5 Things I Will Never Eat or Drink Again

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[puamelia] via Flickr
For every year that my palate matures, two more bad experiences come to my plate. Though most of us would not claim to be picky eaters, we have to admit we've all suffered some form of culinary trauma. Like any sour encounter of my life, my best is not to forgive but to forget. But until I reach the ripe old age where my taste buds and sense of smell start to diminish, these five foods (and drinks) will remain on my black list.


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I Drank Something Called "Dank-Dank" at Songbird Coffee and It Was Even Awesomer Than It Sounds

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind


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Zaida Dedolph
The Dank-Dank; fun to say, fun to drink.

For this week's Grind column, I decided to walk into a coffee shop I had never been to, ask for a recommendation, and review it. This was clearly the best decision I have ever made, because it led me to discover the Dank-Dank (pronounced Daynk-Uh-Daynk). This secret off-menu gem is a Songbird Coffee original that is sure to delight coffee snobs and novices alike.


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Helpings Cafe in Phoenix Serves Good Food and Opportunities

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
Helpings Cafe teaches job skills to homeless individuals.

Since April, Valley residents have been eating for a good cause at Arizona's largest homeless shelter.

Helpings Cafe is located at UMOM New Day Centers on Van Buren Street, where trainees from the shelter go through a six- or nine-week training program to gain work experience.


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Is Manta Ray the New White Meat?

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
The cahuamanta taco came loaded with seafood and a strong ocean scent.

You've handled street tacos, maybe even Sonoran hot dogs from a cart in the parking lot of a random business. Menudo, pozole, we've all been there and done that. A feeling of accomplishment might set in knowing that you've tackled these "foreign" dishes from Mexico.

Well, the beauty of this "foreign" cuisine is that Mexican food will never get a yawn out of you because of the vastness and variety. Enter cahuamanta. Our first thought was, "How do you even pronounce that properly?" and then, "What?" Trying exotic dishes is always a thrill coupled with uncertainty, so we braced ourselves.

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The Arizona Burrito: We Found It in California

Categories: Chow Bella

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Katie Johnson
French fries, carne asada -- the Arizona burrito has it all.
Look, we'll be the first to admit that filling a burrito with french fries could hardly be described as avant-garde or gourmet. In truth, it holds about as much culinary merit as the cronut, the quesarito, or the ramen burger. Still, we couldn't help but get slightly giddy at the summer discovery of a potato-packed concoction known as the Arizona burrito.

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5 Best Places in Metro Phoenix for Shaved Ice

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
The BRM from Bahama Buck's is good and cold.

Banana splits and sundaes are so last year. Now it's all about the shaved ice. Choosing one or more flavors for whatever mood you may be in, topped with a splash of cream couldn't be sweeter. Go for the fruit flavors if you're craving that refreshing taste, or birthday cake or cotton candy flavors if the sweet tooth kicks in.

And if you can't release your grip on that pint of ice cream, add a scoop of ice cream to your shaved ice. Here are our five favorite places to score a heap of shaved ice in metro Phoenix.


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10 Signs Your Server Doesn't Suck

Categories: Chow Bella

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Carrie Wheeler
Your server doesn't need superpowers to give great service.
Anyone who has dined in a restaurant has some notion of what good service is, and many of us have horror stories that illustrate what it definitely isn't. Whether you're having drinks at your favorite dive bar or dining at a five-star restaurant, here are ten easy ways to tell your server cares.

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7 Ways to Dine with Your Pet in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Katie Johnson
Admit it-- you've probably tried to bring your dog to a restaurant before
When some of us go out to eat, we'd rather see an animal on our plate than under the dinner table. But more and more, it's common to see pets at restaurants. So just when is this acceptable in Phoenix, and when isn't it? We dug to find out more. Here are 7 ways to dine with your pet in metro Phoenix.

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Homemade Tortillas at Menuderia Guanajuato on McDowell in Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
Menuderia Guanajuato is humble outside with homemade Mexican inside.

Menuderia Guanajuato has stood in the same location between auto shops for years on McDowell Road near 24th Street. It's a humble building with no fancy artwork or signage outside. In fact, the only element that causes the building to stand out is the lime green paint and the iron bars covering the entrance and the window. Other than that, it's hard to tell whether the restaurant is even in business.

No hours are posted anywhere, and the only indication of an operating restaurant are the few cars parked in front and toward the back, near the kitchen.

It's worth stepping inside.

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Tacos Sahuayo vs. Tacos Chava: Taco Truck Take Down

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Natalie Miranda
Tacos from Tacos Sahuayo truck on McDowell Road.

Taco trucks serve up some of the best tacos we've had, and it's always a thrill to pull up to a random truck and scope their menu to see what they have that the last truck didn't have.

Phoenix has a seemingly endless supply to choose from for those late-night cravings for fresh Mexican food. We took on two trucks in the Valley, Tacos Sahuayo and Tacos Chava, to compare which one serves up the best food.

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