Restaurant Review: The Phoenix

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The Phoenix. Photo by Hannah Koehler

Located on the corner of W 8th and Central and still swinging after 25 years, The Phoenix is a jazz bar and restaurant that serves American fare and plays live music six days a week. In addition to being an excellent location for a live show and an evening cocktail, The Phoenix offers a live jazz brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Housed inside a former speak-easy, The Phoenix creates an undeniably inviting atmosphere within its brick walls.

When I’ve had the opportunity to go to The Phoenix in the evenings, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the evening live music and their menu of American fare and familiar but delicious bar food.  However, during my most recent visit, I went to The Phoenix with a friend for their Sunday Jazz brunch. It was, overall, a lovely experience, and their patio made for a perfect and safe spot for eating brunch, listening to the jazz music playing from inside and watching the neighborhood dogs go on walks. 

I ordered the Herbivore Omelet: a three-egg omelet with sauteed spinach, feta, tomato and mushroom served with breakfast potatoes. My friend ordered the Downtown Dip Sandwich: Angus beef, provolone with Union Horse bourbon sauce and au jus. 

While the dining experience was a positive one, my omelet was unfortunately somewhat underwhelming. Though it was cooked well and the pairing of ingredients was conceptually good, it lacked seasonings and left something to be desired. The breakfast potatoes, which were crispy and seasoned well, were my favorite part of the dish. While I was not blown away by my meal, I still had a positive brunch experience as my meal was reasonably priced at only $8.50 and the atmosphere was lovely. 

My overall experience with the food thoroughly benefited by the fact that my brunch companion let me try her sandwich – the Downtown Dip – which was excellent. The Angus beef was well-cooked, and the bourbon sauce was strong but not overpowering. The $12.50 sandwich was simple but well-seasoned and overall delicious. 

While my omelet was underwhelming on my last visit, my previous experiences at The Phoenix have been good, and I would still go back – for both dinner and the jazz weekend brunch – to try something new. I am a breakfast food fiend, and I already have my eye on the French Toast with the Most – Texas toast dipped in spiced batter, topped with fresh fruit puree, whipped cream and a side of syrup – for future weekend morning visits.

Hannah Koehler

Hannah Koehler is the page editor for Arts & Culture on The Hilltop Monitor. She is a senior majoring in English and psychological science.

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