Here in Phoenix, Mexican and Southwestern cuisines are our strong points, but dinner can be just as rollicking when we tap into more distant options. Somali goat? Frog legs? Phoenix has you covered.
Here are three great Valley eateries featuring food from across an ocean or two. These three gems hit the spot for us recently, and we'll bet they'll satisfy your weekend hunger, too.
Yemeni "Rice and Beans" at Mandi House (Tempe)
Yemeni food is Middle Eastern food like you've never had it before. This ain't hummus and falafel. It's far from fatoush salad or shawarma-style Near Eastern cuisine. The Middle East, like Europe or Central America, is a diverse region with tons of different foodways. And Yemeni, often overlooked in favor of Lebanese or Israeli, is hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, southern comfort, done Arabian-style.
Pierogis and Middle Eastern Specialties at All Pierogi (Mesa)
The aptly named All Pierogi in Mesa is a market and a restaurant. Guess what the place sells? At the market, you can score frozen pierogis, sausages, and a variety of pickled and dry goods. Then there's the restaurant, where the pierogi Gods smile upon you. Upon entering a dark dining room, you'll be greeted with Eastern European pop mixed with international club anthems. Bring on the vodka, pierogis, and condiments!
Cannoli at New York West Bakery (Sun City)
New York West Bakery has the classics covered: loaves of marbled rye, Italian rainbow cookies, lobster tails, biscotti, and one of the holy grails of Italian-American desserts: the cannoli. Crisp-fried shells ooze with firm, sweetened ricotta flecked with chocolate chips. A good cannoli is rare. A good cannoli is religion. Dozens and dozens of other sweets gleam in the display case, ripe for the munching.