Dessert First at Pastries N Chaat in North Phoenix

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
Mango cake at Pastries N Chaat in North Phoenix.

Just the name Pastries N Chaat inspired wide eyes at last week's Chow Bella staff meeting, and it was determined that the first thing to try at the north Phoenix spot was dessert. We'll save chaat -- savory Indian street food -- for later. This time we were all about the pastries.

See also: Baklava at Middle Eastern Bakery & Deli in Metro Phoenix

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Choctal Single-Origin Ice Cream Comes to Phoenix

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Zaida Dedolph
Choctal's vanilla ice creams are anything but.

Heads up, dessert enthusiasts: California-based Choctal Ice Cream is now available at every AJ's Fine Foods store in the Valley. The California-based ice-creamery, who describe themselves as a "company with a global conscience," sell 8 different varieties of single-source chocolate and vanilla ice creams. These seemingly simple frozen treats are anything but -- each possesses a unique character that'll make you reevaluate everything you thought you knew about chocolate and vanilla.


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Cannolis for Dessert at Guido's Chicago Meat and Deli in Scottsdale

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
Cannoli at Guidos Chicago Meat and Deli in Scottsdale.

The call of the dessert can be, at times, so overpowering you have to stop what you're doing and answer it. This doesn't happen to you? Ever? Lucky for you it happens to us all the time. And this week the call came from the cannoli at Guido's Chicago Meat & Deli in Scottsdale.

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Giant Cookie Dessert at Phil's Filling Station in Fountain Hills

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
The giant chocolate chip cookie dessert at Phil's Filling Station will feed a crowd and keep 'em happy.

Okay, so maybe old timey Coca Cola kitsch isn't your thing. We get it, but when a good dessert comes along, it must be talked about so all can enjoy. Phil's Filling Station in Fountain Hills is making homemade pan cookies that will meet any warm cookie need you might have.

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Baklava at Middle Eastern Bakery & Deli in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
A beautiful display of baklava at the Middle Eastern Bakery and Deli.
The aroma of spices hits you as you walk in the door of the Middle Eastern Bakery and Deli in central Phoenix -- as well as the scent of freshly made desserts. This small counter-service restaurant and market serves all kinds of main dishes, but they put dessert first in their name -- so we will, too, for today's purposes. Indeed, it's hard to resist that dessert case on your way to the counter to place your order -- filled with sweets from cookies to baklava.

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"Pot Brownies" at Rehab Burger Therapy in Old Town Scottsdale

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
Pot brownie at Rehab Burger Therapy in Old Town Scottsdale.

Breaking news: Rehab Burger Therapy in Old Town Scottsdale is dishing up pot brownies.

Well, not quite. Medicinal marijuana may be legal in Arizona, but pot's still off the menu at your local dining establishment.

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Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel at Tarbell's in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
The cheesecake at Tarbell's in Phoenix is nice, but the customer service is outstanding.

It's hard to not like a place when you are treated well. Showing up in t-shirts and flipflops to a white tablecloth establishment is a big no no, even in Phoenix, but we did it unknowingly. When Mark Tarbell, the owner/chef/mastermind of Tarbell's, stops by your table to make sure everything is going well, and you apologize for the inappropriate attire, and he sweetly points to his jeans and says, "Oh, please. We aren't fancy here. I'm wearing jeans!" You have to kind of love him. The dessert? It was good.

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Empanadas for Dessert at Republica Empanada in Mesa

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
Empanadas for dessert.
This week we ventured to downtown Mesa to sample some sweet empanadas at Republica Empanada.

We really liked the clean, open interior, but on a beautiful Arizona day it's hard to resist the outdoors. The patio at Republica Empanada is small with just a couple picnic tables, but with a community garden behind it and the occasional rooster crowing, it made for a nice, quirky atmosphere.

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Dessert First at Pizzeria Bianco in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
Mesquite cake.
Decisions, decisions. The waitress stood there, smiling politely. It's hard enough to choose an entree at the world-famous Pizzeria Bianco -- but dessert? I pondered the decision way too long. The options: Flourless chocolate cake (waitress recommended), the seasonal dessert of mesquite cake, or grapefruit curd. I couldn't make up my mind so I did what any self-respecting dessert writer would do. I ordered two out of the three.

I had to show some kind of restraint.

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Dessert First at Pars Persian Cuisine in North Scottsdale

Categories: Dessert First

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Jenny Zink
Persian desserts first: Bamieh and Zoolbia.
Have you ever mixed up your night out on the town and started with dessert instead of appetizers? Some of the very best things happen at the beginning, appetizers, and the ending, desserts, so why not try the ending first?

Chow Bella is bringing back a favorite column, "Dessert First," with just that in mind. And we begin with a little trip to Persia.

Pars Persian Cuisine is an intimate little spot in Scottsdale. Tucked into a strip mall on Frank Lloyd Wright just south of Via Linda. It is the ideal little date night restaurant as we found out last Saturday, Valentine's Day, when we mistakenly thought we could walk right up and get a table for dinner.

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