Thursday, March 26, 2009

Batting Clean-Up: Joe's Farm

Since time and space did not permit more timely writing, today I am going to finish reviewing restaurants and meals in the Phoenix area. I am not sure how often you will be hearing from me in the next few weeks; restaurants in national park regions tend not to be bastions of gourmet dining, but I am hoping to be surprised.

First, a brief review of our breakfast at the Daily Dose in Scottsdale. It was a beautiful spring morning, blue skies, and temperatures in the mid 60’s, and no humidity. So we were excited to see that the restaurant had an outdoor covered patio facing the street and Old Town Scottsdale. I won’t tell you about Chuck’s meal. The less said about it the better.
It is my sandwich – The Hangover – that merits any attention.

Take sourdough toast and top it with apple-smoked bacon, spicy turkey sausage, caramelized onions, jalapeño peppers, and an egg cooked as you’d like it (I chose over easy). Talk about waking up the mouth at 10:00 a.m. The runny egg made this a knife and fork sandwich and the meld of flavors was stupendous. I am not usually a fan of breakfast sandwiches but this may make me a believer. Instead of the home fries I chose the Daily Dose Hash, a mélange of caramelized red onions, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Absolutely delicious and left me wishing that the portion were not so small.

I give the sandwich 5.0 Addies, the hash 4.0 Addies (too small a serving), and Chuck’s breakfast 2.0 Addies.

We made two return trips to Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert, AZ, one for an early supper with Dora and Rebecca after a Cubs game and the second for breakfast with Raina and Jesse. Dora, Rebecca, and I all ordered the Thai Salad – Dora with chicken (left) and Rebecca and I with grilled ahi tuna (below). This was a mammoth serving of lettuce, Chinese cabbage, mung bean sprouts, carrots, and radishes topped with fried rice noodles and tossed with the same Asian dressing that graced my slaw on the ahi tuna sandwich (on an earlier visit). This salad was so large than half came home with me for a late night snack.

But it was at Joe’s that I had one of the best breakfasts ever. We arrived at about 10:15 and Raina decided that she would wait until 11:00 and order lunch, but Jesse, Chuck, and I went the breakfast route. Chuck had the grilled vegetable scramble (lower right)--three eggs scrambled with grilled onion, peppers, and aspargrass that was served with a side of herb hash brown potatoes and garlic frybread. He raved about the eggs, and only being allowed a small taste, I do admit that they were good.

But Jesse and I went with the Ham and Cheese Fritters (upper left in photo on the left) (the “Monte Cristo Fritters” listed on the menu and referred to in an earlier blog had morphed into Ham and Cheese Fritters). The order brought six larger than golf ball sized balls of fried batter stuffed with ham cubes and a mild cheese that melted and oozed throughout each bite. On the side was a small cup of very tart boysenberry syrup that cut through the richness of the fritters. I don’t remember ever having a breakfast dish that I enjoyed more. My fritters came with a side of fruit--large juicy strawberries and huge blackberries that I dipped into the remaining syrup.

Eleven o’clock arrived and Raina, accompanied by Chuck, went to order one of Joe’s grilled pizzas--the barbecue chicken.
I tried a taste and thought the grilled crust--crisp and with a smoky flavor--was very good, but I thought that the barbecue sauce on pizza didn’t work. Remember--I AM a pizza purist.

But thanks to Chuck, my wish came true. He came back with the ice cream stuffed cream puff, topped with a mountain of whipped cream, and served with a cup of wonderful hot fudge. And not only did he bring the cream puff, he also brought a slice of wonderful blueberry cheesecake.

What a beautiful morning! (Did I mention that temperatures were in the mid 60’s, the skies were blue, the humidity was low, and that we ate at one of the picnic tables under a fragrant grapefruit tree?)

I loved Joe’s Farm Grill, I loved everything Chuck and I ate at Joe’s Farm Grill, I loved the bucolic setting of Joe’s Farm Grill. Joe’s Farm Grill is a 5.0 Addie “Diner, Drive-In, and Dive.”

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