By Maralyn and Norman Hill
Sunday, October 6, we had the pleasure of joining Doug MacKenzie of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau at Crudo’s Premier Brunch. It was amazing. The variety on its menu was creative and delicious. Chef/Owner Cullen Campbell has put a magic combination to work with his dedication to Italian influenced dishes using as much fresh and made by hand as possible, or when not, from the best local producers.
Drinks were just as inspiring, with brunch libations the creation of Crudo bar mixologist/owner Micah Olson. How wise they were to partner and each focuses on what he does best.
We started with a jar of Bacon, Avocado, Tomato and Fossil Creek Chevre. Presentation in a Mason jar was casual and the flavor outstanding.
Maralyn enjoyed Dazed & Infused—Strawberry Infused Aperol, Passion Fruit, Lime juice & Sparking Wine served in a flute. It was delicious. Doug and Norm were driving—too bad for them. Norm liked the description of the Up & At ‘Em-Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Galliano Ristretto Espresso Liqueur, Cream, Egg White, Orgeat & Soda served chilled in Irish coffee mug. It brought back memories of our recent tour of the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Lexington, Ky.
Doug tried Tuscan Baked Eggs with Tomato, Bacon and Herb Crusted Toast and there was not a morsel left. He would not hesitate to order it again, except for all the other tempting items menu items. Maralyn wants to try those next time.
Norm chose Brisket Beef and Beet Hash with Poached Eggs, cooked to perfection. He said the beef flavor and texture were outstanding.
Maralyn enjoyed Potato Croquettes with Poached Eggs, Crispy Pork and Hollandaise. Because she did such a thorough job eating the croquettes and eggs, she only had room for one crispy pork taste.
We thought we were through with our delicious meal, but the good server convinced us to share some Hayden Mills Polenta Hoe Cakes with Maple Syrup and Bread Pudding and Preserves. We did, and both choices made a delightful finish.
We have been to many brunches over the years. This was not the fanciest, but certainly one of the most enjoyable we have encountered. There are so many more Crudo dishes we would like to try.
Doug had been there for dinner several times. As a result, we looked at the dinner menu and it called us, so we knew we needed to return. Plus, now that they will be open on Sunday evenings for dinner, some testing menus will periodically be featured. We’re always game to try new concepts that sound interesting.
Crudo is located in the GasLight Mall on E. Indian School Road in Phoenix. Its entrance is in the back with additional parking spaces. It was a very creative and smart move on their part to create a stand-alone feeling in a mall environment. In any case, when you try Crudo out, please let us know about your experience. We sure hope it was as great as ours.
Maralyn D. Hill, The Epicurean Explorer & Norman E. Hill, Journalist
MDH-Board Member & Past President, NEH – Member International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
MDH- Member SATW & SPJ, NEH – Member SPJ
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