Erin Forney's Perfect Food Day
Erin Forney grew up the daughter of a butcher in Michigan. She's been in Phoenix since 2005 and has been "a food lover since birth." She documents her food adventures on her blog Food Tramp Diaries. While she does have the hereditary love of food and writes about it, she's looking to make a career in nursing as she's currently student at Mesa Community College. She's already jump started her care-taking skill development since becoming a wife and having three children. With so many commitments, she rarely gets a break or a night out, but when she does find that sliver of time, she snags her friends to listen to her vocal talents on the karaoke machine. While she can't imagine finding the time to make this day actually happen, she imagines where she'd dine if a free day were to fall into her lap.
Photo courtesy Erin Forney
Here's Erin Forney's perfect food day:
Breakfast: That is a toss up between the peaceful patio at Arcadia Farms or the family friendly brunch at Café Zuzu, so let's include them both! Arcadia Farms is the perfect place to take my daughter for a little one-on-one time. It has beautiful indoor or outdoor seating and they pride themselves in using only organic sustainable foods. We absolutely love their strawberry shortcake. The strawberry shortcake was homemade even down to the strawberry studded biscuit. It had copious amounts of sliced strawberries with smooth vanilla yogurt and whipped cream.
Photos courtesy Erin Forney Front view of Arcadia Farms Cafe / Strawberry Shortcake from Arcadia Farms Cafe
At Café Zuzu, where Sean Currid is at the helm cooking up extraordinary American comfort food, you have many yummy choices on their brunch menu. It's all delicious, but my main concern is Sean's cheesy grits, they are amazingly delicious. So much so, that I asked him a couple years back if I could go into the kitchen and learn how to make them. Would you like to know his secret? Shhhh...I'll tell you, it's mascarpone cheese!
Photo courtesy Erin Forney Cheese Grits from Cafe Zuzu
Lunch: Chicken Curry Noodles at Lemongrass Thai Café. There is simply nothing in the world like these noodles, even in 110 degree weather. Even in steep desert temps, I will get in my car and drive from Fountain Hills to Tempe to get my fix. Yes, I said fix because this comforting Thai soup is an addiction that I will never kick. Imagine a creamy, thin, brothy, spicy, chicken noodle soup. Next, imagine incredible flavor with raw red onion slices, thin sliced chicken, homemade noodles, and a panang broth. This is fill your soul, curl up on your couch, feel good food. I order it spicy and get a Thai Iced Tea to drink as a refreshing cool down from the heat of the curry. Think the lime wedge on top is just useless decoration? Don't set that baby aside; it is crucial in the final flavor of the dish. The lime gets squeezed all over the top of these curry noodles that adds the perfect zing to the creamy spicy broth. I drive 28 miles round trip from Fountain Hills about every two weeks, just to get my noodles on. They are heavenly every single time. I LOVE Lemongrass Thai Cafe.
Photo courtesy Erin Forney Lemongrass Thai Cafe's Chicken Curry Noodles
Snack: Since my perfect food day spans from Tempe to Scottsdale, it is inevitable that I would be stopping home in Fountain Hills between lunch and dinner. For snack I would head to Senor Taco's drive thru and get a simple bean and cheese tostada. They make their beans in house and they have it down to a science, a delicious one at that. It's a super crispy tostada shell topped with homemade beans and melty cheese. You have a nutritious, slightly naughty snack that tastes great. Senor Taco has 5 other Valley locations to serve you wherever you are. They have a salsa bar where you can grab a mild sidekick, or hot, whatever your taste. I always get the same, the salsa verde, it is the best!
Dinner: Anything from FnB's menu. Braised leeks if they are in season and always butterscotch pudding. Two years ago, when my friend J. E. Pizzaro from Foodies Like Us posted a picture on his Facebook page of the now infamous braised leeks, I knew I was destined to dine there. I called him up immediately and asked him when he wanted to go to FnB again. We were cozied up to the bar the following week about to eat my first of many orders of braised leeks. Most people know by now that Charleen Badman is a culinary genius with vegetables, and this dish even takes it to another level. You have the perfectly braised leeks, with house made mozz melted all over it, mustard breadcrumbs, and a crispy over easy fried egg. I don't know if much can top this for me...oh wait, her butterscotch pudding comes close! With homemade whipped cream and fresh grated nutmeg, this is pudding ten times better than your grandma will ever make.