December 03, 2012

a weekend recap: Driving and Dining (courtesy of Triple D)

this weekend, we were 'out and about' both on Saturday and Sunday... here's some photos!

Saturday we started out by driving to Queen Creek, AZ to visit the Queen Creek Olive Mill and restocked our supply of locally pressed olive products: flavored olive oils, dipping oil, and stuffed olives. From there, we headed to the West Valley area to eat lunch at a local restaurant for Tom's birthday. 

photo borrowed from the travelmuse website
Haus Murphy's German Restaurant! We saw this restaurant featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (thus the 'Triple D' in the post title); Guy Fieri visited here a few years ago, and we wanted to check it out! A couple weeks ago, we visited another restaurant featured on that show, La Piazza al Forno (just a block away from Haus Murphy's, actually)... we really enjoyed that experience (authentic Neapolitan wood-fired brick oven pizza), so we wanted to see how this restaurant measured up. 

The interior is very comforting, with dark wood tables and chairs, and
home-y decorations on the wall that evoke its German heritage.

Holiday decorations in the hallway; I had to take a photograph 
of these handcrafted carolers for the nostalgia factor...

a close-up of the girl caroler:
I remember my sister Jackie making figures like this when 
was little! They're made with a wire armature, cut and 
shaped Styrofoam balls for the heads, hands, and feet, 
and stiffened fabric for the clothes.

Tom's celebratory birthday stein of German beer!!
a 32-oz stein of an authentic Spaten lager (very tasty, he said)

(and fyi, I drove home.)
We had a difficult time deciding what to have (there are lots of really interesting things on their menu; we'll definitely have to go back again so we can try out more of the menu), so we decided to delay the decision of what to order... by getting appetizers first!

Haus Cheese Spead platter: house-made Cheddar cheese spread, 
Gherkins, cocktail onions, and assorted rolls. It was yummy!!

Tom ordered an appetizer of potato pancakes, one of his favorites...
they came with sides of applesauce and sour cream. (also yummy!)
 The appetizers were a great way to start out our lunch! The Cheddar cheese spread was wonderfully sharp, and everything else was extremely tasty as well. The potato pancakes were crispy and flavorful, and really didn't need either of those sides to enhance the flavors.

Tom enjoyed veal brats with German potato salad
and red cabbage, along with house-made spicy mustard.

my plate of chicken schnitzel, with a buttery white wine sauce.
Our verdict? Haus Murphy's was a hit! It's definitely 'heavy' food, since it's authentic German cooking, but the flavors were good, and the service was top-notch. We'll be going back there again (the Sauerbraten is next on the menu, I think).

Sunday morning, we hit the road again for a continuation of the birthday festivities! We headed to another Valley Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives destination, Matt's Big Breakfast, a small diner in downtown Phoenix. When Guy Fieri visited here, they were in their previous location (only about a block away from the current location) and the place only held about 15 people. So, patrons would have to wait for an hour or more to get in. The new place is larger, so we only had to wait about 40 minutes. (and yes, it was totally worth the wait!) 

Matt's uses top-notch ingredients: locally-made sausage and chorizo, local organic honey, cage-free eggs, locally sourced bacon, etc. Tom had chorizo and eggs, and I had griddle cakes with thick-cut peppered bacon. Yum!!

Since we've already gone to three of the 11 places Guy Fieri has visited in Arizona, I think we'll have to make it a mission to visit the rest of them eventually. (between now and then, I think I'm eating a salad or two, though-- lol!)


Kelly Kilmer said...

What fun!! That beer is bigger than his head! Happy birthday, Tom!

Jackie said...

sounds like a fun weekend! Wishing Tom a Happy (belated) Birthday!

Mare said...

Oh this post made me hungry! I love trying new restaurants and new foods. Everything looked delicious! I'm going to start bringing my camera to the restaurants we visit too. I ate at a Mexican restaurant last night and the food was great, and the paintings on the walls and table tops were all hand done and fabulous! A feast for the eyes and the stomach! :) Have a great weekend! Love, mare