Tag Archives: #PhxFood

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

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

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

 

 

FnB Restaurant of Scottsdale AZ is always Worth a Fork!

 

FnB Scottsdale AZ

FnB Restaurant is located in Arts District of Old Town Scottsdale AZ. This is a contemporary restaurant that serves an ever changing innovated menu of vegetable and farm focused globally inspired foods. You might find things such as Bagna Cauda (warm hot Italian Dip), Shiraz Salad (Persian Tomato & cucumber salad), Sauce Gribich (French cold hard yolk sauce), maybe you also might find Langos on the menu (Hungarian Fried Bread). FnB also offers a well thought out wine list that happens to showcase many of Arizona’s Finest Wines. For the last several years the Chef has been nominated for the James Beard Award of South West Best Chef so let me tell you the food is so let me tell you that the food is really Forking Special Here!

FnB offers formal but casual indoor seating and a small but cozy patio.

They start us off with Locally Made Good quality bread and Olive Oil.

It’s always difficult to decide on what to order because they offer SO MANY small plates that all sound Amazing! Our host the Co-owner is always remembers us and is very welcoming and helpful. He explains the more unusual menu selections.

We decide to start with the Langos (Hungarian fried bread made with potatoes)

My Half

Oh My! This is the Most Elevated Potato Chip Sandwich I could have ever dreamed of. The bread is tasty, crisp and seems light as a feather. It’s topped with a garlic-ee aioli. On top of that is shaved fennel, fresh made potato chips, heirloom radishes and grated cured egg. Wow…it’s really great!

We also try the Butterkin Squash Plate.

The Butterkin (a Butternut crossed with Pumpkin Squash) taste amazing with pippin rojo, (a sort of Dried Chili, sesame and pumpkin seed mole) A little quinoa and pepitas garnish the plate.

The dinners are usually very large in portion size. Usually I get my own and bring half home. This time we split the Pink Grouper for dinner.

This is 1/2

Grouper is a harder unforgiving fish to prepare and this one here is perfect. The wood grill adds a wonderful flavor to the moist fish. Bok Choy, Chanterrelles and very sweet firm corn go together like magic in a onion(i’itoi)  ginger sauce.

I’m really full and need to stop eating but we go for dessert because it’s always great here.

Got the Apple Sharlotka.

It’s basically like an apple cake.That is suppose to be made with tart apples and sugar, flour and eggs. It’s a cake that lacks milk and butter. It’s very natural tasting and almost taste sugar free. The apples are sort of tart but the powdered sugar add just enough sweetness.

FnB is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork! You will travel across town to dine here!

www.FnBrestaurant.com

Everything is subject to change and your experience may differ.

The Forking Truth

 

Every FORKING THING is Subject to Change

 

I recently went to a new Korean Restaurant that was fabulous on my first visit.

On my first visit they started us off with 17 delicious side dishes. Our server also told us what each of the side dishes were.

This time we received 8 side dishes that were just delivered without a mention of what they were and some old brown salad.

We came back to try the BBQ and ordered Bulgogi and Short Rib.

The Bulgogi is tasty and was prepared with a delicious marinade but the meat never got to develop any caramelization and came out almost braised. It was still good………..

By now the BBQ was a little hotter and the Short Rib developed a little caramelization. The meat was a little chewy with a small amount of grizzle. My husband finished the Short Ribs for us.

They also served us a Vegetable Tofu Soup that was like a Asian Tomato Vegetable Soup with lots of soft tofu….I never had soup like this before. It tasted like Tomato soup goes Korean. It wasn’t really spicy just tasty.

Last time they cleared our plates.

This time they let the plates all pile up.

I really enjoyed my first visit to Seoul BBQ & Sushi. This second visit was still ok but not GREAT like the last visit. It might be partially due to the server I had this time………..I’ll still go back to try the off the menu items and see how that goes again sometime.

The FORKING Truth is the EVERY FORKING THING is subject to change and YOUR or MY Forking Experience may or may NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

Ocotillo Restaurant in Phoenix AZ – Worth a Fork!

 

Ocotillo serves quality casual detailed American Food with International and Local accents. The menu is wonderfully enormous with an astonishing variety and changes with the seasons. There is more than a Modern Stylish Dining Room to dine in. They also offer a Beer Garden, a Coffee Shop and Multiple patios. This might be an acre foodie paradise Compound in Phoenix.

Ocotillo is among my favorite restaurants in Metro Phoenix and I do drive across town to dine here.

It was extremely difficult to decide on what to order. They had about THIRTY items on the menu to try that all sound delicious and special. The menu was broken down into Salads, Vegetable Plates, Small Plates, Sandwiches, and Large Plates.

We started out by sharing one of the Small Plates…..but as you can see by my photo the plate isn’t actually small.

Here was the House Smoked Salmon Plate with Crispy Potato Cake, Celery Root Puree and Apple Herb Salad. The salmon was nicely seasoned and was rich and buttery with a careful amount of smoke. It was resting over a very delicious crispy potato cake that was zippy with a little hot pepper. The apple herb salad was light and refreshing and balanced out the rich parts on the plate. The creamy celery root puree was different and creative and ties all the flavors together. I would have been happy just to have this plate as my meal.

For my meal I ordered the Fried Korean Chicken Sandwich.

My photo really doesn’t do this sandwich justice….or shows how ENORMOUS this sandwich really is. The sandwich is delicious and wonderfully spicy. It was made with Juicy flavorful chicken. The sandwich was made with gochujang (a spicy fermented sort of ketchup made with Korean peppers), grilled scallions and kimchee slaw. It’s powerfully flavorful. I don’t believe a sandwich has to be gigantic to be good but it doesn’t hurt a bit to enjoy the rest of a delicious sandwich a second time either. I didn’t weigh the amount of chicken in this sandwich so I don’t really know how big it was but I am guessing that they gave me 8 ounces of chicken (at least…..maybe more!). Off on the side was a detailed grain salad with vegetables.

My husband had the Crispy Pork Flautas. (off the Large Plates Section)

Three Pork Flautas, Green Chili Hominy, Crema, Pico De Gallo, Queso Fresco and a Fried Egg that has also been Grilled. You can see this plate is very detailed.

Beautiful food so far I always enjoyed myself here!

I have to say Ocotillo is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

www.OcotilloPHX.com

As we ALL KNOW everything is subject to change and your experience may or may NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

Fabio on Fire in Peoria AZ is ON FIRE and is WORTH A FORK!

 

Fabio on Fire is a small Italian Restaurant in Peoria AZ. They specialize in Neapolitan Pizzas, House Made Pastas, Baked Goods and Gelato. Fabio on Fire became an instant hit in Peoria. He was also already established and well known at Farmer’s Markets, Events and Festivals due to his mobile Pizza Oven and Bakery Stand. Word has traveled quickly about how good the food is and the small restaurant is usually packed before 5pm.

On my last visit they offered a list of specials in addition to the menu.

Just like on my previous visits they started us off with Fabio’s House Baked Bread, olive oil embellished with balsamic vinegar.

This time I ordered the Spinach Ravioli in Walnut Sauce.

WOW! I was wowed at first bite. I never had anything like these ravioli’s and sauce before.

The spinach pasta was really well made and inside tasted like fresh made ricotta cheese filling. The spinach inside was very flavorful with a little onion and garlic and other surprises but didn’t overpower the cheese. The ravioli were lightly dressed with a buttery tasting walnut sauce and Italian cheese.  These were extremely detailed ravioli and were just bursting with great flavors. I couldn’t believe how flavorful and delicious they were. These were among the best ravioli I have ever tried in my life.

My husband tried another one of the specials and it was the Veal Tortelloni.

He kept saying these are really well made. This is really good!

Then I let him try some Spinach Ravioli with Walnut Sauce. He said that REALLY IS AMAZING!

All the food I tried from Fabio on Fire was really good but some things do stand out like the Spinach Ravioli with Walnut Sauce.

I haven’t been able to eat my way threw all the offerings yet…But another STAND OUT is Fabio’s Strawberry Gelato.

Don’t get me wrong….The Chocolate gelato, the Blood Orange and the Pistachio are all very good but the STRAWBERRY is MAGICAL. It’s like eating the very best strawberries you ever had in your life! My husband isn’t a big sweets lover but even he thinks the strawberry gelato is AMAZING! I can only dream that Fabio opens a Gelato Shop or mass produces that Strawberry Gelato. He should it’s that GREAT!

Of course I didn’t have room for more food but I took home a Sfogliatelle from the awesome looking dessert case for the next day.

Even the next day the painstakingly made pastry was very crisp and inside wasn’t the usual cream but a moist rich delicious cake inside.

Fabio on Fire is Certainly WORTH A FORK!

Worth a Fork! You might travel across town to try the Spinach Raviolis and Strawberry Gelato!

www.FabioOnFire.com

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

The Forking Truth

My Trip to the SW Veg Fest Phoenix AZ 2017

 

The SW Veg Fest took place November 19th at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix AZ. This was a FREE family friendly event. Besides FOOD Vendors they also had merchandise venders, think tank discussions and live music. I found that the festival was vegan from what I saw….

The discussion panels were all ran by Vegans and it seemed almost religious to me. Some of the discussion topics were-

How to raise a Vegan child in a non Vegan world.

How to transfer to a Vegan lifestyle.

Vegans of Color Group.

Veganisim in politics.

Well now to the FOOD! Here’s not everything but a lot of what I saw and I did a little tasting.

Vegan Jerkee Vendor was offering all kinds of Vegan Jerky to try.

La Pupusarita offered some sort of Jack Fruit filling and a Chorizo-Like filling on Columbian Corn Meal Cakes.

Simons Hot Dogs were offering a small menu of a couple of Vegan Hot Dogs and sides. I actually had them on my long list of places to visit so I wanted to give them a try because I wondered what a Columbian Style Hot Dog was.

We decided to try a Columbian Vegan Calafornian Plant Based Hot Dog and Potato Salad.

The Columbian Hot Dog is topped with Pineapple, Vegan Mozzarella, Ketchup mixed with homemade Veganaise and crushed potato chips.

We both really liked the Potato Salad. It really was better than most Potato salad you get at places.

The Vegan Hot Dog really wasn’t bad. It had a nice texture similar to a real hotdog. It was somewhat on the mild side and could have used a little char for my taste. The rest I wasn’t too found of but the long line of fans there would disagree.

I went on to a Vendor where I have been a customer many times before…..but at their Brick and Mortar Store in Tempe. Hummus Xpress.

I found that the Food Truck version of Humus Xpress differs some from their Brick and Mortar store.

We shared a Spicy Falafel Pita Plate. The Falafel was very good and was just like from their restaurant. Tahini was good….Jalapeño Hummus was unusually thin and watery. It tasted similar but MORE spicy than the way it normally does but the hummus isn’t normally watery from the restaurant. The loose texture grossed out my husband and he wouldn’t eat it. I think they thinned it down because they accidentally made it too spicy. They garnished the pita chips with some chopped vegetables and used a hot chili sauce instead of the spicy green herby Shrug sauce they normally offer in their restaurant.

Then we walked around a bit and considered trying more food. This is some of what I came across.

Freak Brother Pizza had a sign that they will be opening a brick and mortar restaurant soon.

This was the first year of the SW Veg Fest.

Parking was somewhat difficult. Signs were not posted for the event and I feared I was in the wrong place. We were very early and got the last available parking space. If you plan to attend next year your best bet is to arrive extra early. Also free water was available but you needed to bring your own sipping container.

www.SWVegFest.com

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

$7.99 Lunch Specials at Twisted Italian in Peoria AZ

 

If you happen to be in the North/West part of the Valley you might want to know about the $7.99 Lunch specials The Twisted Italian is offering (Mon-Sat 11-4). We decided on what we were trying and they served our lunch in two courses. First comes out generously sized full size salads with house made dressings.

The salads were freshly made. The Caesar had yummy garlicky croutons and the Garden salad was tossed with a tasty strawberry vinaigrette. I almost didn’t need my lunch course after the almost lunch sized salads they gave us. I don’t know if the salads are always that big ?…..Maybe they accidentally gave us extra?

For my lunch I went with the Twisted Chicken Salad Wrap.

The wrap was made with a spinach herb tortilla and was dressed with house prepared sun-dried tomato fresh herb dressing. Inside was tender white meat chicken, pears, candied pecans, tomato, onion and romaine. I think that’s a pretty good deal for $7.99.

My husband tried the Italian Stack.

The Italian Stack was made of Capicola, Prosciutto, Mortadella, Pepperoni, Salami, Provolone, House prepared Tomato Herb Dressing, onion, tomato, romaine on Grilled Rustic Bread. Not bad for $7.99 that includes choice of side.

Other $7.99 Lunch Specials are –

Salad and Pasta

Chicken Pesto Panini + Side

Prosciutto and Spinach Grilled Cheese + Side

House Made Soup and Salad

Pizza and Salad

Meatball Sandwich + Side

Italian Sausage Sandwich + Side

Loaded Chicago Italian Beef Jr + Side

Sides are small garden salad, small caesar salad, garlic or regular fries, cup of house made soup or pasta salad.

It sure beats fast food! In a comfortable atmosphere. No you are not going to travel across town for these specials but if you happen to be in the area this is a good deal.

www.EatTwisted.com

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

The Forking Truth