Brix: A kitchen that contains the location of Arizona.
By: Carlos Dragonné
Discover new cities that had never been on the radar is always an odyssey interesting, because it all starts to be new and surprising. Lover of travel and the places gastronomic, out of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale to grab road to the north sounded like a good adventure, so I did not hesitate, I climbed the car rented at Budget Rent-a-Car and I ventured out to leave behind the sunset of Arizona to make it just on time to the dinner hour. Welcome to Flagstaff. Today’s menu is served in Brix.
When you get to Flagstaff it seems like you’re in another state altogether. As you rise in height on the road, the weather starts to change and all the vegetation around you, you declare that you’re coming out of the desert to immerse yourself in the Coconino National Forest where ponderosa pines and the cold of winter, and this is taking a long time to get to Arizona like you receive with a temperature of 2 degrees celsius.
Without stopping in the hotel before, we decided to grab way to San Francisco Street in downtown Flagstaff and along a path that we would use all of the days during our stay in the city: the historic route 66, goal, dream of the traveller, lover of road trips, I know. So we get to the heart of a destination that would have surprised me on more than one occasion.
Brix, like many other places are the palms, makes no great boast in your location. A few blocks from the center neural of this city STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), Brix is a beautiful contrast in what we can define as the innovation that lives in this destination day by day, home to the campus of Northern Arizona University, which decide, among other things, the coordinates to which the Mars Rover will go on the red planet. Yes… so big is the technology and the science in this city.
And yet, Brix is a return to basics. A tribute to the foundations of our humanity through food and cooking sustainable, beyond statements mercadológicas. This place is assumed as a local and lover of the local in a state that has so much to offer for the traveler culinary. And we are lucky because it is not exactly a place that has space, but I think we came on the right day.
A little dark for my taste but I understand the look entirely when I see the letter, a design that speaks of authenticity and real kitchen, beyond the relentless pursuit of the stars, the awards and the absurd headlines of the media specialist, Brix what you are looking for is to get us to that imaginary house of the chef behind this concept.
And the concept is what holds the entire menu. A statement, as I’m talking, of sustainability, of contact with local producers, returning to the earth what the earth has given to this place, and, then, the message cycle over the kitchen and the ingredients takes strength. There is a mind concerned about the footprint on the bottom of the oven, thinking in projects of agriculture, responsible, reverse-osmosis water, creating compost, reduction of losses and waste. Go a step further -or several – of a simple matter of “ecologically responsible”.
Then comes the first dish, a simple table of cheeses and cold meats that I wrapped in flavors of artisanal cheeses of Arizona, a phrase that I did not think that was possible until this moment, with his home at Proper Meats + Provisions, other than the business of the owners of this space, which ends by closing the cycle.
From here it is an odyssey that reminds us that, by far, the simplicity of the kitchen is in the grandure of the product and the unsurpassed quality of what you send to the table. That’s why I endeavor to carry the most of my appetite when I see a Pork Belly with Polenta and Blueberry, a Cavatelli with Sausage Calabrese, Mushrooms Roasted and Almonds, a Duck Breast with a Crust of Coffee and a Pork Chop with a Puree of Pumpkin Butter, Carrots and Kale. What I asked for? I asked for all that are reading above, plus a wine and a Creme Brulee to close the night.
Talk about the flavors and textures of cuisine perfectly executed would be a result of what was already mentioned, but Brix is one of those spaces that define a city and that delineate what a journey of discovery for a destination is going to be. However, it leaves a lesson as I cross the gates and go out after a dinner spectacular which is based on the ingredient and that a return to the origins of a cuisine that is honest and authentic, without conceptualization absurd or attempts reinvention of dishes. This place, like the city that houses it, kept the secret of knowing they are the only ones in a state that we associate with many other things and that, without hiding, is simply waiting for us. So back to the street and to the cold of a winter that did not know existed in Arizona, but with the warmth of a dinner which marked the course of what will be the next few days.
Our list of what to do in Arizona can be viewed here.