Last week I met my cousin for dinner. We met at a place called Bombay Spice. It’s not too far from my apartment, and I hadn’t heard of it before. It had good reviews on Yelp, so I figured we would give it a shot. I had a late lunch, so I wasn’t all that hungry. But there were three of us, and we decided to split some stuff. We started with some lamb chops, then ordered a chicken dish served over rice. We had a similar dish served with lamb, that was also served over rice. Both came with naan (until that night I had no idea what naan was) and some philo bread to soak up the delicious juices when the bowls were empty. It was enough food for us, and we all left stuffed.
A couple days later, Sheryl and I went up to Four Seasons at Troon North and tried Proof. Proof is fairly new, and based on what I saw online was a really cool atmosphere, and you can even order poolside at the Four Seasons. We got there, grabbed a seat outside, and ordered a couple of beers. (I love that we can eat outside in January!) I looked at the menu, both food and drinks, and was impressed with the selection. We ended up splitting an order of donut (or is it doughnut) holes, and a Monte Cristo. The donut holes had a coffee icing on them that was memorable, and the Monte Cristo was amazing. I hadn’t heard of that sandwich before, and will definitely be ordering that the next time I am there!
After having had two enjoyable dining experiences in the same week, I started to think about my blog. When I used to live in Indianapolis, I would schedule monthly reviews with restaurants around the city. It was all scheduled, and the restaurant always knew I was coming. I would review the restaurant, post and share the review, and they would comp my food and drinks. It was a great way to experience new places, and to help smaller locally owned restaurants in the Circle City.
I haven’t done any of those in Arizona, but there are plenty of places I want to try. So I decided that I would still like to review these places, but since I am new to the Valley, I would have no issues paying for my meal. Yes, it will initially serve as free advertising for the restaurants I visit, but that’s OK. Maybe one day I will become a renowned food blogger. There are already several of those around town, but I wouldn’t mind throwing my hat into the mix.
Now that I think of it, we tried another really great place the week before that. We went to Citizen Public House in Old Town Scottsdale. The food was incredible, and we shared a lot there, too. From the Original Cobb Salad to the lamb burger, we were blown away with the quality of the food. After dinner we went upstairs to Citizen R&D, a tribute to prohibition where you must be escorted by a host and the menu is riddled with signature cocktails. Oh, and they make gin tableside.
As you can see, we are trying new places, and as a blogger I feel obligated to share my experience with my readers. So starting next week, I am going to start featuring restaurants again. I will go in, order a drink or two, and write my feature while I am there. I will make sure to focus on the location, the menus (food, beer, wine, etc.), and any food that I order or that is specific to that restaurant. I will also, as time allows, be interviewing head chefs and getting quotes from others who have dined at these area restaurants. I will also ask Sheryl to join me to provide her insight and to take photos of all the restaurants. This will provide for photo galleries on the blog, and for social content that I can share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more.
I am glad that this concept is coming back to my blog. It is something that I have missed for the last couple of years. It will be fun trying new places, meeting new people, and seeing what the Valley has to offer. I will be going back to Bombay Spice first, and will also be heading back up to Proof. I am also chatting with Bourbon Steak on Twitter. They are right down the road from me, so they are a convenient feature. I figured I might as well start with places I know I like and that have inspired this new concept. I also plan to connect with these places on Facebook and Twitter, and will be leaving shorter reviews on Yelp, Google+ Local, and any other social media site that might help these businesses succeed. Since I won’t be working directly with the restaurant, I hope that allows me to provide a new angle on reviewing a restaurant.
I can’t wait to start eating and start reviewing all of these great local restaurants. If there is a restaurant you would like me to review, please leave that in the comment section below. I hope you’re hungry!