Apple Pie Moonshine, Brisket Hash Nachos, and Quite Possibly the Best PBLT in the Valley at Bootleggers in North Phoenix
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Photos by Laura Hahnefeld Apple Pie Moonshine
The first thing you should know about Bootleggers in North Phoenix is that there is a house made, 151-proof, apple pie moonshine so warm and smooth that when it knocks you on your ass (and it will), it's a little like getting loaded at meemaw's house.
The second thing to know about Bootleggers is meat -- glorious, glorious meat.
The get-cozy little joint of juice and simple yet satisfying all-American eats comes courtesy of first-time restaurateur Rick Phillips (of the food blog EaterAZ as well as the Arizona Taco Festival and the Arizona BBQ Festival). To start his venture, Phillips hooked up with grilled meat master chef Matt Carter (The Mission, Zinc Bistro, The House) to help with the menu. Chef James Fox (Milagro Grill) heads up the kitchen and Jason Horton (T. Cook's) presides over the bar.
The menu is a manageable listing of familiar, upscale tavern fare with a side of "hey, y'all." And with twelve seasonal craft brews on tap as well as bottles, wines by the glass, and cocktails, chances are you'll find a libation or two to enjoy.
You could start with some decent spicy and citrus-y chicken wings ($8). But if you've come for the best appetizer of the bunch, you've come for the Nacho Flat ($10). Made with thin and crispy fried tortillas interspersed with smoky brisket hash, roasted jalapeños, and chunky avocado relish, the secret to this addictive snack lies in a chipotle cheddar sauce which successfully finds its way in, out, and over the chips without simply weighing heavily on top of them.