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He Said: Kettle Black is a great spot if you’re heading to downtown Phoenix

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Downtown Phoenix has been on the rise the past few years as more and more people start calling it home.

As it transitions from a day-only town to a 24-hour city, we are seeing some amazing growth in homes and businesses, so it is no surprise that great local restaurants are starting to call it home as well.

This past week, I happened upon one of those places, Kettle Black Kitchen and Pub. It was Saturday night and the place was packed with both locals and out-of-towners enjoying a beer and some great menu items.

I think I found my new favorite downtown spot.

Kettle Black is a traditional Irish pub with a better menu then you might expect from a pub. Friendly service and a comfortable environment make this establishment a winner in our books. How did we not find this place earlier is the real question.

We started with the Philly cheesesteak fries and were surprised with what arrived — a bowl of fries topped with thin-sliced prime rib, cheese, and grilled peppers and onions.

More often than not, when you order something like this, you get a little bit of toppings on the plate, but not this time. There was ample steak and more than enough cheese to cover every fry in the bowl.

As quickly as this appetizer arrived, it disappeared.

There were quite a few options I was eyeing for a main course and, after much deliberation, I went with the pork belly sliders that came with a side salad.

It only came with two sliders, which was perfect after inhaling a bunch of fries in the appetizer.

It sounded like it might be too spicy for me but the waitress assured me it would be just the right amount of spice. It comes with a sriracha honey and wasabi mayo spread on the bun. It balanced out well with the pork belly.

As is usually the case with sliders, there was a little too much bun, but with a little trimming I was one happy camper.

My dining partner has the pork belly mac and cheese which looked amazing and, based on the quick disappearance of it, I assume it was as good as it looked. I’ll have to try it out for myself next time.

Completely satiated and unable to ingest anything else, I had to forgo dessert but top on my list next time is the brioche bread pudding which comes with whiskey crėme anglaise and house-made caramel.

It sounds divine and, if I had any more space in my stomach, I would have gone to town.

The atmosphere and staff really made this a go-to destination when spending time downtown, but the menu makes it worthy of a destination dinner.

It is simple, but well executed, and I look forward to my next visit. Hopefully this is a sign of more great things to come downtown.

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