10 Best Things I Ate in January

Wiseguy at Pizzeria Bianco
Wiseguy at Pizzeria Bianco
All photos, with the exception of Milagro Grill, by Laura Hahnefeld.
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Like a lot of folks in the Valley, I was stricken by germs of the nastiest nature this month (so many hot toddies and TV).

See also: The 10 Best Things I Ate in 2012

But despite the lingering ailments, I still managed to find some great eats for January. From old favorites to new finds and cheap food on the fly, here are 10 of my favorites. Enjoy.

Wiseguy at Pizzeria Bianco Thanks to just-announced new hours -- 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday -- love means (possibly) never having to wait in line again at Chris Bianco's legendary downtown pizza parlor. A recent lunchtime pop-in saw me munching on a Wiseguy ($16), Bianco's killer white pie of wood-roasted onion, heady house-smoked mozzarella, and fennel sausage, just a few minutes after I walked in the door. Bliss.

Broasted Chicken Dinner (small)
Broasted Chicken Dinner (small)

Broasted Chicken at Guido's Chicago Meat & Deli Chicken ($8.99/small meal) gets bro-licious at this Italian restaurant and grocery in Scottsdale. Thanks to the high-pressure frying process called broasting, the meat is unbelievably juicy inside and comes wrapped in a golden brown, nutty and crunchy crust. Snag a side of broasted potatoes for a taste akin to a crispy-skinned baked spud cut into wedges.

Nonna at North Fattoria Italiana
Nonna at North Fattoria Italiana

Nonna at North Fattoria Italiana

If you happen to be in Arcadia on a weekend and are hungry for brunch, the Nonna ($9), from Fox Restaurant Concepts' North Frattoria Italiana, should do nicely. In a small iron pan, torn bread, housemade sausage, and rich red sauce is topped with two fried eggs. It's a simple yet satisfying Italian colazione. Bonus: Grab a seat next to the exhibition kitchen and get lost in the rhythmic motions of a chef preparing fresh pasta.

Nogales Hot Dog at El Exquisito
Nogales Hot Dog at El Exquisito

Sonoran Hot Dog at El Exquisito

Late-night munchies on Phoenix's west side? You could do worse than a Sonoran dog at this hot dog stand around 39th Avenue and Indian School Road. In fact, I'll go so far as to say these tasty Mexican-style dogs -- with bacon, flavorful beans, bits of onion and tomato, and colorful squirts of ketchup, mustard, mayo, and green chile salsa in a super-squishy bun and with a fresh-roasted chile on the side -- rival those of the better-known Nogales Hot Dog several miles east on the same road. Game on.



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