Sunday, January 27, 2008

Phoenix Art Museum - Art Museum Cafe

We went to the Phoenix Art Museum as soon as it was open to see the Illuminated Manuscripts. This was highly recommended by my sister, as she had seen it in Texas. Watching the video is a must, just so that you can understand what you are seeing. The museum explains it better than I can, so check out the link.

Of course, we had to go to lunch. The Art Museum Cafe houses Arcadia Farms. Well known for healthy and tasty foods, we sampled quite a variety. The descriptions on their menu best describe it below.

STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD ($13) with grilled chicken, vine-ripened strawberries, toasted almonds and mixed baby greens with poppyseed vinaigrette.

HERB ROASTED CHICKEN ($12) with slow-roasted chicken, oven-cured tomatoes, roasted artichokes, baby spinach and herb goat cheese spread on a warm baguette.

We had coffee and tea but were too full to have desert. By the way, the service was a little slow. I guess that you are supposed to pace yourself and not be in a hurry.

I had never thought of going to the museum early (10 AM) on Sunday morning and staying for lunch but this was very nice. AND we noticed that the gardens outside of the museum had great rocks for cooking Japanese food (see the entry from a few weeks ago regarding cooking at your table on rocks.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Middle of Death Valley

Elizabeth and Beth walking at the lowest point on the California Highway, in Death Valley. Beautiful vistas and incredible landscape. The drop from the mountains to the valley is breathtaking (with many thanks for strong breaks.) Initially we were going to only go as far as the "Welcome to Death Valley" National Park sign, but hey, once you are this far you might as well go the distance. Kalen walked out to the salt flats, just to check out what was really there since it all looks like water. It was salt!

May the journey be quick because we don't want to get stuck here.

To our surprise, there is a resort and also a restuarant in the middle of the drive. We had burgers and BBQ chicken and it was very good. We were starving! AND I think that we were all releaved to find food. We forgot our snacks...


Rhyolite is a ghost town a few miles outside of the Death Valley park entrance, on the road from Beatty, Nevada. We stayed, believe it or not, for about two hours. This is a fun little town to walk through and the photography was delightful. I imagine that it is easier to visit in the winter due to the heat. There are no food places on site, but there is a restroom.

The site has been maintained by the Bureau of Land Management since 1990. Fred and Betty were the hosts and they did a great job describing the town, its rapid growth, and sudden downfall. They are shown here on the front porch of Tom Kelley's Bottle House, a residence made entirely out of beer bottles. This is recycling at its finest!

This railroad car was also converted into a home and looked quite cozy. There was a railroad line to the town, and even a fancy railroad station.

I think that someone said that the railroad station was later turned into a casino (what a surprise!) This is about the best that you could have for a photo, as the chain link fence was guarding it.

If you find this interesting, go to the town website. There is a lot of town history and old and new photographs. It may even be intrigueing enough to get you to take a day trip when you are visiting Las Vegas. I would recommend going in the early morning and working with dramatic light for your photos.

On the outskirts of town is the home of the late Belgian artist Albert Szukalski and some of his works. The site is called the Gold Well Open Air Museum and has a number of very interesting works.

See more

Monday, January 14, 2008


Left very early this morning to take Mom and her sister to visit Nevada. Smooth drive and an easy ride started the several days off well.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Coco, Angelo

Goodies by Angelo

FĂȘte - Chez Coco

Happy Birthday to Coco and her mother. This afternoon Garden Tea party was a delightful event with wonderful teas, coffee and BYOB wines. The food was excellent [more photos later].

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Indian New Delhi

Mom and I decided to try Indian food for dinner tonight. The Indian Delhi Palace is on McDowell Road in Phoenix, about a mile from my home. This photo shows the outside. We wanted to make sure that the man in the matching red turban was in the photo. He's on the porch above the sign.

Mom has never eaten Indian food, and she was wide open to anything as long as it wasn't spicy hot. We looked at the menu and decided on an all inclusive meal.

We selected their Non-Vegetarian Complete dinner including Papadum (delicate indian wafers, mildly spiced), Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Curry (traditional Indian Chicken prepared with special spices), Daal Maharani (Split Lentils cooked to a thick soup with herbs and spices), Basmati Rice, Naan (Indian style leavened bread), Raita (cool whipped yogurt with bits of cucumber, tomato and potato and a sprinkle of spices), Desert, Chutney and Tea. There were four choices for desert and we selected Gulab Jamun (Two juicy balls made from cream of milk) in honey, and Kheer (Basmati Rice Pudding sprinkled with Almonds and Pistachio).

Tandoori Chicken - Chicken marinated in yogurt and mild spices, cooked in its own juices over red hot charcoals, roasted in the Tandoor (Special clay oven imported from India) to a crisp, tender copper brown, with onion.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Zuppa's Bistro and Sweet Thang

Zuppa's Bistro and Sweet Thang are two different establishments, sharing a space. Zuppa's prepares Italian food, focusing on soup, "the ultimate comfort food." Visit the blog at to read Linda Wieczorek's comments about her restaurant and see some wonderful recipes.

This is a new place in the area and I've watched them with interest for a month or so, always intending to stop by. I was running short on time for lunch, so dropped by to see what they had. I was pleasantly surprised. Linda's "Zuppa's Bistro" has a wide variety of soups. I had stuffed shells. A cup of soup accompanies every entree, but I think that there will be days when I will want a bowl of soup and her yummy garlic bread.

Michelle of Sweet Thang made some Cafe au Lait and shared a sample of her special rum cake. Very tasty. She has a full variety of goodies and cupcakes.

Good luck, Ladies. My only wish is that I could place one order when I was in there. I've not been there when it was crowded, so I don't know how the meal at one counter, and coffee at another, will work. I'll give it a try during lunch hour and let you know how it goes.

[more photos...later]

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Taneko Japanese Tavern

My mother Jane is visiting from Pittsburgh. She will be in Phoenix for about three weeks. Join us on our travels!

Taneko Japanese Tavern was suggested by Kalen. It is in Scottsdale and is owned by the people who own PF Changs and Pei Wei. We decided to give it a try as it is something different than anything on our list.

We started off with
Hot Rock* you sear it
Japanese Yellowtail $10 and
American Kobe Beef $14

This was quite interesting and it was a good thing that Kalen knew how to do this, as we would have been quite clueless. The rock was heated extremely hot, and you placed thin slices of the meet on it to cook. It was served with a variety of sauces and was very tasty.

Mom learned how to use chopsticks and we were both very proud of her! She has a very adventuresome side to her, and this was a good start to her trip. We talked that we were going to have to try a lot of new things during her visit, with a little of the old since we do love our Mexican food.

Here is the bathroom. No report is complete without a little peak at this. Quite fancy. A+ in my book.