Spice War

Not just mad about it

The penne chicken with pulled clucker, bacon and marinara was fair-to-middling, and in need of some oomph. I liked Joseph's lighter take on the Monte Cristo sandwich, but the fries that came with it were gross, black in parts. The grilled pork tenderloin should have been an opportunity for Joseph to show off. However, the "almond saffron curry" atop each of the three swine medallions -- one of the few times Joseph actually uses saffron -- was pasty and unappealing.

Sweet spot: Saffron's space is handsome and urbane, but the vittles have yet to rise above the ordinary.
Jackie Mercandetti
Sweet spot: Saffron's space is handsome and urbane, but the vittles have yet to rise above the ordinary.

Details

Coconut shrimp: $7
Grilled salmon: $15
Pork tenderloin: $20
Mud pie: $6

480-921-9666, »web link.
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., bar open later. Open Sundays for Cardinals games, only.

502 South College Avenue (at Fifth Street), Tempe

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Dessert? The fried cheesecake, akin to a cannoli or a blintz, is so-so, but the "mud pie" is disgusting, served straight from the freezer with ice crystals on it, like something Carvel would be ashamed to peddle. Joseph gets it from elsewhere, but so what? Maybe Joseph will improve things drastically in the coming weeks and months. But until he does so, the judgment of The Jackal is a "no go."

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