Today some of the DDs made it out to Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic 2013 held at the Phoenix Art Museum. There was a bazillion different restaurants and wineries providing tastes of their creative culinary skill. The event is organized by Local First Arizona, which is a non-profit designed to promote the benefits of buying locally and strengthening our local communities. Through this organization we have uncovered an amazing community of restaurants and an emerging gastronomic culture that is putting Phoenix on the culinary map.
Being held at the Phoenix Art Museum is a nice treat because once you are finished eating and drinking your way through the event, you can walk it off by perusing the museum exhibits.
A word of warning, it seems like ALL of Phoenix comes out to this event and it is wall to wall people. The beer tent opened 30 minutes prior to the food tasting so naturally everyone piles in there and begins with the marathon drinking. Thankfully they did have some desserts available to sample or else we probably would all be a little closer to hammered before we even hit the food.
Below are some of the great places we experienced:JJ’s Brownies: Chili and Cinnamon fudgy brownies topped with sea salt and caramel drizzle – decadent taste with a spicy kick that hits you in the back of the throat later. http://jjsbrownies.com/ Citizen Public House offered a duckling ham but be careful about asking what that is, they may respond with “it’s a duckling that’s been hamed”. oh yeah? well this is a dish that is just ok http://citizenpublichouse.com/ Tuck Shop (with next door neighbor Astor House) never fails to deliver and today they had a TuckRib which is a boneless rib sandwich on a soft roll topped with red onion and pickle. Delish! http://www.tuckinphx.com/ The Windsor (which is a new place for me) served a beer braised pork with chorizo hash. O.M.G. can i have another?! This is definately a place we are going to have to try. http://www.windsoraz.com/ Federal Pizza (part of the North Phoenix restaurants corridor with Postino’s and Windsor) served a refreshing cocktail of grapefruit and ginger beer as well as a short rib ravioli topped with a mushroom au jus. Definately a winner with many and another place on the list to try. http://federalpizzaphx.com/ Caduceus Cellars was on site and we sampled both the (unavailable) 2009 Nagual de la Naga which is a fantastic blend of Cab and Sangiovese and the Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra, which is a red blend of Petite Syrah, Syrah, Cab, and Viognier. https://caduceus.org/frontpage/ House of Tricks (one of our local favorites in Tempe) offered a foie gras taco, which I am told was very tasty, and duck pasole that had a delicious green chile flavor that was not overpowered by duck. http://www.houseoftricks.com/ Pig and Pickle is a new player in town just recently opening in Scottsdale and serving an amazing pork shoulder tostada with ginger aioli and topped with an unexpected homemade kimchi. The spice of the kimchi was not too overpowering for the port and instead gave is a nice punch. There was also an Elvis dessert of peanut butter with chocolate which was okay, but why eat that when you can just savor the pork tostada a little while longer. http://pigandpickle.com/ Bliss Re-Bar had a bacon meatloaf which I was told was quite good but it takes a lot for me to try a meatloaf. Maybe next year I will take the plunge. http://blissonfourth.com/ Short Leash Dogs was an unexpected treat for me. I have longed to try this mobile gourmet hot dog eatery but can never seem to be in the right place at the right time. Apparently today was my day because I was able to sample their bratwurst on a pretzel roll with saurkraut and german mustard. They also offered a crispy dog made from Schreiner’s jalapeno cheese brat and served in a crispy tortilla. yum! The food truck revival is on a roll! (get it..heh heh) http://shortleashhotdogs.com/ Atlas Bistro is a local BYOB with an intimate dining room but a staff that is passionate about what they do. Today they treated us to blistered watermelon radishes from Duncan Farms with a triple brie with peppercorn crust and raisin mostarda. So good it required a double visit! http://www.atlasbistrobyob.com/ District Kitchen offered a mac n’ cheese chorizo with snack cheese puffs on top. The cheese puffs were a little strange but the mac n’ cheese was good. http://www.districtrestaurant.com/ Gallo Blanco Cafe was a special treat since I have heard rave reviews of this local gem. We were treated to very tender goat tacos. http://galloblancocafe.com/ Beckett’s Table served up a super delicious deep fried deviled egg with a spicy aioli sauce. Not something that sounded tasty but ended up being a hit (with most of us). http://beckettstable.com/ Relish Burger Bistro which is located in the Phoenician had a winner with deviled eggs served with pork belly on a skewer, which will find their way to the menu this spring and tacos in a crispy shell that I was told were very good http://www.thephoenician.com/relish-burger-bistro/ Santa Barbara Catering hosted some samples inside the museum’s cafe Palette such as the sausage and peppers (I’ve had better), a Dulce de Leche Twix Bar that was really too sweet, and a pork belly ruben with ale mustard. The pork belly sandwhich was good but their offerings today were a little disappointing as we have been at events catered by Santa Barbara before and the food has been fantastic. http://www.santabarbaracatering.com/ The event was packed and I am sure I missed some of the places we tried but with so many options, it is to be expected! We walked, ate, and drank our way through everything and ended up stuffed, tipsy, and slightly overdone from the sun. Even so this is a terrific sampling for the burgeoning foodies in AZ and not an event to be missed! Windsor