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Top 5 Picks for Fall Restaurant Week


It’s my second favorite time of year!! That’s right-Arizona Fall Restaurant Week is back from Friday, September 19th-Sunday, September, 28th.  I’m a total foodie, self-proclaimed of course, (which is why I run) and restaurant week gives me the chance to visit some amazing places (both old favorites and some possible new ones) and try a bunch of different dishes!

If you aren’t familiar with Arizona Restaurant week it’s “the most edible time of the year, giving local, regional and national food lovers the opportunity to enjoy a prix-fixe dinner for $33 or $44 per person in the Valley (unless noted: excluding beverages, tax and gratuity) at a number of participating Arizona restaurants. Arizona Restaurant Week’s goal is to position Arizona as one of the top culinary destinations in the nation by increasing awareness of the many dining opportunities available in the state, as well as stimulating business and revenue for restaurants throughout Arizona.”  They also have specials throughout Tucson so tell your friends about it!

So without further ado….here are my top 5 picks!

1.  Chelsea’s Kitchen:  Anyone who knows me knows that this is MY PLACE.  I LOVE it here.  Ask to sit on the back patio!   My favorite dish from below-Shredded Kale & Quinoa Salad

First Course

sunflower seeds, grapes, preserved lemon

a favorite, bacon optional – don’t resist!

chicken, guajillo chile, lime, blue corn tortilla, add a fried egg n/c

Second Course

heirloom cannellini beans, today’s fresh vegetable

hard wood grilled with today’s fresh vegetable

slow roasted, mashed potatoes, vegetables, horseradish

Third Course

We serve only small batch grateful spoon american made artisan gelato with 100% all natural ingredients. Ask about today’ s flavors!

**Be sure to try a pitcher of sangria and their red velvet cake along with your gelato!**

2.  The Mission:  My OTHER place.  Located in Old Town Scottsdale, The Mission provides a Latin spin on French cuisine.  My favorite dish from below-pumpkin bread pudding.

First Course

Creekstone Beef Anticuchos, Smoked Oaxacan Pasilla Glaze, Sesame, Scallion & Soy Aioli

Almejas Al Vapor, Peruvian Clam Stew, Rock Shrimp, Chorizo, Aji Amarillo, Roast Corn & Pan de Yucca

Brussels Sprout Taco, Chile de Arbol, Soy Vinaigrette, Yuzu Honey Yogurt & Serrano Peanuts

Second Course

Chorizo Porchetta, Pork Shoulder, House Made Chorizo, Rosemary, Cotija, White Bean Puree & Sweet Garlic Crema

Green Chile Duck Confit, Cheesy Fried Hominy, Smoked Mushrooms, Sultana, Serrano Peanut Mole, Apple & Radish

Roasted Mushrooms, Farro, Pepita Miso Caramel, Avocado Espuma, Padron Peppers, Arugula & Dried Apple

Third Course

Guatemalan Chocolate Pastilla, XO Tequila, Fig & Guajillo Glaze, Vanilla Ice Cream & Spicy Cocoa Nibs

Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Butterscotch, Vanilla Ice Cream, Pepitas & Pomegranate  (NOM NOM NOM)

Espresso Churros, Cinnamon & Ibarra Chocolate Milkshake

3.  House of Tricks:  Love how cozy and quaint House of Tricks is!  You wouldn’t even know you are in the middle of Downtown Tempe with their cute little patio! My favorite dish from below-Basil Grilled Sockeye Salmon

First Course

Chilled Zucchini-Anaheim Chile Vichyssoise with Squash Noodles and Sweet Tomato Syrup

Pepita-Honey Glazed Pork Belly with Sweet Potato Puree, Fried Poblano and Green Tomato-Radish Escabeche

Cured Shrimp, Watercress and Pearl Couscous Salad with Black Pepper Guacamole, Lemon Scented Cucumber and Toasted Quinoa

Second Course

Basil Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Caramelized Mango Buerre Blanc,Citrus Kimchi and Black & White Rice

Oyster Mushrooms and Kale Sautéed with White Bean Succotash on a Bed of Creamy Spinach Grits with Yellow Bell Pepper Coulis

Olive-Polenta Dusted Flat Iron Steak with Bleu Cheese-Jalapeno Pesto, Roasted Cauliflower Smashed Potatoes and Mushroom Confit

Third Course

Smoked Chocolate Pots de Crème with Fois Gras Marshmallow and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Andrea’s Carrot Cake with Pineapple-Coconut Cream Cheese and Honey-Carrot Puree

Edamame Cheesecake with Chocolate Wasabi Sauce and Sesame Seed Brittle

4.  Barrio Queen:  If you  haven’t noticed I love Mexican food.   There is even a rumor that Gilbert will soon be getting a Barrio Queen!  My favorite pick from below-tableside guacamole and the Casa Margarita!

First Course

Barrio Queen’s signature tableside guacamole


Choice of any one taco

Second Course

Choice of one of the following:

Enchiladas California
Hand pressed corn tortillas in our five chile red sauce and filled with quesillo and aged cotija cheeses, diced onion, crema fresca, cilantro and black olives.

Cochinita Pibil
Fork-tender pork marinated in our sour orange and achiote paste, wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked all night long. Topped with pickled sour orange onions and pico de gallo, served with chipotle mashed potatoes and calabacitas.

Chiles en Nogada
A roasted poblano pepper stuffed with red wine-sautéed chicken breast, dried apricots, pecans, golden raisins, onion and garlic, served in an almond cream sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds, queso fresco and cilantro.

Carne Asada
Thinly sliced beef, marinated in fresh orange and garlic then grilled. Topped with avocado, serrano peppers, tomato, garlic, and sautéed onions and chorizo. Served with epazote black beans and calabacitas.

Third Course

Choice of one of the following:

Choco Flan
Half dense custard, half chocolate cake, topped with pecans, Mexican chocolate and vanilla Kahlua sauce.

Individual churro dusted in cinnamon sugar, topped with goats milk caramel and pecans

5.  Culinary Dropout-does it get any better than comfort food?  No, no it doesn’t.  My favorite pick from below-Soft Pretzel rolls and fondue.  YUM-O.

First Course

(choice of):

Soft Pretzels & Provolone Fondue

Smoked Salmon Bruschetta

House Salad buttermilk ranch

Antipasti plate

Second Course

(choice of):

Ma…The Meatloaf!?! green beans, potatoes, gravy

Fried Chicken buttermilk biscuit, honey drizzle

36-Hour Pork Ribs jalapeno, molasses, fries

Roasted Salmon creamy farro, roasted brussels, parsnips, preserved lemon

Third Course

(choice of):

Bourbon Black Bottom Pie chocolate ganache, graham cracker

Salted Caramel Custard caramel corn

Other not to miss places

Vintage 95 (Chandler)

The Greene House (Kierland)

The Herb Box (Old Town Scottsdale)

SumoMaya (Scottsdale)

Bink’s Midtown (Phoenix)


And after you have gained 15 pounds eating out all week, be sure to join me for some running and more food at bRUNch!

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