I recently made a visit to France and then moseyed on over to New Orleans.
Okay, not really, but I did make a late afternoon lunch stop at French Grocery. This quaint market is located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, just down the street from the always fun and eclectic Melrose District. What was first conceived in Louisiana by a family whose lifeblood was cooking and entertaining for friends has now carried over to dry deserts of Arizona. However, owners Kevin and Erin Lentz’s goal remains the same: to open their kitchen to a community in search of good food.
The name of this popular restaurant harkens back to the small neighborhood groceries of the French Quarter that, over time, became simple cafés with some of the best home-cooking outside of your grandma’s kitchen, but what many don’t know is that this particular cuisine is arguably one of the oldest ones out there. It doesn’t exist in a time capsule, though. It’s always fusing with classic and contemporary influences from France with plenty of home-grown innovation as well. My personal favorite off their ever-changing menu were the pomme frites, a blend of thinly sliced regular and sweet potato fries that are perfectly seasoned and paired with a lemon cream dipping sauce. Si délicieux!
The crossroads of old and new meshed with creole and continental is what makes entrées like these hard to pin down, but it’s exactly what you would expect from 300 years of tradition. So, while you may never get your hands on these recipes, you can certainly enjoy them! What’s better than that?