1.) Mamey agua fresca at Phoenix Ranch Market -- I thought I'd tried the full lineup of drinks at Phoenix Ranch Market, but the other day, on a quick lunch break with a coworker, I saw a milky pink liquid called Mamey along with the usual offerings, like Pina, Jamaica, and Horchata. I asked what Mamey was, and the gal behind the counter just said something about fruit. Oh, okay. Well, I went ahead and bought a big styrofoam cup of it, and wow! It was so delicious. Turns out mamey sapote is a fruit native to the West Indies that's supposed to evoke the flavors of apricot and almond. To me, the drink tasted like melted strawberry ice cream (a good thing, don't you think?). I'll definitely be ordering that again. I also tried a scoop of lime ice cream from their frozen dessert bar -- it was tart, with a bit of a coconut flavor, and a nice smooth texture. For 99 cents, I can't think of a better refreshment during these hellish days.
2.) Mexican popsicles at Realeza Michoacana-- This is the pink building (2520 N. 16th St.) with ice cream and popsicles painted on the front window -- it's right next door to the awesome Tortas El Guero on 16th Street, which I reviewed the other week. They must have at least a couple dozen flavors of popsicles, and some of them are filled with chunks of fruit. Simple things like these just make my day.
3.) More summery gelato flavors at Arlecchino -- There's no way to know what flavors Moreno Spangaro will whip up on any given day, but I got a tip the other night that he'd be making watermelon sorbet -- and I saw the actual watermelon. Lately he's also been doing a delicious pear gelato with tiny bits of chocolate. He said he'll probably be making melon soon, too.
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4.) Grilled ahi nicoise at Coronado Cafe -- I have been frequenting this adorable place for years. At one point, I went for lunch about three times a week. These days, I don't go as often, but it's still consistently good. What's incredible is that I finally went for dinner for the very first time last night. I just never think of it -- I can't visualize it on my mental map, even though I think about it at lunch. Anyway, I loved the sashimi grade seared ahi on a big pile of nice greens in a light vinaigrette, with asparagus, potatoes, olives, cherry tomatoes, and hard boiled egg. It was so summery and cool, but quite filling. I also appreciated the mighty stiff Tangueray and tonic they made me -- the drinks there are huge!