I was born and raised in Arizona, and I’ve lived in many parts of the greater Phoenix area. If I haven’t lived in a certain city or town, then there’s a really good chance I’ve visited a few times. I’ve lived in Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Lake Pleasant area, Glendale, Arcadia and currently, downtown Phoenix. I’ve also spent a large amount of time traveling east to Tempe for school and Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler (that whole area in general) for dance competitions growing up. If there’s one thing I could tell you about the Gilbert–Chandler area, it’d be that it’s so sweet and homey and family-oriented.
Now perhaps some of this has to do with the fact that there’s a water tower in Gilbert, similar to the one above, but when I walked into The Orchard Phoenix, I totally felt like I was in Gilbert. The Orchard is three separate restaurants (Pomelo, where I ate; Splurge, an ice-cream shop; and Luci’s Healthy Marketplace) all surrounding one cute little courtyard area. The courtyard has a fun splash pad and tables for parents to sit at, and when I visited around 11 a.m. on Sunday, there were dozens of cute little kids running around!
I personally love eating around children and families. I think it’s so sweet to see how they play and watch the parents chase after them… And I have to say, there was no crying or screaming during my restaurant visit, so that was a pleasant surprise.
I went to Pomelo for brunch and was hoping to have some french toast or something relatively simple. The first thing I noticed on the menu was that every item was pretty complex, except for the appetizers. There were so many ingredients in every meal, and while everything on the menu looked truly delicious, I would recommend checking the menu before going if you’re a picky eater like me.
I ended up going with garlic focaccia bread and wings, and my boyfriend, Spencer, went with a cheeseburger. It wasn’t exactly french toast, but it was surprisingly delicious.
It was probably the weirdest meal combination I’ve ever had… but it sounded good, so I went with it. The wings were so spicy. Seriously. I like hot wings, and I loved these, but they were really intense. If you can’t handle hot, do not order these. You’ve been warned. If you do like spicy, like me, then you’ll love these!
Slightly pictured above (on the left), you’ll see an iced mocha. One word to describe this: WOW. It was the best iced mocha I’ve ever had, and I am not exaggerating. The espresso was perfectly roasted, the chocolate was rich and sweet, but not too rich or sweet, and I drank the whole thing without feeling sick at the end. If anything, stop by just to order an iced mocha.
Spencer thoroughly enjoyed his burger, but it’s probably worth noting that it was slightly overdone. (He ordered medium). So if you’re picky about how your burger’s cooked, then I’d suggest being very specific with them. Overall, though, I could tell he liked it because he actually finished it! (He almost never finishes his food).
This bread… where do I even begin. It was probably 3 inches thick, and it was the perfect combination of crispy and soft. Honestly, it’s probably the tastiest, most unique bread I’ve ever had in Arizona, and I don’t just recommend it; I demand you order it when you go.
In terms of service:
Our waiter was polite and respectful, and the hostess sat us extremely quickly. This was particularly notable considering how packed the place was. However, it probably took 10 minutes before the waiter came to take our drink orders (and we weren’t given water while waiting), and then the food took a decent amount of time, too.
I’m all about waiting if the food’s super hot and fresh, but it didn’t appear as though our food was fresh off the stove or out of the oven when it was delivered. Additionally, we almost didn’t get our focaccia bread! Our waiter didn’t bring it out at first, and thank GOODNESS I said something because it was hands-down the best food on the table.
In terms of atmosphere:
This place has a chic and sophisticated vibe to it. It’s definitely a place where you would wear wedges and a floral summer dress, unless you’re just headed to Luci’s or Splurge. (And keep in mind, I visited on a Sunday). I showed up in denim shorts and a loose bohemian top with my hair in a ponytail and felt completely underdressed sitting in Pomelo. If you’re questioning your outfit, I’d suggest dressing up as opposed to dressing down.
The general age range was 30 and older (plus kids). Most entrees were $15 and up.
I would recommend Pomelo at The Orchard for a special occasion meal with the family. It wouldn’t be my weekly restaurant, just because the menu and vibes overall were a bit sophisticated for my taste, but if you like to dress up and eat somewhat extravagant meals, then this could definitely be the place for you!
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