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Unique Foods for a foreigner?

A friend of mine is visiting me from norway. Now she is definitely a meat eater so im trying to find some really good BBQ but im open to just about anything. I'm going to note that Norway is known for their fish so i think that any fish she had hear would probably be disgusting or insulting. Other than that like i said i just want to be able to give a good taste of AZ to someone who may never come here again. I have about two weeks and I'm leaning more towards unique foods that might only be found here but if its delicous im eating it too so i dont care.

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    1. Of regional appeal:

      -- Fry Bread House -- locations in both Central Phoenix & Mesa
      -- Carolina's -- locations in south Phoenix, north Phoenix, and Peoria
      -- Los Dos Molinos -- locations in south Phoenix, Downtown Phoenix, and Mesa
      -- The Stockyards & Durant's -- You may hear arguments that some steakhouses in Scottsdale or the Biltmore area have better steak, but these two are pieces of Phoenix history with meat-centric menus and quite good food.

      I also suggest you defy stereotypes by showing your friend just how good fish in the desert can be -- maybe sushi at Hana Japanese Eatery or a trip to the Salt Cellar. Time to put the "no good fish in the desert" cliche to rest.

      Hana Japanese Eatery
      5524 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

      Salt Cellar Restaurant
      550 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

      Fry Bread House
      802 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ

      1 Reply
      1. We had a Norwegian exchange student for a year. Fish was always her favorite thing to eat in her year here. She particularly loved wild Alaskan Salmon which is available this time of year. She also loved sushi which has been suggested( we typically went ot Sakana as this was before Sushi Ken opened which is where we head now).

        She also loved loved loved corn on the cob which she had never had before(Sprout and Whole Foods have both had very sweet corn this year).

        She enjoyed exploring ethnic foods but really loved Italian restaurants. Restaurants in general were a fun experience for her as its so expensive to eat out in Norway it's very rare her family does.

        Also, she loved the potato soup from Wildflower. Really. I was just out to visit her in Bergen this past June and she still talks about the potato soup lunches I'd take her for with regularity. That was over 7 years ago now!

        In general Norwegian food is pretty simple and not highly spiced so you may want to ease your friend into trying things, particularly if this their first time to the US and right when they get here and are still jetlagged.

        Sushi Ken
        4206 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85048

        1 Reply
        1. re: ziggylu

          I agree with the idea of letting her try fish in a new light. Not sure how she'll handle the heat, but I think she may really enjoy some Mexican mariscos. The Fry bread house was a great suggestion - one of thte first things I thought of as well. If she were my friend I'd also probably try to get reservations at Pizzeria Bianco or another great pizza place.

          Pizzeria Bianco
          623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

        2. Try New Mexican food, the fish dishes at Richardsons/Rokerij might be a good transition to something like carne adobada

          1. For BBQ, I would go to Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert. If that's a bit far from you, Bobby Q is a good alternative.

            Bobby Q
            8501 N 27th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051

            Joe's Real BBQ
            301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert 85234

            1. Rock Springs Cafe - Hogs N Heat" Barbecue and Nut Fry

              1. I'm not familiar with Norway specifically, but we're stocked to the gills with one of the best possible options. It's easy to forget just how rare it is to find *any* Mexican throughout most of Europe, to say nothing of Mexican that hasn't been Tex-Mexified. That's where I'd focus.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Dmnkly

                  I agree with the Mexican food suggestion. If it were me, I'd pick whichever of the really good taco places was closest for various meat tacos (Los Taquitos, Lulu's, America's, I can't remember the others at the moment but there are several discussions about them), and Los Sombreros (which has some great meat dishes). Los Sombreros also has huitlacoche quesadillas as an appetizer, pretty unusual by most standards.

                  Rock Springs Cafe is a good idea too if you're willing to drive that far. It's not my personal favorite food, but it's a very Southwestern/American experience. The setting and building (especially the old saloon on the left) are fun, and in addition to the BBQ they have all kinds of pie, which I don't think is very common in Europe.

                  1. re: bortukan

                    If I were going to take a non-American for a unique experience I think I'd head to Greasewood Flats instead of Rock Springs. I like the pie at Rock Springs but little else, including the atmosphere(am i missing something other than roadside tourist diner?) and service(typically rude whenever we've been there).

                    Greasewood Flats
                    27355 N Alma School Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ

                    1. re: ziggylu

                      Good call on the abrupt/rude service, ziggylu. I wasn't going to say anything on this thread, hoping that maybe we just had a bad couple of experiences ........... but it doesn't sound like we're the only ones. I was not knocked out with the ordinary food and didn't even think the highly-touted pie deserved all the attention. It was simply ordinary. The only reason I can find to stop at Rock Springs is if someone flew for TWA -- there's a lot of memorabilia there. Other than that, keep on driving.

                2. While Rock Springs is fun, perhaps a better example of a ranch house is Cartwright's up in Cave Creek.

                  It has a nicer ambiance and better food. It is also a good place to get steak and elk and such. I agree with the steakhouse suggestions as that is one thing they do not really have in Europe is great beef. Certainly good lamb, but their beef is not as good as ours.

                  Cave Creek Cafe
                  15202 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85023