Every week, there's a cornucopia of Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. It's kind of like those burgers at Old Town Whiskey; it just won't all fit in your mouth ... or in this case, your day. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.
There are food trucks some of us are happy to see show up at events. Others we make sure to visit during Food Truck Friday, Lunch at Luhrs, or a neighborhood farmers market, and a select few that, when cited, we'd trip over our own mee-maws to get to -- screaming and waving our arms like sugar-crazed children after the ice cream truck.
Old Dixie's Southern Kitchen is the latter.
Courtesy of owners Michael Babcock and Jenn Robinson, Old Dixie's just may be the Valley's start of the Southern food trend already happening in other parts of the country.
Say what you will about bread pudding (a lead-heavy gut bomb of an overplayed dessert), it's still crazy-popular for one very good reason: nobody gets tired of warm, sugary, bread-based goo. It's been around in one form or another for over 500 years, created in most cultures as a thrifty way to salvage old bread. Here in the States, it had a small revival in the 80's, thanks to Cajun cooking, then caught on in a big way in the 90's, becoming a tabula rasa for creative dessert chefs who added fruit, nuts, chocolate chips and anything else that struck their fancy.
When Chow Bella ran a 2011 story about favorite bread puddings in Metro Phoenix, some readers had a hissy fit that Fuego Bistro's horchata bread pudding had not been included. Now that tempers have cooled, the time seems right for an epic battle of the bread pudding -- Fuego Bistro versus Cornish Pasty Co.
Now that it's November and the election is over, one thing is on every American's mind: Thanksgiving. This year it's fairly early -- Thursday, November 22 -- so it'll sneak up before you know it. If thinking about two weeks of planning, stocking up, and preparing to cook for a large group leaves you in a panic, consider opting for a kitchen-free holiday experience at one of the following local restaurants.
Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Miss a question? Go here.
Sure, restaurants have posted hours -- but, hey, when hunger calls, what's a diner to do? Does showing up before an establishment opens or just before closing a sign of poor etiquette?
I asked a few Valley chefs and restauranteurs and this is what they had to say.
Whether its the boss on your back, your lover calling to break up (again), or the puzzling investigation of a brutal murder of a popular high school student named Laura Palmer, troubles seem to melt away with a slice of pie and a "damn fine cup of coffee" at your favorite neighborhood restaurant, diner, or java shop.
Which is why we've selected 10 of our favorite spots to have both in the Valley.
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Don't forget to check out Chow Bella's list of 100 Tastemakers.