Cooks Out of the Kitchen—Local Restaurant Reviews

Judi Friedman and Jerry Lankin

Judi Friedman and Jerry Lankin

We’re two SaddleBrooke foodies forever seeking great places to eat!

We’ll review two restaurants each month for taste and presentation, service, price, value, and ambiance. If you have a favorite eatery and would like to spread the word, please send us an email at [email protected].

The Parish

15800 N. Oracle Road, 520-825-2525

As soon as your Cooks walked into The Parish restaurant, they quickly understood the NOLA (New Orleans, La.) vibe! Music, funky art, beads, and lighting combined gave you the feel of the magical city. We were seated promptly, given menus, and found many wonderful choices to try on their menu.

We shared the blue cornbread made with honey and cinnamon and topped with bourbon butter. It was served in a classic cast-iron pan and made a terrific first dish that captured the feel of New Orleans. Two of us ordered the shrimp and grits, which tasted just as you would imagine this dish would taste at a fine restaurant in the Crescent City. The shrimp were cooked to perfection, the grits were a beautiful marriage of cream and cheese, and the collard greens were a delicious surprise. Jerry really enjoyed his gumbo, which was served with chicken, andouille sausages, and traditional hush puppies! Both the shrimp and gumbo were so plentiful that we had them for lunch the next day. Our other guest ordered the Verlasso salmon, hot pickled wild rice, chimichurri-marinated pea tendrils, charred nopales pods, and salmon roe. No leftovers here—the plate was empty! It was truly salmon perfection. To end this totally delicious meal, we all shared the house-made bread pudding. This was over-the-top fantastic! You can’t go wrong with a dish that has chocolate chips, raisins, and butter rum caramel with fresh whipped cream. An incredible treat was enjoyed by all. The one downside is that when the restaurant is full, it gets noisy. They get really busy at dinner time. Make reservations in advance.

Taste & Presentation ****

Service ***

Price $$$

Value ****

Ambiance ****

The Parish is highly recommended.

Flavor of India

2112 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., Oro Valley, 520-544-3005

We went to dinner with our intrepid gourmand friends Yvette and Bruce for some Indian fare. The meal started off great with the quick delivery of some great garlic nan, Indian bread hot out of the oven. We ordered for the table so that everyone could have a sampling of the various exotic tastes of traditional Indian food.

For appetizers, we started with the vegetarian samosas, hand-stuffed pastries with peas and potatoes, which were hot and delicious, and a vegetarian sampler, a combination of several different vegetarian items, which were also good. From the tandoor oven we had the tandoori mixed grill of chicken, fish, lamb, and shrimp. Sadly, for those of you who cook, you know that it is impossible to prepare that combination of proteins on one skewer and have them all cooked to perfection. The presentation was dry and overcooked, and we do not recommend it. We should have known better. For our main vegetarian dish, we had the aloo gobi, potatoes and cauliflower marinated with fresh herbs and tomatoes, which was quite nice. Of course, we could not have an Indian meal without sampling the chicken tikka masala, wonderfully fresh curried tomato and cream sauce with white meat chicken, served with fluffy basmati rice.

Taste & Presentation ***

Service ***

Price $$$

Value ***

Ambiance ***