Amuse-Bouches - April

Written by Dominic Armato Category: Amuse Bouches Issue: April 2015
Group Mid-Level
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3 Best things to Eat This Month:
Under-Appreciated Sammies

Bánh Mì Heo Nướng@Sun Valley Bakery & Cafe
Lee’s Sandwiches may have the crowds, but Sun Valley Bakery has the goods. Run by third-generation Vietnamese bakers, this little joint in a gritty strip mall combines steaming hot baguettes, a smear of mayo or pâté, pickled vegetables and grilled meats into what might be the best bánh mì in town.
4141 N. 35th Ave., Phoenix, 602-352-6600

Jibarito@Millie’s Cafe
Chicago was a little short on calorie-dense signature foods, so the local Puerto Rican community created the jibarito, a hot meat and cheese sandwich that substitutes crisp, garlicky fried plantains for the bread. Jibaritos are starting to pop up across the country, and Millie’s makes a mean one.
1616 E. Main St., Mesa, 480-223-8217

Bada Paav@Little India
Walk to the back of this tiny Indian grocery, mark “Bada Paav” on the ticket, hand it to somebody in the kitchen, and a few minutes later you’ll get a heavily spiced, deep-fried potato patty on a toasted hamburger bun doused with pungent tamarind, cilantro and garlic chutneys.
1813 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, 480-730-7770,
littleindiaaz.com

 

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The Eater’s Triangle
Once a culinary wasteland, the industrial district north of Sky Harbor is suddenly teeming with exciting micro-eateries. Eschewing ritzy locales and focusing on small menus, this triangle of guerilla gastronomy is where hunger vanishes, without a trace. Spooky.

Little Miss BBQ
The pork offerings are knee-buckling, but the brisket still reigns supreme at Little Miss, where the arms race between the length of the line and the size of the smoker shows no signs of abating.
4301 E. University Dr., Phoenix, 602-437-1177,
littlemissbbq.com

Welcome Chicken + Donuts
Impossibly juicy fried chicken dunked in Asian sauces and paired with doughnuts like chocolate mole sugar or blueberry cacao is the spiritual successor to chicken and waffles.
1535 E. Buckeye Rd., Phoenix, 602-258-1655,
facebook.com/welcomechickenanddonuts

Noble Eatery
A sandwich of mortadella and roasted poblanos on steaming, blistered, baked-to-order bread leaves you wondering why on earth you ever considered paying the same for a drive-thru burger.
2201 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, 602-688-2424,
facebook.com/nobleeatery

Just In:
Benton’s Country Ham
Local charcuterie boards are laden with the fine hams of Italy and Spain. Chef Matt Taylor wants to add Tennessee to the slab. He developed a deep knowledge of Southern cuisine while working for chef John Besh, and brought Benton’s Country Ham to Gertrude’s at Desert Botanical Garden. Made from Berkshire pig legs cured with salt and brown sugar and aged for 18 months, it plays more like prosciutto than country ham. “It takes on a smoky nuance from being aged in the same 100-year-old wooden room where they hang the bacon,” Taylor says. “It’s like a micro-terroir in the smokehouse.”
Gertrude’s
1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, 480-719-8600
gertrudesrestaurant.net

 

The Oeno-files
Pavle Milic’s latest scheme combines great bottles with killer prices and a swig of “disruptive capitalism.” The co-owner and chief wine geek at FnB offers Valley juice-lovers four Arizona wines per week through his new Red Goat Wine program, each personally curated by Milic, priced lower than the big-box giants and available for pickup at the restaurant. The money stays in the community, and a portion of the $19 monthly membership fee (the price of the wine itself varies) goes to Concerned Citizens, a local nonprofit that supports Scottsdalians in need.
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call FnB Restaurant at 480-284-7777 for details.

Pavle’s Picks: 6 AZ Wines to Try
Sand Reckoner Malvasia Bianca
“The varietal is lush, robust, and richly aromatic. This wine’s aroma is what AZ is all about.”

Dos Cabezas Pink
“It’s terribly apropos in this part of the world to accessorize with a bone-dry, zippy, refreshing rosé.”

Callaghan Vineyards Mourvèdre
“Stylistically, it’s somewhat redolent of a Pinor Noir, but wilder.”

Pillsbury Wild Child White
“An aromatic bomb. This Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Symphony amalgamation won’t be found anywhere else in the world.”

Saeculum Cellars One Stone Syrah
“This elegant Syrah-Viognier co-ferment is made by Michael Pierce, the enology director at the Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai’s Clarkdale campus.”

Caduceus Cellars Dos Ladrones
“This dude [Maynard James Keenan] makes really good juice. The Chardonnay-Malvasia blend is both laden with chutzpah and personality.”

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