Nami: An Arizona Vegan Restaurant, Reviewed

Nami: An Arizona Vegan Restaurant, Reviewed

A review of one of Phoenix's top vegan restaurant.

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As another birthday has come and gone, bringing with it the pressures of the real world, I've been forced to determine the things which bring value and happiness into my life. For the sheer hell of it, the central art piece in my very first adult apartment was a grocery cart which my roommate and I found in the hallways of our complex on the day we moved in. I spent the first moments of my twentieth year sitting in that cart, being pushed down my hallways by my friends singing happy birthday while I selfishly enjoyed my favorite yearly gift to myself: a box of half a dozen donuts from Nami. It truly is the little things in life.

If I were an animal in a shelter, my About Me information would include the words "food-motivated." Every warmly loved tradition I've formed since I've moved to the city has surrounded food and for the Phoenix vegan, vegetarian, or curious eater, Green and Nami are the local heroes we don't deserve but desperately need. Two years ago, I wandered into their teal oasis searching for ice cream in the dead dry summer with the same severity which Harry Potter searched for the Horcruxes. Upon first entering, I knew I had found my home away from home.

The menu at Green has something for everyone, from the hypothetical, mystical vegan who survives off nothing but salads to the big-bites-out-of-a-big-wac vegan to the "I-was-dragged-here-by-a-vegan"s. The menu is sectioned off into bites, rice bowls, greens + garden burritos, handhelds, sides, and kid's stuff. We order our meals at the counter and take our number to the patio.

I couldn't help the allure of the hold-in-your-hands and stuff-in-your-face toasted ciabatta bread full of buffalo mock chicken, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and homemade vegan mayo: the original "g" spicy po' boy sandwich. I'm as white as it gets when it comes to handling spicy food, but, po' boy, does the original "g" balance their sauces right. Even though it's more food than I can handle, my stomach also urges me in the direction of the animal fries, vegan spin on the In-N-Out favorite, smothered in melted cheese, grilled onions, and 1k island sauce. After a few bites I had to tap out but when I went back up to the counter to grab a compostable take-out box, I highly debated asking for several sides of the 1k island sauce to go.

My companion, a vegan by allergic design and severely celiac to boot, opts for the less messy, healthy option of an organic Thai peanut brown rice bowl with broccoli, carrots, bok choy, peanuts and a simple yet spicy peanut sauce. It comes with an option of mock chicken, mock beef, house tofu, or fresh, organic sprouted tofu. While I strongly hold the belief that Green's mock chicken could be the answer to world peace (or at least chickens' peace) she has a strong disposition against mock meats and opts for extra veggies instead. The bowl it comes in is huge, making it initially look as if they're skimping out on the food itself. In reality, it was never-ending. the spicy peanut sauce wasn't as harsh as my buffalo sauce, but it was enough to give the simple meal a kick in the right direction.

The one thing we can positively agree on is that the made-in-house Vimto tea made of raspberries, grapes, and black currants is sweetened with the promise of addiction. And the ice machine is covered in a polka dotted pattern of Ice-T's face which earns the place style points. Those who question what vegans eat or how we manage to keep to our diets would eat their words if they ever ate this food.

A lunch date is never quite complete without a ten-step journey to the treats over at Nami. Staying true to our ordering styles at Green, my lack of self-control ordered me a peanut butter and chocolate tsoynami with a vanilla base, a Nami cupcake, and a Snickers donut. My companion put her sweet-tooth under the pillow for collection years ago. She was there for the company and the atmosphere of the sweet sweets shop while I took scoops from my better-than-a-blizzard ice cream drenched in chocolate sauce and mixed with natural peanut butter. The Nami cupcake, a hostess cupcake all grown up, and the donuts of my dreams, all the fluff with none of the grease, were to-go orders to save my poor jeans.

The vegan treats are obviously a treat and while we come for the food, the place itself invites customers to get cozy while enjoying their cold-brew. The tables are close enough to eavesdrop on the conversations of the other patrons, but that only aids to the feeling of community created there. There's an artistic vibe that's difficult to put a cap on, from the ever-changing local artist's work being featured on the walls for sale to the little libraries residing in the windowsills. The unfunctional fireplace is filled with t-shirts capturing it all in one simple saying: "fuking go nuts for vegan donuts." The teal exterior could rival Roosevelt Row and you'll never be hard-pressed to find local indie and alternative events in the area plastered to the drinks and cookie dough fridge from art shows to concerts.

Green and Nami are your one stop shop for everything happy, hippie, indie, vegan, cliché- and it's astounding.

Hours for Green Hours for Nami

Monday-Saturday: 11:00am-9:00pm 7:00am-9:30pm daily

Breakfast/Brunch served

Monday-Saturday: 7:00am-9:30am

Sunday: 9:00am-2:00pm

Rating: 5/5 stars

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10 Things People Who Addictively Drink Diet Coke Are Sick Of Hearing

In tribute to the most wonderful beverage in the world during my attempt to detox.
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Hi I'm Katie, and I'm a Diet Coke-aholic. It's been 28 days, 22 hours, 2 minutes, and a handful of seconds since my last Diet Coke and I think I'm going to die. I'm not kidding — I've had dreams about the stuff, it's bad guys. I figured with the new year I would try and be healthier. I said I would give up Diet Coke for a year, a whole year. So when I found myself sitting in my room missing the feeling of drinking a nice cold Diet Coke I couldn't help but reminisce on all of the super annoying things people say about my "addiction."

1. It'll cause cancer

The original study that “firmly concluded" that Diet Coke “definitely causes cancer" was done by Italian researchers where they overfed almost 2,000 rats aspartame (the main sweetener in diet soda) at a rate and concentration that no human being would ever likely consume. So although a link was found between aspartame dosage and cancer in rats a similar study on humans confirmed no link between the two. Maybe they'll find something in the future, but right now I get to drink my can guilt free. Science.


2. You know, Diet Coke won't make you skinny

I haven't been to the gym since October. Trust me, honey, I'm not drinking the stuff for the health benefits. I'm drinking it for the delicious taste.


3. Have you ever thought about cutting back a little?

No.


4. Have you ever thought about swapping it out for seltzer water or something else?

No. Seriously? Are you kidding me? Please stop suggesting stupid things.


5. Put the bottle down!

Some people think that it's a problem. I think that it's a solution.


6. Diet Coke is actually worse for you than regular Coke.

Ok cool. Thanks, doc.


7. Do you know how much money you're probably spending?

No, and I don't want to find out. I have been successfully avoiding the answer to this since 2010.


8. All that soda will impact your mood.

You're damn right it will. If I'm stressed, or sad, or angry — you name it, a Diet Coke is guaranteed to make me smile. So thank you for pointing this out because yes, Diet Coke does affect my mood.


9. The sugar will rot your teeth

a) It's the carbonation, not the sugar that rots your teeth b) I brush my teeth and practice other oral hygiene regardless so I think I'm OK.


10. You have a problem.

Yeah, it's you. I am fully aware that I drink more Diet Coke than some people but I'm OK with that.


Despite all of the nonsense people insist on talking to me about I will always have a special place in my heart for Diet Coke. See you in 2017, my love.

Cover Image Credit: Coca-Cola Co.

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Famous 48 In Scottsdale, AZ Is Making A Comeback

Famous 48, known for its Arizona local comfort food and alcohol, will open on February 12, 2019.

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Scottsdale is gaining a new and impressive sports bar a few miles North of Old Town Scottsdale. Famous 48 promises a casual vibe, comfort food and a sanctuary for guests who enjoy locally made craft beer and sports.

Formerly located in Old Town Scottsdale, Famous 48 is moving eight miles north to The Shops Gainey Village, a mall that currently houses locally owned shops and restaurants.

The new location is convenient for shoppers and residents of the area who like to enjoy a relaxing, hospitable restaurant experience.

This particular sports grill is set aside from others because of its love for Arizona, its residents and innovative food and serving styles.

The eatery possesses a unique and creative menu that includes many American and Arizona dishes. From waffle-pressed macaroni and cheese to crispy southwest egg rolls, the traditionally made food is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. Other popular picks on the menu include baby back ribs (pictured below), fish-n-chips and the skillet cookie.

Along with artisan foods, Famous 48 also offers an extensive list of innovative craft cocktails, beer and wine -many of which are local to Arizona.

Cocktails such as the Fashioned48, Prickly Pear Mojito and the Red Rock Sunset all feature a taste of the valley as they include ingredients that are home-grown and made locally.

The new interior of the 4,500 square-foot building is an ideal atmosphere for sports-lovers and families. It will include horseshoe-shaped booths, a comfortable bar, and 36 TVs.

The climate in Arizona is great for outdoor dining, and Famous 48 uses the sunny weather to its benefit. Seating is available inside and outside and includes an indoor/outdoor bar.

The interesting name, "Famous 48," is suiting for the establishment because Arizona was the 48th state to be admitted into the Union on Feb. 14, 1912. Arizona's culture is reflected in the design of the building, the menu and the sunny vibe that the restaurant strives to create.

The restaurant is owned by the company Square One Concepts along with other familiar eateries like Bourbon & Bones, Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers and Wasted Grain.

Founder and CEO S. Barrett Rinzler has been named "2017 Restaurateur of the Year."

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