Even in this fledgling economy, it seems that Old Town Scottsdale has no trouble expanding in the face of adversity….by this we mean no trouble expanding our waistlines, of course. From the men who brought you Zinc Bistro and The Mission, two of the city’s most successful and raved about restaurants by locals and critics alike, comes The House, a brand new eatery that has taken over somewhat of a historic property on Main Street. When we first heard the news, we squealed like Augustus Gloop in a chocolate factory and practically set up camp outside the decided location next to Grazie Pizzeria. But like all good things, we’ve had to wait for the charming abode to get a makeover and for all the elements to come together. Well, that wait is almost over according to this recent article by EaterAZ that actually takes readers inside the new restaurant whilst under construction. We’re already in love from the looks of it, but will obviously review in time just to make sure. Check out the video on their website and start counting down the days.
Michael’s Cafe has become known as a central Phoenix destination for both soul food and live music. But wait, there’s more. Michael’s is hosting two July events that will surely delight the taste buds of all in attendance.
Michael’s presents Mix & Mingle Wine Tasting with jazz by DJ Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. Wines include Canyon Oaks Moscato, Anakena Chardonnay, Cellarmaster’s Riesling, Fizz56 Brachetto Spumante and Gnarly Head Authentic Red. Cheese, crackers, fruit, salad, chocolate meatballs and more will be available for pairings. Cost is $20 in advance and $30 at the door. Save your spot and RSVP here.
Michael’s is hosting the first-ever “Best BBQ in the Valley Challenge” July 29 from 4 to 8 p.m. Bring your grilling gear, your finest marinades, your meat (beef, pork and chicken categories) and find a spot in the parking lot. Judging will be based on taste and presentation with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash prizes as well as one overall People’s Choice Award. Cost is $25 to enter and includes booth, table and tasting utensils for setup. For more information, call Tyrone at Michael’s Cafe at (602) 248-2233.
“Season of change” might be a bit cliché (or cheesy since we’re talking food), but it rings true as the local summer restaurant scene is best summarized under two headings: 1) entrepreneurs making moves and taking chances and 2) seasonal deals and menu offerings for those brave enough to endure the desert temperatures this season. Sounds exciting, right? Well, here’s a redux of this week’s happenings in our favorite food blogs:
1) entrepreneurs making moves and taking chances this season:
You know Johnny Chu from his past and present restaurant endeavors throughout the Valley. The latest of which involves relocating and reinventing his downtown restaurant, Sens Asian Tapas, to the corner of Central Avenue and Thomas Road under the new name SoChu House Neo Asian + Martini Bar. This new location and new concept is set for grand opening July 19. Chow Bella has the story.
The 11th Annual Lunch & Learn experience is already underway (and selling out) at The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain.
Hosted by Chef Beau MacMillan, the summer series introduces guests to star chefs, wine makers and culinary experts.
Each Lunch & Learn includes a three-course lunch (or dinner, depending) paired with wine or cocktails, lessons on how to prepare the culinary specialties and recipes to take home.
Events are scheduled from noon to 2:30 p.m. each Saturday in July and August, with the exceptions of July 28 and August 11 which have been designated for dinner from 6 to 10 p.m.
Cost is $75 per person including tax and gratuity for lunch, or $125 per person plus tax and gratuity for dinner. For a listing of dates and menus or to make reservations, click here.
It might be the 4th of July today, but all anyone seems to be talking about is Mexican food. Not that we blame them – few things bring smiles to our faces like a fresh taco and a margarita on a hot summer day. So, once you’ve had your fill of hot dogs and decided to turn off your scorching hot grill, here’s a redux of this week’s happenings in our favorite food blogs:
According to EaterAZ, Big Earl’s BBQ in Scottsdale is in the midst of a Mexican revolution, from a taquitos transition to a dabble in “tacotory” to full blown Mexico City cuisine. While you’re waiting for the online menu to become officially updated, have a read, or better yet, pay Big Earl’s a visit. Whatever you do, don’t order the barbecue.
Meanwhile in Old Town, America’s Taco Shop is opening a new location, as reported by Chow Bella. Known for being “the home of the greatest carne asada in the Valley, ” this location will bring the restaurant’s count up to five (including the location in Arizona Mills Mall). Are they being franchised? Find out here.
If downtown Phoenix is more your thing, you’ll find new Mexican food there too. Chow Bella has covered opening of Tediberto’s Mexican-inspired vegan restaurant on Roosevelt Row. Get the details here … or skip the vegan joint and dig right in to some Mexican barbecue. Phoenix Bites highlights the prix fixe barbacoa tasting dinner at Distrito in Scottsdale’s Saguaro Hotel. The three-course dinner (plus dessert) is available Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. Click here for details.
If we still haven’t convinced you, feast your eyes on Mouth By Southwest’s Taco Tuesday roster. Not to mention how Barrio Cafe, Bianco’s Tacos & Tequila and Sir Veza’s Taco Garage will soon change the dining game for locals and tourists alike at Sky Harbor’s Terminal 4. Stay tuned for updates.
It hardly matters what time of year it is or how much it will cost you, beer and donut enthusiasts from far and wide are rejoicing with the recent release of pairings that will be featured at Il Vinaio for this one-of-a-kind event.
From 2 to 5 p.m. on July 28 the following featured craft beers and their accompanying house-made gourmet donuts will be available:
SanTan Mr. Pineapple hefe and Lemon Poppyseed Donut
Goose Island Matilda strong pale ale and Conch Fritter
Goose Island Pepe Nero black pepper saison and Bacon Bleu Cheese Donut
Firestone Walker Double DBA and Pecan Pie Donut
Cost is $16 and donuts are limited to the first 72 people, so quit drooling and ensure you get to partake by calling (480) 649-6476 to RSVP.
Il Vinaio | 270 West Main St. | Mesa, Ariz. | 85201
Honestly, who doesn’t love prime rib? Back by popular demand, Fleming’s Steak House presents its Summer Sunday three course meal, starring 12 ounces of succulent prime rib. Starting this Sunday, July 1, the three-course meal is available every Sunday through Labor Day Weekend for only $29.95 per person.
The meal features a 12 ounce prime rib served with a trio of sauces, choice of The Wedge, Fleming’s or Caesar salad, choice of a side dish (with 10 to choose from), and your choice of dessert.
Oh, it gets better. Fleming’s also offers a B.R. Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon for $40 a bottle. So bring the family and indulge in this great deal.
For a location near you, click here.
Looking for a patriotic way to spend the 4th? Here’s our top five classically American ideas for the entire family to celebrate Independence Day in the Valley next week:
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres - Watch these two teams face off Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. at Chase Field. The first 20,000 fans get a free stars and stripes T-shirt courtesy of Ram Trucks. Tickets start at $12.
Independence Day Music Festival - See country music performances by Miranda Lambert and Darius Rucker followed by a fireworks display Tuesday at the Salt River Fields. The event’s pre-party begins at 3 p.m., followed by the concert at 5:30 p.m. and fireworks display at 10:30 p.m. Admission ranges from $22 to $89 and firework viewing is free with $10 parking.
We know summertime means BBQs, (enough with the dead horse, right?) If you’re tired of grilling the same old burger and dogs, why not try something a little different? You’re in luck because Executive Chef, Tom Harvey of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in Scottsdale is kind enough to share one of his favorite summertime grilling recipes. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Charcoal Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Avocado, Fresh Crab, Red Chile and Cilantro Vinaigrette
8 oz each Swordfish Steaks, ¾ thick, no skin, no bloodline
1 each avocado, peeled ½ dice
4 oz of fresh crab meat, no shells
1 tablespoon of red pepper, very finely diced
1 teaspoon of Serrano pepper, very finely diced
1 tablespoon of red onion, very finely diced
4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sambal chili sauce
Kosher Salt as needed
Fresh Cracked pepper as needed
2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped
- Season Swordfish with salt and pepper, brush lightly with some olive oil
- Grill Swordfish 4 minutes on each side over charcoal fire to desired doneness (medium-medium rare is preferable)
- Combine avocado, onion, cilantro, peppers, vinegar, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, sambal and cilantro, season with salt to taste
- Place Swordfish in center of hot plate
- Place avocado mixture on top of swordfish
- Place fresh crab on top of avocado mixture
- Serve Immediately
Paired with a crisp white wine, this is the perfect dish for a summertime evening meal. Now go out there and master the sword(fish).
Looking for a classy way to celebrate Independence Day in style and in air conditioning? Why not at the top of a Valley resort, in front of floor-to-ceiling windows where you can view firework shows stretching from Phoenix to Scottsdale?
The Phoenician’s J&G Steakhouse invites you to share this holiday in their restaurant’s open seating while enjoying specialty cocktails, a full a la carte menu or their Fourth of July-themed prix fixe menu Wednesday.
The July 4th Prix Fixe Menu includes three courses. Choose between local watermelon gazpacho, jumbo shrimp cocktail or heirloom Tomatoes with fresh raspberry vinegar and goat cheese for the first course. Next up is a grilled tuna burger, french fries, miso mayonnaise and yuzu pickles; barbecue sirloin tip with creamy local corn; or a grilled pork chop, cherry mustard and sautéed mustard greens. The third course includes your choice of strawberry charlotte sundae, popping cherry pie or warm chocolate nougat tart with praline ice cream.
Festive 4th of July cocktails are available for $12 and include Red: Sour Cherry Caipirinha (Pirrasunga 21 Cachaca, cherry, lime), White: Vanilla Cream Soda (Svedka Vanilla Vodka, caramelized Sugar and club soda) and Blue: Blueberry Lemonade (Ketel One Citroen Vodka, lemon, blueberries and Sprite).
The July 4th Prix Fixe Menu is $45, is available Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m.
Now that we’ve all dusted off the ol’ grill and eaten our fair share of barbecue (not to mention all of the seasonal sides, deserts and drinks) in a feeble attempt to enjoy the summertime like the rest of the country, here comes July. Not to worry, it’s all about grand openings and summer menus this go-round. Here’s a redux of this week’s happenings in our favorite food blogs:
First, the newly opened and soon to open:
Chow Bella has introduced us to Mad G’s Grill & Tavern in Tempe. Brought to you by Allen and Traci Thompson, owners of The Grind and Chick Rotisserie & Wine Bar, this new spot off of Broadway and Mill opened June 15.
This past week marked the opening of The Habit Burger Grill‘s fourth Phoenix location, which nearly rounds out the new assortment of eateries at the corner of 7th Avenue and McDowell Road in Phoenix.
When you drive down the streets of Old Town Scottsdale – because, let’s be real here, no one is walking anywhere right now – you can see pretty much two things: restaurants and art galleries. The scene becomes quite familiar if you live in the area and it’s easy to fall into a routine of always hitting up the same spots. That’s why when any inkling of a new restaurant pops up, it’s nearly impossible not to take notice…and snoop around like a nutrient deprived Nancy Drew. We are of course talking about the upcoming opening of chef Payton Curry’s Brat Haus, and as it turns out, Old Town’s newest restaurant is not so much of a mystery. In fact, its opening on July 2nd is highly anticipated and has been covered by the likes of Chow Bella, AZ Central and EaterAZ. »READ MORE
Unless you know someone in the Valley with a time machine disguised as a 1981 DeLorean or plan on buying a pair of Nike’s $37,000 Marty McFly shoes, we recommend you celebrate the past as well as the future by attending “Mack’s Back to the Future” party Saturday.
The event, hosted by Iguana Mack’s in Chandler, will commemorate the staff, drink specials and games that made the East Valley roadhouse famous over the past 10 years, while welcoming a new menu and a new look under the new management.
Participate in live lizard races, beer pong, flip cup, beer chugging, cornhole and hoverboard racing (you wish) beginning at 11 a.m. Prizes will be given away all day. Live music by local bands (sorry, not The Pinheads) kicks off at noon, followed by a patio barbecue and drink specials beginning at 1 p.m. Guest DJ’s, drink specials and games will continue until close (which, of course, is when need the time machine).
So, set your Casio digital calculator watches because the past, er, the party is something you won’t want to miss.
As you know, food truck culture (aka gourmet mobile dining) is alive and well in Phoenix. What you may not realize is that a food truck lunch does not mean barbecue and hot dogs. In fact, when it comes to the wide range of food truck specialty offerings throughout the Valley it’s quite the opposite.
The next time you find yourself at a food-truck-worthy event, look out for our favorite local, vegetarian-friendly food trucks:
T-Licious Teazy Tacos – choose between the no meat in me taco and the Diablo Cheese Nachos
Sunshine and Spice - you’ll find a variety of options including a soy shrooms burrito, guacamole rangoons with sauce and a good old veggie burger.
They don’t call them the dog days of summer for nothing, so before you hit the road for a chilly three-day weekend up north or you pack the cooler and head west for the ocean, check out BringFido.com and see what kind of dog-friendly itinerary these destinations can accommodate.
BringFido.com is worldwide database of dog-friendly hotels, beaches, trails, restaurants and more in almost any city. Not to mention veterinary services and discussion forums.
After your trip be sure to share your dog-friendly experience upon your return so other travelers and their canine companions can enjoy the same attractions and adventures in the future.
Local dog parks provide our four-legged friends with much-needed exercise, so if you are staying in town this summer be sure to visit a dog park in Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix or Cosmo Dog Park in Gilbert in the mornings or evenings to avoid peak temperatures. Happy
How can you get any more American than with the summertime BBQ? Burgers, dogs, corn on the cob, and our personal favorite: ribs are all on the season’s menu and we know just where to get them. Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market in Scottsdale is definitely more than just a convenience store/gas station. Any local will tell you it’s a popular meeting point for some delicious local coffee or for breakfast and lunch at their Campfire Bistro.
This week, the Bistro introduces an expanded dinner menu and full table service from 4:30 – 8pm nightly. The new offerings coincide with its license approval to serve beer and wine. The best part? Ribs, of course.
Chef Tudie Frank-Johnson has taken the café’s award-winning barbecue and Southern-inspired specialties to create a range of family dinner-worthy dishes. Headlining the menu are the Barbecue Ribs – a half rack of ribs with two side dishes for just $16.
Campfire Bistro | 9393 East Bell Road | Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
The Venue of Scottsdale has announced plans to open a new “back East pizza and beef joint” in the space next door.
Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.), a fast-casual concept eatery boasting simple ingredients and classic big city food, is expected to open by late July.
Under the command of chef Anthony Crocenzi, a native of Chicago, the restaurant will feature Chicago and New York style pizzas (whole or by the slice), Italian beef, Italian sausage and New York Italian grinder sandwiches, Chicago dogs and antipasto salads.
Also projected to open in the two-story space adjacent to the venue is V2 Lounge (pronounced “V squared”). Stay tuned for details or visit the K.I.S.S. Facebook page for more information.
There’s something about summer that has Arizonans craving change. It could be the temperatures, it could be allure of an ocean (however far away) or it could just be the exceptional measures Valley restaurants take to accommodate that summer state of mind.
Like many Valley restaurants, Seasons 52 has introduced a new summer menu that features seasonal offerings in celebration of those of us who stick around for the not-so-tourist season.
Known for its fresh grill and wine bar, Seasons 52 changes its menu four times a year to capture the flavors of the season.
“… the summer menu features a variety of grilled vegetables, seafood and poultry that depict the essence of the season,” said Cliff Pleau, Senior Director of Culinary at Seasons 52.
At DLT, sushi is one of our favorite meals, especially if it comes from RA. So how can sushi get better? Well, by learning how to make it yourself of course! Summer school has officially started. On June 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., RA Sushi in Tempe will be hosting its first-ever Sushi 101 class.
Participants will learn the art of sushi rolling while also enjoying lunch (sounds like our kind of summer school). Throughout this cool, interactive class, students will learn of the history of sushi, test their skills in sushi rolling, and enjoy a plethora of tasty appetizers and fresh sushi. For just $35 a person, the lesson include a non-alcoholic beverage (bummer but still fun), miso soup, edamame, two maki rolls, two pieces of nigiri, a sushi rolling mat to take home, and a voucher for a free lunch on a return visit.
RA Sushi | 411 South Mill Avenue | Tempe, Arizona 85281
We know summer means
warmer blazing temperatures, but in the desert it’s easy to forget that with summer comes exciting seasonal offerings, lighter fare and brighter colors. So besides all the tropical drinks and excuses to grill (which we are huge fans of, by the way) here’s a redux of this week’s happenings in our favorite food blogs:
Here in the Valley of the Sun, we can take year-round farmer’s markets for granted, so take some time this summer to support local farmers and enjoy their goods. Our friends at Chow Bella profile a summer staple, the Farmer’s Market Salad at St. Francis. While you’re at it, take a peek at their piece on Binkley’s Heirloom Tomato Dinner, also courtesy of a local farmer. Just in case you’re now feeling inspired, here’s a list of local farmer’s markets, courtesy of Haute Living. »READ MORE
Now that we’ve convinced you to view this urban property, don’t miss Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails where executive chef Stephen Jones and master mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout have complimented the already innovative “gastro-lounge” concept with their decadent menu items and lavish cocktail creations.
As you well know, no piece of real estate is compete without landscaping (i.e. the the hotel’s pool deck). This third floor “pool by day, lounge by night” features a 180-degree view of downtown as well as the Lustre Bar which is open daily from noon to midnight. »READ MORE
Eating foreign foods and bumbling over the basics of another language may sound like components of an unforgettable trip abroad, but we’re actually referring to international dining around the Valley. Much like traveling, food is best when shared with loved ones and good friends. Here are four international suggestions guaranteed to please the vegetarians and the carnivores in every group.
Mijana in Scottsdale is a Lebanese restaurant that has it all; flavor and class, more vegetarian options than you could possibly consume and live music and entertainment. Catch the buffet Wednesday through Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. After 2 a.m. the place transforms into Hoookahmania lounge and offers a wide variety of Hookah flavors. »READ MORE
With the NBA Finals underway, Diamondbacks’ season in full swing and the Stanley Cup just wrapping up (great run, Coyotes) it is no surprise that we’re seeing an influx of beer news, beer consumption and beer recommendations. In order to remain relevant and keep our buzz going, here’s a redux of this week’s happenings in our favorite food blogs:
Let’s hope by now you’ve at least decided on a Father’s Day gift for dad (even if you haven’t crossed it off the shopping list yet), but for those of you procrastinators out there here are six brilliant beer suggestions based on your dad’s personality, thanks to Chow Bella.
If you’ve had your gifts for pop bought and wrapped for weeks now (and we’re boring you at this point), we turn to Mouth By Southwest for five fruit-flavored Arizona beer profiles. Don’t simply judge a beer by it’s
cover fruit, be sure to try some of this frosty-cold, sweet summery bliss.
In other beer news, Mouth By Southwest is reporting that the opening of World of Beer in Tempe has been pushed back from July 2 to July 23. Construction permitting, you should be able to watch your favorite teams compete at the London 2012 Summer Olympics while sipping an international brew (since it is all about sports after all).
If the charbroiled cheeseburger is as classically American as it gets, the veggie burger would be the nation’s unsung hero. The reality of dining out is that every vegetarian hopes to find a fresh and savory meat-free option on any menu they might encounter, but that is
not always almost never the case. The veggie burger may not always be the first choice, but is guaranteed to come through for you when searching for sustenance in say, an airport, in a drive-thru or at a sporting event. But why should we penalize this hero with a “last resort” stigma because of our lack of options or poor planning? This week is about revisiting the flavors and varieties that make the veggie burger unique and timeless. Here are five exceptional places to find the most worthy of unsung heros:
Should you find yourself in a steakhouse, let’s hope it’s Houston’s. Their House-Made veggie burger has come to the rescue of so many vegetarian diners. Don’t be deceived by the Monterey Jack cheese, onions, pickles, lettuce or tomato, the magic is in the veggie patty itself. Which is why the “secret” recipe has created quite a buzz over the internet. To say it’s worth duplicating is putting it mildly. »READ MORE