Adventures in Arizona [AZ]

I squeezed in a little bit more adventuring into this IAP and visited Julia for a week in Mesa, Arizona! To be honest, the bulk of our time was spent making a stop motion video called PB + J, but I’ll get to that later. First, tacos:

Backyard Taco
1524 E University Dr
Mesa, AZ 85203

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I’m definitely not a taco expert, but these tacos from Backyard Taco were pretty incredible. Packed with flavor and cradled by two soft corn tortillas, my steak and chicken tacos were gone within a few minutes.

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They were $1.95 each, and it was hard to limit myself to just two. But this was technically our afternoon snack, so I somehow managed.

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Taquitos Jalisco
437 S Gilbert Rd
Mesa, AZ 85204

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Don’t let the hole-in-the-wall-ness of Taquitos Jalisco fool you, these tacos were amazing as well. Their menu has a variety of other Mexican food items, but we decided to stick with our taco theme for our day two taco break.

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“My carne asada and lengua tacos were pretty small, but had a great overall flavor!” Julia said. “I liked that they weren’t too greasy or oily, but they could have had a little more meat.”


The Arrogant Butcher
2 E Jefferson St
Phoenix, AZ 85004

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We celebrated the completion of our video by exploring Downtown Phoenix for an afternoon, and we went halfsies at The Arrogant Butcher for lunch! The Turkey Pastrami (above) was served on a pretzel bun with the perfect amount of crunch, and the coleslaw gave the sandwich a fresh bite. The Smoked Pork Cubano (below) was a warm, crispy sandwich with ham, mustard, pickle, swiss, and “Mojo sauce.”

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Melt
910 N 5th St
Phoenix, AZ 85004

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After lunch, we wandered around Roosevelt Row, a creative district in Downtown Phoenix, and came across gorgeous murals, adorable craft shops, and a cute hand-drawn ad for this ice cream shop called Melt. “Wow, that’s such a cute name for an ice cream shop,” Julia said, and then the rest is history.

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It’s a really small shop, and there are some interesting flavors like Fruity Pebbles, and Cap’n Crunch, but we went with a scoop of Mint Oreo and a scoop of Coffee. The ice cream is served in cute Chinese takeout boxes, and topped with a fortune cookie! Unexpectedly, the combination of mint and coffee was incredible — would highly recommend.

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“Courage comes through suffering,” read Julia’s fortune as her brass rat slipped sideways. Hmmmmmmm….


PB + J
Julia’s house
Mesa, AZ

All of those food adventures above were delicious, but the greatest food adventure of my entire trip to Arizona was me and Julia’s PB + J stop motion creation.

For six straight days, Julia and I sat at her dining room table with a camera, tripod, and a lot of earned courage. A few of my favorite frames from the whole thing:

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For this peanut frame (above) after the snap, Julia cracked open each individual peanut while my hand stayed in that position.

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The frame of the bread popping out of the cardboard (above) was definitely the biggest all-around struggle. Julia used both hands to hold up the string for the cardboard while also finding a way to click the remote, and I had one hand in the frame while the other was holding the bread up with string.

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Bon appétit! You can see our behind the scenes struggles here: