This year we're marking the hundred-day countdown to Best of Phoenix 2015 by sharing some of our favorite dishes at restaurants all over the Valley. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
54. Baklava at Middle Eastern Bakery and Deli
So it's after lunch and you're looking for something to pick you up from the afternoon lull. And maybe something sweet to go along with it. Simple solution: head to Middle Eastern Bakery and Deli in Phoenix, a well-loved market and restaurant that serves some of the best baklava in town. Owner Isam Saed comes to the Valley by way of Nazareth, so he knows a thing or two about this dessert, and he'll happily serve you a Turkish coffee, too.
The restaurant actually serves three different types of baklava. You'll find the traditional layered version, a rolled version that's called finger-style, and a visually-stunning bird's nest baklava that's topped with whole pistachio nuts. Of all the options, our favorite is still the classic baklava, which is made in house every day.
Each triangular piece of baklava features delicate layers of paper-thin phyllo dough on top of a thick blanket of spiced walnut filling. The rich mixture of nuts and spices delivers a dose of warming flavors that's perfectly paired with a cup of strong Turkish coffee. The bottom layers of the phyllo dough soak up excess rose water and orange blossom infused syrup, giving the baklava just the right amount of sweetness.
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The 100 Favorite Dishes so far...
100. Waffle at Matt's Big Breakfast
99. Pacific White Fish Taco at La Santisima
98. Beef Roll at Taiwan Food Express
97. Zinc Burger at Zinc Bistro
96. Goat Biryani at Khyber Halal
95. Key Lime Doughnut at Welcome Chicken + Donuts
94. Chicharrón Prensado Quesadilla at La Merced
93. Moist Succulent Pork Chop at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe
92. Deep Fried Squid with Salt and Pepper from Nee House Chinese Cuisine
91. Coconut Raspberry Brownie at Karl's Quality Bakery
90. Fried Chicken at Phoenix Public Market Cafe
89. The Tyler at Cheese 'N Stuff
88. Hurricane Popcorn at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
87. Ceviche at El Chullo
86. Date Shake at Couscous Express
85. Red Bean and Rice Burger at Liberty Market
84. Banh Thit Nguoi at Da Vang
83. Breakfast Sandwich at Ollie Vaughn's
82. Crispy Pig Ears at Crudo
81. Parillada at Asadero Norte De Sonora
80. Warm Jar of King Crab and Butter at Little Cleo's Seafood Legend
79. Pumpkin Spice Macaron at Essence Bakery
78. Falafel Sandwich at Al Hana Restaurant
77. Sheng Jian Bao at DingHao Shanghai
76. Baked Vegetable Pesto at Oven + Vine
75. Pollo Guisado at FrinGo's Kitchen
74. Aloo Paratha at Tahoora Grill
73. Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry at Cowboy Ciao
72. Otro Cortado Salad at Otro Cafe
71. The Standard with Cheese at The Stand
70. Kimchee Bokum Bap at Hodori
69. The 301 Pizza at Forno 301
68. Green Chile Burrito at Rito's Mexican Food
67. Aloo Tikki Chaat at Little India
66. Oysters Rockefeller at The Salt Cellar Restaurant
65. Bún Thit Nuong at Hue Gourmet
64. Pistachio Chicken Liver Pate at The Gladly
63. Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Welcome Diner
62. Crawfish at Angry Crab Shack
61. The Lady at Short Leash Hot Dogs
60. Torta Ahogada at Tortas Paquime
59. Baiynchaiv Crepes at Reathrey Sekong
58. The Straw at Miracle Mile Deli
57. Fresh Shattered Potato Chips at Ingo's Tasty Food
56. Southern Fried Chicken at Bobby-Q
55. Buffala Verace at Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana