One of my greatest joys in life is discovering something new, especially when it is a complete surprise. This happened to me last month when Augustana played at Crescent Ballroom and I just happened upon the show because I felt like going out that night.
This is their most well-known song – you might recognize it. When they played it about halfway through the show I said “Oh! This band! I know them!” (I’ve never been accused of being super-quick. And since I write a blog about what’s going on in Phoenix, this is somewhat of a detriment to me. Which is likely why no one pays me to do it.)
So last week I was taking a friend to see a movie at Esplanade because he had never been, a fact that made me gasp out loud. How could you miss this delightful experience? There are giant recliners. And people bring you wine. We were torn about where to eat. I wasn’t super hungry and he’s not super picky, so we thought about just getting food at the theater. It’s not great but not terrible either – just standard and dull bar food. We walked around where Fuego Taco used to be and much to my shock there was a new restaurant open for business that I did not know about.
So apparently Ten has been open a month. And has been mentioned in Chow Bella. And is a great place with cool owners, yummy food, and a bartender who actually cares about being a bartender. On my first visit, he gave us a small lesson on pouring beer and then made me this cucumber gimlet.
Since it was a Wednesday night it wasn’t too crowded and we got to chat with Chef/Owner Jeff Hostenske and his wife Jen, who is the one who encouraged him to follow his dream now instead of later. Quite impressive – I’m all about people following their dreams right now instead of talking incessantly about ‘one day’. (I’m the worst offender, as my dreams sit here on my shelf, probably growing mold.)
For dinner I ordered the braised beef tacos on the appetizer menu because I was not starving.
Yes, that is bacon and a fried egg with tacos. I ate every last bite, and tasted the hushpuppies and Cordon Bleu sandwich. Everything was completely delicious.
I was so excited to find a new place, I went back Saturday night. I’m happy to report it was crowded and Jeff did not have as much time for casual chatter. He was busy in the kitchen keeping everyone in the dining room happy and fed.
This time I had the pot roast. It’s one of my favorite dishes and I was not disappointed.
You’ll also notice my cocktail, which was made exclusively for me off the menu by Bretton, who you can see in the background. He asked what I liked and made things up for me as the night went on. Here was his final concoction:
Thank goodness for Uber. I have no idea what went into this final drink but it was delightful. I may have a tiny (ok, giant) crush on Bretton now. My goal now is to get a drink named after me, so if you go and see a Phoenista on the menu, know I have succeeded.