Daily Archives: March 13, 2011

March 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: Claim Jumper

Though this is apparently a chain with as many as 250 locations, I never saw one before I came here last year. And I initially misread it as “Clam Jumper” which brings to mind visages of people jumping on shellfish, or, possibly, dressing them up in little denim dresses.

But we never made it out to check last year, so when the Italian restaurant we were planning to visit turned out to be closed on Sundays and the tavern that handed out nickel pint coupons at the game turned out to be further than we wanted to drive, we headed over.

I had the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl because I’m feeling under the weather (and because I really wanted clams to be a part of this experience) while Jon had a burger called “the Widowmaker” and we both sampled the beers they brew on site. Our son, who often cannot find sides he enjoys because he doesn’t like fries, got his quesadilla with organic corn and frozen red grapes. Weird and cool!

It was a great meal, and we learned that George Foster and Griffey the Elder had been in the night before, so you don’t have to take my word for it. Next time you’re in the area and looking for some decent food, this is worth a go. Let me know if you brave the 6-layer cake…I’d love to know what it’s like.

March 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: Yogurtland

It is alive!Pick one or more yogurt flavors. Pick one or more toppings and syrups. Then pay $0.37 for each ounce of the unholy Frankenstein dessert you have created.

It’s good. Try the coconut yogurt with the Cap’n Crunch. Not really, but I think there’s something here for every non-lactose-intolerant member of the whole family.

March 13, 2011

The HoHoKam Photo Gallery

Here are all of the pictures I took at yesterday’s Reds-Cubs game at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Arizona. You can click any image to view a larger version.

Former Cincinnati Reds slugger George Foster, along with several former Chicago Cubs greats, signs shirts, baseballs, and cards at HoHoKam Park in the concourse by right field.

A Chicago Cubs groundskeeper’s grass-tending tools lie unused in center field.

The visiting bullpen at HoHoKam, with the Reds supplies ready for the pitchers.

Former Cub Ron Santo’s number behind home plate, in remembrance of his passing during the offseason.

A few Reds players and coaches in their dugout before the game.

Stretching with the trainer before the game.

Jay Bruce and Edgar Renteria walk through the outfield to the foul line to begin their pregame stretching.

Homer Bailey and Ramon Hernandez get their arms loose before the game.

Scott Rolen long-tosses before the game.

There’s nothing like drinking some Heilman’s Old Style at a Cubs game. Plus, it’s the cheapest beer at HoHoKam!

Edgar Renteria knelt to pray upon taking the field to start the game.

Jeremy Hermida got the start in left field.

Chris Heisey started in center field.

And Jay Bruce started in right.

Chris Heisey throws to cut-off man Edgar Renteria as Brandon Phillips covers second base after a Cubs hit.

Scott Rolen bats against Carlos Silva.

Marlon Byrd smiled to the crowd after someone yelled, “Marlon Byrd! You’re my hero!”

Homer Bailey delivers a fastball.

Brandon Phillips and Yonder Alonso get into defensive position as Bailey pitches.

Jeremy Hermida touches home plate after his home run.

Dontrelle Willis on the mound in relief for the Reds.

Dontrelle Willis walks with a trainer after tripping on a bat in a play at the plate.

Logan Ondrusek pitches with Paul Janish ready at short.

March 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: Compass

salmon and...figs?

The Compass Restaurant is the rotating restaurant at the top of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix. Like all rotating restaurants (and I have been in several, since my son developed a fascination with them a few years ago) the view is fabulous. At 24 stories in the midst of all the city skyscrapers, you’re looking both up and down at the sights of the city. At night we could see all the lights, but not the mountains. I imagine the view is similarly good during the day.

The food on the other hand…well that’s a different story. Neither skillfully prepared nor particularly well designed, it fails to live up to the pretense of the restaurant. Unless you count unusual ingredients as raising the bar. My salmon was served with figs, for example.

boil your own pasta, jerksUnfortunately, it was also salty and overcooked. Jon’s lamb shank was similarly mediocre. And the real kicker? The mac and cheese my son ordered was OBVIOUSLY from Kraft. I don’t mind paying high prices for good food, but $10 for Kraft dinner? You can boil pasta and add your own cheese, you know.

All-in-all, it was an adequate meal that I’m not likely to duplicate. If you go, maybe just try the view with a little wine. They purport their wine selection to be great.

March 13, 2011

HoHoKam Park Panorama

Here’s the view of HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Arizona from the left field berm. The place holds more than 10,000, much of that in the grass, so be sure to arrive early if you want a decent view.