Monthly Archives: December 2017

Tim Finnegan’s Irish Restaurant and Pub – Glendale AZ – Worth a Fork

 

Tim Finnegan’s Irish Restaurant and Pub is located in the 59TH Ave and Bell Road Strip Mall that’s anchored by a WinCo Grocery Store. This is a small but cozy Irish Pub. The decor is lots of dark wood, decorated with homey artifacts and a big well stocked bar.

The soft opening menu offers Modern Irish Food, Not so Irish Food and Traditional Irish Favorites. On Finnegan’s Website you can watch a “Check Please” Video of when this restaurant (from former location) was a feature. On the Video they say that they are actually Irish Owned and Operated. I saw in the video and was told in the restaurant that everything they serve is made by scratch in house.

We started out by sharing a Wasabi Caesar Salad.

We received fresh crisp romaine leaves that were tossed in a DELICIOUS dressing mixed with parmesan cheese. The salad was topped with extremely crisp and flavorful croutons. It was a very tasty salad.

For dinner I had the Large Fish and Chips.

Everything on my plate was great! I received a lightly battered meaty juicy filet of Cod in a thin but shatteringly crisp batter. I also received a generous portion of hand cut seasoned fries, a well seasoned tarter sauce and delicious tasting fresh cole slaw. The cole slaw was a bit wetter than I like but it still was delicious and seasoned just so.

My husband had the Lamb Shepard’s Pie.

It came with a great mashed potato topping and brown bread. I hear it was really really good!

Everything was a win and the service was phenomenal too!

I think Irish Eyes and Non-Irish Eyes are smiling because this seems to be a very good restaurant that just moved into the neighborhood!

Tim Finnegan’s seems to be Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

www.TimFinnegans.com

EVERY FORKING Thing is subject to change and YOUR experience may or may NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

Red Corn Grit Cakes over Spinach & Chestnuts with Sweet Tomatoes Recipe

 

Crispy Cheese Stuffed Red Corn Grit Cakes over Seasoned Spinach & Chestnuts and Topped with Italian Style Sweet Tomatoes

I picked up a bag of Jimmy Red Cornmeal Grits from Nelson’s Seafood and Meat Shop. These Grits are very different than regular grits or even polenta. They have a unique flavor and a very fine texture. On the bag it states that they have a slight chestnut and lavender taste. I tried to pick up on the chestnut taste by adding earthy chestnuts to the spinach. These grits are so different. They have almost no texture and are like creamy soup when you follow the directions on the package. I thought if I cut the liquid by 25% I could make the grits firmer and make a crusted cake out of them. The crust part is very concentrated with corn flavor that is filled with this unique creamy delicate grits. A creamy mild cheese is between two thin layers of crusted grits. Underneath is quickly braised spinach. I heated up a 1/2 cup of water with a Tablespoon of vegetable based (think of it as flavored salt) and thinly sliced onions. As soon as the mixture is hot the spinach gets squeezed into the pot and is done almost instantly. Then the spinach gets drained and seasoned. You will be surprised on how flavorful and delicious the spinach gets. Lastly the grit cakes get topped very very sweet seasoned Italian style tomatoes and a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese if you happen to have any around.

Ingredients for about 8 servings

1 cup Jimmy Red Cornmeal – Geechie Boy Mill Brand (I don’t think any other brand is made the same)

3 cups water

1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

non stick spray – canola or vegetable

1 1/2 lbs fresh spinach

1/2 medium sweet onion – sliced very thin on a mandolin

1 garlic clove – ground to paste

1/2 cup water

1 Tablespoon vegetable base

3 1/2 oz peel roasted chestnuts – slightly more than rough chopped

fresh ground black pepper to  taste

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup tiny sweet grape tomatoes – cut in quarters

1 garlic clove ground to paste

1 Tablespoon fine chopped basil – packed really tight

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon balsamic  vinegar

1 1/2 Tablespoons shaved parmesan

fresh ground sea salt – to taste

fresh ground black pepper – to taste

4 oz mild cheese mozzarella, mild provolone would be great, mascarpone would be great too (I used a mild pepadew cheese)

optional – 4 dollops of fresh made ricotta cheese

Directions

Put a sauce pot on to boil with 3 cups of water and a 1/2 teaspoon of course sea salt. When it starts to boil slowly whisk in the grits. Keep whisking. Turn down the heat to a medium simmer.  Add the butter and keep whisking. Whisk as much as you can for at least 20 minutes.

Spray a pie pan with non stick spray.

When the grits are done pour the grits in the pie pan and leave on the counter till about room temperature. Then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool at set.

In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, basil, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, balsamic, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Set in the refrigerator.

Now clean out your sauce pot.

Add a 1/2 cup of water to your sauce pot with the sliced onions and bring them to boil on medium high heat. Add the spinach a BIG handful at a time while stirring. (this should be very quick) Now take off heat and place spinach in a colander to drain over a bowl or in sink so it can drain. Stir in the ground garlic, roasted chestnuts, olive oil and black pepper to taste. You will be surprised on how delicious and flavorful the spinach is….

By around now the grits might be chilled and solid.

When the grits are chilled and solid. Dump them out in one piece on a cutting board.

Cut 8 wedges just like a pie.

Get a medium sized fry pan on medium high heat sprayed with non stick spray. When the pan is hot add a couple wedges at a time and they need to brown on both sides. This happened pretty quickly if your pan is hot. They only need about two minutes a side.

I put the mild cheese in-between two grit wedges.

Crispy Cheese Stuffed Red Corn Grit Cakes over Seasoned Spinach & Chestnuts and Topped with Italian Style Sweet Tomatoes

Then over the spinach and spooned on some of the tomato mixture and a spoonful of fresh made ricotta.

The Forking Truth

Some of the Forking Food I Prepared in 2017

 

Here’s some of the Forking Food I prepared in 2017. Of course this isn’t everything. I did most of the meats I prepared the same as in past years so there isn’t much meat pictured here today. This above photo was pickled vegetables and some pickled and hard boiled eggs.

Chef Vivian Howard’s “Best Picked Beets I Ever Ate”

Pickled Jalapeños

Nigel Slater’s Extremely Moist Chocolate Beet Cake Simplified

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Pastrami Style Brisket

Romaine dressed with Avocado Caesar Dressing

Eggs in Spicy Eggplant Sauce

Bavarian Inspired Potato Dumplings

Pastrami Potato Plank Sliders

Not Too Sour Delicious Spaghetti Squash “Faux” Sauerkraut

Crispy Poultry Skin

Lemon Verbena Water Ice

Lidia’s Marinated Winter Squash

Italian Style Eggplant White Bean Dip

Reduced Fat Potato Green Pepper & Eggplant

Kabocha Squash Pie with Coconut Crust

Modern Reduced Fat Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Forking Awesome Kicked UP Waldorf Inspired Salad

Latin Inspired Red Lentils, Rainbow Chard, Dates and Almonds

South West Style Vegetable Stuffed Pepper

Fat Free Beet Horseradish Dip or Spread

Eggplant Tahini and Roasted Pepper Bread

Hatch Chile and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Forking Delicious Hatch Chile Macaroni and Cheese

Really Terrific Sweet Banana Bread

Hatch Chili and Roasted Red Pepper Challah Bread

Chicken Rosemary Meatballs

Butternut Squash Risotto

Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

Levant Inspired Butternut Squash and Israeli Couscous

Portuguese Inspired Meatloaf and Sauce

Buffalo Blue Cheese Topping For Potato Pancakes

Sweet and Spicy Hatch Chili Corn Cakes

Carrot and Toasted Coconut Salad

Pesto

Spinach and Cheese Scaccia Bread

Moroccan Inspired Potato Salad with Harissa and Preserved Lemons

The Ultimate Cauliflower Dish

Arugula Balsamic and Tellegio Pizza

Focaccia

Spicy Tomato Jam

Potato Cakes so easy you don’t need a recipe recipe

Spicy White Bean Green Chili (Vegetarian or with Chicken)

Forking Delicious Baked Crispy Cheddar Cauliflower

Quinoa Butternut Squash Salad with Pine-nuts and Barberries

Slow Roasted Crispy Sunchokes with Seafood Mushrooms, Green Garlic & Jalapeños

Summer Time Lemon Verbena White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Onion Rolls

Spicy Potato Salad with Fennel, Calabrain Chili Peppers and Toasted Pine Nuts

Spicy Turkey Meatballs Stuffed with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Asian Inspired Meatball Stuffed Wontons

Alla Norma topped with home made fresh ricotta

Eye Roast

Alla Norma

Spicy Thai Basil Potatoes

Macaroni and Cheese Style Casserole

Spicy Hatch Chili and Peach Brownies

Korean Style Pickled Cauliflower

No Oil No Mayo Mexican Inspired Potato Salad

Masa Potato Dumplings

Carla Hall Inspired Hot Fried Cauliflower

Kobocha Squash no churn Ice-Cream

Spicy Mexican Style Cole Slaw

Mediterranean Style Lemony Cucumber Salad

Baked Cod Cake

Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi with Pesto

Socca Bread

Asian Slaw

Indian Inspired Spicy Cauliflower with Pistachios and Grapes

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

Pimento Cheese Potato topped Oven Fried Green Tomatoes

Mild provolone on top of the crust and then topped with sauce (so the cheese doesn’t burn) also better for re-heating….I note this isn’t my normal recipe for pizza……here was 00 flour and I used recipe on package….someone was mad at me for not doing my regular pizza.

Home made ricotta, seasoned spinach with onion, walnuts, evoo and parmesan on 00 recipe for pizza…not my normal pizza.

Purple Sweet Potato Blackberry Pie with Coconut/Almond Crust

Brussels Sprouts Baba Ganoush

Oven Fried Turkey Wing also did Sous Vide Breast, Steam Roasted Legs, Gravy, Mashed, Sweet Potatoes with Cherry Peppers, Onions and Balsamic, cranberry mango habanero sauce and other stuff.

Cornbread Stuffing

Regular Stuffing

 

Stuffed Tomatoes with Israeli Couscous, Feta and Harissa Vinaigrette

Duchess Potatoes (The Special Occasion Potato)

Baked Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms & Baby Zucchini

Crispy Cheese Stuffed Red Corn Grit Cakes over Seasoned Spinach & Chestnuts and Topped with Italian Style Sweet Tomatoes

That was some of the Forking Food I made in 2017 I don’t know WTFork I’ll prepare in 2018!

The Forking Truth

 

Baked Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Baby Zucchini Recipe

 

Baked Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Baby Zucchini

I got these Great Baby Zucchini with attached Blossoms at the Pinnacle Peak Farmer’s Market. I thought I should stuff the blossoms so I did. Some things you do have to fry but if I can avoid frying I avoid frying because I prefer my empty fat calories from Cheese, Ice Cream, Chocolate, Bread and Alcohol..(usually wine)…….Often….. Often..or VERY OFTEN…. Fried from the oven can actually taste better than foods that are actually fried. My Oven Fried Turkey Wings and Oven Fried French Fries can actually compete with the real thing….How many times has something fried that you ate leaves grease in your mouth?  Doesn’t something fried taste like fish sometimes?  Often something fried just taste like old grease. … Well any who….I’ve come up with an unique breading recipe that actually does come out like a fried crispy coating. Two secrets are to this recipe. One I add Dijon Mustard to the egg because it makes the coating stick together great and it adds a nice flavor. The other secret is that I use Whole Wheat Panko. It works like magic for a crisp baked coating. I note that you will have a little extra Flour, Egg and Panko left over. But I think it will be too difficult to work with less. I used the leftover to make 8 small baked onion rings.

Ingredients for about 2 servings

6 baby zucchini with blossoms attached

2 oz. feta cheese – (it must be the fresh style that’s creamy mild and less salt style with-out tang) – or substitute goat cheese

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 L eggs – beaten

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 cup whole wheat panko

non stick spray – canola or vegetable

Directions

Set oven to 350 degrees F.

If you haven’t done so already wash off and carefully blot dry the zucchini.

You need to slit each blossom and remove the small inside with your fingers. Just pull the little thing out.

Get your 2 oz. block of feta and cut into 6 pieces. Put the biggest piece into the biggest flower. Try to wrap the flower around the cheese as best as you can. The flower wraps around the cheese pretty easy.

Get out three bowls. In one bowl add the flour, paprika, cayenne, course sea salt and black pepper and mix.

In the second bowl add the two beaten eggs and the dijon mustard. Mix well.

In the third bowl goes the whole wheat panko.

Get out a baking sheet and line it with Quilon or parchment paper.

Start by dipping the largest blossom into the flour. Make sure the blossom is coated all over with flower.

Then take the flour coated blossom into the egg mixture and coat the blossom well with egg.

Now the egg coated blossom goes into the panko mixture and make sure the blossom is well coated with panko.

Rest each stuffed blossom with zucchini on a lined sheet tray. LIGHTLY spray the zucchini with non stick spray.

They go in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes and then after 30 minutes carefully turn them over and the zucchini only need about 15 minutes more on the other side.

Lightly add fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to the non breaded part of the zucchini when you remove them from the oven.

Baked Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms & Baby Zucchini

You might want small sides of marinara sauce for dipping.

Fun appetizer or side dish.

The Forking Truth

 

 

Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante in Glendale AZ is Worth a Fork!

 

Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante is hidden inside of  Citadelle Plaza in Glendale AZ. They started out by serving certified Neapolitan Style Pizzas and fresh made pastas. Now they are running on more cylinders and offer happy hour, seasonal and blackboard specials, a Sunday Brunch Menu and Monthly Wine Dinners. Bottega P.B. might be one of the nicest restaurants in the Glendale Area with a dog friendly patio, an indoor-outdoor bar, a modern sleek dining room and a banquet hall.

View from Patio

Tonight we started with the Happy Hour Polenta.

Creamy and slightly crisped natural tasting Polenta Bars in a rich creamy cheesy sauce accented with earthy mushrooms. Ummm Polenta is an indulgent treat here! Don’t worry about that extra sauce either. We mopped it up with the house made breads. It was like two treats in one. A Win!

For Dinner I went with the (pasta-free) Zucchini Manicotti Special.

Delicate thin Zucchini Ribbons wrap around cheese filling covered in red sauce and a little cheese.

It’s all seasoned nicely. A little more wet than I wanted but Manicotti seems very light and delicious and is also great without the pasta.

My husband tried the Orechiette Special.

Fresh made pasta in a Pistachio and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and topped with Olive Tapenade and perfectly prepared Shrimp. Different and delicious indeed.

Everything was a hit so we splurged and tried the Semifreddo for dessert.

Ummm Maybe people should open up Semifreddo Shops? It’s something like ice cream. It’s lighter than frozen custard. It lightly crusted with crushed Italian Almond Cookies. It’s a perfect sweet ending to the lovely meal we had.

Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante is Worth a Fork!

www.BottegaRistorante.com

Worth a Fork!

Everything is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Some of the previous meals we had at Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante.

My Trip to Pa’La Restaurant in Phoenix AZ

 

Pa’La has been one of the most anticipated restaurants of the year to open in Phoenix. The Co-Owner and Chef has done the most amazing culinary creations at several of Phoenix’s most cherished restaurants. This isn’t your usual restaurant. The menu is very limited to a few tapas plates, a couple seafood grain bowls and an open sandwich but the ingredients used are the highest quality. Pa’La is a small but a cozy restaurant. The exterior is a small old homestyle bungalow but inside is sleek and modern.

Outdoors is a slightly larger patio.

Pa’ La (at this time December-2017) offers a limited daily changing Monday-Friday casual Lunch Time Menu. The food seems to have an Italian accent like the Chef but it’s mixed with other accents. Like Spanish for Manchego Cheese and Asian for Soy Sauce.

On my visit the menu was broken down to a few small Tapas Plates, Two Fresh Seafood Muti Grain Vegetable Bowls, a Schiacciata (Open Faced Tuscan Style Sandwich) and Farro Cookies.

Pa’La is casual restaurant…You order at the counter and pay. Before you seat yourself you can see the postage sized kitchen with the Chef, help, a wood burning stove and grill.

We shared one of the Tapas Plates….The Artichokes in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The Artichokes seemed like they were marinated in a good quality olive oil and were seasoned with a mild fruity pepper and were served with Taraccini (Italian snack cracker). Have to be honest and admit I know Tapas means small plate but these artichokes are much smaller than my picture shows. This was about a quarter of a very small artichoke. ($5.00)

We shared the Harpooned Swordfish Ranon Navarro Bowl (Grain Bowl) and-

The Schiacciata (open faced Tuscan Style Whole Grain Bread Sandwich)

Both plates were detailed with many quality ingredients. The Swordfish Bowl was topped with a generous portion of fresh Harpooned Fish from Chula Seafood. The fish was carefully seasoned and had a mild wood taste to it. It was more moist than most Swordfish I had before. The fish rested over an assortment of a salad of nutty chewy grains with several roasted vegetables and seeds. My bowl also contained insanely expensive Wu Wan Wo Soy Sauce ($40.00 for about 8.5 oz.)  but it was used very sparingly and I couldn’t single that taste out.

The Schiacciata (open faced Tuscan Style Sandwich) was served on a flavorful fresh made grain flat bread and was topped with assorted greens, rosemary ham and manchego cheese.

We saved room to try the Farro Cookies with Grapefruit Jam.

These cookies seem like what could be an Italian Variation of Thumb Print Cookies.

The Farro Cookie is like a nutty kind of shortbread to me and that Grapefruit Jam was mighty powerful and tasted like a genuine bitter grapefruit. It was sort of refreshing in a weird way and really woke me up because up till now everything I tried was delicate and very natural tasting.

Pa’La is brand new and isn’t ready for dinner service (at this time 12-2017) The Best might be yet to come!

www.PaLaKitchen.com

Everything is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Purple Sweet Potato Blackberry Pie Recipe

 

Purple Sweet Potato Blackberry Pie with Coconut/Almond Crust

This is nothing like a traditional sweet potato pie. I purchased some purple sweet potatoes. The purple sweet potatoes have a different flavor than orange sweet potatoes. They are slightly perfume-ee with maybe a berry note. I think they also seem a little starchier than an orange sweet potato. The Blackberry seems to lighten up the heavy potato and the flavor and color inspired this pie. The crust is Forking AMAZING! It’s very special and unique. It’s very flavorful. It’s has savory and sweet with yummy pops from the sea salt crystals with a really great texture. It was made with coconut flour, almond flour and olive oil. This pie feels almost like Cheesecake in the mouth. If seeds from blackberries bother you then you need to  push the blackberries threw a strainer if you are making this pie. Now this is a very unique pie! You aren’t going to find anything like this anywhere.

Ingredients for about 8 servings

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup almond flour

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon cold water

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

non stick spray

15 oz purple sweet potatoes – already cooked peeled and sliced

8oz blackberries – mash them all pour 1/2 into potato filling the other half gets mixed with 2 Tablespoons sugar and gets set to the side in a small bowl.

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 L eggs – slightly beaten

14 oz sweetened condensed milk

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

pinch white pepper

pinch course sea salt

a few grates fresh nutmeg

Directions

Set oven at 350 degrees

Spray a pie pan with non stick spray (My pan is a very shallow bakery pie pan. (I think it’s a normal size pan…across the bottom is 8 inches but with the flat ends it’s about 11 inches….You can use a slightly different size but the timing might be slightly off)

Your small bowl with 4 oz of mashed blackberries and sugar is set to the side.

In a medium bowl hand mix the these ingredients one at a time, flour, coconut flour, almond flour, olive oil, water, 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Hand pat the mixture in the pie pan. Then piece all over with a fork. Put in the oven till it’s lightly cooked that will be 4-5 minutes. Pull out and set to the side.

It’s sort of like moist sand

After 5 minutes in oven

In a large bowl slice up the potatoes and then mash the potatoes (the slicing breaks them down so they mash better).  Hand mash in the remaining ingredients one at a time till done and the mixture is smooth. Pour a layer into pie shell then a small layer of the blackberries and go back and forth until done.  Place in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Purple Sweet Potato Blackberry Pie with Coconut/Almond Crust

It’s delicious and very different! You will be surprised!

The Forking Truth

Forking Thoughts on Ecuadorian Kiwa Native Andean Potato Chips

 

I have a special interest in unusual produce and flavors so when I came across these South American Potato Chips I was very excited to try them. South America is known for countess varieties of potatoes and these black hearts and red heart potatoes for sure are one I’ve never heard of or came across before.

I start by opening the bag and take a whiff.

The chips are pretty but I don’t smell much of anything. If I keep trying I can detect a fried kind of smell. Like anything that’s fried.

I spill some chips out of the bag.

The chips are very small and must come from tiny potatoes.

They are very light or delicate in texture. Half-way between a real potato chip and a formed Pringles kind of potato chip-like product.

The flavor is natural but not real strong. They taste sort of like instant potato flakes and are almost sweet. There is another taste like a slight bitterness in the background…… Like the way east coast wet fall leaves smell…….It’s the same in taste in these chips….. These chips almost lack salt….maybe if more salt was used I wouldn’t be able to taste the flavor of the chips?

Very interesting layers of flavors here. Delicate natural sweet potato flavor that’s edgy with a delicate earthy bitterness.

They do leave an oily taste and greasy finish in the mouth.

But for sure are a far better chip than most I’ve tried.

Your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

 

Cranberry Roselle Lime Sauce Recipe

 

Cranberry Roselle Lime Sauce

Roselle

I never saw or heard of Roselle before and saw them at the Pinnacle Peak Farmers Market and purchased a small bag of them. I found out the Roselle is a wild relative of the Hibiscus Flower. While researching the Roselle I came across a lot of websites claiming the roselle flower has many health benefits. According to Wikipedia the Roselle decreases blood pressure by 7.5/3.5 units. (whatever that means) One website claimed it helps to reverse the effects of diabetes. According to www.Airytea.com the Roselle is very high in vitamins and minerals and cures almost any infliction that you can think of….of course I don’t know if any of this has any truth to it. I read that most people just make beverages from the Roselle flowers (but other parts of the plant are also eaten) so I boiled the Roselle to keep the liquid. I thought they taste sort of like a floral kind of cranberry taste so I just added it to cranberry sauce and I thought lime and a hint of cayenne would be good in the sauce and it is.

Ingredients for about 10 servings

12 oz cranberries  – soak and rinse them a few times

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups Roselle liquid – Bring to boil about 2 1/2 cups of water with 10 Roselle Flowers reduce to simmer about 40 minutes – toss out Roselle keep all the liquid. (if you have more than 1 1/2 cups use it and decrease the water)

1 cup water

1 lime – the fresh squeezed juice and all of the zest

pinch course sea salt

pinch cayenne pepper

Directions

Pot a sauce pot on medium high heat and add the Roselle liquid, water, sugar and salt. Bring to boil. Add cranberries, lime juice and cayenne. Reduce to medium heat and stir occasionally. You need to cook it until all the cranberries pop. When the cranberries are popped turn it down a little. You might want to cover it loosely with foil so it doesn’t splatter on your stove. Let it reduce to desired consistency. Lastly add the lime zest. Take off heat and refrigerate. Cranberry sauce also freezes well.

Cranberry Roselle Lime Sauce

Cranberry sauce that is a little different. It’s not too sweet. It a little floral with a nice texture. It taste good. It might even be super healthy and cure all your ailments. Who The Fork Knows.

The Forking Truth

 

 

My Trip to The Herb Box Restaurant in Scottsdale AZ

 

At the time of this review The Herb Box Restaurant is in two locations in Scottsdale (North Scottsdale and Old Town Scottsdale). The Herb Box Restaurants are independently female owned restaurants. The menu offers a heavy focus on healthy vegetable based dishes. They serve as much as possible locally sourced foods, cage free eggs, hormone free natural meats and nitrate free bacon. The atmosphere is small and cozy but energetic. They also have an indoor/outdoor bar and a patio with live music.

The Herb Box offers many different appetizers that are “out of the box” and very different. We decided to start with the Vegan Nosh Board.

 

We received 4 small bowls of fried vegetables that were really different.

The bowl on the far left are the Crip Brussels Sprouts Chips. The Brussels Sprouts leaves are fried till crisp, taste sort of nutty and somehow are very light and seem oil free. I didn’t notice the yellow pepper aioli in the bottom of the dish till I got there. They are very tasty and easy to shovel in. Second bowl from the left are the Kale Pakora Chips with Corn, Sweet Onion, Sweet Hot Serrano Glaze and Vegan Yellow Pepper Aioli. (This one was one of my favorites) These chips were layered with flavors and texture. They had that hot sweet savory crunchy thing going on. They almost had a toffy crunch feel in the mouth.They were surprisingly delicious! Edamame Hummus were just simply fried and had a light dusting of some kind of better tasting sea salt. I don’t get the hummus among us connection here. Nor did I get hummus………Another of the favorite dishes was the Korean Fried Cauliflower. I only got a small taste of it but the Cauliflower was wildly flavorful with Korean Hot Pepper Sauce, Asian flavors and were tossed with quinoa, some pea sprouts and pea pods. I have to say that was one interesting Vegan Plate!

Another starter we tried was the Smoked Trout Beignets (I think it was spelled Beinegts on the menu…..?. Well anyway it basically was a Smoked Trout fish fritter or croquette that was served with a Roasted Red Pepper Aioli. It was also suppose to come with Cornichons that we didn’t receive.

I tried one Smoked trout ball by cutting it in half. It was too smokey for me….all I tasted was smoke…….but then I tried the other half with the Red Pepper Aioli and then like magic it was better and delicious!  Well any who the Smoked Trout Balls were delicious with lots of the Red Pepper Aioli.

We decide to share another plate and try the Urban Market Steak Salad.

Its very buttery tender Grilled Beef Tenderloin in a ancho Bourbon Demi with a detailed salad of Smokey Blue Cheese, Avocado, Watercress, Sugared Pecans, Dried Corn, Bacon, a few other things with a Blue Cheese Vinaigrette. The salad was much lighter than it looks and the blue cheese was used very sparingly not to over power anything.

We could stop now but desserts are a big feature here so we had to try one.

They all look great!

What to pick?

Went with Pumpkin Pie because it’s that time of year for Pumpkin Pie.

This pie is unique. (My phone didn’t capture the edible glitter on the top.)

The cream taste sort of like like cannoli filling. It’s also not too sweet.The custard is creamy, not too sweet and swings towards nutmeg.The crust is thin and is better than most pie crusts you get out because it’s edible and doesn’t taste like a block of flour like the average pie crust.

My first visit to The Herb Box was interesting! I enjoyed the food but it seemed like management was off on my visit because of the missing items on plates. If management was on   their game I think the plates would have have been complete.  I’m surprised that the server didn’t  recognize or care that two of the plates weren’t complete. There should have been some kind of  COMMUNICATION by the server or management…..I would be very understanding if someone said something to me….like I’m sorry we are out of that instead of just giving me the plates and hoping or not caring I won’t notice………… I also happened to come across on review sites that my Vegan Nosh Board was significantly smaller than what other people were served. I sent the pictures of the two appetizer plates to The Herb Box hoping for a reply….so I just don’t stew or speculate on what the issues were….. As of this date nobody from The Herb Box replied to me.

The food is good but I recommend to take a photo of the menu while dining to make sure you get everything that you are expecting.

www.TheHerbBox.com

The Forking Truth is that EVERYTHING is subject to change and YOUR experience or MY experience may or may NOT differ.

The Forking Truth