Saturday, January 18, 2014

You Win Some—And Then You Don’t (Part One)

Our meter was ready to expire so we had to leave the tour of the Orpheum Theater before it was finished. But the last segment was the dressing room area so we felt that we lost nothing of the experience. Still, the tour ran longer than expected and by that time we were really ready for lunch—at the Phoenix Public Market Café.
“Sophisticated but simple is how I’d describe the Phoenix Public Market Cafe. The new restaurant, owned and operated by Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis, opened this year…. The Cafe has the best of both worlds, combining an urban layout with a simple menu that gets down to the point. No messing around here. You will go in loving the atmosphere and leave with a stomach full of quality food…
“Walking up to the Cafe you can find an outdoor patio that can hold a sizable number of people. It’s a cool hangout spot even in the Arizona heat. The bar inside is unique in that it serves Cartel Coffee along with its alcoholic beverages….

The wooden dining tables look sleek but give the place a relaxed and warm feeling…. Not to mention the tables are perfectly arranged so you’re not too close to any neighbors, allowing customers to converse with friends without shouting over the noise.

"My favorite feature is the ceiling, which has an industrial-meets-barnyard aesthetic that really captures the essence of the Café…” (JJ Williamson at downtowndevil.com).
“Flooded by natural light, a large, open room with a vaulted ceiling, exposed wooden beams, and brick walls welcome guests into a space appointed with antique items like chandeliers and stove burners as well as mod cons such as power plugs at picnic tables and an $8,000 water station offering do-it-yourself hydration of both the sparkling and still kind” (Laura Hahnefeld at phoenixnewtimes.com),

“There’s an old saying: When one door closes, another opens. Much hand-wringing ensued last year when the barely two-year-old Urban Grocery—the only artisan market in Downtown Phoenix at the time—went down for the count…. Enter Aaron Chamberlin, chef-owner of Phoenix neighborhood favorite St. Francis, who long had his eye on the bygone market’s prime location…. After Urban Grocery closed, Chamberlin and his partners spent a year negotiating for the space, coming to terms on the name—Phoenix Public Market Café, with emphasis on the ‘Café’—while honing their vision of an urban gathering spot” (Gwen Ashley Walters at phoenixmag.com).
To run the kitchen, Chamberlin hired his long-time friend, Paul Steele. “Steele, an SCI (Scottsdale Culinary Institute) graduate whose resume includes stints at T. Cook's, Tarbell's, The Silverleaf Club, and The Herbfarm in Seattle, shares Chamberlin's farm-to-table philosophy. The two met years ago when both of them worked at Tarbell's” (Phoenixnewtimes.com).
“The easy-to-read menu designates dishes as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free—or none of the above. Breakfast is served until 3:00 p.m. daily, and there’s nothing wrong with ordering a frittata…or a spicy scramble of eggs, vegetables and Schreiner’s chorizo called the Devil’s Mess…for lunch…. The lunch and dinner menu runs from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., and the all-day kids’ menu (everything is priced at $3) comes with a side of charity: For each kids’ meal purchased, the Café makes a donation to a St. Mary’s Food Bank program that provides weekend meals to underprivileged kids” (Gwen Ashley Walters at phoenixmag.com).
I wanted to eat at this restaurant for one specific menu item that had gotten raves by almost all of the reviewers quoted in this blog—the Pork Chile Verde Pot Pie. So I was initially dismayed when, placing my order at the counter, I was told that it was sold out. Much to my relief, a young man standing behind the counter told the order taker: “There’s one left.” It was mine!
This was all and more than had been written about it. The light and flakey crust (which I thought might be puff pastry but was told that it was regular pastry) encased a mix of tender pork chunks with some pork shreds, onions, tomatoes, and green chiles.
This is not a pot pie for the faint of heart. It packed real heat! Chef Steele isn’t afraid of spice. While I am not the world’s biggest pot pie lover (That honor may go to Chuck—if it’s chicken.) I do love a good and spicy chile verde. This was a keeper.

I decided to add a side of black beans to my order and again I came up a winner.
I don’t know the secret of cooking beans so that they remain whole but still become fully cooked. But such was the case here. And they were beautifully seasoned with plenty of cumin and brightened with a touch of lime. And the crema and pico de gallo garnish added the crowning touch.

So if I won one, did that make Chuck a loser? Not quite. That may be too strong a term, but neither of us was overwhelmed with his meal of rotisserie chicken with a side of garlic mashed potatoes.
First, there is nothing less appetizing than a pile of white mashed potatoes sitting on a white plate. Remember, we also eat with our eyes. And even though they were well prepared with a subtle garlic flavor, they needed something—like butter. Lots of butter.

And although the chicken was certainly moist and juicy, it was strangely lacking in flavor. I have had much better rotisserie chicken at Boston Market. While the skin had some darkish spots from the wood fired rotisserie, I missed Boston Market’s dark and flavorful skin. (Is this yet another example of how the “chainification” of America has influenced our taste in food?)

Well, I came out the winner at this 3.5 Addie food stop. Kind of disappointing for a restaurant that Phoenix Magazine had in the Top Five of the Best New Restaurants of 2013.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

3 comments:

eyad ammar said...


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شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

eyad ammar said...


اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
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شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

eyad ammar said...


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شركة نقل عفش بتبوك
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شركة نقل عفش بحائل
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شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش