Saturday, April 6, 2013

Food

Things in the southwest are a little different than where I grew up in the northeast. Aside from the weather (which is the primary reason I decided to get my ass out here) there are a laundry list of additional differences. The extreme heat impacts housing style, design, and placement. Speed limits are much higher due to expanded width of all roads (and to quote Tyson Nash “I don’t mind that a bit.”). The Farmer’s market can run all year. The food out here is delicious but some staples of the northeast diet are harder to find as agreeable to my biased palate.

Of course I’m talking about pizza, subs, and Chinese food. All of my former favorites in Boston are now some of my least favorites out here. But try to get that good a steak, veggies that fresh, or decent (authentic) Mexican food in Boston and you’ll know why the southwest has its own flavors that make it great.

So when Matt texted me a week or so ago to say he bought himself lunch and had “the best steak and cheese sub ever” I was of course skeptical. In my mind the best steak and cheese I’ve ever had was from this hole in the wall place in Lynn, MA. I can’t remember the name of the spot – Angelina’s is coming to mind? – but that hardly matters. I could still drive there if dropped in Lynn; I still drool for their subs sometimes.

Now before I go on any further I should probably explain that sub is short for submarine sandwich. AKA grinder, hoagie, hero. Every place in the United States seems to have their own term for this 6-12” bread receptacle of deliciousness.

In Phoenix they’re usually hoagies but I’ll likely never stop calling it a sub. Some things are ingrained from birth; personality traits. And when I looked at the menu for this local spot Matt raved about, Corleone’s (a small chain of four locations), only to see their carbohydrate vessel referred to as a ‘hoagie’ it put me even more on the defensive.

But then the other night Matt picked up a couple subs from this place and I was instantly transported to a crappy table in Villa Pizza (the original location thank you very much). In my head I was sitting in a sub shop in Boston. I was eating one of the best steak and cheese subs I’ve ever had.

Not the best (like I said above) but I’d for sure rate these guys in the top five ever.

Now, if Phoenix could just import their water from Boston and convince one or two of the guys from Bianchi’s to move here with one of the original pizza baking ovens I would know without a shadow of a doubt that Phoenix is heaven on earth.

Posted for April 2013 A to Z Blog Challenge F is for Food

25 comments:

Karen said...

Know what you mean! Wish I could get some authentic Mexican food up here!

Launna said...

I love subs but like you, I am particular... I don't just like anything...

So, no good Chinese food in Arizona? I do love my Chinese food... lol

However; I do think that the Mexican food might make up for it... :)

Chris said...

Steak and cheese in the desert? Lol, now I've heard everything. But yeah, food (and its lingo) is definitely regional. It was quite a culture shock to learn how many things I took for granted in CT are unheard of in NJ. Like fried dough. And you can't get good seafood in North Jersey. South Jersey, maybe. I'll have to check someday.

Maybe ketchup on a hot dog is a NE thing, too?

Joan said...

Katie and Scott miss the Mexican food from out here, but they also miss the pizza from around here. lol

Rob-bear said...

Subway, which has spots all across Canada, has great sandwiches. And the nice thing is that, no matter where you are, they're same. And if you ant something different from last time, there are lots of options.

When I graduated from university, we moved more than half a continent away from the home where I grew up. Things were, and are, different "out west."

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting

Pam Margolis said...

tell you what: i'll bring you a philly cheese steak when i'm come visit. is that close enough?

Dana Martin said...

Love your description of Phoenix and Southwest living! As a California native, I can attest to the Mexican food out here. My stomach is growling just thinking of it.

As for this very enjoyable blog, I laughed out loud at this: 6-12” bread receptacle of deliciousness.

Nice!!! Have a great day and I'm looking forward to G.

Dana
Waiter, drink please!


J. Lenni Dorner said...

Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !
@JLenniDorner

LOL. I love the food in Boston. How do you make do without the clam chowder (chow-da)?

Jocelyn Rish said...

I'm from South Carolina and have always referred to those cigar-shaped sandwiches as subs. I guess it's like the brown carbonated beverages - a coke to me no matter what the brand but soda or pop in other places. Language is funny.

Best of luck with the A to Z challenge,
Jocelyn

Kathe W. said...

wow I dont think I have ever had a sub. Tacos ? Oh yeah! I'll have to see if anyone has them up here in the mountains of Northern California!
Have a great Sunday!

Almost Precious said...

Jenn, glad you found a place that delivers a great facsimile of your favorite Northeastern sub - certainly makes life that much more enjoyable.
As far as the Southwestern cuisine goes it is hard to beat the area for its superb Mexican fare . . . Borracho bean soup, chicken verde, beef chimichangas . . . sigh !

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

It was the same in Boston, never knew real Mexican until coming out here!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I used to judge sub shops in Boston on their ability to make 2 kinds of subs - tuna and pastrami. If they did those well then it was a sure bet they did just about anything else really good too. Haven't found great Chinese yet but I'll keep searching :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Trust me I was surprised too but damn if it wasn't delicious! I'm surprised that there is such a difference between CT & NJ considering their proximity. No fried dough? Now that's just criminal. No ketchup on dogs in NJ either? Oh man I couldn't live with that. Ketchup & mustard must be on a hot dog for it to be edible. Bloody savages around there huh?

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I guess its what people get used to in their region huh? Funny how that works, maybe its why we all make a point to travel back to our original area at times? I mean of course aside from the family & friend visits :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I do enjoy Subway but sometimes I want that greasy grill and thick roll experience and Subway just won't do :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

It depends Pam, are we talking steak with Cheese-wiz or provolone? Because the Cheese-Wiz thing makes me a little nervous.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Me too Dana, I'm growing even more hungry just reading all these comments haha. Thanks so much & happy to provide a chuckle :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Oh I hadn't even thought of chowdah...must plan trip back soon!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yeah I have enjoyed getting to know the regional dialect and the subtle nuances that come along with living someplace new. Thanks & hope you're enjoying the challenge too!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Not sure what they'd be called in NoCal, maybe hoagie or hero, but on a cheat day its one of my go-to staples of my American diet. Let me know if you find one & what you think!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

OMG chimis are my favorite out here. The pastry is light and fluffy but just stable enough to hold like a pound of meat. A little guacamole and pico and its like heaven on a plate. I'm so going out for Mexican today lol. Never tried the bean soup but I bet its amazing. Will have to add that to my list of musts thanks!

Jak Cryton said...

When I lived in AZ a lot of my co-workers were Hispanic. They were really big on sharing their lunches with each other and everyone else. It was great authentic Mexican food. Miss that. Even if they did tell me it was all sort of random/scary meat of origin :)

Remember to say "food" or I may think you are going out to eat a person!

Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I guess that's true, Mexican food, not Mexican!

People in some places eat squirrel, dog, cat, horse, etc...not on my worst day do any of those sound appealing but then I think, who was the first person to try cow, pig, chicken? Reminds me of that saying I used to hear as a kid:

"Don't knock it til you try it, put a little on your plate. Don't make a face before you taste it, some kids think it's great!"

I'm biased against those other meats because in the US we keep them as pets (well maybe except squirrel) but I'm sure in the areas where they're a delicacy people don't think twice. It's on the menu. They eat it. Funny how food can be so regionally specific.

Jak Cryton said...

Hmm I say "don't knock it 'till you try it" a lot :)

Yeah, I think being we keep those things as pets it is a lot harder. Though, I recall when a kid having rabbit, which is technically a common pet. I didn't like it much.

I'd love a pet squirrel!

It is interesting to think about those things. Some people give everything a go (when visiting those other regions/cultures), but I don't think I could do it, all depending.