Bread Pudding Blitzkrieg: Fuego Bistro vs. Cornish Pasty Co.

bread pudding collage.jpg
Say what you will about bread pudding (a lead-heavy gut bomb of an overplayed dessert), it's still crazy-popular for one very good reason: nobody gets tired of warm, sugary, bread-based goo. It's been around in one form or another for over 500 years, created in most cultures as a thrifty way to salvage old bread. Here in the States, it had a small revival in the 80's, thanks to Cajun cooking, then caught on in a big way in the 90's, becoming a tabula rasa for creative dessert chefs who added fruit, nuts, chocolate chips and anything else that struck their fancy.

See also:
-- Six Favorite Bread Puddings in Metro Phoenix

When Chow Bella ran a 2011 story about favorite bread puddings in Metro Phoenix, some readers had a hissy fit that Fuego Bistro's horchata bread pudding had not been included. Now that tempers have cooled, the time seems right for an epic battle of the bread pudding -- Fuego Bistro versus Cornish Pasty Co.

Fuego Bistro -- bread pudding.jpg
Horchata bread pudding at Fuego Bistro
In this corner: Fuego Bistro

The Setup: Hidden away in a commercial building that's also home to a dance studio, tiny Latin American Fuego is big on charm. In good weather, everyone's out in the courtyard, sipping sangria and mojitos, chowing on signature empanadas, seafood chile relleno, pernil asado and white prawns with grilled pineapple-ginger-habanero chutney. And it goes without saying, people love the horchata bread pudding.

The Good: Well, let's see. The chocolate malted ice cream has a nice, crunchy quality and what's not to like about whipped cream? Or candied walnuts for that matter?

The Bad: You have got to be kidding me. What the hell is so great about this thing? It's a sickeningly sweet, overwrought ice cream sundae, complete with toasted coconut-topped whipped cream, thick chocolate sauce, thicker caramel sauce and two slabs of gummy bread pudding, topped with candied walnuts and chocolate chips. It's a sugar bomb and an unattractive one at that. The plating, you'll note, looks like something out of a Southwestern cookbook from the 80's. I really, really don't get it. There's so much going on here that nothing stands out -- just a muddle of sugar.

The Price: $5 at happy hour, $7 lunch

Location Info

Fuego Bistro

713 E. Palo Verde Drive, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

The Cornish Pasty Co.

960 W. University Drive, Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

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My Voice Nation Help

Heya Nikki.. I will definetely agree that Cornish Pasty has a phenominal Bread Pudding, but to go out of your way and bash our product is so catty, and quite honestly, I still have no clue what your beef is with my restaurant. We are tiny Bistro that has flourished for 6 years in the valley despite every odd.. and yet this is the first words atleast to my knowledge that you have written about my establishmnet. In fact about five years ago I reached out to you when you were at Phoenix Magazine and you told me you did not like our food.. Then you were let go, and not 3 months later we were named "Best :Latin American" retaurarant by PM. You see Nikki. We all can't be your standby  favorites.. NOCA, Zinc, Binkleys.. And the fact that we have sold over 10,000 helpings of this bread pudding, and everyone seems pretty happy with our sugar bomb. You see Nikki.. You have a Bias here.. You didn't like my food six years ago, you are probably not going to like my food now, But the fact that Fuego Bistro's sales are up 300% from six years ago, and many of the restaurants that you have winced about about over the years have shuttered.. Definetly make me question your agenda.. BTW.. Didn't you give Burger Studio 5 stars a couple of years back? We all have bad days.. 


 @kward7 Hi Jeff, this was in no way an attempt to go out of my way to bash. My editor suggested I try Fuego's bread pudding  because so many people loved it. I went in fully expecting to like it. I have no agenda. Why on EARTH would I have an agenda? I don't know you, so why would I  have any reason to dislike you or to dislike Fuego? I don't remember us having a conversation about Fuego, but i find it hard to believe I would have said to anyone, "I don't like your food." I might have said, "I didn't have a good experience there last time," and it is true, I didn't come away, the last time I was there, thinking it was great. If other people love your food, hooray! That's great. I thought the bread pudding was complete overkill, as I said in the post. Other people love it. That's fine. That's what makes a horse race. A friend of mine liked it better than Cornish Pasty's, and I respect her opinion, but I'm the one getting paid to express mine, and I thought it was average at best. Not trying to bash, just calling it as I see it. I'm sorry to have hurt your feelings. I never enjoy that part of the job. And no, I did not give Burger Studio five stars. That was another writer at the Republic. But I readily admit to having bad days, making bad calls, etc. I'm human. But I will never cop to having an agenda because I flat out don't. To what end?  Best, NB


 @kward7 I've been to Fuego Bistro and Tacos and I can't decide which one I dislike more.  I've been to the Bistro once and would never return - mediocre, uninspired food with service to match.  Fuego Tacos in the Esplanade is very close to our house so we had hopes that the fare and service would be better.  Who were we kidding?  My coworkers and I THREW OUR LUNCHES AWAY after tasting the tacos.  Yes, four women trapped in an office all day chose to go without lunch rather than eat lunch from Fuego Tacos.  Also, the employee we dealt with that day was a total dick.  Our neighbors took my husband and me again a couple of months ago - we sat at the bar and had a similar experience.  Terrrrrrrible bartender, and soggy, oddly-flavored tacos.  


Best Latin American is a joke.  How much did you spend in advertising with PM to "earn" that title?  From your petty, typo-ridden comment, it really seems like you are the catty one.  Stop posting insane responses to fair articles and spend the time fixing your menu and staff instead.   


This, like your tacos, is just embarrassing. 

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