Ah thanks so much! This is exactly the kind of info I was hoping for. I will be staying in one of the University College buildings. This seems to be right in the area you are both talking about. I will definitely get myself a transit map and do some exploring.
@kaszeta: Haha, well do you have me there. I would agree that Pete's isn't great food. However, I would say that I like Pete's in the way that I like Taco Bell or Lucky Charms or Doritos. I recognize that it isn't quality food, and probably not exactly what it seems to be, but sometimes I just want my nachos bell grande or bright orange chips or strange hard pastel colored marshmallows or my giant pile of breaded fried seafood with "special sauce". I recognize that its not a great culinary experience, but sometimes it hits the spot.
I suggested it because it is a local place that has a history and a following and I was trying to give a range of suggestions. I should have been more clear about what an out-of-towner should expect in terms of objective quality as it is definitely not close to any of the other places people had mentioned.
If you have a lot of time, you should check out Beaver Choice in Tempe http://www.beaverchoice.com/. It is right near the 101, one of the major highways. This is a true family place, in a strip mall. Mostly Scandinavian food cooked by a really fun family. The Schniztel Cordon Bleu either with chicken or pork is truly one of the best things I have had. They make their own gravlax as well. Consistently awesome food. Only catch is that you have to wait a very long time for your food. Seriously, bring you own bottle of wine and relax while you wait.
Cornish Pasty in Tempe is also great. If you don't know, a pasty is a pastry filled with meat and vegetables. A little bit like a pot pie with no gravy. They have traditional and non-traditional flavors in a pub-like setting.
I second Four Peaks and the suggestion to walk down Mill street in Tempe.
In Phoenix proper, La Grande Orange is a market with fantastic pizza and salads for reasonable prices. Cafe type situation in an upscale market. Lo Los Chicken and Waffles is also great, it is simply Chicken + Waffles. Fry Bread House is great. You must have a frybread taco with green chili sauce while you are here!
For fast food, Pete's Fish and Chips are around the Phoenix area. Pretty good stuff!
Cured and smoked for our pleasure
Spiced and dry aged for good measure
Dawn noontime or night
You are my delight
Ham is the edible treasure
Thanks for all the great feedback! The reason I am ok spending in the $100 range is that I do know that I will use a dehydrator because I use my friend's quite often! I guess I'm not big on the round ones because I feel like it would be hard for me to store. However, I could be convinced that it won't matter.
I appreciate the comments about the excalibur. I have heard nothing but great things about them but in addition to being quite expensive, they seem to have a bigger footprint. I would not 100% rule out getting one, but I am a graduate student and have a pretty small budget for "fun" things like this :)
plain milk chocolate
6" Forschner chef's. Not fancy but durable, handles the dishwasher, and unpretentious.
We had it in southeast Michigan
with irish cream
As is with a nice beverage.
When I lived in Ann Arbor and got to eat pork at Zingerman's all the time!
Definitely tasting. This is the best way to make a familiar dish great or to work with new ingredients.
French silk pie.
Mustard, gruyere, onion, sprouts, honey mustard dressing, lettuce, tomato, toasted roll
Sally's bbq in Sedona, AZ
When I first discovered that there are cookies made of lard :)