Coffee. Where would be without it? Everyone morning is the same routine, we don’t want to talk to anyone until we’ve had our first cup. Though, coffee is relatively inexpensive, if you’re buying a cup from Starbucks every day, chances are it’s starting to add up. With National Coffee Day, one heck of a deal is on the horizon. On Monday, Sept. 29, The Refuge, a local coffee shop and wine bar in Central Phoenix, will be offering three bags of Café Esperanza for only $25. Café Esperanza is a Central and South America 100% blend of Arabica coffee beans, shipped directly from south of the equator and roasted locally. That’s how you know it’s good. The Refuge will also be offering $1 cups of drip coffee that day.
Posts by: Maxfield Barker
People in other states have no idea what real Mexican food is all about. Here in the Valley, we’re lucky to have so many options at our fingertips. For the last five years, the brilliant minds behind of the best tacos have come together for the Arizona Taco Festival. On Oct. 18 and 19, the fifth annual Taco Fest will bring around 50 competitors will go head-to-head in a “Taco-Topia” of competitions for a chance to win $10,000 in cash. That Saturday and Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., will be filled with entertainment, competitions, a chihuahua beauty contest, drinks from some of your favorite bars, and of course, tacos. The taco teams come from restaurants like Gadzooks, Modern Margarita, Blanco, Fuzzy’s, Hacienda’s, Milagro Grill, Rubio’s, and more. Taking place on the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, tickets cost $12 and kids under 12 can get in for free. If you’re planning on spending the whole weekend there, you can get general admission weekend passes for just $20. If you have an unhealthy love for tacos, you can go all out with the VIP package. The VIP tickets are $100 and include 10 tacos, six drinks from the VIP bar, hot tortilla station courtesy of My Nana’s, private restroom facilities (that probably the best reason), and a sandy beach facing the main stage. You can purchase tickets here.
We don’t have to tell you that football is back. You’ve seen it on TV, read it in the newspaper, and maybe even are playing Fantasy Football. What you don’t know is that you can get a free haircut if the Cards win this week. On Sunday, Sept. 21, the Cardinals will be playing their division rivals the 49ers. If we win, celebrations will be had. Keep It Cut wants to celebrate by giving away free haircuts. Yes, it’s crazy, but’s true. If they win, just head into the salon the next day (Monday, Sept. 22) and say “Go Cards” to your stylist. That secret code is only way you can claim your free cut.
Life isn’t supposed to be boring. There’s more to it than waking up every day and going to a job you hate. Everyone needs an adventure and that includes you. Maybe you’ve dreamed of exploring the Americas, top to bottom, on a motorcycle. The Triumph Bonneville Pegaso is the one that will get you there. Collaborating with Tamarit Spanish Motorcycles, this Triumph is ready for the open road and off-road when necessary. Tamarit used a significant amount of their own parts on this bike, but one thing is for sure, it’s adventure-ready. Are you?
You’ve heard of Bring Your Own Beer, but what about bowl? We might be more excited about this than your traditional BOYB. Clever Koi in downtown Phoenix had just announced a new addition to their lunch menu. Building your own bowl is a concept we like very much. The best part is that it’s only $5. Starting Oct. 1, you have the option to choose between noodles, rice, or chow mein and pair that with a particular type of broth. Then come the proteins like pork belly, lemongrass chicken or duck for $3 a piece, or sprinkle in some fresh-chopped veggies. Really, the options are endless. The lunch special is offered daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Today marks the release of Alt-J‘s new album, This Is All Yours. It’s been over two years since the popular UK band has released a record and we can already tell it’ll be a good one. This track, Hunger of the Pine, is dark, brooding, and ambient. It instills a certain sadness but we can’t stop listening. Just the watch the music video and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Do yourselves a favor and pick up this new album.
Just an hour of exercise a day will dramatically increase your overall health. Many of us spend all day sitting behind a keyboard, staring at a computer screen. Then, you go home and sit on the couch and maybe eat something not-so healthy. Once you fall into that habit, it’s hard to get out. You don’t want to do that. Orangetheory Fitness doesn’t want you to do that, either. If you’re looking for a new gym, check out this deal. Orangetheory is offering a free 60 minute session for new members. The hour-long workout is designed to push you into the “orange zone” where there is an excess of post-exercise oxygen consumption. It’s broken up into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or novice, the workout is designed for everyone. Looking for more info? Click here.
It’s been a crazy week, hasn’t it? Arizona saw an insane amount of water on Monday. With that flooding comes a lot of stress. Do you know what calms your nerves? It might not be the same for everyone, but usually a drink or two will put us at ease. That’s why the Weekender is here, to provide you with delicious cocktail recipes to get the weekend started right. This is the Sweet Lily from TapHouse Kitchen.
1.5 Oz. Patron Silver Tequila
.75 Oz. St. Germaine Elderberry
.75 Oz. Grapefruit Juice
.5 Oz. Simple Syrup
Splash Lemon Juice
Splash of Soda Water
Mix the Patron Silver Tequila, St. Germaine Elderberry, Grapefruit Juice, Simple Syrup, splash lemon juice and splash of soda water in a shaker with ice. After shaking, strain the contents into your martini glass. Garnish with a flamingo orange peel.
Has it really been a whole year since The Gladly first opened its doors? Time flies when you’re dining on great food and even better cocktails. Yes, the restaurant is celebrating their one year anniversary and are doing so with $1 chopped salads. Don’t worry, we think it’s a weird promotion, too. Though, their unofficial “State Salad of Arizona,” crafted by the incredible Chef Bernie Kantak, was recently named one of “11 Must-Try Dishes in Phoenix” by Food Network. So, that’s pretty cool. To say thank you to everyone who supported the restaurant, next week will be their “Week of Thank Yous.” From Sunday, Sept. 14 to Thursday, Sept. 18, they will be offering $1 Original Chopped Salad per table. With a new look inside the joint, The Gladly looking to spend many more years in the Valley with a facelift, great menu, and like we said, better cocktails.
It’s time of year where the new iPhone has just been revealed. We’re don’t really like to call ourselves Apple fanatics, but we can’t help but get excited every time they release a new model. We just love tech innovation. Anyway, as you’ve noticed, the iPhone 6 is bigger than the 5s. To combat competition from Samsung, they also released the iPhone 6 Plus, which is has a large 5.5 inch screen. They both have slimmer bodies and rounded edges. It comes with an improved eight megapixel camera with a capability for 240 fps slow-motion. Most importantly, the new phones have a significantly improved battery. All in all, it’s a pretty cool phone and we can’t wait to upgrade. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus drop on Sept. 19. You should get in line now.
Bootleggers is one of those concept restaurants that instills our faith in Phoenix food culture. It’s surprising that there are not a lot of BBQ places around here. That’s why we love the fact that Old Town Scottsdale is home to Bootleggers. The modern American smokehouse has just announced that Chef Stephen Jones, of Blue Hound Kitchen fame and more, will be taking the reigns as executive chef. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California, Chef Jones has made waves in some of the Valley’s best restaurants. At Bootleggers, he will be overseeing both kitchens, menu development, the catering division and with his roots in Southern cooking, we believe he is pretty good match for the BBQ concept.
This couple has lived quite the life so far. From acclaimed dancer partners to pioneers of Sonoma County’s wine industry, Rod Strong and Charlotte Ann Winson know exactly what life is all about. Just about 50 years ago, Rod purchased an old boarding house because he knew of its potential to make and house great wine. As you can see, they’ve been pretty successful. Next Monday, Sept. 15, ZuZu will be hosting Rodney Strong Vineyards for their monthly chef’s table dinner. The four course meal will be paired with some of Rod’s best wines. To make reservations, call 480.421.7997. Tickets are $64 per person. You probably want to see the menu. Check it out:
Grilled Spot Prawn
Sweet potato cake + lemon mascarpone
2012 Sauvignon Blanc “Northern Sonoma County”
Baby spinach, crispy shoestring potatoes, goat cheese + sun-dried cherry vinaigrette
2012 Pinot Noir “Russian River Valley”
Grilled Venison Loin
Tempura mushroom roll, roasted butternut squash puree + red pepper demi-glace
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon “Sonoma County”
2012 Zinfandel “Northern Sonoma County”
Upside-Down Chocolate Pear Cake
Rum butter sauce
There are so many amazing and talented chefs around the Valley, it’s hard to keep track of them. The Leap of Dining Faith dinner series at Crudo is here to introduce to some of those masters of the culinary arts. Hosted the first Monday of every month, this dinner series is doing something a little different, it is a mystery after all. When you make your reservations, the only thing you’ll receive is a time, date and the name of the celebrity guest chef. Basically, you must instill your faith into the chef. The cost is $75 per guest. To make reservations, call 602-358-8666. Here’s a look at the guest chefs.
Retro is cool, right? Just one look at this ride and you’re transported back into the 1980s. There’s nothing wrong with a little flashback here and there. The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 will bound to give you some of those flashbacks. Originally released in 1984, the Land Cruiser is everything an SUV should be. Toyota is really taking homage to original design with the 30th anniversary model. A 4.0L V6 engine and the option of four-wheel-drive gives this Land Cruiser everything you need from off-road trips to dropping the kids off at school. This ride starts at around $35,000.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, cancer sucks. We love that local businesses are doing their part to help fight the deadly disease. The Henry has joined that battle. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so The Henry will be utilizing their salted caramel roll as a battle instrument in this good fight. When you purchase the caramel roll, the restaurant will donate one dollar to the Ronan Thompson Foundation. The treat will be available for purchase at XV, The Henry’s coffee bar, that opens daily at 6:30 a.m.. It will also be available in the dining room on weekends during brunch from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Aphex Twin is quite possibly the musician who catapulted electronic music into the mainstream. The UK artist has been utilizing synthesizers and drum machine since before they were cool. If you’re a fan of his work, then you know how long it has been since a new album has been released. The wait is over. In just a couple of weeks, on Sept. 19 to be exact, Aphex Twin will release his sixth studio album, 14 years in the making. This is 180db from his new record Syro.
When local businesses and the community get together, beautiful things happen. The Anne Rita Monahan (ARM) Foundation is teaming up with the Teal It Up Foundation to fight ovarian cancer. Around 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. On Saturday, Sept. 20, the Teal It Up Golf Tournament and Tee for Teal Luncheon will be there to create awareness and raise funds to fight this deadly disease. The day will begin with a morning of golf at Rio Verde Country Club and then followed by a silent auction, lunch and event programming. The event will include the presentation of two 2014 ARM Foundation Scholarships and the 5th Annual Anne Rita Monahan Crusader Award. For the golfers out there who want to join, individual golfers cost $150 and a foursome is $500. The luncheon will set you back $50, but it’s all for a good cause. For more information and to register, click here.
Even though we had a short week because of Labor Day, we’re still ready for the weekend. It’ll be a good one, too. We’ve got college football, the first NFL Sunday of the season, and beautiful weather. That said, let’s get the weekender started. This is the Berry Acai Margarita, courtesy of the good people at SOL Mexican Cocina.
1oz Veev Acai Liquer
2oz Don Julio Blanco
2 oz Lime Juice
Muddle the blackberries and strawberry and combine with other ingredients in a shaker and shake like your life depended on it. Pour over rocks in a glass and enjoy.
Everyone loves brunch. If you don’t, you should probably reevaluate your life. You can stick with the traditional brunch of eggs benedict and bacon, but there is something a little different out there now. Cien Agaves in Old Town Scottsdale are launching their weekend brunch menu this weekend! It’s a Mexican twist on your favorite items. Try their Torta de Pastor y Huevo, which is marinated grilled pork, scrambled eggs, caramelized onions and jalapeños or you can dine on their Chilaquiles, which are tender-fried tortillas tossed in spicy tomato salsa and topped with crema, Cotija cheese and cilantro. It wouldn’t be brunch without drink specials. Obviosuly, these have a south-of-the-border twist too. Their $5 Blood Orange Mimosas, $5 Reyka Bloody Marys, $6 Mimosa Ritas and $5 Pomelo Margaritas made with fresh grapefruit juice and Milagro tequila all sound pretty good right now. Brunch starts this weekend from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
A must-have in every home is ample seating. You’ve got your standard couch, love seat, and maybe even a recliner. We are willing to bet that you don’t have one of these. The Borge Mogensen Spanish Chair is a crazy looking piece of furniture. We want one. It’s got a Scandinavian design with a 1950s Spanish influence. An oak frame adorned with leather seating and backrest, the Spanish chair is truly something else. Honestly, it doesn’t look super comfortable, but it would look really good in a well-designed home. Oh, by the way, this chair costs almost $4,000.
Cancer sucks. We all know it. Millions of people are affected by it every day. That’s why we always like to spread the news on fundraising opportunities to kick its butt. This time, Zinburger will be hosting their “Kickin’ Cancer with Milkshake Fundraiser.” Between Sept. 2 and Sept. 30, Zinburger customers can support an six-year-old Chase Lock in his ongoing battle against choroid plexus carcinoma, a brain cancer, by ordering the Butterfinger Milkshake for $5. This is the second year in a row, the good folks at Zinburger are lending a helping hand. Because he loves the Butterfinger shake so much, you can help Chase by grabbing one. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the boy’s family charity, Lock in Hope. Come on, do you really need another excuse to order a milkshake? Didn’t think so.
Everyone needs a little peace of mind in their lives. With the stress of work or whatever is truly keeping you from that peace, it’s important to clear your head. You will live a much more enriching life. When of the best ways to do that is to partake in yoga. Did you know that September is National Yoga Month? Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain will be hosting a unique array of yoga experiences and retreats where you can get the peace you need, surrounded by the beautiful desert setting. You can start the week right with Sunrise Yoga on Sunday mornings. Starting at 6:30 a.m., class offers stunning views of Mummy Mountain and the McDowell Mountain Range. If air conditioning is more your thing, indoor classes like Flow Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Restorative Yoga will also be offered. One of the most interesting classes is what they call “zennis.” It’s a combination of tennis and yoga. Every Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., you will be taught movement-based tennis techniques that emphasize the principles of yoga.
Apparently, it’s possible to look good while helping kids in need. Yes, we know that sounds a little narcissistic, but hear us out. Mane Attraction Salon will be raising funds for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital all fall. There will be a series of fundraising opportunities, for example, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 27, you can purchase a PCH sticker for $5 to hang on the walls of Mane Attraction. From Setp. 7 – 12, children’s haircuts will only cost you a donation of $25. There will also be a a Stylist raffle, beginning Sept. 28, which will go through the first week of November. All you have to do is purchase a ticket from your favorite stylist and they will each pick a lucky winner to receive a complimentary haircut and style. All the money raised will go to to Phoenix Children’s Hospital 1 Darn Cool School program.
We always love a good concept car. Mostly, we can only see them in our dreams. This one we’ll only be able to see in our dreams, too. The Toyota FT-1 Graphite Concept is fast. Really fast. Though, we don’t know too much about it. Designed by the folks at the Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, California, the FT-1 Graphite is very easy on the eyes. Its aerodynamic body, retractable rear wing, and front-engine, rear-wheel layout, give it the true feel of a race car. You probably won’t see this bad boy in your local Toyota dealership for a long time. Or ever.
For those of you lucky enough to have Monday off, you’re probably looking for something to do. Sure, you could sit at home, relax by the pool or do a bunch of chores. That doesn’t sound too exciting. Let us entice you with this news. All three Postino locations and the Windsor will be extending their weekend brunch to include Labor Day (aka this coming Monday.) From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you can enjoy things like Postino’s Farm Scramble, roasted Yukon Gold potatoes scrambled with fresh eggs, herbs, onions, gruyere and white cheddar served with mixed greens and tomato salad. Additionally, if you decide to make the trip to the Windsor, Southern Style Sausage & Gravy may be more your thing. All four restaurants (three Postino locations) will have great drink specials like $5 Mimosas, Bellinis and beer Pitchas at the wine bar or $5 build-your-own Bloody Mary’s at the Windsor. Monday will be a good day to let someone else do the labor.