With Independence Day weekend here what better way to celebrate locally owned independent restaurants and food business’ than with Independents Week. Local First Arizona is helping to co-ordinate it in Arizona along with the American Independent Business Alliance that is coordinating National Independent Week a.k.a Indie Week Saturday July 1st- Sunday July 9th.
“Independence Day is a time for us to reflect on what makes our state and country great,” says Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona.
“Arizona’s independent business community is the backbone of our local economy and the driving force behind what makes us proud to call Arizona home. Up to four times more money stays in the local economy when consumers choose an independent business over a national chain. Independents Week is our way of drawing attention to the important role independent businesses play in our daily lives.”
Independents Week Golden Coupon
The Golden Coupon returns giving users 20% off at hundreds of locally owned business’s around Arizona. Coupons can be printed from the Local First Arizona website or downloaded from their app. on your smart phone. Business such as auto repair shops, boutiques, florists, yoga studios and more will be participating. Individual business have certain restrictions so make sure you ask.
Restaurants and Food related products
Here is a partial list of restaurants and food related products from around Arizona for Independents Week. For a full list refer to Local First Arizona’s website above.
A little friendly competition is always good to keep us on our toes and even more so in the Phoenix restaurant community as we find ways to make the summer go by quicker. Jade Bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa will host a friendly Bar Brawl for 8 local bartenders to show off what they do best….make delicious cocktails.
Every Sunday at 8 p.m. from July 16th – August 6th two bartenders will go head to head to see who will advance to the Semi-Finals on August 13th & 20th with the two winners advancing to the Championship on August 27th where the new “Bar Brawl Champion’ will be crowned.
Each weeks head to head competition will use specific spirits and ingredients for cocktails that will be judged by a panel of local judges.
Eddie Aces, Jade Bar’s Head Mixologist will emcee the event each week with locals and resort guest invited to cheer on the bartenders while DJ Hybrid will be providing entertainment. A special menu of “Bar Brawl Bites” will be available for purchase for happy hour prices during each weeks competition. There is no cost to attend the Bar Brawl.
The Bar Brawl Champion will be awarded a fun-filled trip to Austin City Limits. Previous winners have included Kyle Mason of Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia and Keifer Gilbert of Crudo and Counter Intuitive.
In this hectic world we live in some times its better to “Save the Date” if you’re looking to schedule your month of September. With the return of cooler weather and food festivals circle Saturday September 16th on your calendar. The 6th Annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest returns to the streets of downtown Chandler with eating competitions, midget wrestling, a tequila tasting, a low rider car show and of course tacos.
Two dozen local restaurants will be preparing creative tacos made with fish, shrimp, carne asada, chicken, carnitas, vegetables and more. Chase your tacos down with a cold cerveza, aqua fresca and margaritas. Make sure you save room for churros, elote and palettas.
Live entertainment and participating restaurants will be announced soon as final plans are being made. To get updates you can check out http://www.rockintacoaz.com/
Rockin’ Taco Street Fest tickets
The festival starts at 12;00 p.m. and runs through 9:00 p.m. with General Admission tickets available in advance, online for $10 and $12 at the gate. Bring non-perishable food donation for the United food Bank and save $2 with purchase at the door. Food and drink sold separately.
A limited supply of VIP tickets are available on-line only for $75. VIP access include 6 alcoholic drink tickets, unlimited water and soft drinks, catered food from Chandler’s El Palacio Restaurant and Cantina, private seating and restrooms and more. VIP admission is only for 21 and over.
Donation to Downtown Chandler Community Partnership
Part of the proceeds from Rockin’ Taco Street Fest will go to the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership(DCCP), a non-profit corporation to help leadership and use of resources to promote and market downtown Chandler as a regional hub for shopping, dining, living, culture and the arts.
The Fest will take place at Dr. AJ Chandler Park at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave.
Right around the end of July is when wineries in the northern hemisphere roll up their sleeves, wake up before the sun rises and work til the sunsets. It’s harvest time when the 2-3 month process of picking the grapes when they are just right so they can be turned into wine. Some celebrate the harvest at the end in October or November with a festival for employees and friends but Elgin’s Sonoita Vineyards starts the harvest with their annual Harvestfest.
This years Harvestfest will take place on Saturday July 29th at 10 a.m. Throughout the day their will be winery tours given by the winemaker, food and wine pairings, vineyard tours in a wagon and a good ol grape stomp at 1;00 p.m. which you must sign up for when you arrive.
No reservations are required but tickets do need to be purchased. 250 General Admission tickets are available on-line for $25 and $30 at the door. GA ticket holders get to enjoy the above events and get a souvenir glass and for the first 100 people a souvenir giveaway.
Lunch can be purchased on-site from local restaurants The Steak Out and The Daily Bread Bistro along with wines by the glass.
50 VIP tickets are available for $85 per person and in addition to all of the above will enjoy a climate controlled room with a balcony, private bar, after hours party from 4-6 p.m., a lunch voucher and more.
Mark your calendars for the 17th Annual St. Martin’s Sonoita AVA New Release Festival with other Sonoita wineries on Nov. 11th Tentatively scheduled for April 7th , 2018 is the 40th Annual Blessing of Sonoita Vineyards.
Take Hwy 83 south from I-10. Sonoita Vineyards is located 3 miles south of Elgin at 290 Elgin-Canelo Road, Elgin, AZ 85611 520-455-5893
They say to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper so it’s time to dust off your crown as Arizona Breakfast Weekend returns July 27th -30th. Whether you prefer egg and bacon or pancakes and sausage you can’t go wrong with the special menus participating restaurants will be creating.
Sponsored by Hickman’s Family Farms and the idea of the Arizona Restaurant Association this opportunity is great for breakfast eaters to sample new restaurants and those who forgo the meal to realize why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
“For two years now, Arizona Breakfast Weekend has been wowing diners around the state,” said ARA president and CEO, Steve Chucri. “We look forward to its continued success, and growth, for years to come.”
Arizona Breakfast Weekend restaurants
Hash Kitchen – Scottsdale and Arcadia, The Original Breakfast House, Paul Martin’s, Ticoz, Perk Eatery and The Market by Jennifer’s are confirmed to plan special menus for the 3 day event.
Over 50 restaurants are expected to participate surpassing last years almost 50 restaurants, diners and hotels who served hungry morning customers. A full list of restaurants and menus will be available in late June/early July and can be found at http://www.arizonabreakfastweekend.com/
Signature dishes will be created by each restaurant and the price points for each meal will be $7. $10 or $15 and will be at the discretion of each restaurant to correspond to what they’re serving.
Restaurants may opt to serve “breakfast for dinner” on July 28th & 29th and yo can check the website if that’s the case.
“We like to think that Arizona Breakfast Weekend presents restaurants with new opportunities — whether to offer diners a totally new menu or to tweak and expand their existing breakfast and brunch menus,” Chucri added. “Arizona Breakfast Weekend brings the same level of culinary excellence, creativity and diversity as diners have come to expect from Arizona Restaurant Week — but with the added benefit of starting off your day with us.”
Glendale will be the home of the 6th Arizona location of Blaze Fast- Fire’d Pizza come Friday June 23rd.
The Irvine, California-based fast casual artisan pizza maker will call the northeast corner of Bell Rd. and 79th Ave home to its 1,700 square foot restaurant that will seat 68 people inside and on the patio.
The Blaze Fast- Fire’d Pizza difference
The chef driven restaurant has a menu of pizza and salads created by executive chef and Culinary Institute of America graduate Bradford Kent, “The Pizza Whisperer”. What makes the Blaze’s pizza different is the dough which needs 24 hours for fermentation in order to give it a light and crispy crust. Most of the ingredients use no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and fillers. The restaurant also offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese.
Signature pizzas are available as are a :create your own” option with all pizzas use fresh ingredients before being baked in a hot oven for just 3 minutes. All pizzas cost about $8 and beer and wine is available.
“Our mission at Blaze is really simple – we’re taking pizza back to its roots, “said Jim Mizes, president & COO of Blaze Pizza. “By making dough in-house, carefully sourcing ingredients, and cooking by fire, we’re giving guests a great way to enjoy artisanal pizza without the wait. It’s changing the way people think about and eat pizza.”
When the doors open at 11 a.m. on June 23rd all guests that come in until 10 p.m. and follow Blaze on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook will receive a FREE “create your own” pizza. A DJ will be providing entertainment starting at 4:30 p.m.
Commitment to Pizza, People and Planet
Blaze’s attention to details is not just for its pizzas but for their almost 200 restaurants across the United States and Canada. Each restaurant is constructed with recycled and sustainable materials, uses eco-friendly packaging and uses energy-efficient lighting.
Their commitment to the community extends to its donating 20% from fundraising events held at the restaurants as it partners with local sports clubs, schools and other organizations as they host fundraisers. http://www.blazepizza.com/
One of the more interesting new restaurant openings of 2017 has been Scottsdale’s El Panzon y Frida. Named after Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and her “pot belly” husband Diego Rivera, the restaurant celebrates its Grand Opening on Thursday July 6th, which is also the day of Frida’s birth.
The colorful restaurant has been opened for a few months for dinner but decided to lay low and wait until now to introduce itself to the community. Located in Scottsdale’s Entertainment District south of Camelback Rd west of Scottsdale Rd. El Panzon y Frida has a hand painted mural of Frida on the wall along with art from both artists.
The menu at El Panzon y Frida
The menu was created by up-and-coming executive chef Paulina Martinez and inspired by Frida and Diego’s feminine and masculine art. The thoughtful and picture worthy dishes include grilled octopus, bone marrow, Bone in Ribeye. along with small plates for sharing and salads.
Signature cocktails such as Sage Margarita & Chili Cucumber Capirihna and craft beers on tap are available to quench your thirst
The Grand Opening celebration
The celebration starts at 6 p.m. on the evening of the 6th and will include complimentary tastes, cocktails and entertainment. Guests are encouraged to wear bold and colorful clothes as part of the celebration.
El Panzon y Frida is open at 11am – 11pm Tuesday – Thursday, 11am – 1am Friday and Saturday, 11am – 9pm Sunday. Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 5pm with 50% bottles of wine and $15 bottomless mimosas. Throughout the summer, Social Lounging Happy Hour is extended from 3 – 8pm daily.
Whether you prefer your Martini shaken or stirred this classic cocktail is celebrating its existence on Monday June 19th with National Martini Day.
Considered one of the best known alcoholic cocktails its origins are a bit hazy but some go back to the 1800’s with an Italian vermouth producer and a San Francisco bartender. Popularity grew in the Roaring Twenties and the again in the 1960s with the help of James Bond preferring his Martini “shaken not stirred’ in novels in the 1950s and but mentioned in films “Dr. No” and “Goldfinger”in the early 1960s.
Originally made with dry gin & dry vermouth many variations are now created using vodka and flavored vodkas. Two local restaurants are celebrating National Martini Day on the 19th with their unique versions of the cocktail.
National Martini Day at The Thirsty Lion
The 3 valley locations of The Thirsty Lion Gastropub will be mixing up a herb and fruit Martini. The Grapefruit and Basil Martini will mix Deep Eddie Ruby Red Vodka, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, fresh basil and grapefruit bitters.
To celebrate head to Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill at 2000 East Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 1041 in Tempe, 7014 East Camelback Road, Suite 1423 in Scottsdale and 2212 East Williams Field Road in Gilbert. http://www.thirstyliongastropub.com/
Celebrate at Kelly’s at Southbridge
Scottsdale’s Kelly’s at Southbridge restaurant will be serving their Peartini for $8. The sweet cocktail uses Absolut Pear Vodka, Elderflower, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and Mumm Napa Brut sparkling wine. Kelly’s is at 7117 E. 6th Ave. Scottsdale 85251. http://www.kellysatsouthbridge.com/
If your father is like my father then time spent with him will probably involve food. Whether he is a vegan(not mine), prefers a burger or a pizza, breakfast, lunch or dinner, beer or wine these Phoenix area restaurants will be taking care of your father on Father’s Day on June 18th.
Dads will receive any draft beer for just $2 with the purchase of any pizza. Draft beer is regularly $5-$7.
Dads get a free slice of Chompie’s signature Black and White Tuxedo Cake (valued at $5.99) with the purchase of an entrée.
Flanny’s – Happy Hour Offered All Day 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
$5 Hummus $5 Cheese Quesadilla $5 Fried Pickles $7 Cheese Burger Sliders $7 Buffalo Chicken Sliders $2 off all Drafts and Cans $5 House Wines
12 Oz. Picanha Grelhada (grilled culotte steak) plus Brazilian Beer or Caipirinha, or a non-alcoholic Brazilian beverage for $23. Includes grilled pineapple, Brazilian potato salad or black beans and rice.
Tavern Americana- Penny beers with purchase of an entree Seared 10oz Filet Mignon | Herbed Butter | Mashed Potatoes | Roasted Mushrooms | Red Wine Cream Sauce | Charred Asparagus | $21 Any burger with choice of fries or salad $10 Any one topping pizza (additional toppings with be regular charge) $5.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar- Juicy Lucy burger til June 20th. Just in time for dad’s big day, the Juicy Lucy features a fresh ground Angus beef patty stuffed with melted Tillamook Cheddar and topped with a second slice of cheddar along with black pepper aioli and caramelized onions
Char Kitchen + Bar The Mediterranean Cowboy Burger $14, is an 8 Oz. grass fed Angus beef patty topped with Harissa BBQ sauce, crumbled gorgonzola cheese and fried onion rings with a chipotle ranch schmear, served on a challah roll with a side.
Char will also be serving a 14 oz. Angus Ribeye steak topped with blue cheese and chive butter and served with scalloped potatoes and roasted vegetables for $35.
Rusconi’s American Kitchen- Special menu for $44 Starter (choice of) key west shrimp and red pepper grits
local linguica sausage, cured tomato, roasted corn jus
sweet potato roasted corn bisque
shaved san joaquin gold and mild fresno chili
white truffle scented mac-n-cheese
white truffle cream, san joaquin gold
Entree pecan wood grilled prime flatiron steak
Amish blue cheese, roasted cornbread pudding, wilted spinach, pequillo tapenade
includes glass of chef’s choice red or white wine or draft beer
Dessert dark chocolate bread pudding
vanilla sauce, berries and salted caramel
LDV Wine Gallery On Father’s Day, dads will receive 25% off LDV Winery Petite Sirah (by the glass, by the bottle, or by the truckload)!
Thirsty Lion Gastropub Thirsty Lion offers half price beer flights on Father’s Day. For only $5, choose six of the over 24 beers and ciders on tap for your beer flight samples.
Fired Pie Pizza All day long on, all Fired Pie locations are offering a buy one entrée get one free for dads on Father’s Day! Dine-in only.
Organ Stop Pizza- All you can eat pizza buffet and salad plus unlimited soft drinks
Rarely do you know the names of the company’s that bring your favorite beers and wines to local restaurants. Mostly unknown beverage distributors deliver cases and kegs along with the marketing the brands locally. Flanny’s in Tempe is hosting one of their distributors, Quail Distributing to come out of the shadows and take over their taps with beers from their stable of brewers they represent.
Be at Flanny’s on June 15th
Thursday June 15th is when 11 brewers will be featured pouring 24 beers of various styles from around the country and the world.
A few of the brewers and beers include…..Prairie Artisan Ales (Birthday Bomb! and Apricot Funk), Destihl Brewery (Amra Mango IPA and Blueberry Gose), Clown Shoes (Crasher in the Rye and Bluegrass Billionaire), Knee Deep (Breaking Bud and Man Juice IPA), Almanac Beer Co. (Cherry Picker and Passion Project), Belching Beaver (North Park 4th and Anniversary Ale), Renegade, Black Market, High Water, North Mountain and Schilling Cider.
13 other beers will be announced.
Beers will range in price from $6-$14 depending on beer & glass size. Start time is 5 p.m.