Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Zoning Out in Arizona - A Slow Day at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel

Phoenix seems like it is a nice place. I say "seem" because I didn't really get to see much of it outside of what I caught driving through the city to our hotel and a few other places.

For some reason, I had brought all of the rain and cool weather to the desert from New York. I couldn't believe the thunderstorms and downpours we experienced in Phoenix for our one day there. Added to the fact that Phoenix didn't strike me as a place to wander around on foot, we ended up spending much of our day in Husband J's hotel room (I was leaving the next day). Well actually, I watched TV and read, whileHusband J worked remotely. I did wander some around the hotel though.

For his conference, Husband J got to stay at the Arizona Biltmore. It is a beautiful hotel that takes you back in time with its architecture. The grounds are meticulously maintained; and, in addition to the hotel, there is a planned community of gorgeous homes and a world-class golf course.

The pool area. Very Art Deco 1920's looking, isn't it? I picture old Hollywood actresses wearing classic bathing suits and sunning themselves here.

I got a kick out of this life-size chess set. There were checkers there too in case that's your preferred game.

So, can you tell that I like these?

Of course after exploring the hotel, I did not take a picture of our room. It was a pretty standard one but most definitely spacious. If anything, it was freezing in there from the air conditioning and cool temperatures from outside and therefore not particularly comfortable. I spent a good part of the afternoon under the covers in bed.

Regardless of your day, you have to eat some time. We stayed onsite and ate at Frank & Albert's for lunch. We were a part of a group of people that sat outside even with ominous rain clouds slowly moving towards us. I wanted to sit outside because I knew that this could possibly be my last meal outside for 2010.

For lunch we had:

Smashed avocados (not guacamole mind you!) made with cilantro + jalepeno with perfectly warmed tortilla chips

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho with cracked crab and smashed avocado for me.

I loved this dish. I was not upset by all of the avocado I was eating for lunch as I can eat them ALL day long. The gazpacho need a bit more seasoning, but I loved the texture and its refreshing flavor.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad (pulled chicken, cabbage, crispy corn noodles, candied cashews, carrots and creamy Pineapple-Ginger dressing) for Husband J

In between bites of salad, a conference call and several furtive glances and sighs directed towards his Blackberry, Husband J said it was good. That's all I got out of him. I tasted a few bites, and it was definitely a standard healthy chicken salad (maybe minus the creamy dressing). Again, some seasoning would have been helpful.

After an afternoon of watching lots of ESPN (a girl has got to keep up with her Fantasy Football team), we headed over to The Phoenician resort and hotel for a tasting event and dinner at J & G Steakhouse. The Phoenician is FANCY and was actually the site of Husband J.'s conference. I'll talk about J & G Steakhouse in another post.

The Phoenician's absolutely fabulous pool area. No more rain!

One thing I will tell you is that I normally won't eat at hotel restaurants in a new city unless they are relatively known. I'd rather just go to restaurant in a fun part of town and get a sense for the area. Why did we not do this in Phoenix? Well, traditionally most restaurants are CLOSED on MONDAY nights. I have to admit that I had not really experienced that before. When I kept researching places for us to eat that night, I kept seeing a pattern all over again: Closed on Monday, Closed on Monday, Closed on Monday...I figured if we ate at a hotel, we'd be able to find some food somewhere. :)

I hope I'll get another chance someday to hang out in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Maybe not on a Monday? Just kidding! :)

Do restaurants in your city collectively close on Monday (or any other days for that matter?)? Have you ever traveled with a significant other, family member or friend and work got in the way?


lavenderpug said...

looks like you got to stay at and see two wonderful hotels, which i always find is a treat! mmm, perfectly warmed tortilla chips, now that's thoughtful.

Cathleya said...

I did NOT know that most restaurants were closed on Monday nights in Phoenix! I think a lot of Japanese restaurants in my area close on Mondays, as well as a lot of "mom and pop" type shops (because mom and pop don't get a day off otherwise if it's just them running the show). That is pretty crazy that so many places were closed!

What a pretty hotel you stayed in! Curious-what's the difference between smashed avocados with cilantro and jalapeno and guac? No garlic/onions?

Sugar said...

Ha. I have to comment- the Biltmore is where my husband had his bar mitzvah- 20+ years ago. The food looks really good!

Try Anything Once Terri said...

@Cathleya - Honestly, I think you're right about the lack of onions hence no guac. They also could just be trying to be different.

@Sugar - Nice! Go IL Sugars. It would be wonderful to have an event there. It's such a pretty place.

@lavendarpug - Yes. It was nice to just be somewhere new. :) I love warm tortillas chips. They should be standard. :)


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