Back in August I reviewed Randy Walter’s restaurant, Pittsburgh Willy’s, located in Chandler, AZ. Pittsburgh Willy’s serves fantastic gourmet hot dogs, sandwiches, and desserts. What makes Pittsburgh Willy’s so special (besides the delicious home made food) is the the personal service that Randy provides to all his customers. How many restaurants have you visited where the chef/owner sits down and talks with you? On top of his regular menu, Randy and his wife offer an east coast favorite; made from scratch pierogi dinners every Wednesday evening. The dinner includes six potato and cheese stuffed pierogies sauteed in butter with sweet onions and a drink for $5.95. For a little more you can add mild or spicy kielbasa to your plate.
Beginning in September, Randy and his wife are serving homemade Italian dinners on the last Wednesday of the month. I visited Pittsburgh Willy’s this evening for the first Italian dinner night and it was spectacular. Randy and his wife displayed their east coast roots by reviving the traditional “Sunday dinner” and moving it to Wednesday nights at Pittsburgh Willy’s. They had prepared a delicious home made Italian meal consisting of Gnocchi and sweet Italian sausage, smothered in made from scratch marinara sauce, cheese, and served with toasted Italian bread. Delicious!
If you’re looking for a good home cooked dinner and good company, stop down at Pittsburgh Willy’s any Wednesday night. The next Italian dinner night will be October 28th.
It is said that good things come on small packages. I don’t mind small packages but when it comes to breakfast (lunch & dinner) I like big, greasy portions. To quote Ed O’Neil in the movie Dutch, “Nothing burps like bacon…”
We pulled up to Matt’s Big Breakfast around 9:30 AM on a Saturday. Now normally in Arizona, it’s not unusual to wait outside in the sweltering heat to get a table at a popular restaurant. We had already experienced this when we visited Aaron May’s Over Easy breakfast joint some months back. The day I went to Matt’s Big Breakfast was quite the opposite experience. It rained all morning in the Phoenix Valley and was still raining when we pulled up to Matt’s. The restaurant is just a tiny building located in downtown Phoenix… I suspect at one time it was an old house. The wait is all part of the experience, however don’t come here if you have a time sensitive event scheduled for after breakfast. After about an hour and a half of soaking in the rain we were seated at the counter. Matt’s is a bustling establishment with bright decor, and the seating in this place is tighter than Joan Rivers’ face; just 5 or 6 tables and a counter that can hold maybe another 5 or 6 guests. Note: I incorporated the small slide show at the top of the post in lieu of most of the pics… just something new I am trying to shake things up.
Not that I’m trying to ride the coattails of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’ Guy Fieri, but yes he has been here too in one of his episodes (hey, can I help it that he likes to try the same places as me?), which no doubt ably contributes to some of Matt’s success. There is even the little signature homage to Guy on the wall inside.
Matt’s menu is small, but jam-packed with all kinds of breakfast goodness. He’s got a breakfast sandwich called “The Five Spot,” an omelet, a waffle, and pancakes just to name a few. Traditional breakfast beverages (including the rarely seen RC Cola) are also offered. He also keeps a special item on the board , which today was a three egg scramble, with Fontina, crimini mushrooms, and spinach. My mystery dining companion L. ordered the special, but today I was feeling like a big waffle with some greasy bacon($6). I had coffee and skipped the OJ today, although it was clearly freshly squeezed and looked delicious.
The food arrived about 15 minutes later: nice solid, heaping portions. I love big breakfast like this, it just sets the tone for the rest of the day. The waffle was made from scratch, fluffy, dusted with powdered sugar, served with warm maple syrup, and a big scoop of butter. My god who could eat such a travesty! I especially liked the bacon; it was that good thick cut bacon, not that wimpy crap you get at IHOP. L’s scramble special was also delicious.. the Fontina and spinach blended well together with the eggs – although I enjoyed the hash browns the best. They still hot when they arrived and they were nice and crispy the way hash browns should be.
Breakfast ran about $20 for the two of us, so we walked out of Matt’s with full stomachs, money remaining in the wallet, the rain had stopped, and the sun was shining on our shoulders. As I was walking back to the car I could see the famous Westward Ho off to my right and thought to myself this was shaping up to be a great day! One word verdict on Matt’s Big Breakfast: deliciouslygreasyheapinghomemadegoodness.
When I think of German tradition, the first thing that comes to mind is SNL, particularly Mike Myers as Dieter, the host of Germany’s most popular TV show, Sprockets. My favorite episode was the one that featured the “Germany’s Most Disturbing Videos” skit where Dieter’s guest was Karl Heinz Shelkar, who played the wacky neighbor in Munich TV’s hit sitcom “Who are you to accuse me?!?,” and convinced Karl-Heinz Shelkar to “touch his monkey.”
Besides Oktoberfest, Rutger Hauer and good beer, Germany brings some fantastic cuisine to the table. In exchange for this, we as Americans graciously give David Hasselhoff to the Germans. So today we ventured to Haus Murphy’s, located in Glendale, AZ. I spent some time in Germany earlier this year and I think a good hearty German meal was calling my name. When you walk in to the restaurant, you immediately feel like you should hear tubas and accordions playing Umm-Pah-Pah music. In fact, I think they do have live entertainment during some evenings, although not during lunch hours. The inside felt like a house situated in the middle of the Black Forrest, long tables and wooden booths. Our waiter was very helpful with describing some of the selections on the menu. We started off with the potato pancake appetizer, which came out pretty fast. The potato pancakes were delicious; they were fried to perfection and served with traditional apple sauce and sour cream. The next course was split pea soup – it looked like something out of The Exorcist but was somewhat tasty, although a little bland. However, we were both impressed with the main course. My dining companion and I both ordered the Schnitzel with King’s sauce. The only difference was I had the pork Schnitzel with fries and my dining companion had the chicken Schnitzel with Spaetzle on the side. Both entrees were absolutely sublime; the Schnitzels had a nice light breading but what the King’s sauce is what made them. It’s a nice blend of cheeses, creme, seasonings, combined with mushrooms, just superb!
The bill came to about $40 for the 2 of us, which was reasonable and we were both extremely full. As the German’s would say, Hunger ist der beste Koch. – Literally, Hunger is the best cook. By the way, if you get a chance to swing by Haus Murphy’s, make sure to leave room for Bavarian Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake!
You know every once and while I get a hankering for some good old fashioned comfort food. OK, maybe not once and a while, maybe it’s almost all the time. Just give me a burger, some fries, an iced tea and I’m good to go. Chelsea’s is pretty good eating. Yep, it’s a nice upscale approach to American comfort food. Wait a minute, did someone say the word “upscale?” Sure did. You’re probably wondering what is an upscale place like this is doing on Good Greasy Eats right? We’re versatile. It’s upscale but they keep it simple. Simple menu, nice specials, and a good casual atmosphere.
Their menu includes a few burgers, salads, some good appetizers, and most interesting grilled swordfish tacos. Today I was feeling like a burger. That’s usually how I roll. I went with the Howie burger, a half pound burger with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and a hint of Dijon mustard. My dining companion had the prime rib French dip. The service was really good, they kept our iced teas full, and the food came out quickly. It was a hell of a good burger; cooked medium just the way ordered it. The Gruyere gave it a nice nutty kick and the caramelized onions added some awesome sweetness to the burger. The fries were great too; they had a seasoning on them that tasted a little like the BBQ potato chip seasoning but it wasn’t overpowering. I tried my dining companion’s French dip and it was fantastic as well. The prime rib was served medium rare which I happen to like. the meat was shaved very thin and just seemed to melt in your mouth.
Any Cons? Well, maybe. I think that $12 for a burger is a little overpriced, but I expected that at an upscale trendy place. I usually try to avoid anywhere trendy, but overall I was happy with Chelsea’s kitchen. We couldn’t decide if we wanted the Red Velvet Cake or the Chocolate Destruction for dessert. We went with the Chocolate destruction which was a mouse based cake with an Oreo crust. Not bad. It was also a little overpriced though at $8. That made it a little disappointing. I could get a better piece of cake elsewhere for cheaper. All in all, I liked Chelsea’s Kitchen and will give it a return visit, maybe I’ll try those swordfish tacos next time. We will chalk this up to some decent comfort food.