Straight Trippin’: Brunch & Dinner in the Valley of the Sun

I moved back to California after living in Phoenix for a handful of years, and while I was excited for my move, there were a few places that I absolutely missed. After being away for nearly two years, Ryan and I finally made it back for a little weekend trip. Part business and part fun, we had a wonderful stay and were able to hit up a few of my favorite spots as well as a couple of new places that have opened up after we left. Here is part I of an itinerary consisting of three-square meals you should try in the valley of the sun.

Phoenix is home to some of my favorite breakfast spots including Matt’s Big Breakfast and The Farm at South Mountain’s Morning Glory Cafe. However, two of our best pals had kept raving about this new brunch in town at a place called St. Francis Restaurant in uptown.

Pork confit special ($13), St. Francis Restaurant

Conveniently located on Camelback Road just a block from the light rail, St. Francis seems to be one of the new hot spots in the general downtown area as they were packed on Sunday morning for their jazz brunch. It’s still hot in Phoenix (even though it’s mid-October), so we decided to wait for a table inside. In just under half an hour, we were seated up on their second floor dining deck. The space was very nice with exposed brick, steel, and lots of natural light. Service was friendly, the atmosphere was local and cozy, and the menu looked pretty good.

While I enjoyed our time here, I feel like perhaps I didn’t order the right thing. I was talked into the special of the day, which was supposed to be a pork shoulder confit w/ poached eggs and potatoes. However, the pork was really just really carnitas (slightly dry from being seared); a little on the heavy side. The poached eggs were also cold when they came out and were a little overdone. The potatoes were the definite highlight. I feel like I should have either gone with the smoked salmon flatbread which my friend ordered (and was delicious from the bite of it I had) or perhaps their benedict or wood-oven baked pancake. They also serve lunch and dinner, so I’ll be sure to try them again next time.

For dinner the night before, the same married pals joined us for dinner at another relatively young Phoenix spot called Beckett’s Table. Located in a strip mall area in the Arcadia neighborhood, Beckett’s Table has been around for a little over a year now and has been getting some pretty good press for their hearty and delicious dishes. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect here but our entire table left full and happy. Prices are good and portions aren’t too small either. You can easily go on a comfortable under $50 date night here which is always a plus in my book.

Pork Oso Bucco

Ryan ordered the pork osso bucco which was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious! While the sweet potato spaetzel side wasn’t mind-blowing, the pork was juicy, and fall off the bone tender.

Cast Iron Chicken

My Cast-Iron Chicken dish was also good. Very flavorful chicken (more moist than crisp) with wilted kale and a very good biscuit stuffing. This was tasty (esp. at the good price of $16), but the pork was definitely a better choice. Not pictures: Ben’s meatloaf and Corinne’s Sea Bass; both of which got thumbs up at the table. Overall, this was a pleasant place to stop for a casual dinner. Our server Alice was incredible and the atmosphere was intimate but lively. Reservations are definitely recommended as they were quite busy on a Saturday night.

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St. Francis Restaurant is located at 111 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ.

Beckett’s Table is located at 3717 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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