If, as on my visit, your barbecue brisket borders on dry with a sauce that's too sweet, there are Topher's Braised Short Ribs. Collins' signature dish consists of two succulent hunks of marinated, fall-apart meat coated in a clingy hoisin glaze and placed atop jumbo stalks of grilled asparagus and alongside grits that combine sweet corn with cheddar and jalapeño for what amounts to thick and creamy forkfuls of Southern-style heaven.

"I've changed the neighborhood's perception of grits," says Collins. "At first, no one wanted them, but now I sell more of them than any other side on the menu."

And if it's a hunk of half-chicken you're after, the roasted free-range fowl here is sublime, spectacularly juicy, seasoned with Cajun spices and carefully balanced atop a thick slice of bread soaked in pan drippings — an idea Collins says he got from a visit to ZuZu, the Spanish restaurant in Napa, California.

If it's a hunk of chicken you're after, the roasted free-range fowl at Grassroots is sublime.
Jackie Mercandetti
If it's a hunk of chicken you're after, the roasted free-range fowl at Grassroots is sublime.

Location Info

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Grassroots Kitchen & Tap

8120 N. Hayden Road, Ste E-100
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: North Scottsdale

Details

Grassroots Kitchen & Tap
8120 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
480-699-0699
www.grassrootsaz.combr /> Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

85259 Creamy Burrata: $10
Shrimp po' boy: $14
Broiled rainbow trout: $19
Topher's Braised Short Ribs: $24

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For dessert, there's the chocolate toffee brownie. Unlike Grassroots' more manageable portion sizes, this dish — a cakey creation of Ghirardelli chocolate sprinkled with toffee crumbles and sea salt, drizzled with handmade caramel, and topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream — is sized to share.

Given the success of his North Scottsdale restaurant, Collins plans to open a second Grassroots Kitchen & Tap in January. The new location, in the Town & Country Shopping Center in Phoenix, will join restaurants such as Pizzeria Bianco/Trattoria Bianco, Cyprus Grill, and Colorado-based Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, as well as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's.

"The menu will stay the same at first," Collins says. "But after a while, I'll let the neighborhood dictate what dishes I'll serve. One of the greatest things Wally told me was to take pride in your building, your product, and your people."

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