Fry Bread House, Phoenix, AZ

by foodhoe on July 30, 2008

4140 N 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85013 602-351-2345 | Open Mon-Thurs 10AM-7PM; Fri& Sat. 10AM-8PM

The sign says Native American Food, a cuisine that I am abashed to admit I know nothing about. This is especially perplexing to me since I’ve lived in this country for almost my entire life! It seemed  practically mandatory that we investigate.

I’m in Scottsdale, AZ for the week and it’s hot out here. The land seems scorched and the heat radiates off of everything… it’s like walking into an oven every time you leave the comfort of the air conditioning.  But I do love the low adobe buildings and all of the various cacti lining the streets. The Fry Bread House is conveniently on the way from the airport to the hotel, and when we pulled in it felt a bit like you’re driving up to someone’s house with a lot of parking in front…

I did an internet search on fry bread and yes, I really have led a sheltered life – it’s one of those state fair and festival fried indulgences that people enjoy once a year and is also a mainstay on reservations and powwows. I really need to get out more… This is one place where you can get these decadently rich treats any time of the year (except Sundays when they are closed). According to this interesting post on the history of Indian Fry Bread, Indian Tacos were once voted the state dish of Arizona. Of special note, I found this wonderful website In Mamas Kitchen that describes them as related to the Hoe Cake, which must explain the sudden obsession I developed for them. She says, Hot bread from a hot hoe! Hoe Cake!

Above the window where you order hangs a sign stating “Tohono O’odham” owned and operated. The Tohono O’oadham, or the Desert People, are a group of native americans who reside primarily in the Sonoran desert.

We ordered Indian Tacos, a peerless combination of Fry Bread folded around meat, beans, cheese and lettuce. The anticipation was high as our order was called and we came back to the table with our loot. The tacos were swaddled up in white butcher paper that revealed tantalizing glimpses of cheese, sliced lettuce and the one with chorizo was spilling out from the golden bread surrounding it.

The chorizo was well cooked and had flecks of red chilis throughout and smelled really really good. Alex said it was.

It was even better with a good squeeze from the bottle of salsa they provided. It was vinegary and garlicky and not super hot but added a good zesty acidity that brightened things up. Ahhh, the blissful trinity of taco toppings: crisp iceberg lettuce and shredded cheese and salsa…

The bread is thick chewy pillow that is served with either a savory topping/filling or sweets for dessert. I read that the red chili was good and was very pleased to see big pieces of succulent and tender meat that had me smacking my lips with relish. Now, these are called tacos, but the amount of filling looks more like burrito and the fried bread is about the diameter of a dinner plate, folded over. All this for about $7!

It was heavenly and although I tried to keep the butcher paper wrapped around the fried bread, it was greasy and messy and you just have to jump in and not think about nutritional information for a single minute. The hairs on my arms stood up and I was in love. Probably best to repress the entire episode.

While we were busy savoring our tacos, the proprietor addressed the room holding up a plastic wrapped object and I only caught the part that it was a whoopie pie that a progeny of his made by her own hands and some thing else about pumpkin spice cookies… I’m a sucker, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to try any of the dessert fry breads, I picked one up on the way out.

Mmmm, I do love whoopie pies, especially the beautiful fluffy ones I enjoyed at the now defunct Myth Cafe in SF. This was a little spongey after being stored in the plastic wrap and the filling was squished out, but it was a tasty and delicious pumpkiny treat.

Since I only come to Arizona once a year, a visit to the Fry Bread House is a guilty indulgence that I can see trying to squeeze in on the way from the airport to the hotel! I can just taste that Indian Taco and that luscious red chili…

Fry Bread House on Urbanspoon

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa July 31, 2008 at 2:10 am

That looks terribly scrumptious! I’ll have to try making my own Fry Bread…

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosas last blog post..FILBERT CAKE – DARING BAKERS

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grace July 31, 2008 at 4:57 pm

i’ve never tried fry bread, but now i want some IMMEDIATELY. golly, i’ll never eat normal tacos again!

graces last blog post..zukes and maters

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Single Guy Chef August 1, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Oh. No. Fried foods! 🙁

Single Guy Chefs last blog post..Fast and Furious Fried Rice

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foodhoe August 1, 2008 at 4:16 pm

rosa, i’d love to see your take on this delicious dish!
grace, me neither – but it was so decadent that my arteries will thank me to wait until next year for the next one!
single guy, but they are simply the best fried foods!

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Passionate Eater August 2, 2008 at 8:58 am

I grew up in AZ, and only had fried bread on occasion, but your crazy-delish descriptions make me want to eat it on a daily basis! I think you were meant to eat at that restaurant: (1) it had HOE cakes and (2) it was in pHOEnix. That place had Food Hoe written all over it!

Oh, and I especially love how the owner is just randomly holding up whoopie pie. He looks like he is non-chalantly saying, “Hi. I’m holding this in midair.”

Passionate Eaters last blog post..The Public, Apology, That Is

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foodhoe August 2, 2008 at 2:19 pm

PE, you are so right, it felt like I was coming home…

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Gastronomer August 3, 2008 at 7:16 am

Pure awesomeness! I definitely want to know more about Indian (feather, not dot) cuisine. Not sure if I’ll ever be in Scottsdale, but the food court at the Native American museum in DC is supposed to be excellent.

Gastronomers last blog post..Lotteria

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Su-Lin August 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Frybread looks fantastic! Reminds me of the Caribbean doubles – the curried chickpeas sandwiched between two rounds of fried bread. So, I kind of imagine I know what frybread tastes like… How else is frybread served?

Su-Lins last blog post..Pork with Basil and Chili

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TK August 3, 2008 at 6:45 pm

OHMYGOD! That looked super yummy. Wish that place was in SF. I have fond memories of eating Indian Fry Bread at the summer fair that was held every year on the Stanford University campus.

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manju August 4, 2008 at 9:07 am

The sun isn’t even up yet and already I’m jonesing for one of those tacos with chorizo — heart-attack wrapped in deliciousness, I know, but WOW!

manjus last blog post..On the road again…

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foodhoe August 4, 2008 at 9:09 am

Gastronomer, wow, how cool! a food court at the native american museum, you must go and report back!
Su-Lin, ooh, curried chickpeas in fried bread sounds fantastic. I know this place also serves the frybread drizzled with chocolate and stuff. mmm this is making me hungry.
TK, I am shocked that you never took me along! 😉

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Kirk August 4, 2008 at 10:06 am

Hoe cakes make the FH feel right at Hoe-m! That is too tempting to pass up! Wonderdful photos as always.

Kirks last blog post..Niu Rou Mein-nia, A Niu Rou Mein comparison: Shanghai City, 168 Restaurant, and Dumpling Inn

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Wandering Chopsticks August 8, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Oh I love fry bread. You know, the version at Cheesecake Factory isn’t half bad. When you’re craving it and aren’t in AZ. 🙂 I was so disappointed last year when I went to the Grand Canyon and they said we’d eat lunch with the Native Americans and it was just pulled pork and corn bread. 🙁 I wanted fry bread! Ummm, that’s the extent of my knowledge of Native American cuisine. That and pemmican. I’m pathetic.

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foodhoe August 9, 2008 at 9:21 am

manju, I bet that would be the best breakfast ever… ooh imagine chorizo and egg on that fry bread!
kirk, you crack me up!
WC, I didn’t know they had them at cheesecake factory! re: native american food you and me both…

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taste memory girl August 11, 2008 at 5:56 pm

oh goodness ~ i just ate dinner and i’m hungry again. obviously that looks tempting ~ u take the best photos ‘outside’ dunno how you do it. my prob is when dining out and trying to shoot/i just wanna eat immediately!

I’m also trying to ban anything fried, greasy, meaty + cheesy this week – like what else is there?!…..u r a decadent girl/thanks for sharing your decadence!

taste memory girls last blog post..Fresh Intentions: santa monica’s farmer’s market + Juliano’s Planet Raw

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Monika August 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm

I’ve stopped by this little hide-a-way for years.. it’s always a treat, never greasy or heavy.. I sometimes just get the bowl of Red Chili Stew and skip the Frybread (Gasp!) but it’s sooo delicious.. I’m taking my boyfriend there after work today.

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Elita Russell November 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I am in a marketing class and have been working on marketing this company. Getting pieces together just from reading these posts is not enough therefore need some info ….please!!

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Amy September 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I love the Fry House! What a great establishment… My dad knows the owner and I’ve been going here for a while now. I think they knock anyone else out of the water, I highly recommend it! YUM!
-Amy
Kitchen Scales

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