Saturday, January 31, 2009

Now For Something Completely Different

I wanted to post a little story about a part of my life that my friends in NY can also experience but I'm getting a little a head of myself.

This September will be 40 years since I left Coney Island to attend Arizona State University. 40 YEARS! Unbelievable. It really doesn't seem that long especially with all the reconnections as a result of our blog. When I first came here, there were very few Italian and Jewish delis. Italian food wasn't a problem once my family moved here in 1972 and now that Phoenix is our 5th largest city, there are really good delis and restaurants. When I was a freshman at ASU, I discovered Mexican food. I knew nothing about it except I had heard of tamales and tacos. I had the good fortune of having a roommate who was Mexican and was from a little mining town east of Phoenix. I used to go home with him on weekends sometimes and his family introduced me to authentic Mexican food and I was hooked. There are many different types of Mexican food and I experienced them in traveling extensively throughout Mexico over the years. The restaurants in Phoenix (think of all the pizza places and Italian restaurants in NY and you'll get an idea of how many Mexican places are here) run the gamut of regional styles: Sonoran, Tex-Mex, Southwest, Mexican Seafood, Mexico City style and New Mexican.

I only eat at one Mexican restaurant and I only eat at one take-out place. The take-out place is a little hole in the wall... cash only, limited menu and in a really bad neighborhood. Best Sonoran style anywhere... Rito's. The restaurant is Los Dos Molinos (The Two Grinders). It is New Mexico style cuisine and it is different. It is HOT. I mean like really hot, sweaty face and scalp hot. It is heavenly. Washed down with an ice cold Carta Blanca or Negra Modelo and there is literally a feeling of euphoria that overtakes your body. I eat there every couple of weeks with my son. I took him there when he was little and now he is a hooked like I am. The green is hot (Hatch chiles from New Mexico) and the red less so. Why am I waxing poetic about Los Dos Molinos? They are family owned and operated... no franchises and a blood relative is responsible for the food at each restaurant. There are 5 locations: two in Phoenix, one in Mesa (3 miles from my house, thank you very much), one in northeastern AZ in a little town near New Mexico, Springerville and the 5th one? 119 E 18th St in Manhattan! If you are adventurous, give it a try and you will know the heaven that we are blessed to experience in AZ. WARNING: I'm not kidding about the heat. Read the words of chef Victoria:

"When you read our menu and see the word "chili" keep in mind we use New Mexico Chiles and this means "Hot" with the best flavor this side of the Rio Grande. If you know "Hot" put us to a test but if you don't we suggest you try one of our other wonderful dishes that don't have any "Heat." I'm sorry we do not provide a mild sauce, I do not know how to make "Mild."

You'll thank me if you like real Mexican food. C'mon... don't be a baby.

Los Dos Molinos
119 E. 18th St (between Park Ave and Irving)
Click here Los Dos Molinos

Joey DePinto

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