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10 Best Things I Ate and Drank in March

China Magic Noodle House's spicy pig ears are offal and delicious.
China Magic Noodle House's spicy pig ears are offal and delicious.
Lauren Saria

March means the middle of festival season in the Valley. In fact, the month kicked off with the Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic and closed out with the Check, Please! Arizona Festival last Sunday. The events have been keeping me busy but it's now time to look back on the very best things I ate last month. This time around list includes a few dishes from brand new spots, as well as some longtime favorites you might have forgotten about. And a cocktail.

I hope you get to try some if it for yourself soon.

See also: 10 Best Things I Ate in February

Hot and Spicy Pig Ears at China Magic Noodle House

The noodles are obviously the star at Chandler's China Magic Noodle House, but they're hardly the only reason to make the drive. The restaurant serves plenty of other dishes, including an appetizer of Hot and Spicy Pig Ears. If you've been paying attention, you might already know that I'm a big fan of offal, so it should come as no surprise that I love this dish. China Magic Noodle House cuts their pig eats so thin that you can practically see right through the layers of cartilage and skin. The slices are then marinated in a spicy sauce flecked with chile and sesame. The cold crunch of caritlage might be a turn off for some diners, but the pork-iness of the dish combined with the not-so-subtle spicy kick are a perfect way to start a meal, in my opinion.

Fried Bologna Sandwich at The Pink Pony.
Fried Bologna Sandwich at The Pink Pony.
Lauren Saria

Fried Bologna Sandwich at The Pink Pony

See also: The New Pink Pony in Scottsdale: Playful Food That's Worth a Try

Spring Training has come and gone but the new Pink Pony is here to stay. If you haven't headed out to Old Town Scottsdale to check out the renovated restaurant, you should do so soon. Be sure to go for lunch, when you can order the Fried Bologna Sandwich. It's a good representation of the restaurant's slightly playful menu and comes with slices of Italian mortadella, a cold-cut made from ground pork and pork fat. Each slice gets perfectly fried on both sides before being layed with the restaurant's housemade pickles, housemade potato chips, and mustard. This is the kind of elevated everyday cuisine I could eat over and over again without getting bored.

Ful medames from AT Oasis Coffee and Tea.
Ful medames from AT Oasis Coffee and Tea.
Lauren Saria

Ful Medames from A.T. Oasis Coffee and Tea

See also: Aisha Tedros of A.T. Oasis Coffee and Tea Shop: 2014 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Culinary Arts (VIDEO)

This simple dish is a staple meal in Egypt and Sudan though it's also popular in Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. You can find it at A.T. Oasis Coffee and Tea, the Phoenix coffee shop owned by Aisha Tedros. You can read all about Tedros and the shop in her Big Brains Finalist profile, but in short A.T. Oasis has become a gathering spot for the local African immigrant community. As such, you can go there and linger over a cup of coffee and a plate of ful medames, homemade cooked and mashed fava beans topped with plenty of olive oil, raw onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos. You scoop up the mixture with slices of warm pita bread and eat with your hands. If she's around Tedros will likely check on you at least once while you're dining -- and probably give plenty of warning about how spicy the jalapeno seeds can be.



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