Archive | June, 2011

Football, Fry Bread and Fords

30 Jun

How could you not kick-off a blog about food in Arizona you eat with your hands with an entry on the copper state’s most indigenous staple dish? That would be about as politically and gastronomically incorrect as a major newspaper suggesting that for Super Bowl Az vs. Pitt one feed guests Pizzeria Bianco knock-offs. (WaPo dead link? Hmmm.) And why isn’t fry bread the National Dish of These United States?  Football has obviously eclipsed baseball as a sport and labor dispute. Ford’s beat down Chevys. Burgers outsell hot dogs. Apple pie? Don’t even get me started on Cupcake Nation….Yaa’ teeh Obama!

Far be it from me to suggest the Menacing Red Bird’s final drive came up short because Arizona did not consume its weight in fry bread or at the very least sacrifice a few goats. I did my part and then some. Temporarily insane – taking a second shot at life in DC – the Saturday before I traipsed over to the better-late-than-never Museum of the American Indian.  Red Corn fry bread mix can be had at the gift shop. So I whipped up a batch of fry bread with gring@ Indian Taco fixins. As beloved as my pale-faced version was (pinto beans instead of mutton and peanut oil in place of lard)…

Prediction: A Cards Super Bowl victory, well, ain’t in the Cards until I have eaten my weight (between 210-230 depending on what I ate last week to paraphrase Brother Ali) in deep-fried dough.

Fry Bread, and it’s Big Fat Uncle the Navajo Taco, once only available on the Rez, or to the dulcet sounds of a demolition derby at the Arizona State Fair, and Pow Wows, are available for chowing down all around Phx all the year ’round.

I ate disc three 2011 at Park and Swap in the old Greyhound Park parking lot on 48th and Washington.

By far this year’s finest, and a fine version all around available all year around too.

Typically, the Navajo Taco comes smothered in either pinto beans and/or chili powder/cumin-based ground meat topped with pre-shredded yellow cheese, iceberg lettuce, onion with the occasional tomato, hot sauce to taste.

I had no idea the Park-n-Swap stand variety comes with beans and red or green chile to boot. My already swooning stomach switched from playing chicken scratch to one of those ooompa oomph Los Tigres tracks.  This meant a Mestizo Mix: IndiAzMex food. Yaa’ teeh  Greyhound Park! I asked the man in the hand-made tattoos if the both were beef and ground or chunked. Yes to both. Game. On.

“Can I get red and green?”

“We can do that for you.”

“Do me.”

“What?”

“Uh, that’d be awesome. Thanks.”

My guess is life in the witness protection got lonely so he talked his mother into upgrading from pushing a paleta cart to running this stand. She cooks. He counts money. Pour drinks. Paid, I shuffled down to the “Pick-Up” window and tried to get what went into my breakfast in broken playground Spanglish by flirting with mom.

She replied too fast for me to understand and I was too hungry to really care. My tongue far more interested in figuring this out than the ears.

The red blanketed the taste buds in an earthy, molten and round whereas the green hit on me with a sour tang and sweetness. And oh yeah, the fry bread, our edible delivery vehicle, thick and puffy and sabrosa, a heavenly edible cumulus you pray will save you on a 100 plus degree day. This was a 100 plus degree day.

Prediction: return visits to this gorgeous stand often. It’s on the light rail. It’s only 2 bucks to get in. I noticed an elote stand next door. At my current rate of fry bread inhalation – to the point where I actually sweat powered sugar and or honey, grease – the Cards haul The Lombardi to the desert 2023 and I get set out to pasture at the fat farm for I will also weigh 400 plus.