SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.
I’ve found my last meal.

You know that game where people talk about what would be their last meal before they die? I’ve had a few ideas go through my head over the years, but after dining at Citizen Public House in Scottsdale, I can say without a doubt that my last meal would be this restaurant’s version of pork belly pastrami.

The pork belly pastrami is a popular item on the Citizen Public House menu

An often-ordered starter, the pork belly pastrami ($12) is a luscious dish of thick cuts of fatty pork belly that have been cured like pastrami, served perfectly crisp around the edges to encase the fatty and tasty interior. But it’s not just the two slices of pork belly pastrami that satisfy, it’s also the accompanying shredded Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut and mustard jus that provide a delightful tang to cut into the richness of the pork belly.

The pork belly pastrami is one of my favorite dishes I ate during my spring training (baseball) trip to Arizona. Citizen Public House is a bustling restaurant in the heart of the 5th Avenue drag of boutique shops just north of Old Town Scottsdale. The décor is slightly old tavern meets contemporary pub. (For dinner I ordered an IPA that worked well with my meal.)

After the pork belly pastrami, nothing could really compare but the dishes that followed still satisfied with quality ingredients mixed with expert combination of flavors.

A large bar sits in the center of the dining room

The kale Caesar salad ($12) was a rich green plate of Tuscan kale tossed with grape tomatoes, croutons, and parmesan cheese all dressed in an eggless Caesar dressing. Underneath the salad was a slab of warm Scamorza cheese that I didn’t expect to find in a salad.

My main course was the Applewood Smoked Duck ($24) because I always order duck when I see it on a restaurant menu. The Maple Leaf Farms duck breasts were cooked nicely, and the flavors reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner with the addition of Bing cherry compote. What I really enjoyed about the dish was the rosemary millet under the duck, which was the first time I ate millet (often used in bird seed). At Citizen Public House, the millet is cooked until it’s creamy like polenta or risotto.

After the pork belly pastrami and duck, I barely had room for dessert. But I left Citizen Public House with a smile because of the delicious meal combined with a fun environment and fantastic service. If you’re ever in Arizona, you must drive – must, I say – to Citizen Public House to order the pork belly pastrami. Simply heavenly.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4 camera snaps

 

 

Citizen Public House, 7111 E. 5th Ave., (at Craftsman Court), Scottsdale, Ariz. PH: 480.398.4208. Open daily 3 to 11 p.m. citizenpublichouse.com

Citizen Public House on Urbanspoon

Citizen Public House puts a twist on the classic Caesar by using Tuscan kale

Much of the dining room is dark with most tables accommodating parties of four or more. Tough for a single diner (I ended up sitting at a four-top).

Applewood smoked duck reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner

9 Responses to Three Words: Pork. Belly. Pastrami.

  1. Sandy says:

    Three words: Must. Visit. Scottsdale. This looks delicious! And if it’s worthy of last-meal-status, it must be good :) If I ever make it out there, I will definitely remember to try this place out. Pork belly is one of my favorites and the idea of it done pastrami style sounds intriguing!

    • Ben Ben says:

      There are a lot of spas and resorts in Scottsdale. You can get a facial and then go get some pork belly pastrami! ;-) (Of course, if someone offered pork belly pastrami facial, OMG.)

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    Pork belly pastrami? Oh my, oh my! Can you imagine it piled high like a NY deli sandwich? A dream come true. ;)

    • Ben Ben says:

      Hmmm, that does sound good. Except NY delis would probably slice it really thin. There’s something about having big chunks of pork belly slices that’s so luxurious.

  3. hungry dog says:

    You had me at pork belly. And then again at pastrami. What? That’s such a crazy delicious sounding thing! ALso, that salad is ingenious. A little melty pile of cheese at the bottom? Yes, please. Sounds like a highlight of the trip!

  4. Mrs. L says:

    Oh man, now I need to find an excuse to get to Scottsdale! Hmm…there is hockey in Glendale which is not to far…Sharks road trip!

  5. GM says:

    I was recently in the Phoenix area for a golf trip, had seen CPH on Cooking Channel, and knew I would be eating there. I loved the Pork Belly Pastrami so much, I ended up going back a 2nd time during my 5 night vacation. It truly is a last wish dish. Crazy good.

    • Ben Ben says:

      You are so smart! I knew I should have gone back for a second plate of that pork belly pastrami. I’m so jealous! ;-)

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