Saturday, April 25, 2009
Savor Scottsdale: The Kitchen
Like a Whole Foods deli counter without the Whole Foods, The Kitchen has an incredible selection of hot and cold foods ready to be eaten or taken to go. While I was out in Arizona last month, this was the place my team was constantly returning to. Given its proximity to our client, that's understandable, but after going there the first time, I knew I would be back...a lot.
Again, I'd like to apologize for the iPhone pictures for my adventures in Scottsdale. I was there for work, and blogging wasn't on my mind. I created this series mostly for the wandering professional who might find himself out in Arizona for a random training or conference.
The Kitchen is divided into several stations in a cafeteria style. The center island showcases their cold prepared foods (e.g. pasta salad, ready-grill paninis, coleslaw), the olive bar, charcuterie, and cheese
I grabbed a panini here once. Mediocre, but the glass cases are generally better for picking out cold sides like the dill potato salad. One night, I picked up two-foot baguette and a wedge of Gloucester chive and onion cheese and just dined on that. A word of caution, eating a whole loaf of crusty bread yourself can have a detrimental effect on your jaw. So as you can imagine, The Kitchen also has a bakery that churns out fresh pastries. Following along the wall of the bakery, there is a salad and cold sandwich station. I've heard good things about the cold sandwiches, but I never got anything there.
My attention was always on the rotisserie station. Their rotisserie chicken made a wonderful meal, more suitable for a dinner though, given the price of $11.99 for half a bird and two sides. I preferred the roasted chicken to the fried chicken, which I had on another day. The fried chicken was dry and over-priced at the same price for two pieces as a half a roast chicken. The basket of sweet potato fries is way too much for one person. Same with the French fries with cumin ketchup. Sure, add cumin to the ketchup, it makes it more interesting but doesn't make it taste any better.
The team's favorite item from the rotisserie, judging by the frequency of ordering, would be the prime rib sandwich though. Flavorful and juicy, you can't go wrong with this sandwich. Actually, you can see it in the background of the fried chicken picture.
The Kitchen also had a wide variety of dry grocery items, such as pastas, olive oils, crackers. They even cater to the gourmand with canned escargot and amazingly fruity artisanal gummy bears (Great Skott Gummy Bears from Wisconsin). I also discovered Fentiman's Curiosity Cola, an intensely herbal, deeply flavored cola somewhat like a cross between ginger beer, sasparilla and Coke.
The Kitchen is simply a wonderful place for a wide variety of eaters. You can get the sophisticated epicure picking out obscure cheeses and wines, or you can get the same turkey sandwich every day and not be disappointed. Don't dismiss it as just a high-end grocer without the rest of the groceries though. I don't know a Bristol Farms or a Pavillion's that could make a prime rib sandwich like The Kitchen.
8977 N. Scottsdale Road
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
$10-12 for a usual lunch, but goes upwards from there