Craft 64

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I finished up the May version of Arizona Restaurant Week at Craft 64. We got a big group of us together to enjoy a fun food night out in Old Town Scottsdale. Main St is home to many great patio restaurants (and art galleries) and Craft 64 is one of the newest additions to the area. They have delicious artisanal wood-fired pizzas along with a great selection of craft beers and wine. Started by a partnership of experienced local owners, Craft 64 has become a local favorite. They make their own mozzarella from scratch everyday and use organic flour and other products from local farmers. The have over 30 local beers on tap and a great outdoor patio area with strings of lights for decoration. We had a wonderful time and received great service from our waiter who educated us on some of their beers.

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They had a great selection to choose from for Restaurant Week. I went with the Wood Fired Eggplant Parmesan, their delicious Sausage Pizza and the yummy Nutella Indulgence for dessert. Because we had a large party, we ended up mixing and matching our dishes so we could get a sample of everything.

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Wood Fired Eggplant Parmesan with Fresh Tomato Sauce

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Sausage Pizza

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Nutella Indulgence

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Tiramisu

My waiter recommended the Pie Hole Porter Nitro – a local beer from Historic Brewery Company out of Flagstaff. What a great tasting beer! I have really been enjoying learning about and tasting new craft beers. Arizona has been coming out with nice local beers from different regions all over the state.

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Pie Hole Porter Nitro

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Craft 64 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Spokes on Southern

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This is a great neighborhood restaurant in Tempe that encourages you to ride your bike to it. They have a nice big patio area where you can park your bike (or inside if you want) and hang out for some good food and drinks. The decor inside has a bicycle theme to it and there is a nice pond next door to the outdoor patio. Spokes on Southern is a great place to watch a game and grab a beer. They have over 24 beers on tap that includes several local favorites. I got the S.O.S. Queso Sauce Dip that has a spoke design on it made from Sriracha. The dip wasn’t bad, but The Carver burger was what hit home for me. I grabbed a Lumberyard Diamond Down Lager (Flagstaff’s very own) to drink. The staff was very friendly and welcoming and I look forward to another stop in.

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Lumberyard Diamond Down Lager

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S.O.S. Queso Sauce

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Carver Burger

Spokes on Southern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Flagstaff

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Flagstaff is this small town in northern Arizona that is home to Northern Arizona University. The infamous Route 66 also passes through the city. I love the mom n pop stores and restaurants in Flagstaff. I always regretted not attending NAU so I could have experienced living in a small town. But what Flagstaff is most popular for is Snowbowl ski resort. Students spend their weekends there and it’s only a few hours from the valley. I skied for the first time here as a kid and have brought my boys up here many times. We came up here for a fun few days after Christmas. We skied, boarded and did some sledding in some pretty cold and snowy weather.

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Ski Culture

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Tonight I took my kids to Ski Pro’s Avalanche Sale at Phoenix Civic Center to pick up some gear. It’s this big sale they have every year where you can pick up ski/snowboard gear for dirt cheap. I love ski culture! I started when I was in jr. high and I’m glad I got my kids started at a young age too. They love it and I can’t wait to get a few trips in with them this year.

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Our first snowboarding trip at Sunrise in ’07

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My son Ty – 6 years old on his first snowboarding adverture

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Ty hittin’ the powder

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Snowbowl ’08

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Jake tearing it up

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Me on my board

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Snowy day in Flagstaff – I love ski towns

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Took a day off to do some sledding – we love the snow!

I started skiing when I was around 12 years old. I was blessed to have a youth pastor that took us on trips to Flagstaff. My mom was always big on making sure I got to experience fun stuff like this at a young age. She would always encouraged me to go on these trips. Once I got in high school, my Pastor Linn Winters would rent these Greyhound buses to take us to Colorado or Utah for a 3 day ski adventure. My very first out-of-state trip was to Telluride, Colorado. They would show Warren Miller ski flicks to get us pumped up for some fresh powder. Even though I was a Freshman, I was happy to make friends with some of the older guys in the group (even though I still went through a few initiations). My buddy Gary would join me on the trips and he and I would become die-hard ski partners for years all the way up to adulthood. About five years ago, I switched over to snowboarding and love that I can do both.

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Bus trip to Utah – 1989

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The crew – Utah ’89. Diggin’ the 80’s hair and outfits

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Skiing with my friends – I was 15 years old in this picture

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Typical skier’s room before a big day – Durango, CO in ’90. I’m eating the bowl of cereal on the right

As I got better at skiing, I started to get more flamboyant. I knew I was good and I liked to show off. I started spiking my hair, wearing bright colors and even tied red ribbon to my skis to make it look like flames were coming out. I would also started to get more risky. I would do more tricks and jumps and would ski in just t-shirts. I went though skis like crazy and even once got kicked out for jumping off a large hill. I dumped a lot of money into the sport and started to fly out-of-state a lot to places like Lake Tahoe to ski with the big boys. After I had kids, my ski life died off for a while. My ex and I did some skiing together, but raising kids took up most of our time. Now I am excited to be at a new phase of life and to experience ski/snowboard life with my boys. Even though I’m not as risky as I used to be, I have really learned to appreciate the sport. I’m thankful for the opportunities all these years to have been a part of this culture of skiing.

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My flamboyant days – 1991 at Sunrise ski resort

Warren Miller is a filmmaker who has been making ski movies since 1950. He is very well-known to us in ski culture and I’ve seen many of his movies on my bus trips. Every year a new flick comes out and Warren Miller Entertainment does a movie tour just before ski season starts. They show it a ASU Gammage every December after the Avalanche sale. I went to quite a few shows in my college days and just recently started the tradition with my kids. We are going to see the newest film Flow State later this month. I’m excited to check it out and get pumped for ski season this year.

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Last year’s snowboard trip – I broke a rib on this trip

Sedona & Snowboarding

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.

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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.

Relics restaurant and lounge

Relics restaurant and lounge

Pretty night sky at Relics

Pretty night sky at Relics

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.

Sally's BBQ

Sally’s BBQ

Ordering food at the window

Ordering food at the window

Beef brisket and steak sandwich

Beef brisket and steak sandwich

PInk Jeep with Christmas lights

Pink Jeep with Christmas lights

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.

Sally's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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.

Build your own burger at Bun Huggers

Build your own burger at Bun Huggers

Bun Huggers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato