Tag Archives: #PhxFood

Every Forking Thing is Subject to Change

 

Every Forking thing is subject to change. I went to a certain restaurant in Peoria AZ. This is a casual small brewery that offers a limited menu of food. I was here before and enjoyed a mouth watering plate of salmon. It was seasoned just so and seared crispy with a silky interior. It came with a mix of carefully prepared vegetables and garlic lemon confit. (pictured below)

sometime pre-2017

So I thought I’d get the salmon again since I was craving a good salmon.

I didn’t get a salmon like the last one I had. It appears and taste like the chef has been 86th and they have someone filling in.

The salmon is edible but not the same as you can see.  It sure isn’t seared or seasoned with the same finesse either. It’s kind of very average….just average at best.  Did you ever go to the shore and get a mouth of seawater in your mouth? Well that’s what the couscous tasted like studded with squishy squash that was sprinkled with dry oregano.  The waitress asked me how it was and I said the couscous only tasted like salt. She did offer to get me something else….I declined for two reasons. One was because the menu is very limited and I don’t recall anything else I wanted to eat……and I seriously doubted the person cooking was capable of preparing anything that taste good. I asked for some lemon so I could taste something other than salt on the couscous. She gave me two thin lemon slices that were impossible to squeeze. When I got home I re-read the menu and saw that my plate was suppose to come with lemon confit that I didn’t get.

 

The food was really great last time.

sometime pre-2017

Seems like the Chef is gone and they just have someone slapping out whatever now.

The Forking Truth is that EVERY FORKING THING is subject to change and your experience or my experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

My Trip to La Santisma Gourmet Taco Shop – Old Town Glendale AZ

 

La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop is located in Old Town Glendale AZ. They offer a very long menu of various tacos. They also offer the largest salsa bar I’ve ever seen and some hard to find Mexican foods that you don’t come by often like the “Quesa” that I can only describe as a sort of Mexican calzone. The building is interesting inside and out. It’s detailed with Mexican crafts and artwork there is a Day of the Dead Theme going on.

We ordered and start by taking a trip to the salsa bar.

All kinds of salsas there…What to pick? They offer strawberry salsa, peanut salsa, pecan salsa, sesame salsa, cactus salsa, chipotle salsa, avocado salsa, Mexican salsa and many others.

We tried a variety of salsas. (Pecan, Peanut, Sesame, Mexican,  and others)

I had to go back to try a few more! Here is Strawberry, Chipotle and Tomatillo Salsas. Some of my favorites were the strawberry, Mexican, chipotle and  peanut.

My tacos arrive!

I received two double shelled very packed tacos. They have so much food in them that I have to eat some with a fork first before I attempt to pick them up. On the left is smoked marlin fish and on the right is battered white fish. Both tacos are topped with shredded crisp cabbage and cilantro dressing. The whitefish is fresh tasting and has a nice crispy coating. This taco needs some condiments. A squirt of fresh lime, A little cilantro salsa and a touch of strawberry salsa and good flavors are going on. The marlin taco was really delicious the last time I was here so I ordered it again. Today it’s good but not delicious like last time. They didn’t smoke the marlin like they did last time and the fish taste like tuna today. This taco also needs to be kicked up some so I added some chipotle for a little smoke and a touch of peanut for heat. Still tasty.

These are the tacos I had on a previous visit.

Smoked Marlin and a Chicken Mole.

My husband got a three taco platter with rice and beans.

He got Pork, Chicken Tinga, and a Brisket Tacos that was grilled. The favorite was the chicken tinga. It was developed with delicious flavors and was made with a generous amount of moist dark chicken meat.

I learned from previous visits that two tacos is my limit here as they are very filling but on my first visit I discovered the Vegetable Stuffed Quesa.

It’s similar to an Italian Calzone but the dough taste like corn tortilla so I guess I’m tasting masa flour. The dough seems like it’s fried and it’s very tasty. Inside it’s packed with vegetables……I remembered I thought this was really delicious so we ordered one to go to have latter.

This quesa seemed to differ. It wasn’t squirted with the avocado cream and it was filled with mostly onions with a tiny bit of spinach and a few mushrooms. Oh well! I guess a different cook was working today. Still tasty. If vegetables aren’t what you fancy feel free to try a meat quesa. You might find it to be a tasty treat!

www.SantisimaGourmet.com

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

The Forking Truth

My Visit to Grassroots Kitchen & Tap & Sweet Provisions Sweet Shop Scottsdale AZ YUM!

 

Scottsdale Location

The Grassroots Restaurant isn’t fancy but it is comfortable and they offer very American Comfort Food. We both like to dine at the Grassroots every now and then because they offer a great variety, the food is always tasty and technically great all the time. Another reason we like to visit is because the pies are exceptional. The Chef is famous for his Key Lime Pie and is proud to make each pie with a crazy number of maybe 30 hand squeezed fresh key limes….At this time (Sept. 2017) there are two locations of the Grassroots…..one in the Phoenix Biltmore area and the other in Scottsdale. The Biltmore area is closer for me but I wanted to try the Chef’s new Sweet Provisions Sweet Shop located next door to the Grassroots Scottsdale location so we picked that one to visit.

Today I went for the Scottish Salmon with a Side Chop Salad.

The Salmon is moist and buttery with nice grill marks. The tasty salad is filled with many textures and flavors and it’s filled with all kinds of goodies like edamame, grapes, corn, cucumbers, radish, fresh herbs and more in a champagne vinaigrette.

My husband went for the special of the day.

House prepared Pastrami Sandwich on Pretzel Bun with Cheese and Jalapeño Grits.

It’s delicious as we expected it would be. No it’s not like a Deli Pastrami Sandwich it very American on a Pretzel Roll and made with Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

It killed me not ending my meal with that amazing Key Lime Pie.

Key Lime Pie from a past visit

www.GrassrootsAZ.com

We finish and go next door to Sweet Provisions.

It smells like a sweet doughnut or sweet cupcake when you walk in.

There is candy, baked goods and house made ice creams.

Cakes, Pies, Cookies, Lemon Bars and More OH MY!

“drooling”

I made the most of the situation…..Ice cream for now and a lemon bar to take home for latter.

I try the Banana Walnut Ice Cream and my Husband picks his usual….the Chocolate.

Ummmmm They are BOTH Very Good!

The Banana Walnut is very creamy and natural tasting…Not too sweet and more like a natural sweet banana with toasted walnuts.

The Chocolate is rich with Chocolate Flavor. It taste just like a high quality Belgium Chocolate.

Can’t wait to try the Lemon Bar….

www.SweetProvisionsAZ.com

That was my visit to Grassroots Scottsdale and Sweet Provisions…….YUM!

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

The Forking Truth

 

Mediterranean 6 Course Dinner with Wine Pairing at Cafe Bink Carefree AZ

 

“off to Cafe Bink”

Cafe Bink is a casual but somewhat upscale restaurant in beautiful Carefree Arizona. Cafe Bink was opened by James Beard Nominated Chef Binkly who is now giving full attention to his fine dining restaurant Binkley’s in Phoenix. Talented Chef and Partner Chef Justin Olsen is currently running things at Cafe Bink. They have been offering many specials off all sorts. The specials that brought me in were the Tomato Dinner, The Chef’s All Things Summer Date Night Dinner and the Mediterranean Date Night Dinner with Wine pairings……so far……..

For Mediterranean Night they started us off with the crispiest fluffiest falafels I ever had anywhere.

The falafels had a flavorful moist interior too and came with creamy labne filled with extra virgin olive oil and sesame seeds. It was an unexpected delicious treat! 2014 Tedeschi Soave Classico was the pairing for this and the next plate.

Next plate was Seared Halloumi with almonds, almond butter, sweet and spicy pickled peppers, arugula and seasoned pita crisp.

Delicious all together. It was light and not too heavy so we had room for the next course.

 

Third Course was some really AMAZING CRIPY Eggplant! It was the crispiest ever and also seemed free of oil. It was so good! I wish I could get this plate again sometime. The eggplant inside was so tasty and meaty. Home made pomegranate molasses, dried pomegranate. feta and za’taar were flavors that all went together just right and it only got better with 2015 Domitia  Picoul de Pinet. This course was simply pure bliss.

Fourth Course was an Imtermezzo of Lemon Granite.

It was intensely lemon with another small hint of a note of flavor…………I guessed it correctly…Sambucca. It was not too sweet but great flavor that was refreshing.

Fifth Course was Local Chicken with onions, olives, raisins, herbs wine and cous cous.

The chicken was flavorful and very tender and was carefully SoueVide at 135 degrees F and then seared. The Chewy Cous Cous was tasty and I really liked the sweet pops of flavor from the golden raisins. Paired with 2014 McMurray Pinot Noir

Sixth Course – The Dessert – was surprisingly delicious ………It was Yogurt Mousse with local honey, pistachios, dates and phyllo paired with Cave Brut Spanish Sparkling.

I don’t know how but some sort of chef wizardry happened here. Somehow they made yogurt taste good. Magically it became Whipped goodness and when you hit the bottom you got citrusy dates and up top were the nutty pistachios with honey. The phyllo was turned to almost something like a toffee crisp. It was pretty darn impressive.

Another Amazing Dinner at Cafe Bink with friendly informative service and great wine parings too!

Cafe Bink is Certainly Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork! It’s worth the drive across town to dine here.

On the way home from Cafe Bink

The Forking Truth

Newly Opened – The Covenant Restaurant Phoenix AZ

 

The Covenant recently opened in Phoenix. This is a bold, Gorgeous, Glamorous but casual restaurant. There are chandeliers, artsy mirrors, a great BIG beautiful wine tower that channels the look of Charlie Palmer’s Fine Dining Restaurant Aureole in Las Vegas NV. There is also open shelving of fine whiskeys and bourbons on display to wet your whistle. The restaurant has an open kitchen. Dinners can view the 900 degree wood oven.

The Covenant also offers a large bar.

 

The restaurant seems very large but once inside I counted a few booths and not so many high top deuce banquets for couples. The atmosphere is energetic, a bit loud. the air is slightly humid.

We started out by sharing a Melon and Feta Salad.

The Salad was very generous in size. They graciously split the salad in two large bowls for us. We received a variety of fresh cut melon, tangy feta, a little creamy avocado, peppery arugula and some Korean Red Pepper Threads. The salad was free of dressing and was nice and light but sort of dull. I did speak to the manager about the salad and he agreed with me and informed me that the kitchen is working on a delicious sounding dressing for this salad. So you might not have the experience I had if you order this salad ……….. (?)

For Dinner I wanted to order the Fish of the Day. It sounded so good En Papillote in citrus butter, teardrop peppers, potatoes, lemon preserves, haricot verts and fresh herbs. I was told they were all sold out of them before dinner……

So I went with my 2nd choice The Chicken Dinner.

The Chicken Dinner was a Stunner! Mouthwatering tender flavorful succulent chicken thigh to die for……and also a tender delicious breast. Bathed in flavorful, yummy chicken essence. Extra Fancy baby vegetables and smashed and crisped creamy fingerling potatoes. It was a really good chicken dinner.

My husband had what they called The Chef’s Cheddar Mac.

It’s a big bowl of macaroni and cheese with three shrimp and some andouille sausage. My husband said the andouille sausage was really delicious but there was very little of it in this dish and the shrimp were over cooked. But it was a little different with the tasty relish in the middle an when you mixed it up the macaroni wasn’t dry anymore.

The Covenant is a beautiful nice gorgeous restaurant but since it’s newly opened it might be slightly hit and miss as most any new restaurant usually is.

www.TheCovenantAZ.com

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

The Forking Truth

My Visit to Thao Sandwiches in Phoenix AZ

 

Thao Sandwiches is a small “hole in the wall” Vietnamese Eatery in Central Phoenix. This is not a fancy place. It looks a bit worn. They serve up a long menu of Vietnamese Soup, Rice, Noodle dishes, Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwiches and more. I noticed they offer Penny Wort Beverages.

I went for a dish that is seldom offered on Vietnamese Menus. The Com Da Ga Roti (Red Rice Chicken) I was very curious about this dish. I found only two recipes for it on the internet. It sounds like it might be basically Spanish Rice (tomato based) but seasoned with Asian Flavors from the two recipes I read.

Here it is Red Rice Chicken.

I received a large portion of chewy orange rice that have lots of pieces of small carrot and some sweated onions. A small cup of Asian Smoky Spicy seasoning is on the side and a cup of Chicken Broth. The Chicken has a great crispy skin and tasty moist tender meat. The rice was very mild and had little flavor on it’s own so you use the smokey slightly spicy sauce to kick it up.

My husband got a Pork Bun Dish.

It was filled with noodles, herbs, sprouts, peanuts, scallions, fried pork rolls and pork slices and fish sauce for dipping.

That was my visit to Thao Sandwiches.

No website you just will have to visit them at 6025 N 27th Ave in Phoenix.

I do note that menus posted on popular review sites for this restaurant have changed.

EVERY Forking thing is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

6 Degrees Urban Kitchen in Scottsdale AZ is Worth a Fork

 

6 Degrees Urban Kitchen recently opened in Scottsdale in the Gainey Ranch Center. They serve up a sort of New American type of menu in a comfortable casual atmosphere.

We started with a Smoked Salmon Rillette.

The Rillette was adorned with pickled mustard seeds and onion, pesto, creme fraiche and toasted bread. The salmon was lightly smoked and wasn’t too fatty. The pickled mustard seeds and onion elevate the salmon to another level. I like the pesto….It’s a nice little break from the other flavors.

For Dinner I had the Halibut.

The fish was moist and flaky. I liked the flavors in the pea puree with the addition of fresh peas. The flavor was great and then I gots these sweet pops of texture from the peas. The assorted fingerling potatoes with creamy centers were yummy goodness. A bit of creme fraiche added some richness and completed the dish. A very nice dinner….

My husband had the Porchetta.

The Porchetta was served over soft creamy grits and was topped with peach/tomato basil relish, maple mustard and candied bacon. The bacon was very unique and was candied with sesame seeds and some cinnamon for a unique sensation. Sort of busy but a unique spin on the classic.

We left full and happy.

Can’t wait to try the lunch menu!

www.6DegreesAZ.com

Too soon to rate but everything was great so I just have to say it was …

Worth a Fork!

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

The Forking Truth

 

 

The Chicken Fajita Salad Battle Glendale AZ Popo’s VS Phoenix AZ Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Food

 

This is a well matched battle. The competitors are two established local Sonoran Style Mexican Restaurants that have two or more locations. For the most part they offer a similar menu. I do note the Carlos O’Brien’s is a new location for the Local small chain but this company has been in business for over 20 years so I feel they are free game to battle. Both competitors are located in North Phoenix or what locals call the Way North.

Ladies and Gentlemen……. In the Phoenix corner is Carlo’s O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant.

The Set up is-The Fajita Style Chicken Salad- Fajita Style Chicken, salad, cheese, tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream $13.95

The chicken is moist, a little greasy and nicely caramelized. The tomatoes are unripe and the iceberg lettuce is very plain. This is a very plain salad…..very very plain. My guacamole was forgotten but latter arrived. It was a small side of mashed avocados with non-detectible seasoning.

Pros-

nothing is burnt.

nothing is spoiled.

I didn’t get sick after eating here.

Cons – This salad is very uninspired.

Suggestions –

Alert the public that this salad lacks any seasoning or flavor.

Consider changing the recipe or your order if you are a customer.

and now Ladies and Gentlemen!

In the Glendale corner is Popo’s Fiesta Del Sol.

The set up is – The Chicken Fajita Salad – Fajita Chicken, Garden Salad with the grilled onions, bell peppers, avocado, scallions, tomatoes, cheese, olives served in a flour tortilla bowl. $10.99

Chicken Fajita Salad with Cheese on Side ( and a s/o of guacamole given to me off my husband’s plate.)

The chicken is moist and nicely seasoned. I received lots of fresh avocado, tomatoes, olives, grilled peppers and onions over mixed greens. The salad is flavorful and very hardy.

Pros- The salad taste good.

It’s a salad that I most likely won’t make at home so it’s a treat.

I don’t feel the least bit deprived ordering a salad.

The salad cost about $3.00 less than from the Phoenix competitor.

Con’s- This salad is a gut buster.

It’s impossible to eat the whole thing and leftovers turn to a soggy mess.

The Verdict

Chicken Fajita Salad with Cheese on Side ( and a s/o of guacamole given to me off my husband’s plate.)

Glendale’s Popo’s Fiesta Del Sol Mexican Restaurant – It’s a much better tasting flavorful salad bursting with thoughtful ingredients and priced at about $3.00 less.

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

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

My Trip to Pho For Days Vietnamese Restaurant P83 Peoria AZ

 

I’m thrilled that lighting struck again and another new independently owned restaurant has opened near to Arrowhead in Peoria. A new Vietnamese Restaurant named Pho For Days recently opened in P83 Entertainment District near to the Peoria Sports Center. Pho For Days is a nicely furnished Vietnamese Restaurant with a bar and a wine list and offers indoor and outdoor seating.

I decide to order the Broken Rice Plate with Lemongrass Chicken.

My plate came with tender flavorful white meat chicken that was mixed with sautéed scallions, bell peppers, onions and hot spicy peppers. They were generous with grassy cilantro. The plate also contain crisp vegetables and fresh hot rice. They brought a smokey spicy chili oil and a pork/chicken soup. The Chicken was delicious but the flavors differed from other similar plates I tried elsewhere. Good but very different.

My husband not always but most times orders the Soup called Hot and Spicy. (Bun Bo Hue)

The soup was described as containing beef, well done pork and pork roll.

Look closer and see what I see.

The Blocks in the soup are congealed pork blood.

None of the other Vietnamese Restaurants we’ve been to put congealed pork blood in the Hot and Spicy. I do watch Anthony Bourdain on his food travels and I know congealed pork blood is one of the things he looks most forward to eat. Many people do enjoy congealed pork blood but neither of us find it appetizing at this time.

The waiter was very understanding with my husband and brought him a rare beef and brisket soup that he would enjoy more.

No problems with the rare beef and brisket pho.

Your Vietnamese favorites might have a different spin here!

Pho For Days located next to the Peoria Sports Center.

The website is under construction at this time www.PhoForDays.com

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

The Forking Truth

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Co. Affordable Fast Casual Pizza + More!

 

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company is a fast/casual concept that recently opened in the Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix AZ. They offer authentic Neapolitan Style Pizzas, appetizers, burrata, salads, desserts, coffee, tea, beer, wine and some Italian pantry goods in a fast casual modern open and airy environment.

The pizzas are light and thin made from Neapolitan double zero flour, water, sea salt and yeast and then cooked in a 900 degree oven imported from Italy. They offer a menu of pizzas but also offer about 38 topping options with most priced at only $1.00 each.

It’s the casual order at the counter and pay at the register pick up a number and seat yourself kind of place. They offer a pizza condiment bar stocked with fresh basil, hot chili oil and some other condiments.

Your neighbor becomes your new best friend because the seating is very crowded.

We started out by sharing a Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad.

Gosh it was delicious! We received a heaping bowl filled with fresh greens, peppery arugula, sweet grape tomatoes, lots of tasty parmesan, yummy chunks of gorgonzola with delicious reduced balsamic dressing. This salad was bomb and I think it might be among the salads I’ve tried for it’s price range. ($8.50)

I tried the Margherita Pizza.

It a thin and light pizza.

It’s a really good pizza but maybe with an extra pinch of salt in the dough and a little more char on the crust I think we can kick it up a little. Don’t get me wrong it’s a very good and very reasonably priced at only $7.50. Not all but many full service restaurants that serve this kind of pizza charge about twice as much. I do note that the top pizzas of metro Phoenix do offer pizzas with crust that taste more developed, cheeses that are milkier and tomatoes that taste sweeter…..I don’t mean to sound disappointed because I’m not……..(just Forking Truthful)………………….The GOOD news is that this pizza has the edge over other fast/casual pizzas that I’ve tried due to high quality ingredients, taste and options…THAT is a BIG Accomplishment! This pizza is the first to change my mind about fast casual pizza!

My husband tried a Margherita and added half house made sausage and half spicy salami. He said the sausage was good but the hot salami was really GREAT! He loved the hot salami.

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company is Worth a Fork for Fast Casual Pizza and More!

Worth a Fork! Among the best for fast/casual pizza.

www.mymidici.com

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

The Forking Truth