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.
73. Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry at Cowboy Ciao
There aren't many restaurants that could get away with as much kitsch as Cowboy Ciao — let alone for nearly 20 years. But somehow the combination of Western décor, murals, and corny menu writing actually makes this Scottsdale restaurant a lovable and memorable place to dine. In the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, where it seems everyone and everything strives to be en vogue, Cowboy Ciao serves dishes that have been on the menu for decades in a space that's seen little change over the years.
One classic dish is the Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry. The name might seem funny these days, when the combination of mushrooms, polenta, and ancho cream isn't quite so innovative — but that doesn't take away from the fact that after all these years, it still tastes good. I challenge you to identify each of the various types of mushroom that appear in the pan fry (everything from crimini, button, and crepe to lobster, shiitake, and morel), swimming in a rich, creamy chile sauce contrasted with chunks of fresh avocado. Underneath the mountain of funghi you'll find a portion of double-cooked polenta that's at once luscious, light, and hearty. Today, tomorrow, and (we hope) always this will be one sure bet for a solid meal in this town.
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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