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Shots from Saturday (Volume 3): Flight of the Phoenix

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Shots from Saturday (Volume 3): Flight of the Phoenix

I arrived last night in Phoenix! It is unseasonably cold in Florida right now, so I was excited to get to a warm, dry locale. 


Phoenix has been rainy, grey, and cold. Observe:

Womp womp!

I texted Will that it feels like Ireland when we went last October. Everything is under a soft, drizzly haze. But, the weather didn't stop us from [briefly] getting outside to take in some views. We went to Papago Park overlooking Phoenix and did some roughneck he-man mountain-climbing.

Just kidding, we were ran up this hill for approximately three seconds, snapped a few pictures, and left.

Tres scenic!

Model pose. Truly scared I was about to tumble down this hill.

Since I posted that horrific FaceTime screenshot of Shannon yesterday, I decided she deserved a pretty portrait. What a cΓΌtser

After our five-minute "hike" we headed over to Ernie's, which boasts the best Maryland crabs in the greater-Phoenix-metropolitan area. The place was filled with Ravens gear. Meh. Skins - 31, Ravens - 28. Just saying.

Shannon had steamed crabs here before, but since they are out of season, we couldn't get any. :(
The menu has plenty of other Maryland blue crab options, though: crab dip, soup, crab cakes, &c.

**Indulge me for a sec while I get my food-blogger on.**

Now, we are from Maryland. Crab cakes and football. That's what Maryland does. That's what we do. I am always skeptical of restaurants that serve "Maryland-style" anything. It's usually a crime against humanity. (Carrabba's, I'm looking at you right now.) Shannon, however, assured me that their stuff was the real deal. 

I spoke with the owner, who stated he is from Towson. I asked him if his crab cakes were any good. I told him I knew they couldn't be as good as our mom's, but would they disappoint a fellow Marylander? He wouldn't say it outright, but I could tell he thought his stuff was better. 

We decided we'd give it a try. 

The soup came out first. It was nothing special. I thought it was a little bland and could have used more seasoning. But, soup on a cold Phoenix day was nice. Some extra Old Bay and we are in business.

Traditional Maryland-style crab soup.

The crab dip was better. I was impressed. I would say it was some of the best crab dip I've had since Riordan's went out of business. This is the best compliment I can give, okay? I'd say a step or two below our precious Riordan's. It was on the cheesy side, but I liked it. Very savory.

Okay, the crab cake.

It was good. 

I wished I had some of my mom's crab cakes to give the owner in a Bobby-Flay-Throwdown-esque scenario, because they were not nearly, I mean nearly, as good as my mother's. 

I think they used cream cheese (see below) which I think distracts from the crab flavor. To a point, it's a matter of preference. My mom uses barely enough breading to hold the cake together before she fries it. That's what I like about hers. The purity. I want to taste the crab. 

But Ernie, yours was darn good.

I topped the whole thing off with a Kilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale, a local beer brewed in Tempe.

When in Rome.

It went very well with the seafood.

Still reading? If so, thanks for enduring my Marylander food critique. 

I'm waiting for Shannon to wake up (yes, she's napping---so Shannon of her---and yes, I can never nap because I had a venti dark roast . . . ), but soon we are headed to Mass so we can have an early day hiking tomorrow on Camelback Mountain. It's supposed to be pretty nice. 70 and sunny. I'm excited for "Shots from Sunday." Wink.

Until next time!




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