Unseasonably warm weather in Arizona today, with winds kicking up the dust and seeding brown clouds on the horizon. Not to worry, it was still a great day to head on out to visit Surprise (I absolutely love that name for a town), check out Dillon’s BBQ in Peoria and whatever else popped up along the way.
Surprise was a short jaunt as we checked out the local stadium. We ran into the Spring Training traffic while checking up on the exhibition games at Surprise Stadium which offers two for one tickets with an AARP card on Tuesdays. Nice layout, and the parking is free.
Dillons is a local concern that has a few locations – one is in Surprise as well, but since we had time on our hands we decided to check out the original location in nearby Peoria. This is the closest to any BBQ joint we’ve found so far that reminds us of the Johnny Reb’s atmosphere in Long Beach, CA and Armadillo Willy’s in Sunnyvale, CA. We both had the pulled pork. Nice portion, great soft roll and 3 types of sauces to choose from. If you get to go in the main dining area by the windows, there is a little garden with bird houses and rock faces that is a hang-out for mourning doves. And there were quite a few of them hanging out there. They were joined by a blackbird and also two cottontail rabbits that stopped by. You can tell it doesn’t take too much to entertain me.
Not too far from Dillons is the Peoria Sports Complex. Now this is a real community center – Scottsdale should take a lesson from it. There is a skate park, playing fields, lakes for “urban fishing” (rainbow trout, catfish, and more), a playground, picnic and BBQ areas (with cover and venting for the BBQs) and a series of multiple-use trails called “New River Trail” – urban hiking made simple.
We struck up a conversation with one of the locals who had just caught an 8 inch rainbow trout – dinner, for sure, which a bird was eyeing with intent to purloin from our fishing friend. Unsuccessful, the bird flew off, but not before I caught him in a picture (see below).
We scouted on the trail for about 4 miles – a nice walk to burn off some calories from that pulled pork sandwich. Granted, it was a midweek afternoon but we ran into a lot of bicyclists and dog walkers, which made for a friendly walk. There was an interesting rock arrangement in the underpass. I have seen errant stones in various washes and sidewalks throughout the area, and I can’t figure out if people are arranging the stones or if the stones are arranged by flash floods. You can look at it and decide for yourself, while I live with the mystery.
Back home, there was no mystery when the doorbell rang and, lo and behold, our new moka pot arrived! I had been looking for a decent 3 cup version for some time now, which is perfect for 2 people to have a cup each followed by a top-off (ok, we won’t get into the grappa resintine ritual), and found one that was not in stock but could be delivered. Perfect timing! I ran a few cycles to break it in and we had a nice post-dinner moka. Life is definitely about enjoying the small stuff.