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    Saddle Ranch Chop House

    Micah and I discovered this restaurant down the road that we love! And the strangest things happen to us while we are there. Well, we’ve been there twice and weird things happened both times at least. I don’t know what will happen next time, but this place is full of surprises…

    Let be back up a minute though. When I say restaurant, I really mean restaurant/bar/club/honky tonk all in one. It’s called the Saddle Ranch Chop House and it’s the weirdest place ever. The first time we walked in there were tons of little kids running around everywhere, mainly hovering around the mechanical bull. Right in front of us was the bar and as we waited for a table, we started to notice college-age kids wearing strange outfits grouping in this area. After a while we realized we were witnessing the start of a golf-themed frat party. To our left there were normal tables, mainly filled with nervous parents going out for one last dinner with their college freshman, as it was ASU move-in weekend. Fine family dining. Micah and I chose to eat out on the patio, where it was more of a date-night scene. Couples in their 20s and 30s. Open fire. Rustic tables. Yet, the waitresses looked a little like Hooters waitress, but more urban cowgirl. Short shorts, ripped shirts, boots. Weirdest place ever.

    However, we love it! Not only was our food delicious, but they start out every meal with free mini biscuits and mini cornbread muffins with HONEY CINNAMON BUTTER. Seriously, it’s the best appetizer I have ever had. Many of you know about my passion for biscuits. During our meal the manager stopped by our table just to check in. Micah asked him a few questions about the business, and before we knew it the guy was giving us free dessert for no reason. We spent our one month anniversary date sitting by the outdoor fire toasting marshmallows and making s’mores for free.

    Our second visit was on a Monday night. I have a night class on Mondays, so I don’t get home until 8pm. Clearly, Micah and I don’t like to eat dinner together that late, so we have instated DESSERT MONDAY. Since we both just do dinner on our own, we go out and try a new dessert place every Monday when I get out of class. It’s amazing. Well, one Monday the two places we tried to go to happened to be closed – very inconvenient… don’t they know about Dessert Monday? We were right next to Saddle Ranch, so we decided to go there again and try their skillet cookie, which was our 2nd choice on our free dessert night. The place was pretty much dead on a Monday, a couple of families, no small children or intoxicated golfers. While we were waiting for our dessert, however, a guy came up to us and begged us to ride the bull. Apparently, this was the guy in charge of bull riding and he hadn’t given a single ride all night. He was bored out of his mind. It was supposed to be $3 per ride, but when he saw we weren’t that interested, he basically forced us to ride it for free. Can’t pass up some free entertainment to go with Dessert Monday, so we signed our lives away on the waiver and rode the bull. I begged him to go easy on me, due to my only other bullriding experience in high school, where I felt like my wrist was broken by the end. He didn’t toss me off, but the bull made a weird girating movement at the end of my ride which was very awkward. Micah told him to go all out, which he did. The funniest part was that the guy announced us over the microphone as if there were actually people in the restuarant that cared that we riding the bull. I’m sure his “Here we have Jen facing the bull!” simply interrupted to two dinner conversations going on in the corner, but we can’t complain about our free 8 seconds on the Saddle Ranch bull.

    Maybe we will try their brunch next…

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    ANTS!

    I learned something new today…
    If you leave the remnants of sugar that spilled out of a bag of Watermelon Sour Patches (best candy ever!) from last football season (yes, one year ago… I believe from that blessed day when UW beat USC…) in the bottom of the center console of your car, nothing happens… IF you live in Washington. In Washington, sugar just sits there. Waiting. Waiting for a full car detail to erase its existence (clearly not a priority for me in the past 12 months), waiting for a moment of starvation where the granules of sugar get licked up by a hungry driver… I don’t know. They just sit there, and they have in my car for the past 365ish days.
    However, in Arizona, a few granules of sugar cannot just sit in the bottom of the console beneath the spare napkins, winter gloves (that I now sometimes wear to touch my steering wheel when it’s extremely hot out), and sunglasses. Lingering sugar must be consumed… by ants.
    I was driving to school today when something caught my eye down below. Movement around my stick shift. I squint and see that black ants are climbing all over my center console. At first I think they must be attracted to the remnants of an Americano I spilled in my car last spring. I mean, it’s been cleaned of course, but you can still see streaks of lingering white chocolate goodness if you look closely. Then I realize that the ants seem to be coming in and out of the covered compartment where I store the seasonal items mentioned above. So the Americano remains must be dessert and I figure the main course of the feast must be inside… but since I was driving, very erratically I might add as the ants were demanding my attention instead of the road, I could not proceed with my investigation until I arrived at school.
    I have to say that my pets made me uneasy as I was driving along. At first, I was afraid they were fire ants and I was going to get bit and swell up like I always do… then I realized they seemed to be pacifists… just really in it for the food. When I finally got to pull everything out of the compartment, I saw a few little specks of sugar at the bottom. The remnants of my snack at a UW football game last year had now become lunch for my new pets… I cleaned the area out as best as I could with Armor-All wipes I found in my trunk. When I went back tonight to do a more thorough cleaning, my visitors were gone! There is still a little sugar left in the bottom, so maybe they will be back again tomorrow for seconds.
    I have always been anti-pets, but maybe I am changing my tune in this new Arizona lifestyle…
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    Phoenix… is that all you got?!

    So I moved to Phoenix….
    And I have a major problem. Phoenix is not hot enough.
    O14A0247
    A week after moving in I asked Jen if there is any place hotter than Phoenix that we could live. She named a desert in Africa, but much to my dismay no place in the continental US.
    Welcome to Satan’s Basement. The locals tell me that this is like the surface of the sun and they can hardly bear July and August because it’s sooo hot. Well I’ve got news for the locals… if this is as hot as the surface of the sun, I’m walkin on sunshine.
    Jen and I were sitting in the finest dining establishment in Scottsdale last night, Applebees, gorging ourselves on the finest hors d’ouvers, including: honey BBQ wings, mozzarella sticks, and some other fried grease, when we noticed that we were both freezing because the AC was at a frigid seventy two…brrr.
    Let’s go outside to warm up… but it’s only 106 outside and 106 here is not like other parts of the country.
    The temp outside is not what you think when you see Komo 4’s Steve Pool point to the red and say “OUCH!!! 110. Better wear your sunscreen.” If you have ever known the sweltering heat of Minnesota in July then you know that you go into a sauna to escape their 89 degree day. Or a 95 degree day in Seattle day when people loosen up their birkenstocks buckles to get a little more air flow. No, 110 here is not the ridiculous fry an egg on my head heat you get in the states that have humidity.
    110 here makes me wear a coat to work everyday… well that and the dress code.
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