I’m always a huge fan of trying random places with interesting names. I missed out on Veritable Quandary in Portland so I wasn’t going to squander the opportunity while in Phoenix. House of Tricks is close to the university, Arizona State. So close that I was able to people watch college kids walking around with the backpacks on their way to and from class.
I started with the miso salmon soup and was shocked at the size of the soup. When I think about ordering miso soup I anticipate a small tasting, but instead got a heaping bowl that was filled with pieces of salmon, cabbage, and tofu and topped with crispy wontons. The wontons ended up being a little soggy and it was just far too big for an appetizer, however, the broth itself was the best part. It was filled with flavor from the salmon and a strong miso base. One of highlights of the meal was the butter that came with the bread. Normally butter is just that, butter. But not at House of Tricks as tonight’s butter had caramelized onions mixed in. It was quite tasty all melted on my piece of bread.
I ended up ordering the burgundy braised short rib and it was served with haricot vert and potatoes. The best part of this meal was most definitely the burgundy sauce. It was savory and complimented the very tender short rib. The veggies were crisp tender, just like they should be. The potatoes were under seasoned and tasted kind of bland, but I was OK with that because I had enough carbs with the bread and enough pre-entrée flair from the giant miso soup.
With most dinners, however, I find it hard to resist the dessert of the day even if I’m eaten like a gourmand and today was certainly one of those days. I had to have what essentially a deconstructed blueberry cheesecake was served in a chilled bowl glass with an Oreo crust on the bottom topped with blueberry compote. And yes, it was as good as it sounds. How can one resist anything with an Oreo crust? I highly recommend trying out House of Tricks next time you find yourself in the Phoenix area.