The Perfect Answer…

french-lunchFinally, I had the perfect answer to a question I get on a daily basis. As a restaurant critic, people want me to recommend “the perfect” restaurant for them. Problem is, restaurants are a lot like clothes. One size or one particular style usually doesn’t fit all, and I rarely know enough about the stranger in front of me asking me to give him the perfect recommendation. It’s a complicated question.

But today, I had an answer. My monthly pest control guy happen to ask me what it was that I did all day long, squirreled away in my office clicking away on the keyboard. I mentioned that I wrote about food, specifically restaurant reviews for PHOENIX Magazine. His eyes lit up and he said, and I quote: “So, for Valentine’s Day, what would you recommend that would be special but wouldn’t break the bank?”

I got that deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on my face because this question rarely leads to a happy situation for me or the inquisitive one. So I said, well, where do you live? He told me Surprise. Which is east LA (kidding, but might as well be since it is so, so far west from the center of Phoenix).

And then it hit me. Amuse Bouche. It’s in Surprise and it’s a cozy, French-inspired gem, with charming owners and outrageously delectable food…that won’t break the bank. I wrote about the young couple who own Amuse Bouche in a January story for PHOENIX Magazine called “Rising Star Chefs.”

I was so impressed with their food (and I clearly kicked myself out of the opportunity to review them since I met them in person for the story) I wrote to my editor before I left their parking lot. And I sent a note to my former editor at The Arizona Republic because I thought that the valley seriously needed to know about this adorable, cracker-box of a restaurant hiding out in the west valley.

So, finally, the inquisitive one was happy, I was happy and I’m pretty sure the young chefs at Amuse Bouche will be happy when they snatch another soon-to-be loyal customer, who happens to live around the corner.

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