Last year we marked the hundred day countdown to Best of Phoenix by sharing our 100 Favorite Dishes with you. Now we're back - with the 2011 edition. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email email@example.com.
49: Manti from Golden Valley
It is said that sackfuls of manti, a type of dumpling, were taken across Central Asia to Anatolia by migrating Turks, and that Turkic and Mongol horsemen carried them frozen or dried because they could be quickly boiled over a campfire.
Sans campfire and freshly prepared, we ate ours at Golden Valley, the new restaurant near the intersection of 19th Avenue and Northern serving up Uzbek and Mediterranean cuisine, and understood how these gift-wrapped packages of goodness would make any journey delicious.
Given its legacy, there are several variations of manti. Ours were filled with tender, seasoned lamb, onions, herbs, and cumin seeds wrapped in dough, steamed, and topped with sprinkles of parsley.
To eat one like a pro, bite of a corner, then lift it up and let the juices drip into your spoon -- that's your first delicious taste of what's to come -- the rest is all fork and knife, and if you'd like, a bit of sour cream. Like a lightly-seasoned stew gift-wrapped in dough, the flavor is comforting, rustic, with the distinct aroma of cumin adding to its warm, earthy deliciousness.
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97: Cash Sandwich from Main Ingredient Ale House
96: Sonoran Hot Dog from Nogales Hot Dogs
95: Fattoush Salad from Al-Hana Restaurant at Baiz Market
94: Croissant from Essence Bakery Cafe
93: Funghi Pizza from The Parlor
92: Baynchaiv Crepes from Sekong by Night
91: Caldo de Res from Pitic
90: Slice of Pepperoni Pizza from Mamma Mia
89: Hot Bollix Spicy Potato Balls from Rula Bula
88: Chicken Lo Mein from Desert Jade
87: Spicy Broccoli from FnB
86: Barra Vieja Shrimp from Mucho Gusto
85: Wild Mushroom Ravioli from Merc Bar
84: Cochinta Pobil from Taberna Mexico
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80: Mongolian Delight from Loving Hut
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72: Short Rib Hash from Bonfire Grill
71: Grilled, Double-Pork Chop from Tarbell's
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68: Roast Beef Sandwich from Hanny's
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62: The Chicago Brizza from Scramble
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60: Chicken Quesadilla from Papago Brewing
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56: Caribbean Candy Bar from Havana Café
55: The Oggie from Cornish Pasty Co.
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53: Chocolate Fry Bread from The Fry Bread House
52: Gruyere Popovers from BLT Steak
51: Pho Filet Dac Biet from Pho Thanh
50: Cheddar Jalapeño Biscuits and Sausage Gravy from Over Easy
Stomach full? Get some eye candy for dessert over on Jackalope Ranch with our Imagine PHX series.
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8115 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, AZ