Monthly Archives: December 2014

Stop# 3 – The Search for Lox in Metro Phoenix – Part 3 – Partial Success

My forking search for Lox means a Deli that serves a proper tasting Pastrami on Real Rye Bread, A traditional Potato Knish and of course Lox. Since the closing of Abe’s Deli in Scottsdale AZ I haven’t found anyone that actually serves real hand carved Lox. The word lox is a lose term and all that I found available anywhere so far has been Nova or Nova style salmon to be technical.

We stopped in at New York Bagels and Bialy’s in Scottsdale AZ. I ordered a Whitefish Plate with an Onion Bialy.

I received forking this.

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Look close and notice all the bloodline and how DRY the fish is.

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I never forking seen a bialy that looked like this.

I was expecting something like forking this.

Picture from www.thefreshloaf.com

Picture from www.thefreshloaf.com

When the waitress checks on us I do mention how dry the fish is.

The manager soon runs over and is very upset because her help accidentally gave me the forking fish ends you don’t serve people and runs me out some fresh fish.

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The fresh fish is forking better and not dried out and fishy and condensed with salt.

My husband got a 1/2 corned beef, half pastrami on their house made rye bread.

The corned beef was a little weak tasting but OK and not bad. The Pastrami was almost the same in taste as the corned beef.  I didn’t taste the rye bread but my husband said it was the fluffy kind that doesn’t really taste like rye. I’m certain some people prefer the sandwiches this forking way and they are perfection to them.

We took home some lox, cream cheese and 6 bagels.

So the next morning I ate this.

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The fish was better quality than what I found at my previous stops and also cut much nicer too.

I liked the size of the bagel it wasn’t too big but it tasted like it was missing salt and lacked the chewy doughy texture that you look for in bagels. Maybe on some days it’s better than other days.

I didn’t try a knish on this stop but I do consider this partial success because the lox was good.

At this point I doubt I will be able to find Good Lox and a Good Pastrami on Rye in one location but I still will forking try.

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

 

Couscous Express Morocco Restaurant Phoenix AZ….is worth a Fork Now CLOSED for Business

Behind the rough exterior of a small harshly painted building lives the warm culinary delights of Morocco. As you enter you will notice tapestries, Moroccan Goods different potions, hookahs, Fez Caps and lots of Dates.

Once seated we sipped on Date Shakes laced with spice and hot Moroccan Tea with lots of fresh mint.

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We didn’t really know what the fork we wanted and the friendly owner tells us he will just bring us out food to try.

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He starts us off with house cured lemon olives, fresh baked bread and Moroccan Carrots.

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The owner called this soup he brought out “goat bone soup”.

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It was a soup with noodles, thickened garbanzo beans in a goat base.

Next we get a BIG

BOWL

of

COUSCOUS

followed by big bowls of slow cooked braised lamb, slow cooked braised beef ribs studded with garbanzo beans,

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and braised potatoes.

Slow Cooked Braised Chicken with MORE couscous and assorted vegetables.

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The chicken like all the other meats served was so tender it was falling off the bone. All the meats were developed with flavors but the chicken stood out the most to us on our visit.

Many plates back I told the owner I was full and could not forking eat anymore but he kept bring out plates anyway.

Next comes out Chicken Bastilla.

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It’s the flavorful braised chicken baked in puff pastry topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It’s a little odd to me but is more savory than sweet. I do like the textures to it.

And a Plate of Moroccan Desserts.

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It all was Forking Good. Pricing was very low and portions were forking big!

Couscous Express Morocco Restaurant is destination dining in Phoenix.

update 5-27-17 Now Closed for Business

Worth a Fork. I'd drive up to 45 minutes to eat here.

Worth a Fork.

Forking Good

Forking Truth

Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Bouchons Recipe

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Bouchon made by me

Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Bouchon made by me

I wanted to make something new and something forking chocolate for someone’s birthday.

So I googled Thomas Keller Chocolate and found this forking easy recipe called Chocolate Bounchons so I thought it was worth doing.  They are come out very chocolatey, rich and moist with chocolate chips that melt into the batter. I thought this recipe would be good since it’s satisfying without forking frosting that can be too sweet for some people who really don’t like sweets. I measured everything exact to the recipe but didn’t use the high quality 55% Chocolate Chips and could only find 45%. Timbale molds are suggested but I think a cupcake pan or molds would be fine.

This recipe is courtesy of Bouchon Bakery

Servings 12 set oven to 350 degrees and Butter and Flour your Molds

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Ingredients

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

12 oz. (3 sticks) melted slightly warm butter

6oz. 55% semisweet broken down into chip size

10x sugar for dusting the Bouchons

Directions

Sift flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl and set a side.

In a large bowl mix eggs and sugar until pale in color.

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Then mix in vanilla, add about 1/3 of dry ingredients and then about 1/3 of butter and back and forth till mixed. Add chips and combine.

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Get mixture into molds and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Let cool and dust with confectioners sugar. A suggestion is to serve with ice cream.

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Bouchon made by me

Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Bouchon made by me

OMG! these are FORKING AWESOME! This recipe doesn’t need a tweak anywhere. It so rich, moist and deep with chocolate flavor. It’s FORKING better than nearly every dessert I’ve eaten out.

Forking Good

Forking Good

 

 

 

Most Memorable Metro Phoenix Restaurants from Fall/Winter 2014

My list is in no particular forking order and includes the most memorable meals either the good or the not so good that I’ve forking been to.

I do note the not so good places all do have good reviews from other people and may just not have been their best on my forking visit. Or it’s possible that they do just FORKING Suck? I don’t know. I only judged the not so good places on one visit that may or may not be forking typical of what they normally forking do.

When you eat at a place called Beaver Choice you know your in for something forking different. Beaver Choice is a combination of Swedish, Polish and Canadian. Everything is made in house and not all but most of the meals are rich and filling. Lots of Meats, Potatoes and Dill. No matter what you get it will be nicely seasoned. The kitchen is slow so It may take a while to get your meal but it’s worth the wait.

The last meal I had there was the Laxpudding.

Laxpudding from Beaver Choice Masa AZ

Laxpudding from Beaver Choice Masa AZ

Potatoes are held together with the lightest airy eggs and dill that’s topped with house made Gravlax and seasoned with more fresh dill. Maybe it doesn’t sound appetizing but surprisingly it was delicious! The meal came with three vegetable sides that were all well prepared.

From J&G Steakhouse

Tuna Tarte from J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale AZ

Tuna Tarte from J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale AZ

Black Truffle Cheese Fritters from J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale AZ

Black Truffle Cheese Fritters from J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale AZ

These appetizers were more forking memorable than the main meals. I do note the meals were very good but both appetizers were amazing. When the waiter recommends to order “signature items” you should do so.

I had some very good  Thai Food this year from a few places but an  appetizer I had from Cha Da Thai was something forking something memorable.

Miang Kum from Cha Da Thai Scottsdale AZ

Miang Kum from Cha Da Thai Scottsdale AZ

I got these fresh stuffed green leaves stuffed with vegetables, pieces of lime and coconut with little chilis on the side. You pop them in your mouth and get a mouth full of fireworks. It’s all delicious. You get sweet, sour, spicy…you just get it all.

The most mouth watering best Brisket came from……

Brisket from Little Miss BBQ Phoenix AZ

Brisket from Little Miss BBQ Phoenix AZ

Little Miss BBQ in Phoenix AZ. This was just a WOW moment. It totally changes my perspective about brisket. Little Miss BBQ serves two kinds of Brisket. The what they called Moist and what they call lean. I did taste both and if you can handle all the fat the Moist is better. It’s absolutely perfect with seasoning and smoke. It melts in your mouth and you can still taste the beef. That brisket is perfection.  I ate what I could and my husband ate the fattier parts that were just too fatty for me. It worked out well for us.

What was memorable was….

La Torretta Scottsdale AZ Salmon Alla Francesca $23.99

La Torretta Scottsdale AZ Salmon Alla Francesca $23.99

but not in a positive way…… This restaurant has been in business a long time with mostly positive reviews. I forking guess I must have hit them on an off day. (It happens)

I had a forking amazing Kale and Quinoa Salad from Amuse Bouche in Surprise AZ.

Kale and Quinoa Salad from Amuse Bouche Surprise AZ

Kale and Quinoa Salad from Amuse Bouche Surprise AZ

The salad may not look or sound amazing but it really tasted forking amazing. I never had a kale salad that tasted that good before. Maybe that perfect tasting pineapple was part of the secret I don’t know. The combination of toasted almonds, goat cheese, kiwi, cranberries and pineapple in that lime vinaigrette was sublime. (the chicken was a $3 add on)

The most interesting pizza I had out this year was from Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana in Scottsdale AZ.

Stracchino Cheese Pizza from Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana Scottsdale AZ

Stracchino Cheese Pizza from Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana Scottsdale AZ

The Stracchino Cheese was unlike any cheese I ever forking had before. It went really well with the greens and blistered tomatoes. I never had a pizza like it before.

I’m still searching for a deli that serves tasty knishes, good quality lox and tasty pastrami.

Potato Knish from JJ's Delicatessen Scottsdale AZ

Potato Knish from JJ’s Delicatessen Scottsdale AZ

Well………I’m still looking.

The most memorable lunch came from Centurion Restaurant in Phoenix AZ.

Paprika Parmesan Hummus Plate from Centurion Phoenix AZ

Paprika Parmesan Hummus Plate from Centurion Phoenix AZ

How often do you enjoy delicious 3 course lunches for $15.00?

I know the Chef from this restaurant  I went to for Restaurant Week is well trained but her cook was having an off night the night I dined here.

The Market by Jennifer's from Phoenix AZ

The Market by Jennifer’s from Phoenix AZ

It was three courses that I’ll never forget. It sure was forking memorable.

Now this meal was good but not forking exceptional.

It was memorable because of the company.

AJ's Patio Arrowhead Glendale AZ

AJ’s Patio Arrowhead Glendale AZ

I’m Forking wrapping up 2014 and looking forking forward to 2015!

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

 

The Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer verses The Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Veggetti

Veggetti

I just got a Veggetti spiral vegetable slicer. It’s basically built like a pencil sharpener for zucchini. You insert the zucchini and twist and then you have pasta shaped vegetable strands in spaghetti or linguini shape. They suggest you can use carrots but I tried one and got the forking thing all jammed up.

I also have the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer.

Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer

The Paderno also promises to do carrots but it doesn’t. The Paderno has three easy to clean blades for small or thicker strands and it also can do ribbons.

Pros for the Veggetti

The Veggetti is easy to work

The Veggetti takes up less room

The Veggetti cost less (about $12.00)

The Veggetti does produce a thinner strand

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CONS for the Veggetti

The Veggetti is VERY HARD TO CLEAN. The Blades are almost impossible to clean and the vegetable gets the whole forking middle all clogged up.

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Pros for the Paderno

The Paderno is easy to work

The Paderno cuts the zucchini three different ways

The Paderno is very easy to clean

CONS for the Paderno

The Paderno takes up more room

The Paderno cost more (about $30.00)

I’m not so sure I’ll ever forking use the Veggetti again. I do prefer it’s thinner strands but I doubt I’ll ever be able to get it clean again.

In my forking opinion the Paderno Wins over the Forking Veggetti.

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

 

 

WTFork Getting a $16. Burger is Like

South Western Burger from Relish Burger Bistro at the Phoenician Scottsdale AZ

South Western Burger from Relish Burger Bistro at the Phoenician Scottsdale AZ

I don’t go out for burgers often but when I get one I always hope it will be cooked the way I want it, (medium) the burger must be juicy and have a great flavor. $16. is forking expensive for a burger but this burger is 100% natural Kobe Style meat and does come with bells and whistles that sets it above others.  Also these burgers come from the beautiful  Phoenician Resort in the Relish Burger Bistro so you know it ain’t going to be forking cheap.

The Parking is easy you enter the lush grounds and are stopped by a guard that directs you on where to go. Relish Burger Bistro has convenient parking by the Golf House. You enter and an elevator transports you to an array of burgers, a very large tequila selection, boozy milk shakes, house made sodas and more.

Once seated you might have views of the golf course or be by a large screen TV or a toasty fireplace. The decor is a classic masculine style.

The first thing I noticed once seated was that all the mustards and ketchups were on the tables. All of the ketchups and mustards looked very used. I wasn’t forking going to use them.

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So many burgers…..What to pick?

I was tempted by many but went a basic for my first time here and choose the classic knife and fork style. The classic should be 8 oz. of grilled Kobe, lettuce, tomato and onion. The knife and fork style comes with signature salad (that’s not described on the menu anywhere) sweet potato fries and two toppings to add on.  I picked onion rings and queso fundido to dip them in for fun.

Someone runs out our burgers to us with the waitress right behind. The waitress ask us if we need anything and tells us to enjoy our meal.

The Classic Knife and Fork Style from Relish Burger Bistro at the Phoenician Scottsdale AZ

The Classic Knife and Fork Style from Relish Burger Bistro at the Phoenician Scottsdale AZ

The burger came out a little more squashed looking than I was expecting I immediately saw off close to half (for my dogs) because 8oz of meat is way too much for lunch. I notice the burger is juicy but cooked past medium and is medium well. I’m slightly disappointed but accept medium well as forking ok. The burger has a tasty seasoned crust and the meat is full flavored and juicy. The salad underneath is very spicy from pickled peppers but tasty. Onion rings are kind of a treat with the cheese dipping sauce. The sweet potato fries seem a little overdone and don’t have much flavor but were presented in a forking cute fry basket.

My husband’s burger requested medium rare also came out medium well.

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He wasn’t too happy about that but said his burger was really delicious and would certainly forking order the same one again. His south western burger was topped with chili verde, pork rinds, habanero jack cheese and grilled jalapeño slaw (that he got on the side), house made tator tots. The eggy bun was also made in house.

We keep eating and he wanted to show the waitress that the burger was cooked more than medium rare.

When he got to the half way point I turned around and made eye contact with the waitress who was forking watching TV in the bar. She then runs over and agrees the burger is cooked well past medium rare. She offers to have the kitchen make a new burger but at this point half the burger was finished and my husband didn’t want another burger. They did take one burger off our bill.

In the end the burgers were delicious even though they were overcooked, service was very average. Maybe it isn’t typical of this restaurant to over cook burgers and maybe service might be different depending on your visit.

I don’t go for $16 burgers often but I do have a Scottsdale Preferred card so you bet I’m going back for that kind of $8.00 burger even if it’s overcooked. This is forking what getting $16. burgers are like.

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

 

Dining with Dogs at Pei Wei in Glendale AZ

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We were forking on the way to AJ’s BBQ and forking discovered it wasn’t open. I’m not sure if it was closed because it’s winter here or if they only have it on Saturdays.

So we had to find another forking place with a patio that allows dogs.

I noticed a nice size almost empty patio only a few shops down from AJ’s. It was Pei Wei Asian Bistro. I know it isn’t the forking best for Asian Food but I thought I remembered it was OK for Green Curry. I walked in and asked if I could bring my dogs on the patio and was told yes. I found out they changed their forking menu and no longer serve Green Curry.  I ordered a few plates. Then I tried to get silverware and had a hard time finding silverware without forking paper stuck to it.

Then I sat on the patio with my party and waited.

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The forking food arrives.

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So here’s the Kung Pao.

Kung Pao from Pei Wei Glendale AZ

Kung Pao from Pei Wei Glendale AZ

I tasted one chunk of beef from the Kung Pao. The Beef was very spongy and very salty. I thought the dogs would get sick if they tried it.

And here’s the Ginger Broccoli.

Ginger Broccoli with Chicken from Pei Wei Glendale AZ

Ginger Broccoli with Chicken from Pei Wei Glendale AZ

I tasted a chunk of chicken. The chicken was tender but had a very strange taste from the sauce. The forking sauce was very salty and very sweet. It tasted like salty soy sauce mixed with some kind of sweet syrup laced with chemicals. I didn’t taste anything like ginger in this dish. The broccoli looked good but had a very strong taste to it like maybe it was decomposing. They gave me a very generous portion of brown rice but it just soaked up that forking flavor from the sauce and tasted forking contaminated to me.

I gave my dogs some to taste.

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He ate it but I could tell by looking at him what he thought.

My other dog was looking at a bird instead of the food.

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This is how my dogs look when they enjoy food.

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And this is how they forking look at Pei Wei

"What the Fork is this?"

“What the Fork is this?”

Even if it was just an off day.

I don’t think we will be going back to Pei Wei.

Not Worth a Fork

Not Worth a Fork

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

Even MORE Weird Food at the Markets

Dill Pickle Sunflower Seeds

Dill Pickle Sunflower Seeds

WHO the FORK would want to forking eat Dill Sunflower Seeds and why the fork would anybody come up with such a thing? Look at the bag it says NEW our Best Dill what the fork did they use before? Their WORST dill?

Artificial Meat Flavored Sauce

Meat Artificially Flavored Sauce

Who the FORK wants Meat Artificially Flavored Sauce.

WTFork!

Beer Mug Shaped Pasta.

Mugs of Beer Shaped Pasta

Mugs of Beer Shaped Pasta

Possibly for forking Octoberfest Parties. (or for forking Meat Artificially Flavored Sauce)

Only a short time after I already wrote about 12 forking kinds of Cheerios out there I found FOUR FORKING More!

Ok now Cheerios aren’t so forking weird but I do think it’s forking weird that they make so many varieties of Cheerios.

Banana Nut Cheerios

Banana Nut Cheerios

Cinnamon Burst Cheerios

Cinnamon Burst Cheerios

Chocolate Cheerios

Chocolate Cheerios

Peanut Butter Cheerios

Muti Grain Peanut Butter Cheerios

How much forking ketchup does anyone forking use anyway?

7 varieties of Heinz Ketchup

7 varieties of Heinz Ketchup

The forking tin in the can must enhance the taste of Tilapia.

Canned Tilapia

Canned Tilapia

Fruit Loops with Marshmallows is weird to me.

Fruit Loops with Marshmallows

Fruit Loops with Marshmallows

Chocolate Frosted Flakes?

Choco Zucaritas

Choco Zucaritas

BUT THE WEIRDEST ONE OF ALL

IS

Really a WTFork!

This is Forked Up!

This is Forked Up!

Kandy Kale white chocolate peppermint

Kandy Kale white chocolate peppermint

NOW THAT IS A WHAT THE FORK!

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

 

 

 

Dining with Dogs at Rhythm & Wine in Scottsdale AZ

Dogs anticipating lunch

Dogs anticipating lunch

On a recent visit to one of our favorite places for delicious gelato we noticed in the same strip mall Rhythm & Wine Restaurant with a forking CERTIFIED Dog Friendly Patio. Neither of us were familiar with this place but we looked at the menu and it seemed ok so we thought we’d give them a forking try.

I stepped in and noticed the restaurant is very small and designed in a funky modern way. I told the hostess that I wanted to sit on the patio. She said it’s still wet outside and wasn’t expecting that anyone would want to sit outside. I said I was with 2 dogs and she quickly wiped dry a table and seats for us. I noticed the patio is very large and is bigger than the dining room inside.

Our waitress offered to answer any forking questions we had about the menu. We soon ordered and I was just hoping for ok food. Our dogs were waiting patiently for forking lunch.

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Soon I receive my BBQ Salmon Salad.

BBQ Salmon Salad Rhythm & Wine Scottsdale AZ

BBQ Salmon Salad Rhythm & Wine Scottsdale AZ

The salad was fresh and made with mixed greens and was studded with fresh shaved corn. The BBQ Salmon was masterfully prepared. It seemed like a very high quality salmon and had a rich creamy texture and a GOOD salmon flavor. This is the kind of salmon that just melts in your mouth. The top of the fish was lightly crusted and drizzled with a BBQ sauce that I feel neutral about.

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He forking enjoyed some salmon.

Lunch Meatloaf Platter Rhythm & Wine Scottsdale AZ

Lunch Meatloaf Platter Rhythm & Wine Scottsdale AZ

My husband had the Lunch Meatloaf platter and forking substituted the house made hippy chips for the garlic mashed that should have came with it. You can’t forking see it in the picture but this plate also came with a medley of sautéed seasoned vegetables.

The meatloaf was seasoned very nicely and was developed with flavors. Unfortunately it was mushy in texture but who the fork cares because at least it tasted good. Even the vegetables tasted really good.

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This dog forking enjoyed eating vegetables and also enjoyed some salmon.

I don’t know if everything they prepare is as good as what we had but we were forking pleased with the lunch we had at Rhythm & Wine.

3.5 Meaning  Good Value not award winning. if you are in the neighborhood kind of place.

Good enough for a 25 minute drive based on this one visit.

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

 

 

 

Crispy Cardoons Recipe

Cardoon Chips

Cardoons

I don’t come across  cardoons often so I thought I’d make something tasty and special out if it. They look sort of like celery but thought of  Cardoons as an artichoke since it’s from the artichoke family and thought it would be forking delicious fried with Parmesan and fresh herbs. After all isn’t anything forking fried delicious that way.

Cardoons are more work than most vegetables.

Cardoon

Cardoon

By the time it gets to your market most of the forking thorns and leaves are removed but not all.

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Remove small thorns on each side of the stalks and peal the fibers from the stalk tops.

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Then you cut the Cardoons in pieces.

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Now at this point almost everyone boils  cardoons in vinegar laced water. The cardoons are forking bitter but boiling the cardoons till tender in vinegar water improves the flavor. Then set your Cardoons in something to drain.

Now were forking ready to cook!

Ingredients

One Cardoons bunch (some are small some are big already cleaned up and cooked in vinegar laced water with a little Kosher Salt)

1 cup panko crumbs or grated artisan bread crumbs

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

scant 1/4 cup crushed hazelnuts

sprig of fresh oregano chopped fine

small sprig or half of large sprig fresh rosemary chopped fine

1 small garlic clove minced or chopped fine

1 small spicy chili chopped fine

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2 beaten eggs

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Fresh Ground Sea Salt

Canola or vegetable oil to fry with

Directions

You need Two large bowls.

In your dry bowl you want your panko or bread crumbs, hazelnuts, parmesan and 1/2 of your chopped herbs, garlic, and chili. Add salt and pepper.

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In your wet bowl you have your beaten eggs with the other half of the chopped up spices and add salt and pepper.

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Get your Cardoons.

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and now dip in egg mixture and then in dry mixture and do them all.

Now your ready to fry!

Hopefully your fryer or fry pan is at around 350 degrees.

Try one tester piece of cardoon and see how it fries.

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They only need a minute or so on each side.

After your batch is fried when they are still hot you should taste one and decide if you want to add more fresh ground Salt and pepper to them.

Crispy Cardoon Chips with reduced Balsamic Drizzle

Crispy Cardoons with reduced Balsamic Drizzle

They come out very tasty and forking delicious and crispy. I think this might be the best way to eat cardoons.

Forking Good!

Forking Good!