AZ88 is a Valley staple has long been the place to go when you were craving a martini.
Wait, did I say martini? I meant massive martini!
The art form the servers have of being able to carry this large, completely filled-to-the-brim drink is mind-boggling. Each and every visit, I wait for the spill or the crash of glass and am always disappointed. They must have gone through some sort of training for the drink delivery alone.
The servers aren’t the only ones doing a great job; the bartenders are both attentive and efficient at keeping the bar moving. If the bar looks busy, just give them a wave and they will find a way to get you what you are searching for or recommend something you didn’t realize you were craving yet.
Who knew, after going for years for the atmosphere and the drinks, that I would find one of my favorite burgers in the Valley? The Au Poivre I has become my go-to burger when I am feeling the need for a well-prepared, but slightly different-tasting, burger.
This burger is marinated in a burgundy and cracked pepper sauce that is just amazing to the taste buds. I get it plain or with an occasional slice of cheese, but it has such flavor why would you want to add anything else? It has a bite to it thanks to the peppercorns but the burgundy marinade really mixes well and balances it out.
There is another version, the Au Poivre II, but I find it a bit too much and only on a rare occasion will I venture out and order it. It includes bacon and crumbled blue cheese. All the burgers and sandwiches comes with waffle fries, which have to be my favorite style.
My advice? Ask for the remoulade sauce to dip your fries.
Of course, that is not to say that the rest of the menu is not good. In fact, there are a lot of delightful choices that I have sampled on many of my friend’s plates. When looking for just a good nosh, the St. Petersburg chips are a great option — their house-made chips are topped with smoked salmon, sour cream, cream cheese, radish, onion and cucumber. It’s really a great brunch or lazy day option.
For the lighter evening, the gallettes, or flatbreads, are baked very crisp and topped with bacon, caramelized onions, black olives and parmesan cheese. I admit it sounds too simple to be special but these are perfect if you aren’t looking for anything heavy to weigh you down.
If you are looking to cut the red meat out, there is a page of wonderful salad options along with many other chicken sandwiches.
So walk into the all-white glass box, have a seat at the bar, order a dirty vodka martini and an Au Pouive, and get ready to start the night off right.