Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two "Dishes" and Food Too!

My oldest daughter flew in for a visit with us on Sunday.  Whenever one of our kids arrive my wife heats up the stove and begins cooking all of their favorite childhood meals.  And since my kids are half Vietnamese it is Vietnamese fare which take center stage.

However, this time we have chosen to eat the dinner meals at home and venture out to some of Phoenix's star restaurants in order to sample other great local foods.

Yesterday, we took our daughter to the Rio Mirage Mexican Restaurant in Surprise, Arizona.  My wife, not a huge fan of Mexican food, never the less, joined in the festivities and ordered a Taco.  My daughter had the Beef Machaca and Enchilada combo, complete with creamy refried beans and rice.  I had the Taco/Beef Enchilada combo with rice and beans as well.

This little gem of a restaurant provided superb service, attractive and colorful decor and some mighty tasty food.   Their homemade Salsa and chips were fresh and crisp and the salsa had just the right "bite" to add zest to the chips as well as cover for our main dish.  The Spanish rice was light and fluffy with the perfect blend of spices.  The beans, prepared with lard, were devilishly creamy and tasty and added just the right mix for the wonderful tacos and enchiladas.

Since we were there on Margarita Mondays Rio Mirage offered icy frozen Margaritas for .99 cents each.  We had no yen for drinking at lunch time but did admire the generous drinks being served to others and several parties seemed to be having a great ole lunch time fiesta, including a group of ten or twelve senior ladies who were dining when we arrived and were still there as we departed.  The restaurant does seem to be a local favorite and we could certainly see why.

The decor was colorful and bright and everyone we encountered on staff had a bright smile and cheerful hello and goodbye for us.

Please note the second pic; we polished off our meal by sharing a fried ice cream that proved to be a luxurious climax to a great meal.  Cradled in a deep fried taco shell was a huge scoop of frozen ice cream, topped with a honey and coconut sauce that was truly decadent.

So, after following our stomachs out the door, we groaned and crawled back into the car and headed home for a civilized afternoon siesta to allow proper digestion of a great Mexican meal.

Tomorrow we're headed out early for a factory tour of the half century old Cerrita's Candy Factory, a tourist favorite, then out to Scottsdale to see how the Arizona tourists live during their warm winter interludes in the desert.  After sating our curiosity we've scheduled a stop at a newly opened Toffee Candy store, then on to a "Arizona Check Please" favorite, an Asian restaurant called "Noodle Ranch", located just on the "working man fringes" of upscale Scottsdale.

Stay tuned readers.  I'll be keeping you updated on our culinary adventures this week!


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