thistastylife's Recent Reviews
The first time I went to Roadem BBQ was back in 2014 before I really started spreading my wings and eating Korean BBQ on a regular basis. The last time I went to Roadem BBQ was probably well over a year ago, before they had their little “incident” and closed for awhile and reopened (ahem, I heard rodents were involved).
Since I’m still furloughed at work, a cheaper Korean BBQ option sounded like a good idea to me and I dragged Jake to Roadem BBQ on my furlough day to check it out.
The Monday-Friday lunch special. Normally I’d never get to experience this cheapness due to my work schedule. 5 choices only but they are the more popular choices.
B Menu has more choices.
Same with C.
Jake and I visited last month so we still got the $9.99 price, but it’s since been raised according to the sign above.
When you first walk in, there are some drink dispensers and you can get free samples of their drinks. They kind of taste like kool-aid.
The side dishes, or banchan. My favorites are still the Korean potato salad and the Korean pancake. I totally thought the cubes (on the bottom right) looked like cooked apples but they were cubes of cooked potato.
You get salad, too. Happily it does not have a super duper spicy salad dressing on top like some other places I have visited.
We started off with the beef – thin brisket slices – which our server slid onto this ELECTRIC grill for us. I emphasize “electric” because this grilling surface was CRAP. We actually asked if we could be seated at a gas grill but the guy gave us the lame excuse of “having so many reservations”. Bull-crap! There were open gas grill tables when we left which just made me grumble.
In any case, I quickly noticed that this craptastic grill wasn’t very hot in the middle. The meat didn’t seem to sear at all – it just kind of sweated on itself. I found the hot areas of the grill were on the edges and I started putting all the meat on the edges to get some kind of sear on it.
The beef brisket was incredibly chewy and lacked a lot of flavor. We got more than one plate of brisket as well and my normally favorite item at Korean BBQ was sadly disappointing here at Roadem BBQ. Was it the quality of the beef? The poor cooking surface? A combination of factors?
Looking over the menu, I see that the “C” menu has a different listing for thin sliced brisket, so I’m sure that the cheap-o menu you only get the crappy brisket. Boo.
We also tried the pork belly and marinated pork. These were a bit better than the brisket. Jake loves the sweet marinade on the pork – that’s his favorite item. Me – I’d probably go for the plain pork belly instead.
We also got an order of chicken which was Jake’s choice. I kept getting paranoid that the chicken wasn’t getting properly cooked on this weird-o electric grill. You can see above how I cooked things on the edges only. The chicken had a really weird extra chewy texture to it that made me think it was undercooked so I basically didn’t want to eat it. Jake had to eat 95% of it – I should have told him to just get a small order of it!
All in all, Jake and I both felt that the quality of the meat at Roadem BBQ is pretty low. You really get what you pay for and it suffers in the quality of the meat. And electric grills!? Geez, get rid of those crappy things! No one wants to sit at the electric grill table, okay? Just get hoods for all of the tables and give it up, man.
We both agree that another visit to Roadem BBQ would NOT be in order for us, no matter how cheap it is (or used to be, after the prices got raised).
It was late in the afternoon at this point and we started heading back to Flagstaff. Once we got back into town, we headed to a restaurant called Diablo Burger for dinner.
You have to walk down a little alleyway to get to Diablo Burger since it’s behind some other buildings in Downtown Flagstaff.
I read some good things about their burgers here. Apparently everyone knows about it, too, because this tiny place was PACKED.
There are about four long tables inside (with I believe six seats each) and a bar area with 4 seats. The line went out the door. There’s outdoor seating and a few people opted for that but I’m too much of a wuss to eat outside in 30 degree weather. We almost left because the wait seemed silly but I figured… gosh, we’re already here. Someone got up at the bar area and Jake managed to snag us three seats in some highly uncomfortable bar stools (I kept sliding off the seat).
It took a really long time to order. The guy taking orders seemed to be part bartender and cashier. It’s a tiny place and things do not move fast here. Am I just a spoiled Californian or something?
We finally placed our order. Silly me got an extra Basket of Frites [$5.50] not realizing how many fries this would be. You get a choice of one dipping sauce to go along with your double fried frites (which are topped with a little herbs de provence). We were boring and just got ranch. The fries are nice and crispy and had a good flavor from the herbs.
Jake and I shared the Marilyn Burger [$12]. The burgers are made with 6 ounces of “100% local, open range-raised, antibiotic-free and growth-hormone free beef”. The burgers have English muffin “buns” and each one is branded with the Diablo Burger logo. I admit that I like this extra touch.
The Marilyn is a simple burger with your choice of cheese. We got it with cheddar cheese. I liked how the cheese melted perfectly to completely cover the beef.
We got the burger medium rare and this was a wonderful pink inside! The beef was really juicy and the beef tasted wonderful. It’s a simple burger – there’s not much to it but the beef tasted really good to me. Jake thought it was just okay. He thought the burger was good but not mind blowing. I do agree with that.
T got the Cheech Burger [$13.25] which came with guacamole, pepper jack cheese, and jalapenos. He said it was pretty spicy!
While I liked the burgers I didn’t really care for the overall experience. It was hard to find, there was a long line out the door in the cold, the register moved really slowly, it was hard to get seats and I kept sliding off the uncomfortable seats. But the food was good – it was a half and half kind of experience. Good food, but you can get grumpy trying to get the food!
On our first full day in Flagstaff, we visited a place for breakfast called Tourist Home. Let me just say right off the bat that I liked Tourist Home so much that we went there TWICE. It is very unusual for me to want to go someplace twice since I love trying new places. But you shall see why I wanted to go again!
How cute is this place? Tourist Home looks like a house from the outside. There’s outdoor seating, too, so you know it’s dog friendly. We ALMOST brought Maya with us on this trip, but I didn’t want to eat outdoors or leave her in the hotel. It was too cold to be outside for a long period of time! San Diegans aren’t used to 30-40 degree weather.
That first day we went to Tourist Home just happened to be DONUT DAY. YESSSssssss!
The interior of Tourist Home. Over on the left (where you can’t see) there are a few shelves with various kitchen goods (like sauces and such).
This is the front “porch” area of Tourist Home. We parked it here for both visits. I liked looking outside while we enjoyed our breakfast.
In the back was the order counter and more importantly, the bakery counter. OH BABY.
They don’t just have baked goods, either. They’ve got a full menu! Here’s the lunch side.
And here’s the breakfast side.
Here’s what was in the case on our first visit. My eyes were bugging out! There were so many delicious looking items. I wish I could have tried it all.
And here’s what was on the counter that first day.
Just to the left of that… all of the DONUTS. Glorious looking donuts! They also had TWO kinds of french crullers that day – pumpkin spice and regular. If you know me, the french crullers were my reason for being here!
It was Donut Day after all… so here are more donuts!
Here’s the case again from our second visit. Mostly the same – a few items were swapped out.
Less donuts this visit – it was no longer Donut Day. I spied eggnog scones which sounded really interesting! Quite frankly I’m surprised I didn’t get that pecan bun, either. Regrets!
They also have cookie offerings for the cookie monster inside of you.
One of the first items I picked up was this Scallion Biscuit. I adore scallions and I loved that you could actually see bits of scallion in the dough. The outside of the biscuit had a nice crunchy exterior while the inside had fluffy bits. It was buttery and had plenty of lovely scallion flavor. I loved it!
When I was doing restaurant research for our trip to Flagstaff, I was poking around on Instagram looking for Flagstaff food. One photo that caught my eye was a photo of french crullers. Crullers are my very favorite kind of donut and these french crullers were BEYOND good. Just… holy COW.
These donuts were so light and airy on the inside – you can see the pockets in the photo above. There’s a nice vanilla glaze on top that gives it just enough sweetness. I loved the texture of this donut and the light crispiness on the edges. One of the best donuts EVER. Seriously, this is why we came back – because I needed one more of these donuts before we left!
T decided to get the BLT Sandwich [$8]. He got this TWICE as well. Ha. The first time he got it with potato chips and the second time he got it with fries (a $2 upcharge). The fries were much better. There’s an amazing aioli that they put on the BLT which takes it to the next level. Quite tasty!
Since I bought a few baked goods, I figured I’d better stick with one of the kid’s meals. I knew the baked goods would fill me up so I didn’t want to have a huge breakfast in my belly. I ended up getting the Kid’s Classic [$5] which came with one egg, your choice of meat, toast, and jam. The perfect amount of food.
Jake wasn’t feeling very breakfast-y so he got a Kid’s Chicken and Tots [$5] which comes with grilled chicken breast and tater tots. I thought the chicken breast was too dry but the tater tots were quite good. They make their own in house ketchup which tasted more like BBQ sauce to me.
Jake wanted this donut, which I think is a Raspberry Beignet. They were labeled as beignets but these were really more of a heavy, bready donut than the lighter beignets covered in powdered sugar.
T went back to the counter and ordered one more donut for himself, this Apple Pie Beignet. Again – it was a very heavy donut. Quite chewy with a thick shell. The apple pie filling was quite nice inside but I felt like I was eating bread more than I was eating a donut.
On the second visit I decided to take a few treats to go. I enjoyed this Salted Caramel Tart [$3.50] later in the day (I stored it in our cooler). The chocolate top is dark chocolate so there was a slight bitterness along with the salty caramel. I wish this was milk chocolate instead since I’m not a big fan of dark chocolate, but I still enjoyed the tart. The buttery crust was a nice addition to the whole dessert.
We also got a slice of Brownie Peanut Butter Pie to enjoy. I wanted to love this one, too, but alas… I did not. The brownie pieces within the pie were weirdly dry. I was expecting little fudgy bits within a creamy peanut butter pie but instead the brownie bits were pockets of disappointment. The peanut butter pie itself was fine, but I like my own version better which has more peanut butter flavor.
While we were still at the restaurant on that second visit, T got a slice of Eggnog Cheesecake [$5] and gave me a couple of bites to try. I was surprised that I liked it since eggnog is not high on my list of favorite things; but it was a subtle eggnog flavor that paired well with the very creamy cheesecake. A solid holiday choice.
I got less baked goods to eat at the restaurant that second time around so I decided to splurge and get a Classic Eggs Benedict [$10]. The hollandaise sauce they make here is on point! It was creamy and delicious and tasted wonderful with the poached egg and ham. It looked like they used ham that was carved off a bone-in ham as well – none of that prepackaged crap they try to pass off as ham in the grocery store. I actually got full and only ate half and gave the rest to Jake to supplement his meal.
Jake decided to go for the Kid’s Oatmeal [$5]. I bet he knew I wouldn’t finish my eggs benedict! They use steel cut oats for their oatmeal (aka the good kind!) and put in fruit and (evil) raisins. The brown sugar and milk are on the side so you can customize your oatmeal’s sweetness.
T got a BLT again. They actually accidentally charged him twice and gave him two BLT’s. When they realized their mistake, they offered to comp the second BLT. T kept trying to refuse but the manager would not have it – she insisted on crediting him for the second BLT. She even processed the whole thing and just needed his card to make it go through – and that’s when he finally gave his card over to get the money back. Good customer service!
We learned from one of the gals working there that when you buy 3 baked goods, you get a discount. The discount applies to for all of the baked goods that are under $3. I actually don’t know how much the donuts were since there weren’t prices listed and I never got an itemized recipe. But we decided to splurge and each get a cruller to go. I ate my cruller in the afternoon when we were in Phoenix. It didn’t tasted quite as good as the fresh donut I had the day before – but it was still really excellent. Crullers tend to not keep very well but even this partially old donut was one of the best I’ve had. If you find yourself in Flagstaff, definitely stop in for a cruller or other delicious baked good from Tourist Home!
After spending time with the puppies, Laura and I headed out to grab some dinner at a place called Saigon Star over in Mission Gorge. It’s right across the way from Kaiser on Zion. It’s in the same plaza as Gaglione Brothers.
It’s got a nice vibe in here. The decor is pretty.
Instead of spending oodles of time filling up your water glass, they give you a big bottle of water. I like it when places do this!
Here’s a look at their menu. They’ve got a variety of items available here. It’s a bit of a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese food.
Laura and I shared a pot of Hot Jasmine Tea [$1.50]. The tea leaves are left floating at the bottom without a strainer so I recommend drinking this quickly, if you can. The tea gets stronger and stronger and becomes quite bitter. If you ask for a refill, they just add hot water again and the same bitter flavor is there. I wish they added a tea strainer so you could remove the leaves to avoid the bitterness of the tea.
Laura got a cup of Wonton Soup [$4.75]. It was cold out and she wanted something piping hot to eat and this fit the bill for her. I didn’t try it but it looks good.
Laura and I have really similar tastes in food so it’s great dining with her because we can share and agree on everything. We decided to get an order of Grilled Sugarcane Shrimp Rolls [$5.50]. The shrimp doesn’t look like shrimp. It looks like they form a shrimp loaf or something since it looks more like a shrimp wedge. The weird “it don’t look like shrimp!” aspect doesn’t take away from the fact that these suckers are really good. They pack a ton of flavor in with the sticky spring roll wrapper and the noodles and veggies. I LOVED the peanut sauce they served with the spring rolls as well. They elevated the spring rolls and took them to the next tasty level. Yum!
We decided we were in the mood for some noodles and choose one of the noodle stir fry dishes to share. We got the Saigon Star House Special Combo Stir Fry Noodles [$10.75]. You have a choose of noodles and we went with the pan fried noodles (wide noodles). The house special noodles comes with chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp with tons of veggies like boy choy, broccoli, carrots, onions, and cabbage.
You can see the thick wide noodles in the center of this photo above. These are the kind of noodles I like! They are wider and a big chewier than their thinner egg noodle counterpart. The sauce on this dish was quite lovely and paired well with the noodles and veggies. It was a tad on the greasy side but I still enjoyed the side overall. I liked the variety of vegetables with the meats and shrimp. It was a great dish for us to share and we even had leftovers!
I would consider coming here again with friends. Jake would probably make a face at the amount of veggies in here but I’d tell him that veggies are good for him!
We pulled into Flagstaff around 6PM. Our first stop was actually to the local Walmart because I left my heavy wool jacket at home! I was in disbelief that I forgot my very important jacket and had to make due wearing multiple layers for the weekend. After checking into our hotel nearby, we went off for dinner to a local restaurant called Beaver Street Brewery.
This place was hopping on a Friday night! I spied lots of families in the dining room and there were quite a few folks waiting for a table that evening. It took about 25 minutes for us to get a table.
Beaver Street Brewery has a variety of items on their menu – including pizzas and locally made beer.
There was a nice homey feel to the place. Some of the walls are decorated with kitchen tools, pots, and pans. There’s also various train items since they are very close to Flagstaff’s Historic Train Depot.
Happy to warm and getting ready for food!
The boys each got a couple of sodas. T got this Prickly Pear soda which I thought was god-awful sweet.
On another note, in all the gift shops in Arizona they have prickly pear flavored things. Prickly pear taffy. Prickly pear licorice. Prickly pear blah blah blah.
Jake some some Sarsaparilla. I’ve always loved the name of this drink.
The thing that caught my eye when doing restaurant research for Flagstaff was the fondue at Beaver Street Brewery. That’s what brought me in and that’s one of the dishes that we shared. They have two kinds of fondue and we choose the Beaver Street Brewery Fondue [$15.49] which was a pub-style fondue made with sharp cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and their own Railhead Red Ale. It comes with cubes of bread and veggies.
The cheese comes in a cute little pot with two tealight candles underneath to keep it warm.
I didn’t notice at first but the bread as caraway seeds in it. UGH. I managed to pick the seeds out and find cubes with no seeds in it to make my experience more enjoyable. Cauliflower also tastes SO MUCH BETTER covered in CHEESE.
The cheese was gooey and stringy and DELICIOUS. We loved dipping the food in it! The fondue had a really good flavor and I liked how it stuck well to the food we dipped into it. The fondue was T’s #1 favorite thing on this trip. We let him finish off the rest of the fondue and he made sure to get every little bit out.
We got another appetizer called Pizza Chips [$6.99] to share. It’s kind of like pizza but with less cheese and sauce on top. They use one of their pizza crusts to make this so it’s got a little bit of cheese and lots of herbs. These were toasty with a little bit of crunch on the edges. The marinara sauce was excellent.
Whenever I see Chicken Fried Chicken [$14.99] on a menu, I always think it says Chicken Fried Steak. Maybe because secretly I would always rather have chicken fried steak? T decided to pull the trigger and try out the chicken fried CHICKEN which came with mashed potatoes, lots of country gravy, and corn. They use chicken breast which is fried in a crispy coating – just like the steak ones! This one had a decent flavor. It was a hearty, filling, stick-to-your-bones kind of meal, good for those cold winter nights in Flagstaff. I’d prefer it with dark meat since white meat isn’t totally my thing, but hey – it was a good meal.
Jake surprised the hell out of me by suggesting we share the Mongolian Beef Salad [$13.99]. Jake NEVER suggests salads as a meal so I was quite impressed with his suggestion. He figured the cheese and bread would all be heavy and having a salad would help balance out our meal – and he was right! The mongolian beef on the salad was really tasty and had a great Asian-y flavor to it. I loved the peanut sprinkled about and the fresh flavors of the salad. The dressing was also really nice – a little bit sweet.
We couldn’t leave without trying dessert and luckily they have a nice little Dessert Trio [$6.25]. This was a great way to sample all of the desserts for a lower price. You get one piece of Apple Ginger Stout Cake (on the right), Fruit Cobbler (lower left) and Chocolate Bread Pudding (top). I thought the Apple Ginger Stout Cake was the bread pudding just by the dark looks of it. It had a gingerbread flavor to it so I ended up referring to it as the “gingerbread cake”. It turned out to my my favorite of the bunch due to the flavor and texture of the cake. The fruit cobbler was just okay and the chocolate bread pudding was far too rich for my liking. I was glad we got to try out all three though instead of just getting stuck with one choice!