Not much new food-wise on this trip – just two new restaurants that I managed to hit while otherwise stuck in chain-restaurant hell. Line Thai, on Bell Road in Sun City, jumped out at me as a non-chain place, although it’s not exactly a hole-in-the-wall either, with a big, brightly-lit dining room and a pretty extensive menu.
Anyway, I went for the pad thai (spelled phat thai on their menu), and also added a “salad” the Thai name of which I can’t hope to remember. It was actually a dish of finely chopped chicken that had been sautÃ©ed with lemongrass, mint, chili powder (just a little), and scallions, and was served with cilantro and with sliced green cabbage wedges. It was good, not great, with a pleasant but mild flavor that unfortunately didn’t do enough to disguise the plain taste of the chicken. The pad thai was excellent, with an earthy sauce, shrimp that didn’t taste like they went from the freezer to the wok (which happens way too often, even in “good” Thai joints), and a nice hit of spice from what I presume was either chili powder or a chili sauce.
The big hit of the trip was a relatively new gelateria in Scottsdale called the Gelato Spot, on the corner of 3rd Ave and Scottsdale Rd. This is the newest of the chain’s four locations, and the gelato was very good. The texture was excellent, smooth with no granularity found in a lot of cheaper gelato places. They do keep it very cold, too much so, so that it was harder than the gelato you’d get at a really top-notch gelateria or at any gelateria in Italy. The chocolate flavor was superb, not too sweet with a nice cocoa flavor, while the caramel flavor was fair with a weird sour undertone, almost like a cheesecake flavor.