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.
I’m really bummed to see another local favorite closing it’s doors. Pizza People Pub has been operating out of this location across the Phoenix Public library since 2013. They have a great story of a family owned business starting out of a food truck and eventually opening their own restaurant. Their menu consists of their signature made-from-scratch 10 inch artisan pizzas and a variety of pub favorites like wings and their always popular mac & cheese. I always got a kick out of some of the pizza creations that they have (and the names) – Date Me, The Hulk, Testosteroni, Popeye, Fun Guy, The Hottie, etc. Even though I love their pizzas, I usually came here to try one of their many mac & cheeses. Some of my favorites have been the Smokey Paprika Mac, the Jalapeño Mac and the Truffle Mac. They load their mac & cheese with lots of cheese so they are nice and gooey. I wish they had a mac & cheese flight so I could sample them all. I stopped in tonight to have a last meal here before they close shop. I enjoyed hearing my bartender share stories of how much he enjoyed working here. It’s always sad to hear of local restaurants going out of business. I wish them the best.
– since I wrote this post, new owners have given Pizza People Pub a new lease on life and are keeping things the way that made Pizza People so popular. They will be re-opening in August!
So I didn’t get the full experience of Pizza People Pub as I had to grab my pizza to go. But this popular food truck is now housed in a great location off of Central next to a light rail stop. I love the art decor and the many couches to sit on. They have some great specials and happy hour prices. I always get a kick out of some of the pizza creations they have (and the names) – Date Me, Seoul Fire (Kimchi pizza – gotta try this), the Hulk, Cut the Cheese, Fun Guy, the Hottie, etc. Tonight I tried the Testosteroni and can see why it’s a popular choice. I’ll be returning to try some of their mac n’ cheese and wing selections.
This year for Thanksgiving I cooked up a turkey and a bunch of sides while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. I brined my turkey with a great mix from World Market. But the sides are really what make the meal for me. Some of the sides I included were a green bean casserole, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberries and a pumpkin potato pie. I had a lot of turkey left over, so turkey sandwiches were for lunch everyday after Turkey day. I also made a great turkey pot pie loaded with vegetables using flakey biscuits as my topping. I went to quite a few homes for Thanksgiving and made a creamy mac n cheese and some pumpkin cheese swirls for dessert to bring along. It was a fun year for me in the kitchen and a blessing to have many friends and family to share all this food with.