Tag Archives: #PhxFood

$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.


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

The Forking Truth

My Visit to Famous 48 Restaurant in Scottsdale AZ……… Newly Opened!


Famous 48 Restaurant recently opened in Old Town Scottsdale. This is a small but full service restaurant with a Patio. They offer a casual menu of mostly American Comfort Food.

The main dining room is filled with a large bar and mainly high top tables but they do have a few booths and also do offer some regular seating indoors and out.

The atmosphere is loud, a little dark and quite a variety of music was blaring out. The music varied from a Johnnie Cash to the Beastie Boys.

We started out by sharing the Signature Appetizer The Waffle Mac-N-Cheese. It is described as a three cheese blend with noodles “Smashed” in a waffle maker.

I think this one might be great to some people but for me it’s just not for my taste. While I didn’t expect anything light or healthy here I found the waffle much heavier than I thought it would be and surprisingly not as cheesy tasting as I expected. However it did have some good seasonings and a little fun heat to it. I wasn’t sure if I tasted bacon…I did ask the server if it contained bacon and she said it didn’t contain bacon but had a smokey cheese was in the blend. I think it would have tasted better without the smoke. It’s possible that the smoke over powered the cheese taste for me. I note that I’m sensitive about smoky flavors and don’t always like smoke in my foods.  I’m not sure if this waffle was made correctly.

For my main I tried the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. I was suppose to get my choice of side between cole slaw, house fries and Asian green beans but my server ran off and said your getting the fries right……so I said ok………because I interpreted that as meaning I should order the fries……Was it was a recommendation?….. Or maybe she taught I looked like a fries person?……Or she just tells everyone to get the fries?….

Well any who…I soon receive my order.

This is a Nashville Inspired crispy Chicken Sandwich as real Nashville Chicken is only made in Nashville Tennessee and doesn’t have a wet sauce on it or on the side. Real Nashville Chicken is coated with a paste of cayenne pepper and oil or fat that soaks into the bread. The Famous 48 variation does have an intense heat from the buffalo sauce and a tasty flavor. The buffalo sauce is nose running HOT  and is also delicious with a good tang. For my taste the eggy rich bun is too thick for this sandwich and I prefer it open faced. I WARN YOU that this sandwich is only for heat loving folk and is not suitable for the wimpy masses. I have to be blunt and have to say I wouldn’t recommend the house fries. The skinny fries did arrive hot but seem to get cold in moments. The fries had very little potato flavor and remind me of fast food fries. BUT the sandwich was DELICIOUS! We both liked the sandwich!

My husband ordered the Slow roasted Pork Dip.

We aren’t sure but we think he was served the Sort Rib Melt. I didn’t taste his meal. I asked him about the Pork Jus and he said it taste like watery beef….? He was a bit displeased with the sandwich because he was expecting slices of pork but received minced meat without the caramelized onions he thought that he would be receiving. He said the meat had little flavor and he couldn’t tell if it was beef or pork. (I guess he got the bottom of the batch of whatever meat it was….all the little ends)….He said after he finished the sandwich he said that he would have been happy if he ordered the Hot Chicken Sandwich because that one had lots of flavor and tasted great!

At the time of this review Famous 48 has been open just a few days………

Newly opened!


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

The Forking Truth

Seoul BBQ & Sushi of Phoenix AZ Seems to be…Worth a Fork!


Seoul BBQ & Sushi recently opened in Phoenix. This is a large Korean Restaurant that also offers some Japanese offerings. On the menu are appetizers, Asian Salads, sushi, Korean Soups & Stews, I saw house made tofu somewhere, fried rice dishes, 5 varieties of grilled fish, house made sweet potato cold noodle dishes, wok fried dishes and of course all the Korean BBQ choices and combos.

The atmosphere is upscale with attractive granite tables and walls in modern designed rooms. This is a BIG place that also offers a large private dining for entertaining and more dining rooms. I almost got lost here.

Each table has a burner and shiny hood for doing BBQ.

It is unusual to find such a restaurant outside of Mesa (the Asian capital of metro Phoenix). So we ordered and they start us off with many small side dishes called Banchan.

Some of the side dishes are pickled egg, garlic spinach, seaweed salad, kimchi, I think he said bell flower, pickled radish, Korean potato salad, crispy shrimp, carrot radish salad, Japanese Sweet Potato, Sweet Lotus Root, Korean Cucumbers and fish cakes.

I think this one was called bellflower? It was very tasty and among my favorites.

Fishcakes came out after the other side plates

It seemed like this Korean Restaurant put more effort into the side dishes than other Korean Restaurants I’ve dined at. I don’t eat Korean Food often but these were the most enjoyable Banchan I ever had. We were offered refills several times on the banchan.

Then we were asked if we’d like to try some miso soup. (I said I only wanted a small amount)

Then my husband’s Bibimbap with Bulgogi comes out on a very heavy hot skillet.

They cut up the egg and mix it up. The rice got a nice crisp bottom like Paella Rice. I got a small taste and the beef was so tender and delicious. It had all kinds of good flavors going on. Gochujang (a sort of Korean pepper ketchup) was available on the table as a condiment.

Next my  Jogi-Gui (A fish called broiled yellow croaker that is similar to corvina) comes out.

I got two small but perfectly prepared juicy tender fish with mild sweet flesh and crispy skin.

Service was very friendly and efficient. The owners or management also were very welcoming to us.

Our first visit was very enjoyable.

I have to say Seoul BBQ & Sushi Restaurant seems to be Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!


The FORKING TRUTH is that EVERY FORKING thing is subject to change and YOUR experience may or MAY NOT differ.

The Forking Truth


My Trip to Zinburger in Phoenix AZ


I would be wrong to say Zinburger is a small local chain….Zinburger is a Fox Concept Restaurant who is Arizona based but I see that Zinburger is a growing chain that is in many locations across the country. I recently went to the Biltmore Fashion Plaza Location in Phoenix. This is a very casual restaurant with a full bar. This restaurant specializes in Burgers. The standard burger on the menu is a 6.5 ounce certified angus beef patty that is ground in house daily. You can upgrade to grass-fed or choose vegetarian, chicken, tuna or turkey burgers. They also offer salads, sides and milkshakes.

I am picky about the beef I ate…since the beef is ground in house I feel I can eat it. (I gave up supermarket ground beef for the unwanted additive it contains)

BUT…….that pretty picture with cows makes me feel sort of Forking guilty about ordering beef. I almost change my mind.

They have some sort of Burger Battle every year and last years winner was Zinburger’s Bruce Lee Burger so that is the one I want to try.

Zinburger – Bruce Lee Burger

I start with the pickle chips. The pickles are crunchy, garlic dill and obviously fresh made.

Then I attempt the burger.

For me it’s impossible to take a complete bite. The bun is too big for this burger.

The burger is very messy and drippy. My plate is filling up with juice and sauces.

I must remove the top bun and lose some Sriracha Mayonnaise and eat with a knife and fork.

I have a very juicy caramelized burger that’s topped with Asian BBQ sauce, napa cabbage slaw, cucumbers, rice wine vinegar, avocado and jalapeños. It really IS FORKING DELICIOUS! It taste like maybe the most delicious potsticker I ever tried. I got all kinds of textures and creamy to spicy and blasts of flavors in-between. It’s really good…but not something you want to eat around other people because it’s very messy. You can only eat this burger around someone that you can fart with.

My husband Tried the El Diablo Burger.

Zinburger’s El Diablo Burger

This Burger is topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, caramelized onions and lettuce. It is suppose to have Chipotle Mayonnaise but if you read my reviews you know my husband avoids mayonnaise as much as possible. Somehow he is able to cram the burger in his mouth. He is actually happy. It’s the best burger he had out in a while…………

The burgers seemed very above the average……..

Service was only average. We were going to share a salad that didn’t come out of the kitchen. So we just ate our burgers. It turned out to be more than enough food anyway. We informed our waiter about the salad we didn’t receive and the manager did generously offer to let us take out the salad for free but we declined.


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

The Forking Truth

azcentral Food & Wine Experience Day 2 November 5th 2017


The azcentral Food & Wine experience is a two day event. This year it took place November 4th & 5th at Salt River Fields. It was a showcase of mostly local restaurants, libations and demos. The featured special guest was Martha Steward who was there on Saturday.

Overall I DID ENJOY MYSELF but I feel this festival has taken a few steps back from the last two years as I do have a few legitimate gripes.

Several restaurants promised were not there. These are the restaurants I don’t recall coming across either day….

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlor, Tapatio Cliffs, Little Miss BBQ, Nico Heirloom Kitchen, Orange Sky at Talking Stick, The Larder + The Delta, The Second Story Liquor Bar, Virtu Honest Craft, Zuzu at Valley Ho. I was expecting to come across these restaurants and since I didn’t I am disappointed. (Sadly El Panzon y Frida suddenly closed for business so I understand why they weren’t there)

I am also upset because I paid for VIP so I could drink better wine and use the VIP restrooms.

The wines offered this year seemed like much lower quality to the VIPS. I tried three wines Saturday that made me gag that I had to dump. I know last year they offered good well made wines like Hartford and Freemark Abby.

Freemark Abby Wine provided by AJ’s…Possibly the best wine you could drink at the festival 2016

Yesterday the VIP restrooms were crowded to they sent me off to the regular restrooms even though I was a VIP. TODAY ON SUNDAY the VIP restrooms were locked at least till 1:30.

So I felt cheated between the inferior wine selection and the VIP restrooms I didn’t get to use.

My last gripe is that the discussion panels didn’t seem as star studded as they have been the last two years….I really enjoyed last year discussion panel and the first years discussion panel.

2015 Star studded panel

Photo of discussion panel 2016 star studded panel


Maybe 2017 was just an off year….I don’t know…..

All my complaints are out now so off we go to the food.

Mostly everything I tried was either good or great! The food on Sunday in comparison to Saturday seemed to offer more upscale choices. Here are not all but some of the offerings I came across.

Among my favorite plates at the festival were the Halibut Ceviche and the Cornish Hen Mousse from Quiessence at The Farm at South Mountain. I didn’t think I’d like Cornish Hen Mousse because it seems weird to me….but the flavors were outstanding. I have to give it a big thumbs up.

J&G Steakhouse also was among my favorites. They lightened up a steak in a different and delicious way. They used butternut squash and flavors and textures of orange. It was amazing. I wonder if this is ever on the menu?

From Gallo Blanco and Otro Cafe Pozole

Gnocchi in Lamb Sauce from Rancho Pinot

We both thought the the vegetarian Potatoes Bravas and Shrooms and Grits from Artisan at the Camby Hotel were very tasty.

My husband said this Pork Belly Taco from Crujiente Tacos was good!

From one of the most UNUSUAL CASUAL restaurants in Phoenix……Chino Bandito offered Red Jade Chicken, Jerk Fried Rice and Vegan Cuban Black Beans and Snickerdoodle Cookies. It was pretty tasty….

We tried several different treats from Sweet Republic. The macaron filled with orange basil sorbet was my FAVORITE!

Mariposa Latin Restaurant served a tasty quinoa salad and a very tasty chicken laced soup.

Braised Lamb and Lentils from Talavera

Another among the favorites was this short rib stuffed ravioli with horse radish cream. It was from Hearth 61 at Mountain Shadows

Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole served Blueberry Hand Pies

Pigs Ears from Citizen Public House and a very unique unusual Ceviche from the Gladly.

Gnocchi in Veal Sauce from an Italian Restaurant I think from Bella Gusto……

Gadzooks award wining Chicken Taco! Spicier today than last time. Still delicious!

Different Point of View did these very detailed Pork and Cheese Ravioli.

Our Own Iron Chef Tarbel’s served Octopus Tostadas.

Buffalo Brisket, a tiny Detailed Cheesecake and a Fruit Beverage came from Kai at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass

Beef Carpaccio from Cartwright’s

Kobe Burger from Aj’s Fine Foods

Well that was day 2 of the azcentral Food & Wine experience of 2017.

The Forking Truth

azcentral Food & Wine experience (day 1) Saturday Nov. 4th 2017


The azcentral Food & Wine experience is a two day event food & libation festival. Around 50 different Arizona Restaurants and many wines, beers and spirits are there for sampling. The headlining attraction was Martha Steward and cooking demos.

We were finally at about an average temperature for November and were at around 80 degrees with ZERO chance of rain. Guess what…..it rained for a short time and then it poured but only for a short time.

My Forking Gripes……

For the most part most of the food I tried was good. I was very disappointed with the wines I tried. Even the VIP ticket didn’t bring on as fine wine as we had in years past. After trying three wines that sucked I didn’t want anymore wine. The VIP bathrooms were really great last year and it seemed they used a different company and the bathrooms were air-conditioned but not much different than porta potties. Another gripe were the stemless wine glasses they used this year. Stemless glasses are for swirling at a table and are not good to be carried around for long periods of time. My wine sling doesn’t work with a stemless glass and it was difficult to carry a glass and get food.

Now I’m over most of the gripes and now I am on the food.

Well lets see some of what I saw and some of what I tasted.

There was a nice little layered dessert and octopus by Match Cuisine and Cocktails. (I thought this was from Match Cuisine….but in the newspaper it reads that this was from The Boulders????) I didn’t take notes so my bad if I am wrong.

Mowry and Cotton at the Phoenician offered  Lamb Tacos and fancy Charred Tuna.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila…..FLOOR!

The Crepe Bar didn’t serve crepes….?…..They served a Liver Mousse with Buttery Fancy Radishes……

This Pasta and Cheese was from AJ’s. Is a very impressive display. They used what is maybe a hallowed out $1,000 dollar wheel of cheese to serve pasta in. But plain pasta with just cheese is very boring even if it is expensive delicious cheese.

More libations.

This I didn’t try but it was maybe the most unusual offering at the festival. A push pop with duck liver mousse, apple, dates, pistachio, some sort of gel and apple sorbet. It came from PY Steakhouse.

A very tasty Steak with tabasco onions from Bourbon & Bones Chophouse & Bar

AJ’s Pork Tacos

Handlebar Diner offered Duck Tamales

Chef Christopher Collins really brought it on with Wally’s Fried Chicken Sandwich, Grassroots Short Rib over super SPICY HOT Jalapeño Cheese Grits, Twisted Grove Shrimp Salad and Sweet Provisions Lemon Tart and his Super Magic Bar…..WOW what a spread he brought. I think half the food I ate came from here and it all was great!

The Market by Jennifer made a really nice little spread too! Really good Potato Chips with Pimento Dip, Korean Style Beef, Yummy Little Chicken Drums and Milk & Cookies.

Some of Aj’s Fine food offerings……This might have been in the VIP tent. Maybe I’ll ask if they will sell me some finger limes…..None of the AJ’s near me carry them….. 🙁

It was really hot and crowded in the AJ’s VIP tent…..hope my deodorant didn’t fail.

AJ’s offered a fancy couscous salad that was made with this bottle oil, vinegar, lemon and herb dressing. It actually was amazing. The salad and the dressing were really surprisingly good.

AJ’s offered Butternut Squash Risotto that came from a box. It was horrible.  AJ’s also offered    another appetizer……It looked pretty but I got a raw crisp slice of sweet potato with some toppings. These were the only things I tried that were Forking Awful…..both not edible…YUCK!

But then AJ’s had a killer cheese table….so MANY HIGH END cheeses…….so I guess they redeemed themselves after the previously mentioned dishes.

That was Day One of the azcentral Food & Wine experience 2017.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

The Forking Truth

My Trip to Mucha Lucha Libre Taco Shop Peoria AZ


The Mucha Lucha Taco Shop is a casual Mexican Fast Food Shop. They differ in quality from the chain fast food shops you might be familiar with because the food is homestyle not chemical laden fast food typical style. The meats all are very flavorful and spicy and are slow braised with chili peppers.  They offer about 18 different fillings that you can have in a street size tacos, regular size grilled tacos, tacodillas, burritos, quesadillas and Mucha More! Then you get to customize your order and the person behind the sneeze shield tops your order with the vegetables, toppings and sauces that you pick. Once you seat yourself you might want to kick your meal up a little more with the complimentary salsa bar.

I picked the Three Taco Plate $7.25 The taco meat and tortillas are heated up on a flat top grill for you. The tortillas get crisped up a bit. They offer you rice and beans to add to your tacos here. Then you walk down the line with the person preparing your food and you get to add on all the toppings you like.

I picked a Chicken Tinga Taco, Red Chicken and Vinaigrette Chicken Tacos. All the chicken meat is flavorful and spicy. My favorite Chicken Taco is the one with that isn’t red or orange. I think it’s the Vinaigrette Chicken.  It has a nice balance of flavors that include chili, garlic, onion and taste like chicken. To me it’s the most delicious. I skipped the beans and wasn’t wild about the taste of the rice on the taco and I think next time I’d ask for the rice and beans on the side.  My least favorite taco is the one that’s very heavy with chipotle and too much smoke for me….but I note that I like less smoke in my food than most people so it might be great to you but it’s too heavy with smoke for me. My husband didn’t have any problems taking that last taco off my hands.

He picked the 5 Street Taco Sized Tacos. $7.25 They are double shelled small tacos with filling and all the toppings you desire.

I don’t know what he picked but I know he picked 5 different varieties of beef and pork. He enjoyed them all and said that we should come here more often. He also added that all that he tried was also very flavorful and all were spicy!

I would recommend Mucha Lucha Taco Shop over Most of the Mexican Fast Food Chains Out There!

The Forking Truth

Halloween SPECIAL EDITION – Frightful Horrifying Food Served to me in Metro Phoenix AZ


The Forking Truth is not every dining experience will be a great one. I am pleased to say most experiences are ok and many exceeded expectations. But some are downright Frightful! Here is THE FORKING TRUTH…… a collection of the most terrible food that was served to me in Metro Phoenix in the past few years.

I do note that it’s not my intention to bring  negative attention about restaurants that are still open for business. I can only reveal the names of the businesses that are closed. The restaurant business is a very difficult business to be in. For that reason there will be no name mention of restaurants that are still open for business because everything is subject to change. At least I hope so….


This polenta tower came from a well known restaurant in the Biltmore Area of Phoenix. It looks absurd and was the worst polenta I ever had in my life. I do know the Chef has been replaced since.

Taco Haus Scottsdale AZ (wow that was really bad) Closed for business

The worst taco I ever had in my life came from Taco Haus (long closed for business) The tortilla fell apart and the chicken was the most driest most flavorless chicken I ever tasted anywhere. I’m still choking when I think about it.

Seared Tuna Nicoise ($16.) from The Local, PHX AZ

This didn’t’ taste awful….This plate came from The Local (closed for business) The food was very good but overly sparse…………

$16.00 for a lunch platter that doesn’t even meet HALF of Weight Watcher Standards. I was FORKING STAVING after this lunch. WTFork was I suppose to buy two lunches? WTFork was that chef thinking ……..It’s not even enough food to feed a gerbil…. and where the Fork was the other half of egg?……I could have used it.

Glendale AZ

Sushi that isn’t fresh is always horrifying…….Still open today in Glendale.

I went to an interesting restaurant that is now closed for business called Indy Fusion. It really wasn’t a bad restaurant at all but whoever the chef was didn’t write the menu I’m sure. He had zero understanding of what a Fondant is. Indy Fusion had a Fondant on the menu for dessert. Instead of a molten chocolate cake that’s known as a Fondant I received a lump of Fondant frosting on a plate. Instead of Indy Fusion I received Indy confusion.

Fondant from Indy Fusion

I went to a certain Asian Restaurant with a Bakery in either Glendale or Phoenix. My meal was good but the dessert was inedible. It was hard like a rock. We couldn’t cut threw it. It could not be penetrated by a Fork. My husband felt the need to bust it apart with his hands.

This restaurant is located in the far west valley. I came across a few problems with the food and I tried a dessert here hoping for redemption. Instead of redemption it turned out to be a nail in the coffin as I pulled out a silicone-like object from my mouth. The waiter acted like nothing was wrong with that and he told me that it was part of the gelatin in the dessert.

Everything I tried at this restaurant in Surprise Az had problems. I actually informed the waiter and management about the multiple short comings I experienced at this restaurant. They didn’t say they were sorry or anything like that….They said they were newly opened and that is just how it was….SURPRISE!

These falafels did have a nice crunchy texture but were dry and lacked typical falafel flavors. But  a few food critics have raved about this place. Maybe this place in Glendale improved since my visit?

Old re-heated over cooked fish is never good. This came from a beautiful resort in Scottsdale. The fish came to me slightly warmed up and sat on top of a salad that was missing most of the ingredients the menu listed.

Over Cooked and over salted fish was served to me from one of the finest restaurants in Phoenix.

Over Cooked and Over Salted Phoenix AZ

Tried a personal size Chicago Style Pizza from some place on the west side and it was re-heated and not fresh made and came with a burnt crust and so much cheese I felt sick.

The fish wasn’t so great and the Couscous tasted like salt….Just another bad dinner out! Somewhere in Peoria.

Had a chicken sandwich somewhere in Scottsdale. The bun was hard like a rock. The chicken slightly burnt with a weird snappy texture. The sandwich also had a canned green chile pepper that tasted like the tin can it came from….not to mention the horrible potato salad it came with….All the potatoes were over cooked and I basically got a dish with mashed potatoes, some chopped egg and mayonnaise.

A grilled chicken sandwich from somewhere in Scottsdale AZ and the potato salad is pictured below.

Went to a Mexican Restaurant in North Phoenix. Got served the most tasteless, uninspired taco salad I ever had anywhere on warm iceberg lettuce. The chips and salsas were also the worst I ever tasted anywhere.

$13.99 Salad from a Mexican Restaurant in Phoenix AZ

Went to a place in Scottsdale and was served Old Tasting Fish topped with Salty Sour Tomato paste, Lousy sides of corn that looks like vomit and gooey pierogis.

We were driving back from Vegas a while back and stopped in Sun City for a bite. Should have kept going…..Mediocre fish, less than mediocre warmed up frozen vegetables and the most disgusting mashed potatoes I’ve ever seen in my Forking life. “I asked the waiter why are the potatoes were greenish?” He said, “The Chef said that black pepper makes the potatoes green.”

– Sun City

I seriously think food this bad is a violation and they should have their food license pulled.

Well that was a little stroll by not all but some of the most Frightful Food served to me in Metro Phoenix. I hope I didn’t frighten you too much!

And this is my rating to these places.


Most food experiences in Metro Phoenix are better.

This was a Halloween Special Edition of The Most Frightening Horrifying Foods that were Served to Me in Metro Phoenix in the past few years.

Remember that everything is subject to change and your experience may or may NOT Differ.

Good Luck and Happy Halloween!

The Forking Truth


Zabari Mediterranean Grill of Phoenix AZ is Worth a Fork!


Zabari Mediterranean Grill is a casual order at the counter restaurant. Zabari M.G. offers an Israeli Spin on Mediterranean Food and is also certified Glatt Kosher. That’s means kosher plus no diseased animals are used. This restaurant has been on my list for a long time and I just wasn’t sure about trying it out…With maybe a good reason…after-all I’ve dined at the AMAZING multi award winning Zahav Restaurant in Philadelphia (modern Israeli Style Restaurant)….By multi James Beard Award winning Chef Michael Solomonov (also 2017 James Beard outstanding Chef Award). I kept thinking this little restaurant can’t compare…..but after reading a glowing review by the Phoenix New Times I changed my mind and I’m glad I did because it’s pretty downright special!

We decided to order two entrees. A falafel platter and a Meat Sampler Platter that they call the Zabari Mix (Grilled Chicken, Chicken Shawarma, Kabob, Beef Shish Kabob. Each platter also comes with THREE SIDES and they give us pickled mango sauce, really HOT green shrug sauce, FORKING HOT Red shrug sauce, tahini sauce and fresh baked pita bread.



Rice, Chickpea Falafels, Matbucha (tomato & pepper salad), seasoned carrots, Israeli Salad, Eggplant, Babaganush and Hummus.

Zabari Mix – Grilled Chicken, Chicken Shawarma (chicken thighs with zesty spices, broiled on a vertical skewer), ground beef kabob, marinated and flame broiled tri tip Kabob, rice and pita breads.

WOW! It’s a whole table of food!  where do I start?

I start with the Falafel.

It’s a super fluffy crunchy and also flavorful falafel. Very very good indeed. It also seems grease free…I like that very much. Babaganush is very creamy with lots of eggplant that’s almost sweet. Very little smoke to it. Hummus is creamy. The Eggplant salad is very tasty….it has nice flavors to it.

Moving on to more vegetables…..

The Israeli Salad is fresh and light with crunchy cucumber and tomato. The Carrots are very tasty. I know I taste a little cumin…whatever they did it’s very delicious. BUT THE TOMATO PEPPER Salad called MATBUCHA is Forking YUMMO! WOW they should sell it in all the supermarkets. I have to attempt to recreate this one….It’s so delicious…The tomatoes are concentrated, I taste a delicious roasted red pepper kind of taste but I also get some spicy pepper….but not too spicy.

Now to the meats…..

Grilled white meat chicken is nicely seasoned. Some pieces are very tender and a few are not.  The Grilled chicken taste extra great with the pickled mango sauce. Ground beef kabob is moist and tasty, Tri Tip Shish Kabob has more flavor than the Ground Beef Kabob. The CHICKEN SHAWARMA is the way to go! It has crispy caramelized ends and is full of juice and flavors. It outshines the other meats by leaps and bounds. I think it’s the FORKING BEST CHICKEN SHAWARMA I EVER HAD ANYWHERE!

The Chef’s son was working the counter on our visit. He was very kind and helpful explaining the food to us. He also offered us some tasting samples and also served us our platters and checked on us too.

All the food was good but the Falafels, Chicken Shawarma, Matbucha, Eggplant, Carrots and nifty sauces will make us come back for more!

P.S. Portions were very large. We had plenty of leftovers to bring home.

Zabari Mediterranean Grill is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork! Killer Chicken Shawarma, Matbucha, Falafels


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

The Forking Truth

Dining out with Dogs in Metro Phoenix AZ October 2017


“Hi there!” #We are on our way to Bpttega Pizzeria Ristorante in Glendale AZ”

Dining out with dogs in Metro Phoenix is just a “Fluff” story of my dining adventure out with dogs. Dining out with dogs stories are not restaurant reviews just stories about taking my dogs out to eat. Not all but many restaurants in Metro Phoenix do have patios but not all patios are dog friendly. It’s always a great idea to call a restaurant just before your about show up with your dog because you never know if the patio is booked up for a party or if the restaurant suddenly stopped allowing dogs on the patio. It is also a good idea to dine at off times to try to avoid other people and other people’s dogs because you could be asked to leave if something goes wrong. (like dog barking or if a customer is allergic to dogs) There are some rules for dining with dogs. Dogs are never to eat off restaurant dishes. Dogs must stay close to your side and dogs are not allowed to sit on restaurant furniture. Other things that you must be aware of are that most foods and drink you consume might be harmful or toxic to your dog. To be on the safe side feed your dog plain lean meat.

October here in Phoenix was mostly hot…mostly too hot to dine out with dogs…. 🙁 But we just had a cool day so we went off to Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante in Glendale.

They were offering a special seasonal menu today along with the regular menu so I decided to try the Butternut Squash Pizza with some pancetta on the side for my dogs. (I know pancetta is fatty but I am very careful with the amounts I give to the dogs)

The Butternut Squash Pizza is really different. Instead of a tomato base we have cooked pureed Butternut Squash with crispy sage and melted cheese. Very different. Don’t know if I want some sweet or spice or heat for my taste…It does have an excellent chewy blistered crust. It’s not a wet center like from some of the other pizzas I had here.

“Ummmm Butternut Squash Pizza….I Forking want some!”

“Hey Runt move the Fork over I’m getting some Butternut Squash Pizza!” Both dogs get to try small tastes of Butternut Squash Pizza. Then they get to try some of my husband’s pizza.

My husband got a Spicy Salami Pizza….Not sure if it was made with the same salami as last time?


“Let’s Forking move in on the Butternut Squash Pizza.”


Both dogs decide they want more of the Butternut Squash Pizza.


That was Dining out with Dogs in Metro Phoenix for October 2017. We hope to see you next month!

The Forking Truth

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