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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cajun and Kobe in the Arizona Desert

For reasons best left unknown to the general public, Spicy Food Guy was out and about in the world.  This time SFG was engaged in a quick flyby of Phoenix, Arizona, with only a day or so to try out the local cuisine.

Fortunately for Spicy Food Guy, his accommodations were located right across the street from Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen.  Let's just say it didn't take long for SFG to determine where he was headed for dinner.

SFG knows how to eat out when he is by himself on the road.  Roll up the sleeves.  Sit at the bar.  Quaff the local microbrew.  On draft.  Spread out.  Eat big.  SFG  knocked down the Cajun Combination, a cup each of seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and chicken and sausage jambalaya.  Plus coleslaw.  And garlic bread.   The gumbo was particularly good: earthy broth and tender chunks of shrimp and other seafood.

The more interesting part of the trip began the next day, when Spicy Food Guy's services were needed at the Phoenician, located in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The Phoenician, by any standard, is one of the stateliest and most elegant resorts anywhere in the US.  It doesn't just exude wealth, it exudes the look and feel of America's wealthiest.  Think the Greenbrier in WV, or The Breakers in Palm beach, FL.

Spicy Food Guy read a book once, Conspiracy of Fools, an accounting of the rise and fall of the Enron Corporation.  At the height of Enron's power and prestige, the Company had their annual executive offsite at the Phoenician.  As Spicy Food Guy surveyed his surroundings, he could just picture Jeff Skilling and Andy Fastow striding across the marble and granite bridges that crisscross the swimming pools.  They would be sporting expensive sunglasses and wearing their arrogant infallibility like a tailored suit of Armani armor.  With blazing blue skies and a resort that backs up against the stark Camelback Mountain, it is just a given that the Phoenician houses Captains of Industry.  SFG swears you can smell corporate deals in the air.

But Spicy Food Guy digresses.

Since it was warm outside and SFG lives in a cold place, he elected to eat lunch at the Oasis Pool Bar and Grill.  Spicy Food Guy decided to try the Kobe burger because he hadn't had one before and the Japanese beef is said to be second to none.

No lie on the Kobe.  It's juicy, flavorful, a burger's burger.  And poolside at the Phoenician is a damn fine place to try one's first Kobe.      

As delicious as the burger was, SFG is simply not a Kobe guy.  Or a Phoenician guy.  SFG would just as soon knock back a hot dog and brew at a baseball game.  Preferably at PNC Park.  There are places you go and marvel at the beauty and wealth, and there are cities you live in that slowly capture your heart, and you come to love it there.  That's home, baby.  Home. 

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