So every once in a while, the boy and I realize that it’s been a while since we actually had a date night out to ourselves. Last week was one of those times, so we decided to have one tonight. Since I am a big planner and plan quite a bit of our nights out, I left it up to him to plan tonight. I’m always surprising him with stuff, so tonight he left our plans a secret. The theme of the night? “Fun” was the only hint he would give me.
I knew what our first stop would be. He had asked me about going to a beer tasting at BevMo the other day, so that is where we headed first. We tried all three Sam Adams Long Shot beers, all of which were really good. I was impressed and would definitely buy them again. As hard as it was to leave BevMo without buying anything (I really want to try the Three Olives S’more vodka!), we knew it wouldn’t be good to leave it in the car in the Arizona summer heat, so we left empty-handed.
Our second stop was right across the street, so we didn’t have to walk very far. We pulled up in front of Oregano’s, a famous Phoenix-area pizza joint. I’d heard a lot about this place, and it was pretty much Ricky’s favorite pizza place in the Valley, but I hadn’t been here yet. Apparently they can get really busy, especially on a Friday night, but we got there pretty early, so we got right in and got a seat. We ordered a pitcher of beer (we settled for Bud Light, since it was really just to go with the pizza), a stuffed crust pesto pizza, and some garlic bread with cheese for an appetizer. When the waitress brought the garlic bread, I remarked on how huge it was… it was one long piece sticking out of the basket it was in on both ends. She said, “You’ve never had it before?” to which I told her I’d never even been there before. She immediately decided that we’d have to pretend it was my birthday so I could try a free order of the “pizza cookie” that they have there. I didn’t argue with that – I love cookies!
The pizza was… well, I can see why it’s Ricky’s favorite. It’s Chicago-style, very much like Giordano’s, which I make it a point to visit every time I’m in Chicago. I’m pretty sure my Chicago friends would agree that Oregano’s might just be akin to a western version of Giordano’s. Everything about it was really good, from the garlic bread to the pizza and… oh yeah, the pizza cookie. A warm, giant cookie (we got to choose two flavors, so I picked peanut butter chocolate chip and white chocolate macadamia nut) topped with a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream. Wow. Heaven in a pan. We didn’t finish the cookie and took more than half of the pizza home and were still really stuffed when we walked out. Stop number two was a success!
The third place we visited was CrackerJax, the local miniature golf/go-kart/batting cage/arcade place. You know the type. Most cities have at least one. The place was fun, but considering it was still around 105 degrees outside and we were stuffed to the gills, neither of us was in top form (oh, and neither was the course – Cracker Jax is in the middle of a much-needed remodel). We played a quick game (Ricky won, of course) and headed back into air conditioning.
Our last stop was a place that I had noticed was nearby our apartments even before we moved, via Google Maps, but neither of us had been there. We drove around for a minute, as it was a bit tricky to find. Once we did, though, it was a pretty neat place. It’s called Uncorked, and claims to be “an unpretentious wine bar”. Ricky said it was pretentious, but I guess it depends on how you think of it. We went to another wine bar in Scottsdale not long ago, and while I liked it, it was definitely pretentious. Uncorked did have the wine bar style to it (to be expected), but it had a bit of a homier feel to it, in my opinion. I could see myself heading over there for an evening to grab a glass of wine and spend some time blogging, as they advertise free wifi as well.
All in all, it was a fun evening, as planned. Scottsdale has so many places to go and things to do, and right now it’s pretty much all very new to us, so we are having a great time exploring. I look forward to seeing what kind of places we check out next!