Category Archives: Forking Thoughts

Random Forking Items of Interest

You aren’t always going to agree with Food Critics……………. Falafels


Falafels are deep fried patties or balls made from chickpeas, fava beans or both. They usually are flavored with fresh parsley, scallions, garlic, cumin and coriander. The best falafels are said to have a crispy exterior and a moist flavorful interior.

Recently a professional food critic from a local magazine wrote that the above falafel was the best falafel in all of Metro Phoenix. I kept reading this over and over because I thought I was seeing things….because………My experience did differ to say it mildly as possible…..While I found that the falafel pictured above had a desirable crispy exterior the interior although fluffy and slightly dry was mostly tasteless and totally lacked fresh herbs and any flavors a falafel traditionally has. The falafels I tried only tasted like  sesame seeds. Honestly I thought these Falafels were among the worst I ever tried anywhere.

I’ve had not all the Metro Valley has to offer in falafels but I tried more than a few so it’s not like I’m a falafel virgin.

The above fresh herb falafel is green inside and is fresh with flavor. This one didn’t have the crispy exterior but it had great flavors and didn’t leave any grease in my mouth. A few I tried not pictured here were greasy. This came from a place no longer open for business in Scottsdale.

The Falafel pictured above rates very high on a popular review site. I don’t remember if this one had any crunch but I remembered that it lacked flavors. You can see this one lacks herbs. I remembered I never wanted to go back. This one came from the Arrowhead area…not sure if this place is in Peoria or Glendale.

The above Falafels were seasoned well and were herby with a great crisp exterior. These were among the best that I tried in Metro Phoenix because of the flavorful interior and the crispy exterior.

Solid good crunchy Falafels from my favorite falafel fast food kind of place in Tempe.

This Falafel hasn’t won over any love from Professional Food Critics yet but it is among the better with a crisp exterior, and a moist fresh herb flavorful interior. Also the Eggplant dip from here was delicious with lemon and smoke. Got this one in Scottsdale.

Here’s another Falafel from a newer restaurant in Phoenix. It’s an decent Falafel….Not my favorite but not bad and OK.

Here are falafels from a newly opened place in Scottsdale. They have the correct flavors but have like a really weird soft wet meatball texture.

Back to the professional Food Critic’s pick…”Best in Metro Phoenix”….(????????????)

It’s a fact that I don’t know if the Food Critic got the same thing I tried pictured above from this same place. (As you know experiences may differ…..) The Professional Food Critic wrote for all of Metro Phoenix to see that the above Falafels are the BEST that Metro Phoenix has to offer…….

Is it possible that the recipe has changed????? ……..Is it possible that almost tasteless dry falafels are the best?????

I don’t FORKING know!

The Forking Truth is……..You aren’t always going to agree with food critics.

REMEMBER EVERY FORKING THING IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE and your experience (or my Forking experience) may or MAY NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

Bonus Edition * Forking Weird FOOD Related News


Photo via

Over the past few weeks we had a bunch of Forking Weird Food Related News Stories.

In the beginning of the month we had the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest where 70 Hot Dogs and buns were inhaled by Hot Dog Eating Champion Joey Chestnut.

A $10,000. Edible Pizza Bikini can be made for you from the Villa Italian Kitchen. (I don’t know if any where sold?)..

The Phoenix New Times reported a story about Cream Cheese Topped Tea and Fruit Drinks that are a thing in parts of Asia and are found here in Mesa AZ.

I saw on TV Watermelon Selfies…you balance a wedge of watermelon and try to place it under someone’s face so it looks like they are wearing a watermelon wedge.

I think I came across at least three different pizza related sneaker stories. One was a phone sneaker that dialed Pizza Hut and the others were Pizza decorated sneakers.

But the one story that’s burnt in my head is the Guy Fieri (Food Network Host and Restauranteur) Swimsuit. It can’t Forking be unseen.

Guy Fieri’s Face printed on a $49.00 Swim Suit.

Photo via

It can’t Forking be unseen.

Forking Weird Food Related News.

The Forking Truth




The Forking Truth is that some Dining Experiences are NOT Worth a Fork!


A grilled chicken sandwich from somewhere in Scottsdale AZ

The Forking Truth is that not every dining experience will be drool worthy.Actually some dining experiences are NOT Worth a Fork! Recently I had a grilled chicken sandwich from somewhere in Scottsdale. The bun was squashed and hard…maybe stale? The chicken also seemed like it had all the life in it squashed out and had a weird texture… the snap of a hot dog and also had a burnt taste too. Even the pepper didn’t taste good because nobody rinsed off the can flavoring. I was hoping I’d enjoy the side dish from this particular place….

Well I almost enjoyed the side dish of potato salad…..It did have a nice flavor but the potatoes were very over cooked and mostly got all mashed. I had maybe 4 marble sized pieces of potato in this salad with a few hard lumps of egg. It was like a cup of cold mashed potatoes with a few lumps.


In the same week I went to a small sushi restaurant in Peoria. The sushi was very average so it didn’t seem blog worthy. This particular sushi restaurant offered Korean Style Fried Chicken. Ummm you sure don’t come by that all the time! We ordered some Korean Style Fried Chicken and when it arrived I thought it looked Scrumptious and Amazing!

It DID look scrumptious and amazing. But when I took a bite I found that under the very crispy crust was almost cold chicken that was oddly very dry and chewy….WTFork! How the Fork did they come up with that? Cold dried up chicken with a nice crispy crust….

Here is another non-drool worthy plate I had in beautiful Carefree AZ. Chewy meat, SOUR  onions and what looked like pond slime….This plate I couldn’t stomach and I was afraid this food for myself and I thought it could make my dogs ill.

This was not drool worthy. It was more like Forking Puke Worthy.

Early this year I had a pizza from somewhere in Peoria. The Crust was burnt tasting and also was hard like a rock. You can see the burnt threw the crust. This was not drool worthy either. I actually felt sick after this………

I ordered a fried fish somewhere in Phoenix.

My fish was fried to a crisp and most of the flesh was crunchy. My crunchy fish was topped with a couple fistfuls of salt with what seemed like a 1/2 a jar of jarred garlic mixed with some mushrooms. I also was blessed with a slice of unripe tomato, oily lettuce, porridge like rice and oily soggy fries. Nobody asked me how it was as they did the usual drop and run.

We took out some food from a new Fast Food Restaurant in Glendale…is it is Peoria? The Chicken was almost good but it was my luck that who someone careless salted the chicken lost the lid on the salt container and the chicken was coated in enough salt to melt a snow covered driveway. The rolls were pillowy and might have been mixed with yoga mats. The Mac -N- Cheese tasted like margarine and chemicals. WTFork knows what they did to the potatoes. The potatoes were very  heavy and tasted like they have might have contained wall plaster……..Well it’s fast food….you get what you get….my bad.

I guess the least drool worthy food I tried came from a food truck….Look at the picture…No words are needed. My apologies should you have nightmares or gain a fear of food trucks. Only God knows what stories the grease that roll was fried in can tell…….

Close up of Corned Beef Wild Buckeye Roll

The above were all….


The Forking Truth is that some Dining Experiences are NOT Worth a Fork!

Your experience may or may not differ and everything is subject to change.

The Forking Truth



Fast Food Usually is Forked Up!


I very rarely eat fast food because nearly every time I try it there is something wrong with it and it’s always horrible. Over the past 12 months I only tried fast food twice.

Last November I tried some fast food fish from a fast food seafood chain near my house and got this filet of fish.

It was oil logged with a nasty old oil taste. It wasn’t even cheap and was expensive. It was Forked up! I felt really bad because I offered a piece to my elderly dog I had at the time and the food was so bad my poor old dog spit it out.

A new to Arizona Popular Fried Chicken Restaurant opened not too far from me and the independent place I planned to do Take Out at wasn’t serving food that day….So it seemed like a good day to try the Fried Chicken and we got some sort of family pack that included several assorted pieces of fried chicken, extra soft rolls

and two sides. We picked Macaroni and Cheese with Mashed Potatoes.

The Fried Chicken was almost good. The Chicken was fried nicely, was crispy, seemed oil free. The meat was very tender too! But a careless person working there put enough FORKING Salt on the crust to melt snow off a driveway. That chicken was lethal. That much salt can kill a person.  I had to peel off the crust to eat the chicken. I guess I should be happy and not complain because at least the chicken was cooked in fresh oil. YIPPY!


The family meal also came with rolls…They were sweet and super soft like I never felt before……I don’t know how they can possibly be this squishy soft……I think they might be made from yoga mats……the rolls are like.. artificial bread…YUK!

The Halloween Orange Colored Macaroni and Cheese was really scary. It doesn’t even taste like cheese………………….It actually taste like eating a tub of margarine with added chemicals. It was sickening.

Lastly the mashed potatoes are also inedible. The potatoes are unusually thick with lots of pepper and another flavor that I can’t identify that isn’t food related. I don’t know what THE FORK it was…….I  was more upset about the potatoes than the salty chicken because the salt was a slip that I understand. Maybe the salt container lid fell off and the person said Oh well…I’m not tossing all that chicken…..but……The mashed potatoes didn’t taste like food! Neither me or my husband could eat the potatoes….my husband tried to eat the potatoes with the enclosed gravy and he still couldn’t stomach them either. Who knows what kind of person made it?…….  ICK!

Fast Food is Usually Forked Up!


Did I hit these restaurants on off days…….?

Do they make food this bad all the time………??????????

Would they be in business if they do ……..??????????.

Is it possible that some people don’t care what food taste like and will eat anything…….???????????

“You get more food when your not picky…remember the picky ones don’t make it in the jungle.”

“But I only want the food to taste edible”

“It’s Fast Food Human……you forking get what you get and there are 5 lights up there too!”

For me Fast Food from 2 national chains……2 out of 2 times was Forked up!

In my case fast food was Forked up 100% of the time.

The Forking Truth is that your Forking experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

From India Lay’s American Style Cream and Onion Potato Chips


Came across Lay’s American Style Cream and Onion Potato Chips from India at the Asiana Market so I thought I’d give them a try. I do note that the bag is impossible to open unlike American Lay’s and you will need shears.

The bag is a buddy pack but I don’t know why?….

There are very few chips in the bag so I hope your buddy isn’t hungry.

according to the bag it’s only one serving.

One of the ingredients is edible vegetable oil……I would expect the vegetable oil to be edible….WTFORK wants to consume INEDIBLE VEGETABLE OIL??????

I open it up and it looks like this.

I start by taking a whiff….It smells sort of like cheese puffs.

The chips are very small and they have ridges and green specs.

The chips taste very naturally oniony and have a slight tangy cream finish and dissolve rapidly in your mouth unlike American Lay’s. The chips sort of remind me of packaged instant mashed potatoes with lots of onion and a tiny smear of sour cream.

I like the flavor and  despite the instant potato thingy overall the chips have a natural flavor.

The American Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chip Bag looks like this.

The American Ingredients do differ and appear to contain much more calories. I note that I didn’t check the serving size so I don’t know if that differs. American Bag is 240 calories per serving and the Lay’s Chips from India are only 150 calories.

Unlike the Indian Lay’s the American Lay’s Chips seem like slices of potato and not formed chips.

If you come across the Indian Lay’s American Style Cream and Onion Potato Chips give them a try and see what you think.

The Forking Truth

Eating Lighter in North – West Phoenix AZ that is Worth a Fork!


The Malibu Bowl from Slick’s Garage in Peoria AZ

For the most part it’s going to be 100 degrees F and MORE in the Phoenix Area maybe till November so you might want to eat lighter on these hot days. It’s more challenging to find lighter meals in North – North West Phoenix since this area is less developed with independent restaurants than other areas in metro Phoenix. Here are some of the lighter meals I found that are offered out here. BTW the majority of the meals are priced at $10.00 or less and only a few cost more. Everything was under $20.00.

Slick’s Garage at P83  in Peoria is an independant restaurant that serves casual pub food, big juicy hamburgers, really delicious Tex Mex Style food and the MALIBU BOWL (pictured above). It doesn’t get much healthier than a piece of blackened fish, fresh herbs, tomatoes, black beans, cabbage and red or green chile peppers. The bowl is tasty and won’t weigh you down. The prices are very reasonable too. Your wallet and stomach will thank you.

A locally owned HEALTY fast food Drive Threw Restaurant with several locations in Metro Phoenix is Salad and Go. They offer around 10 varieties of Salads, Breakfast, Smoothies, Wraps and More. Everything is natural, made in house and is organic…..They don’t have a dining room but you and your dog(s) are welcome on the patio or you can just take you Salad and GO!

Banh Mi Bistro Vietnamese Eatery in Phoenix is a Pho Free Vietnamese Eatery that specializes in the Banh Mi Sandwich. Besides the delicious sandwiches (that are filling but not too heavy) are noodle bowls, rice plates and a few salads. One of my favorite things to order here is the Chicken Rice Plate.

Minus the egg roll that was grabbed

It’s always a big juicy boneless chicken thigh that delicious served with a small salad with pickled vegetable and a double portion of rice and an egg roll. Not always but I often make two meals out of this dish.

The Twisted Italian in Peoria AZ serves up traditional Italian foods and some non-traditional Italian Foods like Pierogi and Italian Rellenos….oh my! They also happen to have European Sea Bass on the menu served with a nice pile of vegetables and a just right amount of light angel hair pasta.

Saffron Jak is a Persian Fusion Restaurant in Phoenix. They serve Persian Tacos on their very own fresh baked stone bread, Pizzas and Stone bread and it’s their Rice Bowl (on a plate) that’s a nice light healthy and delicious meal.

Saffron Chicken Rice Bowl

Tri Tip Rice Bowl

Both the Saffron Chicken and the Trio Tip Beef are delicious and very tender. They come with fluffy rice, a side and a small but enough portion of stone bread. You won’t go wrong with either of these plates.

Cucina Tagliani is an American/Italian Restaurant in Glendale. They serve up the traditional American Italian favorites most of them are gut busting but “Tags” also offers a pretty darn good Chicken Strawberry and Gorgonzola Salad and Fish Dinners with a two vegetable option. Oh and I just remembered the grilled Chicken Parmesan with the spaghetti squash option instead of pasta. You can pick from several meals that are light at Cucina Tagliani.

Cucina Tagliani Glendale AZ Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad that includes Chicken

Grilled Salmon with Asparagus and Spaghetti Squash

Angelina’s Pho and Grill is an Asian Fusion Restaurant in Glendale. They have an always  changing menu but they also offer something incredible and light like the delicious salad pictured below.

The Chicken and Asparagus Salad from Angelina’s Pho & Grill Glendale AZ

As far as I know this beautiful and delicious salad is still offered on the menu…but don’t hold me to it as the menu changes often.

No website ….you just have to show up and dine there.

One of the most delicious salads that I tried comes from Amuse Bouche in Surprise AZ (This is considered the West Valley of Metro Phoenix).

Kale Quinoa Cranberries, Toasted Almonds, Seasonal Fruit, Goat Cheese with added Chicken $16.00 from Amuse Bouche of Surprise AZ

My salad was full of the juiciest sweetest pineapple that really popped against the creamy mild goat cheese. My salad was also made of cranberries, toasted almonds kale and quinoa. A Honey Lime Vinaigrette ties all the flavors together. The salad included a house baked dinner roll with butter. Might be the heaviest of everything on this list but it still seems light and not too heavy.

We have at least three more restaurants I wanted to add to this list but they were all misses for me lately so they didn’t make the cut.

These were a collection of the tastiest lightest Meals I tried in the North – West Metro Phoenix Area that are Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

I note that your experience may or may not differ and EVERY FORKING THING is subject to change.

The Forking Truth









Forking Worst Chip I’ve Tried…Crazy Awful


I found these Pop Chips potato chips in Crazy Hot Flavor.  I like chips sometimes and I like crazy hot so I thought I might like these chips. These Chips are lower in calories than most chips. low fat and contain fiber. They aren’t fried and are made with healthier oils. I don’t think they actually contain any chili because I didn’t notice any chili listed in the ingredients.

I open the bag and they smell tasty. They smell just like cayenne pepper and maybe something sort of cheesy like cheese curls.

I go to taste one.


It’s like someone poured extra tart acidic lemon juice in my mouth.

It’s tart…..It’s tangy and it’s sour.

I do get a lingering cayenne pepper taste and the chips are powdery weird.

Doesn’t seem spicy…just is awful.

I can’t finish one chip.

They are in the trash now because even my husband can’t eat them.

I note I might have purchased a defective bag of Pop Chips because I can’t imagine any company would make a chip that taste like this.

The Forking Truth

Purple Basil doesn’t make Pretty Pesto and Pesto Recipe


Pesto make with Purple Basil

Pesto make with Purple Basil

I got a great big bunch of purple basil from the farmer’s market. It was so beautiful and I used some in a delicious salad and I thought with the leftover I’d make a purple pesto. Well I just found out that when you blend purple basil it turns a dark muddy green.

Oh well…

I made a basic pesto with an added roasted red pepper. It taste delicious and you might want to make it with regular green basil instead.

Ingredients for around four servings

2 cups basil leaves – packed

1 roasted red pepper – stem, seeds, skin removed and rough chopped

2 garlic cloves grated

2 oz pine nuts – toasted – I put in a 225 degree F oven till they got some color…10-15 minutes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup pecorino cheese – shredded

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Optional up to a half cup water – the pesto will come out very thick, It is good that way but I like it thinner. Most people will just add more olive oil but I prefer to use as little oil as possible.

Directions Just Blend!

Pesto make with Purple Basil

Pesto make with Purple Basil

Latter I made a more traditional style pesto with regular basil leaves.

I didn’t measure but what we have here are a lot of basil leaves, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan, course sea salt and (don’t tell……..) a little sugar to highlight the sweet basil taste.

 The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth


Brunch at Rodeo Grill in Mesa AZ is SMOKING HOT for Restaurant Week


Spring Restaurant Week this year (2017) is May 19th-28th. Around 130 restaurants are participating and some are offering some amazing deals to lure you in. One of the most smoking hottest deals is the Brunch Deal offered by the Brazilian Steak House Rodizio Grill in Mesa AZ. For Restaurant Week Brunch they are offing a complimentary cocktail, the full Rodizio experience and an extra complimentary dessert. The restaurant week offer cost $44.00 a couple ($22.00@) and I am guesstimating the value to run around $80.00 so we went for it!

I must say all the help from the gauchos (meat servers) to the hostess, various servers and management were all very friendly, cheerful and helpful.

They started us off with our restaurant week complimentary cocktails of limeade and a passionfruit martini, Brazilian cheese bread and these super yummy cinnamon glazed bananas.

Then we hit the 30 item hot and cold buffet that features some Brazilian side dishes and salads.

SO MUCH STUFF>>>>>It was so hard to decide on what to try.

Not all but some of the stuff I saw was Brazilian Bean Stew, Collards with Bacon, Hot Brazilian Pasta, Whipped Potatoes, Fried Potatoes, Eggs, Chicken Stroganoff, Fruit Salad, Quinoa Salad, Coconut Cole Slaw, Hearts of Palm, Steamed Asparagus, Buffalo Chicken Salad, Some Cheeses, Some sort of Hot Brisket Dish, a condiment station with Chimichurro Sauce, Brazilian tiny tear drop shaped mild peppers and MUCH MORE. I made myself a plate of some salads and vegetables.

Then we have a wooden cubes on the table and we turn it to the green side so the meat gauchos know they can come to the table to serve us.

Top Sirloin….

I think this one was the Hot and Sweet Chicken? Well anyway the hot and Sweet Chicken was my favorite….So Juicy and tasty. All the meats were succulent tasty and juicy. The Hot and Sweet Chicken was just delicious…tang, heat and not too much sweet.

Brazilian Sausage

Other meats that were offered were Tried Tip, Herbed Chicken, Bacon wrapped chicken, Chicken Hearts, Pork Parmesan wrapped in Bacon, Lean Ham and also Glazed Pineapple.

EVERYTHING THEY SERVED US WAS GREAT! All tasty, all juicy and succulent.

We asked for the check and they wouldn’t let us leave without serving us dessert!

This Brunch for Arizona Restaurant Week is Smoking Hot at Rodizio Grill and even at regular price it’s still a great deal that you might not know about.

The Rodizio Grill sure knocked it out of the park and went heads and heels above and beyond  what they had to offer.

Rodizio Grill is CERTAINLY Worth a Fork!

The Forking Truth

If you like to bake make a Scaccia Bread (Lasagna Bread)


Spinach and Cheese Scaccia Bread

Around this time last year I saw this interesting recipe in Saveur Magazine for Scaccia Bread that is also known as Lasagna Bread. I just had to make it! I do note that I had to make minor adjustments to the recipe. I don’t know if the adjustments were needed because of the brand of semolina I used (all flours are ground slightly different giving different results) or perhaps due to the hard water of Arizona???? Or maybe due to the extreme dry climate that I think is likely or partially the reason. Well anyway it’s an amazing recipe and you can stuff it however you like. I wrote the ingredients as Saveur posted the recipe but I included my adjustments if you need to use them.

The original Scaccia I made with Saveur’s sauce recipe looked like this. (but I baked it ten minutes longer. (70 minutes instead of 60)

Scaccia also called Lasagna Bread

I made it few times since. Sometimes I use my own spaghetti sauce. Once I tried it with eggplant but the eggplant. The Eggplant filling did taste good but the thin eggplant sort of melted in.

You can fill it with any combination of things. It can be anything you want.

I like to make  double batch and make two different breads. After you make one Scaccia you will want to do the same I bet!

Here is your basic recipe for the dough.

Ingredients for one loaf

Set oven to 450 degrees F.

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons warm water (this didn’t work out in my home kitchen and I needed to add another 1/4 cup water) you can do recipe as written and add the 1/4 c extra water if needed at the end)

This was my dough after I added an extra Tablespoon of oil and then I drizzled in water and to me it looked right after a 1/4 cup more water. Then the dough was very smooth.

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 cups durum wheat semolina flour

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I added a total of three tablespoons because my dough was too dry before I added the extra water so I always add three tablespoons but you might only need two)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

extra flour for dusting

Saveur also included a sauce recipe for the bread.

1 teaspoon sugar

1 garlic clove – fine chopped

2 cups canned whole tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz caciocavallo  cheese (this is the suggested cheese for the filling)

I did a spinach filling to make it-

I used about 3 lbs spinach

1/4 finely shredded sweet onion

a heaping Tablespoon garlic confit

a couple heaping Tablespoons of vegetable  base

1/2 teaspoon Crushed Calabrian Chili and Oil

fresh ground sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. (I just boiled the spinach in water with the onions briefly….jamming the spinach into the pot and drained it really well for an hour and then added the rest) I used pizza blend cheese but didn’t measure it. I only boil a sort time till the last of the spinach wilts.The spinach comes out amazingly delicious and very flavorful. My husband remarked that this spinach taste like spinach. Usually spinach stuffed things taste like nothing…….



In a large bowl add the warm water, sugar and yeast. Wait till if gets foamy and then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well for about 8 minutes. Cover with wrap and leave it sit out at room temperature for about two hours or until the dough doubles.

Knead the dough and roll it out in about a 26 x 18 inch rectangle. (I’m using some of my photos from original so you can follow along with folding.

Filling in the middle 3rd.

Fold ends in.

Filling on left half.

Fold over right half.

Bring up bottom.

Then you pierce all over.

Wrap in parchment and place on baking sheet or loaf pan depending on shape you like best.

Bake for an hour at 450 degrees F. or until crusty and sort of brown. (60- 70 minutes)

“OMG! That smells FORKING GOOD! I’m so glad you FORKING adopted me!”

Double batch I just did.

Spinach and Cheese Scaccia Bread

“Hey RUNT, it does smell good but we are suppose to FORKING wait for the food!”

“My bad…….I know I am very young and am only a Pip-Squeek and I don’t make the right decisions sometimes.” “I’ll do what ever you say my big beautiful Aussie Amazon Queen.” “Show me the way……..I need to learn.”

If you like to bake make a Scaccia Bread!

Scaccia also called Lasagna Bread

The Forking Truth