I love this location because it’s always close by when I’m either running an errand in Tempe or at something related to ASU. They are about a mile south of the 202. My Dad once lived in Ashland, OR years ago and I vaguely remember going through the original Human Bean drive-thru there. That’s where this company got their start. They are known for their hand-crafted espresso drinks and fruit-infused smoothies. And of course every drink is topped with a white chocolate espresso bean. They have a program called the Farm Friendly Direct that allows them to work directly with the farming communities that harvest their beans so that they can build long-term relationships with them. This location has a double drive-thru or you can walk up to the window. You order directly from the barista and not through some intercom which I love. The baristas are usually high energy and very friendly. I haven’t tried one of their teas yet, but I really enjoyed their popular Granita drink. During the holidays they do holiday style cup that is pretty festive.
When I went to ASU back in the day, there was mostly fast food on campus. It’s nice to see some delicious eats coming to campus. Yelp gave us Elites a chance to dine at one of The Crepe Club’s locations. I love the story of this place about three brothers coming from Syria to attend ASU. They got their degrees and then started up a crepe cart on campus. It became so popular that they opened their own restaurant at the Biltmore. Recently they opened up this permanent location right next to Old Main on ASU campus. I got two mini crepes so I could try both a sweet and savory one. The creme de lemon was nice and warm and I enjoyed the delicious lemon aftertaste. The chicken florentine is packed with flavor – grilled chicken, sautéed mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella cheese. Super good! This location has a walk up window with an outdoor patio area with tables and shading. I got a nice visit from Maria the operations manager who offered me a yummy macaroon. The Crepe Club is a nice addition to my old digs.
My oldest son goes to Hamilton high school in Chandler, AZ. They have one of the best football programs in the nation. They have won the Arizona Division 5A State Championship seven times in the past ten years. Last year they got blown out in the championship game. This year it was revenge time. They lost to Mountain Pointe high school to start the season off (ironically my son went to Mountain Pointe his Freshman year). After going 0-2, Hamilton won the rest of their games and found themselves in the championship game once again against the team that they lost to in the beginning of the season – Mountain Pointe. The game was played at University of Phoenix Stadium (home of the Arizona Cardinals) and Hamilton repeated their championship success by winning 31-16.
It ended up being a fun football weekend overall for me. The day after the Hamilton won their title, my alma mater ASU played UA in the Territorial Cup rivalry game in Tucson. It was the first meeting between new coaches Todd Graham and Rich Rodriguez. ASU won “The Duel in the Desert” 41-34 in a fun turnaround year for them.
ASU has many traditions. The pitch fork sign, shaking your keys during kick-offs, the Lantern Walk and wearing gold at games are some of them. This year coach Graham has brought back some old traditions (like practice at Camp Tontozona) and some new ones. The Devils are much improved this year and on the right track to being a better football team. Tonight was the last home game and I’ve taken someone different to each game this year. Tonight I brought my long-time friend Shauna. She’s an ASU grad as well and we had fun picking on each other during the game. But we did observe this new tradition at the game people were doing in our section – parents holding up their kids as they do push-ups after every Sun Devil score. It was fun to watch. They did a lot of push-ups as ASU won 46-7 over Washington State.
I would say that my absolute favorite place to go to before an ASU game is Four Peaks brewery. I’ve been coming here since my college days at ASU. Four Peaks brews their own beer and also has amazing food. Their Kilt Lifter Scottish ale is their flagship beer and one of my personal favorites. I took my brother and my nephew here before the ASU/Utah game in which ASU won 37-7. We got some wings and beer battered fries and had a fun time.
I love football season! It’s nice watching and attending games this year after missing out on football most of last year. Arizona State University had a great first game against NAU last week. Sure NAU is an easy opponent, but ASU looked great against them. Better defense and more discipline under new coach Todd Graham. Tonight they played the Fighting Illini of Illinois. I invited my long-time sports buddy Preston and his wife Christina to come along. Preston and I have attended tons of sporting events together over the past 15 years and we always try to grab some food and drinks before a game. It’s a blast being around other die-hard sports fans to get pumped up for a game. Plus I grew up in Tempe and it’s always fun to hang out there. Tonight we went to Bison Witches – a bar & deli that started in Tucson and now has expanded to three states. We had a blast at the game as ASU won 45-14.
Pita Jungle has been serving up healthy and fresh food since it’s first location opened in 1994 by three Arizona State University students. Their goal was to provide Tempe residents with a healthy alternative to other restaurants around campus. They serve up Mediterranean food with a touch of modern flair. Their wood-fired pizzas and pita sandwiches are some of the popular selections. I’ve been eating here since my days at ASU going to the Apache location for lunch. The Mediterranean Roasted Chicken (Shawarma) and Beef Gyro are probably my 2 favorite items along with some hummus and their amazing iced tea. I had a fun night here with my friend Sarah at the Phoenix location in the arts district.