Firesky, Pork Belly, + Fried Bananas

Amazing Restaurants Travel

Day one…



involved lots of driving!




We made the seven hour trek from Albuquerque to Phoenix, stopping for a picnic of leftover Great Harvest bread, grapes, cheese, and a Thai shrimp salad we picked up from Whole Foods.



And a beer – a yummy brown ale aged in hazelnut barrels? This picnic tasted sooo good after six hours of airport travel and two hours of driving!

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When we finally arrived at our resort, I was very impressed. It’s the Kimpton Firesky Resort in Scottsdale, which is very reasonably priced, but it feels like a luxury hotel because of all the small touches. I love it!
The grounds are awesome…can’t wait to get in the pool.
This morning I found out there is iced coffee and complimentary bikes too. Oh, and the shower is great.
Plus, I was handed a prickly pear margarita when I arrived. It’s the little things!
Scottsdale is a foodie’s paradise, so I just couldn’t pick out a restaurant ahead of time. There were too many amazing menus when I looked online. I decided that just walking around and choosing one would be a better idea.
We quickly walked around in the arts district, but even at 8 PM, the 100 + degree temperatures were stifling.


We needed something to drink, fast! We ducked into a swanky cafe called AZ 88. The place was soo upscale, I was afraid to look at the menu, but it was all $10 salads and sandwiches! Love that beautiful spaces do not mean expensive out here! We didn’t end up ordering any food, but I had a great local double barrel ale.
We chose the Mission for dinner and it was absolutely the right choice. I ordered a margarita made of pressed limes and oranges with triple sec – it was so fresh and delicious.
But this, this was truly one of the most amazing things I have tasted in my ENTIRE LIFE!!! Crispy pork belly with crushed peanuts, cilantro, chilies, and a cream sauce in little lettuce wraps. I have no idea how they seasoned the pork, but it was absolutely to-die-for.
We also ordered mahi tacos and butternut squash tacos.
The mahi tacos were great, but not on the same level as the pork. The butternut tacos were heavenly though. They were made with cubes of marinated squash, queso fresco, avocado, pepitas, and black beans. The favor combination was just perfect.
And just when we thought we could not taste anything more spectacular, we ordered the fried bananas with peanuts, caramel, house made cinnamon ice cream, and, wait for it…
whipped peanut butter!
Matt and I couldn’t even speak while we were eating this. It was beyond phenomenal and I’m seriously considering booking another trip here just to eat at the Mission again.
PS – the service was flawless.
And that, my friends, was day one!
  • Cait's Plate
    July 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Oh my gosh that dessert looks AMAZING!!! I would’ve been all over that whipped peanut butter 🙂

    The drive looks beautiful and that hotel looks awesome. I love the little balcony (and really, you can’t go wrong with complimentary iced coffee!)

  • Clifford Younger
    July 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I’m so jealous of your trip to our old neck of the woods. Did you know I spent an entire afternoon in Scottsdale looking for the perfect earrings for Mom? Don’t forget to hike up Squaw Peak.

    Love, Dad

    • Claire
      July 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

      Renamed Piestewa Peak.

    • Laura
      July 9, 2011 at 10:54 am

      Matt bought me earrings last night and we’re driving to the old sqaw peak as I type!!

  • roadworthrunning
    July 9, 2011 at 9:36 am

    yay so happy you are liking scottsdale. I am moving there next week from Boston! 🙂

    • Laura
      July 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      So cool!

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    July 9, 2011 at 11:35 am

    That place looks awesome! I recently tried that Rouge Ale and was surprised at how drinkable it was.

  • Army Amy
    July 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    The hotel looks amazing! (I’m suddently in the mood for an Arizona vacation!) And butternut squash tacos? Yes, please!*

  • Jill in Chicago
    July 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Hey, I recognize that pool! I stayed at the Fire Sky in late April for a wedding! (We also followed a similar route north to Sedona.) I wish I had visited your blog to tell you this a few days earlier — there’s a great veg-friendly cafe within walking distance towards the mall — Nourish Cafe! (Maybe for your next visit.) Their brunch egg sandwiches were amazing.
    (I’m one of Kath’s readers, btw.) Enjoy your trip!