English Tea Rooms, mesquite grilled chicken + smoked brisket in a Frontier Town.
We drove up to the little towns Carefree and Cave Creek in Arizona for the day today. First stop was afternoon tea at the famous English Rose Tea Rooms in Carefree (on Easy Street. Yep. On Easy Street in Carefree).
These tea rooms had popped up in my culinary searches of Arizona – run by a woman from the UK, they are a hotspot for ‘ladies who lunch’ to dress up in fancy hats and dresses and dine on cucumber sandwiches, real British scones with clotted cream and jam, and a huge selection of teas.
I had scones with a pot of black rose tea, and sat underneath a decorative chandelier of teapots and teacups, next to flowers and British flags. I am in training to move to London it seems!
Afterwards, we drove to Bartlett’s Lake, a typical National Lampoons style American family holiday summer lake.
It was fairly quiet as it is the middle of winter, but there are tonnes of watersport activities, ice cream vendors, boats, and places to go swimming.
We drove back to Cave Creek, and wandered the Frontier Town, checking out all the pottery, leather and metalwork stores on the dusty, cactus-laden main street.
We found a crazy ‘junk shop’ which was packed with everything you could ever imagine.
Like this pig, who was just begging to be ridden around the yard.
Or this wooden signboard.
We found so many crazy things.
Afterwards we head towards Cave Creek Smokehouse for some slow-smoked brisket and ribs.
They smoked their meats over mesquite overnight, for minimum 12 hours.
I ordered the special dinner platter which came with half a mesquite smoked chicken, 12 oz of smoked brisket, cowboy beans, coleslaw and BBQ sauce for US$12.
It didn’t quite stand up to BBQ in Melbourne, surprisingly, but then again not much can beat Silver Creek Smokers 36 hour brisket with the fabulous award winning Cape Grim Beef. I have been spoiled for all other BBQ…