At the beginning of the year, Neil came home from a business trip with some big news: his company had offered him a fantastic new job in Salt Lake City. Immediately, Neil began planning our move from Arizona to Utah — putting our house on the market, arranging for movers and searching for our new home in Arizona.
I began planning, too — specifically, all the places in Phoenix where I wanted to eat “one last time” before we moved. I know my priorities, y’all.
As the movers loaded boxes into the truck during our last days in Phoenix, I made my rounds of fun, friends and food. It was heartwarming and belly-filling — just the way it should be. Here’s what I ate for a day during my “Farewell Tour” of Phoenix.
In the middle of the city, there lies a serene retreat called The Farm at South Mountain. I first stumbled onto it while riding my bike on my first long ride in Phoenix — since then, I’ve gone back at least once a month for delicious, farm-to-table meals. My husband and I love the different restaurants on site, especially breakfasts at The Morning Glory Cafe. Neil and I sat on the giant patio and hashed out the last-minute details of the move while drinking coffee and noshing on The Farm Omelet with homemade salsa and country potatoes.
Every week, my best friend Carlos and I have a coffee date. These started out as quick catch-ups after long bike rides while we both trained for Ironman triathlons; the last few years, however, Carlos has been fighting Stage IV colon cancer. Though he’s no longer training, it’s become even more important for us to get together for our little coffee klatch. Today, we met up at Cartel Coffee Lab and reflected on our decade-long friendship. There were a few tears, yes, but much more laughter. And, of course, there was coffee. With Carlos, there is always coffee.
For lunch, I met up with another friend, Ashly. Like Carlos, I have a weekly meet-up with Ashly, which we affectionately call “Soul Food.” We meet at a different vegetarian or vegan restaurant in Phoenix each week for “Soul Food,” our name for our long, leisurely lunches where we talk about anything and everything. I always leave these lunches feeling good — everyone should have a friend like Ashly in their lives.
When Ashly asked where I wanted to have our last “Soul Food” date before moving, the answer was obvious: Green. The vegan staple in Tempe has been one of my favorites since moving to Arizona, especially because they have “Tsoynamis,” a vegan version of Dairy Queen’s Blizzard. I went to town on the O’Ginger Snap Tsoynami while Ashly and I made plans for her to visit me in Salt Lake City this summer. Yes, I had a massive amount ice cream for lunch — you got a problem with that?
After Ashly and I parted ways, I realized I had just enough daylight to get a ride in on one of my favorite routes near my home. After a few hours on the bike, I arrived home just as the sun was setting. I was filled with a sense of calm and happiness. Also, hunger. Tsoynamis are delicious, but they sure ain’t filling.
My day of good eats in Phoenix was capped off at one of my favorite restaurants, 24 Carrots, where Neil and I dined on giant plates of Jeweled Kale Salad. Though we were both sad to leave Phoenix, we also shared excitement for what was ahead: a new home, new routes, and yes — new culinary adventures — in Salt Lake.
Have you ever done a “farewell tour” of your favorite restaurants before moving to a new city? —Susan