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  • Article

    TENDER LOVING SQUARES

    You're trying to save money. Or maybe you're struggling to make ends meet. Times are hard, but there are a few things you're not willing to give up. Like a meal out with the family or friends every once in a blue moon. But where can you go if you'...

    by Penelope Corcoran on June 19, 1991
  • Article

    DAWN DEALS

    I'll be honest with you. Normally, I don't eat breakfast. I get up, drink something hot, and when my stomach starts interfering with my work or fun, I give it something just large enough to keep it quiet until its next meal. Sometimes that's lunch. S...

    by Penelope Corcoran on June 12, 1991
  • Article

    STEAKSALL KINDS

    When I walk into the elegant new Ruth's Chris Steak House in Scottsdale, I am struck by a singular thought: Scotch. An obvious case of stimulus-response, if there ever was one, for Ruth's Chris takes me back to the late Seventies, when I lived in...

    by Penelope Corcoran on June 5, 1991
  • Article

    PASTA AND ANTI-PASTA

    I've been thinking about Perry Como lately. Specifically, I've been thinking about his song "Catch a Falling Star." If you're unaware of Como's scintillating 1958 hit, the idea conveyed in the song is "Catch a falling star and put it in yo...

    by Penelope Corcoran on May 29, 1991
  • Article

    ASIA FU

    Summer is busting out all over. And in Tempe, Japanese restaurants are sprouting up like mung beans! In the last few months, two new restaurant-sushi bars have opened within mere blocks of each other. And, while both offer fine Japanese dinin...

    by Penelope Corcoran on May 22, 1991
  • Article

    CUISINES FROM A MALL

    Roaming tourists with minicams. Well-preserved older women resembling TV psychiatrists. Tables of young, upwardly mobile people dressed in suits and ties, cocktail sheaths, gold jewelry and French braids. Out-of-town businessmen relaxing in plaid ...

    by Penelope Corcoran on May 15, 1991
  • Article

    ON GOLDEN PRAWN

    A guest from Minneapolis stayed with me recently. We went out to eat a few times. Over dinner, she told me she distrusts restaurant critics. "I almost always assume they're on the take," she said. "Or else, if they rave about some place, it's beca...

    by Penelope Corcoran on May 8, 1991
  • Article

    MISS SAIGON?

    Hunks of yellow margarine sizzle madly on a tabletop grill. Thin slices of red, rare beef stick to its surface and darken dramatically. From beneath the gas burner, smoke begins to billow. This potential 911 scene takes place at my table in #...

    by Penelope Corcoran on May 1, 1991
  • Article

    TURISTA CLASS

    My editor likes me to start this column with a bang. A funny anecdote, a clever sentence. This week, I am so unmoved by my eating experiences at Tempe's new Acapulco Bay Beach Club and Cantina del Pedregal at the Boulders in Carefree, she's l...

    by Penelope Corcoran on April 24, 1991
  • Article

    TURN DOWN THE RADICCHIO!LETTUCE PRAY THAT EDIBLE EXOTICA BITES THE DUST

    Once upon a time, in a very rich country, the people elected a president who helped them become even richer. Soon, there was so much money to spend, the people didn't know what to do with it all. They bought big boats and big TVs and fancy wa...

    by Penelope Corcoran on April 17, 1991
  • Article

    FIT TO BE RED TIED

    Power lunch conjures up a distinct image, doesn't it? Briefcase-wielding men in dark suits and red ties. American Express card-carrying women wearing just the right amount of real gold jewelry, and with hair and nails that take time and money to a...

    by Penelope Corcoran on April 10, 1991
  • Article

    BRINE TEASERS

    You don't have to be a genius to figure out the genesis of Hooters. You don't even have to read Hooters' press release or back-of-the-menu description to make an educated guess. The name pretty much says it all, doesn't it? And no, we're not ...

    by Penelope Corcoran on April 3, 1991
  • Article

    LET'S DO BRUNCH

    Welcome to the last installment of our continuing series Penelope Does Brunch. Today's episode is subtitled "Far Out," in which Penelope travels to such remote locations as Carefree, Litchfield Park, and an equestrian theme park in north Scot...

    by Penelope Corcoran on March 27, 1991
  • Article

    TOWN WITHOUT ZITI

    Ever find yourself waxing nostalgic for that neighborhood spaghetti joint back wherever you came from? The one where you didn't have to worry about how you were dressed? Where they served all your favorites, like baked ziti, stuffed shells, m...

    by Penelope Corcoran on March 20, 1991
  • Article

    PASA POINTS OF NO RETURN

    How I arrive at La Mexicana in El Mirage is an imprecise process. "It's behind the Circle K," my tipster has told me. This is my only clue. I do not know the address. Fortunately, El Mirage is not a big place. Fortunately, I know where the to...

    by Penelope Corcoran on March 6, 1991
  • Article

    SAC LUNCH

    The sun shines bright on Black Canyon City. I am waiting in line at a rather unusual barbecue. The young girl behind the outdoor counter waves metal tongs at me. I point to the four bins of fried food in front of her. "What is what here?" I ask. H...

    by Penelope Corcoran on February 20, 1991
  • Article

    THE PEPPER CHASE

    Cooking-school restaurants probably oughtn't to be reviewed by critics. The servers and chefs are students--who find out quite literally if their performances are passable. They receive scorecards at the end of each meal, grades at the end of the ...

    by Penelope Corcoran on February 13, 1991
  • Article

    THE PARISIAN GULF

    To bistro or not to bistro? That is the question for many French restaurants these days. Understandably, the current urge to create an unpretentious environment for the consumption of bonne cuisine francaise coincides with the downturn...

    by Penelope Corcoran on February 6, 1991
  • Article

    CHAFING GRACE

    I grew up believing brunch was yet another clever innovation of the 1960s. I was mistaken. According to etymologists, "brunch" the word came into existence in 1896 to describe a meal combining breakfast and lunch, taken late in the morning. ...

    by Penelope Corcoran on January 23, 1991
  • Article

    THE WORLD OF SUSHI WRONG

    Ah, sushi! Our passionate romance cooled in 1979 following a raconteur's tale of extended illness caused by the consumption of raw fish in a Japanese restaurant. Yet I harbor no resentments. I still recount with pleasure all those lunch hours...

    by Penelope Corcoran on January 16, 1991
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