Local and Tasty Lunch at the Musical Instrument Museum

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.

A good friend got word that the cafe at the brand-spanking-new Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix (off the 101 and Tatum) was serving up unusually creative fare and using a lot of local ingredients, including MJ Bread, produce from Maya and Seacat Gardens, Queen Creek Olive Oil, meat from The Meat Shop, and more.

Could this be true? Could it really be that much better than typical ladies-who-lunch museum food?

​Yes, indeed. It turns out, you don't need to pay admission to the museum to eat in the cafe (although the museum is full of fascinating stuff). If I lived or worked nearby, I'd be swinging by regularly for an affordable bite. A couple of cool cats who work in the museum told me that the menu changes often (you can see each day's specials online), and that they've had a lot of surprisingly sophisticated stuff.

I enjoyed cooked-to-order Black Mountain Ranch sliders (see above) on soft MJ Bread buttermilk rolls, topped with creamy Fossil Creek goat cheese, local lettuce and tomato, and chile aioli. On the side was a gorgeous salad of Seacat Gardens greens. One of the soups of the day was a delicious five-grain, eggplant, and rabbit soup -- yes, rabbit. 

A juicy jerk chicken sandwich on an MJ Bread brioche bun didn't have sweat-inducing spice, just a gently spicy aioli. A pile of crispy eggplant fries made a novel and mouthwatering accompaniment.

​And yes, there was dessert: southern fuyu persimmon bread pudding. Yum!

Props to exec chef Edward Farrow, sous chef Chris Lenza, and GM Robyn Kunze for exceeding expectations and supporting so many great local purveyors. 

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.