Devoured Chewed Us Up And Spit Us Out: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Another year has come and gone, and once again Devoured has demonstrated the gastronomical fortitude required to take on upwards of 50 different dishes in one fell swoop. Jennifer Woods rose to the challenge and ate her way through the Saturday edition of Devoured. Check out her exhaustive coverage to see all the delectable small plates.

Today, we bring you the take on Sunday. This year we took a lesson from past Devoured experiences and formulated a plan of attack prior to beginning. We shared most of the samples with a friend, limited our fluid intake to water and a couple well-paired beers and wine, and most important, wore something stretchy and very forgiving. Even after all that prep, we still ended up with a cranky food baby that needed an afternoon nap. Roll us to the light rail and send us on our way!

But you're here for the food porn, so here it is in all its good, bad, and what-the-hell-were-they-thinking glory:

The Good:

The Breadfruit's pimento wood smoked mussels were one of the first things we put in our mouth, and we're glad it was. Perfectly cooked, briny, and smoky.

Far and away Hana was our favorite restaurant at Devoured. The raw quail egg and uni shooter in a yuzu broth was exciting and unexpected, while the aloe vera dessert with sweet red beans was a cooling complement to the assertive shooter.

St. Francis introduced us to glacier lettuce, and it's now something we feel should be in every salad. Velvety texture with a juicy green flavor, the lettuce went beautifully with the fresh and local tribute to Arizona produce. Well played, St. Francis.

San Tan Brewery's Sex Panther porter paired with their peanut butter frosted dark chocolate brownie and chocolate porter ice cream swirled with chunks of peanut butter? A perfect pair.

The display alone at The District should earn them some sort of accolade, with fluffy cotton candy clouds, cashew caramel corn, a bright summer salad and grilled pork shoulder.

We're still thinking about Relish Burger Bistro's amazing sweet potato waffles with maple pecan butter, topped with a guajillo-chile tossed fried chicken. Perfection in a bite.

Citizen Public House presented a beautiful plate of tea-cured tuna atop lavender tapioca with a bright botanical accompaniment and micro red shiso.

The ode to Elvis had our mouths watering. Churn's peanut butter ice cream sundae was topped with their winning salted caramel sauce, fresh bananas, and chocolate covered pop rocks.

Postino's tomato jam gets us tingly just thinking about it. Bottle this and make your millions.

Cibo stepped back from its pizza roots and offered up an assortment of appetizers that complemented one another well. The cauliflower soup and arancini rice fritter were a perfect match.

The Mongolian-style shrimp from House of Tricks was worth the wait, as it came freshly glazed atop a bed of pink peppercorn grits with all sorts of beautiful sauces that tickled our taste buds.

Beckett's Table had one of the prettiest little tins of pork and beans we've ever seen, and definitely took comfort food to a higher level.

Ending on a sweet note with Hooneymoon Sweets' triple berry parfait was an ideal ending. Light, sweet, creamy, with a blueberry gelatin that melted in our mouths.

The Bad:

Cork's bitsy little bite of chilled duck breast with arugula, mango and preserved tangerine was the perfect bite, but their bread pudding left us wanting more after trying the version from Betty's Nosh.

Speaking of Betty's Nosh, the bread pudding was great, but the angry shrimp made us, well, angry. Heavy on the sauce, light on the shrimp, and stuck in a flavorless button mushroom.

We applaud Sushi Roku for focusing on the turf instead of the surf, as their steak was damn good, but the chicken salad tossed with vinaigrette was lacking the main ingredient, chicken.

The Parlor's lamb meatball was well-seasoned but just a bit too heavy for a warm afternoon, and so dense that it was difficult to cut through and rested like a rock in our stomach.

With a reputation like Petite Maison's, we were expecting something out of this world, but instead it was a too-thick slice of dense head cheese atop an un-dressed crostini.

The Tuck Shop was inspired with a pairing of Four Peaks' Sunbru and a muffaletta sandwich, but the thin sandwich bite was just too unwieldy and spilled everywhere upon first bite. We would definitely return to the Tuck Shop for a full-sized version and a brew though!

Windsor's kale salad was bright and assertive, but killed our taste buds with acidity. Luckily, the chicken salad sandwich was piled high with well-seasoned bird that balanced the salad well, a perfect accompaniment.

We think it's great that Carte Blanche Tacos shed their food truck and stepped up to play with the culinary superstars, but the mushroom quesadilla that we tried just wasn't at the level it should be for Devoured.

The Ugly:

We were surprised that Bliss/Rebar's mac 'n' cheese was so woefully flavorless considering the rave reviews we've heard from folks in the past. It was just greasy macaroni with very little cheese flavor, and tasted almost like the cheese sauce ended at a roux and was tossed with hot mac. Sad, sad, mac 'n' cheese.

Chelsea's Kitchen's mushy short rib taco was a disaster from first bite to, well, we didn't take more than one bite. The short ribs were overcooked and under-seasoned, the bland romaine lettuce bed wilted and shriveled under the pork, and the tortilla was merely serviceable. Good guacamole, but guacamole does not a taco make.

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