Foodie Travel: Spring Training Eats in Phoenix, Arizona and Sedona, Arizona

Top clockwise, Salt River Stadium, Scottsdale, Sloan Park, Tempe, AZ, Hohokam Stadium, Mesa, AZ and Camelback Ranch, Glendale, AZ

March is the best time to head out to Arizona for Spring Training baseball. The weather is spectacular and you can catch lots of big league action. All the Spring Training facilitates are an easy drive to one another. Plan your trip visiting one of the 15 teams and the 10 beautiful stadiums. Need some suggestions on where to eat while you are out there? Here are some of my favorites.

Breakfast, Snooze, An A.M. Eatery

Snooze, An A.M. Eatery, The Next Great Bite

Snooze is one of my favorite places to get breakfast. The big, fluffy pancakes are not your typical pancakes. I got the pancake of the day: cinnamon roll with lots of syrup, toasted pecans and gooey, cinnamon sugar topping. Start out your day at this funky place for a great breakfast to tie you over before heading to the stadium. Pancakes, Snooze, The Next Great Bite

Gertruide’s, Desert Botanical Gardens

Desert Botanical Gardens, The Next Great Bite

If  you don’t have a baseball game on one of your days or you have a night game, head to the Desert Botanical Gardens. The gardens’ display a cross-section of typical desert landscapes. Exploring one of the gardens five thematic trails will work up an appetite. Gertrude’s located inside the gardens and is a great place to eat. Inspired by fresh local ingredients, the dishes are simple and clean. I ordered this salmon with coarse mustard sauce and crunchy, arugula. The patio is the place to sit and have a leisurely lunch. Especially on a nice day.

Gertrude, The Next Great Bite

Gertrude's, The Next Great Bite

Cochinita Pitil, Barrio Urbano

While in Phoenix, take advantage of eating some of the best authentic Mexican food. Barrio Urbano is one of Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s restaurants, well-known for her Mexican cuisine. This dish is a must try! Marinated pork, slow roasted overnight, just falls apart. Served with black beans, pickled onions and corn tortillas. Heaven!

Cochinita Pitil, Barrio Urbano, The Next Great Bite

Located in The Yard, an old motorcycle dealership, is now home to several restaurants. Great place to hang before or after dinner. Lounge on the comfy couches, have drinks and play games such as ping-pong, corn hole and jumbo jenga.The Yard Phoenix, The Next Great Bite

Sedona

Tres Leches Cake, Mariposa

Sedona Landscape, The Next Great Bite
Sedona is a magnificent place. On one of our days we didn’t have any baseball games, we made the trip to Sedona. We stumbled upon Mariposa restaurant which was a wonderful find. Mariposa sits up high on a bluff and has one of the most spectacular views of the beautiful mountains. The dining room has a floor to ceiling windows that lets you get lost in the landscape while you dine. We ended our meal with this Tres Leches torte. Elegant and decorated with delicate, eatable flowers and fresh berries. Topped off with sweet, creamy milks.Tres Leches Cake, Mariposa, The Next Great Bite

Acai Bowls, South Block, Various Locations, Washington, DC

Acai Berry Bowls, South Block

I love food. That is one reason I started my food blog. But, eating all these great dishes, I have to work hard to keep my weight down. I work out, but not as often as I should. And I try to eat good most of the time.

So when I found out about the Acai Bowls at South Block, I was thrilled! I was so glad to find a place that I could eat something healthy and tasted good.

Acai is a superfood which comes from Brazil. It has many health benefits. South Block blends the berries with ice until it is the consistency of a slushy. Then they add different toppings. I had the Warrior Bowl (bottom) which starts off  with the acai berries blended with bananas, strawberries and pineapple juice. It is topped off with crunchy granola, fresh sliced fruit of strawberries, banana and plump blueberries. The other bowl we tried was the PBJ Bowl (top). The acai berries are blended with peanut butter, bananas, blueberries and almond milk. It is topped with granola, blueberries and bananas. Both were delicious! After eating them, I felt full for hours and had a lot of energy.

South Block also does smoothies of acai, greens and protein. They also sell their signature cold press juices.

Now I can get through my workouts and know that my reward is something from South Block. Head to one of their locations and try one. You will become a fan too!

Staycation: A Trip to Union Market, Washington, DC

If you can’t get away for a summer vacation, why not explore the city you live in as a tourist? Summer is the best time to get out and get to know your city. This past weekend, I headed to Union Market DC to check it out. Union Market is a year round indoor market which has multiple vendors under one roof. From butchers, cheese makers, bakeries, fresh produce, retailers and many food vendors.

exterior union market dc
Exterior of Union Market is sleek. Great outdoor space to sit and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Union Market is located near Gallaudet University right off New York Avenue. You can either take the metro’s red line to NoMa-Gallaudet U stop or you can drive. There is plenty of free parking in front of the market and on the street.

Interior Union Market
The interior of the market is lofty and has lots of tables to sit and enjoy some of the tasty food.

First stop was Buffalo and Bergen. This stand is inspired by the old soda shops. The counter was hopping with patrons at each stool. Brunch-lunch menu consisted of yummy choices of bagel sandwiches, egg creams, house-made sodas and knishes. I got this cheddar and bacon knish. I had them “turnpike it up”, which meant the knish was served with melted butter, garlic and parsley and a side of sour cream. I suggest you order your knish this way. It takes it to another level.  I headed back later to get a few of their knishes to go for the next day.

Next stop on the food adventure was DC Empanadas, which also has a food truck. From the choices that were available, I chose the Bronx Bomber empanada: italian sausage, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. Delicious and fried up when ordered so it was nice and hot. I also picked up some Cheerwine black cherry soda to compliment the tasty pocket!

The Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., is a pop-up artisan at the market. They feature their flaky, yummy, biscuits as a feature sandwich or they can be enjoyed on its own. I had one of the hot, buttery biscuit with two side spreads of apple and strawberry. I hope that they become a permanent booth at the market. Their biscuits are out of this world!

I kept eyeing Righteous Cheese and their “fancy” grilled cheese. On this day, they featured a manchego, roasted tomatoes on crispy sourdough bread. Served with a side of cornichon pickles. Great flavor combo! Righteous has a nice selection of cheeses. Pick a few of their cheeses to take home with you and enjoy with a nice glass of wine.

On to dessert. I walked by Panorama Bakery earlier and was drawn in by the case full of wonderful baked items. Huge macaroons, cakes and cream filled pastries. The Saint Honoré pastry is what I ended up ordering. This puff pastry was piped with sweet, heavenly cream and had three little cream puffs on top. Saint Honoré is the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs so maybe it was divine intervention that made me pick it.

Make plans and enjoy the food feast at Union Market. There are many other delicious food vendors that I am going to have to try on my next visit. Check out Union Market’s list of vendors on their website before you head over there and go on an empty stomach!