Friday, August 12, 2005

Arizona dreamin'

The above image is what people typically think of Arizona, like people are still going to work by horse-and-carriage and we all eat rattlesnake soup.

Not me. I'm a city boy.

It's weird how much you can loathe a place and still miss it. This is not your normal homesickness, though. I do not miss the excessive heat or the sprawling brown desert floor. I do not ache to see cacti or burnt orange-and-purple sunsets.

What I miss about Arizona is more ... stomach oriented:

- Whataburger, with it's out-of-the-garden tomatoes slapped onto a freshly-fried burger slathered in mustard, long, crispy fries, and icy milkshakes that keep the foreign chocolate slave laborers in business.

- Filiberto's, the only place on the planet where I've ever been able to get a quality shredded beef chimichanga at 3 a.m. in the morning. Their pico de gallo is respectable, and their prices reflect they are probably laundering money for the Mexican Mafia.

- Los Dos Molinos, who makes the hottest Mexican food ever created. Your local Mexican food establishment spices things up with gringo jalapenos. Los Dos goes straight for the habaneros. To explain this scientifically, the average jalapeno rates about a 10,000 on the Scoville heat index; a habanero can hit 300,000, and the hottest pepper ever recorded was a habanero that hit 577,000. It will make you cry and probably beg for mercy. It will blind you just by handling it and rubbing your eyes. But it's good. How good? President Clinton had some on the way to LA one time, and made a Air Force One plane trip back to Sky Harbor every West Coast trip thereafter. That would qualify as a five-star drive-thru, I believe.

- Macayo's, with an excellent baja sauce (cream cheese/jalapeno sauce). Also with some of the better deep fried ice cream, as well as chocolate chimis.

I can't wait to unload Sept. 3 at my parent's house so I can hit one of these fine eating establishments. These are best served after a spring training game in March. I'll be about 15 minutes from HoHoKam Park, long-time spring training home of the Cubs. (The PyroManiac, your average misguided Cubs fan, is welcome to visit, but he has to buy dinner).

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