New Honey Lavender Pork Chop at Mimi’s Cafe
Sometimes dining out with children can be a challenge. You’re inundated with vividly colored mascots or endless drive-throughs. If you’re looking to venture outside of the car for your next meal, I suggest giving Mimi’s Café a try. I recently took my son and sometimes foodie sidekick with me to try out a new menu item at Mimi’s Café, their Honey Lavender Pork Chop.
Mimi’s Café Menu Contest
Before I take you on a tour of our dinner, and I absolutely will, I want you to know how the dish got added to the menu. The restaurant that is serving up French-inspired American comfort food recently posed a challenge for their guests; create Mimi’s next great entrée and win a trip to France. The restaurant received over 175 entries and then enlisted Elise Pierce, author of Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent and owner of CowgirlChef. She had the job of weeding through all the entries to find that one perfect dish that simultaneously represented fall and the Mimi’s.
Michale Watz of Evanston, Illinois submitted a recipe for Honey Lavender Pork Chops and perfectly combines sweet and savory. His winning dish got him and his wife a trip to France where Mimi’s parent company, Groupe Le Duff, is based.
“This one-of-a-kind dish brings the lavender of the French countryside to America’s beloved thick-cut pork chop, “ said Pierce. “We went looking for an original French-inspired, American comfort food recipe to feature at Mimi’s cafes and we found dozens. In the end, the light honey and herb glaze with the smoky grilled pork won us over.”
The culinary team at Mimi’s perfected the winning dish by gently glazing the pork chop with honey, herbs de Provence and lavender and then paired it with a mixed green salad with potatoes, cranberries, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, green apples and then tossed it with a balsamic dressing.
Mimi’s CMO Stewart Slocum explained the appeal of the recipe and why Chef Pierce is the perfect guest judge for Mimi’s: “The Honey Lavender Pork Chop fits right in at Mimi’s and complements our offerings, all of which are simply prepared and authentic. Our guest judge, Ellise Pierce, “The COWGIRL CHEF”, is a Texan by birth and Parisian by choice and embraces the heritage of two great culinary worlds. We knew Chef Pierce, an American chef and writer living in Paris, would find the perfect marriage of America and France in a single dish.”
The Jeffries Take on Mimi’s
Before my son and I left to dinner I had promised my husband I would save half for him to try. This was a very hard promise to keep. The pork chop was tender, moist, and juicy. The combination of honey and lavender was subtle but when combined with the aromatic herbs created a heady bite that was so comforting that I had a hard time stopping myself halfway through. The salad that was created to pair with this dish was a perfect match. The creaminess of the goat cheese with the toasted walnuts and cranberries created a fabulous contrast of textures. The potatoes were expertly roasted and well, they are potatoes and I love potatoes!
My very picky little person impressed me as much as the pork chop did. He had three bites of my pork chop and also blew my mind by trying some of the Calamari that I ordered. Not only did he just try hit, he exclaimed that he loved it and we split it 50/50.
We both tried our best to not eat everything on our plate because we couldn’t pass up eating dessert. I don’t know how many more years I have left of him wanting to accompany me on my work outings, so when he comes along we go all out. We went back and forth between two desserts so we went a little mad and got both with the intention to share. Aiden had one bite of his French Silk Mud Pie and lost all interest in sharing. I was equally enamored by my Strawberry Shortcake, made with several layers of sweet crepes.
While we were at the restaurant on a Friday night we saw a wide variety of guests. Couples of all ages out for a date night and families sharing a meal together. The menu at Mimi’s allows for all sorts of tastes. Although my 11-year-old is “so over” kid’s menus, Mimi’s has a nice variety of items complete with their French-inspiration. Peanut Butter & Jelly Crepes, Han & Cheese Crepes as well as Grilled Chicken & Vegetables and a Turkey Dinner are all healthy and interesting options.
If it’s been awhile since your last visit or if you’ve never been, I encourage you to give them and that delightful pork chop a try. With or without kids, you’re sure to find something on the menu that you love and friendly and knowledgeable staff.
My guy is already asking me when we can go back. I’m thinking some breakfast crepes are in the whole family’s future.
Do you have a favorite dish at Mimi’s Café? Tell me about it!
Mimi’s Cafe | 21001 N. Tatum Blvd. | Phoenix | 85050 | 480.419.5006
Mimi’s Cafe | 8980 E. Shea Blvd. | Scottsdale | 85260 | 480.451.6763
Mimi’s Cafe | 1250 S. Alma School Road | Mesa | 85210 | 480.833.4646
Mimi’s Cafe | 2800 W. Chandler Blvd. | Chandler | 85224 | 480.899.5612
Mimi’s Cafe | 7450 W. Bell Road | Glendale | 85308 | 623.979.4500
**I would never try to trick you! So you should know that I was personally invited to Mimi’s Cafe to try out their new pork chop. All the tastes, comments, and recommendations are made by me. My words and opinions are my own and cannot be influenced , not even by a juicy pork chop! Check out our Disclosure Policy for more information. **
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© Taryn Jeffries 2016