All Museum Cafes Are Not Created Equal: PAM's Palette and The Heard's Courtyard Cafe

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.

If you don't consider museum cafes to be a worthwhile dining destination, then it's likely you've never eaten at Palette, the cafe at the Phoenix Art Museum. It's one of downtown Phoenix's better dining spots despite the fact that the menu items bare corny names that change (thought the food does not) with the museum's exhibits. Dishes such as the "No Salad for Old Men" fig salad satisfy with fresh ingredients prepared by Santa Barbara Catering Company, the same company that does the food at The Farm at South Mountain.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Heard Museum's Courtyard Cafe. The Southwestern-inspired menu features items including posole that will likely disappoint with its very salty broth. A better option will be the grilled cheese, which features roasted balsamic onions, sautéed mushrooms, and slabs of Tallegio and Fontina cheeses.

See also: Chodang Tofu and BBQ in Chandler: A Korean Love Story

Here's an except from this week's review:

Whatever you order (or if you're just there for a cocktail from Palette's impressive full-service bar), indulge in a plateful of the hot, crispy Flash Gordon Fries, dusted with Parmesan and herbs and served with a side of piquant paprika aioli that you'll want to spread on everything else you eat. I recently took a snobby British friend to Palette who, when I requested an order of fries as a starter, rolled her eyes. "You Americans and your French fries," she moaned, then proceeded to Hoover up every last crumb of these world-class frites. (She ordered them as a side for her sandwich, as well.)

Hungry for more? Read our full review of PAM's Palette and The Heard's Courtyard Cafe.

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.