Thursday, May 10, 2007

Phoenix City Grille - Phoenix

Phoenix City Grille (PCG) is a place Tara first tried for lunch while working in that area. She really liked it, so we tried it for dinner and we both really enjoyed it. She loves the pot roast. I've had the ribs and the burger the previous times we've been there and we are pretty sure I liked them. It had been a while since we'd eaten there, but not for lack of trying. We'd stopped in twice on the fly and found huge waits both times. Tuesday night we decided to go and called ahead for reservations. So of course when we get there, it's only half full. Figures. We were immediately seated and started looking the menu.
Tara was thinking about the pot roast until I reminded her we were making one at home on Wednesday. After that, she looked over the menu and decided to go with one of the nightly specials, a steak on top of beans and corn cakes with a chipotle bbq sauce (on the side for her, since she doesn't do spicy) and topped with fried onions. None of the entrees grabbed me but several of the starters/small plates did, so I decided to get two of them. I chose the pork carnitas and the shrimp and lobster quesadilla. Tara also got a coke and I got an iced tea.
Our entrees took a bit to arrive, but it might have seemed longer since there was no salad or appetizer course. Tara's steak came as advertised. The only problem she had was she ordered it medium or medium-well and it was mostly well-done. She said it was still good, but got a bit chewy. The corn cakes were really good and she loved the crunchy onions. She didn't care for the beans. I tried them and they weren't bad, just not something I liked. I also tried a taste of the chipotle bbq sauce, and it seemed like Heinz sauce mixed with hot sauce. No chipotle flavor, just hot.
My dishes both arrived on large triangular plates. The pork carnitas was a good chunk of pork with piles of pickled onions, fresh cilantro/chopped onions, pico, shredded cabbage, and a ramekin of white cheese and one of green salsa in the center. It came with a container of corn tortillas on the side. The pork had a really good flavor and shredded easily. I rolled up some tacos and the flavors melded perfectly. It reminded me of the street tacos we'd get in Dallas. I got quite a few tortillas and had some leftover. The pork wasn't spicy so Tara tried some and like it as well.
The shrimp and lobster quesadilla was really good too. Sliced into quarters, it had drizzles of some sort of sauce on the top. There was a good amount of shrimp and lobster and the cheese had good flavor too. I saw one piece of lobster that was nearly a whole chunk of claw meat, so they weren't skimping. The flavors of the lobster and shrimp both came through. My only problem was I'd eaten most of the pork before, and couldn't finish the quesadilla. It was good the next day for lunch, though, so it didn't go to waste.
Service was ok. There were times our drinks got empty, but they were usually refilled without us having to actually ask. One thing I did notice was that a table of four girls across from us sat for a LONG time with their menus before their order was taken. I started timing out of curiosity and got at least 15 or 20 minutes before their waitress stopped by. They all had their menus closed, so it wasn't like they looked like they were still deciding. Considering the restaurant was at least three quarters empty by this time, it seemed a bit excessive. Our first trip there for dinner we had a similar bad experience with one of their waitresses. She'd stop by all the surrounding tables, but never came to ours.
We'll definitely go back. I also am curious to try their sister restaurant, Sierra Bonita Grill. I really enjoyed my carnitas and I'm wondering how the more Mexican-influenced SBG is. The only things to be careful of are the possible crowds and occasionally questionable service. It's located at Bethany Home and 16th Street. It's on the SW corner, facing 16th Street.

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