Amuse Bouches - August 2015

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Amuse Bouches Issue: August 2015
Group Free

3 Best Bites for August: Downtown Bar Food
Another week, another debut of a high-concept Phoenix food-and-drink spot. Here are some winning dishes to order when doing the crawl.

1. Little Tyke at DCM Burger Bar: Part of the DeSoto Market culinary playspace, DCM is Downtown’s new upscale burger hotspot. The Tyke is served as three moist, meaty sliders with a side of briny house-made pickles ($7). Enjoy it with a Motor Mule ($9).
915 N. Central Ave., 602-633-2465,

2. Any hot dog at Valley Bar: Haven’t had a chance to sample the far-out franks at Short Leash? Kill two birds at Charlie Levy’s new basement lounge and live music space. Levy outsourced the food menu to Short Leash, which is just one more reason to hit the Valley’s coolest – and most literally named – new watering hole.
130 N. Central Ave., 602-716-2222,

3. Sweet Style Pier-o-gi at Milk Bar: Writer Wynter Holden profiles one of the bar’s novel Polish cocktails on page 166; pair it with these cheese-filled dessert dumplings, finished with sweet cream and a dusting of powdered sugar.
801 N. Third St., 602-252-2416,


PHM0815EBAB03Head-to-Head: Watermelon Ales
Arizona craft brewing has grown a lot over the last 10 years. To wit: There are currently two AZ-made watermelon wheat ales on the market. Alas, you only have room in your beer budget for one melon-based seasonal brew, so we conducted a head-to-head tasting on your behalf.

Phoenix Ale Brewery Watermelon Ale (4.8% ABV) vs. Mudshark Wild Watermelon Wheat Ale (4.5% ABV)
The Pour: Both have the expected straw-colored hue, though Phoenix Ale is a bit darker and murkier. Neither is particularly heady.
The Nose: Mudshark smells like a watermelon Jolly Rancher; PA has a more reserved, almost vegetal nose.
The Tongue: Mudshark tastes recognizably like watermelon, and is a bit drier than the aroma would suggest; PA has a more vague, omni-melon flavor.
We choose: Mudshark. A crisper, more quaffable fruit ale.


PHM0815EBAB02First Taste: Banana pancakes at Fàme Caffe
Fàme Caffe is a new breakfast/lunch/coffee spot located a block up the street from Lux Central. In CenPho joe-house terms, this is a bit like picking a bar fight with Floyd Mayweather. The previous tenant at Fàme’s Central Avenue location was Lola Coffee, and we know how well it worked out for them. Fàme has a few things going for it that Lola – now located on Third Avenue off Roosevelt Street – did not, however. 1) Comfortable hightop community tables and appealing feng shui, and 2) unbelievably delicious banana pancakes, served with a fresh blackberry fruit medley and two thick strips of bacon. We still love Lux, but Fàme’s got game.
4700 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-314-4600,