By Lynette Carrington
Salty Sow has been a culinary destination for more than five years. People flock to the rustic-y foodie hot spot that has been consistently garnering food buzz to enjoy a unique gastropub experience. Make no mistake about it, the modern farmhouse chic at Salty Sow carries with it a high-end dining experience coupled with the added benefit featuring local and sustainable ingredients. Salty Sow now announces lunch service beginning Monday, Oct. 2 and Scottsdale.com was invited to come and test drive the new lunch menu.
The Salty Sow menu includes a little bit of everything, but the most endearing entrees on its lunch menu are modern twists on American classics. We kicked off our meal with a sampling of wonderful starters. The seven starters on the debut lunch menu include truffled deviled eggs, green chili pork, guacamole and chips, eggplant fries, “GCP” nachos, duck fat fries and crispy Brussels sprout leaves. Each was a unique and fun taste romp through the delicious world of Salty Sow, but two selections in particular really stood out to my taste buds. The green chili pork is served with pepper jack cheese and a collection of warm buttered tortillas. The meat is tantalizingly tender with just the perfect amount of spice. The tortillas are impossibly soft and coupled with the pork, the two are heavenly. This chili is a signature dish that is also served by Salty Sow’s sister restaurant in Scottsdale, Roaring Fork. If you don’t order any other starter, this would be the one you should try. I also thoroughly enjoyed the crispy Brussels sprout leaves. The single flaked leaves are slightly crisped and have a fantastic flavor that is augmented by golden raisins and pecorino cheese. The combination of flavors and textures is a home run of flavor!
Executive chef and owner, Harold Marmulstein was visiting from Austin, TX, taking a quick break from building out Tumble 22, a new hot chicken concept restaurant that will be moving into the Texas city soon. He came to our table gathering feedback about the new lunch menu items at Salty Sow while telling us a bit about the new restaurant that will be growing from a food truck into a full-fledged culinary destination in Texas. There’s no denying that restaurants with a chicken concept are hot right now. Really hot. And nobody does chicken and hot quite like Marmulstein and his collection of restaurants.
This chicken expertise certainly shines through in the new lunch menu at Salty Sow, too. I chose more of a “brunch-y” sort of entrée for my main dish – the “BBLT,” a Salty Sow twist on a classic BLT. This upscale open-faced version included a thick-cut toast with a smattering of mayo, a massive lettuce leaf, fried green tomatoes, tender pork belly and bacon topped with a couple of sunny side up eggs. The entrée is super filling, so be prepared, but the combination of bold flavors shines through and is perfectly accented by the wonderful pork belly that is soft and flavorful. Plus, you can’t just find fried green tomatoes just anywhere! The version on this sandwich are lightly battered and flash fried, bringing an extra dimension to the yummy dish.
Another entrée which stood out was the honey rosemary dipped bone-in fried chicken. You will know your dish is ready before it arrives at your table because you’ll smell the honey coming! The large pieces of sweet battered chicken are a nice departure from typical fried chicken and the taste will leave you cheering for more. The entrée is served with a side of kale slaw. Another fabulous entrée is the Salty Sow French dip. The sandwich features meat piled high on a soft brioche bun, served with au jus, gruyere cheese, horseradish sauce and a side of duck fat fries. Yes, duck fat fries. They are like French fries but cooked in duck fat, instead. Yes, they do taste a bit different than traditional fries, and yes, you will want these.
Other entrees on the new Salty Sow lunch menu include the PV salad, Harold’s chicken salad, Brussels sprout Caesar (this is an incredible salad), pork ragout, crispy hot chicken sandwich, chicken enchiladas, or, if you want to keep it simple, a garden salad and soup. The menu is rounded out with crispy delta catfish, slow cooked beef shoulder, roasted chicken thighs, trout almondine and a classic double cheeseburger.
General manager at Salty Sow, Doug Lyons does an exceptional job at being present in every area of the restaurant, doing everything from greeting incoming customers to ensuring the kitchen stays on point. You will see the quality in restaurant management and enjoy the thoughtful preparation of farm-inspired food at Salty Sow. When you get a taste of the menu, you’ll no doubt want to pig out!
Brunch is served on the weekends from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and is only $19.95 per person. Salty Sow is located at 4801 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix. Visit www.saltysow.com or call (602) 795-9463 for more information.