While on our trip to sunny Arizona, we ate some pretty good food. Food is always Ross' souvenir from trips and he made sure to stock up while we were gone.
Of the places we ate, there were two that were really good.
Chino Bandido and Republica Empanada
Chino Bandido is a Mexican and Chinese fusion place that made it's way a couple of seasons ago onto Diner's, Drive-In's, and Dives. It qualified in the "Dives" category with plastic tables and plastic chairs and no decorations. On the menu, you could mix and match any combination of Chinese and Mexican meats with rice or rice and beans or ham fried rice....you get the idea. I kept it simple and got Jen Pork (sweet and sour with a kick) and rice. Ross got a little wild and I don't even remember his combinations, but they grossed me out. He loved it! Even though I was afraid of the fusion, he embraced it. We will always go back when we're in Chandler.
Another new place we hit up, with the recommendation of some of Ross' AZ friends was Republica Empanada. This was a tiny little place about two blocks from the Mesa Temple and in spite of the horrible behavior of our children while we were here, it was five star delicious. Seriously, I make empanadas at least once a quarter and they are good but they don't hold a candle to what I ate at this little place. I got a pork (Pernil) and chicken stuffed empanada and ross got a Cuban and something else with rice and beans. We also got their house fries, fried yucca and plantains cooked up a couple of ways. My husband says that the food was more Puerto Rican influenced than South American but I don't care. It was awesome and I would eat there every single day. They had dessert empanadas too, but we didn't get any. I wanted to try the nutella and peanut butter one, but I'll have to save that for next time.
In addition to these two great places, we ate at Raising Canes, our favorite chicken place twice and got shaved ice at Bahama Buck's twice. We also ventured to Ross' family favorite, Native New Yorker, for chicken wings and NY style pizza. There just wasn't enough time to eat everything that we wanted, and we skipped out on a couple of Ross' wish list places because of time and location but that just gives us something to look forward to for the next trip.