5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in February

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

This month's best bites can be found all over town -- literally so, in the case of the smoothie from one of my new favorite food trucks, which travels to Tempe, Phoenix, and Chandler in any given week. Many of the memorable bites come from places I just recently discovered, proving that there's always room for a new favorite restaurant in your life. Assuming that you make an effort to look.

I hope you get to try some of it for yourself.

See also: 5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in January

Warm Jar of King Crab and Butter with Grilled Bread

Before this month I'd never stepped foot inside Little Cleo's, the Sam Fox seafood restaurant at The Yard in Central Phoenix. Now that I have, I'm sure I'll be back. In addition to a impressive lineup of oysters sourced from all over the world, the restaurant serves this decadent small plate -- although at $21, it's certainly not small in price. It's pretty much impossible not to enjoy a jar of warm, melted butter brimming with pieces of King crab meat. You can scoop up the pieces (with adorable, tiny forks) to enjoy on their own, or use them to top a pieces of crusty white bread. Whatever you do, don't forget more bread to soak up the excess butter.

Dumplings with Chili Oil

I've already written about the wonderful shen jian bao at DingHao in Mesa, so I'll skip those on this list and spread the word about something different. In addition to the lengthy menu of Shanghai specialties, the restaurant offers a short selection of Szechwan dishes. That's where you'll find this bowl of dumplings, which arrive in a pleasantly pungent chili oil. The hot oil isn't as spicy as you might expect but the smell alone is enough to have your mouth watering. I loved the oil so much, I even took the extra home in a cup.

See also: Sheng Jian Bao: Taste "The World's Most Underrated Dumpling" at DingHao in Mesa

Fried Saimin

I don't know what it is about this dish that makes it so addictingly good, but I can say that I crave it often. The fried saimin at Aloha Kitchen is a simple combination of saimin noodles, cabbage, Japanese fishcake, green onion, and Chinese barbecue pork, all of which is thrown in a pan and stir fried. The fish cakes and noodles get a perfect little bit of char on them, and the green onions add just the right amount of brightness to the combination. The result is a plate of food that feels deeply comforting, without feeling like a heavy meal.

See also: Aloha Kitchen in Mesa Serves a Satisfying Taste of Hawaiian Tradition

Kale Me Crazy

Since first trying this smoothie at the Street Eats Food Truck Festival earlier this month, I've tracked down the Naturally Sweet truck to get another fix more than once. For those who frequented the Mojo Bowl food truck before it stopped mobile operations, Naturally Sweet fills the gaping smoothie-sized hole in your life. The Kale Me Crazy is an easy-to-like green smoothie that blends the vegetable with a healthy dose of fruit so you don't quite feel like you're drinking something healthy. I prefer to enjoy one while browsing the aisles at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

Liege Waffle

In case you missed the Guilty Pleasure from earlier this month, here's a recap of why the Liege waffle at Chocolade Van Brugge in Scottsdale is so great. Made with a thick, bread-like dough, this waffle has a thin crust of caramelized sugar that gives way to a inner layer of fluffy dough. You should probably order yours topped with Biscoff spread, which is flavored like spiced brown sugar cookies. The combination is decadent and rich, but definitely worth the extra calories.

See also: Chocolade Van Brugge in Scottsdale Serves Excellent Liege Waffles

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.