Owner and architect DJ Fernandez owns this little restaurant as well as a couple other favorite’s of mine – Tuck Shop and Vovomeena. Astor House is located within the heart of the Coronado District. This cozy house-turned-eatery (next door to Tuck Shop) is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a focus on BBQ. They smoke their beef, pork, turkey and chicken over hickory wood. I got the Combo plate (Brisket & Pulled Pork) and the yummy gooey butter cake. I had a nice experience here and enjoyed the neighborhood feel to this place.
I love it when the weather starts cooling off. For me, autumn means layers of clothes, chili and bonfires. Tonight we had a fun fellowship night of corn hole, s’mores and music. I’m very blessed to have a great group of friends to do life with and thankful for moments like this to be in community. Tonight got me excited for the upcoming holidays.
A long-time favorite of mine is Joe’s Real BBQ in downtown Gilbert. Opened in 1998 by Joe Johnston, Tad Peelen and Tim Peelen, Joe’s BBQ is a huge local favorite that continues to have lines out the building for dinner. Joe got the idea of smoked BBQ from frequent visits to Texas. He decided to house the restaurant in an old building built in 1929. With an agricultural theme, Joe’s pays homage to the farmers of the past. Joe’s uses pecan wood to smoke their BBQ and a variety of delicious side dishes to choose from. I’ve been taking my boys here for years and tonight was no different. I tried the turkey jalapeno sausage and the root beer cake. Seriously – amazing! I love coming here as many good friends of mine work here. I love the family feel of Joe’s Real BBQ and it will always be a local favorite of mine.
The hot days of summer means that we hit the pool here in Arizona. I had my Dad and nephews over to hang with me and the boys. I fired up some BBQ chicken and corn-on-the-cob for us to eat while enjoying the outdoors.
Frozen yogurt is always a fun place to go to cool off from the heat. We made a stop at the Orange Leaf for some late evening fro-yo.
I capped off my dad’s visit by taking him and my sister to one of my favorite breakfast stops – the Hangar Cafe. Great food with a great view from inside the cafe!
Rudolph Aue (Rudy) opened Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q in Texas in 1989. Now Arizona has locations. Rudy’s offers the best of Texas BBQ – brisket, sausage, turkey, ribs, chicken, and pork loin. I took my kids here for a fun evening of getting our hands dirty. So basically you choose your meat and a side or two. I went for the Baby Back Ribs, Corn-on-the-Cob, Rudy’s beans and a cream soda. It was all good and we had a fun time. I love both the Rudy’s original and sissy “sause”. You can buy them both in their store to take home. It’s interesting that they built this location in Chandler across the street from another BBQ restaurant. So I guess we will see a bit of a rivalry in the future on who serves up the better BBQ.
We had a fun potluck at the home of Mike and Amy Baumert tonight. It was a huge turnout and we celebrated Michael Hendricks’ birthday in addition to just being in fellowship together. I’m enjoying getting to know more people at my home church. We cooked up some burgers, chicken and corn on the cob and had brownies with ice cream.
Steve, Simon and I took a fun little 2 day guy trip up north. We spent the first day hanging out in Sedona sight-seeing and eating good food. The second day was spent in Flagstaff snowboarding. As I recap the trip, I thought I’d write a few reviews on some of the local eateries we dined at.
Our first stop was a Starbucks overlooking the beautiful Sedona mountains. We made it to Sedona on good time and didn’t have much of an agenda, so we were able to take our time relaxing and walking over town.
Next to our hotel was a restaurant called Relics. It was built in the early 1900’s and established as a restaurant in the 1940’s. Once a general store, the hostess gave us a personal tour of all the different antique furnitures, fixtures and decorations that were displayed on the walls. There was some old stuff and it was fun to here some of the stories behind some of the collectables, Even though we opt to not eat there, Relics serves up USDA choice steaks and slow cooked prime rib.
We spent the late evening walking around town looking for something to eat. We all had some recommendations of places that we have been to that were good and some not-so-great. We found this little hallway to a place called Sally’s BBQ. It was mainly an outdoor eating establishment with one little dining room. You order your food from a little window and the cook makes it on the spot and brings it out to you. Steve and I ordered the steak sandwich and Simon got the brisket. Our steak sandwiches were good, but not exactly how I envisioned it to look like. Simon seemed to enjoy his brisket. The fries were good as was their award-winning BBQ sauce. We took a walk afterwards to look at the Christmas lights. We stopped in at the Oak Creek Brewery Company for a finely crafted brew. It was pretty crowed, so we had to stand up most of the time at the bar. Simon and I enjoyed watching the cook staff prepare the meals as the bar is situated right next to the kitchen. We both observed some things that wouldn’t go well in a restaurant review.
Highlights from our trip
Here’s a short clip from my first time snowboarding
We had a fun day snowboarding and skiing at Snowbowl in Flagstaff. The weather was nice and the snow wasn’t too bad. I got pretty bang up and ended up fracturing a rib during a bad fall. We drove through the crowded traffic and found a restaurant that Steve’s wife Kim recommended. It was called Bun Huggers. It kind of reminded me of a Fuddruckers with decent prices. I got the chicken sandwich and fried zucchini and enjoyed my meal. Even though the place had a goofy name, it was a good last stop for us. I enjoyed this quick get-away and the fellowship with some good brothers in Christ.