Sunny and beautiful Phoenix! It was so warm and it didn't feel weird to eat ice cream (twice) outside. What's more exciting, it was our last interview destination, and our interview trail is finally at a close.
Arizona was a complete dream, totally up my alley with the heat and sunshine and cacti lined up along the sidewalk. We made sure to hit up spots recommended by the locals. That is one of the things I love the most about the interviews - talking to the residents who have come to love their city and know the best spots to eat, the best coffee to sip, and the best views to drink in. Yelp is always there in a pinch, but nothing beats the verbal stamp of approval from the ones who experience the city day in and day out.
We spent the first half in Scottsdale (more photos of that to come), and explored downtown Phoenix for the latter part of the trip, after all the interviews and completely stress-free. I loved finding the quirky, little gems of the city like the old fashioned cars, the old school film theater amongst the palm trees, and the sidewalk drawings of smiling coffee mugs, just because. The whole time felt wonderfully low-key and colorful, I hope the photos below reflect those vibes!
One of many hilarious photos of Andrew with these dancing statues, he always knows how to get me to laugh out loud, even if it is slightly embarrassing (but I love it).
Our celebratory meal was at Postino's, a wine bar with incredible bruschetta options. Seriously, the bruschetta is a meal - four humongous slices of bread topped with incredible combinations. This was one of those places recommended by the residents and we're so happy we had a chance to try it out. Sitting outside in sixty five degree weather sipping happy hour wines didn't hurt either.
We hit up the local favorite Churn for some post-lunch sweets and it's probably some of the creamiest, dreamiest ice cream I have ever had. We looked it up later and found that Serious Eats (a website Andrew frequents often for culinary commentary) named Churn (and another ice cream shop we hit up in Scottsdale) as one of the best places in the United States. So extra yay!
I feel like the last two photos here totally capture the magic of Phoenix - the colors, the warmth, the beauty of the west.
We're not quite done with our travels, with Denver just around the corner for a little extra hurrah! And while nothing's been set in stone for afterwards, we've been throwing all sorts of options for traveling in May - if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them.
Thank you for an amazing end to our interview trail, Arizona!
What/where we ate in Arizona:
Day 1: Scottsdale, AZ. We stayed at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, which was nearby Camelback Mountain and perfectly relaxing - would completely recommend. The views of the mountains can't be beat, and the overall clean beauty of Scottsdale makes it definitely a destination we plan on revisiting in the future!
- The freshest sushi I've ever tasted at Hiro Sushi - recommended by my parents, who also swear that it's the best sushi they have ever had. I am the first to say that sushi is not my go-to meal (I had some stomach issues in the past), but none of that to report after eating here, just smiles and complete admiration.
- A scoop of their famous salted butter caramel and mayan chocolate in a waffle bowl from Sweet Republic - the other ice cream shop that Serious Eats claims to be one of the best in the country. It was everything I wanted and the best way to end day 1.
Day 2: Phoenix, AZ
- Bruschetta, wine, and a crazy amazing brussel sprouts salad from Postino's - we devoured everything and raved about the flavors for the rest of the day. There are tons of options, but we ended up getting these four combinations: 1) buffalo mozzarella, tomato, basil, and salt, 2) apple, brie, fig jam, and honey, 3) smoked salmon, red onion, capers, and housemade pesto, 4) mascarpone, figs, and proscuitto. I don't think I can pick a favorite. And I wish I had some of that bruschetta right now.
- Iced tea and a cappuccino from Be Coffee (+ Food + Stuff) - quite possibly the most hipster coffee bar I've set foot in but with the friendliest service so it was confusing but lovely at the same time. They're connected to a little plant shop and also a small art gallery so you can grab your drink and roam around.
- A scoop of vietnamese coffee in a waffle cone for me, and a scoop of Bailey's crunch in a pretzel cone for him from Churn - if you want a smile on your face, go here.
- Andrew recommends Matt's Big Breakfast where he went in the morning during my interview. He got The Hog & Chick, and he gives his very generic "super good" rating, which is actually good he just can't describe things like the food critics he admires. He also got to check out Songbird Coffee & Tea House, which is in the cutest little house and Andrew claims they make a mean cappuccino.