong, but as the area grows and the walking/biking paths continue to expand the neighborhood connectivity, it almost becomes exciting! Lately, the view from the car window has been different. You see lights overhead, misters cooling, crowds lounging, bodies bellied up to the outdoor bar, people walking up the neighborhood paths towards the venue, horses tied to hitching posts (yes, literally), cars in the parking lot and volleyball nets! Ok, we have to check this place out...so we did.
If you have been to Hawaii, finding Poke is not difficult. In fact, it is probably more accessible than Mexican food is here in AZ (crazy, I know!). From grocery stores to the local gas station, poke is literally everywhere in Hawaii. Well poke started making “waves” on the mainland last year in a big way. It has finally found it’s way to AZ with Ahipoke Bowl in South Scottsdale!
What will you find at Ahipoke Bowl?
First off, let’s set correct expectations. This is not your traditional poke you find in Hawaii. What you will find at Ahipoke Bowl is exactly that, a bowl of your choice of rice or organic greens topped off with your selection of cubed raw fish, scallop, octopus (cooked) or shrimp (cooked).
When you first come in, you will see the large printed menu showing how to order and what your options are. Ahipoke Bowl follows suit with the popular Chipotle style of ordering and customizing your order as you move through the line of options and ingredients (in this case with a bowl versus your burrito or burrito bowl next door).
First, choose from white rice, brown rice, organic salad or half rice and half salad as your base.
Next choose your protein. A regular bowl comes with two items. A Large bowl comes with a choice of three.
“I have always liked real estate; farm land, pasture land, timber land and city property. I have had experience with all of them. I guess I just naturally like ‘the good Earth,’ the foundation of all our wealth.” ~Jesse H. Jones
Earth, the place so many unique creatures are proud to call home. Founded in 1970, the Earth Day movement has raised awareness and channeled a collective energy towards global environmental issues and concerns. Earth day, a day we humans celebrate our beautiful, well appointed home called planet Earth for providing us with such a protective, comfortable shelter. There’s really no denying our spacious, shared living space is an amazing place, chock full of awesome amenities! Just like any home, abode or residence our Earth needs regular maintenance and a little TLC every now and again. Let’s join together to honor our gorgeous, life sustaining home. To keep our home looking “showroom” ready for as long as we can, here are a few simple ways to celebrate our Earth in Arizona on it’s day...
Just in time for the warmer temperatures and the summer months ahead, Jamie Votaw and Ariana Cooper have opened up a local ice cream parlor called Ice Cream Sammies in downtown Chandler on Boston Street, just the next block east of popular downtown Chandler destinations such as Paletas Betty, Vintage 95 Wine Lounge, and recently opened, The Brickyard Downtown.
What will you find at Ice Cream Sammies?
Homemade style ice cream and cookies that are made from scratch daily in small batches is what you will find at Ice Cream Sammies.
Ice Cream Sandwiches or “Sammies” are the staple here. Choose between roughly a half dozen cookie options and up to sixteen different flavors of ice cream. In case a scoop of ice cream between two cookies was not decadent enough, one has the option to “top it off” with several selections of toppings. If Sammies are not your thing, Ice Cream Sammies also offers sundaes, shakes and ice cream by the scoop in a bowl or waffle cone.
Arirang Korean BBQ & Sushi has taken over Takamatsu, the Korean and Sushi bar and restaurant in Chandler. The change of management/ownership occurred towards the end of 2015. Signage and menu was changed out in February to reflect the regime change. Prices and menu are comparable to before. The primary focus is Korean food and Korean BBQ with table top grills. However, there still is a sushi menu with the miniature sized sushi bar that stands out when you first walk in. The interior has remained exactly the same.
I have been there twice since the change. Service at the front of the house is less than desirable, but the food seems to be a step up than before. This is probably your best bet for Korean food and Korean BBQ in AZ. Truth be told, K-Town (“Koreatown”) in LA and 32nd St in NYC is still top dog when it comes to Korean food in this country (Sorry! Can’t include Flushing since I’ve never been). It's just significantly better Korean food than what we have in AZ.
Look out! A more detailed blog/review on Arirang Korean BBQ & Sushi is still to come!
In the long forgotten basement of the San Marcos Hotel in Downtown Chandler, a nationally recognized local mixologist, Brandon Casey (formerly of Citizen Public House and The Gladly), has revived the dormant basement which once stored ostrich feathers. He is paying obeisance to the space’s former use and Chandler’s unique history, with the large flightless bird from Africa by opening up a speakeasy called The Ostrich.
The Ostrich is across the street from the San Tan Brewery’s outdoor patio area and around the corner and below Crust which is at street level. In true speakeasy fashion, there is no signage. Look for the staircase going down the side of the exterior of the building to the basement. Usually, there is someone checking IDs at the top of the staircase.
I remember it like it was yesterday...July 2005, it was your typical hot and muggy afternoon day in the city. I was in Flatiron, Madison Square Park (“MSP”) to be exact, and that is where it happened. Where I fell in love...fell in love with Shake Shack.
Maybe it was the setting, luscious green park with New York’s skyline as the backdrop. Maybe it was the anticipation as we waited in line to order and pickup our food. We had just picked up our order when a torrential downpour came out of nowhere. The crowd dispersed running in every direction looking for cover. We took cover at the 23rd St Station. And like any “real” man would do, I protecting you from getting wet. I mean, come on. Do you think a gentleman would let you get wet and rained on? And then it happened, under the cover of the 23rd St Station, I had my first bite of Shake Shake; and I knew then, that there was no turning back...
Just outside of the hustle and bustle of Mill Ave, Cafe Lalibela has been a Tempe staple, providing some of the best Ethiopian food in AZ. Cafe Lalibela offers traditional Ethiopian vegetarian and meat dishes that range from a mixture of vegetable dishes (Diblik or Kilkil) to a selection of various wats (stews and curry dishes), all properly spiced and full of flavor. Berbere, a mixture of slightly spicy red peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt and onion seasons many of these dishes.
Eating at Cafe Lalibela is a hands on experience. Traditionally, Ethiopian food is eaten by tearing a piece of injera and either grabbing or pinching your food with the injera and putting all the food (including the injera) in your mouth or in the mouth of another, which is called gursha.
Ethiopian food is typically served communal style, on a platter known as a gebeta. Injera, a sourdough tasting, spongy, slightly chewy crepe made from a mixture of teff and wheat flour, is placed on the gebeta and the dishes ordered go on top of the injera. Additional injera is provided for tearing. Cafe Lalibela does offer a Gluten-Free option as well per request!
What?! Chandler has a Puerto Rican restaurant? Yes, I know AZ does not have a burgeoning Puerto Rican community. Yes, this is not the Bronx, Brooklyn or Orlando. But the Valley, specifically the Southeast Valley, can find Puerto Rican home cooking at FrinGo’s Kitchen.
FrinGo’s Kitchen is a small, clean, unpretentious family owned restaurant located in an inconspicuous strip mall in NoCha (“North Chandler”), just north of the NWC of Warner & Alma School.
FrinGo’s offers traditional Puerto Rican dishes such as Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican style braised chicken with potatoes), Bistec Empanizado (thinly sliced breaded and floured beef steak served with peppers and onions), Bistec Encebollado (thinly sliced and pounded beef steak smothered with caramelized onions marinated in adobo mojado, and Chuleta Frita (fried pork chops).