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My Afterthoughts on Aftermath Bar & Kitchen - A food review

By: Kevin Thomas

Above are photos of some menu items served by Aftermath in Phoenix, Ariz. on April 28, 2023. The table ordered the After'mac', charred Brussels sprouts, broccolini, and trout schnitzel. (Photographs by Kevin Thomas ©2023)

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- This high-quality casual dining restaurant was inspired by rock and roll music and recently opened in 2021. The Aftermath Bar & Kitchen has been heating up the local American food scene ever since.

With a menu that offers everything from oysters to s'mores, even someone with a picky palate would like eating at the Aftermath Bar & Kitchen. The menu consists of 25+ different dishes and desserts. The Aftermath Bar & Kitchen also offers cocktails and craft beers on their menu.

Their "Shareables" are priced in the range of $9 to $24. Their least expensive shareable on the menu was their "Frites Street Beef Fat Fries," while their most expensive shareable was their "Wild Shrimp Co. Jumbo Shrimp."

Their entrees were priced in the range of $21 to $48 dollars. The least expensive entree on the menu was the "Aftermath Burger". The most expensive entrees on the menu were the "Grilled Linz Meats NY Strip" and the "Roasted Scallops".

Friday night, I had a 5:45 p.m. reservation and upon arriving at Aftermath's 1534 East Bethany Home Road location, I noted that there was limited parking in the front of the strip mall that Aftermath shares with other businesses. However, there was much more plentiful and accessible parking around the back.

The atmosphere was welcoming at Aftermath. The clean white brick walls were accented with black trim and touches of contemporary graffiti-style art commemorating admired celebrities such as Kurt Cobain and Anthony Bourdain.

The seating options were sit-down tables and slightly elevated booths that were separate from the main dining area which provided a more private feeling if seated there.

The hanging light fixtures provided dim lighting. The lighting during the early evening was classy and added to the comforting, intimate, and yet industrial feel that the restaurant provides. The two different fixture designs separated styles between private booth dining and main room dining. The small faux candle at the table added to those feelings.

I personally felt that the music within the location was one notch too loud and that the volume distracted from my experience. However, the genre of music that was playing fit the place perfectly - hard rock and roll.

Our server was very helpful, kind, and allowed the table as much time as needed to order.

The service was not only courteous but it was quick. The table placed the order and requested that the shareables and entree come out to the table at the same time. The food was then at the table in what seemed like no time but in reality, was probably still only 10-15 minutes.

The food served at the Aftermath Bar & Kitchen was nothing short of satisfying, fresh, and delicious. We ordered the After'mac', Trout Schnitzel, Broccolini, and Charred Brussels sprouts.

Let's start the food portion of this article with a starter; the Brussels sprouts. I found this dish to be very flavorful. The charred vegetable is served with a mustard-based vinaigrette, sultanas (which are a type of seedless raisin that I learned about through this dish!) goat cheese crumbles, and bacon. The Brussels sprouts played really well off of the more acidic flavor of the mustard. The bacon added a savory saltiness that was welcomed by the calming texture of the goat cheese crumbles and the sweetness of the sultanas.

The Broccolini was another good shareable option served with toasted pistachios, parmesan, Aleppo chiles, and green goddess dressing. This shareable had a good bite to it with the texture of the broccolini and the pistachios. The green goddess dressing was a good compliment for the dish but I do wish that the dressing was more prevalent on my plate. The toasted parmesan cheese on top gave a nice salty touch to this dish as well.

The After'mac', was composed of trotolle pasta, leeks, and three different

types of cheese (including Velveeta!). It was topped with chives and a cheesy crust. I found that the dish was cheesy as expected but fell short of the creamy consistency that I have preferred in mac and cheese. It was more of a runny consistency. The dish was served in a very adorable miniature stone bowl.

The main event of the evening was the Trout Schnitzel. The fish filet was crusted in chicharrones. It was topped with micro greens, bacon, sourkraut, and a sultana raisin relish. It was served with halved peewee potatoes and a charred lemon for juice. It was delicious.

Each element on its own was fine, however, when I combined all of the components together they made a very refreshing and flavor-packed fish dish. The sourkraut added enough salt and sour to balance with the bacon. This combination of flavors then meshed with the fish and potato tastes, creating a wonderfully balanced bite.

The dining experience at Aftermath Bar & Kitchen is a must for anyone looking to revamp their view of American food. It would be great for those who want fine dining quality dishes and experience at a casual dining location. Aftermath also serves as a solid date night location for couples in the area.



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