Melon with Preserved Lemon, Lavender and Cream Cheese Recipe

Melon with Preserved Lemon, Lavender and Cream Cheese

Melon with Preserved Lemon, Lavender and Cream Cheese

I enjoyed a similar salad out at  a restaurant and I thought I could recreate it slightly better and I Forking did! This is a refreshing light delicious salad that’s easy to prepare and looks like something from a very upscale restaurant.


Ingredients for 4 servings

One medium melon. (I used a honey dew but I think just about any ripe flavorful similar kind of melon would do) Remove rind and seeds and cut in halves into thinner slices

1/2 rind of preserved lemon chopped fine

1 Tablespoon of the preserved lemon brine (if you used my recipe…because it’s fresh lemon juice and kosher salt) (as a substitute use 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice and salt to taste)

3 Tablespoons sunflower oil

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons pure honey

1 Tablespoon fresh mint – chopped fine

2 oz. whipped cream cheese (you might want slightly more to get you pastry bag working but you only use about 2 oz. at the most)

4 pinches of lavender

optional edible flowers broken down a little


Arrange melon slices on plates and set to the side.

In a small bowl add preserved lemon, preserved lemon brine, sunflower oil, vinegar, honey and mix well and pour over each serving.

Sprinkle the mint and optional flowers over each serving.

Get a disposable pastry bag and a small rose tip. Insert the tip to bag and fill with cream cheese and twist the end so the cheese doesn’t fall out.


Hold the bag and add pressure and make like sort of a hook motion.


Now do a reverse hook motion into what you already did.


Now you have some cheese that looks like a flower bud.

Make several all over the salad.

If you feel like it make a rose in the middle. Apologies for not being able to take good pictures while doing a rose. I found I can’t handle a cell phone a pastry bag and my other hand holding a flower nail very well. But I’ll try to do better another time.

For right handed people hold your nail in your left hand and make a little mountain of cream cheese on the nail.


Now go around the top to make the center of the bud leaving a small hole in the top.


After this it’s easy!!!! Just keep going around making petals starting at the top doing small ones  that get larger till it looks right to you and remove with a butter knife.

Melon Salad with Preserved Lemon, Lavender and Whipped Cream Cheese

Melon Salad with Preserved Lemon, Lavender and Whipped Cream Cheese

This is so delicious! The delicate whipped cream cheese doesn’t over power anything so you can taste all the delicious flavors. This really is BETTER than what I tried from some high end restaurants.

This is Forking Awesome and that's The Forking Truth

This is Forking Awesome and that’s The Forking Truth




Cowboy Ciao in Scottsdale AZ is Worth a Fork


Cowboy Ciao is located in Old Town Scottsdale’s Art District. They serve up American Chow and food lassoed with Global influences. This is an upscale but casual place and the decor is unique. I think you might call this sort of shabby chic and slightly classic and formal at the same time.


It happened to be Restaurant Week and they were serving one of the most intriguing three course menus out there for $33.00.



While we were deciding on what to try my husband had the job of deciding on a bottle of wine from their enormous catalog of wines. The catalog might have been a HUNDRED pages and offered THOUSANDS of choices. You could be there all night if you actually read the whole menu.


I started with the Squash Blossoms.


They were as light as air and seemed oil free. They contained some unusual ingredients like huitlccoche (the mushroomy tasting Mexican Truffle also called Corn Smut because it grows on corn) and the blossoms were nestled in a very tasty pimento coulis. Everything in the squash blossoms tasted very balanced. I have no idea how they made farmer’s cheese taste so good. These Squash Blossoms were delicious I could have eaten a big bowl of them and called it a day.

My husband had the Duck Skewers.


I didn’t taste them but my husband said they were full of interesting flavors but the duck was rare. At this point we weren’t checked on so my husband just ate them.

We shared one of the specialty dishes ($10.00 add on that is on the menu for $25.00) that this restaurant is well known for.


The Mushroom Pan Fry in Ancho Cream over Double Cooked Polenta. This is a Mushroomy Delight that if you slapped it on a shoe it would make an old shoe taste good. Gosh it really is good and the polenta in there sort of soaks it all up.

A slight miss of the evening was when the waiter brings our dinners when we are in the middle of enjoying the mushrooms. My husband says something like I guess our dinners will get cold and the waiter just leaves. I also note that we were at a small table and had to shuffle the plates around to make the dinner fit on the table.

Well any who…..

For dinner I had the Jerk Seared Ahi Tuna.


The Tuna had a really good sear on the exterior with interesting flavors. It wasn’t spicy but it was delicious. This tuna ate like a light clean steak from heaven. It was very meaty but not heavy like a steak made of beef. If I closed my eyes when I ate it I might not know that it was fish because it was so clean tasting. Vegetables were fresh and tender crisp and the plate came with a unique mound of sweet potatoes sweetened with mashed bananas that also had a bit of a tang to them.

My husband had Hanger Steak with Black Garlic Potatoes and Smoky Béarnaise Sauce with Grilled Rapini Gremolata.


The Steak was flavorful and tender. Potatoes were great and all the sauces went well with this dish. Hate to be picky but It would only be better if the gremolata was more spread out more on the plate because in bites it became slightly overpowering.

Lastly is dessert so we picked one of each of the two desserts offered.


The Dessert in the front is the Peach Brioche Bread Pudding with Bourbon Praline Brown Sugar Streusel. I never tried a pudding like this before. It has many different textures of crunch, pudding and sort of a dense rich texture. The flavors were very spot on and were fireworks in the mouth. The perfect balance of sweet to salt good flavors and tang. It was just right.

Didn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Bread Pudding but not a thing wrong with the Brookie (cookie dough baked into a brownie) Sundae. It was delicious and anybody would enjoy it.

Parking is on the street. Don’t fall for the $6.00 parking next door unless you are handicapped or have shoes on your feet that hurt.  A free parking garage is only a short block away.

Cowboy Ciao is Worth a Fork!

You might travel across town to dine here. Extensive Wine List, Famous Stetson Salad and Mushroom Pan Fry and more in the Touristy Arts District

You might travel across town to dine here. Extensive Wine List, Famous Stetson Salad, Famous Mushroom Pan Fry and more in the Touristy Arts District

For more information on Cowboy Ciao please visit

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth




When Life Gives You Lemons Forking Preserve Them Recipe


Roasted Preserved Lemons

Roasted Preserved Lemons

Perserved Lemons have an intense lemon flavor that will elevate most savory or sweet foods to the next level. Preserving lemons is very easy to do but you need to wait a month for them to be ready to use.

Who has a forking month to wait for preserved lemons?

I just read in Food and Wine Magazine that you can preserve lemons in your oven in about three hours. Mine took four hours but I used regular lemons instead of the sweeter and thinner skinned Meyer Lemons recommended. The recipe comes from He did his recipe with only three Meyer Lemons.  All lemons do come in a variety of sizes from the very small to the very large so you have to wing the time. I used about 18 small lemons total.

Chef Ben Ford’s  recipe is called Roasted Preserved Lemons. He does use Meyer Lemons. I can’t find Meyer Lemons right now from any stores in the area so I’m using regular lemons because I want some preserved lemons.

Start by washing them really well. then You basically trim the stem end.


Make like quarter cuts but not all the way threw.


Good Sprinkle of kosher or sea salt


Add about one lemon fresh juice per every lemon in your dish. In short half the lemons are preserved and half are juiced.


Put the dish in a 200 degree oven for three-four hours. You might need to turn the lemons half way threw.

To use you need to scrape out all you can from the rind.


Now you have something lemony delicious that you can use in a variety of ways. The first thing I made with my preserved lemons was a delicious Melon Salad. Can’t wait to do more with the preserved lemons.

Melon with Preserved Lemon, Lavender and Cream Cheese

Melon with Preserved Lemon, Lavender and Cream Cheese

Who has a forking month to wait for preserved lemons?

This is better!

When Life Gives You Lemons Forking Preserve Them!

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth


New Different and Weird Food Out There May 2016


There is always something “new” “WIERD or “different” out there and I never know WTFork I’ll see. Here are Popchips. They aren’t new but I never seen them in these flavors all in Star Wars packaging.


Organic Sprouted Khorasan Flour sounds very healthy and is new to me.


Don’t remember coming across Black Edamame before?


Cooking Light is a popular American Magazine. Since when do magazines make frozen food?


Jack Daniel’s makes more than Whiskey.


A Mayonnaise like product by the Mayonnaise people ???

It says at the forking bottom of the bottle “Carefully Crafted” does that mean their other products are just “forking slapped together?”


Frozen white bread with hazelnut chocolate spread. Just grab from your freezer and wait for it to thaw. For when your too tired to put forking spread on a sandwich yourself.


Caramelized Onion and Bacon Ketchup might have some appeal to some people but how can they say it has bacon in it when it doesn’t????? (It’s very hard to see but if you look above the “P” in Ketchup you will see a U in a circle that means no pork so that means no bacon)


Salsa flavored Almonds seems weird darn weird to me….wtfork am I suppose to do with this? Put them on my tacos?

The item is with the food so I thought it fits right the fork in.


Crest one of the leading manufacturers of Tooth Paste in America makes a Be Adventurous line of tooth paste. This flavor is Chocolate Trek.


Black Truffle Chips that actually have mushrooms and truffle in them. (insert angels singing)


Popped Bean Chips? Didn’t forking know that you could pop a bean?


Chocolate Covered Jelly Bananas….?

This one sounds weird to me.


Candy called Hamburger  Speck???? Not sure what that means? Does it look like Speck Ham? Is it flavored like forking hamburgers?


Artichoke and Quinoa Dip sounds pretty weird…. Artichoke Piquillo Hummus Dip is new to me…


And there’s always new forking Oreo Cookies for you (not me). Here’s S’mores with artificial Graham.

Here’s the New, Weird, Different and Limited Edition Foods I forking saw Recently. There is always something new, weird or different out there. I never know WTFork I’ll see when I’m out there.

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth


Tratto Restaurant in Phoenix AZ is Worth a Fork


Tratto Restaurant in Phoenix AZ is Worth a Fork!

Tratto is a tiny restaurant that serves up true farm to table dishes. The James Beard Award Winning Chef /Owner and staff actually hand picks the produce served. The bread and pasta they serve is made with heirloom grains that they grind. The menu is limited and changes daily.


The atmosphere is energetic with kitchen action and conversation. Farm fresh white interior and Oil Paintings done by the Chef’s Father are proudly displayed.


We decide on sharing an appetizer, sharing a pasta and sharing a dinner. Our waitress suggested adding on two more plates because according to her we didn’t order enough food. She suggest adding on a Farinata and potatoes to go with our dinner so we did.

They bring complimentary house made crusty chewy bread, flavorful olive oil and house prepared salami and produce. The tiny sweet tomatoes seemed just plucked and had this mild tasting flake salt on them that was delicious. Everything on the plates is  great.


Our waitress described the Farinata as a chick pea crepe with tomatoes and onions so I thought it would be a light little thing.


It was tasty but the Farinata wasn’t a little thing and also was filling so I only tasted a small piece. It was more of a substantial rich pan-cake made with chick pea flour. We had it packed up to bring home.

Next was Roasted Beets in Fig Leaf with Gorgonzola Dolce.


If you like beets this is a must get dish. The beets seemed just picked and do taste different than beets you purchase from the supermarket. These beets are sweeter and have a more melting  texture. The fig leaves infuse another layer of smokey flavor to the earthy beets. Maybe even if you don’t like gorgonzola you still might like the gorgonzola dolce on these beets because the cheese was made sweeter and milder with cream and sugar. It married well with these beets.

Our Pasta Course was called Scarpinocc.


It was a plate of six perfect toothsome raviolis that were stuffed with milky fresh tasting sweet ricotta cheese that sat on nicely seasoned fava beans with crisp sage.

Dinner was a Whole Small Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Bay Leaf raised from Two Wash Ranch and Rosemary Garlic Potatoes.


The tiny Chicken was simplistic but was absolutely perfect. It was moist, juicy, full of flavor and just melted in the mouth. It wasn’t much chicken and I’m guessing I got to eat between 3-and at the most 4 ounces but it really was very good. The Potatoes were creamy on the inside. With a little crisp crust on the outside with essence of rosemary, garlic and nutty tasting browned oil.

No complaints here. Service was attentive. Our table was comfortable and the food was excellent.

Tratto is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork..... You might Travel across Town to Dine Here because they offer something different you can't find at most places. Where the FORK ELSE are you going to find wonderful Brazilian Food in the Metro Phoenix Area?

Worth a Fork….. You might Travel across Town to Dine Here if you can make it a splurge, are the type that can handle a limited menu, and can appreciate farm to table crafted foods.

For more information on Tratto in Phoenix AZ please visit

 The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth


SousVide Boneless Chicken Breast Recipe (s)



Chicken out of the SousVide and Browned in the Pan

Chicken out of the SousVide and Browned in the Pan

I usually pound chicken breast, then salt and pepper them on both sides, dust them lightly with an unusual healthy flour and then pan fry them in a regular fry pan with non-stick oil. They come out with a nice crust and are very tasty, flavorful and moist.

I had my SousVide all fired up so I thought I’d cook off four already slightly pounded out chicken breast four different ways. This is another way to make perfect chicken breast and you can easily infuse them with flavors.

For boneless chicken breast you need to set the SousVide at 146 degrees F or 63.5 degrees C and leave the chicken in the water bath between two and four hours. I would make three hours  as your target if your doing one or two pouches and if your doing more I’d go to the four hours.

You need to add frozen fat of some kind. That can be butter, olive oil or animal fat. Some sealing machines do have a setting for liquids but all sealers can seal with frozen fat. You also need to add things like garlic, onion, celery, carrot, salt, pepper and herbs to make the chicken taste good.

I made up four bags of chicken breast four different ways.



Basic with a few extras- About 1/4 sweet onion, a couple slices of orange, 2 small pieces of apple, 1/2 celery rib cut up, 2 smashed garlic cloves,  a small carrot cut in sticks, 1 sprig thyme, small handful of basil, about two Tablespoons of frozen fat (olive oil, chicken fat or garlic confit) , About a teaspoon sea salt and about 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper

The variations below are similar to the basic recipe just a few ingredients that are different.

Lemon Garlic Dill – onion, celery, carrot, apple, orange, lemon, dill, frozen garlic confit, salt and         pepper – This one came out Forking Amazing and was my favorite!

Mexican Inspired – cilantro, onion, orange, poblano pepper, garlic, carrot, celery, frozen chicken fat, ground achiote, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper

Asian Inspired- 2 lime leaves, cilantro, Thai basil, lemon grass, fresh ginger in slices, garlic, orange, apple, carrot, celery, onion, Szechuan peppercorns, frozen chicken fat, salt and pepper

Your finished chicken can be served right away and you can easily brown it in a sauce pan on medium high heat with some either canola oil or a mixture of butter and canola or vegetable oil. Many people like grape seed oil but I never use it because anything grape is harmful to dogs and if you know me then you know that I share some chicken with my dogs. It only takes a minute or a little more time to brown the chicken in a pan.

All the chicken came out great it was all soft, moist and flavorful. However the chicken made with garlic confit was super amazing not sure why. All the flavors were far more intense with a little pop. I will have to experiment using the SousVide with frozen garlic confit more.

To make garlic confit put a bunch of garlic cloves in a baking dish or baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with extra virgin olive oil. Cover. Put in a 350 degree F oven for about an hour or until cloves are soft and tender and whip. I keep some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest in very small salad dressing containers. The garlic confit is also excellent for using in dressings and any sauce you prepare that you don’t cook because you will never have a too strong garlic taste.

That’s a little bit of Using the SousVide with Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast.

Yum yum relish and that's The Forking Truth

Yum yum delish and that’s The Forking Truth




My Forking Opinion on M&M’s Honey Nut and Chili Nut Candy

Chili Nut M&M's

Chili Nut M&M’s

Honey Nut M&M's

Honey Nut M&M’s

M&M’s Candy has an easy to enter contest on Facebook where you vote for the new flavor of peanut M&M’s. The new flavors up for consideration are Coffee Nut, Honey Nut and Chili Nut. You till 6-17-16 to vote on FaceBook and have a chance to WIN $100K.

M&M’s are the famous American candy that is chocolate that’s known for melting in the mouth and not the hand. The candy is chocolate that is covered in a hard sugar shell.

M&M’s were one of my favorite candies as a child and as an adult I have to try not all but most of the flavors they introduce.

If you read my blog you might remember I don’t drink coffee because it usually taste bitter to me and although I LOVE the aroma of coffee maybe my least favorite thing about coffee is the aftertaste that only comes with coffee. So to be honest as I am I can’t review the Coffee Nut Flavor.

I do have to say that these candies are next to impossible to find anywhere. I didn’t actually find them and my husband picked them up for me when he was out.

I start with the Honey Nut. I love honey and I like honey roasted peanuts so I thought these should be good. I taste it and it doesn’t forking taste like honey to me. It taste more like fake maple syrup. I don’t like them. I can’t eat them even though the actual peanuts in them seem less stale than from regular peanut M&M’s.

I try the Chili Nut. The bag gives off a deep chocolatey aroma. The chili nut has a little kick and leaves your mouth with a mild peppery finish. These are actually very good. Just like the coffee nut flavor the peanuts in the candy are a little bigger and seem less stale than in regular peanut M&M’s. I really like them. I was hoping for a little more heat but still these are good.

I voted for the Chili Nut!

That was my forking opinion on Chili Nut and Honey Nut Peanut M&M’s Candy.

 The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth

Fat Free Sweet Mustard Cauliflower Salad


Fat Free Sweet Mustard Cauliflower Salad

Fat Free Sweet Mustard Cauliflower Salad

Many years back I tasted the creamy mustardy cauliflower salad on a salad bar at a small gourmet restaurant where I worked at. That salad inspired me to create this fat free version.

Ingredients for 8 servings

1 cauliflower – broken down into florets – boiled in water with 1 tablespoon of salt till slightly tender about 2-2 1/2 minutes depending on size of your florets and the tender-crisp you want. Lift Cauliflower out with a slotted spoon so you can re-use the same boiling water for the carrots and celery.

1 Tablespoon kosher or sea salt

3 carrots – peeled and cut in thick slices – boil about 3 minutes till crispy tender with the celery ( I used one yellow, one orange and one purple carrot)

1 celery rib – peeled and cut in slices – boil about 3 minutes with the carrots

1 bell pepper – cut in bite size chunks (I used one orange bell)

1 cup cabbage – sliced very thin (I used purple cabbage)

1/3 large sweet onion sliced very thin

5 Tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

1 Tablespoon mustard powder

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup sugar

2 mashed well garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

6 juniper berries ground

good pinch allspice

2 pinch Espelette ground pepper – (a substitution could be one pinch cayenne and one pinch paprika I know most people don’t have Espelette Pepper)

1 Tablespoon kosher or sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Put all your boiled and raw vegetables in a gallon zip lock bag and set to the side. In a medium sauce pan add the remaining ingredients. Bring to boil and reduce to slow boil and let it go about ten minutes. Take off the heat and when the liquid cools down to warm pour the liquid into the zip lock bag with the vegetables and try to squeeze out as much of the air as you can. Wait one day to serve chilled.

Fat Free Sweet Mustard Cauliflower Salad

Fat Free Sweet Mustard Cauliflower Salad

Delicious and light! I think most people would enjoy this.

Good one and that's The Forking Truth

Good one and that’s The Forking Truth



Pad Gra Pow or Thai Sweet Basil Dishes I Tried in Metro Phoenix Area

From Lao Thai of Scottsdale AZ (Now Closed for Business)

From Lao Thai of Scottsdale AZ (Now Closed for Business)

I think the first better or really good Thai Basil Dish I tried in Metro Phoenix Area was from Lao Thai in Scottsdale Az that has been closed for business for some time now. The sauce was spicy and tasted like basil. I tasted garlic, moist flavor chicken, crunchy vegetables and delicious chestnutty tasting pumpkin. They also offered the fried crispy egg option so you could eat this dish Thai Style like the way Thai people eat this dish.

Pad Gra Pow is a simple dish and translates to meaning stir fried holy basil. I don’t think many restaurants actually use holy basil because it’s next to impossible to find fresh and it is even more fragile than delicate Thai Basil. The taste does differ slightly. Holy Basil is called hot basil because it is peppery tasting and is filled with far more nutrients and that’s why it gets the “holy” and is believed to aid many ailments. Thai basil is considered to be “Sweet Basil” and is has a slight hint of anise taste.

Since Lao Thai Closed I had trouble finding people who make this dish as delicious.

One of the closer Thai Restaurants that gets very high scoring reviews on certain review sites is Siamese Kitchen from Glendale AZ.

Pad Gra Pow

Pad Gra Pow

Personally this was my least favorite Pad Gra Pow I tried anywhere. It lacked the basil taste and had a strong jalapeño taste instead of a Thai Chili kind of heat. This was also the sweetest Pad Gra Pow I tried anywhere and the chicken was tough too. It was very unbalanced in flavors.  It’s possible I hit them on a off day or I picked the dish they do least well. Don’t know.

I also tried Siam Thai in Glendale AZ.

Pad Gra Pow

Pad Gra Pow

Seemed basil free. I note I’ve been here twice and the yellow curry I tried from here was much better.

Tried Krachai Thai Kitchen in Phoenix AZ

Phad Kaprow

Phad Kaprow

At Krachi Thai Kitchen in Phoenix AZ I had the Spicy Eggplant but I did try a taste of the Beef Phad Kaprow. I’m glad that it didn’t have a jalapeño taste like some of these dishes do but it lacked a basil taste.

Tried Chanpen Thai in Phoenix AZ

Sweet Basil Chicken

Sweet Basil Chicken

Chanpen’s dish had this sauce that was heads and antlers above the two I tried in Glendale. Chicken was a tad dry but not bad. Pretty darn good. Something about the sauce was balanced in flavors and seemed right. Not the same as Lao Thai but pretty darn good.

Then I tried Cha Da Thai in Scottsdale AZ

Kappa Thai Style

Kapow Thai Style

At Cha Da Thai I actually had the Spicy Eggplant with Chicken and Basil but I did try my husband’s Beef Kapow Thai Style. (Thai Style means with Crispy soft egg) This was among the best. The meat was hand chopped with more surface space to get more sauce taste and also the sauce was balanced with heat garlic and had basil. I thought that they gave me much more basil in my eggplant than they did with the Beef Kapow.

Tried Thai Plates in Mesa AZ.

Pad Gra Pow with Beef

Pad Gra Pow with Beef

This is another Thai Restaurant with a 41/2 average rating on a review site. I tried a taste of my husband’s Pad Gra Pow with beef. The beef was chewy and tasted like it was infused with soy sauce to me. It lacked heat and also lacked basil. I do note the pumpkin curry I had from here was better.

Tried Thai Spices in Mesa AZ Once.

Basil with Ground Chicken

Basil with Ground Chicken Thai Style

At Thai Spices I ordered the Pumpkin Curry but did try the Basil with Ground Chicken. This was another one of the better Thai Basil Dishes. All very good …just a little short on basil.

Went to the Little Thaiger in Scottsdale AZ

Wild Boar Grapao

Wild Boar Grapao

Holy Basil Chicken

Holy Basil Chicken

The Little Thaiger does two variations of the basil infused dish. My husband had the Wild Boar Grapao Thai Style with crispy egg and I had the Holy Basil Chicken. Somehow I accidentally got this dish made too hot for me and burnt out my taste buds. It was good but way too much jalapeño heat for me. I know my husband and me asked for the same heat level but the heat on mine got really cranked up to a space I never entered before. I picked the Holy Basil Chicken because I hoped that it was made with Holy Basil. I can tell you I wasn’t able to tell with all the fire from this dish. I wanted to return and try the Grapow and ask if I could get it with Holy Basil but haven’t been back yet.

Recently Sala Thai in Peoria AZ Opened not to far from me.

Pumpkin Basil with Chicken

Spicy Pumpkin Basil with Chicken

I tried the Spicy Pumpkin Basil with Chicken. The spice level was perfect for me. The sauce was infused with basil and I tasted garlic and chili instead of jalapeño like I prefer. This was really good…and I liked that they offer pumpkin. My husband had the similar dish with beef instead of chicken and also without the pumpkin.

Those were the Pad Gra Pows or Sweet Basil Dishes I tried in the Metro Phoenix Area.

UPDATE****I just found out that the original Lao Thai has recently reopened in Tempe AZ as Smile Lao Thai (I called them up to find out)……I don’t get out to Tempe often but hope to try them sometime.

 The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth






If You Eat With Your Eyes You Will Do Better Than I Did

The Vic Bar and Kitchen in Buckeye AZ

The Vic Bar and Kitchen in Buckeye AZ

I went west to Buckeye AZ and desired to to try some of the amazing sounding food I read about on-line from The Vic Bar and Grill. The Cuisine is New American and is Farm to Table Style so it should be Great! All the sauces and baked goods are made in house. What’s not to like about that!

Upon arrival I gasp at the breathtaking view. I also gasp at the abbreviated menu with few choices unlike the menu I read on-line. We drove around an hour to come here and there are few choices to eat.

I heard that the Chef has worked at prestigious places and has also worked under Restauranteur and Celebrity Chef Colicchio  who is one of the Judges from the Bravo TV Show Top Chef so I thought the food would be pretty darn good.

We decided to start with a few appetizers. The first was a local Blue Sky Farm Duck Deviled Egg.


The egg came from a very tiny duck because it looked hen egg sized. We share the egg and it’s filled with runny and lumpy yolk filling that isn’t flavored so well. I wasn’t sure what the egg was sitting on so I tried some very rubbery unseasoned egg whites. I guess I wasn’t suppose to eat them and possibly they were just used to stand the forking egg up. A mild red sauce topped the egg. My stomach sort of turned after I tried a chopped white and I had reason to worry about the rest of the food after trying this.

We also shared the Seared Shishito Peppers.


The peppers were covered with a sweetened Soy based sauce. They were suppose to come with Blueberry Sugar. The sugar might have been in the sauce.

I ordered the Melon Salad for my Lunch.


It was ripe… aromatic….. flavorful…. and delicious made with, Galia Melon, preserved lemon, micro mint leaves, lavender and goat cheese. It had all kinds of flavors going on that were very right like the lemony preserved lemons brightening everything up. The salad was suppose to also have radish flowers that were missed. Shame because it would have looked amazing with the flowers. This salad was really delicious and is something that inspires me to recreate.


However the Guanciale with the salad was cold and greasy and seemed like it was straight out of the refrigerator.

I do have a hard time thinking of this dish as a salad. It was really more of an appetizer and wasn’t much food. I was still hungry. I didn’t appreciate my server’s sense of humor. He said to me, “You ate all that.” I felt like forking slapping him at that time.

My husband had the Smokie.


My photo doesn’t do a good job of showing you how awkward this sandwich is too eat. It has to be eaten with a knife and fork. Everything on the plate was made in house. The roll the sauces and the sausage. I didn’t try it but my husband said the meat was packed very hard and was grind very fine. He said it felt weird in his mouth.

I do know that this restaurant doesn’t grind their own meat and sends the meat out for someone else to grind. I was going to order the all sirloin hamburger until the waiter told me that. Grinders often don’t get cleaned between grindings and you don’t know what was left behind.

I had room for dessert so I was hoping that the desserts would be delicious. Our waiter suggest two of the six desserts on the menu so I go with one of his choices and it was the Strawberry and Lemon Icebox Cake.

I thought it would be delicious and lemony but it was a thickened Whipped Cream Pie with strawberries on the plate. For the kind of upscale restaurant I thought this was I have to say this pie looks very much like something you’d see at a school or church bake sale and not something a Pastry Chef would create. The gram cracker crust had an added flavor that might have been maple. The pie part was just thickened whipped cream with little flavor of any kind and was topped with more cream that didn’t remind me of real cream.

I took my first bite and I have to pull something from my mouth.


It seemed like a forking piece of SILICON GLUE. It was hard and also like elastic. It was just like silicon.

I showed the waiter and he ran it to the kitchen. He just said it must be some gelatin. I didn’t even get an I’m sorry or anything…..It seemed like they thought that an imbedded object was perfectly fine in a pie they serve.

I had a hard time trying out the dessert after that because my stomach was turning again.


I understand why some people have an aversion to sweets.


This one was awful. The crust was greasy gram cracker with with some sort of flavoring that tasted like maple. The creamy filling was not smooth without a great mouth feel and was sort of gritty and lacked that really perfect lemon flavor I imagined. It was not something I’d ever want to try again.

If you eat with your eyes you will do better than I did because your stomach won’t feel a thing!

Rated 1/2 a Fork because it's a mix of good and not so good

Rated 1/2 a Fork because it’s a mix of good and not so good with a Breathtaking View.  Good Luck!

It’s not my intention to write a negative review for the Vic Bar and Kitchen. Your visit might differ. For all I know the Chef or Management might have been on vacation and it is possible the third string workers were holding the place together.

For more information of The Vic Bar and Kitchen please visit

 The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth