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She Said: Tom’s Tavern refreshes menu but’s it’s still good ol’ Tom’s

(Facebook Photo)

Tom’s Tavern, the historic downtown Phoenix treasure known for its power lunches, has introduced a dinner menu that is sprinkled with sophistication but also keeps true to Tom’s urban roots.

WhereShouldWeEat.com got an exclusive taste of the delightful new items, but first, let’s recap the history of Tom’s Tavern.

In 1929, Tom Higley converted the old city morgue and pipe shop into a burger joint and gin mill. Tom’s was visited by governors, mayors, city council members and celebrities to dine, drink and discuss.

Nowadays, owner Jim Gallen strives to keep that spirit alive but also shines some new light into the restaurant.

Don’t worry, that cherished vintage feel and Higley’s original brisket chili recipe are still around but some well-deserved changes, like dinner, have transpired.

Now on to the food! We started with a few appetizers.

Buttermilk fried oysters with bacon jam: The light batter was fried to perfection giving just a slight crisp exterior with a warm cushiony interior. The bacon jam had a sweet and spicy element and cut through the rich buttermilk breading splendidly.

Asparagus & Potato Tart. The flaky crust, which had a quiche consistency, was filled with savory potato puree and strips of asparagus topped with bacon for a nice salty element.

Slow-cooked pork belly with white cheddar polenta and cherry gastrique. (Yelp Photo)

Slow-cooked pork belly with white cheddar polenta and cherry gastrique. (Yelp Photo)

For an entrée we had the Slow Cooked Pork Belly with white cheddar polenta, bacon roasted asparagus and cherry gastrique.

The pork belly had wonderful flavor and was extremely tender — it fell apart as I forked through the dish. The rich polenta was a great starch to pair with the fatty pork belly. The earthy asparagus completed the dish.

Other items to consider:

•Locally Grown Campari Tomatoes and Mozzarella with olive oil, micro arugula

•BBQ Grilled Salmon with organic local greens with watermelon 3 ways, sweet corn hoe cakes

•Veal Meatloaf with mashed potatoes, honey roasted carrots and sweet & spicy ketchup

Tom’s also offers unique craft cocktails and local beers, and a well-selected wine list that complements its seasonal menu.

This is the perfect place to stop for dinner before a sporting event or concert downtown.

Tom’s even has a nice outdoor seating area where you can sit and soak up the city vibes.

Next time you are downtown go to Tom’s. As you are enjoying your meal take a look around and appreciate the fact you are dinning at one of Phoenix’s oldest restaurants.

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