Posted by Shawn | Posted in American, Arizona, Bar / Brewery | On 08-22-2011
Located in the Coronado neighborhood of Phoenix in a small house turned restaurant, The Main Ingredient is a little hidden gem with great food and an impressive beer selection. With a menu comprising of mostly sandwiches, salads and appetizers, owners Matt and Courtney Diamond have created a comfortable spot that is perfect for lunch or swinging by after work.
Walking in The Main Ingredient, you will probably get the sense that this place is unique. There is a hint of a wine cafe but one look at the menu and you feel like you should be at a brewery. Turns out, the owners have a wine background having previously worked at Kazimierz Wine Bar in Old Town Scottsdale and Postino in Arcadia, and that’s exactly what they were going for. Matt tells me, “My wife and I have always been big fans of craft beer as well as wine. We basically decided that we would open a place with the class & atmosphere of a wine bar, but instead put craft beer at the forefront”.
Well craft beer is definitely one of my passions so visiting here was a no-brainer. Matt and Courtney offer more than 30 beers, with most of those in bottles but there are some choice local brews and a couple others on tap. Their wine list is impressive too, with nothing besides bottles over $10 on the menu (including food). This makes The Main Ingredient very affordable and worth the trip if you’re coming from far away.
As for the food, our group was keen on appetizers so we started off with Mindy’s Mac & Cheese, Artichoke Heaven (dip) and their Chips & Salsa. Let me just first say that all 3 were pretty good. The Mac & Cheese had jalapenos in it so there was a little kick but it was filling and good (plenty of cheese too). The Artichoke Heaven was probably my least favorite of the 3, but tasty nonetheless and served with chips. The Chips & Salsa were super fresh with a nice, chunky salsa that you could tell had lots of veggies and fresh tomatoes. It also came with warm chips from nearby La Tolteca that went well with the salsa.
After we nearly filled ourselves on these plus a couple of beers, we checked out their sandwiches and ordered different ones around the table so we could all try each others. I went with the Calvano, a warm sandwich consisting of sopressata, provolone, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers on focaccia. The Calvano was decent but a little messy when picked up.
One of our group ordered the Sheridan upon our waitress’ suggestion and it came out looking amazing. Named after the restaurant’s Sheridan Square location, this turkey sandwich included tomatoes, salami, cheddar, field greens and a spicy mustard all on a baguette. Easily the best sandwich at the table in my opinion. The Main Ingredient also offers some interesting desserts that our stomachs couldn’t handle after the feast, but next time I’m going to save room.
I’d also like to quickly mention the inside of the house that I found charming and perfect for a dinner for two. Matt and Courtney made what was once a living room into a dark yet comfortable place to have a date. They also turned the dining room into a full bar that has seating inside and outside. Combine all of this with their fun choice of music and The Main Ingredient is a fun place to change up the same rotation of restaurants you might go to.
Tip: Enjoy half-off beers and mixed drinks as well as $4 glasses of wine all day every Sunday and Monday.
2337 N. 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006