Little Rituals opens and it’s not your traditional hotel bar

When Little Rituals opened last week in downtown Phoenix it raised the bar for other hotel bars. Located on the 4th floor of the Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn the cocktail bar is the mastermind of mixologists Aaron Defeo and Ross Simon. DeFeo is no stranger to hotel bars as he was property mixologist at Tucson’s Casino del Sol Resort. Simon is the owner of downtown’s Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.

Little rituals owners Aaron DeFeo & Ross Simon. All photos courtesy of Little Rituals

The bar joins Broken Shaker ( Miami, L.A., Chicago & NYC) and Death Co. (NYC & Denver)  to offer guests and locals a unique hotel bar experience. Open daily from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. guests can expect 30 custom cocktails along with beer, wine and gourmet bites from consulting chef Bob Tam. Interesting touches at the independently owned bar include hand stamped ice, espresso martinis on tap and a pairing menu.

Preparation and education is key

What you don’t see is as important as what you see and sip on. DeFeo and Simon have created a culture of extensive staff training and drink preparation. Cocktails are made with house-made foams, infusions, garnishes, syrups and more. The menu focuses on the use of aromatic vermouth’s and sherry’s.

The cocktails are in 6 categories with 5 cocktails each.

  • Daily Rituals (Boilermakers, Siroco Spritz and a precisely-chilled, grapefruit-finished Session Martini)
  • Delicious Rituals (exciting flavor combinations such as the honey, citrus and curry-spiced Daiqurry)
  • Cooling Rituals (heat-busting combos such as the frothy Amalfi Frappe or the cucumber-y Touch of Evil)
  • Stirred & Silky Rituals (elegant twists on classics such as the sherry-spiked Cask of Amontillado)
  • Indulgent Rituals (complex flavors such as the Cartographer with overproof rum, cardamom and creole bitters)
  • Shared Rituals (ever-changing selection of punches, pitchers and the aforementioned Bubbles & Fries)

Apertivo hour is from 4-6 p.m. daily and offers discounted prices on a rotating list of cocktails, beer, wine and bites.

The bar bites menu offers 10 dishes including Beet Carpacio, Millionaire’s Bacon Board and Carbonara Lo Mein from the Hong Kong born chef Tam. Make sure you save room for the High Spirited Desserts.

The hotel is at 132 S. Central Ave. Phoenix 85004. 602-603-2050. Visit the website and their Facebook page for more information.

Step up to the plate! Spring Training food & drink deals around Phoenix

It still feels like winter around the country but the boys of summer have arrived in Phoenix for spring training. The 2019 season shouldn’t disappoint nor will the food and drink deals Phoenix restaurants are offering fans. Don’t trash those Cactus League game ticket stubs too quickly because they will score you a food and drink deals at your favorite restaurant.

Here’s my line-up for this years food and drink deals.

Original Breakfast HouseStart your day loading up on 5 new breakfast meals for just for spring training. Chile en Nogada Omelette, Steak and Portabella Mushroom Hash, Shrimp and Grits, Cajun Andouille Sausage and Gouda Scramble  and Tres Leches Pancakes. No ticket stub needed. Original Breakfast House is at 13623 N. 32nd St. Phoenix 85032.

Arcadia TavernSame day game day ticket stub from any team will score you a draft beer for a penny! 4801 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix 85018.

Cider CorpsCubs and A’s fans take your game day ticket stub from one of the Mesa stadiums for $1 off  a pint of cider. On March 14th all pint are $3.14 for National Pi Day(ticket deal not available this day).  Cider Corps is at 31 S. Robson Mesa 85210.

Photo courtesy of Cider Corps

DorianFirst select glass of wine, bottle of beer or well cocktail for $3 with same day game ticket. 7419 E. Indian Plaza Drive, Suite B Scottsdale 85251.

FOUND:RE Phoenix HotelNeed a place to stay when in town, check in with the Play Ball Package and receive 10% off standard room rate, a bucket of beers and peanuts & Cracker Jacks. Reservations good from Fed. 22nd – March 28th. FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel is at 1100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85003.

Urban MargaritaFree steak, chicken or carnitas taco with same day game ticket from any game. Urban Margarita is at 6685 W. Beardsley Rd., #180, Glendale 85308.

Urban Margarita.

Starlite BBQAll day happy hour pricing with same day ticket stub starting Thurs. Feb. 21st. for 1 drink or food item outside normal happy hour times. Starlite BBQ is at 7620 E Indian School Rd #101, Scottsdale 85251.

Thai Chili 2 Go- All 6 Phoenix area location will trade you your same day ticket stub for a FREE drink or order of Thai Dumplings. See website for a location near you.

Thai Chili 2 Go dumplings

Fired Pie- Score 10% off all pizzas when you dine-in after the game with same day game ticket. Find one of their 19 locations near you at http://firedpie.com/

Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants- Show your ticket stub and get a FREE Famous Cheese Crisp. Over 20 Happy Hour food and drink deals are priced $3-$8. Steal 2nd and take 3rd with that deal. Available at all 8 locations around Phoenix. http://www.macayo.com/

 

 

A visit to GenuWine Arizona, a self serve wine bar.

With all of the development in downtown Phoenix in recent years it’s hard to recognize it let alone keep track of the new business’s that have opened up. One of those business’s is GenuWine Arizona, a wine and beer bar on Roosevelt Row.  I recently found myself at GenuWine as owners Emily Rieve and Lindsey Schoenemann were finalizing plans to celebrate their first anniversary.

Emily and Lindsey are two mid-westerners who found themselves teaching together in Gilbert. They enjoyed working together on school lessons and wanted to share their passion to collaborate on something unique. The wine enthusiasts decided on a self-serve wine bar and GenuWine Arizona was born.

What’s going on at GenuWine Arizona

Focusing on mostly Arizona wines, beers and foods guests can make their way up to the wine wall for a taste, 1/2 glass or full glass of over 24 wines. I opted for 4 tastes of Arizona wines on my visit. Local craft beers are on tap and by the bottle if you’re in the mood for the suds.

The laid back atmosphere offers board games to play, couches and chairs to talk with friends and people watch along Roosevelt. A few seats at the bar allow for you to enjoy your drink while chatting with Emily and Lindsey when their not with their guests. If hungry you can build your own cheese board.

Weekly events include beer and tastings, unique classes(cheese making), live music and a comedy night. On First Friday’s you can usually count on a beer or wine tasting and food truck outside. Happy hour is Mon.-Fri. from 3-6 p.m. with $2 off full glasses of wine, draft beer and small plates.

GenuWine Arizona
Owners Emily and Lindsey

There’s plenty of room for private parties and a wine club is in the works.

For a calendar of events and lists of wine and beer they’re pouring visit their website.

GenuWine Arizona is at 888 N. 1st Ave. Suite 101 Phoenix 85003. 602-682-7494. Hours Mon. – Thurs. 3 – 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 1 -11 p.m and Sun. 1 -9 p.m.

 

Phoenix Public Market celebrates 14th anniversary of it’s Open Air Market

Farmer’s markets have become very popular around Phoenix the last few years. It’s hard to not to find a farmer’s market in each of the valley’s communities. One of the longest running farmer’s markets is the Open Air Market at The Phoenix Public Market in downtown Phoenix. The Open Air Market happens every Saturday morning and on Saturday February 16th it will celebrate its 14th anniversary.

All photos courtesy of Phoenix Public Market

Drop by between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to find local vendors offering seasonal fresh produce, foods and healthy products. Many of the vendors have been there from the beginning.

For the celebration there will be live music, a special anniversary raffle, giveaways and more. Kids can have their face painted, participate in a scavenger hunt and make kids crafts.

Events include…

9 a.m. Native Seed/ SEARCH Workshop: Spring Gardening in the Desert. 10 a.m Yoga with Sutra Studios. 11 a.m. A cooking demonstration

The Open Air Market is a non-profit organization that creates a sense of community by supporting small farmers and business’s. They help strengthen the sustainable food systems and make healthy products available in the local community.

They’ve awarded vendor scholarships four times a year and work as a small business incubator. They’ve helped to support over a dozen local farms over the years.

The Market is at 721 N. Central Ave. (McKinley & Central) Phoenix 85004. For more information visit their website.

Pomo Pizzeria named in BuzzFeed’s 25 Best Pizzerias in America

Discussions about pizza and who makes “The Best” is part of the pizza culture. When a new list comes out we all scan it to see if we’ve been to any and if we agree. I know I’ve got my opinions and favorites. Phoenix does have a pretty good if not great reputation for its pizza community. Most often we think of Chris Bianco and his Pizzeria Bianco’s when we think of great pizza in Phoenix. Chris laid the foundation for pizza in Phoenix with its reputation for tacos, burritos and other Mexican dishes. It should come as no surprise that other pizzerias have opened following the Bianco brick oven model and have garnered national respect in the pizza community. Pomo Pizzeria in downtown Phoenix (a few blocks from Bianco) is the only Arizona pizzeria to make BuzzFeed’s The 25 Best Pizzerias in America.

Pomo came in at #14 on the list voted on by guests. The Principe pizza is featured on BuzzFeed list but the pizzeria considers The Diavola as their signature pizza. The Diavola has tomato sauce, spicy salame, mozzarella, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.

Pomo uses fresh ingredients and uses traditional pizza making techniques going back hundreds of years to Naples.

I’d agree, when I’ve visited any Pomo location I’ve always enjoyed their pizzas, I just need to get there more often.

Pomo Pizzeria has locations in Scottsdale, Gilbert and Phoenix. For more information visit their website.

Trapp Haus BBQ offers new specials for it’s 6 month anniversary

Trapp Haus BBQ owner Phil Johnson celebrates his 6th month anniversary with a party tonight and is offering new specials. Johnson who is also the pitmaster throws a party tonight as the popular First Friday Artwalk happens. Guests celebrate with an all-you-can-eat whole hog roast for $10/adults & $5 for kids. The party with live music starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 10 or when there is no more hog to eat.Trapp Haus

Johnson will be taking his recipes on the road later this month when he heads to Kansas City to compete in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue. From there he heads to Milwaukee show what he knows about BBQ with a cooking demonstration and class at the Journal Sentinel Wine & Food Experience.

New specials and offerings are now available until further notice.

Slab Saturday’s– Every Saturday $25 St. Louis Ribs all day long.

Free local Delivery– On-line orders in the downtown Phoenix area from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday Friday.

Weekday Sammitch Specials-$2.00 off any Sammaitch Tuesday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Beats, Beer & Q- On Fridays

Trapp Haus BBQ is at 511 E. Roosevelt Phoenix 85004. 602-466-5462. For more information check their website.

 

Zookz celebrates National Sandwich Month with featured sandwiches

Zookz Sandwiches honors the millions of sandwiches eaten everyday in the United States with featured sandwich every week in August. Both locations of the locally owned sandwich shop will be taking 25% off each of the featured sandwiches during National Sandwich Month.

Each pressed and closed sandwich is filled with meats, cheeses, eggs and fruits for one of a kind sandwich. Zookz is open for breakfast and lunch with the sandwiches coming from owner Carole Meyer that are inspired by her grandmother’s recipes.

Featured sandwiches

You have a couple of days left to get this weeks featured sandwich with the new sandwich starting on Monday.

Week of Aug 6th-12th: Cheddar, crispy bacon, tomatoes and thinly sliced turkey topped with Chipotle and green onion scallop potatoes

Week of Aug 13th – 19th: Parmesan cheese &  turkey topped with a kale slaw, pineapple, shredded coconut and roasted almonds in Zookz Voodoo Dressing.

Week of Aug 20th – 26th: Brie, ham, apricot preserves and roasted almonds

Week of Aug 27th – 31st:  Cheddar, Monterey Jack cheeses and thinly sliced ham topped with a Creamy Sriracha and green onion Mac and Cheese 

Zookz are at 100 E. Camelback Rd. (Uptown Plaza) Phoenix 85012 and One N. 1st St. (Downtown & closed weekends.) Phoenix 85004. For more information go to http://zookzsandwiches.com

The Downtown Donut Festival is happening and its about time

It was only a matter of time before one of America’s favorite treats, the donut, got its own festival.  The first Downtown Donut Festival is from the folks that bring us the Phoenix Pizza Festival the day before making for a great foodie weekend. The donut festival will be on Sunday November 18th at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix from 11 a.m. -3 p.m.

Downtown Donut Festival

Donuts and more

Over 15 donut makers from around Phoenix will be frying up the dough and to a crowd expected to reach 2,000 people. Donuts will be sold for $1 per along with donut holes, donut samples and other donut creations in a multitude of flavors.

Enjoy the donuts then have fun at a Mimosa Bar, craft beer garden, wine tasting, lawn games and live music. The festival is for the whole family and their will be a craft zone for the kids.

There will also be a vendor marketplace for festival goers can get a head start on the holiday shopping season.

Downtown Donut Festival tickets

Tickets for the festival are available on-line at  https://www.downtowndonutfest.com/ for $8. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Downtown Phoenix Inc. which promotes downtown Phoenix by supporting local business’s and events.

The Dressing Room founders to open daytime hangout The Larry

Riding on the success of their restaurant The Dressing Room the founders are opening The Larry a few blocks further south in downtown Phoenix’s warehouse district. The breakfast, lunch and happy hour hangout will be opening on Monday August 13th and will be open Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

All photos courtesy of The Larry

The Larry in The Lawrence building

The owners chose the warehouse district for its tech focused business community and to create a sense of community south of downtown. Located in The Lawrence Building, The Larry will have both indoor and outdoor seating among its modern decor.

“The breakfast, lunch and happy hour concept is one that really resonates with the Downtown Phoenix crowd,” said owner Kyu Utsunomiya. “The Larry is that spot where you can come network during lunch hour or catch up with a friend over cocktails after work.”The Larry

What to eat and drink

Executive chef Luis Arellano has created a healthy and colorful menu of dishes from around the world including Soba Noodle Salad and Korean Fried Chicken sandwich. A revolving pizza selection will be available along with other dishes and several meals will be available for grab-n-go.

Soba noodles

Baristas will be serving desserts and preparing coffee drinks to give you the energy needed to get through the day. Specialty cocktails including Pisco Punch are also on the menu.

Grand opening week specials

To make good with the neighbors and make new friends The Larry will be offering a half price menu during opening week ending on Friday the 17th.

An entire years worth of coffee(1 cup per week) is being given away and you can get in on it by going to their website to enter.

The Larry is at 515 E. Grant St. Phoenix 85004.

 

EVO’s owner opening Breadwinner in downtown Phoenix

Nick Neuman owner of Scottsdale’s EVO has set his sights like many on downtown Phoenix with the August opening of Breadwinner. The sandwich focused hangout will be in The Churchill, the trendy retail & restaurant complex built with shipping containers on the northeast corner of 1st St & Garfield(901 N. 1st St.).

Serving lunch, dinner & weekend brunch Breadwinner will serve handcrafted sandwiches, wraps and salads of the traditional variety with Neuman’s creative twist. Expect the likes of oven roasted turkey, Cuban, Muffeletta or roast beef sandwiches or wraps ($9-$12) along with hearty side dishes, fresh salads and non-alcoholic beverages.

After guests order and pay at the counter their meal will be delivered to them at communal style dining tables in The Churhill’s courtyard.

The sense of community at The Churchill is part of the attraction to Neuman where Breadwinner employees will give 4 hours a month to community service as part of their monthly  “social rent”.