The rain has set in so the next couple of days we are moving around the area to a few haunts that Donald has up his sleeve, and a restaurant my tastebudds were craving after I saw a segment on the Arizona Highways TV program last night. (Arizona Highways is like Chronicle back East.) But first, we are off to a train store in Fountain Hills, just east of Scottsdale. Donald has a business card of a train fellow he met at a train show here in Tucson. I’m sure by the way the card is tattered, he’s had it in his wallet for a few years. In any case, we’re off trying to find the address. How big can Fountains Hills be? After doing the man thing, we finally decided to ask for assistance and pulled into a strip mall where there was a Real Estate office. Can’t go wrong here. They must have street maps. (No visitor’s center found.) Bingo. And he’s just around the corner. In we go and while I wait patiently knowing my restaurant is next, we (Donald) spend about an hour looking through parts and accessories. It’s a man’s Filenes’s basement. Bins of track, trains and miniature scenery; all for the rummaging. After a lot of train talk and a small purchase, we’re off to Gilbert, Az. and LUNCH…………..
Joe's Real BBQ, Gilbert, AZ.
Joe’s Real BBQ in Gilbert is about an hour's drive just south of Fountain Hills. It’s basically the next town over, but you don’t move fast around these parts and we always tend to take the long way to get anywhere. (Still trying to keep off those freeways.) But none-the-less, without an address or map, it was meant to be and we see it on the corner. Big sign: "Joe’s". It’s mid-day, mid-week, so no parking problems and no waiting. I’m starved. In a 1929 building, old for these parts, Joe came to town from Texas (where else). A coffee merchant turned barbequer, he opened up this place 10 years ago. Big banner,”1998 -Celebrating 10 years-2008. Taking a booth, dropping the rain gear and camera, up to the counter we go. So many choices, but I order the BBQ Sampler. I’m getting it all: ribs, chicken, pork and beef with two sides; beans, and Mac n’ cheese. Donald gets the brisket sandwich with beans and slaw. If I thought it would have measured up to my friend Patty’s cornbread, I would have ordered that too. True loyalty.
The place is warm and easy and the decorations keep you entertained. A John Deer tractor center stage and a mural of Gilbert in the 40’s embraces all walls. And, in keeping to his true calling, coffee is only .25 cents. Toothpicks anyone………………
(A friend of mine from Salem, Kate, has family from Gilbert, so I gave her a call so I could say: “Guess where we are?” To bad, voice mail, so I left a message. She probably thinks I’m crazy or maybe she’s buried in all that snow they are getting back East.)