100 Favorite Dishes 2015: Wood Grilled Artichoke at Central Bistro

100 Favorite Dishes 2015: Wood Grilled Artichoke at Central Bistro
Lauren Saria

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 lauren.saria@newtimes.com.

46. Wood Grilled Artichoke at Central Bistro

With a bright, airy interior, Central Bistro in Phoenix makes a worthwhile destination for lunch, happy hour, or brunch. Dinner is a fine option, too, but it seems like a waste not to take advantage of the dining room's abundance of sunlight when you can. In any case, a meal at this well-loved neighborhood restaurant is best started with Central Bistro's signature starter, a wood grilled artichoke. 

It's a simple dish but one that hits every mark. Your order comes with three artichoke halves, each grilled on a wood-fired stove until it offers just a kiss of smoky flavor and a pleasant amount of char on every leaf. Peel back the layers of deep green petals until you get to the artichoke's tender heart. This is the prize at the end of the bottom of the Cracker Jack box. It's so well-cooked you could cut it with a spoon. However you get it, be sure to dip it in the restaurant's citrus-oregano aioli. Tart and creamy, this dip would taste good on pretty much anything, which probably explains why they offer so much of it with your appetizer. 

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 
54. Baklava at Middle Eastern Bakery and Deli
53. Tri-Tip Sandwich at Grassroots Kitchen at Tap 
52. Fig, Cheese, and Caramel Empanada at Republica Empanada
51. Cauliflower Pizza at Forge Wood-Fired Pizza
50. Bandeja Paisa at La Tiendita Cafe
49. Footlong at Ted's Hot Dogs
48. Chettinad Dosai at Woodlands Vegetarian South Indian Kitchen
47. Sticky Buns at El Chorro 

100 Favorite Dishes 2015: Wood Grilled Artichoke at Central Bistro

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