Dining with Dogs in Metro Phoenix AZ April 2017


“I’m off to Tru Burger in Peoria AZ”

Dining with Dogs is just a “Fluff” Storyand not a full blown restaurant review that’s about taking my dogs out to eat. Most restaurant in Metro Phoenix do have patios but not all restaurant patios are dog friendly. It’s always best to call a restaurant the day of your visit and and ask if its ok to bring your furry friend to dine there. It is also suggested to dine at off times to avoid a bigger crowd of people that might include people with allergies or dog haters. There are some rules to live by with dining with dogs. Dogs are to stay close to you. Dogs are NOT to sit on restaurant furniture. Dogs are also not to eat off of restaurant plates. It’s important that you are aware of the dog friendly food list. Basically most foods you eat are not healthy or possibly TOXIC to your dog. Your usually safe feeding your dog sauce free plain piece of meat. You know that’s what your dog wants anyway….a few of the foods to avoid are anything related to a grape, onions, garlic, chocolate, avocado (some veterinarians do disagree with avocado) bread, alcohol and more.

We went to Tru Burger in Peoria AZ. This is a casual Build your own burger place and more. You have your choice of style of burger, type of patty, sauces, toppings and side.

Tru Burger is very DOG FRIENDLY and even has a special gate on the patio just for people with dogs. The patio is nice and comfortable with a relaxing blue color scheme.

We started with an appetizer of Green Bean Fries.

“Oh I Forking Like Green Beans when they are fried!”

The Green Beans were sort of addicting but very substantial and came with a mild but tasty creamy wasabi sauce.

I had the Lettuce Wrapped Salmon “Burger” with guacamole, tomato, onion, Habanero sauce (on the side) and Onion Rings.

Salmon is seasoned nicely and is juicy. I’m able to cut off a good slice without avocado for my furry friend.

“I LOVE when restaurants serve me my own water…but I love eating better.”

Onion rings are really tasty and that habanero sauce is REALLY HOT but tasty!

My husband had the Grass Fed Green Chili Burger with Fries. It’s a really big burger! Our waitress said it was a half pound patty! My husband said the burger was a good tasting burger and the chili was also a good tasting one.



I’m on my way to Banh Mi Bistro Vietnamese Eatery in Phoenix AZ

Banh Mi Bistro Vietnamese Eatery specializes in the Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich called the Banh Mi. This Vietnamese Restaurant is Pho Free. You can’t get a bowl of Pho here. They now offer around eleven varieties and also offer various appetizers, salads, noodle bowls, rice plates and more!

I decided to try a new menu item. The Chicken Curry with my choice of rice or bread. I’ve had Chicken curry from other Asian Restaurants but only one time before from a Vietnamese Restaurant. At B.M.B.V.E. I got a generous portion of tender tasty chicken with fresh carrots and potatoes. The sauce is light, thin and very fragrant with lemongrass. I like the lighter more fragrant sauce.


Our furry friend got to try some of my husband’s Shaking Beef from his Banh Mi Sandwich.

“Everything I tried from Banh Mi Bistro Vietnamese Eatery was so delicious!” ” Both the chicken and Steak were so tender and flavorful. I’m a big fan of both!” ” I do well every time I visit!”


“I’m off to Salad and Go in Phoenix AZ”

Salad and Go is a Drive Threw Eatery with several locations in Metro Phoenix AZ. They serve about a dozen varieties of gourmet salads, breakfast, wraps, smoothies and child’s meals. Salad and Go is very Dog Friendly and Dog Patrons are served complimentary Dog Biscuits.

Today I went with a Southwest Style Caesar Salad.

I got a big bowl of fresh crisp romaine, garbanzo beans, tortilla strips, added flavorful tender chicken that was tossed in a poblano pepper dressing.

My husband got a seasonal special salad with seasonal Chicken Corn Chowder Soup.

Someone thought the Italian Salad gave off an appetizing aroma.

“I’m a big fan of Salad and Go!”


We are proud to announce a new member that we hope to be a part of the Dining with Dogs team.

He is only pint sized but has a great big appetite. But for now he is young and very rambunctious. I don’t know how long it will take to get him dining with dogs ready.

That was Dining with Dogs for April 2017

We hope to see you next month!

The Forking Truth

In Memory of Louie 5-5-2001 – 3-3-2017

Special Edition – Forking Weirdest Food Recall Ever! Frozen PUTTATOES



Over the weekend I noticed that we had many recalls on well known popular brands of foods this week. Campbell’s Soup (mislabeled ingredients), Lay’s Potato Chips (possible salmonella), Banquet Brand Frozen foods (Salmonella) A bat in packaged salad and a scorpion in another packaged salad..Rubber in a brand of bread I never heard of…..and the FORKING STRANGEST thing I ever heard was about the recall for McCain Hash Brown Potatoes. (puttatoes) for being harvested with golf balls.

Golfballs don’t look like potatoes. How can this happen?

FORKING GOLFBALLS mixed with Potatoes = PUTTatoes!

Do we par-boil the Puttatoes before grilling?

I heard on the news that a golf course is next to where the potatoes were harvested and the machinery gathers them both.

This past Friday according to www.GolfballDigest.com McCain Foods U.S.A. announced on the U.S.F.D.A.’s website of a voluntary recall of two different brands of hash browns. “Despite our Stringent Supply Standards The Golfball Materials “May Have Been Inadvertently Harvested” with potatoes.



The phoenix area news…either KTVK or KNXV


The Forking Truth

A Revisit to Mora Italian Restaurant in Phoenix AZ


My view of the patio at Mora Italian Restaurant

We enjoyed the food very much on our last visit to Mora Italian Restaurant so we decided to try Mora again. This is newly opened restaurant co-owned by Celebrity Chef Scott Conant. The atmosphere is hip, interesting, rich, masculine and energetic. The menu is creative Italian style.

This time we started with Ricotta Fritters.

The fritters were filled with fresh milky cheesy goodness. It was like hitting treasure when I tasted little hidden delicate pops of lemon and chili. The crust was thin but sturdy and seemed oil free. Not too sweet honey peperonata and shredded cheese garnished the tasty fritters.

This time we shared the Fettuccine with mushrooms, roasted garlic and escarole.

1/2 portion of fettuccine

Not too much and just enough perfectly cooked pasta in the perfect amount of sauce. The mushrooms and escarole went really well together in this dish.

For dinner I tried the Chicken in Potacchio. (Chicken and Fennel with Slow Cooked Tomatoes)

The 1/2 Chicken was expertly prepared and melt in your mouth tender and sat in a pan sauce. I enjoyed the chicken but what blew me away was the fennel. I never tasted fennel that was that good before….What kind of magic cookery did they do? The fennel had this amazing texture and flavor.

My husband order the Grilled Scaloppine of Beef Short Rib again.

It had a slightly different presentation and preparation from last visit. (see photo below)

I don’t know if the recipe was changed or if each chef puts his or her own spin on things? Both were good but one was awesome.

I planned ahead to save room for dessert to try the Apple Crostata.

The dessert was decadent and delicious and sat in a pool of creamy caramel mascarpone cheese. The crust was flavorful and was filled with seasoned apples, ribbons of not too sweet caramel and a scoop of toasted almond gelato. It was a perfect ending to a nice meal.

Mora Italian Restaurant in Phoenix AZ is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork! You’d drive across town for this one.


The Forking Truth is that EVERYTHING is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Levant Inspired Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Israeli Couscous Recipe


Levant Inspired Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Israeli Couscous

I had a butternut squash and Israeli Couscous to use up and this is what I came up with. I have to say it really did come out Forking Amazing! I did use a bunch of ingredients that most people don’t use or have such as zahtar, Aleppo pepper, sumac and urfa pepper. The only ingredient that’s hard to find here is urfa pepper (one of my new favorites). The urfa pepper is more intense than Aleppo and a Spanish pepper called Nora. It’s really delicious. It’s fruity, raisin like,lightly smoky and mild heat. It’s worth your time and money to find the urfa pepper for your own creations because it will make anything you make delicious. The recipe is easy to prepare and is sure to be a #crowdpleaser. Sorry now that I didn’t make a bigger batch. This one is really special.

Ingredients for 4 servings

1 small butternut squash – peeled, seeds removed and cut in bite size pieces

1 15.5 oz can 50% less sodium garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed three times

5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (1T on garbanzo beans, 2T for butternut squash and 2T for couscous)

1/2 teaspoon urfa pepper

1 Tablespoon zahtar

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 teaspoon sumac

fresh ground sea salt to taste

fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 cup Israeli Couscous

1/3 medium onion – chopped

1 medium tomato – core removed – chopped

3 garlic cloves – sliced razor thin

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 Tablespoons cilantro – chopped

2 Tablespoons parsley – chopped

4 oz goat cheese – crumble it


Set oven to 350 degrees F

Place the butternut squash pieces in a medium/large bowl and drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle the urfa pepper, and zahtar. Mix well. Place in one layer on a baking sheet(s) and sprinkle  very lightly with a little bit of fresh crushed sea salt and black pepper.

Place the garbanzo beans in a medium bowl. Add one Tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle the Aleppo pepper,seasame seeds and sumac. Mix well and place on a baking sheet in one layer. Sprinkle very lightly with a little fresh crushed sea salt and black pepper.

Place squash pan(s) on the middle rack and the garbanzo pan on the top rack in oven.

Keep the pans in the oven till the beans have a light crisp and the squash is fork tender. In my oven this took thirty minutes.

In your sauce pot on medium high heat add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and when hot add the couscous. Fry the couscous for about five minutes. Add the onions and cook till transparent. Next add the tomato followed by the garlic. You will smell the garlic soon and then add the stock. Simmer till couscous is done. About ten minutes.

Add fresh crushed sea salt and black pepper to taste.

By now the squash and garbanzo beans are done and carefully stir them into the sauce pan. Mix in the herbs. Serve and sprinkle the cheese on last.

Everyone will FORKING Enjoy this one!

Levant Inspired Butternut Squash and Israeli Couscous

The Forking Truth






Forking Weird Food News of this Week 4-20-2017 Frankenfood and Oy Caramba


This is FORKED UP!

Picture via www.Pinterest

This week in the world of food news two stories caught my attention the most. One is that Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. has genetically engineered the Pink Pineapple and it’s been approved by the FDA. They promise a sweeter, less acidic and just as nutritious pineapple. I can’t help but wonder if the almighty would approve?…….. What would he say?…… “You screwed up my pineapple?”

The other story is that Tony Boloney’s $80.00 Taco Pizza ($10.00 a slice) is a sensation! It’s a pizza that’s loaded up with a variety of tacos and a big pile of dip of sour cream and guacamole.

Picture via www.geekologie.com

Tony Boloney Pizza has only two locations in New Jersey. One is in Hoboken (North New Jersey) the other is in Atlantic City (South New Jersey). They said on the news that people are driving from all over the country and as far as Mexico to try this pizza………..



Food Network Magazine


Frankenfood and Oy Caramba……. not Amore……..Oh My!

The Forking Truth


Italian Style Eggplant White Bean Dip Recipe


Italian Style Eggplant White Bean Dip

I had a couple of extra eggplants so I decided to make an Italian type seasoned healthy dip. I made this dip with minimal amounts of oil. I used just enough to make the dip taste good. Besides Olive oil this dip is fat free. This dip is healthy and delicious.

Ingredients for about 8 servings

2 eggplants

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 very large lemon or 2 regular lemons – (just the fresh squeezed juice)

15 oz can 50% less sodium white beans – drained and rinsed three times. (50% less sodium beans don’t taste as canned as regular beans)

2 garlic cloves – ground to paste

3 Calabrian chili peppers – chopped fine (or substitute a hot red jarred chili that you enjoy to taste but the Calabrian chili is recommended)

1 teaspoon fresh chopped fine rosemary

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

fresh crushed black pepper to taste

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

about 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil per portion to finish

about 1/2 teaspoon reduced balsamic vinegar per portion to finish


Set oven at 350 degrees F.

Wash the eggplants and slice them in half long ways. Place the eggplants in a baking dish. Score the eggplants on a diagonal in both directions like in the photo below.

Pour the lemon juice over the eggplants and then pour the olive oil over the eggplants. Roast until the tops are very dark brown (but not hard black) and the eggplants are squishy. (about one hour to one hour 15 minutes) like in picture below.

The eggplant then gets scraped out like the same way you do avocados, mangos and dragon fruit.

Blend up the eggplant. Add the rest of ingredients except finishing ingredients and blend. I prefer the dip slightly chunky so I don’t blend completely smooth.

Place in dish. Make well and fill with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve with vegetables and or crusty bread.

It’s delicious and healthy!

Italian Style Eggplant White Bean Dip

The Forking Truth


Most Memorable Food out in Metro Phoenix AZ so far this Year from January – April 2017


Memorable food stays in your mind. It’s either something you want to revisit or something you wish you’ve never tried. The foods I tried listed are in no particular order. Here is the Fofo Vegetarian Sandwich I had at Lamp Cafe in Scottsdale AZ. It was especially delicious. It was an explosion of flavors between spicy pickled vegetables, provolone cheese, arugula and zucchini cakes you’d never imagine such a satisfying  and delicious sandwich.

6in Plain Stuffed Deep Dish from Giordano’s in Peoria AZ

The Giordano’s Plain 6in. Deep Dish Pizza was memorable. It was massive amounts of molten cheese in a very hard dried out burnt crust.

I must note that the owner of Giordano’s contacted me and said I would not have the same experience if I came back and ordered a larger size pizza…………

There was this hot smoked salmon from the Salty Sow in Phoenix AZ that was life changing. It was so silky and scrumptious. It melted in the mouth. It’s worthy of some kind of award.

Everything I tried at tried at Mora Italian in Scottsdale were amazing but the Boneless Sea Bream and the amazing Cheese Gnudi were over the top! The fish reminded me of the best fish I had at a pricy restaurant in Las Vegas and the Gnudi was dressed with concentrated tomatoes and were so delicate. You just have to try them to know. This was really high end and quality.

I’m usually not a fan of chicken wings but the chicken wings I tried from Great Wall in Phoenix were especially crispy and delicious.

Large Bowl in the middle is Spicy Chicken on Bone with Vine Peppers

Mius Bistro in Mesa AZ served me the spiciest most mouth numbing thing I tried in a long time. It had a unique good developed flavor but was very difficult to enjoy with fragments of chicken bones and skin all threw the dish. I do note that this is a method of Asian Cookery and other people are accustomed to enjoy this style of dish.

I got this from the Spotted Donkey Cantina in Scottsdale. I’m done talking about it but I’ll tell you that it was memorable.

The Saffron Chicken Bowl with Stone Bread from Saffron Jak in Phoenix was extremely delicious! I’ve had a similar plate from other restaurants but the tahini surprise under the chicken made it extra tasty and where else are you going to find stone bread….

Trofie with Pesto from Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante in Glendale was stunning. Really REALLY perfect pasta.

Doughbird a Pizza and Rotisserie Chicken Restaurant recently opened in Phoenix. The chicken was good, all the food was good but it is that Buffalo Sauce I used on the chicken that makes me want to return. Lip smacking and drool worthy. Like crack for the mouth.

It’s a little too soon to know for sure but I think I’m going to remember the Corned Beef and Cabbage Pierogi from the Twisted Italian in Peoria for a while. They were a yummy delight!

That’s what was most memorable to me this year so far.

The Forking Truth

Twisted Italian Restaurant in Peoria AZ serves Pierogi and Italian Relleno Oh My


Twisted Italian Restaurant in Peoria AZ serves up traditional Italian favorites and some very NON TRADITIONAL Italian Food. This is a small locally owned restaurant that was established in 2010 and changed ownership and menu in late 2015. The decor is sort of a mix of traditional and nontraditional just like the menu.

They started us off with complimentary bread and balsamic dotted extra virgin olive oil.

We decided to start with something “twisted” and ordered the Pierogi of the month that was Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Our Pierogi were served “crispy” and had a potato filling mixed with tasty corned beef and a little bit of cabbage. A horseradish laced sauce with served on the side. Our corned beef and cabbage pierogi were surprisingly delicious. Who would ever guess to find something like this at an Italian Restaurant?

For dinner I tried the European Sea Bass (also called Bronzino)

I received a generous portion of meaty mild white tender fish that was lightly crusted and had crispy skin. The plate also contained grilled asparagus, tomatoes and lemon and caper angel hair pasta. Everything was prepared reasonably well and everything tasted great!

My husband tried the Italian Relleno.

It was a Poblano Pepper that was stuffed with House Made Italian Sausage and cheese and was topped with a creamy tomato sauce. Three generously filled fried cheese ravioli were served on the side.

Everything we tried was tasty. Service was efficient and prices were reasonable.


Twisted Italian serves Pierogi and Italian Relleno Oh My!

The Forking Truth is that everything is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Portuguese Inspired Individual Turkey Meatloaf(s) and Sauce Recipe


Portuguese Inspired Meatloaf and Sauce

I was reading about Portuguese Cuisine and read that common flavors in Portuguese Cuisine are Piri Piri, Cinnamon, Paprika and Bayleaf. I thought that would be easy to put in a meatloaf so that’s what I did. The Piri Piri Pepper is hard to come by so I used Nando’s Brand Piri Piri Sauce that contains real Piri Piri Peppers. For the sauce I used slow roasted tomatoes that I cooked at 200 degrees F for most of a day that are very concentrated and sweet. You can use canned or roasted but your tomatoes might not be as sweet so you might have to adjust and add sugar. I served the meatloaf with black rice cooked in vegetable broth with black beans.

Ingredients for 8 servings

1/2 medium sweet onion – chopped fine

3 garlic cloves – ground to paste

2 XL eggs – slightly beaten

1 Tablespoon vegetarian soup base (This is instead of salt as it’s salt with flavor)

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 Tablespoons Hot Piri Piri sauce (I used Nando’s Brand)

1/3 cup lager

1 cup panko bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)

1 lb ground turkey

1/4 cup parsley

non stick spray

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for sauce)

14 oz cooked tomatoes (mine were slow roasted and concentrated, you might need sugar) (for sauce)

1 red bell pepper – chopped fine (for sauce)

1/2 medium sweet onion – chopped fine (for sauce)

1 celery rib – chopped fine (for sauce)

4 garlic cloves – ground to paste (for sauce)

1 Tablespoon – course sea salt (for sauce)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper (for sauce)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (for sauce)

5 bay leaves (for sauce)

8 black olives – quartered (for sauce)

Directions set oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray baking sheet(s) with non stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 onion, 3 ground garlic cloves, eggs, soup base, 3/4 black pepper, 1 teaspoon thyme, both paprikas, cinnamon, piri piri sauce, lager and panko. Mix well.

Mix in the turkey and parsley. The mixture will be extremely moist. Measure out  the individual meatloaf in 4 ounce portions and place on sprayed baking sheet(s) like this.

Place them in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked and then remove from oven.

To make the sauce

Put a sauce pot on medium high heat with the olive oil. When hot add the bell pepper, onions and celery and salt. Cook till tender. Add garlic till mixture seems fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients. The sauce might be ready in a few minutes depending on how your tomatoes are…Cook till you think your tomatoes are ready and do a taste test for seasoning. You might need a small amount of sugar if your tomatoes aren’t sweet enough. REMEMBER TO REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES).


Portuguese Inspired Meatloaf with Sauce


The Forking Truth

Bugs in Food that You PAY for and Bean Pie…..Who Knew


Part of El Panzon Y Frida Restaurant Menu located in Old Town Scottsdale AZ

When I hear about a new restaurant or a restaurant that is new to me the first thing I do is look at the menu to see if the menu appeals to me. I found out about this new restaurant that recently opened in Old Town Scottsdale AZ called El Panzon Y Frida. I saw Fish Cakes on the menu and thought I haven’t had a Fish Cake in ten years since I left the east coast. I could sure go for a fish cake………. but not the one on El Panzon Y Frida’s Menu……… as it’s Buffalo Worm Crusted……… I do admit I have some food hang ups and don’t partake in eating worms or bugs. I am aware that in many countries it’s a part of normal life to include insects in one’s diet but I have to be honest and admit it’s not something I’ll ever relish.

Usually if you find a bug or a worm in your food the restaurant takes it the Fork off your bill and apologies. On this menu you pay for worms in your food…who knew?


I also looked at a Fish and Chip Restaurant called Mandy’s Fish in Chips with three locations in Phoenix AZ. I saw……

Mandy’s Fish and Chip Restaurant in Phoenix AZ

Bean Pie….. I never heard of Bean Pie. WTFork is Bean Pie?

I read on Wikipedia that Bean Pie was created in the 1930s and is of African American Muslim Cuisine. The Pie is made of mashed beans that are usually navy beans but can also be great northern or pinto beans in a custard based pie similar to pumpkin pie.


Bugs in food that you pay for and Bean Pie…..Who The Fork Knew?

The Forking Truth