Residing in the Garfield district has its odd assortment of perks. First off, you are guaranteed to hear mariachi music at odd hours of the day, usually late into the night. Second, there is no need to go to the pound to pick up a dog, as they seemingly run rampant in the streets, and my yard in particular. Third, we do have, in my humble opinion, one of the hidden gems in the Phoenix restaurant scene, the Welcome Diner.

This place hasn’t actually been open in some time, because some crazy person decided to hit it with their car — not a drive-thru, dawg. Seriously. So, I have been in a befuddled and depressed state for some time. I am anxiously awaiting its reopening, sometimes driving by just for the heck of it. When I was informed that the Welcome was opening its doors for a special event hosted by MFTasty, I could not get dressed fast enough to get over there. Honestly, I didn’t even look at the menu… not that I could have seen it through the tears of joy filling my eyes.

Ah, heavenly.

My white and red, nine-seat palace shined like a beacon of hope for my aching heart. I strolled in and plopped down on my favorite light blue stool (who am I kidding, they are all my favorite) and nostalgia set in. I could still smell the hand-cut fries and the greasy amazingness that was the Welcome Diner burger.

My daydream was interrupted by the MFTasty menu that slid under my nose. Moderately startled, my eyes raced down the page to see that my choice was not going to be easy. Duck sausage “hot dog” with white truffle aioli, cinnamon shrimp tacos, BLT with cured bacon and fried green tomatoes, grilled cheese with cheddar and muenster and, my selection, Mexican Coca-Cola BBQ pulled pork sandwich with avocado all graced the glorious, pig-logoed page. They did not make it easy on me. I could have eaten anything on that menu. I’m still wishing that lunch was longer.

I kind of splurged and realized it when my pulled pork sandwich came. I ordered hand-cut sweet potato chips and caramel-apple coleslaw to go with my succulent sandwich. Diving in, I was instantly in BBQ heaven. I am seriously hoping that my afterlife involves being surrounded by mounds of this juicy, tender pork that has obviously been marinated in what all Southerners consider life blood, Coca-Cola. The avocado had a cooling effect on the sandwich and helped make it the perfect consistency. The sweet potato chips did not last long. I devoured them as if someone were about to take them from me. Also, my caramel-apple coleslaw was just as amazing as it sounds.

My journey to the Welcome Diner was definitely a success. MFTasty opened the doors in a great fashion. Apparently, they are doing monthly events in different places, so I suggest that you hit up their website and “Join the Club” to find out about treating your taste buds right. As for you, Welcome Diner, I trust that you will return to me one sweet day.

The Welcome Diner is located at 924 E. Roosevelt St. in Garfield — 602.495.1111