What’s in a name?

*IMG_4714Before you stop reading, this post is NOT about the Royal Baby’s name the world awaits for today.*

Have you ever bought a bottle of wine based on its name? Went to a restaurant based on its name?

A few months ago, my husband and I were in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was there for IABC Leadership Institute, so I knew the IABC Dine-Around I’ve mentioned here before was something to look forward to.

There weren’t many restaurant options in the vicinity except for a Fogo de Chao across the street. We decided to skip it since we had reservations to the new churrascaria opening in Winnipeg when we got back.  We were a 10 minute bus ride from downtown Scottsdale so we ended up there everyday. On our way there we saw a place called Papi Chulos, then a place called Dos Gringos. Both of them stuck out at me because of the names so I made a note to try to get to them. I was on a mission to get to College Dropout, a place I had read about before my trip.

The evening of the infamous IABC Dine Around, I opted to do my own thing since I had my husband in tow, but we chose a restaurant from the Dine Around list. We went to Mexican restaurant Barrio Queen in downtown Scottsdale and what a fabulous choice it was. The name intrigued me but it was the food that left me really impressed.

I had the carne asada entree mainly because it came with: black refried beans, grilled onions, avocado and one my mother used to make and I haven’t hads since – calabacitas (sauteed zucchini usually cooked with onions or garlic and some chill). It was perfect and comforting.


Carne Asada entree.


Sangria and Corona with a side of the Virgen de Guadalupe.

This was accompanied by fruity sangria and coronas. It was a meal reminiscent of our Mexican vacation that was still lingering in our thoughts. After our meal we sat in the bar and chatted with the bartender. Their tequila selection was impressive, they have over 275 kinds.  It wasn’t until the day after our visit to Barrio Queen that I happened to run across this article and getting a glimpse of the chef made me even happier we had been. One thing is certain – her food’s got soul!

We loved the dia de los muertos decor, and the Virgen de Gudalupe veladoras (prayer candles) on the tables. They even sell t-shirts, earring and other merchandise with the logo. Their slogan “a toda madre” doesn’t translate literally into English well, but it refers to something being “absolutely awesome”. I would go back or check out the chef’s other ventures, and I absolutely recommend Barrio Queen if you find yourself looking for Mexican in downtown Scottsdale.

Side story: The day we left Scottsdale, we walked over to The Good Egg (another fun name) for breakfast. It was full but I decided to go in to see how long the wait was. As I opened the door, a mother and her child came out and I held the door for them. “Excuse me,” the mother said. I looked up and it was Pink. I got a little star struck, kinda froze and forgot what I was doing and walked out of the restaurant following Pink with my eyes to confirm it was her. It was; a tweet later that day confirmed she was in town recording an album.


2 responses

  1. I was a resident of Scottsdale for three years. Did you make it to Culinary Dropout and what did you think? Another awesome place to try is in North Scottsdale True Food @ Scottsdale Quarter. Awesome eats in Scottsdale!

    • Unfortunately Culinary Dropout was full and there was a wait and we were starving. So many places to choose from, I’d definitely return! Thanks for your comment.

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