Sun, Dec. 15

John Swingle: Roasted but not overdone at 80 years old

John Swingle and Jan Meyer at John's 80th birthday in April.

John Swingle and Jan Meyer at John's 80th birthday in April.

When you start getting invited to several 80th birthday celebrations, you realize how fast the years have gone by. We thought the fiesta that Jan Meyer and family arranged for her husband, John Swingle, was worthy of an article for Dine In/Dine Out.

It was a chilly April evening at Tlaquepaque, but we along with 60 other guests were warmed by heaters, a tent and an open bar serving soft drinks, margaritas and sangria. Events by Show Stoppers had decorated the balcony setting in festive Mexican colors and there were little sombreros and desert plants adorning each table.

Bigfoot BBQ on Leroux Street in Flagstaff catered the affair. Service and presentation were flawless. On its beautifully displayed and abundantly supplied appetizer station were Elote dip, Guacamole with Cotija Cheese, Smoked Chorizo Sausage, Pico de Gallo, Roasted Green Chili and Jalapeno, Mango Habanero and fresh vegetables with dip. A taco bar was set up buffet-style to serve the main course. Choices included Calabacitas (sautéed zucchini), Mesquite Smoked Skirt Steak, Pork Carnitas and Caballero Chicken simmered in Red Ranchero Sauce. There was also Bigfoot’s signature Garlic Refried Beans. Suzie really enjoyed the menu.

Jeff was in heaven! It was Mexican! Outstanding local guitarist Eric Miller played and sang his soothing numbers during dinner and accompanied a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday, John!” A delicious churro-flavored cake from the Jacqueline Rose Bakery in Flagstaff was presented and we all helped in blowing out the candles. Slices of cake were later served to guests and as the party wound down, we were given a thoughtful party favor to remember the evening. What fun…although we thought John got off easy with the roasts that Jan, tennis buddies, family and neighbors gave him. Carry on, John!

To all of you, Health and Happiness for many years to come.

Jeff and Suzie at The Dunnery

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