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(Instagram Photo/@whereshouldweeat)
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She Said: Phoenix Devoured 2016 was full of can’t-miss eats

(Instagram Photo/@whereshouldweeat)

Another year of Devoured Culinary Classic has some to an end.

This past Saturday and Sunday, a sold-out crowd poured into the Phoenix Art Museum where more than 30 restaurants (each day) showcased a small bite or two from their uniquely-decorated booths.You could feel the energetic vibe of people bustling around excited to get their hands on all the tasty dishes.

Two full days of marathon eating is this foodie’s dream and, days later, as I am just starting to get an appetite back, it is time to recap all the delicious goodies we devoured and list our favorite plates.

Saturday

We decided to pace ourselves and take in the atmosphere and strategize the order in which we wanted to attack each booth. We slowly strolled and weaved our way through the event approaching it in a relaxing way.

Our favorites:

Windsor — Three-way pork: Beer-braised sticky pork belly, chorizo polenta with pork skin dust topped with smoked apple marmalade and pickled hot pepper. Pork one way is a winner, but three ways?!? Well, it was melt-in-your-mouth fantastic with the perfect amount of zest. Churn — Coffee Toffee Drumstick: Fudge-filled sugar cone topped with coffee ice cream, dipped in chocolate and rolled in coffee toffee. This cooling dessert was perfect as the day heated up. I loved this new twist on an old favorite so much I went back for seconds! Match at Found — Wood Grilled Korean BBQ Ribs: With shaved green papaya salad slaw and toban jam lime dressing. You could smell the wood grill perfecting this meat from the parking lot, tender and flavorful and the roasted peanut and thai chili sauce drizzled on top was divine. The Vig — Toritos: Chili guero stuffed with oaxaca cheese and homemade chorizo  and bacon topped with a peanut salsa. This is a new menu item at The Vig and my guess is that it is going to be a big hit. Federal Pizza — Short rib mezzelune: Braised short rib with mushroom duxelle, beurre blanc, red wine gastric and asparagus puree. This complex dish was a pleasant surprise from Federal Pizza, it was something you would expect from a fine Italian restaurant. I loved every rich, savory bite! Bootleggers — Boot Smokehouse Dumplings: Smoked pulled pork in a slightly grilled dumpling. This dish was outstanding, I loved the cowboy twist on an Asian classic.

Sunday

 

The weather was a little cooler and we were hoping our bellies were ready and empty enough for day two as we headed back into the Phoenix Art Museum. Getting there right when it opened our strategy today was to pick up our pace and try to fit as many booths in before the crowds made their way inside.

Our favorites:

Kai Restaurant — 60-day corn cake: With sweet butternut crème and topped with mesquite dust. This comforting cake had just the right amount of sweet but not overwhelming which made you crave another serving immediately (which I got).

Wild game machaca: With mecca chipotle aioli and saguaro on litoi frybread. This was southwest cooking at its best. The layers of flavors and beautiful presentation showcased the many talents of Kai’s chef.

Hana Japanese Eatery — Pork grilled links and tofu pocket filled with vegetables: This was the longest line at Devoured. People were waiting up to 30 minutes at one point. But, it was THE dish everyone was talking about at the event.

Relish at the Phoenician Resort: Kobe bourbon peppercorn slider: With bleu cheese slaw and caramelized onion. I am always on board for a Kobe beef anything, but this burger was divine. Juicy and tender with the perfect salty toppings.

Short Leash Hotdogs — The Bear hot dog: Voted by Huffington Post as one of the ten sandwiches you should definitely try before you die. Peanut butter, smoked gouda, bacon, BBQ sauce and topped with Cracker Jacks. Yup, this crazy creation was wonderful, and a MUST try.

The Larder + The Delta — Pork belly: Marinated in Homeboy Hot Sauce’s miso, kimchee and cornbread puree. This rich and spicy dish was my personal favorite plate of Sunday. I cannot wait to head to DeSoto Market for the full sized version.

Cibo — Potato gnocchi: Accompanied with lamb ragout, rosemary, mint and manchego cheese. How they got this gnocchi so perfect in a small cooking space blew our minds. The lamb added a rich meaty flavor to the soft potato rounds and the cool soft cheese was the perfect finisher.

Milk Bar — Pierogis: Filled with farmers cheese and potato. These polish dumplings were creamy and savory as each bite reminded us of our childhood. Milk Bar was also serving Polish Cheesecake cups that were fluffy and light with the perfect balance of sour and sweet.

Official Results

The votes were tallied and the Devoured 2016 winners are:

Saturday:

  • Best Dish: Aioli Gourmet Burgers’ white truffle slider
  • Best Dessert: Churn’s coffee toffee drumstick
  • Best Sip: Joyride Taco House’s Sloe Ride margarita

Sunday:

  • Best Dish: Litchfield’s at The Wigwam’s Cedar River ribeye
  • Best Dessert: Kai Restaurant’s chocolate gateau
  • Best Sip: Hula’s Modern Tiki’s Dr. Funk