M and I started Sunday with breakfast at Matt’s Big Breakfast. I think we took the light rail up a stop and then walked a few blocks. It was already warm (before 9) but it wasn’t unbearable yet. We actually saw other people waiting as we approached. Until that point, we’d hardly seen anyone. Granted it was the weekend in a downtown city but really it was the weekend. It was just odd.
We had about a 20-minute way, but since we weren’t hungry yet it wasn’t a big deal.
Now, about the experience. Let me start by saying the food was really good and everyone from the hostess to the servers were friendly, but they were clearly not use to the new location yet. Once we were actually seated, two separate waitresses took our drink orders. A third came over to get our food order and then came back to say that no one knew what happen to the drink order. Obviously, they need to work on a dedicated system of who is responsible for which tables. M got her egg breakfast at least 5 minutes before my pancakes arrived. Seriously.
The manager apologized for the issues and took our drink orders off the final bill. Like I said, the food was fab and the people were great. They just have a few kinks to work out. Just don’t go there if you’re already starving.
After breakfast, M and I walked over to the Heritage & Science Park, across from Arizona State University. Since we were getting hot, we decided to tour the Arizona Science Center first. What we didn’t know was that it was really geared towards kids but they had a da Vinci exhibit featuring mock ups of some of the scientist’s creations so we figured we might as well do that too.
Since it was air conditioned really well and wasn’t cheap, M and I decided to check the whole place out and enjoy it as much as we could. We were those weirdos without kids playing with all the stuff and telling bad jokes.
We played with pretty much everything before doing the da Vinci tour. Those rooms were probably the most crowded we saw our entire trip. The graphs and informational charts were all interesting. The stars were the beautiful wooden mockups of his various machines and other creations, all based on his drawings and notebooks. (They even featured wooden gears.)
The exhibit was fascinating but I thought it was overpriced given the already high ticket price, but it kept us entertained (and cool!) so no complaints here.
We decided to have lunch in the park since we weren’t sure what was open nearby. The ASU campus was right across the street but we didn’t see anyone over there and figured the campus was already on summer semester.
One place was closed on Sundays, so we read the other two menus and decided on the Rose & Crown Pub. It was pretty packed so we were expecting good food and fast service. Nope. Silly us. The servers were slow. It took forever to just get menus and another 10 minutes to have our order taken. Our waitress seemed to always be outside on the patio. The only person I saw hustling with the bartender. She certainly earned her tips (and the servers too to be honest!). Our drinks (iced teas and water) took forever to arrive and were only refilled once a few minutes after our food arrived. The food, when it showed up, was bland and only okay. I’d never eat there again or recommend it to anyone I know. Ever. (I’d like the entire amount of my life spent there to be returned with interest.) All around the worst experience we had in Phoenix and probably one of my worst restaurants I have ever been to. Hopefully, we were there on an off day and everyone is usually fabulous. Somehow, I doubt it though.
Still grumbling about lunch, M and I headed over to the Rosson House Museum in another corner of the park. We had about 30 minutes before the next tour so we hung out in the tiny store to wait.
M and I both like touring old homes. There’s a bunch back near Philly that we’ve visited and even more up in Newport, RI (where M went to college) so we were both pretty interested in this house.
It was a quaint (compared to the fabulous “cottages” built in Newport), but the Rosson House beautifully repaired and outfitted. Our tour guide looked like she might have experienced some of the 1880s herself. The floors were amazing wood patterns and the wallpapers were beautiful.
The house was decorated for a period wedding. The dining room was set for a meal with a huge “cake” and flowers on the staircase. Upstairs one bedroom had the groom’s clothes laid out while another had the bride’s gown.
When the tour was over, we headed back to the Arizona Center to get ice cream because oddly enough the Heritage & Science Park didn’t sell any. Maybe at the Science Museum cafe but we figured we had to walk back to our hotel anyway. We could break up the walk on the way.
The ice cream was pretty refreshing. Neither of us wanted to walk around downtown “sightseeing” and the art museum was going to close soon so we decided to see The Great Gatsby. I’m not sure if I liked the movie or not. I didn’t hate it. I thought it was very pretty to look at (sets, costumes, etc.) but parts were weird… rap music being played in the 1920s. M said the director had done the same thing in Moulin Rouge, which I’ve never seen but might have to after she mentioned some of the music used: Elton John comes to mind. I admit to being curious how that would work.
For dinner, we decided to try the Greek place (My Big Fat Greek Restaurant) – which I guess is actually an Arizona chain, across from Caynon Cafe. We weren’t sure what to expect, but, as soon as we walked in, the service was 1000X better than lunch. We were immediately greeted and asked if we would mind waiting a few minutes while a large party was seated. Less than five minutes later, we were seated with the host asking if we would like water while we looked over the menus, which he immediately brought before heading back to his post.
Our server appeared to introduce himself and ask if we had any questions or would like something other than water before promising to return. We ordered their garlic hummus to start, which was so good I could have eaten that all night! We barely waited at all for our entrees, which were fabulous. Our drink refills were continuous. When we left, we were acknowledged by our server and the host. (See, good customer service is easy people at the Rose & Crown!)
Filled and happy, we windowed shopped and browsed in the few empty stores before heading back to our hotel for the night.
Tomorrow – day 3.