Last night, I was treated to a wonderful dinner at Brix. This is one of the finer restaurants in Flagstaff and was on my Flagstaff Bucket List. It was actually number one on my list. I must start out by saying that this place is pricey, but you are paying for local, seasonal, farm fresh ingredients and the stuff that isn't local, is top quality. And the service is impeccable! We never had to wait for the wait staff. Our plates were politely cleared as we finished. We never felt rushed or hurried like they were waiting to turn the table over. It was amazing.
Now to what you all are really curious about, The Food! We started the meal with Buttermilk Fried Oysters over creamed spinach and candied bacon. The breading was light yet flavorful and the meat of the oyster was tender. It was fried just to the point of having a great crunch, but not overbearing and soaked with oils. It was the dream of a fried oyster. The creamed spinach added a great contrasting flavor to the normal salty, fishiness of the oyster. And the bacon, oh man the bacon. Best bacon ever! It had a surprising, but very welcomed sweetness about it that went perfectly with how bacon should taste. The flavors were not fighting or overpowering. This description does not even begin to capture how amazing it was.
In between the appetitizer and the main course they brought us bread and butter. The bread was from the local bakery and the butter had some special Hawaiian sea salt in it. I have never seen brown salt before, but it was great. It had an interesting layer of flavor.
I ordered Grill Pork Loin Spiedini. It came with pecan and cranberry chutney, haricot verts which is fancy for Green Beans and I swapped the lentils that usually come with the dish for horseradish potato cakes. For those who have never had a spiedini, it is chunks of pork loin grilled on skewers. Under that was the chutney over the haricot verts.
First of all, I normally hate pecans, but because the skewers were still hot, the first thing I ended up tasting was the pecans. If those pecans were the only nut left in the whole world, I would eat them every day! The green beans weren't the worst I have ever had in my life, but they were not exactly the best I have had at a restaurant before. They were somewhat limp, but not completely I guess I am also not the biggest green bean consumer either. I never realized I had so many food aversions, until I started writing it down.
I have eaten plenty of potato cakes in my life, but I can honestly say these were the best I have had. The outside was lightly crisped, and the inside was so smooth. It was like paintball. You get through the tougher outer layer (which is still awesome in its own right) and get an explosion. In this case, it was like a bomb of the best damn mashed potatoes just melting in my mouth. It is hard for some people to cook with horseradish, but not the chef at Brix. He has mastered the art of using horseradish. I am in love with those potato cakes!
Now to the heart of it all, the meat. It was the juiciest, flavorful chunks of pork. The only down side is that the pieces of meat were cut at different angles so sometimes it was more of a problem cutting it. The meat was so amazing I didn't want to macerate it before putting it into my mouth. Looking back, I probably should have asked for it medium well, instead of just well. But my medical background makes me fearful of trichinosis no matter how fancy the restaurant and how far technology has advanced. Overall, it was one of the best dinners of my whole life.
My dining companion had the Seared Skirt Steak. On the menu, it comes with caramelized squash and the horseradish potato cakes. He switched the squash for the lentils I did not want. I can't comment on the lentils since I didn't eat them, and we already discussed the wonderful potato cakes. Let's talk some beef! Thin tender and juicy baby, just the way a skirt steak should be.
To compliment our dinner we enjoy three bottles, that's right I said three bottles, of Flagstaff's finest…. Filtered water. Oh wait, we did enjoy some cocktails. He had a Manhattan and I had a Raspberry Lemonade. The bartender was a little heavy handed, but both drinks were yum yum. The glasses were brought to us empty with the garnishes. His came with the orange peel twirl and mine had fresh raspberry puree in the bottom garnished with a lemon wedge. Then our waitress poured our drinks for us. It was so good. I can't picture a more perfect evening given the occasion. Well, maybe if a pretty piece of metal, stone and coal were involved.