Thursday, November 11, 2010

Food Review - Wildflower Bread Company

Wildflower Bread Company
2805 W Agua Fria Fwy
Phoenix, AZ 85027
(623) 879-6819
Don't forget to read the Yelp reviews, too!

The Wildflower Bread Company ( is an Arizona based bakery/cafe with an assortment of delectable dishes.  I feel like I would be lying or hiding something from the reader if I failed to mention that I make it a point to eat at Wildflower Bread Company at least once a week, or once every-other week.  Yes, it's that good.

For my blog-type reviews, I don't particularly give a star rating (instead, I leave that to Yelp) but I try my best to be fair and I truly think that Wildflower Bread Company deserves a 4.5-5 star rating.

The Menu
The WBC menu is separated into a few main categories:  Breakfast, Lunch/Dinner, and Baked Delights from that you have a wide selection of breakfast foods, hot sandwiches, soups, pasta, cold sandwiches, salads, and much more.  The menu does go into very specifics for catering, cakes, special events, etc.  My only complaint with the menu is that there is no nutritional information yet, although WBC acknowledges this and is working on providing that soon.

Of the selections on the menu, we try to switch it up every few times we head to WBC but sometimes we just come back to the same old favorites.  I will make an effort the next time I am there to branch out into something different to make future WBC reviews more varied.

If you don't have time to visit the website to get an idea of the foods they offer, think Paradise Bakery but more original.  Sandwiches, soups, bread boules, and fresh crisp salads.  They also offer a variety of penne and linguini pasta dishes.

The prices on the menu are varied, ranging from $4.95 to $9.95 price range.  Our typical visit to WBC usually runs ~$22.00 and that sounds steep, but that includes meals for two, a drink, and usually a variety of pastry (a cookie, cinnamon bun, etc).  Usually, this is cheaper for breakfast as we tend to not follow our pancakes and french toast with cookie chasers.

Unfortunately for folks not living in Arizona and reading this, you cannot enjoy the succulent dining of the WBC (as far as I know).  They are an Arizona based food chain and do have several locations throughout the valley.  Refer to their website for the location nearest you. 

For this review, we visited the location near the I-17 or more commonly known as the "Deer Valley AMC Center."  The WBC here is nestled comfortably between a Radio Shack and a Luna's Pizza in the side of a strip mall.  Nearby, you will find a Chick-Fil-A, Target, Macaroni Grill, Claim Jumper, Subway, and of course the grand AMC-30 screen theater.

Interior / Ambiance:
The inside of the WBC is decorated like a modern cafe.  Abstract artwork hangs from the clean walls, the floors are well kept and clean, the atmosphere can be best described as a mix of "commercialized" and "coffee house" and placed cozily in the middle of the restaurant is a set of comfortable high-back chairs with big cushions, a table, and a newspaper.

The Service:
The WBC uses the same type of "You order it, we deliver it" type service that many of the popular places are using these days.  Pei-Wei, Nick's, and even Chick-Fil-A use this same "order and we deliver" method.  That being said, the service is usually very good.  The cashiers are friendly and happy, always eager to greet and say "Hello!" -- occasionally we even get a joke here and there.  Halloween was fun, as most of the staff were dressed as bar maids and cowboys.  Festive!

Once you place your order, wait patiently for approximately 5-10 minutes for your food to be prepared, and it will be delivered to your table using their brilliant-yet-simplistic delivery method.

The Food:
This is what the review is all about, and this is where WBC really shines.  For the remainder of any additional WBC reviews I do, I can skip all of the introductory information and link back to it, because the food is the only thing we mix up.

WBC uses very fresh ingredients.  Obviously any dishes that have a bread component to them is baked fresh in their bakery daily.  Sandwiches come with crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, delightful cheeses, etc.  It seems like when the owner or head chef of the WBC was creating the menu they really believed in the old creed that "Fresh ingredients make a fresh taste." 

In the most recent visit, I ordered the Turkey Pastrami Sandwich with the mixed chips and honey mustard on the side.

Turkey Pastrami, Chip Mix w/Honey Mustard on Side
This particular sandwich is a "hot sandwich" the thick layer of Swiss cheese comes melted and layered between succulent pieces of 99% fat-free turkey pastrami.  Served on a piece of caraway rye bread, I found this sandwich to be one of my favorites.  I order the honey mustard on the side, but I feel the need to explain that I do this because I love it so much.  The WBC honey mustard can only be described as the thickest and tastiest combination of flavors you will ever try.  They make real honey mustard (none of this high fructose corn syrup stuff), where you can see the honey in the honey mustard.  I usually get it on the side because I am a dipper (both my chips and my sandwich) and it makes each bite have a rush of flavors.

My wife ordered the Caesar salad (dressing on the side) and their famous Potato Cream Cheese soup.

Caesar Salad, Sourdough Bread, Potato Cream Cheese Soup
The customary procedure for our meals is that I sample some of her food, and she samples some of mine.  In this particular case I have actually ordered this exact meal before, so I can describe it pretty well.  My wife usually finds this to be her favorite soup.  Served just hot enough (not scolding, and not cold) it comes with a piece of bread for dipping and usually in a cup or a bread boule.  The soup has a creamy cheese taste and each bite is overflowing with soft pieces of potato.  

The salad is crisp and delicious and is served with pieces of thinly cut fresh Parmesan cheese, which I promptly steal from my wife and eat for myself.  Muaha!
After our meal there is a 99% chance we've already ordered some sort of pastry to nom on, so BEHOLD:
Two Chocolate Chip Cookies
Alright, let's just everybody relax.  These cookies are gooooooood.  Freshly baked, always soft, bitter-sweet chocolate chips.  I am strong enough to admit that I don't love these as much as Paradise Bakery cookies, but my wife does.  I think it's the semi-sweet chocolate chips they use.  But I can admit, these are damn good cookies.  Good enough that I order one with every meal (except breakfast).

The Price:
As I mentioned earlier in the review, the price at Wildflower varies...I suggest a quick viewing of the menu on their website to get an idea of how much you might spend.  We usually spend approximately $19.00-$24.00 when we go to WBC but we are suckers for pastries.  Here is a quick list of what we feel prices usually run:
  • Breakfast for two people: $15-17
  • Lunch for two people: $16-19
  • Dinner for two people (including pastries/cookies etc): $19-24
The Verdict:
Like I mentioned earlier, we will be going back to WBC for a long time now.  The friendly service, convenient location (SO much to do in that Deer Valley area) and the food is good enough to keep us running back for more.

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