There are plenty of spots in north Scottsdale where you can get a hoagie or a BLT. But there's probably only one place in the entire Valley where you can also get a bowl of bibimbap. That is Croque Famous Sandwiches, a counter-service sandwich shop with Korean connections. Owner Lilian Park came to Los Angeles from Korea when she was 19 years old and moved to Gilbert in 2003. For four years, she operated a Chandler bagel shop (it's since closed), and bought Croque six years ago after taking a year off to be with her daughters.
You probably won't notice the Korean side of the restaurant right away. The logo -- a smiling crocodile with a knife and fork -- is no indication and the interior, with photos of European settings on the walls, doesn't advertise it either. Nevertheless you will find Korean dishes on the menu, including a moderately spicy cabbage kimchi and the Korean mixed rice dish bibimbap. If Park's husband is the one behind the counter, he may even mix the dish up for you, to ensure you get perfect spiciness in every bite.
Here's an except from this week's review:
There is an excellent Korean pork sandwich as well. Spicier than the beef, the grilled and marinated meat, made with Park's chili pepper paste, is layered with onions and cheese for a hearty sandwich with a kick. And although Park makes her own teriyaki sauce, you can't help wishing that the meat it clings to in the chicken teriyaki sandwich came from the more traditional skin-on, pan-fried chicken thighs and not the less flavorful (albeit healthier) strips of grilled white breasts.
Hungry for more? Read our full review of Pho A.V.
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.