Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Switch

Luck would have it that I had an opportunity to visit a client near downtown a few weeks ago as I am normally on the west side of town on a daily basis. I was hungry so I started thinking about what I wanted to eat. I looked at Facebook for ideas and saw that one of my friend’s had just eaten at Switch. I sent him a quick text to get the 411 on the place and he had nothing bad to say. I quickly did some research on my own via the bible - Yelp.

Switch is located in what locals like to call the Central Corridor. There are a variety of non-chain eateries to satisfy even the pickiest eater. It is also a locally owned restaurant that has a contemporary, lounge feel to it. This is definitely a place where some late night (well until midnight that is...) drinking can happen. They have a diverse drink menu with specialty mixed drinks, wine, beer, and their famous drunken Italian sodas. Too bad I was on the clock because their sangrias were only $3 and I love a good red sangria, especially the day I was having that day!

Due to the nature of my job, I tend to eat alone at restaurants a lot. I really don’t mind it though because it’s peaceful and I’m able to recharge before heading to the next appointment. That day was no different.

July is Switch’s birthday month and in its honor, they were offering great deals on food that day. While the specials sounded great, I really just wanted a sandwich of some sort. Everything on the menu sounded amazing and I had an extremely difficult time making up my mind as I was being extra indecisive that day. I finally had to get some help from the server. I opted to get the Napa pita ($9.95) with a side of their famous mac ‘n cheese ($2.25) with a pomegranate green tea ($4.55). Fellow yelpers raved about how amazing their mac ‘n cheese was so it was a no brainer to try it.

 I received my iced tea and was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was. I had never had a Republic Tea before and after that day I was definitely a fan! I had a hard time putting my finger on the flavors that I tasted but it was a little something like jamaica (hibscus tea) flavored with pomegranate and infused with vanilla. It was refreshing and was different than the normal iced tea that you usually get at places.

Then came the Napa pita and the notorious mac ‘n cheese. The aroma of the mac ‘n cheese made my mouth water instantaneously. Since I’m crazy about capturing what I eat on film, I took a multitude of photos before I satisfied with the way that they looked. I decided to try the mac ‘n cheese first. The first thing I noticed about the dish was that they used penne pasta instead of the traditional elbow macaroni. There were also big flakes of what appeared to be asiago cheese and a sprinkle of parsley. After I made sure to get every possible flake of parsley off of my mac ‘n cheese, I dove in. It was better than the reviews made it out to be. I would have to say it is the best mac ‘n cheese I’ve ever eaten next to Noodle’s and Co. Wisconsin Mac ‘n cheese. This dish was the epitome of comfort food. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside - pure joy from this three cheese mac ‘n cheese.  I was so overtaken by all of the flavors I almost forgot about the pita.

This had to be quite possibly the biggest pita I had ever encountered. It was layered with an abundance of leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, crispy bacon, thick slices of avocado, an ample amount of sliced turkey and to bring all the flavors together was a homemade sherry dressing. The dressing was the foundation of the pita and was the key to bringing all the flavors together. It was savory, tangy, and a hint of sweetness that wasn’t overbearing. The bacon was cooked perfectly and was delicately crispy with every bite. I could go on and on about how good this pita was, but you should just go try it yourself!
What’s a birthday month without some cake? Well that day the dessert special was a chocolate cupcake with butter cream frosting with a maraschino cherry baked inside for only $0.99. Since cupcakes are my weakness and they only make 25 per day I decided to get one despite the fact that I was on the verge of a serious food coma. I managed to get the last cupcake of the day which was a sign that it was meant to be! The frosting was creamy with a hint of amaretto and chocolate shavings on top but was a little too sweet for my liking. I bit into the cupcake and noticed a couple things - the cupcake had been in the refrigerator, it had the texture of stale cake and was dry. I was bummed out because this could’ve been a good cupcake had it not been in the fridge. I understand that Arizona is the equivalent of an oven this time of year, but that does not constitute ruining a perfectly good cupcake by putting it in the fridge! I was not impressed with the cupcake at all but that alone would not stop me from coming back as everything else met my expectations.

Switch is a little pricey but their food well makes up for it. I will definitely return when I can get a few drinks in since they have sangria and caipirinhas and of course great drink specials during happy hour or the drink of the day. I also loved the ambiance and the way the restaurant was laid out. It’s definitely a trendy place to see and be seen at.

Here’s the scoop on Switch courtesy of Yelp:
2603 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 264-2295

Mon-Fri 11 am - 12 am and Sat-Sun 10 am - 12 am
Takes Reservations: No
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Parking: Private Lot
Attire: Casual
Good for Groups: Yes
Good for Kids: No
Price Range: $$    
Delivery: No
Take-out: Yes
Waiter Service: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Wi-Fi: No
Good For: Lunch, Dinner
Music: Background
Best Nights: Fri, Wed, Sat
Happy Hour: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Smoking: Outdoor Area/ Patio Only
Coat Check: No
Noise Level: Average
Good For Dancing: No
Ambiance: Hipster, Trendy, Intimate
Has TV: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Happy Hour 7 days a Week            
Half priced Sangria, Drunken italian Sodas, Caipirinhas and Margarita Sunrises every day from 4-6:30