Phnom Penh Noodle Soup from Reathrey Sekong: 100 Favorite Dishes

Lauren Saria
Last year we marked the hundred day countdown to Best of Phoenix by sharing some of our favorite food folks' "Personal Best" lists. This year we're bringing back our list of 100 Favorite Dishes. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email

20. Phnom Penh Noodle Soup from Reathrey Sekong

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Flour Power: Phoenix Emerges as a New Capital of Artisan Bread-Making

Categories: Chow Bella

Evie Carpenter
In a world of gluten-intolerance, is bread toast?
Since man first learned to harness the power of fire, humans have been using it to cook food. It started with an ostentatious show of roasting whole animals over an open flame -- an unabashed demonstration of how humans now possessed power over both nature and the rest of the animal kingdom.

As we developed increasingly complex cultures, we sought more sophisticated ways of using fire to make food.

We began to bake.

Unlike cooking meat over fire or boiling plants in a pot, baking constitutes a transformation of nature into an entirely new form, something good to eat -- bread. Ever since the advent of the art, baking has remained a fundamental skill in cultures around the world.

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The Simple Farm Closes Thursday Farmers Market, Will Focus on CSA and Education

Categories: News

Lauren Saria
The Simple Farm's award-winning goat milk caramels.
We've got some bad news for those of you who never got the chance to check out the charming The Simple Farm in Scottsdale. The urban farm -- which is also the private residence of owners Lylah and Michael Ledner -- is no longer going to be open to the public on Thursday mornings.

"Though it was a difficult decision, closing the Farmer's Market and shifting all our focus into our CSA program, workshops and our caramel business was clearly the best way to fufill our goal," writes Lylah in a press release.

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Nearly Half of Restaurant Workers Live Below Twice the Poverty Line, Study Shows

Categories: Wake Up Call

Evan Blaser/Flickr
So tip your server double!
If you're dining out, tipping four dollars versus three dollars on that $16 tab might not mean a lot to you, but to your server, that little extra means a whole lot more. Back in our serving days it did, especially since those tips were often meant to be supplemental income for other members of the staff, from the hostess to the food runner to the dishwashers, as well.

Well, a new study from a nonpartisan think tank shows that those extra tips really do matter because while most restaurant workers don't receive benefits like health insurance or a pension plan, many of them are still living on impossibly low wages, putting them below and twice below the poverty line.

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Wendy's Pickle from Green: 100 Favorite Dishes

Heather Hoch
This favorite dish goes out to all of you vegans out there-- stay strong!
Last year we marked the hundred day countdown to Best of Phoenix by sharing some of our favorite food folks' "Personal Best" lists. This year we're bringing back our list of 100 Favorite Dishes. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email

21. Wendy's Pickle from Green

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Tarnished Treasure: 24 Carrots in Tempe Misses the Mark

Categories: Cafe Review

Jackie Mercadetti
Tacos, a carrot overeasy drink with an Arizona bowl.
I believe that you should eat whatever makes you feel good and stay away from whatever doesn't. When I heard about 24 Carrots, a Tempe restaurant and juice bar specializing in vegan cuisine, I was excited, because meat-free food has come a long, long way since the advent of the Tofurkey. Unfortunately, for a restaurant that specializes in promoting vegan and raw food, 24 Carrots offers little in the way of innovation, and the food is just not great.

There seems to be a gaping void at 24 Carrots. The space feels incomplete, the source of the ingredients is shrouded in mystery, the food is generally missing flavor, and the service is spotty at best. There is no sign above the storefront. Handwritten notes and store hours are Scotch-taped to the doors. I would be willing to give the slow service and half-finished d├ęcor the benefit of the doubt if this were a brand-new restaurant. But 24 Carrots opened its Tempe location in December after a five-year stint in Chandler -- it seems the owner has had more than sufficient time to work out the kinks.

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Filiberto's vs. Rivas: Carne Asada Fries Challenge

Josh Chesler
The carne asada fries at Filiberto's are a late-night staple for college students and young adults.

With the popularity of adding French fries into Mexican food (i.e. the California Burrito), it's no surprise that carne asada fries have grown in popularity in recent years. The combination of French fries, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and carne asada can be found at any number of greasy Mexican drive-through spots, so we picked two local chains/Phoenix staples to compare.

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Customer Defends Claim He Was Kicked Out of Pane Bianco for Speaking Spanish; Chef Chris Bianco Responds

Categories: News

Claire Lawton
Pane Bianco offers both take-out and more formal, sit-down dining options.
Last week, we told you about Phoenix resident Jeffrey Peterson, who took to social media with a claim that he had been asked to leave Pane Bianco for speaking Spanish. The restaurant, which has been open since 2004, is one of several in town owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco.

On Friday, Bianco responded to the allegation saying he was "horrified" by the incident. Today, both Peterson and Bianco have more to say to Chow Bella -- though the chef says he and Peterson still have not spoken directly to each other.

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Aaron Pool of Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soups on the Perfect Enchiladas and Why Sporks Suck

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Aaron Pool
Owner, founder
Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup
3313 N. 7th St.

When you hear the word "Gadzooks," you probably don't think of food. Toys, maybe. Or a children's clothing store. But a place for a good meal isn't likely to be the closest association.

"People assume it's going to be shitty," Aaron Pool says of the restaurant's name. "It's not like I planned it like that, but I like to under-promise and over-deliver."

If you've eaten at the quirkily named Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup in Central Phoenix, you may have noticed a tall skinny guy with a messy mop of hair working the line. He blends in with the rest of the restaurant's staff, but to the surprise of many, he's no employee.

That fresh-faced guy in the gray Gadzooks shirt is Aaron Pool, the restaurant's owner and creator. And, yes, he's still a few years shy of 30.

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Finger Naps Could Be the Solution to Your Sticky, Saucy Problems

Categories: Wake Up Call

Finger Naps
Protect your fingers from greasy, sticky food.
Everyone loves eating messy barbecue and dressed up wings, right? Well, if you aren't a fan of getting sticky, molasses-based sauces all over your hands, you might find yourself passing on the 'cue unless, of course, it's a dry rub. Prepare to get the meat sweats with everyone else because Finger Naps are here to make your wildest sanitary dreams come true for finger foods.

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