Rachel eats, Travel Lai Way

What I ate in a week: Arizona Road trip

When planning a trip, the first thing I usually do is find all the places I want to eat at and then based off of that, I choose the house location that has most of the restaurants within the area. For this Arizona trip, it was no different except that I was traveling with my entire family, which meant I had to find places that had gluten-free options along with other food that my family would want to try. Below is a list of all the places I ate at, that were either suggestions from friends that already visited Arizona or from the locals around us.

This post is pretty lengthy and has lots of pictures so be sure to grab a coffee and a snack while scrolling through this! โ™ฅ

Bill’s Pizza (Palm Springs, CA): We stopped here on the way back from Arizona. Ordered two large pizzas, one with garlic infused olive oil and the other one half white sauce and the other red sauce.

Christine’s Rocker Pizza, half with mushrooms and olives, and a half without
Half Chicken Alfredo Pizza and half red sauce pizza that has bacon (I couldn’t find the name on the menu once I got home…)

Dutch Bros: Needed a coffee pick me up before driving home and some of my family has never tried it since they don’t really have locations in Southern California. This was a small iced Annihilator breve with almond milk, the flavoring is chocolate macadamia nut and soo creamy and delicious!!

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Annihilator Cold Brew with Almond milk

Matt’s Big Breakfast: This was what we had for breakfast before driving back to California. The waffle here was the lightest and fluffy waffle I ever had, if I lived closer to this I would probably want to eat this all the time! And the bacon here is thick-cut bacon cooked perfectly! I also ordered The Chop & Chick, the pork was seasoned and cooked perfectly, when I cut into it, it was so moist and juicy! The sides of potatoes and eggs were yummy of course, but the stand out was the bread and strawberry jam!

Belgian-style waffle with maple syrup and bacon
Chop & Chick with potatoes and over easy eggs + white bread with strawberry jam

Cartel Coffee Lab: We passed by this so many times on this trip, but never had time to stop until the last full day. Good thing I pushed to go here because the cold brew here was so smooth and full of flavor! And they have cream and simple syrup at the bar allowing you to add to taste. This would be a great place if you went to University near here because they have lots of tables and a great atmosphere for studying or meeting with friends.

Iced Cold Brew with cream and simple syrup

Joe’s Farm Grill: We came here after seeing it on Guy’s Diner, Drive-ins, and Dives. And so, of course, I had to order the burger that he tried on the show, which was the Fontina burger which as roasted red peppers, grilled mushrooms, greens, and fontina. It also has a pecan pesto, which I asked for it on the side since I wasn’t too sure how I would like that on the burger.

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Fontina Burger with beet salad
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BBQ Chicken Salad
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Farm Burger with Sharp Cheddar
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Ahi Tuna Burger + Blackberry Milkshake

Liberty Market: We came here for breakfast and everything we ordered was delicious! And the great thing is that they have a lot of gluten-free breakfast options!

American breakfast
Bread pudding French toast
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Chilaquiles!! Pretty spicy!
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Sicilian Scramble Breakfast
Cinnamon Roll!

Juilo’s Too: This place has the best cheese enchiladas I have EVER had!! And the place has unlimited warm chips and salsa which are too die for! Seriously this place was the best after walking in the hot sun. This place was on recommendation from the lady working the front desk at the Ziegler Fiesta Bowl Museum, she said that this was her and her grandson’s favorite Mexican restaurant and even called him to make sure she got the restaurant name correct, she was so cute!

Cheese Enchiladas
Carne Asada Tacos! So much meat we made 4 tacos!
Crunchy beef tacos, the lady’s favorite!
Flautas!

Fatty Daddy’s: This place is popular for the cookie cups, which has your choice of ice cream and macaron flavor, topped with the fluffiest marshmallow that they toast to order! We order two different cookie cups, one with mango and strawberry guava sorbet and the other with coffee gelato. With the toasted marshmallow and macaron, I think it tastes better with richer flavors like the coffee gelato. The mango and strawberry guava sorbet tasted kind of strange with the toasty flavor of the marshmallow and the macaron. The concept is nice, but I don’t think it works with all flavors. Also, for what it is, to me, it seemed a little expensive and it wasn’t that large in size. But, it was a fun experience since you get to watch the worker torch the marshmallow!

Mango and Strawberry Guava sorbet with Fruity Pebbles Macaron and toasted marshmallow

Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q: OMG this place hands down has the best brisket you will ever eat in your life! To start off we ordered 1/2 lb. of brisket moist, baby back ribs, pork spare ribs, and brisket (cutter’s choice). We also got potato salad, cream corn, and cole slaw as sides. Halfway through eating, we sent my Dad back to the line to order more ribs and brisket moist. Eating with 7 people who appreciate good BBQ, the meat went fast!

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Brisket moist, pork ribs, cutters choice brisket, and baby back ribs

Cerreta Fine Chocolates: My Dad wanted to see a candy factory, so we ended up here one afternoon, and it was pretty cool to see them make all the different types of candy! There are guided tours and self-tours of the factory. We didn’t make it in time for the guided tour so we just had a self-tour and it was good enough. They are famous for their French mints (which are the light mint green rectangles in the bag). At the end of the tour, we bought everyone picked out 2 candies that they wanted to try. Really good stuff!

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Uptown Farmers Market: We were sitting in shade enjoying our iced coffee and tamale when my little sister looked over and the lady at the other table was eating something that looked so good! And so we went over to see what it was, and it was Waffle Love’s Cinnabliss (ice cream rolled in corn flakes, cinnamon sugar, dulce de leche and a huge spoonful of whipped cream topped with a raspberry. This was gone in literally 5 minutes!! They also have gluten free waffles for those that are looking for a good gluten-free dessert! I could barely get a picture of it before all the forks started digging into the waffle and ice cream! We also tried the pork red chile tamale, since we saw it was from The Tamale Store and the ratings from this place were so good! They have been advertised on many TV shows as well, and it lived up to the hype!

Cinnabliss from Waffle Love
Pork Red Chile Tamale from The Tamale Store booth + vanilla cold brew

Spinato’s Pizzeria: This might be my new favorite pizza place! But it’s too bad it’s so far from where I live…we ordered a large Salsiccia Di Pollo and a medium The Combo with a family size Caesar salad and Cheesy Garlic Bread with Marinara. The marinara here is SOOOOO good! I usually don’t care for red sauce pizza since sometimes the sauce seems too acidic for me, but here I was dipping my Cheesy Garlic Bread in it, and even saved it to dip my pizza into later! It was just so delicious! And usually I can only eat maybe 2 slices of pizza, but my brother and I probably ate the entire The Combo pizza ourselves. It could be that since the pizza is sliced into a square and not triangles, they seem smaller so you think you can eat more since they pieces seem smaller…or maybe that was just me. And I love that they serve the pizza on top of a pizza rack, so the bottom of the pizza stays crispy!!

The Combo pizza
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Salsiccia Di Pollo pizza
Cheesy Garlic Bread with Marinara
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Caesar salad

Zookz Sandwiches: We bought this in the morning before our hike and it still tasted fresh and yummy after about 2 hours of hiking (we stored it in a food saver bag so that it wouldn’t go bad while in the car). My Mom and I shared the No.9 salad that had kale, mandarin oranges, roasted almonds, and carrots with their “sweet and sassy” dressing. It had to be one of the best kale salads I had ever eaten, the kale was nice and sweet and the dressing they mix with everything was so yummy along with the juicy mandarin oranges. The rest of my family had sandwiches with all came with either a side of salad or bag or chips. They all got side salads since we brought along a huge bag of chips from the house. I would go back here to just eat kale salad!!

OHSO Brewery: The food here was pretty good, but the main reason for this place was the fact that it had many TV’s so my family could watch the NCAA Tournament. The place was pretty cool, you could see where they brew all their different types of beers and the food came out pretty fast and hot, so can’t complain about that. I ordered a BBQ burger from their gluten-free/vegan menu. This place had a pretty big gluten-free/vegan menu that had dishes from their regular menu turned into gluten-free versions.

Beer Braised Shortribs
BBQ burger (gluten-free)
Green Chile Pork Skillet
Brisket Mac
Chicken & Waffles
Choose your own Whiskey Flight

The Grand: We just arrived in Arizona and needed something to drink. I ordered a Cold Brew with Almond milk of course and my little sister got the Elderflower lemonade from the special monthly menu. Both were pretty good, but nothing special. My older sister ordered an iced lavender white mocha and it looks them forever to make it…the first two drinks the coffee bar lady made it on the spot after we paid, but the other drink took like 15-20 minutes. We were sitting outside and I remember going in twice looking for my sister and her boyfriend since they weren’t coming outside. Probably wouldn’t come back here for drinks, but I haven’t eaten anything here so there might be a possibility that we come back to try the food…but maybe not.

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Cold Brew and Elderflower Lemonade

Phoenix Public Market Cafe: This was the first place we ate at once we arrived and it was pretty good. I love the atmosphere and the setting inside. There are a pretty good number of tables, but if you have a large family like me, it can be a struggle to find a table big enough for all of us to sit together. We got lucky and a family was leaving just as we were waiting for our food to come. It’s pay first then find a seat later kind of place, so it’s good to send people out to find tables as the others are ordering. My Mom and I ordered the Superfood salad to share, two Tito’s Cubanos and a BBQ burger. For a salad, it was pretty good and really refreshing after being in the car for 5+ hours.

French fries and sweet potatoes
Superfood salad
Tito’s Cubano

Bergies Coffee Roast House: This place has the cutest outdoor seating area that makes it seem like your in the backyard of a fancy neighbor. This place has lots of options for coffee flavors, some that I’ve never seen or tried before such as cinnamon toast, brown sugar, and lavender. With so many to choose from, I asked the girl at the cashier which one was her favorite, and she said the lavender one. So I ordered a lavender Cold Brew with Almond milk. At first, the lavender flavor was too strong for me, so she suggested more Almond milk and with that adjustment, it was so good! I never thought of trying lavender in a drink since I thought it would be too overpowering and taste flowery, but it was actually really nice! Now I want to go back and try all the other flavors!!

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Lavender cold brew with almond milk

There were so many other places I bookmarked that I wasn’t able to get to during this trip…sadly you can only have so many meals a day. And as a coffee lover, most of them were coffee shops…but of course there is only so much coffee you can drink a day. I’m thinking of also writing about the places that I visited on the trip as well! As there were 7 people in the car, there were lots of opinions of where we were going to visit during this trip, so hopefully you will find something that you might enjoy as well!

Also, don’t forget to check out my Yelp page to see the places I bookmarked and checked into while in Arizona. While creating this blog post, I realized that some of the places I thought I checked into…some how didn’t record my check-in…so make sure to check my bookmarks! For the places that didn’t record my check-in, I’m still going to write a review so don’t worry. And if you want to keep up to date with what I’m doing on a day to day base and see sneak peeks before it goes live on this blog, be sure to follow me on Instagram @laioneandonly.

Every day, Lai day! Happy eating!!

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