Well, we’ll get back to that later.
It was time to take a break. And, fortunately, the MIM is also home to an acclaimed café that Phoenix Magazine designated as the "Best Locavore Restaurant for 2013"—Café Allegro at the MIM. “The best-kept dining secret in town is inside the Musical Instrument Museum, where the food is affordable and a significant portion of the menu hails from somewhere in Arizona. Chef Chris Lenza seeks out quality foodstuffs, from Yuma farm-raised tilapia to persimmons from Globe” (phoenixmag.com).
“Located in a light-filled space overlooking the museum’s entry courtyard and sculpture, the Cafe serves an inventive menu of great-tasting foods prepared from scratch….
“MIM has partnered with Bon Appétit Management Company…. Taking its role in the community seriously, Bon Appétit makes socially responsible purchasing decisions and uses local, organic produce whenever possible. In an extension of the worldview exhibited throughout the museum’s galleries, Café Allegro takes a comprehensive view of wellness, believing that environment, community, and a creative menu can work together to support each other and contribute to the well-being and enjoyment of our guests” (meetup.com).
Café Allegro received 100% “likes” at urbanspoon.com and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence 2013 from Trip Advisor.
While there is a set menu that includes a hamburger, an all beef Schreiner’s hot dog, and a marinated chicken breast sandwich, they are best known for their daily “specialty plates”—one local (using Arizona-sourced ingredients) and one global. And our decision was that we would order one of each.
Now before I go further, I need to be very clear about something. I have NO training in food. What (little) I know comes from reading and from watching an endless procession of food-related programs on the Food, Cooking, and Travel Channels. And I have very definite opinions about what I do and don’t like. So keep all that in mind as you read further in this blog.
Chuck chose the Global Plate which on this day was described as “Szechuan-style chicken and shrimp over brown rice with local cabbages and vegetables with a side of fresh fruit.”
But, hard to believe, Chuck fared better than did I. The Local Plate was “Two Valley Ranch-raised chicken salad with local organic lettuces, Arizona-grown vegetables, wheat berries, pecans, and Briggs and Edgars organic pears with Rainbow Valley mascarpone cheese and Sphinx Ranch date vinaigrette.” The number of ingredients alone should have been my first clue.
So could two cookies salvage the meal? No.
So, for only the second time in the five plus years that we have been writing this blog I am awarding a restaurant zero Addies.
Not even Kitty Humbug wanted to be associated with this place.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.