neighborhood nosh

Backyard Barbecue from Indian School Road

By / Photography By Debby Wolvos & Jessica Mcguirl | May 15, 2018
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Photo by Debby Wolvos

The heat may be relentless this time of year, but the party must go on. Even if you are not prepared to saddle up and stand in front of a hot stove, you can still host a stellar summer backyard barbecue. Invite your friends over and let the shops and restaurants along the Indian School corridor do the rest. From unbelievably fresh meat and seafood to refreshing ice-cold beer, these local Phoenix businesses have everything you need. The shopping trip itself will be part of the fun! All that’s left to do is set the table and fire up the grill.

STARTER: Vegetable Nosh Board from The Market by Jennifer’s

1 A champion of numerous local vendors, The Market by Jennifer’s offers a charmingly decorated restaurant and bar as well as an in-house catering service. Boasting over 20 years of experience in the catering business, Chef Jennifer Russo has been at the helm since the very beginning. With the option to order ahead online from the restaurant, you can pick up their delicious dishes to go and plate them up as you like.

While you’re there: Pick up a few of your favorite local products from purveyors such as Hayden Flour Mills, Ramona Farms and Cutino Sauce Co.. They have a great little selection by their hostess stand.

3603 E. Indian School Rd., Suite A
Phoenix, AZ 85018

MAIN: Grilled Shrimp with Atomic Cocktail Sauce from Nelson’s Meat + Fish

2 The Arizona desert might not typically be associated with fresh, incredibly high quality seafood, but Nelson’s is well on its way to changing that. They offer up an impressive array of fresh seafood and fish, as well as several cuts of meat and some seriously tasty house-made dishes on special. Availability varies with the season so take a peek at their Instagram ( if you want to see what might be in the case.

Nelson’s always has Atomic Cocktail Sauce available for purchase in the shop, but if you feel inspired to make your own at home, here is their original recipe. Don’t have these ingredients on hand? Sprouts Farmers Market is just a few blocks east!

While you’re there: Get your hands on a bag of coveted Geechie Boy Grits. You can also stop next door at The Wandering Tortoise for a cold beer or glass of wine before continuing your journey along Indian School Road.

2415 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

MAIN: Carne Asada from Arcadia Meat Market

3 In an age when independent butcher shops are few and far between, Arcadia Meat Market has quickly become a Valley destination. Led by Luigi Paroli, a second-generation Master Butcher hailing from New Zealand, the shop focuses on humanely and sustainably raised proteins that are hand-cut on-site. In the words of co-owner Nick Addante, his carne asada recipe “Starts with 100% grass-fed skirt steak. Then I use my special sauce with some added spices and other goodness…” and voilà. We will take his word for it.

To finish the carne asada at home, simply sear it on a hot grill for 1—1½ minutes on each side.

While you’re there: Add in a fresh micro salad from Arizona Microgreens or a jar of Little Mae’s pickles to go with your spread. You can also donate a pound of Arizona grass-fed beef to their local charity of the month for $5 during your visit.

3950 E. Indian School Rd. #130
Phoenix, AZ 85018

BREAD: French Baguette from Essence Bakery

4 Led by acclaimed pastry chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos, Essence combines the flavors of classic French pastry with local Arizona ingredients. In addition to their breakfast and lunch menus with rotating daily specials, Essence also has a party food menu with cocktail sandwiches, salads, cheese platters and the like that you can order in advance. All we can say is good luck trying to stop in for just one thing—the pastry case is sure to tempt you.

While you’re there: Grab an assortment of macarons or a croissant for tomorrow’s breakfast. After all this entertaining, you will have earned it!

3830 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85018

BEER PAIRINGS: Growler Fills from Helton Brewing

5 There is absolutely no doubt where founder, brewmaster and Certified Cicerone Brian Helton’s passion lies. He has taken home multiple awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival, gaining recognition for his mastery of craft brewing the world over. Having brewed thousands of batches over the course of his career, you can bet the beers served up at Helton Brewing are nothing short of hoppy perfection.

Helton recommends the following pairings with our Surf & Turf menu:

With the Vegetable Nosh Board & Grilled Shrimp: Classic American Pilsner—malt forward with a crisp, dry finish. With the Carne Asada: Oatmeal Coffee Brown—medium bodied, toasty brown with hints of nuts. With the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie: One of their rotating seasonal fruit-based beers. We show the Blackberry Sour— a kettle sour brewed with 90 pounds of blackberries. Next up will be a boysenberry sour, followed by a strawberry rhubarb brew that will be available this summer.

While you’re there: Be sure to ask about upcoming events at the brewery. They host everything from art and yoga classes to multi-course pop-up dinners. Events are always better when beer is involved, right?

2144 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

DESSERT: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from Pie Snob

6) Located in an unassuming strip mall, Pie Snob offers a rotating selection of its namesake dessert, as well as tarts and cheesecakes. Their shop motto is “Life’s too short to eat bad pie!” and we could not agree more. If you want to make sure you can pick up a certain flavor or whole pie, give them a call or visit their website and order 48 hours in advance.

While you’re there: Stop next door at Alaska Pride Seafoods, a family-owned shop specializing in hook-and-line-caught fish and grass-fed meats. They also have local products on offer, such as Garden Goddess sauerkraut, b Naked chocolates and locally made sauces and pastas.

3630 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85018

FOR THE TABLE: A Floral Arrangement from Camelback Flowershop

7 Plucked straight from their website, because we could not have described it better ourselves: “If Modern-Industrial and Flowershop-Greenhouse had a lovechild.” Did we mention they also have Fresh Flower Happy Hour? All fresh flowers are half off every Friday afternoon from 1 to 6pm or until sold out.

While you’re there: Snag a couple of locally made ceramic serving pieces from Lafayette Avenue Ceramics or Bettina Chow. Local foodie finds also include items from Ruze Bakehouse, Goodytwos Toffee Company, The Honeyman, Lux Coffee and more.

4214 E. Indian School Rd., Suite #101
Phoenix, AZ 85018


Other Stops in the Neighborhood

8 Teaspressa: If you need a caffeinated pick-me-up, pay a visit to this adorable little shop. They serve unique coffee-inspired tea beverages that are as delicious as they are instagram-able. 4628 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018

9 O.H.S.O. Eatery & Nano-Brewery: Their Arcadia location offers up an expansive beer list as well as signature cocktails made with their own O.H.S.O.-branded spirits. 4900 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018

10 German Sausage Co.: This cash-only deli sells a variety of authentic sausages and cheeses, as well as other German grocery items. An excellent addition to any charcuterie plate! 4900 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018

11 Phoenix Knife House: Stop in the next time you need to have your knife professionally sharpened. Better yet, pick up a brand-new one. 4837 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018

The History Behind Indian School Road

Indian School Road is one of the Valley’s major east-west thoroughfares. The name is a reference to the Phoenix Indian School, a school that once operated at the current location of Steele Indian School Park (300 E. Indian School Rd.). Run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) with the intention of implementing the federal government’s forced assimilation policy, the Phoenix Indian School had a controversial approach to education during its operation from 1891 until 1990. It served exclusively American Indian primary and secondary students and offered an anglocentric curriculum. Young men were trained primarily in technical trades relevant to city life while young women were schooled in domestic pursuits such as cooking and sewing.

The federal government closed the Indian School in 1990. Today, Steele Indian School Park pays homage to the site’s history and celebrates the unique cultural identities of Phoenix residents, past and present.

Article from Edible Phoenix at
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