Rotisserie chicken can be such a tease. We get it all dressed up in its butter, salt, and pepper, and then stick it in the grill to rotate around and around and around for what seems like forever. We ditched the waiting game andset out to see where we could get our craving satisfied right away in Phoenix.
In This Corner: Phoenix Public Market Cafe
The Setup: Phoenix Public Market Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lunch begins at 11; this downtown Phoenix spot is hipster central with a mix of wooden and metal decor. The patio is large and inviting, as are the bar stools lined up by the outside bar. Here, customers order at the counter and then find their seats. Meals range from $7 to $13.
The Good: The Phoenix Public Market Cafe offers either a half or whole rotisserie chicken. We went with the half, which comes with one side for $12.99. The chicken came out quickly and smelled delicious. The meat was moist and had a traditional flavor of salt and pepper.
The Bad: Only two of our pieces of chicken still had a little skin left intact, and unfortunately the skin that was there had no crisp to it. As a side we chose the baked sweet potatoes with a chili lime butter. Because the chili lime butter overpowered the sweet potatoes, we wished we hadn't.
In the Other Corner: Grassroots Kitchen & Tap
The Setup: Christopher Collins opened Grassroots Kitchen & Tap in 2012. It's located in Scottsdale with a second location in the making for Phoenix. Collins adds his Southern touch to cuisines from all over the country. The restaurant itself made us want to stay a while. It could be the warm conversation buzz and laughter from the community table, the comfy patio, the u-shaped bar in the middle of the restaurant, the dim lighting, the simple wooden furnishings, or maybe it's a combination of all of the above. The main dishes range from $12 to $28.
The Good: We thought we were coming for just rotisserie chicken, but this chicken breast was paired with a half rack of ribs, a mug full of bacon baked beans and slaw. The chicken's skin was crisp, and the meat was moist. Instead of the usual rotisserie taste, it had a surprisingly sweet kick.
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The Bad: This meal was pricey at $23. We have no complaints about the food, but we found it a little strange that there was no ice in our water.
And, the winner is... Grassroots Kitchen & Tap! The chicken had the right amount of crisp and juiciness. Unlike the chicken from the Phoenix Public Market, Grassroots' version brought lots of unexpected flavor.
Even though the price may seem like a lot, it was a plate full of great food. Just please don't judge us when we say we almost finished the whole thing on our own.