10 Best Things I Ate in September
From dishes like my new favorite carne asada taco to magnificent Mediterranean eats to a killer lasagna my dining companion likened to the work of the devil, here are 10 of the best things I ate this month selected from reviews, first-time visits, and places I've popped into just because.
I hope it inspires. Enjoy.
Bastila from Alzouhour
Moroccan bastila is an exotic delight -- a rich and sumptuous sweet and savory pie with a jaw-dropping presentation and a taste like Christmas. At Alzouhour, the tiny Middle Eastern eatery, bakery, and market in Phoenix, owner Zhor Saad makes hers with chicken and almonds stuffed into a phyllo crust sweetened with cinnamon and sugar ($19.99). Typically prepared for special occasions, it's only fitting that this hearty meat pie comes big enough to enjoy with a few friends.
Camaron al Mojo de Ajo at Así es la Vida:
One of the best dishes at this charming, 20-year-old casual-upscale Mexican restaurant in Central Phoenix is the Camaron al Mojo de Ajo ($24.95). Starring five enormous butterflied shrimp opened up to reveal tender, garlic-flavored white flesh, you'd be forgiven for picking them up to eat the meat right out of the tails. Delicious.
Falafels at Hummus Xpress:
A kind of chef-driven street food stand by way of Lebanon, this fast-casual Mediterranean eatery in Tempe from Ahmad (Eddie) Hantas serves some of the best falafels in the Valley. Featuring thin and crunchy coatings that give way to a creamy filling of ground fava beans seasoned with cardamom, they're kissed with Mexican chili powder for a little Southwest flair. (Falafel pita $6.85.)