Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse- Best Place to Break Your New Year’s Resolution

The Dish: Dirty Cottage Fries
The Drink: Apple Pie Moonshine
The Place: Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse
The Location: Phoenix – 3375 E. Shea Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85028 or Scottsdale – 7217 E. 1st Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

It’s the beginning of 2016 and many of us are stoically sticking to our resolutions. We’re devoutly demonstrating self control – we’ve sworn off swearing (too f@cking hard), we’ve stopped smoking (you can do it), we’ve forsaken sugar, caffeine, carbs, and alcohol (way too f@cking hard). We are becoming the best version of ourselves!

But as the old saying goes – everything in moderation (except smoking – never look back at that one, unless you’re smoking meat, that’s allowed). So if and when you fall off the wagon make sure that wagon is on it’s way to Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse. There are two valley locations both serving the same menu – and what a glorious menu it is.

Let’s talk a little bit about Bootlegger’s housemade Apple Pie Moonshine. I’m addicted. ADDICTED! The first time I had it I about fell off my chair (after just a sip) – it was that good. Perfectly kissed with cinnamon and all the warming spices of the best apple pie you’ve ever had, only better! The fresh taste of apple bursts through with crisp refreshing sweetness and I swear it – this is probably one of the best drinks I have ever had – ever. Anything I write to describe it could never do it justice. It’s perfect. Go try it and then help me petition to the owner to bottle and sell this stuff – you will need it in your life daily.

The above mentioned (and adored) Apple Pie Moonshine is available served on the rocks in cute little jam jars and can also be enjoyed as the star ingredient in a mighty tasty drink  – the Apple Brandy Shandy. Here it’s shaken with apple brandy, hard cider, rosemary and lime to create one heck of a fantastic cocktail worthy of the guilt you may feel for cheating on your “no alcohol in 2016” rule.

Bootleggers also offers housemade mango and strawberry moonshine as well as a couple other ‘shines that can be ordered as a shot, in a flight or mixed up into a cocktail. If moonshine isn’t your thing (we can’t be friends) they also serve a bevy of craft cocktails, wines and beers.

Moving on to the food…

The food! I haven’t had a thing from Bootleggers that I didn’t love. But my absolute favorite menu item (aside from dessert, which we will get to later) are the Dirty Cottage Fries from the brunch menu (brunch available Sundays, 11am-3pm). If you’re shunning carbs you will want to welcome them back into your life to get dirty with these. Perfectly crisped on the outside, fluffy on the inside potato rounds tossed with melt-in-your-mouth chunks of perfectly smoked brisket (or pulled pork), cheese and veggies topped with a pair of overeasy eggs. It’s everything you want your reunion with carbs to be.

Also tops on my list is the Nacho Flat, again featuring that delectable brisket but this time served atop a tray (hence the name nacho “flat”) piled with crispy tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, spicy chipotle cheese sauce, fresh jalapeño slices, cilantro and avocado relish. Yum and YUM! These nachos have a spicy kick and will go above and beyond satisfying your craving for cheesey goodness.

Carnivores rejoice – Bootleggers smokes their own meats; choose from Schreiner’s hot links, prime beef brisket, pulled pork and turkey. Platters are served with coleslaw and a couple warm tortillas, allowing you to build tasty little tacos. Or just order tacos, they offer some mighty fine ones including pork belly, brisket, green chile pork, salmon and veggie (for those of you who have blasphemously given up meat). They also have a Bacon Board, yes, a Bacon Board. It features five different kinds of bacon (bacon confit FTW), perfectly charred bread, sweet onion jam, red pepper jam, whole grain mustard and sour little gherkins to help cut through all that sweet, salty, porky goodness. It’s meant for sharing, but I really didn’t want to. The Bacon Board makes gluttony feel so right.

The menu also boasts sandwiches at lunch, large plates at dinner and salads anytime for those of you sticking to your “eat healthier” guns.

Ok – dessert.

There are two on the menu. A Jack Daniels Brownie which I have never had — but hello — Jack Daniels and brownie together in one dessert! It can only be nothing short of amazing. The other dessert, which I have indulgently partaken in is a Seasonal Fresh Fruit Cobbler. This season the fruit is blueberry peach and it is knock-your-boots-off amazing. The crumble on the top is the foundation to all my dreams — buttery, crunchy, cinnamon-y bits laced with oats and quite possibly something elicit because I was hooked after one bite. The peaches and blueberries were cooked just enough to bring out the sugars and natural sweetness but their texture still maintained scrumptious integrity. The cobbler was served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream dusted with more cinnamon. Another masterpiece on the Bootlegger menu.

I could go on and on about everything I’ve had the pleasure of eating at Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse, the tasty chicken sandwich, the outstanding salmon tacos, or the delightful combinations and cheekily named trio of bruschettas (Boot-schetta) but you’ve been reading this for far too long. It’s time to head over to Bootleggers and see why I have proclaimed it the best place to break your New Year’s resolution.

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