You really need only 3 things in life. Food, clothing, and shelter. At Sportiqe Apparel, we’ve got you covered for one of those. For those of you who know me, you know I LOVE to eat. I take pride in finding local good-eats in each city I visit, and I take particular pride in hunting down the BEST eateries in my own city.
In my constant quest for comfort, I’m always looking for restaurants that are the total package: delivering an incredible dish while giving you that homemade, comfort-food feel. I’ve spent a significant amount of time at the 5 establishments below, and I’ve come to realize that the owners and staff of these spots are as passionate about making great food as Sportiqe is about making great clothes.
When our friends come to town and they ask me where they should go, these are always my top 5 recommendations, in no particular order. ENJOY!!!
Little Miss BBQ
I’m a huge fan of BBQ. For the first 6 years I lived in Arizona, I’d pretty much accepted the fact that there was no good Southern-style BBQ in the Valley. Then, like a gift from Heavens, Scott Holmes opened up Little Miss BBQ a mile from the Sportiqe Headquarters. The special on the menu is the beef-rib, only available on Fridays and Saturdays. If you can get your hands on it, it won’t disappoint. Second only to the special is the Fatty brisket, an out-of-this-world dish that will leave you wanting more, except you’ll be too full for a second helping. On Thursdays, they serve a pastrami that’s better than Katz’s Deli in NYC (not an easy task). The BBQ here is so good people will wait in the AZ summer heat outside for over an hour just to get lunch. I could go on and on about it, but need I say more?
Matt’s Big Breakfast
When I first moved out to Arizona, I was a bit homesick. One of the things I missed the most was the great meals my family enjoyed together… especially breakfast. Finding Matt’s Big Breakfast was like sitting down at the family breakfast table again. I can’t say this about just anywhere… but EVERYTHING on the menu is phenomenal (believe me, I’ve tried it all). Every dish is made with top quality ingredients and LOVE. The owners of this establishment treat you like you’re family. Ernie even tells her staff they can call her “Mama”. I’ve spent a lot of Saturday and Sunday mornings sitting up at the counter enjoying their famous Five Spot.
LoLo’s Chicken and Waffles
My dad’s side of the family is from Birmingham, so needless to say, I grew up eating southern fried chicken. I’m VERY picky about my fried chicken, but my dad is the ultimate food snob when it comes to this dish. So how good is LoLo’s? Let’s just say I think my dad is slightly more excited to get off the plane to eat at LoLo’s than he is to see me. The waffles are to die for, but let’s be honest, we’re going there for the chicken.
Chris Bianco has gotten all of the accolades for his pizza concept, Pizzeria Bianco (well deserved I might add.) But with that being said, Pane Bianco has my favorite tuna sandwich ever. Depending on the day, they have some AWESOME market sandwiches for lunch. The sloppy Joe or the spicy pulled-chicken are some of my favorites. Shifting gears a little bit, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Pizzeria Bianco as well. Of course, you of course can’t go wrong with any of the pizza, but I must tell you that the lasagna is the best you can get in AZ. *Secret tip: ask for extra crispy sandwich bread at Pane Bianco.
Defalco’s Italian Grocery
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night craving a good Italian sub? Okay, maybe that’s just me. It took me a little while to find this gem, but once I did I became a regular. Obviously my favorite here is the Italian sub, but the chicken cheesesteak had me at first bite. This is a super casual spot, good for picking up and taking home to enjoy in your comfy sweats or dining in and feeling like you’re tucked in the back of an actual Italian deli in the heart of Rome. The pasta dishes and pizza are great here too. *Secret tip: get the chicken caesar pasta salad as a side-dish.
Ok, so now that I’m drooling after writing this, go check these places out, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Make sure you’ve got your Daly Joggers on to give you a little extra room to stretch out.