10 Things I'll Miss About Phoenix's Food and Beverage Scene
The Welcome Breakfast delivers on everything you'd expect.
I've become one of those people that I have criticized for years. I'm leaving Phoenix. I'm bailing. I'm moving away. Insert boos and hisses here. Unlike some of the people I cajoled over the past few years for going, though, I am not going to say the city has no culture and I'm not going to be throwing the middle finger up as I drive out of town. I love this town and the people that work hard to make it great.
Here are the 10 things that I am not looking forward to living without:
Watching eggs fry at Welcome Diner There's a strange sort of zen that washes over me on weekend mornings when I go to Welcome Diner and sit at the counter elbow to elbow with other patrons. The bartenders mix up cocktails, shouting "Hurricane!" every time one is ordered, and everyone is moving. Looking past the hustle and on to the griddle, I sit and watch eggs cook sunny side up one after another, going from gooey and translucent to white with browned fry markings.
Shims at Clever Koi There are a lot of great cocktails in the country right now. There are a lot of great cocktails in Phoenix, too. However, when I'm looking for something light, balanced, and full of unique flavor pairings, Josh James' low ABV cocktails (a.k.a. shims) really hit the spot. Artfully using herbal liqueurs, amaros, and more, James is doing something in town that most other people aren't. If you can get over the fact that it doesn't pack a boozey punch, I promise you won't be missing out on any flavor.
My annual treat of ordering half the menu at FnB I don't have the cash flow to go to FnB often, but when I do, I do it up. I know that no matter what I'll order chef Charleen Badman has done pretty much the best iteration of that dish known to man. I remember the first time I tried the restaurant in its old location I was just shocked at how she made, without a doubt, the best roast chicken I've ever eaten. I didn't even know chicken could be that good. Since then, I've been back about once a year, each time ordering a starter or two, a few veggie plates, a couple entrees, and a dessert or two for me and a friend. Admittedly, it's always too much, but it makes equally delicious leftovers.
Drunk trips to the La Frontera truck Sometimes I find myself desperately searching for good food late at night. Luckily for downtowners, La Frontera posts up on Van Buren and 16th Street to sling late night Mexican food off the truck. On one recent visit, I had a goat and green chile burrito, which I'm still fairly certain was the best burrito I've ever had. Plus, it's dirt-cheap and filling, meaning you'll have hangover leftovers the next morning when going outside in the sun is just not an option.
Josh Hebert brought uni panna cotta topped with roe to Devoured last year.
Devoured and AZ Cocktail Week 2015 When it comes to food events in town, Phoenix nails it. It seems like we have more and more every year, but I know not to pass up Devoured and Cocktail Week in the spring. Devoured gives me the opportunity to try new spots I haven't been to and sample pricey spots I rarely get to visit, all while mingling with chefs and chatting about their creations. Similarly, Cocktail Week is a unique and essential opportunity of booze enthusiasts. Competitions, seminars from industry experts, and, of course, many liquor-centric dinners and parties make the week one of the best weeks to drink in town.
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