Test Driving the 2014 Acura RLX

Acura RLX

I recently had the opportunity to test drive the new 2014 Acura RLX as Acura is touring 12 cities around the country as part of Acura’s Passion National Tour to promote the RLX, and other models, as it was introduced last year to little fan fare.

The RLX is Acura’s flagship luxury sedan and with state of the art technology the car can almost drive itself. With many safety features that prevent you from swaying outside your lane and getting to close to the car in front of you(it will also apply the brake for you if you don’t). It also allows for the setting of personal features if there are multiple drivers that include seat adjustment and programming radio stations.

The 310 horsepower, V-6 engine and all wheel drive allows for nice pick up as you increase speed when entering the highway. The smooth ride makes going to the store or on a road trip pleasant and comfortable. The RLX gets gets 20 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway. MSRP is $48,450 before options.

The 2nd annual Flavors of the West takes over The Wigwam Resort on Sunday, February 23rd.

Once again The Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park will host the 2nd annual Flavors of the West culinary festival to benefit The Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Sunday February 23rd from 12 noon- 6 p.m. is when 25 west valley restaurants and chefs will be showing of their culinary expertise via food tastings and cooking demonstrations.

Restaurants participating include Cucina Tagliani, Verrado Grille, Amuse Bouche and Betty’s Nosh just to name a few. Festival organizers are expecting 1,000 plus to attend in this walk around format. Entertainment will be provided that includes a main stage for live music and a kids zone will be available to keep the little ones happy.
New this year is the craft beer zone which will include all local beers and more.
The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and it’s new Avondale facility are the main beneficiary.

Tickets are $45 for General Admission and are good for unlimited food and limited cocktails. The Wigwam VIP Area tickets are $100 and include a top shelf bar, private catering by The Wigwam and private entertainment. Information and tickets are available at www.flavorsofaz.com

3 ideas for Valentine’s Day that include dinner for 2, chocolate and a blow dry.

It’s hard to believe January is almost over and with February less than a week a way it means love is in the air with Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Whether you’re with that special someone or flying solo this year here are 3 ideas for the days leading up to and on February 14th.

Liberty Market in Gilbert is offering a Prix Fixe dinner for 2 on the 14th.

Crispy Potsticker Salad (house made potstickers, organic Agritopia Farm gourmet greens and mango sauce)

Fish Option: Seared Salmon with mushroom duxelle ravioli, asparagus in lemon butter sauce
Steak Option: Filet Mignon on crispy layered potatoes, organic Agritopia Farm vegetables in truffled madeira au jus

Chocolate Board (Assorted – shortbread, truffles, chocolate covered strawberries)
for $70. Include a 1/2 bottle of wine and cocktail for $100
Regular menu items will also be avilable.

Liberty Market
230 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert Heritage District
Hours: F & Sa 7a-10p
Su-Th 7a-9p
(480) 892-1900
www.libertymarket.com

Valentine's Day Chocolate
Chocolade Van Brugge
On Thursday, February 12th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. you can get complimentary love tips from relationship coach, Elisabeth Davies M.C.as she will will be giving tips for singles looking to find love and for those in relationships. Elisabeth will as discuss how chocolate & love can ignite romance.

Part of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Anthony Bates Foundation. Anthony died in 2000 from an un-detected enlarged heart & The foundation was created in 2002 to help prevent other parents from experiencing a similar tragedy. According to the founder and Anthony’s mother Sharon Bates, “Personally I haven’t had time for a relationship, but I love my relationship with chocolate, she continues, this is a fabulous idea and the Anthony Bates Foundation would love to be involved in this event to support the love of chocolate, hearts & people.”

Chocolade Van Brugge is conveniently located at 4225 N Marshall Way, Suite
102, Scottsdale, Arizona, with complimentary parking.
www.chocoladevanbrugge.com

Shine Blow dry
Shine, A Blow Dry Bar
If you’ve have plans on Valentine’s night why not get treat yourself or that special someone to a Valentine’s Day package for only $30, normally $55. A blow dry, scalp massage and shine conditioning plus Valentine’s Day goodies. Any body purchasing the package from 2-6 p.m. will receive a FREE Tarot card reading from clairvoyant Angela Bell or that can be used through the end of March. The package is available for purchase from Mon. February 10th thru Valentine’s Day. Shine is located at 4225 N. Marshall Way Suite Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (480) 947-4081 www.shinedrybar.com

Panda Express celebrates it’s 30th anniversary with a holiday grant to The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix

Panda Express
Celebrating their 30th birthday in a big way, Panda Express donated $100,000 to 20 local clubs of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix was a benefactor of one those holiday grants of $3,000. Along withe grant, Panda Express hosted a holiday party for more than 150 kids from the Phoenix area serving some of the restaurants favorites including Orange Chicken. A visit from Santa and gifts for all kids were then given out.

“Thanks to our wonderful friends at Panda Express, our children will have a magical holiday party,” said President and Executive Director Amy Gibbons. “We are so grateful that Panda Express is supporting our clubs and the thousands of kids who need us most.”

Panda Express was very “humbled” to celebrate it’s 30th Anniversary says Co-Founder & Co- C.E.O. Peggy Cherng and felt giving back to the communities was of celebrating and looking to the future. “Panda’s vision to become a world leader in people development is shared by The Boys & Girls Clubs of America. We honor their work with this donation and are pleased to help the youth of our community.”

Panda Express can be found in the Phoenix area at the following locations:

- 401 E. Jefferson, Phoenix, AZ 85004
- 998 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014
- 2434 E. Baseline Rd Suite #101, Phoenix, AZ 85042
- 3923 E. Thomas Rd. Phase 4, Phoenix, AZ 85018
- 4750 South 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040
- 7000 16th St. #100, Phoenix, AZ 85020
- 5229 W. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85031
- 4309 W. Bethany Home Rd, Glendale, AZ 85301
- 5010 W. Baseline Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85042
- 777 S. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281
- 7510 West Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85033
- 2931 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
- 7630 West Lower Buckeye, Phoenix, AZ 85043
- 7014 E. Camelback #569, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
- 1320 West Elliot Road, Tempe, AZ 85284
- 9111 North 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302
- 10637 N Tatum Blvd #105, Phoenix, AZ 85028
- 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85048
- 1714 E. Guadalupe Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283

The Henry has arrived

Several times a year I’m an invited by a restaurant to dine on their dime and give my thoughts, this is one of those occasions.

Located in an unsuspecting office building just east of 44th St. on Camelback Road, The Henry is Fox Restaurant Concepts www.foxrc.com 15th concept and has a bit of something for everybody. A coffee bar that offers pastries opens everyday at 6:30 a.m., lunch Mon.- Fri. starting at 11 a.m. dinner that follows and breakfast on Sat. & Sun. starting at 8 a.m. Not to mention a full bar, lounge and soon to be opened patio with a fireplace.
The Henry Kitchen On my dinner visit my dinner guest and I found an attentive and well trained staff, a very open decor and floor plan and a varied menu that offers varied appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees that should suffice all appetites, big or small.
The Henry Brie As we sipped on our drinks we ordered the Prairie Breeze Cheddar Popovers served with smoked ham butter and herbed butter along Brie Toast topped with roasted pear, pomegranate seeds and hazelnut as appetizers and I would order the Brie Toast all day as I’m not a huge fan of popovers.

Wild Mushroom Tortelli

Wild Mushroom Tortelli

With 9 entrees on the menu my eyes immediately drawn to the Wild Mushroom Tortelli with brussel sprouts, butternut squash and parmesan and my guest went with the Heirloom Quinoa Tacos topped with smashed avocado, smoked corn, black beans and queso fresco. Both entrees are vegetarian options. Each entree was enjoyable, full of flavors and just enough portion size to leave room for Croissant Bread Pudding for dessert which itself could be a small meal.
Croissant Bread Pudding

Croissant Bread Pudding

On what they considered a slow Monday night it looks as if The Henry will be a staple in the neighborhood for years to come.

Belgian chocolate now available in Scottsdale.

chocolate ccounter
Chocolate lovers rejoice as Chocolade van Brugge www.chocoladevanbrugge.com
has opened on Marshal Way in Scottsdale just in time for the holidays. Local owners Frederiek and Christine Verbeke bring their experience in the corporate world to the small business world with upwards of 60 chocolate confections that include fruit and nut filled truffles, figurines, cookies and gift boxes and baskets for all occasions.

With frequent deliveries from Frederieks hometown of Brugge, the selections are always changing making return visits are a must to see what makes Belgian chocolates so special.

assorted chocolate truffles

assorted chocolate truffles


You can also enjoy the Belgian cafe atmosphere with coffee, fresh baked goods and build your own hot chocolate. You can enjoy the free Wi-Fi both inside and outside as you eat and drink your favorites sweet delights.

Build your own hot chocolate

Build your own hot chocolate


Chocolade van Brugge is located at 4225 North Marshall Way, Suite 102, Scottsdale, Arizona. Phone: (480) 721-7363 and is open Tuesday – Sunday, from 8am to 9pm daily

Phoenix Brewers Invitational “Get Crafty” as they take over Heritage Square with over 60 brewers.

Phx brewersMore than 60 brewers will be at Heritage Square this Saturday, December 7, 2013 and they’re bringing over 120 different brews including rare seasonal beers, lagers, ales, porters, and stouts for the 2nd annual Phoenix Brewers Invitational – Get Crafty 2013.

The Phoenix Brewers Invitational will be held at the Phoenix Heritage & Science Park, 115 N. 6th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004 from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, 2013.

Thirsty craft beer enthusiasts can sip the sweet nectar of the gods from breweries including Abita, Oskar Blues, SanTan, Grand Canyon, Big Sky, Phoenix Ale, Huss, Old World, Fate, North Mountain, Lumberyard, Breckenridge, Marble, Oak Creek, Funwerks, Firestone Walker, Thunder Canyon, Left Hand, Ska, Papago, Uinta, Santa Fe, Full Sail, Left Coast, Mission, Rodeo Cold and many more.

Fretzy

Fretzy

Phoenix Brewers Invitational was the brain child of the late Greg “Fretzy” Fretz. His vision was to create a signature craft beer event in downtown Phoenix that celebrates the vast array of styles and flavors of craft beer. In May, 2013, Fretzy lost his battle with throat cancer. His passing struck the Phoenix beer community as it seemed just about everyone had shared a special fondness for his generous and outgoing personality. Paying tribute to his vision and passion, PBI will continue to celebrate the culture of craft beer in his honor. For more information, visit www.phoenixbrewfest.com.

Admission into the festival grounds is FREE, however in order to consume beer, all 21-and-over patrons must purchase the 2013 souvenir mug which comes with 12- 4oz beer samples. Purchase the mug and samples through online pre-sale to save $10 off of the day of pricing. ($25 pre-sale, $35 day of)
beer drinkers
Want to take your crafty experience to the next level? Get in on the VIP experience and start your party early at the open house preview party hosted at Phoenix Ale Brewery on Friday, December 6, from 7-11 p.m. The preview party includes food, beer samples, live entertainment and nerdy beer camaraderie.

Then, on Saturday, December 7, VIP ticket holders will get a 2013 souvenir mug which comes with 12- 4oz beer samples, exclusive access to the VIP quarters with catered food and treats from NYPD Pizza, private bathrooms, bocce ball playground, exclusive rare beers and a meet and greet with brewers. The VIP ticket is available ONLY through presale purchase online at www.phoenixbrewfest.com, $125 per person.

Additionally, online pre-sale purchasers can elect to add a flat rate voucher good for transportation to and from the festival courtesy of Discount Cab from anywhere in the Phoenix metro area.
beer drinkers 2
Event highlights include more than 120 craft beers, beer-related vendors, beer memorabilia, home brewing demonstrations and good eats from the valley’s best food trucks including Sweet Magnolia Smokehouse, and The Traveling Monk.

The Phoenix Brewers Invitational encourages people to drink responsibly and urges patrons to take advantage of Discount Cab’s pre-sale vouchers and the Valley Metro Light Rail, located just blocks away from the festival.

Special thanks to our official sponsors and supporters including Draft Magazine, Discount Cab, Crescent Crown Distribution, Alliance Beverage, Hensley Beverage Company, Phoenix Ale Brewery, World of Beer, Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix, Young’s Market, NYPD Pizza, Local First Arizona, The Brew Bros, Local Lily, Yelp, One Community, and The Full Pint.

A percentage of the proceeds from this event benefit The Children In Need Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization created and maintained by current and past members of the Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix. The Children In Need Foundation supports dozens of local groups that benefit Arizona community children including the Boys & Girls Club, American Cancer Society, Crisis Nursery Phoenix, Valley of the Sun School, Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters and much more. For more information about the Children In Need Foundation, visit www.phoenix2030.com/foundation.