Devoured Lives Up to Its Name: The Saturday Edition

Categories: Events

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Erica O'Neil
T. Cook's at the Royal Palms served up a "Lamb Duet" at Devoured: a huge portion of Mexican-spiced lamb atop succulent lamb-drenched Israeli couscous.
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Erica O'Neil
Windsor's melt-in-your-mouth short ribs with crispy onions and a fresh summer salad
Cloudy skies and light rain didn't scare away hordes of hungry Devoured participants on Saturday. And chefs from across the Valley turned out to show off their tastiest small (and not so small in some cases -- we're looking at you, T. Cook's!) plates and nibbles.

With over 45 restaurants serving dishes, it was impossible to leave hungry, or thirsty, as local wineries and breweries poured samples along side microbreweries and vintners from across the United States. There were dishes to suit just about anyone's palate, but beets were the big ingredient this year, showing up in just about every salad we tried (and we tried a lot of salads) or flying solo in all their sweet and earthy glory. Short ribs also were the highlight of the festival, with just about everything from ravioli to tostadas packed with braised short ribs.

There's a reason Devoured sold out nearly a month ahead of the festival date: It continues to be the best bang for your culinary festival buck. Plus free admission to the Phoenix Art Museum afterwards helped us walk off the impending food coma.

See Also:
- Sunday Devoured in Phoenix: Decadent 'Til You Drop

So with a happy belly and the first button to our pants undone, we bring you pictures of all the lovely food.

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Erica O'Neil
The prettiest booth at the festival, courtesy of Churn. 

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Erica O'Neil
Gertrude's new twist on milk and cookies.
Churn continues to be one of the most whimsical contenders at Devoured, showing up with little bags of sweet treats to distribute to diners. Its grasshopper ice cream sandwiches were not to be missed, with a mint crunch ice cream held together by two chocolate crinkle cookies dusted with powdered sugar.

Gertrude's turned out a sweet dish, too, with a velvety mesquite-smoked chocolate ganache dotted with a lightly sweetened ice milk cube and accompanied by a little chocolate cookie. To counter that sweet treat, Gertrude's also offered a fresh pea and radish lettuce wrap and a lovely homemade burrata topped with strawberries drizzled in balsamic vinegar, pink pepper, and mint.

See Also:
-Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic 2013 (Slideshow)

Federal Pizza may be new to the culinary scene, but it served up one of our favorite pairings at Devoured. A braised short rib ravioli with baby carrots and mushroom au jus complemented by colorful beets from Duncan Farm that sat atop a preserved lemon marscapone topped with hazelnuts, micro chervil, and a sauvignon blanc vinaigrette.

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Erica O'Neil
Forget the pizza, Federal served up a tasty short rib ravioli and beets.
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Erica O'Neil
Los Sombreros served hibiscus tea and slow-roasted tomatillo pork.
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Crispy-fried sushi from Sushi Roku.
Los Sombreros represented its Mexican food well. We especially liked the bright and floral hibiscus tea that was lightly sweetened. Having eaten at enough Mexican restaurants, we'd call it jamaica, as a single sip should sell the masses on it despite the foreign Mexican name. The slow-roasted tomatillo pork was also a must-try -- fork-tender and bursting with bold flavor.

Sushi Roku's one-bite fried sushi may not have been the most traditional Japanese food in town, but it was the tastiest at the festival. Crispy-fried vinegar rice was tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce, then topped with spicy tuna. Two bites of sushi perfection, and we didn't mind having to lick our fingers afterwards.

Arrogant Bucher may have underwhelmed with its jambalaya (not enough bam! to make Emeril happy, certainly), but the caper-topped salmon salad was more than enough to make up for it. Salty, sweet, slightly fishy, and perfect atop the crostini, although we would have been happy to eat that dish solo by the spoonful.

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My Voice Nation Help

The only thing that would /could have made the event better was either a larger space or smaller crowds. The food was the BOMB and I couldn't have been more pleased, but when there is no place to stand or eat it made it somehow less the experience.

Charge a bit more, limit the numbers and perfection will be the operative word.

Travis Kenneth Nass
Travis Kenneth Nass

FYI the Ceviche and the cachaca punch was us at Lon's not El Chorro.

Marshall Shore
Marshall Shore

Vegetarian plotting to eat at Devoured, with Catherine Slye

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