Thanksgiving is here. Christmas is around the corner. Let’s face it, folks. The holidays are in full swing. Because of that fact, you’re going to need a new holiday song to keep your spirits up. We have it right here for you. Actress Kristen Bell recently teamed up with the group Straight No Chaser. Their collaboration left us with this delightful tune. “Text Me Merry Christmas” is the perfect song if you’re out of town but your loved one is else where. Listen. Enjoy. Repeat.
If you’ve been to The Gladly, then you’ve probably had their chopped salad. This isn’t hyperbole: it’s the best chopped salad we have ever had. EVER. That being said, The Gladly wants to challenge you to a chopped salad contest. What do you get if you win? Free chopped salads for a whole year. If you think you have the chops (oh God, we’re sorry for that pun), go ahead and submit your recipe on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #MyChoppedSalad, also be sure to tag @TheGladly in your posts, and list the ingredients in the comment section. If you win, your salad will be featured on their special menu from Dec. 14 to Dec. 20. The contest ends on Dec. 8, so you better get chopping.
Well, the clock is ticking. It’s less than a week until your house is flooded with friends and family. We’re talking about Thanksgiving, of course. There has to be some ways you can entertain all of them while the food is cooking. That’s when some pre-dinner cocktails make everything better. Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies are easy to make and quite delicious. Keep in mind, this recipe serves eight people.
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups apple brandy, preferably Calvados
Eight 3-inch cinnamon sticks
Bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan and remove from heat. Stir in the honey until it dissolves. Then, stir in the brandy and lemon juice. Place a cinnamon stick in a heat-proof glass or mug and add the warm liquid. Garnish with lemon.
Can you believe that in exactly one week Thanksgiving will be here? One of the best parts of that four-day weekend is the shopping on Black Friday. Yes, it’ll be hectic. Sure, some people may even get hurt, but it’s a just cause because of the savings. Okay, we really don’t believe that, but if you’re looking for something fun to do, Central Bistro will be having a Black Friday special. Starting at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 28, the restaurant will be serving their weekend brunch and daily lunch menu, along with bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas for $15. The menu will include the classics, like pancakes with soft butter and warm maple syrup, stuffed French Toast with sweet cream, and more. Now, we’re hungry.
Central Bistro | 3160 East Camelback Road | Phoenix 85018
We’re guessing a lot of you travel. Whether it’s for work or for play, plane rides go better with a drink in hand. If it’s a longer flight, don’t you want something more than just a whisky and coke, or a glass of wine, or a beer? We just discovered the Carry On Cocktail Kit and it’s pretty fantastic. This small tin contains all the ingredients necessary to make an Old Fashioned. All you have to do is order the whisky. Complete with a recipe, muddler/spoon, bitters, cane sugar, and a linen coaster, your seat mates will be quite jealous. Add this to our Christmas list please.
Have you been watching the news? Apparently, Buffalo, New York has already gotten a ridiculous amount of snow. We’re talking around six feet of the white stuff. And you thought it was cold here. Okay, to be fair, it has been a bit chilly in the morning and at night here. What goes with well with cold weather? Craft beer and warm food. Scottsdale’s Culinary Dropout will be hosting a five-course dinner with the help of Odell Brewing Company. The meal will cost $45 per person and takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. To make reservations, call 480-970-1700. We’re guessing you want to see the menu?
Roasted Baby Beets – goat cheese, fritters, preserved Meyer lemon, pepita brittle, mint, baby arugula
Pairing: Loose Leaf Session Ale
“Pork and Beans” – braised pork belly, white bean cannelloni, Carolina barbecue, spiced chicharron
Pairing: 5 Barrel Pale Ale
Diver Scallops – fuyu persimmon, pomegranate seed, sage brown butter
Pairing: Myrcenary Double IPA
Chestnut Stuffed Ribeye Cap – black truffle duxelle, creamed spinach, sauce au poivre
Pairing: 90 Shilling Ale
Pumpkin Sticky Bun – salted butterscotch, cinnamon roasted pecan
Pairing: Mountain Standard Double Black IPA
Monti’s steakhouse on Mill Ave was one of the Valley’s oldest restaurants which was open for about 60 years. It was a historic building in Tempe, located just across the street from the famous Mill and opposite Tempe Town Lake. It’s a shame the restaurant could no longer support itself. They officially closed their doors on November 17, but you can still keep a memento from the famous joint. On Dec. 4, at 7:00 p.m., they will be hosting an auction to sell off some of their memorabilia. Items like historic framed pictures, maps and vintage pieces along with unique fixtures and sports memorabilia will all go to the highest bidder. If you show up around 5:00 p.m., you’ll have a chance to look over everything to see what you really want. It’s a bittersweet moment, but at least you can keep a piece of the Valley’s history in your home. If you can’t wait to see what they have, take a look at the full list of items here.
It’s a major achievement when a restaurant/bar celebrates its fifth anniversary. In honor of 5th and Wine turning five, they will be celebrating with multiple days of fun, specials, and events. What exactly will they be doing? Trust us, it looks good. Here’s a list of what December has to offer:
December 2: Anniversary Wine Dinner, Oregon (Roco and Argyle wineries) vs. France (Louis Latour), 6:30 p.m., $75++
December 3: Live Music from Ivan Harshman starting at 6:00 p.m.
December 4: Live Music from Alan Dequina starting at 6:30 p.m.
December 5: Two-Dollar Wine Night plus live music by Korbe Canida starting at 6:30 p.m.
December 6 and 7 – Special Holiday Weekend Brunch, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. that includes $12 bottomless mimosas and poinsettias. There will also be live music on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 3:00 p.m.
December 13: The #SaturdaySantaSelfie event on 5th and Wine’s Expansive Patio is perfect for the holidays. Santa will be posing for pet or personal selfies from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Donations of new and unwrapped toys are appreciated to benefit Toys for Tots.
Isn’t it about time you bought yourself a new Porsche? That is a question we will never be able to answer, but we like to think that some of you might be able to. If you are in the market for a new ride, maybe the 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS is right up your alley. Its 3.6 liter twin turbo V6 engine pumps out a whopping 440 horsepower. Able to zero to 60 in just 5.2 seconds (which is amazing for an SUV), the GTS isn’t the carting-the-kids-to-school mobile. It’s so much more. Plus, look how pretty it is.
Gift giving has always been a huge part of the holidays. You sit down with friends and family and realize how well you know each other based on the gifts. Unfortunately, not all people are that lucky. This year, Sprinkles Cupcakes and the Scottsdale Fire Department join forces for their yearly for their Toys 4 Tots event from Nov. 29 t0 Dec. 14. Everyone who brings in a new unwrapped toy will receive one free cupcake of their choice. On Dec. 9, will be in the store at 4:00 p.m. to help raise awareness of the program. Really, it’s the easiest to do some good this holiday season. Plus, free cupcakes. What’s not to like?
If you haven’t heard CHVRCHES yet, you’ve really been missing out. The Scottish electro-pop band has been making waves since last year with the release of their Recover EP. They’ve been featured all over the place. Their biggest splash came from the opening of 2014 Common Wealth Games when they used their song “The Mother We Share.” Here is a single for the track “Under the Tide.”
Pita Jungle is doing good things. Seeing how it’s the holiday season, it’s important to remember to give back to others in need. Pita Jungle will be hosting an “Empty Bowl” fundraiser to benefit the non-profit Waste Not, an organization that feeds hungry people in the Valley. Every PJ location will sell a limited quantity of hand-crafted, clay bowls created by local artisans. The bowls are made by Arizona Clay Association artists and will be sold for only $15 each. With 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting Waste Not, it’s small price to pay to help others and get a cool, new bowl. This will only be happening between Dec 1. and Dec 7. That gives you one whole week to do your part to help others in the Valley.
‘Tis the season. Well, almost. In a just under two weeks, friends and family will come together for Thanksgiving. It’s a day to be thankful for all that we have in our lives. It’s also a time to show off your bartending chops. Here is a drink perfect for that and it is super easy to make. Courtesy of Food and Wine, this is the Hard Cider Sangria. Oh, keep in mind, this recipe serves four people.
1 cup quartered and thinly sliced unpeeled green, yellow and red apples
1 navel orange, quartered and thinly sliced across
1 cup apple juice, chilled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup apple brandy
One 22-ounce bottle hard apple cider, chilled
Combine everything, minus the cider, in a pitcher and let cool. When you’re ready to serve, add the cider and stir. Pour into tall glasses with ice.
It’s about time another brewery made its way to Mill Avenue in Tempe. The Blasted Barley Beer Company is set to open this Friday, Nov. 14. There are a lot of clubs and fancy bars on Mill, so this is a refreshing change of pace for all of you beer snobs. There will be more than 30 beer varieties on tap and a menu that goes beyond the your typical bar food. Since it is a brewery, there will feature their own brand of beer. Unfortunately, that beer won’t be available until later this year. If beer isn’t your thing, there will also be handcrafted cocktails, wine, and spirits. So, basically, it’s a place for everyone.
Blasted Barley Beer Co. | 404 South Mill Avenue Ste | Tempe 85281
This is exactly what you need. You try to spice up your life every chance you get. Sometimes, things need a little extra kick. What’s your go-to sauce? Sriracha. This is the Sriracha2Go and it is the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen. Attached to a keychain is a miniature bottle of your favorite chili sauce. Measuring 4.5 incehs by 1.6 inches, it holds just enough to last a couple of days or one meal, depending on your addiction. When you run out, just refill the bottle with the stuff you keep at home.
In just one week, Chandler tragically lost two of their finest. Officer Bryant Holmes and Officer David Payne both passed away before their time in auto accidents. To honor the men and their families, Loco Patron Tempe will be holding an all-day fundraiser today to raise money for their families. Fifty percent of the bar and restaurant’s sales will go directly to the officer’s families. Guests at the restaurant will also be able to donate directly to the family’s funds and participate in raffles that will do the same. Let’s not make it a sad event but remember that these two men devoted their lives to protecting and serving.
Well, it’s about two weeks until Thanksgiving, so, it only makes sense that Santa will pop up somewhere. Starting in Nov. 29, the third annual Santa Social will be taking place at the Scottsdale Quarter. At the event, your kids will be able to take photos with Santa for FREE. In cooperation with the Arizona Animal Welfare League, the event will be pet friendly and there will be pet adoptions if you’re looking for a new best friend. Complete with entertainment, the lighting of the holiday tree, and post-Thanksgiving shopping deals, it’ll be a good way to spend your Thanksgiving weekend. The event starts at 2:00 p.m.
Yoga does countless wonders for your body and mind. If you haven’t tried it yet, what’s holding you back? The W Scottsdale will hosting the Free Flow Finale with yoga rebel Tara Stiles this Thursday, Nov. 13. Starting at 6:00 p.m., yogis of any level are welcomed to join the event. After the session, everyone is invited to mix, mingle and socialize into the evening, while enjoying jams spun by a local DJ. After the yoga finale, Tara Stiles will be offering an exclusive book signing of her latest book “Make Your Own Diet.” Tara knows what she’s talking about. She supports The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, President Clinton’s initiative to combat childhood obesity. The yoga class is free, but everyone must register by clicking here.
Are we sure this isn’t a car, but actually a starship? No. With a name like the Trion Nemesis, we’re going to choose to believe that this is a vehicle for space travel. Well, with how fast it goes, it might as well be a space ship. The Nemesis isn’t Italian. It isn’t German. This is a home-grown, American super car. With only 50 being put into production, it’s likely you’ll never own one or even see one on the road. Don’t worry, we’re sad, too. We’re also sad because this ride has a 2,000 horsepower engine and can go from zero to 60 in just 2.8 seconds. That is just a stupid amount of power. Yeah, we want one.
Tomorrow, Tuesday Nov. 11, is Veteran’s Day. It’s a day we as a country give thanks to the countless members of the armed forces of the past and present. Who knows what would life would be like if it weren’t for their sacrifice. The least we can do is offer them a free meal. SASSI will be hosting a three-course meal where all members of the military and veterans will eat for for free. The specially created menu features an Italian chopped salad, Chicken Marsala or Beef Short Ribs, and for dessert, there’s a choice of flourless chocolate cake with espresso cream, and chocolate espresso. The meal is free for the military members, for everyone else, it’ll cost you $39. Reservations must be made at their website, you can do so by clicking here.