FnB's Charleen Badman Tells Food & Wine Her Favorite Places to Eat, Shop, & Sleep in the Valley

Categories: Restaurant News

Essence Bakery Cafe

Best Ice Cream: Sweet Republic
"I stopped making ice cream at my restaurant, because I just get it from Helen at Sweet Republic. I usually ask her to make different flavors depending on what fruits I have around. I'll give her cases of cantaloupes or Arizona grapefruits or peaches and she brings me back sorbets or ice creams. We actually trade--she makes my ice cream and I cook her dinner at one of my restaurants."

Best French Pastries: Essence Bakery Café
"Eugenia Theodosopoulos makes the best croissants. Her husband is French and they lived in France for a while, so she learned to make croissants there. I'm so glad they ended up back here--her husband went to ASU and he insisted that they had to come back to Arizona. She'd rather be living in France, but I feel fortunate to have her here!"

Fun Night Out: Café Ga Hyang
"Pavle and I recently found this little gem near Glendale, and owner Sun Johnson does lots of Korean small plates and amazing pickles and little condiments. It's just delicious. And they're open until 2 a.m.! Sometimes we'll get a little group of cooks together after work to get something to eat there. It's a one-woman show: Johnson is there lunch and dinner, seven days a week. She even does karaoke. She has a little disco ball hanging up and she starts dancing with a microphone."

Noodle Fix: China Magic Noodle House
"If we get stuck working on a Monday, Pavle and I will run over to get a quick pho. They always greet me and say 'Hi, Chef! Vegetarian sauce?' And I'll say: 'Yes, please!' They'll bring out a bowl of tofu and bok choy and homemade noodles in a delicious broth."

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