The Chicken Scoop Experience

He Said

 

Coming Soon!

She Said

 

A new concept, the Chicken Scoop, has opened in The Promenade Scottsdale at Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road that offers chicken salad.

Wait, chicken salad? Yes: 14 gourmet flavors of chicken salad served on a bed of greens, in a sandwich or warmed up in a “toastie” (cheesy hot sandwich.)

I was lucky enough to be invited to not only try out this new restaurant but taste ALL 14 flavors. As a gal who loves chicken salad, I went with an eager and empty stomach.

The décor is modern, clean and inviting as you walk into Chicken Scoop. I would describe it as contemporary with a kick of Southern charm. I felt like I was invited into someone’s kitchen as beautiful cabinets, chalkboards and even hints of green from well-placed plants welcomed me in.

The menu is straight-forward: 14 flavors of chicken salad served three ways.

I was ready to dig-in and start sampling one spoonful at a time. I thought it would be easy to single out a favorite or two, but as I made my way through the samples, I realized coming up with a favorite was going to be a difficult task.

Here are my top choices:

  • BBQ (bacon, cheddar and BBQ sauce)
  • Spicy Thai (cashews, green onion and spicy thai peanut sauce)
  • Chipotle (black beans, corn and smoky chipotle sauce)
  • Curry (raisins, almonds and curry seasons)
  • Popper (jalapenos, bacon and cream cheese dressing)
  • Southwest (jalapenos, cheddar and southwest seasoning)
  • Waldorf (grapes, apples and walnuts)

As I made my way through the menu, I chatted with one of the owners, Dana, inquiring where the recipes came from. She informed me that some were old family recipes from the South and some were new creations.

I also learned the chicken is all-natural, never frozen and hormone- and gluten-free, which is a nice added bonus.

I knew after the 14 mouthwatering tastes I needed to get my hands on one of their toasties. The BBQ flavor seemed like a great choice to be transformed into a hot sandwich.

It turned out to be a stellar choice. The warm chicken and BBQ sauce merged together as the cheddar cheese transformed into the perfect stringy consistency finished with smoky hints from the bacon. Each bite was a warm piece of delicious Southern comfort.

Sides include soups, potato salads and slaws to complete your meal.

Last — but definitely not least — each meal comes with a complimentary dessert pudding scoop. The flavor changes seasonally and I got to try the banana pudding. This little piece of heaven was amazing. I know I sound a bit dramatic, but the Chicken Scoop has nailed their pudding!

If you are a fan of chicken salad you are going to LOVE the Chicken Scoop. The original concept, amazing food and inviting environment is why I keep telling friends and family they need to stop in for a visit.

Though this is their first location, I have a great feeling we will be seeing other Chicken Scoops hatching all around the Valley. Lucky us!

Read our Listing on this restaurant now.

Morning Squeeze Experience

He Said

 

Old town Scottsdale has never been lacking restaurants for breakfast and lunch but if you haven’t tried Morning Squeeze you are missing out. With a completely chill attitude and ambiance it is the perfect way to start a slow morning or what you know will become a stressful day. A little bit retro and a little bit of a resort pool bar feel you can’t help but just not care about a thing at all. Lots of outdoor seating and big open windows give every seat a good view. You’ll find girls in their Lulu Lemon attire coming back from a workout, about to work off their breakfast, or just wearing it for comfort while the guys are in tank tops and shorts and sandals or a few golf shirts and shorts about to head out to their tee time. No matter what you’re wearing you’ll fit right in. With beautiful weather coming soon there are lots of options for seating but if you plan to sit inside while the heat is still lingering around there could be a small wait. On our Sunday outing it was just 15 minutes and we ended up with a huge booth in the back with a full view of everyone. It was perfect for a morning of people watching and eggs.
It is possible that all those athletic wearing customers are there because the menu offers so many healthy meals. Some dishes called “Cross Fit” or “Farm Out Omelet” just scream healthy! However you can have whatever you want at the Morning Squeeze; including the traditional Eggs Benedict or go sugar crazy with a Crème Brulee Pancake. I dined on a more tex-mex favorite of breakfast tacos. This three taco plate comes with your choice of meat along with scrambled eggs, jack cheese, and salsa fresco. No need for a side with this plate because these are big tacos filled completely with the tasty scramble. It does come with a tasty chipotle salsa and some sour cream to top your taco off. I left fully satiated and a desire to come back and try one of the healthy options on the menu. My brunch partner did just that by trying the “Farm Out Omelet”. Egg whites and veggies make for one great start to the morning and when they include shaved kale, roasted tomato, feta, and pine nuts you know you’re nicely fueled to start the day. For me I was less into the healthy and more into the tasty tacos and bacon bloody mary this Sunday morning but either way you win!
One word of caution, go with a desire to take a leisurely brunch. I was catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while so I barely noticed but when our food did arrive it dawned on me how long it took. It may have been due to it being a busy Sunday morning or because they were just backed up because I have not heard this as an issue from others who have visited. Either way, the food was worth it and good company never hurts to make a dining experience a memorable one.

She Said

 

Coming Soon!

Read our Listing on this restaurant now.

Stock & Stable Experience

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Coming Soon!

She Said

 

Only open a few months now, it seems like the word about Stock & Stable has spread like wildfire. Hearing only good things about it, I decided to check it out for myself.  Located at The Colony we decided to hit it up for brunch one Saturday morning. We arrived soon after they opened and the trickle of diners were already moseying in.

We quickly got seated and our waiter couldn’t have been friendlier. My dining companioning was debating over different IPAs and our informative waiter Andrew quickly helped him narrow down his choice. I stuck with an exciting OJ on this particular morning.

The menu is on the smaller side, but sometimes I prefer that because it usually indicates the restaurant has perfected those items. Benedicts, French Toast Sticks and even Beef Tongue Hash & Eggs are just a few of the brunch menu items. I decided on the Biscuit and Gravy and my dining companion decided on the traditional Steak & Eggs. 

As we waited for our meals, I got a chance to get a good look around. The modern restaurant has a nice rustic flare giving it the feeling it has been there awhile. Subtle touches like horse paintings, exposed lighting and hefty wood furnishings tie in with the name. The large bar is the focal point of the room and seems to be inviting you in to a grab a drink and snack. I even spotted USB ports (which every bar should have these days) to keep you fully charged so you can summons that uber if needed.

Our brunch arrived and both were nicely plated. My dining companion’s Steak & Eggs were exactly what you would expect to be served on a ranch. A medium rare steak (diner’s choice) hugging two bright sunny side eggs. The side of breakfast frites was the pleasant surprise on the plate and I had to try a forkful of those. Oh Yum!! Warm and soft interior with a crisp almost crunchy exterior. Thumbs up to the taters. My Biscuits & Gravy were also a winning dish. Mild but flavorful sausage gravy smothering two pull-apart buttery biscuits topped with a fried egg. The perfect “stick to your ribs” kind of breakfast.

Located on the second floor is Honor Amongst Thieves, a lounge featuring an extensive list of handcrafted cocktails that are reinventions of the classics. Small bites including cheese and cured meat boards are offered there as well.

I already have a return trip planned to Stock & Stable to check out their social hour which they offer everyday between 3pm and 6pm with discounted cocktails and small snacks. The truffle buttered popcorn is rumored to be amazing…guess I will have to wait and see!

Read our Listing on this restaurant now.

Oink Cafe Experience

He Said

 

We have all heard of flights of fancy or maybe flights of wine? Oink Café took this idea to a new level with Flights of Bacon. Instead of maybe sampling a few different bottles of wine, you get to try 8 different flavors of bacon. Presented on a pink pig shaped plate, the strips of bacon come with a legend, allowing you to decide which one you liked best. I don’t know how one gets bored with bacon but none the less, they do change the types of bacon from time to time so you can be assured you will never get bored. This menu item is what brought Oink Café to my attention since I fully support the old saying, “Everything is better with bacon”. However, we were pleasantly surprised with all of our menu selections. The service was very friendly and even though they were slammed the entire time we were there we were frequently checked on and even had a visit or two from the manager. It is a good size too so the constant flow of people on and off the wait list is pretty quick. Be forewarned it does get extremely busy during the weekends, so expect a wait. There is a small bar area that is first come first served seating in case you feel like trying out your stalking skills on who is leaving.
They serve a nicely proportioned mimosa along with a few beers and a couple of bloody’s. If we hadn’t ordered the flight of bacon I would have tried their bacon bloody Mary but I’ll save that for the next visit. On to the food and what a treat you are in for with any selection you make. Suffice to say I was starving by the time we started our brunch and I may have gone a little overboard as I took home a doggy bag. After our flight of bacon I ordered the “Three Little Pigs in a Blanket” with hash browns and an extra side of biscuits & gravy. Little is inaccurate and total misrepresentation of this plate. Three full sized pancakes wrapped around 3 sausage links the size of a roll of quarters. I mean this was more than enough food in itself but it also came with a side. I had the hash browns and they were cooked super crispy and shredded just the right amount. I can’t stand getting hash browns that are still super mushy on the inside. These were crispy throughout with just a small thin layer of soft in the middle. The pancakes were just the right amount of sweet and doughy. The sausage looked homemade but I may have been wrong, but in either case they were quality sausage links. No frozen small links here. My side of one biscuit and gravy was also a large biscuit and absolutely covered completely in sausage gravy. It had a nice hint of rosemary and a few large chunks of sausage. They have a full meal of this but I warn you that the side might be plenty for one person.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, mostly because I think you can have whatever you want for breakfast and it’s ok. Oink Café’s lunch menu looks just as appetizing but it might take me awhile to give it a try as I already have my own waiting list of items on their breakfast menu. Others at my table had waffles and omelets and they were all just as delicious as my plate. So never fear, even if you aren’t a big pig eater there is something for everyone on this menu. One last thing to mention is that they also make bacon maple donuts and donut holes. They are the most delicious looking versions of this donut that I have ever seen. I didn’t have room to taste but by the looks of it and the amount I saw coming out of the kitchen they won’t disappoint.

She Said

 

Coming Soon!

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Feeney’s Restaurant & Bar Experience

He Said

 

Every now and then we stumble upon a restaurant which has been hidden away down a street we have never driven on. 12th street just north of Bethany Home Rd in Phoenix is one of those streets and is home to Feeney’s Restaurant & Bar. Feeney’s looks very small on the outside but surprisingly has a good amount of tables and a very old-world ambiance. Walking in we found ourselves surrounded with lots of rooms with multiple tables, this allows a good size of guests to still feel they are in a private small environment. While big grand rooms are beautiful to see, it is this small quaintness that instantly makes you feel comfortable. If that wasn’t enough we were greeted immediately and treated like we had been coming there for years. Friendly is an understatement at Feeney’s and we never waited for anything. The other patrons I swore were repeat visitors but given the way we were treated I might have been wrong, because from the outside I’m sure we looked like regulars given all the discussion going on between the staff and our table. The menu is full of your favorite meats and seafood items and there is a Greek theme to show off the owner’s home country but if you aren’t a fan of Greek food don’t worry, the menu is clearly built for a steak house. I however did try out a Greek spiced lamb chops dish and I don’t regret it for a minute. Once we got to ordering that comfortable level of service came back as we were given suggestions on how we should have our different meats cooked. Once we got ordered she let us know that she wouldn’t put in the main course orders until we finished with our salad bar and appetizer. Nothing annoys me more than when a restaurant puts it all in at once and you haven’t even finished one course before the next one comes to the table. Feeney’s clearly wants you to enjoy your meal and not feel rushed.
We made our way to the all too classic salad bar, it even came with the old style cold metal salad plates. I was immediately reminded of going to dinner with my parents to steak houses and running over to the salad bar for all the pasta macaroni. I made my salad and added all my simple salad toppings and covered it with that ranch dressing that you just can’t buy anywhere or make yourself. I’ve tried to find the answer to my ranch quest but each time I’m told it’s a simple Hidden Valley ranch mix with buttermilk. I’ve tried that and it just doesn’t taste the same. At least I know now where to go when I must have my fix. We enjoyed our salads and then the fried zucchini appetizer came to our table nicely displayed in a wax paper cone and stand with 2 sides of that amazing ranch dressing for dipping. Freshly cut zucchini with just the right amount of breading it was a hit at the table. Our main courses arrived and the beautiful display of lamb chops and prime rib were a sight to behold. My lamb was perfectly cooked and those Greek seasonings were prominently on display on my taste buds. I have had some amazing lamb in countries known for lamb such as New Zealand but this may have been one of my favorite examples of it. Three chops were included and each contained quite a bit of meat with just the right amount of fat for flavor. The prime rib was thick and juicy, the type that melts in your mouth with each bite better than the last. With both plates we chose the twice baked potato as the side item. It has been a long time since I saw a twice baked potato on the menu and again it brought back memories of childhood dinners. It’s important to note that this potato is a big potato! My memories are always of a smaller maybe 4 inch potato when I think of a twice baked potato but this was a two fist full size and had fully scooped insides. The browning on the top of the potato was probably the best browning I’ve ever seen on a potato. It was not overburdened with toppings but just the right amount of bacon swirled in the soft center. Suffice to say I will definitely be getting it again.
Given the size of our main entrees and the appetizer we didn’t get a chance to try out any dessert options. However this restaurant created such a great memory with the entire table that we immediately agreed it gets our seal of approval. If you are thinking about visiting for lunch keep in mind that their menu is different for lunch and focuses more on salads, burgers and sandwiches. So if you want to try the meat and seafood options I’d stick with dinner. The lunch menu looks amazing and I can’t wait to return and try that out as well.

She Said

 

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Scooptacular Experience

He Said

 

My love affair began randomly at Lou Malnati’s, upon tasting their cookie dessert topped with the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had in my life. I asked them where this treasure came from and that was the first time I heard the name, Scooptacular. It was necessary to learn more and to taste more of course. A little investigation and we discovered Scooptacular is located in Laveen and not only do they make their own ice cream there but they have a great little shop. One very hot day in July my business partner in crime and I set out to get our hands on some ice cream and we were pleasantly surprised to find a great local success story along the way, and of course a new favorite flavor.
Nindi Wadhwa started his shop 6 years ago when he realized that there really wasn’t much selection in Laveen for family outings. He and his wife couldn’t find many options to take the whole family out. South Phoenix is full of your typical strip malls and restaurant chains for the most part. One day they drove by an empty shop in one of those malls, which was once inhabited by a Cold Stone, and they thought it would be pretty cool (pun intended) to open up their own local ice cream shop. If you can’t find what you are looking for, why not make it yourself. One thing led to another and now they not only have 2 stores (the second is in the SanTan Village in Gilbert) but you can also find their ice cream in multiple restaurants throughout the valley. Some Fox Concepts restaurants, Beckett’s Table, among other local restaurants use Scooptacular ice cream for some of their desserts. It is truly a great example of working within your local economy and utilizing word of mouth to find success. Keeping it local has also allowed them to become deeply ingrained in the community; hosting events and fundraisers all in an effort to bring the community closer together.
As for the actual ice cream, we embarked on a tasting extravaganza and oddly both my business partner and I ended up agreeing on the same favorite flavor. Nindi is willing to try anything when it comes to flavors and some work out and some just become great stories. During baseball season they developed a hot dog flavor (it had actual hot dog pieces in it) that didn’t go over so well except, the neighborhood kids started daring others to try it so it became infamous in its own way. But you probably won’t be seeing it again anytime soon. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the Laveen Concrete Mix, which is named because of a concrete factory located down the street. It has caramel ice cream with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate “rocks”. It’s only available in the Laveen store and it is worth the drive. These flavor experiments have also helped to create some social buzz. For example, during Thanksgiving 2012, the local CBS affiliate did a story on the Turkey flavor ice cream they had created and the story went national. Trending the day before Thanksgiving as the #3 story nationwide is not a bad way to start off a business.
For us at WhereShouldWeEat.com, our new favorite is Taro. Yes that’s right, the root vegetable! Surprisingly, it is very addicting and trust us when we say it is worth trying for yourself. It is a lavender purple color and has a distinct taste like nothing else you have ever had. The smell and flavor both reminded me of the Jelly Belly buttered popcorn flavor, which may sound unpleasant for an ice cream but it was amazing. There is a lot in store for the future of this local ice cream hidden gem. We can’t wait to see what new flavors are up next and where we see them expand!

She Said

 

Coming Soon!

Read our Listing on this restaurant now.