Marianna, AR, Jones BBQ
Harold definitely has the BBQ thing down. It's pulled pork, on Wonder Bread, with slaw, if you like. What
pulls it all together is a wonderful vinegary sauce that seeps into the bread and pork making it the most
wonderful pork sandwich around. Mr. Jones has even won a James Beard award as a culinary heritage
site. Get there early or call a head, because when it's gone, it's gone.
Chandler, AZ, Pitta Souvli
Paul, Julie and I used to lifeguard together at Foley Pool in
Chandler. Paul and his wife, Lisa, bought this place when their
favorite Mediterranean restaurant changed owners and began a
slow decent downward. Pitta Souvli is fresh, fresh, fresh. With
Greek standards, the food is simple, and light. It's become a go
Phoenix, AZ, Los Dos Molinos
I may need to drink a quart of chocolate milk and take a nap. Los Dos Molinos was so good today. I had
a carne adovada burro enchilada style, a taco and a side of beans. It was so good and it was so hot!
Robert had the Posole.
If you can tolerate the heat, the adovada - chile cured pork - is amazing. It falls apart and can be cut with
a fork. The side of beans helps to temper the heat. The taco is for a variation in the meal's taste and
texture. It is a lot of food! Try the location on Central. It is in movie star, Tom Mix's, old house.
February 12, 2010
Phoenix, AZ, Ponchos
Straight off the airplane from Raleigh, I had to hit Ponchos. The Vasquez family opened the restaurant in
1972. It is a mainstay for good ol' Sonoran Mexican food. I had a bean burro echilada style and a taco
and lots and lots of chips. Their sauces are old school recipes and they better not change them.
Tucson, AZ, Cafe Poca Cosa
Spent the day at Kartchner Caverns and then stopped by Cafe Poca Cosa with Mark, Rebecca and Robert.
JACKPOT! The waitress told Rebecca she couldn't have avocado slices with her chicken dish. I can't
remember which one she had because I was so enraptured (a glass of Patron Silver helped) with my
dinner. My plato consisted of Chicken Mole Negro, Carne Asada with habeneros and the tamale pie.
Everything was perfect. Robert and Mark had the roast pork. Susanna is an artiste.
Tuscon, AZ, El Charro
Ate on the patio at El Charro for the first time in 2010. Old school Arizona Mexican food. Great selection
of meats for burritos and more sopas than most Mexican restaurants - they were on this chilly Tucson
evening. A great recommendation for an authentic Tucson meal. The house margaritas had a bit too much
sweet and sour mix. All the food was good. Service was a little slow, but it was a busy night before
Valentines Day crowd.
Tucson, AZ, El Indio
El Indio is a great place for old school Sonoran Mexican food. This is the kind of food you used to get 50
years ago in Arizona and the decor is straight out of that era as well. You just have to try it.
Greenwood, MS, Fan and Johnny's
This was a pleasant surprise! It's new Southern fare. I love their Crawfish Salad. "Fan & Johnny’s is the
newest restaurant in downtown Greenwood, created by James Beard Award-nominated chef, Taylor
Bowen Ricketts. Her unique perspective and creativity gives us an incredible lunch restaurant that has
world class food featuring a smorgasbord of local ingredients. Plus, you’ll find original art by Taylor and
her husband adorning the walls of this memorable dining experience."
Cleveland, MS, Delta Meat Market
You can't beat this place in Downtown Cleveland. Everyday is something new. I've had the pork loin and
the pork cheeks. Both were fantastic. Try their lemon vinaigrette. It's light and, well, lemony.
Raleigh, NC, Angus Barn
Although my party had about 120 people in it the fillet and grouper were great. It is a place you have to try
if you are in the Raleigh area. It is in an old dairy barn and always has a decent crowd. First start with
one of their cheese spreads. I like to take a crock of the blue cheese spread home every once in a while. I
think my favorite cut is the fillet. It is always very tender and usually cooked perfectly - they have that
reputation. You also have to try their chocolate swiss pie. The crust is awesome and very homemade
given they must go through 50 pies a night.
Raleigh, NC, Clyde Coopers BBQ
I love Carolina barbeque. And, Cooper's is pretty good - they've been doing it since 1938. They tend to
chop the pork a bit much for me but it's still pretty darn good. I had mine with butter beans & corn and
greens. One of the best things about Coopers is the hush puppies and pork rinds they serve with the meals.
The pork rinds are crunchy, not like the processed ones you can get at any corner convenience store.
Brownsville, TN, Helens
The smell of the smoked meat is what the dining room in heaven must smell like. Helen's is a little hole in
the wall with two large dining room tables crammed into a small dining room. The only thing I've ever had
is the pork plate. The hot, BBQ sauce is very spicy. The mild sauce is nice. The potato salad is a very
good balance to the richness of the pulled pork. The vinegary slaw is just ok. But, I would eat there
anytime I'm in Brownsville if I could.
Memphis, TN, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
Gus's is definitely good, maybe even the best. It is spicy and perfectly breaded, not too heavy. The
restaurants are small but it atmosphere makes up for it. I have friends that love it so much they ship it
home when they visit Memphis. The good news is that they are franchising all over - Atlanta, Austin, Los
Angeles, Chicago. It's that good!
I know barbecue is a touchy subject. I'm not going to get into the Texas vs Memphis vs St Louis vs
Carolina debate, but I do know good BBQ when I eat it. Top of my list this week is Pig on Beale. I usually
don't call barbecue succulent (mostly it's just greasy or watery) - this was that! I ate there twice this week
and couldn't find anything wrong with the pork, the beans or the BBQ! Dang it was satisfying.
Top Five Barbecue Joints in Memphis - for now.
1. Pig on Beale
2. Cozy Corner
3. Central BBQ
I won't argue the fine points. This just happens to
be my ranking today. Corky's has gone too
corporate but the sauce is good. Cozy Corner is
impossible to eat wearing a tie, but is seems every
time I eat it I have a tie on. Central BBQ has great
food and I'm fond of the good late lunches I've had there.
I almost had to put Rendezvous in the list - the food is good when it's good and marginal when it's not -
but you have to go down the alley and into the basement for the atmosphere and to be told what to eat by
February 11, 2010
Oysters at Peohe's in San
Home cooking for 300. Mom and Dad's
50th Anniversary - Carne adovada and
roasted tri-tip. My semi-annual foray into
catering for the masses.
The Bistro at Vincent's on Camelback.
Robert, Mark and Rebecca.
If you know me, you know I love to eat good food. I'm always trying to find or
cook the best food. This is not a food blog. It's a page about the food I eat and
the people with which I eat. Ok, so it's mostly about the food...
Mexican Food as I see it - Mostly Old Arizona, Sonoran style.
El Charro - Mesa, AZ
Guedo's - Chandler, AZ
Los Olivos - Scottsdale, AZ
Ochoa's - Casa Grande, AZ
Little Sombrero - Casa Grande, AZ
El Charro - Lordsburg, NM
Poncho's - Phoenix, AZ
Los Dos Molinos - Phoenix, AZ
For an old blog piece on Mexican food from Julie's site.
All rights reserved - Brent Murphree
Lamb burger at Pitra Souvli.