Brunch at Olive & Ivy, compressors 101 and dinner at Monti’s

23 Apr

Jack worked on a friend’s car this weekend, so I had a lesson on compressors. I saw the whole process, from him taking out the old part, putting in the new one, checking fuses (he is very thorough) and replacing a transformer. What an education this was. Watching Jack in the garage (or in the kitchen for that matter) is really like watching a ballet. Everything is done with precision and thoughtfulness.

After compressor 101, the idea was go to to the Herb Box for brunch. Except for one thing…we couldn’t get served. I hope that our experience with service being bad was isolated. But, there it is. And lucky for us, Olive and Ivy is just across the bridge near Stetson and Scottsdale Roads.

It was a good decision. The best bloody mary I ever drank (drunk?) quickly, while Jack sipped on a Mexican sunrise (like a tequila sunrise). They have applewood bacon, the best $2.25 we ever spent (for 4 big slices). Also I ordered a capuccino, a yogurt parfait wth fruit (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) and a peach scone (the kitchen wench is a big eater). Jack opted for two eggs over easy, with more bacon (we had 8 slices between us…obscene I know) and crispy breakfast potatoes that were as good as the ones I had not too long ago at Aaron May’s now closed restaurant Iruna (which will soon reopen as Praying Monk). The next time I will go back and just have a croissant (shortly you will understand why I say this) and potatoes (and a bloody mary of course).

We did take some pastries home. Just look at today’s breakfast:

I suspect their croissants are homemade. Yummy.

Last night we were not feeling ambitious in the kitchen (that means Jack didn’t feel like cooking. Face it, I’m just the sous chef which means I chop veggies and such) so he proposed we go to Monti’s in Tempe. I had never been, so it was quite a treat. I ordered the flat iron steak with peppercorn mushroom sauce (and fries) and Jack had the 12oz sirloin with baked potato. The steaks could have been done a little less for our tastes (we like medium rare and they came more medium) but they were delicious. The salad was abundant and for a side salad it was quite impressive. A mountain of crisp iceberg lettuce, some carrot shavings, purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes with a creamy Italian dressing. And croutons. This is where the kitchen wench does a little dance. I am crazy for croutons and all things carbo. And Monti’s does another carb that I appreciate… focaccia bread with rosemary. They bring this out before your steak, it was a nice surprise. We brought the rest home (3 slices) since you don’t want to fill up on bread, so you don’t eat all of your steak. But …inevitably that happens.

However, leftovers are good:

Destined for the kitchen wench’s lunch today.

Monti’s is pretty historical, the first part of the restaurant was built in 1871, and near the lobby you can see part of the original adobe wall. And there is a lot of cowboy/southwestern/Native American art and photography that really makes you feel like this place was a part of the original wild west. We were also impressed at the size of the restaurant. Walking around, we were told by a server that on a Friday or Saturday night, during the busy season, they might serve 800 people. Wow.

They have banquet rooms, by the way, for your special occasion. That would be a gas.


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