I may have enjoyed eating at Gertrude’s more than visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. This really should not come to anyone’s surprise, considering that I practically live for a pleasant dining ambiance, great service and even better food. Also, I am sure that I spent just as much time eating at Gertrude’s than walking around the whole botanical gardens. Again, this should be of no surprise!
Reservations at Gertrude’s can be made online and are recommended, although not required. I am an advocate of reservations as I like to know that I have a table ready, rather than wait for one. In this case, I had arrived much earlier than my reserved time at Gertrude’s. They were very accommodating and I had my choice of reserved tables out on the patio. This worked out well and I had a relaxing al fresco lunch after strolling through the botanical garden.
As any good gastronome would do, I had read up on the cocktails and cuisine served at Gertrude’s. This is something my food enthusiast friends and I do all the time. We like to know prior to ordering what is on a restaurants menu rather than pointing to the first familiar dish we see. It is just a smarter way to dine.
—— On the Table ——
From Gertrude’s seasonal menu, I had decided on several delightful dishes as well as a couple of refreshing beverages. Every menu item that I had tried was marvelous; Gertrude’s used fresh, high-quality ingredients and creative food presentation.
— Cactus Cosmo —
To kick off my delightful lunch, I ordered the Cactus Cosmo made with orange vodka, Arizona cactus water, lime, cranberry and prickly pear nectar. It was a lovely looking drink and served in a beautifully designed martini glass. It was very tasteful and classy cocktail.
— Elote Fritters —
Corn + Cotija Cheese + Cilantro-Lime Aioli + Achiote
To start, I ordered on the Elote Fritters which were very delicious. Think, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and sweet corn kernels with every bite. The cotija cheese and cilantro-lime aioli was the perfect way to dress up these tasty fritters! There were also plenty of Elote Fitters and this would make a great sharable appy.
— Sonora Smoked Salmon Salad —
Upon ordering this impressive looking salad, my thoughts were to order a dish of lighter fare since I had been eating heavily while in Phoenix. Then my server walked out with this spectacular salad which received a lot of attention from other patrons. I had flashbacks of when I was in Dresden, Germany with a large chicken salad, which was receive the same type of attention. This will just go down in one of my food memories of “ein sehr großer Salat” or “A very large salad” in German!
The Sonora Salmon salad was not only plated beautifully but was a very palatable. I enjoyed all that fresh shredded salmon on top of that big bed of delicate greens. I know this sounds funny, but I really enjoyed the Arizona hard boiled eggs that were served with the salad. I just love fresh eggs and these were perfect. There was so much salad that I ate what I could because I wanted dessert. If you saw the dessert menu, you would not blame me.
— Toddy Iced Coffee —
After two delectable dishes, I was starting to slip into a self induced food coma. When this happens, as it does a lot, I order a caffeine pick me up. In this case, I ordered a black Toddy Iced Coffee which was strong and had great flavor.
I enjoyed this pick me up so much that that I asked for a to go cup at the end of my full meal. It was a nice treat to sip it through the gardens on the way to the butterfly pavilion. If you enjoy iced coffee, I do suggest having the Toddy.
— Carrot Cake Custard —
For dessert I chose the Carrot Cake Custard which was a magnificent way to end my meal at Gertrude’s. The people who know me well, know that I love a good carrot cake. When I saw this sweet dish on the menu, I was excited to taste their version of a favorite dessert.
This was one heavenly multiple layered custard! The spices were nicely balanced with the sweetness, just like in a true carrot cake. Additionally, I thought the snickerdoodle cookie was a clever touch because the flavors were very similar. The cookie was also a fun and tasty way to scoop and eat the custard. This was a divine dessert and ranks up there with my favorite Carrot Cake experiences.
Gertrude’s was marvelous and was a delicious addition to my day at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. If you do plan on visiting the gardens, also plan on having a meal at Gertrude’s. You do not have to spend as much time as I did at the restaurant but I do kind of recommend it – Bon Appetite!
For restaurant information and reservations, please visit Gertrude’s Restaurant
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