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Thread: Moving To Arizona, maybe....

  1. #26
    I'd just say look forward to weekends. You're two hours away from some good ski locations and great camping. Given the population it's also probably not as bad as people make it out to be. There's still going to be any kind of shopping you need in the town, good places to get drinks, etc.

    It's also a great place if you're into golf as there's over 200 courses there. You've also got pro sports teams, etc.

    Not my place because I'm more of a cold weather person (I was the nutjob skiing at 10,000 feet in the middle of the polar vortex), but if you don't mind heat it probably won't be that bag.


    Heywood, you might get a kick out of this:


  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    "Tony_T" (sorry I am lazy this morning…) Nice clip! I don't watch that show much, but have caught that one before. While there are some snobby attitudes in California (especially around San Francisco), we've got nothing on NYC.

    As for Mexican food in Phoenix, well, I don't agree that all of it is bad. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant, but I was taken to a great place in Scottsdale. It was not a cheap place by any means (about $20 for an entree). The food was more like something from Mexico DF. I haven't been to AZ often, but I have had burritos and tacos at little food joints that were at least as good as the small places in Santa Ana, CA.

    By what standard is all Phoenix Mexican food bad? What is good Mexican food then? Of course not Dell Taco, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Green Burrito, etc. - all of these are fast food and not Mexican. It's not most of the items at sit-down chains either, but at least they use real beef.

    So what is an example of good Mexican food? That can be a challenge to answer because there is no one type of Mexican food. It is a whole lot of different dishes from each region of the country. Food from Merida is very different than La Paz. It's not all just about tortillas, beans, cheese, rice, chile, cumin, and meat. A lot of what is marketed as Mexican food in the USA is nothing of the sort. It is border food than evolved over the past 120 years or so. Much of it was developed by white people. So what? Some of it is really good. Taco Bell, on the other hand, looks and tastes like orange gloop with sawdust, soy, and meat juice.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I remember Tucson mexican food being pretty horrid too, basically normal Mexican dishes BATHED in butter and cheddar cheese. ugh.

    Never been to mexico so I can't talk about "real" Mexican food, but I grew to love the Los Angeles taco trucks. Super cheap and super Mmmmm...

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    Yakoob, many LA and OC trucks serve a sort of Baja California style street food. Lots of grilled chicken, carne asada, carnitas, maybe some tongue (lengua), and other meats. Most of it can be a bit dry, but they then add other things to liven it up. Pinto or black beans, maybe rice, and some lettuce and cilantro. Add in some cheese (jack and cheddar and maybe some Mexican soft and hard white cheeses), sour cream, and some guacamole. Maybe a little pico-de-gallo and/or mild to hot verde or roja salsa. If fish, then a crema suace and cabbage with fried or grilled white fish. That is just a sample of the choices. You have been there and done that.

    OK that stuff is all good, but it is not really Mexican food. It is partially Gringo inspired resort and street food with some Mexican flair.

    Some Mexican food is similar to Mediterranean, A lot of it uses nearly the same spices. Some even is close to Indian food. A whole lot of cultures put their influence into Mexico's cuisine. You've got Spanish, local natives of all types, Portuguese, French, Germans, Americans, among many others. Pollo a la Diabla (super hot red sauce with chicken) is similar to chicken vindaloo, but has smoked paprika. Both were inspired from Iberian people. It shows in the food.

    It sounds like you just do not like Sonoran style Mexican food. That would be the stuff swimming in sauce and covered with melted cheese. Lot's of fried stuff too. If you do not like that sort of casserole type dish, that is really OK. No worries. However, there is more than that available in AZ. Yes, Sonoran style is very common in the area. Look up the 10 worst Mexican joints in Phoenix and you will see plates of goo. Not all Sonoran is like that though, but a lot of the Gringo style of it is. It used to be about the only "Mexican" food available anywhere in the US for decades. There are better alternatives.

    Oh, and that "bathed in butter" part? Most likely it is was lard - pig fat. Yum.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    bjack - interesting, I guess I stand corrected. I always assumed those were more "legit" than the mexican restaurants. Still, I like these tacos much more than the alternatives, especially in Tucson. Except Chipotle. I fully acknowledge its fake Mexican food. but its such good fake Mexican food

    (also now I wanna try more legit stuff - Indian is one of my favorites actually, so it sounds I might like it).

  6. #31
    What Chipotle, Taco Bell, and most "Mexican" restaurants serve isn't actually mexican. It's a style known as "tex mex" that incorporates mexican spices and cooking styles with the agricultural products that come from ranch country:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tex-Mex

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    bjack - interesting, I guess I stand corrected.
    Rock on dude and love the food you love. My goal was not to correct at all. It was to say that there is more than what meets the mouth sometimes. I've been around some parts of Mexico, but I cannot claim at all to be an expert on their food. What I have had is super tasty. I am not a huge fan of seafood, but the Mexican take on it is pretty cool. I love what they do to beef, pork, and chicken. I am not really a fan of birra (goat).

    What is important here is the OP posted he likes Mexican food. I am not privy to his definition of what that means, but considering that he is from Washington, it is probably similar to what will be available at the better places in AZ. He should be pleased, as long as he stays away from the super greasy and cheesy glop.

  8. #33
    Lamb can be good, but I'm with you on goat. I once had the opportunity to try some goat that was freshly killed and cooked by some third world locals and I wasn't particularly impressed. It was very dry, chewey, and what little flavor there was tasted gamey.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    As Andrew Zimmern would say on Bizzare Foods, "It has that lovely mineral taste and that wonderful hint of urea!" I have had goat only a few times (always buffet) and only once did I finish what I took. The worst was Indian curried goat. I guess is was Goa goat Anyway, I have heard it can be carefully prepared and most of the harsh gaminess can be eliminated. I just don't have the guts to try it. Thre is a cool Mexican place I go to for Pollo a la Diabla and they have Birra too. I have thought of ordering it, but chicken out (literally) every time.

    Oh, and to OP, if you do have little kids and move to the outskirts of town, watch out for snakes, bob cats, and cougars (not just hot older women!) If you like to hunt, there are quail everywhere.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by bjack View Post
    As Andrew Zimmern would say on Bizzare Foods, "It has that lovely mineral taste and that wonderful hint of urea!"

    See "gamey".

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    That New York vs. New Jersey video reminds me of Jets fans mocking Giants fans because they played in New Jersey, up until the Jets moved from Shea to the Meadowlands

    I have some family and friends from New York. They're good people, but their world view is not far off the classic New Yorker cartoon:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View_of...rom_9th_Avenue

    Regarding Mexican food, anyone want to share a dish worth seeking out? I've only been exposed to Tex Mex (which I like) and the stuff that's drowning in gloop (which I don't).

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    Google and check out shows and posts from Rick Bayless. He has some wonderful shows about the variety of Mexican food. Don't be too put off when his daughter shows up in his shows and start flirting with him. It is sort of sick, but what the hey… wood. Sorry, I could not resist.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    I didn't realize Rick Bayless was the man behind Frontera. For several years, I was making a bi-weekly trip to David Jones Food Hall in Sydney to buy Frontera salsas at $9 a bottle, because it was the only place I could find decent salsas in Australia.

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    If you have access to chili peppers, you can make your own. I used to make my own super fire hot salsa. I leave out the tomatoes and just use chili peppers, garlic, salt, and vinegar. Bayless has much better recipes. It keeps a long time too. You can make it fresh and use it up, or cook it and can it like jam.

    Something I find funny about world cuisine. Until the new world was discovered, there were no tomatoes in Italy, nor peppers in Asia. Some of the most "ethnic" food in the world is really due to chili and tomatoes making their way out of America. Trade can be a good thing, at least for food.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Well, I'm back living in the US again. So salsas are no problem anymore. And I can get an assortment of dried chilies here to make barbacoa and proper chili con carne, which I was missing in Australia. But good Mexican is still hard to find up here in the Northeast.

    But now I'm really missing pies. And Thai bird's eye chilies.

    At least I can get Australian lamb here.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2011
    Location: Ferrol - Spain
    It's time for you to eat some fish, cabbage and fruit too if you don't want to become a ball of fat due to so many salsas and chilies. Take that!

  17. #42
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Chili con carne isn't necessarily fatty if you use lean meat and don't do stupid things like add cheese etc...

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Yeh and salsas are pretty much fat free as well.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    In truth I have been a terrible eater this winter, and not just barbacoa and chili con carne. For Easter, I made kalbi, duck, lamb chops, and New Orleans BBQ tiger prawns. The weekend before was a big batch of Bolognese. Before that was steak and ale pie made with short ribs. And tonight I'm making Sichuan Twice Cooked Pork.

    I do need to get back to the salsas and fish soon. The weather is starting to warm up, and I've started to gain a bit of weight, so no more comfort food.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Well, I'm back living in the US again. So salsas are no problem anymore. And I can get an assortment of dried chilies here to make barbacoa and proper chili con carne, which I was missing in Australia. But good Mexican is still hard to find up here in the Northeast.
    Or anywhere in the US. The only place I can recall thinking was Really good was this little hole in the wall taco place in Beaver Creek, where the staff can barely even speak english. I got the feeling that the place caters mostly to the immigrant staff that runs most of the hotels for the ski tourists.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Deep inside mediocrity
    Well it's been five years since I decided to move to Arizona. A few things have happened since. When we moved to AZ I didn't have a job. I found a job and was at that job for two years. I bought one of my bucket list cars (Subaru WRX) when I had that job. Then that job really started to suck so I found another job. Now I drive a Subaru Outback. I got a divorce a year ago and I'm finally realizing what a good idea it really was. It wasn't a great idea for my daughter but she's adjusting well.

    I've been on the Facebook dating app scene for a few months and I'm over forty so it pretty much sucks. Trying to date in an area where Jesus comes first on almost every profile, and they all want to do is to go skydiving makes it difficult and annoying to make any connections. I'm from the Pacific Northwest so I'm struggling to fit into a conservative culture except for the guns part. I really like guns and it's so amazingly free here to wield almost any weapon out in the open.

    Cycling in Arizona seems more dangerous than in Washington state because everyone here is old, blind and has the sun in their eyes when driving. Mountain biking isn't much better because even riding slow and just losing balance can result in some nasty wounds.

    I was worried about my daughter going to school in Arizona because of the low school ratings but she's in a really good district and is insanely smart in a lot of ways I never expected.

    So it's not as bad as I expected for the most part. The water sucks but the beer is good.

  22. #47
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I guess any place can be liveable enough if you have a liveable income and aren't part of some hated group. Most people most places are decent and you can find scenes of a good life.

    I'm from Texas, right around where the trees stop and the cacti start, so I always had a kind of attachment to the American southwest, the open horizons, the nice sunsets, the straight highways I can drive fast on, the air of "life free or die" (though not the batshit levels people take that idea). I may have been lucky to be right on the border of it without going full Mojave/Senoran/Chihuahuan Desert though.

    This thread reminds me I haven't heard from Fafhrd in a long time (his profile says since 2017). I liked the guy.

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