I got invited to this Super BowlPre Party at Helio Basin Brewing. The event was put on by azfoodie and sponsored by Vienna Beef. Pure Peru provided drinks for us and you can read about them in my post. This year Vienna Beef is celebrating their 125th anniversary. Vienna Beef was born in 1893 and is Chicago’s first-choice hot dog. It was first introduced at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago by Austrian-Hungarian immigrants Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany. They opened their first store a year later in 1894 and business takes off. Hot dog stands start popping everywhere and Vienna Beef becomes a part of Chicago’s community and culture. The famous Vienna Beef hot dog is eventually dubbed “The Original Chicago Style Hot Dog” (recipe below).
The Phoenix area is known for it’s large population of Chicago natives. Most of them visit because we are home to the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility. Others visit to escape the cold windy winters. We have many Chi-town favorites like Portillo’s, Geno’s East and Giordano’s to choose from if you want a taste of home. I have many friends here from Chicago and they have introduced me to many things that make up the culture of the Windy City. Chicago style dogs are definitely one of them.
Hello Basin Brewing Co.
In addition to playing some fun patio games to get us hyped for the big game on Sunday, we got to eat some great food prepared for us by Helio Basin’s Chef Tamara Stanger. She incorporated some Vienna Beef polish sausage into one of the dishes. The food was amazing as always and of course we got have some of Helio’s great beer. You can read about my adventures at Helio Basin in this post. We were given jars of toppings so we can make our own Chicago style dogs at home. I rounded up my evening by taking some fun goofy photos with props in a photo booth with my fellow Instagram foodie community.
Below is the recipe on how you can make you own Chicago style dog! I made my own version of it with the toppings that were given to me by Vienna Beef.
I had a fun evening eating and meeting new foodie friends. Two long time friends Erika and Kaylyn of Sip So Good hosted their first event at Arizona BBQ Company in Gilbert and invited me to come. This place just opened recently (not too far from where I used to live). This was a fun media event with a bunch of food bloggers and Instagram influencers. My first impression when walking in was that this place pays a nice tribute to Arizona. The decor is southwestern with a fun board listing Arizona facts and history. The restaurant itself is very simple and comfortable (great for kids!) with counter order service and a bar located to one side. The owners are longtime Gilbert residents and they opened this place to give back to the surrounding community. I was here for a buffet style dinner so I don’t have a lot of info on portion sizes of their platters, but their menu prices seem very reasonable to other BBQ restaurants. I felt very welcome here and Colette was great at sharing her passion for this place to us. Even though I came here for BBQ, I was immediately drawn to the tray of green chili bacon mac n’ cheese. I’m huge mac n’ cheese guy and I thought it was fantastic. Not too spicy but nice and cheesy with lots of flavor. We also tried their black bean and corn salad, brisket and pulled pork. These guys definitely know their BBQ and do a great job of capturing the flavors of the southwest. The BBQ comes naked as they have a condiment bar with different flavors of BBQ sauce. My favorites were the sweet and tangy and habanero sauces. Overall this was a great experience and I wish this place was open back when I had a house in the adjacent neighborhood. AZ BBQ Co. accepts non-perishable foods that they donate to a local food bank. Just another way they try to give back.
This is a dish I made that was inspired by an Instagram post I saw the other day. I’ve been eating pretty healthy these past few months and have been trying new ways to make vegetarian meals taste super good. Roasting vegetables has definitely changed my approach to them. This sweet potato hash is perfect for the upcoming Fall season.
Bake cubed small sweet potato and squash at 400 for ~30 minutes. Set aside. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 diced bell pepper and 1/4 cup diced onion for 5 minutes until onion turns clear. Add in the sweet potato and smash cubes, 1 handful chopped kale, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, paprika, 1/4 cup water or veggie broth to keep it moot. Heat until kale wilts and serve immediately with red pepper flakes and sriracha.
– I modified the recipe with what I had in my refrigerator
So I stopped in here while visiting from Arizona solely because of GD’s Instagram feed and their appearance on the “Great Food Truck Race”. I will admit the vibrant colors of their food photos was what reeled me in. GD Bro Burger got its start in 2013 as a food truck from a couple of buddies with a passion for food. They are known for their gooey cheese stuffed burgers with raspberry brioche buns that are topped with items like mozzarella sticks, kalbi poutine and kettle-cooked chips. It wasn’t too packed for my first visit here. I didn’t get the greatest service from the cash register guy (he walked away for almost 2-3 minutes and just left me hanging), but one of the food handlers at the bar made up for it with his warm and friendly attitude. I ordered the Juan & Only burger and pizza fries and the food came out in a reasonable time. I love lots of toppings on my burger, so the Juan & Only was the perfect choice for me. It had a nice blend of spiciness to it and I really enjoyed the abundance of avocado slices they top it off with. The pizza fries were good, but not anything to write home about. If anything, they made my photos look more appealing as a side item. I was bummed that the shake machine was down as I was hoping to try one their cool looking creations that I always see on their IG feed. I ended up getting one of their pineapple orange refreshers instead. The menu prices are comparable to any other food truck prices. Overall, I would say I had a pretty good experience here as I really enjoyed the creativity they put into their food and the overall cleanliness of the restaurant. Hopefully I will get an opportunity to stop in again in the future and try some of the items I missed out on.
GD Bro Truck started up in 2013. Two years later they made an appearance on season six of The Great Food Truck Race. That same year they opened a restaurant in Santa Ana one in Long Beach the following year.