The Phoenician Resort is known for its luxurious digs and most Arizonans just gaze in awe at the extravagance when they drive by. Despite its reputation as one of the finest hotels in Arizona, there's something here for us, too: cuisine. J&G Steakhouse will receive most of the headlines, but Relish Burger Bistro is no slouch when it comes to food. See also: Chuckbox in Tempe: Rating the Tijuana Torpedo 12 Spots for BBQ, Beers, and More for Father's Day in Metro Phoenix
After wending my way through The Phoenician's numerous pools and plush villas, I finally located Relish just above the golf clubhouse. With a breathtaking view of the course and T.V.s all around, Relish is a great place to eat a burger.
With 12 different burger selections, Relish has a burger for just about everyone's taste; while the blue cheese burger tempted me, I decided to try The Cowboy. To take this bad boy down, you need to bust out the ol' cowboy hat and buckle up your spurs as it is topped with cheese, bacon, onion rings, jalepeños and steak sauce.
How'd he score?
The Patty: 7.5 When the waitress placed the cowboy burger in front of me, my first reaction was, "that is one monster of a hamburger;" and I should have expected nothing less with a name like The Cowboy. The Cowboy, just like all the burgers at Relish, was 100% all-natural Kobe freakin' beef! While, normally, the tender Kobe beef is known for its bold flavor, Relish's beef turned out to be a little bland. A little extra seasoning would help this burger achieve true greatness.
The Toppings: 9 The image of a burger stacked with a gigantic onion ring has got be one of my favorite ways to start a meal. The huge, crunchy battered onion proved to its equal in looks and taste. Underneath the sweet, deep-fried goodness, laid two crisp and juicy strips of bacon. And still, the layers continue with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. Relish was not done just yet. Mixed in with the cheddar, a deft touch, were slices of red jalepeños, giving the burger that old Southwestern flare and mixed well with the tangy house-made steak sauce.
The Bun: 8 All of those delicious toppings were placed between two ends of a fluffy challah roll. The challah managed to prevent a toppings overload with a limited mess. And maybe it's my Jewish heritage, but I am always a sucker for challah. As my Bubbe always said (in her thick Yiddish accent), "A little challah makes everything a little better."
The Side: 7.5 Relish brought me back to my days in middle school by serving the burger with a side tater tots. Thankfully, these weren't the soggy pieces of potato the lunch lady dolled out in small paper trays. No, these taters came in a elaborate metal-wired basket and rather than being cooked in a microwave, the potatoes were deep-fried and formed a hard, crispy shell around the potatoes.
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The Price: 3 It was $16 for the burger, PLUS TAX. The burger was Kobe beef, so it's somewhat understandable, but that price is still extravagant. Then again, it is The Phoenician and they aren't exactly known for being inexpensive.
Overall: 7 Top to bottom, The Cowboy is solid. You'll be hard pressed to find a burger as well rounded as this one. Sure, nothing but the toppings may "wow" you and the price may be steep, but a good tasting burger and one helluva a view makes for a nice burger experience.