fresh out of the herb box
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Fresh Out of The Herb Box
Gwen Ashley Walters
November, 2008, Page 178
Butternut squash and corn enchiladas
Photos by Chris Bassett
Girly or not, The Herb Box turns out market-fresh salads,
sandwiches and entrées that make anyone’s mouth water.
“This place is chicked-out,” my male dining partner says after we’re seated at The Herb Box at DC Ranch, the second location from partners Susan Smederovac-Wilcox and Becky Windels, a self-taught chef. The tables had been commandeered by women, but dark wood tables are more masculine than feminine – even if topped with topiaries.
Wilcox and Windels toiled for years building a successful catering business and opened the first Herb Box near Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard in 2001. In April, they unveiled the tres chic DC Ranch location, with an expanded everything – more seating indoors and out, a longer bar and a larger gourmet market next door.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner is lofty enough, but a daily stocking of a prolific bakery case (scones, cookies, pastries and desserts) and to-go items (soups, sandwiches, salads and entrées) takes Athenian ambition. I can vouch for the take-out roasted tomato and artichoke soup ($5.99 for 16 ounces), packaged with a separate container of Asiago cheese chards, and the creamy polenta with sherried chanterelles ($7.99/pound). Both exceeded my expectations with rich, captivating flavors.
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