Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Fry Bread House, Arizona by Ms Counting her Calories

The Fry Bread House was a place I very much wanted to try after hearing about it from Tucson Trevor. I've eaten fry bread before – in 2010 at the National Museum of American Indians in Washington DC and at a Native American powwow in Virginia – and loved it.

The fry bread is similar to the Malaysian roti in that the fry bread is crispy in parts and chewy in other parts, but the fry bread is more doughy than roti. And, like the Malaysian roti, it can be served with savoury dishes or as a dessert. It's absolutely delicious when made correctly, but can become soggy and oily if left in the wrong hands, as we found at a Mexican restaurant in Flagstaff, Arizona, that I have decided, to be fair, not to reveal.

Anyway, after a 2 year hiatus from the delectable fry bread, I was very keen to eat one (or two, preferably more) again. And, the Fry Bread House did not disappoint.

There are two Fry Bread House in Phoenix. One is north of downtown Phoenix; the other is in Mesa, south east of Phoenix. On our first visit, we went to the Fry Bread House in north Phoenix. Set off a busy road, this Fry Bread House was a small establishment where you order and pay at the counter, find a table and collect your dishes when your order is called out.

Initially, Iron Man ordered the Green Chile Stew with fry bread, Miss L ordered the chorizo burro (it appears to be an open burrito) and I ordered the Red Chile Stew. However, when we tried the dishes, Miss L found the chorizo burro too spicy, so we swapped dishes; I loved my Red Chile Stew, which was spicy, even if fairly oily, with chunks of beef in it, but sacrificed it to Iron Man, who gave his Green Chile Stew to Miss L.

The beef in the Red Chile Stew was lovely and tender – really well cooked.

The Green Chile Stew was less spicy with bits of carrots, potatoes and chicken, which didn’t show up too well in the photo.

The servings for the stew were a good size --- particularly if you were having fry bread with it (the stew- fry bread combination was a special). Everyone ended up enjoying their new dishes!

And, I ended up with the chorizo burro, which I also liked. As I mentioned, it was very spicy and the chorizo was diced up finely; almost like the skin from the chorizo had been discarded, the meat inside roughly cut up and fried.

The fry bread was very nice and how I expected it to be after my first taste on the east coast; it was a little oily, which was to be expected when something is deep fried, but not soggy. There were some crispy bits and some doughy bits. We loved it.

To finish off, we ordered the fry bread with cinnamon and sugar.

Again, not too oily and definitely not soggy. There was just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar, though me being a sweet tooth, would prefer more sugar.

I was very pleased with the Fry Bread House. If only we live in Phoenix; it would be a place I would return, though after some intensive exercise; it is not particularly healthy. Indeed, when returning to Phoenix the next week we went to the other Fry Bread House, in Mesa, which although didn’t have the ambience (looked like any other eating establishment in a shopping mall), similarly delivered on good cheap Native American food. On our second visit, Iron Man ordered the Red Menudo, which was a spicy stew with tripe and hominy (dried maize kernel and tasted like chickpeas when cooked) with fry bread, and Miss L had the hominy and beef stew. Both Iron Man and Miss L enjoyed their dishes.

Food – 7.5
Service – 7
Ambience – 7
Value – 9

4140 North 7th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona
FryBread House on Urbanspoon

1916 W Baseline Rd
Mesa, Arizona
FryBread House on Urbanspoon

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