Category Archives: Foodie

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria announces Scottsdale location

The Phoenix area has been a popular place for Chicago area transplants for years its been the last couple of years that they’ve been able to get what some consider to be the best deep dish pizza in Arizona. With Giordano’s, Gino’s East and Lou Malnati’s arriving in the last couple of years it’s been Lou Malnati’s that has continued its expansion with recent announcement of a 2nd location and this week’s announcement of its 3rd in north Scottsdale.

Lou Malnati’s coming to Scottsdale

The anticipated opening of the third location in north Scottsdale is still a year away but fans of the popular pizzeria will enjoyed the largest of the Arizona locations when it opens. It will be in the new Chauncey Lane development near Scottsdale Rd. and Loop 101.

When the restaurant opens it will be 10,000 square feet with an outdoor patio and will employ over 150 people and offer a full bar in the restaurant.

Deep Dish Pizza

Malnati’s is known for its deep dish pizza that uses California grown vine ripened tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese from a Wisconsin dairy and scratch made dough that hold it all together with its flaky and buttery crust.

2nd location announced

A few weeks back word came that the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix will get the 2nd location which will be for take out, delivery and catering. The pizzeria will share space with local neighborhood restaurant Kitchen 56 on the southeast corner of 56th St & Indian School Rd.

The building is currently under renovation to give Kitchen 56 a fresh look and accommodate Lou Malnati’s. This location is scheduled to open in the fall.

If north Scottsdale fans of the deep dish pizza can’t wait til the summer of 2018 to get their fill of deep dish pizza the can head to the original Arizona location in Uptown Plaza at 100 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85012. http://www.loumalnatis.com/

 

2nd annual Rock the Guac comes to The Camby Hotel

Calendars are starting to fill up with food festivals and the like with another just announced as Rock the Guac is scheduled on National Guacamole Day on September 16th at The Camby Hotel in Phoenix. 12 Phoenix area chefs will create their version of guacamole for guests to sample and celebrate the delicious food.

Rock the Guac
Matt Carter at last years event. All photos courtesy of Rock the Guac

Rock the Guac chefs

Rock the Guac is brought to us by the same people who brings us Arizona Taco Festival in mid-October. The 12 valley chefs preparing their guacamole for the friendly competition are….

Forest Hamrick- La Hacienda – 2016 Rock The Guac winner

Dushyant Singh- Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar at The Camby Hotel

Richard Hinojosa- CRUjiente Tacos

Aaron Pool- Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup

Alex Stratta- Match at The FOUND:RE Phoenix

Mel Mecinas- Private Chef

Aaron May- Goodwood Tavern, Malibu Burger Co.

Jennifer Russo- The Market by Jennifer’s

Fidencio Alatriste- Toro Latin Restaurant

Laura Gonzalez- Taqueria Centro

George Alatriste- The Mission

Beau MacMillan- Elements

Get Tickets

The event starts at 6p.m. and tickets are only available online for $40 in which each guest has unlimited guacamole, 2 drink tickets for margaritas and beer, a taco station hosted by The Camby.  If you’ve ever been to the Arizona Taco Festival then you know there will be plenty of fun and live entertainment on this lively evening. Tickets available here.

Part of the proceeds from Rock the Guac will be donated to Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, a non-profit which heals homeless and abused children thought art and expression.

 

Mac & Cheese Festival coming in October to Scottsdale Waterfront

Here’s another food festival to add to your foodie calendar as Arizona’s 1st Mac & Cheese Festival arrives at the Scottsdale Waterfront on Saturday October 7th.

This Friday July 14th being National Mac & Cheese Day is a great time to “tease” yourself as tickets go on sale for this cheesy festival. Discounted General Admission tickets can be purchased all weekend when you use the promo code MacCheeselove

Local valley restaurants will prepare their unique style of this comfort food which will be washed down with libations from from local supplier.

Festival goers will enjoy cheesy goodness  from 12 noon -7 p.m.  and during those 7 hours foodies can take a  food break inside Game Central playing ping pong, Jenga and other games to burn off the calories. A craft beer exhibition will also open to pair with your tasty samples.

Want to learn the secrets of making mac & cheese then make sure you check out cooking demonstrations from from participating chefs. The schedule of demonstration will be released on August 1st.

 

 

Independents Week returns July 1st -9th along with the Golden Ticket

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.

  • The dhaba India plaza
  • TEXAZ Grill
  • Fluff It Marshmallows
  • Caketini
  • Colados Coffee Inc.
  • Southern Rail
  • Huss Brewing
  • Smooth Brew
  • Smitholator Cookie Shop
  • Souvia Teas
  • Iconic Cocktail Co.
  • Fluffy Vegans
  • Witnessing Nature
  • GWIN Wine and Beer
  • Candyman’s Grill
  • NOnna URban Eatery
  • Bite Magazine
  • Queen Creek Olive Mill
  • Arizona Salsa & Spice Company
  • Kettle Heroes Artisan Popcorn
  • Cake Pops by Sal
  • Tammie Coe Cakes
  • TeaRoyalty
  • Desert Rock Winery/Arizona Hard Cider

 

The Vig McDowell Mountain to open June 5th

After months of searching for the right location and construction Genuine Concepts is ready to open its new location of The Vig in north Scottsdale. With the McDowell Mountains serving as a backdrop the restaurant is set to open June 5th and will be the 5th location of the successful modern tavern and the 2nd in Scottsdale.

At the intersection of Bell Rd. and Thompson Peak Parkway is where excited residents and visitors will be headed to enjoy the lunch, dinner and brunch in this spacious restaurant of over 13,000 square feet indoors and out.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design

The natural desert setting and straight lined designed building was inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Tucker Woodbury, a partner in Genuine Concepts says “I had the pleasure of once again collaborating on the design of the property with Artie Vigil and his team atAV3 Design. We both love the simplicity of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West’s iconic structure and the Usonian style of architecture it represents, which was the inspiration of the design. With a lot of help and collaboration with our development team” YAM Properties, Alexander Building Company, K&IArchitects, the City of Scottsdale and our Genuine Concepts team, we were able to bring our vision to fruition. The end result is an astonishing property and we can’t wait to show it off! “

The Vig McDowell Mountain location

The Vig McDowell Mountain’s location will satisfy all whether your coming of one of the trails of the nearby Sonoran Mountain Preserve, any of the annual events that take place such as the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction or Waste Management Golf Open Tournament. Also an idea spot for residents and visitors to come out to mix and mingle and enjoy the newest member of the community.

Community involvement

Genuine Concepts is a locally owned restaurant group and is committed to to the communities in which there restaurants are located and north Scottsdale will benefit from their new neighbors. The Vig McDowell Mountain will be making an ongoing contribution to the Sonoran Mountain Preserve with sales from its “Bitty Cocktail”. Named after the Bitty Cycling Club, 50 cents from each rum & Coke style drink will be donated to help keep the trails of the McDowell Mountain Preserve safe and maintained for its users.

VMM is located at 10199 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday 11am-1am, Saturday 10am-1am & Sunday 10am-11pm

 

 

 

Zuzu introduces new dinner menu from Chef Russell Lacasce

When I wrote about new executive chef Russell Lacasce taking over the kitchen at the Hotel Valley Ho’s flagship restaurant Zuzu back in Dec. I wondered what direction he would take the restaurant. I now know as Lacasce has introduced his first dinner menu since arriving at the Zuzu in January. A few restaurant bloggers and myself had the opportunity to taste several of the new menu items and speak to Lacasce and other members of his culinary team.

Zuzu Lobster Rolls

“I wanted the new menu to be very approachable, while offering dishes with complex combinations of flavors and textures that diners might not expect,” said LaCasce. “Everything is fresh and seasonal, with a strong focus on showcasing our amazing local farmers and purveyors.” Several of the Zuzu’s previous American comfort food staples are still available in the lounge.

Chef Russell Lacasce new menu items

The new menu includes dishes that perfect for sharing and include….

Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare with spicy chicharones, Avocado mousse, Heirloom tomatoes, with a local Feta and shallot buttermilk dressing. This small plate tasted fresh with a hint of spice and a nice touch from the crispy chicharone.

Chef Russell Lacasce Hawaiian Ahi Tartare

The Burrata has a creamy and smooth texture and the addition of pickled strawberries & toasted pistachios give it flavors you’d be hard pressed to find on other plates of Burrata around town.

The Hokkaido Scallops comes three to a serving separated by one of the more unique ingredients I’ve found recently, fried Meyer lemon wedges. Both are served over a bed of toasted cous cous & pine nuts and drizzled with a shellfish butter. The scallops practically melt in your mouth and citrus flavor and crunch from the Panko crusted fried lemon may have made me a scallop convert. This dish is not to be missed by scallop enthusiasts.

The entrée we tasted was the item on the whole menu that raised my eye brow when I read it…..Baker’s Bacon Chop. A 20 lb. back bacon loin that is house carved, cured, smoked and honey lacquered prior to being plated. Served with green harissa, burnt orange, fresh herbs, pickled chiles and pork rinds. All I can say is WOW! A loin of crispy back bacon will give a whole new meaning to bacon. It’s also great for those who prefer gluten-free dinners.

What’s next at Zuzu

At the same time the dinner menu debuted in early May, Lacasce introduced a lounge menu and new dessert menu from pastry chef Audrey Enriquez. In coming weeks he will be rolling out new breakfast, lunch and brunch menus for diners to sink their teeth into. If his first menu is any indication of what’s to come in June we should be pick a day now, circle on the calendar and plan to check out Zuzu.

Zuzu is in the Hotel Valley Ho at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251 (480)376-2600 http://www.hotelvalleyho.com/ZuZu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FATHER’S DAY SPECIALS AT PHOENIX CITY GRILLE HELP TO CREATE WEEKEND TO REMEMBER

Set in the Madison neighborhood of Central Phoenix at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road, Phoenix City Grille is consistently recognized for its delicious menu combinations, unique daily specials and personalized, attentive service, and Father’s Day is no exception.  In addition to its regular and weekend brunch menus, Phoenix City Grille this year will offer the following Father’s Day specials, using a combination of fresh and local ingredients created by Executive Chef Rory Hewitt:
          Starters:  Toasts with roasted red pepper-fresno chile relish, brie cheese and balsamic reduction.
          Featured Entrée:  Grilled Rib-eye steak with a roasted green chile butter.  Served with a fingerling potato and green-bean salad, with smoked bacon and blue cheese crumbles.
          Catch of the Day:  Corn-meal-crusted catfish with a Shreiner’s Andouille sausage and wild rice pilaf, and a shrimp and red chile veloute.
            “As a father, I enjoy hosting our customers and their families on this special day,” says owner Sheldon Knapp.  “We hope our ambience, specials and service make Father’s Day gatherings even better!”
Every day of the week Phoenix City Grille offers a full menu of American Contemporary cuisine, plus daily lunch and dinner specials, and on the weekends, brunch.  The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
For more information or to make reservations, which are highly recommended, call (602) 266-3001 or visit www.PhoenixCityGrill.com.