You’ve worked hard the last few months. When was the last time you were really able to enjoy yourself? Seeing how Labor Day is almost upon us, you probably need an idea for how to spend the three-day weekend. The Hotel Valley Ho is always your friend in that regard. How does poolside entertainment, brunch and the Bloody Mary Bar at ZuZu, and a Sunday spa package, sound? You can enjoy the whole weekend at the hotel in the Signature Guest Room for $349. The weekend will be a blast with DJ Peabody spinning by the pool, cabana rentals, and 90 minute spa treatments that include wine/champagne.
The holidays will be here before we know it. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. The bad thing: We have no gift ideas yet for our loved ones. The good thing: You can enjoy all the wonders of the holidays starting November 23. CityScape Phoenix will kick off the season with a tree lighting event and the opening of the CityScape Phoenix Ice Rink.
The ice rink at CityScape is the largest outdoor rink in all of Arizona. In homage to the ice rink at Rockefeller Center in New York, the rink will become a distinguished holiday staple in downtown Phoenix, as it will be dramatically placed in the center of Central Avenue.
From November 23 to January 6, you can enjoy ice skating Monday through Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Proceeds from skate rentals will be donated to six Valley charitable and non-profit organizations.
Throughout the season, Chloe’s Corner will be offering a free hot chocolate with every skate rental. If you’re 21 and older you can purchase beer and wine from Chloe’s and enjoy their beverages outdoors. ‘Tis the season, folks.
What could be easier than flights to Las Vegas? Sin City is a great place to spend a couple of days, though we would recommend no more than three. Throughout the month of October you can stay at the MGM for a mere $85 per night. Enjoy the floor to ceiling windows as you get ready to hit the strip. If you’re paying just $85 per night, you would think the room is small, right? Think again, because the smallest option is 540 square feet.
Although it’s an entire season away, we have news regarding the Arizona State Fair that will be the topic of conversation for months to come.
The 2012 fair is scheduled set for October 12 through November 4 with the fair’s annual concert series scheduled for various nights of the week.
This is your chance to see artists from all genres live at the Veteran’s Memorial Colosseum for free (general admission section) with the purchase of fair admission. Upgraded tickets are also available.
This year’s artists have just been released, here’s the lineup:
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.
Turns out, you don’t need to leave the city for a weekend escape, you just need to head over to Talking Stick Resort and take part in their summer pool party series, Release, every Saturday and Sunday from 11-6 all summer long. Enjoy drink specials courtesy of Bud Light Lime, promotional giveaways, cabana rentals and poolside performances from 1-5 pm by the region’s best DJs from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
You can snag poolside seats for all the action by renting a cabana. Or you can really go all out and invite your friends to join you in a VIP cabana to relax with a flat screen tv, seating for six and bottled water to keep yourself hydrated and ready to party all day long. To reserve your cabana call 480.850.4350.
Time to break out the sunscreen and hit the (pool) deck at TSR for a party worthy of your weekend. See you there
In 2011, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer declared Social Media Day an official holiday. This year ABC15 has teamed up with Pink Media, Mashable and Meetup to host this year’s celebration and observance of Social Media Day Phoenix.
Join 40 local businesses who use social media and networking on a daily basis from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m this Friday at the Ritz-Carlton. The event, themed “Connect. Engage. Support Local.,” will include workshops, games and a social media-inspired fashion show.
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
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.
You recognize her in Gatorade and Nike commercials, you remember her defense during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and you watched her strut her stuff on Dancing With The Stars. Now see Hope Solo in Phoenix before she heads to London with the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team for the 2012 Olympics.
The Phoenix Mercury will recognize Solo as the team’s 2012 Inspiring Woman during Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks. According to the Phoenix Mercury, the evening will be dedicated to recognizing Solo’s accomplishments on the field as well as in the community and will also mark the Mercury’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
Submit a story here about how Title IX has benefitted you, a friend or family member and you will automatically receive a free ticket to the game and take part in an on-court recognition and group photo with Solo at halftime. To find out how your soccer team can meet Solo, call (602) 379-7521 or email [email protected].
Tipoff is at 6 p.m. at the U.S. Airways Center. Tickets start at $10.
Ever dreamed of living in a castle, partying like royalty and feasting like a king? According to AZCentral and 12 News Robert Pazderka is well on his way to making this a reality.
For a cool $1.45 million Pazderka purchased the Copenhaver Castle on Camelback Mountain, complete with draw bridge and dungeon; however, he plans to spend up to an additional $5 million “to make it livable.”
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
‘Tis the season for family vacations, amusements parks and long hours in the car where the proverbial “are we there yet?” can be heard if not by children, then by the voice in your own head. If you’re thinking of keeping it local and enjoying the low-fuss adventure of a (shorter) road trip getaway, here are some Arizona destinations for your consideration.
Bisbee – Just 200 miles southeast, the combination of Bisbee’s mining past and modern attractions make this town unique. While it’s Ideal for the history lover, Bisbee is not a bad choice for the foodie or the shopper either. Visit the historic main street; choose from a variety of tours and museums, or catch a Copper Kings game at Warren Ballpark.
Jerome – 115 miles north. In a town once known for mining, prostitution, gambling and – unofficially – ghosts, you’ll now find bed and breakfasts and more than 30 galleries and studios. During your visit, don’t miss the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum for the history buffs, the Jerome State Historic Park for the outdoorsy types, the First Saturday Art Walk for the art lovers and The Jerome Winery for the … (well, you get the idea).
Sedona – 100 miles north. Whether it’s hiking or mountain biking trails, yoga and the healing effect of the vortexes or booking a relaxing resort experience, Sedona’s stunning Red Rocks provide a perfect back drop. Catch the The 17th Annual Sedona Taste or the The 4th Annual Sedona Dine & Wine Fest this summer, but while you’re there, you gotta visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross and Slide Rock State Park.
Other noteworthy landmarks (think Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation): The Titan Missile Museum, The Meteor Crater and The Four Corners Monument. Pack up the car and escape the heat of the Valley some weekend soon. It’s cheap, educational and good for the local economy.
What’s delicious, nutritious and can win you a prize and boost your culinary ego all at the same time? Give up? Entering your best or favorite healthy main dish, side dish or dessert in Fit City Scottsdale’s “Battle of the Healthy Recipe” contest.
If you love to eat and have a knack for turning the healthiest ingredients into the most savory entrees, here is your chance to show what you’ve got (and try other dishes).
To enter, submit your recipe for a relatively healthy dish that features a whole grain and bring said dish to the Osborn Medical Center on June 20 before 5:00 p.m. Participants will sample all dishes and cast their votes. Prizes will be awarded to winners in main dish, side dish and dessert categories.
Register here (required for participation) and email your recipe to [email protected] prior to the event. This event is free and all recipes will be shared after the event. For more information, call HealthConnect at (480) 882-4636 or click here.
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).
Work week got you down? If the daily grind is taking its toll on your, you know, “you-ness”, it might just be time to take a little trip somewhere more exotic for your nightly happy hour. Don’t fret, you don’t really have to travel far, just to Downtown Phoenix’s Rum Bar for their new ” A-RUM-a Therapy” punch social hour. Every weekday from 5-7 pm, you can now enjoy $5 rum punch and specially priced (delicious) food to help you relax after a tough day. The ever-changing bowl of punch will always feature the best ingredients, the freshest of fruits and the most carefully made concoctions to quench your thirst and relax your mind (as if owner, Dwayne Allen, would have it any other way). You can also look forward to a new menu of summer cocktails that
Arizona’s only everyone’s favorite exclusively rum establishment rolled out just last week. Take a peek here and be sure to take a little time to stop in Rum Bar or neighboring restaurant, The Breadfruit, to eat some authentic Jamaican cuisine and adopt a more Caribbean state of mind, if only for a little while.
Rum Bar l 108 E Pierce St., Phoenix, AZ 8500 l 602 267 1266
Hot summer evenings mix well with dinner out, shopping and, of course, music (not to mention cocktails). So, when the unforgiving sun begins to set and talk of dinner ensues, remember this season provides a unique opportunity to catch live music in a variety of unique venues. Behold the local concert series list:
Civic Space Park: Enjoy yoga and live music for free every Thursday through August. Yoga for all ages takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and live music from 7:30 to 9 p.m. June dates feature reggae, jazz and R&B.
Desert Ridge Marketplace: Artists perform Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 10 p.m. on the District Stage or from 7 to 9 p.m. at the AMC Fountain. With genres ranging from Irish celtic to alternative (and instruments including the accordion and keyboard) the variety here will suit even the most eclectic tastes.
Tempe Marketplace: Artists perform Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 10 p.m. on the District Stage or from 7 to 9 p.m. at the B&N Fountain. Whether it’s jazz, funk or acoustic guitar you’re after, you will find it here (and possibly discover a new favorite). »READ MORE
VYT’s 14th Annual Fundraiser, “The Most VYTal Event of the Season,” will include a hosted cocktail hour featuring hors d’oeuvres from Valley restaurants and caterers, a wide variety of items available for both silent and live auction and the presentation of the 2011 VYTALITY Award (Valley Youth Theatre Applauds Leadership Impacting Today’s Youth). The evening will also include a performance of Legally Blonde which will be followed by dessert, champagne and coffee.
All event proceeds will help fund education and outreach programs and six mainstage productions for the 2012-2013 season. With community support, VYT has been dedicated to helping young people learn and grow as performers and creators while instilling an appreciation for the performing arts since 1989.
Individual seat tickets are $250 and premium seats are $500. A $1,500 package includes two premium seats and a full-page ad in the program. Additional sponsorships begin at $2,500. For more information or to purchase tickets or sponsorships, contact Debbie Paine at (602) 253-8188 x304 or [email protected].
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
It is no coincidence that Saturday marks both Arizona’s Annual Strawberry Festival and the opening of Del Frisco’s Grille at the Esplanade – the latter being home to Apt. 5D, our featured beverage recipe. This cocktail just so happens to be a strawberry celebration in and of itself. It’s simple, festive and certain to refresh.
3 oz. SKYY Vodka
1 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. Balsamic Vinegar
4 muddled strawberries
1. Combine all ingredients.
2. Add ice and shake (stirring optional).
In case you’ve missed the skinny thus far, June has been declared Arizona Dairy Month courtesy of the state’s Dairy Council (how fitting) and valley chefs are milking it for all it’s worth. With that in mind, here’s a redux of this week’s happenings in our favorite food blogs:
The “Moo-ving Milkshake Shop” is a cross between the modern delight of a food truck and the nostalgia of an ice cream parlor in years gone by. Five local gourmet chefs will showcase their own take on milkshake concepts at a different valley restaurant each week of June. With flavors like “Schnepf Farms Peach Cobbler” or “Mexican chocolate with oaxacan chile” you will not want to miss out on this udderly unique summer tour. For a list of chefs and participating locations, click here.
Another, albeit quirkier, way to pay homage to Arizona’s dairy industry is a cheesemaking class at The Fossil Creek Creamery in Strawberry, Ariz. This edible adventure made Chow Bella’s “Ten Favorite Arizona Summer Festivals and Adventures” list. Classes fill up fast, call (928) 476-5178 for reservations.
Pen and Fork has also boarded the milkshake moovement and devised a do-it-yourself milkshake in honor of the state’s beloved bovine. So, why not support our local dairy farms by grabbing some yogurt, ice cream or milk (and some Kahlúa or Bailey’s, no judgement) for a completely customizable summer treat. Happy Blending.
Mighty Mud Mania 2012 is scheduled for Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chaparral Park, 5401 N. Hayden Road in Scottsdale. While there is no doubt the popularity of quirky runs and muddy obstacle course experiences are on the rise, this year marks the 37th anniversary of this event and the first time adults have been eligible to participate.
According to the City of Scottsdale, “Mighty Mud Mania” began in 1976 as the ‘Shout It Out Decathlon,’ a promotional gimmick for Johnson’s Wax “Shout” Spray pre-wash. The promotion ended, but the event has become a favorite Scottsdale tradition.
From 8 a.m. to noon, there is no cost for children 17 and under with designated muddy play areas for children under 7. The obstacle course is open to adults 18 and over from noon to 2 p.m. for a $10 registration fee. Register here. Proceeds from the event will benefit the City of Scottsdale’s Afterschool Programs.
What To Bring: Permission slips (they are required for all children) lace-up or Velcro shoes (sandals and flip-flops are not allowed) and a non-perishable food item for donation to the Vista del Camino food bank.
For more information, click here and take on “mud slinging” in an election year like you have never seen it before.
Father’s day is the perfect opportunity to spoil the dads in your life, this can also include bringing them up to speed with the latest men’s fashion trends and electronics, facilitating their love for sports and leisure or simply surprising them with their favorite nonsensical or old school gifts.
Forget the electric razor gift idea this Father’s Day and get him some much deserved pampering mixed with a little old school class. V’s Barbershop offers gift cards, discounts on father and son haircuts, shoe shines, massages and so much more.
If you’re shopping for a man who couldn’t bear the thought of life without his iphone, a worthy investment is the Lifeproof iphone/ipad case that is rapidly gaining attention for its water, dirt, snow and shock proof capabilities. Enough said. »READ MORE
Truth be told, most carnivores don’t understand vegetarian cuisine and are often afraid they’ll be forced to eat a flavorless, textureless excuse for a _________ (fill in the blank). All while pretending they’re enjoying it.
In a feeble attempt to dispel such myths, we present the first installment of Mock Meat Monday: a classy look at the local vegetarian scene. Hopefully the next time you have guests in town from Portland or you end up on a blind date with a “veggie” you will call up one of these tasty suggestions. Win-win.
Where else would a respectable vegetarian voyage begin, than from the mecca, the almighty, the godfather: Green. Self-described as “New American Vegetarian,” Green is actually 100 percent vegan and features a gluten-free menu as well. And face it, it’s just plain trendy.
The menu includes traditional comfort food dishes made slightly different than one might be accustomed to, but the flavors and ingredients do not disappoint. With fresh salads and fruit, sandwiches, noodle and rice bowls, pizza (and we’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend the appetizers) supplemented with vegan cheeses and “mock meats” there truly is something for everyone.
The last thing you’ll want to do is to forget to save room for dessert. Green’s infamous Tsoynami’s are nothing short of a vegan blizzard. Not to mention the pastries, espresso and other treats that will remind you how glorious the experience of trying new things can be.
For locations, menu and hours, click here.