Joe DiPadova, What Are You Eating?
What'd you eat for dinner last night? Well, I'm up in Taos, N. M. right now, so I ate at a great local Mexican joint called Guadalajara Grill. So good! If I was in Phoenix, probably would have gone to The Cornish Pasty Co. or my new favorite place, St. Francis.
Favorite food: This is really, really difficult for me. I love good food. I guess if I could choose to eat one thing, one ingredient, for the rest of my life it would be farm-fresh raw tomatoes (with salt). But a prepared food or dish? Pasta would be obvious for me, so maybe...fresh Maryland blue crab cakes. My family used to make them fresh when we were in Virginia, and by fresh, I mean there were times they caught the crabs outside and brought them in the kitchen. Nothing like it.
Least favorite food: Fast food. Or eggs anything other than scrambled soft. Can't deal with runny yolks. Or bugs. No rational reason to be eating bugs in my world. I respect if you want to eat them though, have at it.
Favorite dessert: Red velvet cake with not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting, hands-down. La Grande Orange has incredible RVC, my favorite I think. Not the Tammie Coe Cakes cupcakes, but the cake that one of the chefs makes. So worth it. Tammie's apple oatmeal cookies are bomb, though.Favorite local restaurant and meal to order there: Really hard choice for me, I go to different places for different specific dishes I love, and could choose from a certain style or ethnicity, but couldn't choose a general favorite if you put a gun to my head. Well, as I said, St. Francis is my favorite place to go right now--everything is incredibly well done, and most people there are super-friendly. The Cornish Pasty Co. is probably my daily favorite, Matt's Big Breakfast and La Grande for breakfast, though when I want to sit and enjoy a relaxed brunch I love Lon's at the Hermosa. Cowboy Ciao at lunch for my favorite burger (Delux, elements and Matt's Big Breakfast also have awesome burgers), Pizzeria Bianco for pizza over an hour, Cibo for pizza under an hour, Pane Bianco for unquestionably the best sandwiches, Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe for the best Udon (with banana bread!), Shimogamo for best sushi, Khai Hoan for the best pho, love the smoked wings and St. Louis fillet sandwich at Frasher's Steakhouse and Lounge, Los Sombreros for Mexican. Really, I'm just a big fat-ass who loves food and am stoked there are so many great places to eat in Phoenix. I could name many, many more.
Favorite local bar and cocktail to order there: A glass of wine at House of Tricks or Postino, or a Guiness at Casey Moore's.
Favorite thing to cook at home: Fresh homemade pasta or the world's best scrambled eggs. No joke. Test me.
Favorite memory involving food: Dinners with my best friend Nick and our families when we were young. We always had a blast. Food is great, but it's better with those you love.
Recipe or food tip to share: Don't season your eggs until they're done. Don't overseason your pasta sauce (just because you can doesn't mean you should). Only use super-fresh ingredients (why would you want to eat anything else?), and give something new a chance once in awhile. It's what life is all about!