23: Hot Pressed Tuna at La Grande Orange

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We're working up our appetites for our huge Best of Phoenix issue, out September 30, with daily servings of Chow Bella's 100 Favorite Dishes from across the Valley -- in no particular order

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Visit our sister blog, Jackalope Ranch, for a companion series on 100 Creatives who make Phoenix a little more interesting for all of us. We'll be posting the next 22 picks daily through the rest of the summer.

Number 23: Hot pressed tuna at La Grande Orange

Rain or shine, happy or sad, hungry or not really, I've eaten the hot pressed tuna at La Grande Orange -- with an Orangina to drink, almost always -- probably a hundred times over the years. I've gone out of my way to get one of these when the craving struck hard.

You see, I've always had a weakness for a good tuna melt. Everywhere I've ever lived, I've sought out my favorite versions of classic sandwiches (such as Reubens and Cubans), and after moving to Phoenix over a decade ago, I had fun tasting around town. The tuna melt at LGO absolutely rocked from the get-go, and so far I haven't found another to top it.

What do I enjoy about it? The tuna salad itself is distinctive, with little white raisins mixed in, and a distinctive tangyness that I could never replicate at home. There's always a generous amount of melted cheddar, and the slight sweetness of wheat bread becomes even tastier when it's sizzled up like a panini. The result is a sandwich that's crispy on the outside and oozy on the inside. Usually, there's a serving of fruit on the side to make me feel a little less guilty about what I'm going to devour in minutes.

As long as they don't change it, I'll be eating one of these routinely, for the rest of my life.

The Favorite Dishes, so far:
24: Chilaquiles at La Tolteca
25: Pho Tai Nam at Da Vang
26: Olive-Oil Poached Arctic Char at Kai
27: Pulled Pork at Joe's Real BBQ
28: Falafel Sandwich at Haji-Baba
29: Payt-N-Bake Chicken at Caffe Boa
30: Thai BBQ Chicken at Thai E-San
31: Sweet and Spicy Burger at The Grind
32: Kimchi Chigae at Ewha Korean Restaurant
33: Red Chile Beef at Verde
34: Garlic Shrimp at Hope Kee
35: Antipasto Platter at Pizzeria Bianco
36: Beef Fried Noodles at China Magic Noodle House
37: Grilled Calamari at Andreoli Italian Grocer
38: Spicy Miso Ramen at Sushi Ken
39: Fish 'n Chips at Rula Bula
40: Corn Pancakes with Crab at The Mission
41: Santa Lucia Pasta at Marcellino Ristorante
42: Smoked Truffle-Infused Filet Mignon at Christopher's
43: Pollo Colonial at Iruna
44: Mozzarella Carozza at Aiello's Fine Italian Dining
45: Mofongo at El Coquito
46: Sticky Toffee Pudding at St. Francis
47: Steak Frites at Metro Brasserie
48: Black Cod with Acini de Pepe at Cafe Bink
49: Steak & Egg Sliders at Lon's
50: Taco Monterrey at Pepe's Taco Villa
51: Toro Tartare at Sushi Roku
52: Fish Tacos at Barrio Cafe
53: Reuben at Matt's Big Breakfast
54: Short Ribs at J&G Steakhouse
55: Mole Poblano at Los Sombreros
56: Chicken Fried Steak at Texaz Grill
57: Carne Asada on a Potato Pancake at The Vig
58: White Flannel Hash at Orange Table
59: Butterfish Tataki at Roka Akor
60: Eggs Maximilian at Harlow's Cafe
61: Chickpea Ceviche at Bombay Spice
62: Spiced Skirt Steak at Tuck Shop
63: Rib Eye Philly at SanTan Brewing Company
64: Albacore With Black Truffle at Crudo
65: Slice at Jimmy & Joe's Pizzeria
66: Lee's Combination at Lee's Sandwiches
67: Duck Curry at Sala Thai
68: Chicken Kabab at Med Fresh Grill
69: Cheese Course at Sweet Republic
70: La Potence at Le Chalet
71: Brisket at Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue
72: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup at The Roosevelt
73: Coq Au Vin at Vincent's Market Bistro
74: Cochinita Pibil Tacos at La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop
75: Char Siu Bao at Phoenix Palace
76: Huevos Rancheros at Gallo Blanco Cafe
77: Italian Stallion at La Piazza Al Forno
78: Bourekas at Spices Mediterranean Kitchen
79: Warm Maine Lobster Salad at Modern Steak
80: Escargots En Croute at Petite Maison
81: Salumi at Quiessence
82: Okonomiyaki at Hana Japanese Eatery
83: Croissants at Essence Bakery Cafe
84: Coronado Coney at The Main Ingredient
85: Green Chili at Rito's Mexican Takeout
86: Soup Gyoza at Sens Asian Tapas & Sake Bar
87: Pop Cho and Sweet Ginger at The Breadfruit
88: La Jawab Kadahi Gosht at The Dhaba
89: Chicken & Waffles from Lo-Lo's
90: Burrata at Humble Pie
91: Bruleed Foie Gras Torchon at Posh
92: Moroccan Nomad Stew at Chakra 4
93: Peking Duck at Gourmet House of Hong Kong
94: Mozzarella Sandwich at Pane Bianco
95: Egg White Omelette at Fez
96: Machaca From Los Dos Molinos
97: Shish Taook from Baiz Market
98: Pasties From Cornish Pasty Co.
99: Clams in Black Bean Sauce From Asian Cafe Express
100: Bruschetta From Postino

Location Info

La Grande Orange Grocery

4410 N. 40th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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Rachel Root
Rachel Root

This is my favorite sandwich hands down! I don't even usually love tuna, so I think that says a lot!

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