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Jan 20, 2009 07:29 AM

Quintessential "Arizona" food / sandwich? Beer?

Hello All - you've never let me down before, so back I come:
For Superbowl, we serve what we are told is THE sandwich from each team's city (or state, if need be). Searching the board yesterday, I found only one reference to Arizona's quintessential meal - the chimichanga!? If that's it, so be it... but I figure one of you out there has the real deal.. so please share.

We've got Pittsburgh covered.
So, it's Iron City beer and the Primanti Brothers sandwich vs.: _____?_____

Please note - we prefer not to do chili, wings, x-layer dips etc... but a soup (southwestern corn / tortilla etc) would be OK.

Oh - and is there a good beer from AZ that's available in the midwest?

Help a fella out, huh?


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  1. Beer -- I'd say Four Peaks Kilt Lifter. It's the best known brew from the Phoenix Metro Area's best known brewery.

    Sandwich -- That's tougher. Maybe a navajo taco? Does that count as a sandwich?

    Or maybe you could claim it's one of excellent sandwiches from Pane Bianco, owned by Chris Bianco, a James Beard award winner:

    2 Replies
    1. re: silverbear

      I agree with the navajo taco. It's as close as you're going to get to an obviously Arizona sandwich. You can cheat on making frybread by picking up the biscuits in a tube from your grocer's fridge case, patting the biscuits so they're thin in the middle and about 1/4 inch thick on the edge, and frying in hot (375 degree) oil.

      1. re: silverbear


        As always, good calls.

        Now, the chimi is not a bad choice either. While I have heard disputes on its origin, the most logical (to me) claim is from Macayo. Maybe fodder for another thread?

        Now, I would also include the Callaghan Buena Suerte Cuvée from Elgin/Sonoita, AZ, as the "state wine." Maybe I am just a wino, or maybe I just know my Colorado beers, ales, stouts and porters better, than their AZ counterparts.

        Help me here. Is Harvey's "wineburger," a PHX concoction? Sometimes I get confused between Denver (home of the cheesburger) and AZ. Guess I spent more years in the former.


      2. Since you seem ok to the idea of "Arizona" (as opposed to just Phoenix metro), how about a Sonoran Hot Dog?

        4 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          thats a good one too - since i think the concept of fry bread taco's might not just be native to az, i think the sonoran hot dog might come pretty close...

          1. re: ipsedixit

            sonoran hot dog with a cave creek chili beer? :D

            1. re: azhotdish

              Ah, the Chili Beer. Had not thought about that. Shortly after I moved to the Valley of the Sun, I picked up a few 6-packs, and stuck them in the wine cellar. I kinda' liked these, up in Cave Creek. Well, mine sat in the cool dark for a good long while. Friends came down and I served up some of these guys. Let me just say that six months in the cellar really exacerbated the chili. No one was left standing! Just serve it "fresh," or be ready to pay the consequences.


            2. re: ipsedixit

              While the Sonoran Hot Dog may not be truly a Zonie dish, it would be a perfect foil for the Pittsburgh sandwich.

              In case OP doesn't know what that dog is like, it is a bacon wrapped dog, usually cooked on a grill over coals or woodfire, usually served with your choice of condiments including:

              kechup, mustard, mayo or crema, grilled onions, diced onions, chopped tomatoes, pickled jalapeno slices, green sweet pickle relish, sauteed mushrooms, etc

            3. Re: Beer. I'll second the Four Peaks Kiltlifter mention. It's by far the most widely available local beer. Unfortunately, I'm not sure they (or any AZ brewer for that matter) is yet distributed outside of the state (I'm not counting the truly awful Crazy Ed's Chili Beer you might find around the country). You may need to cozy up to a friend here to ship you some.

              1. Thanks to all so far - while we hadn't planned on serving dogs/burgers, the Sonoran Dog does sound scrumptious, and I agree that it's a good foil to the Primanti sammich.

                I'm having a hard time about the beer - any other suggestions? So far, the ones listed aren't available here.

                Also - what about a dessert? Anything special??

                4 Replies
                1. re: 3dArtGuy

                  Hmm...for a dessert, you might just try for something generically "Southwestern" like flan, , sopapillas with honey and ice cream, or some combination of chiles and chocolate (e.g., chipotle- or ancho-spiced brownies, chile-chocolate ice cream). If you're feeling particularly ambitious, you could try making dessert tamales (tamales dulces).

                  Even though prickly pear cacti grow all across the Southwest, prickly pear-based sweets seem a little more specifically Arizonan to me. I guess this is because I've never seen any commercially produced prickly pear sweets that were made outside of AZ. Anyway, you could try incorporating prickly pear syrup into something sweet. I don't have anything particular in mind, but you might be able to find some ideas online.

                  FWIW, Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson sells a chile brownie mix:

                  and various prickly pear products:

                  It's hard to think of an Arizona beer that might have distribution as far away as the Midwest, so I can't offer any help there. Other than the breweries already mentioned the only semi-major ones I can think of are Nimbus and Oak Creek, and I don't think either of them distributes outside of the state.

                    1. re: 3dArtGuy

                      I think the Navajo tacos would work well as a "burrito bar" type setup, as everyone prefers different toppings and they don't age all that well once they're assembled.

                      I like the chile-chocolate dessert ideas and the dessert tamales. You could also make sundaes with ice cream (maybe cinnamon?) drizzled with dulce de leche, on top of a chile-chocolate brownie. If you're really ambitious and have a family member who doesn't mind cooking during the game, perhaps fried ice cream (one of my childhood favorites at Phoenix area Mexican restaurants). Or, if you decide to make Navajo tacos, it would be easy to make sopapillas at the same time. Again, none of these are exclusively Arizonan, but they are Southwestern.

                      The beer question is a tough one, our beers are good but local. Unfortunately Colorado may be the closest you can get to AZ; Avery and New Belgium beers are widely distributed, and stores with a better selection may have Oskar Blues or Ska. Or you could always have Mexican beers.

                      1. re: 3dArtGuy

                        I'm not sure where you are but you might try seeing if BevMo can ship you Four Peaks.... It's not listed on thier website, but they do sell it at thier Tempe store. Maybe they could transfer some to your local BevMo for pick up?