Scottsdale, AZ: A Food-Filled City That’s Not Just For Snowbirds

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2014_03_bodegascottsdale

Scottsdale, Arizona is often thought of as a resort destination with little more than golf courses and luxury properties, but there’s a strong undercurrent of creativity in this Sonoran desert city that’s fueling a diverse food scene. The same energy that brought Frank Lloyd Wright and Paolo Soleri is inspiring a vibrant cadre of chefs, artisans, and purveyors to use the bounty of the region to make some seriously good eats.

And the weather is perfect for a visit this time of year. I’m still daydreaming of the smell of orange blossoms in the warm desert breeze — and the fantastic food from restaurants like Virtu and F &B.

Here are my top 10 spots for desert dining in and around Scottsdale on Gothamist Getaways.

My Current Obsession? I'm losin' my noggin over this amazing #vegan mezcal eggnog @gmweho, crafted by @johnllamas @jasoneisner. It's made with coconut milk, masala chai, chocolate bitters, caramel agave, and my favorite Oaxacan spirit, then topped with a darling cocoa snowflake stencil. You can read all about this Mexican take on a Christmas classic at the link in my profile.๐ŸŒฒโ„๏ธ๐Ÿ’ƒ
About to go shoot some cocktails, but first, a selfie in front of this @ironeyeretna. Who knew I could love a wall this much?
Just like @latimesfood and @kcrwevan, I have a "case of the @Ottolenghi s." I just can't stop reaching for Middle Eastern ingredients these days! Today I made roasted root veggies and yogurt spiced with cumin, coriander, and lemon and topped it with cilantro and pomegranate arils. So fresh and clean!
I love breakfast for dinner, so why not dessert for breakfast? Pictured: my apple crostata, pumpkin pie, and @whoanellycaters crisp. Yep, I want all the things.
My feminist icon isn't Beyonce, it's a bruised-up backpacker named Cheryl Strayed, who hiked a huge chunk of the Pacific Crest Trail solo. I hope that her journey that’s portrayed in the new film “Wild” (and maybe the stories of my solo travels, too) can inspire a new generation of fearless female travelers. You can read all about it in my new @LATimes Opinion piece. Link is in my profile.
Had a blast tapping into my inner kid to make these gingerbread A-Frames with @mkretovics and his little Lady J. The question remains: when can we eat them already?!?! (In addition to the whole imagination thing, I also have the patience of a child, apparently.)
Looking for a great gift for your favorite food, travel, or design lover? Check out my holiday gift guide, featuring items like these hilarious, adorably lettered goodies from @emilymcdowell_. Link is in my profile.
I made this delicious bourbon spiced persimmon bread inspired by @davidlebovitz @bonappetitmag and @beardfoundation using one of my favorite -- and oft misunderstood -- fall fruits. It'll make a wonderful host gift or addition to your holiday spread. That's a promise, Per Simmons ๐Ÿ˜‰ Recipe link is in my profile.
Rainy day ramen @jinyaramenbar. Tonkotsu assari with pork broth, chashu, green onions, seasoned egg, spicy bean sprouts and thick noodles. Usually I go for the black but this is officially my new fave!
Makin it rain Parmesan on top of my rainy day lunch -- comforting, creamy polenta with slow roasted cherry tomatoes. Bring on the sweatpants and snuggling!
Rainy day eats after buying our tree: curried butternut squash and sweet potato soup topped with yogurt, cilantro and chile and a side of mulled wine. It's FINALLY feeling like winter and I'm loving it! ๐Ÿทโ˜”๏ธ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿฒ๐Ÿ’ƒ
My first time at archery. Guess you could call me Katniss. Someone PLEASE take me hunting! #thehungrygames  cc @evashockey @daidue
Believe it or not, the best thing I drank in Austin wasn't a craft cocktail or a local beer-- tho I did have my fair share of great ones! -- it was this incredible Kosmic Kombucha. The tropical pineapple and coconut flavors in the Groovy Green are juuust the right amount of sweet, plus you get a bonus shot of goodness from the wheatgrass! Also loved their Salty Dog with grapefruit, lime, orange, salt, and agave. I am SO needing to mainline this after yesterday's massive Thanksgiving feast!
Another Austin highlight was the cocktails and bar bites at Pulutan @quiaustin. My fave was the Filipino kinilaw -- a bright, tropical yellowtail ceviche made with hearts of palm, coconut milk, cilantro, red onion, lime, chiles, and coconut vinegar. I was so inspired by the unique, sweet acidity of the coco vinegar that I just ordered some and can't WAIT to cook with it at home! Further proof that coconuts are the superior fruit...and that Austin is a great food city. (Photo via @quiaustin) #discoveramerica #foodstoriesusa
Had an amazing time checking out @keithkreeger's stunning studio in Austin. He does earthenware for big dogs like @quiaustin @giadadelaurentiis @olamaieaustin and @uchiaustin. I swooped up some of these matte black and gold beauties (+ a few others from his super talented apprentice Eliana Bernard) and can't WAIT to play with them in the kitchen back home! Yay, new toys!!! #discoveramerica #foodstoriesusa
The fried chicken Sunday supper at Dai Due is going down as one of my top meals of the year for sure! Their succulent yogurt marinated/wet brined fried chicken with crispy, savory breading is so frickin finger lickin good. And those jalapeño butter pickles need to be jarred and sold, stat. Plus they serve local tipples like my new fave, a super rare, elegantly floral IPA from Lone Pint called Yellow Rose. Jesse and Tamara are KILLING IT and have really created something special -- a true Texas gem. (Photo via @daidue) #discoveramerica #foodstoriesusa
Big ol' beef ribs, mac n cheese, green beans, pickles and a Lone Star consumed to the tunes of the great Johnny Cash -- as it should be when in you're Texas. #discoveramerica #foodstoriesusa #TLTransportMe
Migas, chorizo, and Wrangler breakfast tacos at Torchy's, plus an epic game of ping pong with @mkretovics. Austin, you are GOOD. Keep it up and you're gonna have yourself a repeat customer! #discoveramerica #foodstoriesusa
Straight off the plane to Austin, we stopped by the incredible La Barbecue. Thankfully it was pouring rain so there was still 'que and free keg beer left at 5 pm -- a miracle for this insanely popular spot. Pitmaster John Lewis just happened to be around stoking the smoker, and he took some time to show us around, talk shop, share some off the radar restaurant recs -- and couple shots of Fireball. Couldn't ask for a warmer welcome to Texas! #discoveramerica #foodstoriesusa
I’m celebrating a Great Big Birthday today, and can’t help but reflect on the blessings life’s brought me: the incredible places I’ve been; the seemingly insurmountable walls I've hit but found the courage to climb; and the loving friends and family that have been there through it all. Instead of being overcome with the fear of getting “old,” I'm excited to see what experiences the future has to offer, what new people will cross my path, and how they will shape me into the woman I will become. From where I stand, it's not about getting older, it's about getting closer to Greatness.

2 Responses to “Scottsdale, AZ: A Food-Filled City That’s Not Just For Snowbirds”

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