jalapeño cardamom honey watermelon
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Jalapeño Cardamom Honey Watermelon
Gwen Ashley Walters
August, 2010, Page 189
Photo by David Moore
We love elaborate and indulgent desserts as much as the next sweet tooth, but in this staggering heat, we’re craving something simple and refreshing that, hopefully, will knock our body temperature down a couple degrees. Something like the new, summer-only watermelon basket at Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue.
Cool down with slices of ice-cold watermelon drizzled with palate-popping honey and cardamom syrup, and sprinkled with fresh, diced jalapeños ($4.95). It’s a simple dessert with an intriguing, complex taste. You can get the watermelon unadorned, but once you taste the spiced honey syrup, you might not eat it plain ever again.
Cardamom is one of those spices that you know you love but you can’t quite put your finger on the taste. It’s used extensively in Indian curries and Scandinavian desserts, and now on a juicy summer treat – the perfect ending to Bryan’s pecan-smoked barbecue.
What inspired this unfussy, summer-only special?
“We always start out thinking of crazy, elaborate things, but then we stop and dial it back to fit with what we’re all about – bold, simple flavors. That’s our mantra,” says Chef/owner Bryan Dooley.
Dooley credits his sous chef, Rob Olson, with the cardamom twist. The two former fine-dining chefs experimented with different spices for their honey and jalapeño concept, but when Olson tossed in fragrant (and expensive) ground cardamom, they both looked at each other and said, “That’s it!” Dooley added chopped, seeded jalapeños for color and crunch.
We love Bryan’s other BBQ-appropriate desserts – the Sioux City sarsaparilla float and chocolate-chip ice cream sandwiches. But right now, nothing beats the taste of seasonal watermelon, especially one with zip and zing.
Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue
6130 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
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