The Main Ingredient in central Phoenix keeps it simple, delicious

Old houses turned into hip and modern restaurants are just so cool, and The Main Ingredient Ale House & Cafe in central Phoenix is no exception. And it’s hard to find a place in the States that serves Coca-Cola Light, so it gets points for that alone.

The dark and cozy eatery looks like it could be a romantic spot because the lighting inside is so low, but it’s actually more casual in that it has sports broadcasting on a television in the dining room, and the bar is stocked with more than 30 beers from around the country and a variety of wines. This would be a great place to come before a game downtown if you want to chill out but still want to be a part of culture, since it’s in the historic Coronado district.

The food menu at The Main Ingredient is simple and stocked with salads, sandwiches and American staples such as mac n’ cheese. Everything that came out looked really high-quality, and my food was delicious.

First, I really enjoyed the chips and salsa ($4), with chips from yummy local La Tolteca and a medium heat salsa. The chips had the perfect texture and consistency, and the salsa had the right amount of spiciness. They definitely rivaled some of the best chips and salsa I’ve had at Mexican food restaurants, which is no surprise considering they’re from La Tolteca.

For my entree, I got the griddled cheese with a ┬áside of greens ($7). Instead of the sourdough it usually comes on, I got the sandwich on focaccia and added avocado to go along with the tomato. Be sure to pair your sandwiches with the greens rather than the kettle chips–I added a delicious lemon vinaigrette to the greens, and they were amazing. I could have eaten that salad as the whole meal, it was so delicious–if you don’t like salads, this will make you a believer. The focaccia made the sandwich mouth-wateringly good, and for the price, I thought it was an excellent value.

Besides the tasty food, The Main Ingredient also features a little patio, and it’s definitely a central Phoenix gem that’s worth checking out.