New Year = new, fresh dishes at Southern Rail

PHOENIX (January 1, 2016) -- For those whose 2016 New Year’s resolutions include “eat more vegetables,” Southern Rail’s new winter menu selections celebrate the best and freshest in the Valley. The seasonal, veggie-driven menu features new renditions of some of Chef Justin Beckett’s signature dishes and healthy-ish versions of Southern staples. Eating your vegetables has never been so easy…and delicious.

“People have a misconception that all Southern food is heavy and artery clogging, but really, modern Southern cooking is about celebrating local, seasonal produce and heritage grains,” says Chef Justin Beckett, “so I’ve been playing with the healthy-ish side of Southern food.”

The new menu includes fresh salads and savory veggie sides, all made with local produce, and a crunchy avocado toast featuring local favorite, Noble Bread. Chef also uses Hayden Flour Mill’s grits, a Southern staple made locally.

In creating the new menu, Chef Justin Beckett was cognizant of creating dishes full of flavor, without the heaviness often associated with Southern cooking, “I wanted to prepare dishes that enhance, not bury the flavor of the local ingredients.”

With this in mind, Chef Beckett has taken his Beckett’s Table signature fire roasted brussels sprouts and given them a Southern Rail twist, pairing them with in-season beets and squash, and topping them with black pepper creme fraiche, toasted pumpkin seeds for crush, and local grapefruit to really brighten the dish.

Grapefruit makes another appearance in Southern Rail’s avocado toast: Noble bread topped with mashed avocados, grapefruit, and sprouts. The SR version gets a southern twist with a chicken-fried chili topping to give it a little kick.

Chef Beckett also wanted to add a pasta dish to the menu, “it’s not traditionally Southern, but home-made pasta is one of my favorite things on earth, and I’ve had this mushroom dish on my mind for a while”. He uses local mushrooms prepared three different ways. First he dehydrates the mushrooms making a powder which he mixes into the pasta dough. Next he uses them in a broth for the sauce. Finally he adds whole mushrooms to the sauce, infusing it with even more mushroomy flavor.

Roasted butternut squash is a supporting player in several of the new dishes. The un-cobb salad mixes squash with smoked meats, sweet dried corn, hard-boiled eggs and a tangy Caesar dressing. It adds some sweetness to the aforementioned brussels sprouts and is served pureed with salmon.

Also new to the menu, 2015 veggie favorite, cauliflower, served on its own with pesto and tomato puree and stewed apples as well as inside a broccoli and rice casserole.

Caturday Night Dance Party @ Tongue Tied

Follow the laser pointer Saturday, March 5 for a night of feline fun. DJs Roya & Funkfinger will host a purr-fect evening of cat-themed dancing to your favorite indie/retro/fun hits. Enjoy kitten-inspired dress-up and drink specials. A face painter will be available for a cat-tastic makeover. 

What to expect from the evening:

Costume contest: The best kitten-spiration ensemble wins a $50 gift card to Linger Longer Lounge.

Photo booth: Take your own cat-bread shot on our green screen photo booth.

Drink Specials: Fishbowl punch