The Arizona Triple Crown…
By: Erik Merkow
When it comes to staycations, I think Arizona was the innovator of these glorious getaways that take you down the street and injected you into a different world. We are so lucky to have some of the best resorts in the country to choose from.
This past weekend we enjoy the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess Resort, home of the Waste Management Open and the party of all parties and coolest golf tournament of the year. Also, we have to mention home of probably one of the best properties to enjoy a winter wonderland holiday experience here in Arizona, which get’s better and better every year!
The Princess has three of the best restaurants the state has to offer. La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval has been one of my favorite Mexican restaurants since a girl I dated lived in the southern most part of Mexico, insisted we try it. Back then it was an absolute home run, and today it’s even better! Richard Sandoval has created something incredibly special at the Princess with both La Hacienda and Toro. From his roots growing up in Mexico and learning in the kitchen from his grandmother, he has broad range of restaurants in his portfolio, Chef combines authentic Latin ingredients with international flavors and inventive techniques to create new and unexpected concepts and cuisines such as modern and coastal Mexican, Latin-Asian, Peruvian and Pan-Latin. If you’re lucky enough to have experienced any of his restaurants throughout the US or Mexico, you now have a go-to here in Arizona!
Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar, located in the clubhouse of the golf course, Toro is a fantastic mix of asian and latin flavors. From the sushi, to the chifa styled friend rice, grilled avocados and fish tacos, everything in Toro was exceptional. But where Toro grabbed the little chubby kid in us, they make a dessert that will make you smile from ear to ear. The La Bomba, a Chocolate bomb they literally drop on your table (of course they put a plastic sheet down first) and let it explode (you can see it in the photos above), it’s bombastic!!
And the third leg of this Triple Crown is a restaurant we are ashamed to admit we had yet to cover in the almost three years of Az Food & Wines existence, Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina! “I love bold flavors in food. I love balanced food and I love food that keeps me excited throughout the entire course.” – Chef Michael Mina. Chef Mina accomplishes this at Bourbon and then some! From the starter french fries instead of table bread, to the oysters on the half shell with ponzu, fresh wasabi and lemon (don’t tell me your mouth didn’t just water!), to the tuna tartare with ancho chile, asian pare, mint, and pin nuts, to the iceberg wedge salad and/or Cesar, then to the Maine Lobster Pot Pie, with brandied lobster cream, spring veggies, and truffle (that should have gotten you a little excited, go any way you want with that!). And the steak….the steak at Bourbon is quite possibly the best steaks we’ve experienced in Arizona. Their Wagyu beef selection melted in our mouth! When was the last time, or ever, you could say that about a steak????
So…The Arizona Triple is right here in north Scottsdale. Do yourself, your loved ones, and your friends a favor and do the triple crown! You’ll probably want to send me some roses when you’re done (i’m referencing the winning horse with the rosses around their neck after winning the Tripple Crown…fyi!)
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