Playing tour guide in Phoenix

My sweetie's mom hasn't come to visit in *years* and we're finally getting a chance to show her around town, so that means we've spent the last few days giving her the grand tour. That includes hitting up some familiar haunts around town.

Before her flight was scheduled to arrive, we did a whirlwind housecleaning session with the new Black Keys album turned up really loudly. It was a good way to work up an appetite, but by the time we were finished, it was already time to get cleaned up and head to the airport.

After picking her up, we finally snagged super-late lunch (at like 3 p.m.?) at Postino. It was a lovely day for hanging out there -- the doors were open, the food hit the spot, and we lucked out on $5 glasses of wine (a special they offer everyday before 4). Also, at that time of day, we managed to find a parking spot without too trouble.

Later that night, we heard that the band MGMT was playing for free at Tempe Marketplace, so we met up with some friends over there to check it out. We wound up at Cadillac Ranch Bar & Grill for a drink, and although we didn't hang out for a bite, we did make note of the mechanical bull in one of the rooms. Might make for an entertaining way to have burgers and beers sometime. And speaking of beer, we got a nightcap at The Roosevelt. By then we were hungry again, so we split a Honeymooner (the fried bologna and cheddar sandwich), a pretzel, and the chips 'n dip. I think I ate my potato chip quota for the next three months.

The next day we waited 50 minutes for a table at Matt's Big Breakfast, but the in-laws didn't complain. (We'd warned them ahead of time that Matt's has been mobbed ever since that Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episode aired on the Food Network.) Once our plates of pancakes and hot links/peppers/cheddar scramble showed up, everyone was happy -- and they already want to go back.

Anyway, it's a good thing we stuffed ourselves silly, because we drove all the way out to Tortilla Flat after that. The prickly pear ice cream was refreshing, but I still have to wonder -- what the heck does it really taste like? I can't figure it out. It didn't taste like a particular fruit, but it did remind me of a mild version of that tangy fro-yo I had recently.

That night we went to see the D-Backs whip the Padres, and the highlight (as always) was the giant cups of beer (not the $10 price tag, though). I went to Ribbies to get garlic fries, and almost freaked out when they weren't on the menu -- and their BBQ fries don't appeal to me. Luckily, they sent me over to Gordon Biersch, where I did find garlic fries. They're not even close to the ballpark garlic fries you can get in San Francisco, but they weren't bad -- these had tons of garlic and parsley and salt and pepper on them. Definitely better than last year's versions at Ribbies, anyway.

The next day was more laid-back -- a chill early breakfast at Palatte, and a burgers on the grill at home for dinner. The coffee at Palatte is much better -- i.e. stronger -- than the stuff they served when they opened last year, and I think the kitchen has finally figured out how to cook those sweet potato pancakes right.

More eating and sightseeing is in the works for the rest of the week -- wish me luck!

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