Welcome to The Essentials, our catalog of indispensable and quintessential Phoenix food and drink. From now until May, we'll be sharing 50 dishes, drinks, and food experiences that make up the culinary backbone (and personality) of metro Phoenix. This list is highly eclectic, mixing classics with newer and lesser-known favorites. But all The Essentials have one thing in common: We think they're required eating (and drinking) in metro Phoenix.
45: Chicken Feta Salad at George’s Kitchen
Some salads come as a quick warmup before the entrée, and some salads constitute an entire meal. For George’s Kitchen, a family-owned, modern Greek eatery in uptown Phoenix, a salad here can easily fall into the latter camp.
One of the lunch specials here is the Chicken Feta Salad – and if you happen to develop a taste for it, you’ll often spend lunch in the sleek dining room of George’s Kitchen (though delivery and takeout service is available).
The salad consists of organic mixed greens topped with tomato, onions, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, cucumbers, and sliced bell peppers. The greens are served under a generous amount of free-range, grilled chicken breast, and enough imported French feta to satisfy even the biggest feta fiend.
The special comes with a cup of house-made Greek dressing – also a generous amount – and maybe one of the more anticipated features of a menu item at GK: the pita bread.
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The in-house pita bread here comes warm and soft to the touch. The key here is to eat a few slices while they’re still hot and fresh, and leave the rest to sop up the bottom-of-the-bowl leavings of sauce, veggies, and feta cheese. The family/staff at GK refers to the pita bread dough affectionately as "Mother Lode."
Members of the Deligiannis family are often in attendance, including executive chef Jim Deligiannis in the kitchen, manager Stacey Deligiannis, and (the) George Deligiannis, and a few more attentive family members behind the cash register, running food, and offering free baklava for dessert.
George’s Kitchen is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day, and closed on Sundays. Lunch specials run from open to 3 p.m.
The Essentials so far:
50: Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore.
49: "Dragon" Dumpling Burger at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.
48: Dizzy Fig Empanada at Republica Empanada.
47: Linguine Carbonara at Avanti.
46: The Food Court at Mercado de los Cielos.