Write On Rubee

An Arizona-based food, beverage and travel writer since 2008, I launched this website in 2015 to document my culinary adventures, beverage escapades, gardening endeavors, and travel in the Phoenix area and beyond. Also find a comprehensive calendar of Phoenix-area food and drink-related events on my Events page.

BOULDER, COLORADO: Frasca Food and Wine

When my husband told me he had a business trip to Denver, Colorado, the first thing I said was, "you have to make us a reservation at Frasca!" This award-winning Italian restaurant specializing in the food of the Friuli region, specifically, Friuli-Venezia Giulian cuisine, had long been on my radar.  He didn't quite understand my excitement, but said he would make the call the next day.  When he did, he was told there were no reservations available except for a table in the kitchen.  He'd rather sit in the dining room, but told the nice young lady, "my wife will love that, so I'll book it."  Well, after a spectacular meal, stellar wine pairings, phenomenal service, and wonderful pre- and post-dinner drinks with bartender Allison, he tells everyone it is the best table in the house at one of his favorite restaurants in the country.  I agree.

(Click here for photos of Frasca's Chef's and Master Sommelier's visit to Phoenix for a Scarpetta wine dinner in March 2015).

AUSTIN, TEXAS: Cocktails and a Food Truck

On my January trip to Austin, one  downtown highlight was visiting  a popular food truck and  enjoying expertly crafted cocktails guided by my friend Cristi, who lives in the city.  Paul Qui's East Side King Thai-Kun is parked behind Whisler's and open 7 days a week, 4 pm to 1:45 am.  Qui, of Uchi and Uchiko, has 4 East Side King food trucks and a legion of fans. With Chef Thai Changthong in charge, Thai-Kun is more Thai-inspired  (other ESK locations may find you dining on pork belly buns, octopus tacos, fried kimchi, or ramen).

I wanted one of everything after seeing the menu, but we finally decided on 3 dishes.  There are picnic tables set up to eat al fresco,  but we took a seat at Whisler's bar,  sipping on excellent Old Fashioneds stirred up by Brett (who formerly lived in Arizona and worked at the Jade Bar) as we waited for our dishes to be delivered.  

Our feast was some of the best street food dishes I've had and Thai-Kun was not afraid to bring on the heat. We loved the crunchy grilled baguette with a peanut curry sauce, a harmonious blend of coconut milk and red and massaman curry; Khao Man Gai, tender steamed chicken on rich chicken-fat rice, chicken jus and soy bean sauce; and the Isaan sausage special - a garlicky fermented sausage made with pork and rice and served grilled with fresh herbs and crunchy cabbage. 

Afterwards, at Brett's suggestion, we headed over to Firehouse Lounge & Hostel, a craft cocktail lounge with an entrance hidden behind a bookcase in the hostel lobby.  Our evening ended with excellent service and libations (try a Quill or Familia Real) from Carolyn, and a complimentary round of Bee's Knees shots.  It was a perfect last night in Austin before heading back home.

San Diego: Top of the Market

Update 08/07/2015:  Chef Ivan Flowers has left Top of the Market

Top of the Market is one of the special spots we return to each year on our annual trip to San Diego and the Del Mar races.  Chef Ivan Flowers is one of my favorite chefs, passionate and talented.  Perched above the Fish Market, with a gorgeous view of San Diego Bay, it's the perfect setting for his delicious menu.  

Austin, Texas: La BBQ

Brisket, sausage, chipotle slaw and buttermilk potato salad.