A new gas station on the corner of 94th and Bell in North Scottsdale is more than just a place to fill your tank. Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market is quickly becoming a neighborhood meeting place and corner store. The differences of Tom’s Thumb are noticed from the moment you pull up. Attendants in 50s-style white uniforms are on hand to help. Inside the convenience continues – but well beyond candy bars and cigarettes.
Local Chef Tudie Frank-Johnson has breakfast, lunch and dinner waiting for you at the Campfire Bisto. The menu includes a mix of Southern home cooking like creamy grits and barbecue to Arizona favorites like tacos. Enjoy the food in the café or take it to go.
Pinnacle Perk Coffee Bar serves up locally roasted brews from drip to lattes. And in the market are fresh produce and local artisan products from cheese to nuts. Wine Sommelier Chuck Hesson also makes sure there is a selection of quality and affordable wines and craft beers.
“We’re redefining gas station culture,” says owner Jonathan Kish. “It’s reminiscent of a time when the station was not just about service, but a place to meet.”
Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market is located at 9292 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale on the SouthWest corner of 94th and Bell. www.TomsThumbFreshMarket.com and its Facebook page (facebook.com/Toms-Thumb-Fresh-Market) or call at 480-513-8186.
Beef filet, mushroom risotto and Merlot all exhibit a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth quality and harmonize well together
Shrimp Scampi Skewers and Paco & Lola Albariño
Albariño’s crisp minerality echoes the fresh ocean flavors of the shrimp, and the green apple and floral notes of the wine are a wonderful complement to the spicy chimichurri sauce
Petite Lamb Chops and Cline Cashmere Red Blend
Oak-aged red wines almost always pair well with grilled meats, and the lamb has flavor compounds that pair particularly well with the chocolate notes and hints of black pepper in this Syrah-Grenache-Mouvèdre blend
Seared Ahi Tuna and A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir
The bit of spice in this perfectly smooth Pinot Noir soothes the piquant notes of the mustard sauce served with the tuna dish
New Bedford Scallops and Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc
The fruity minerality of this refreshing Sauvignon Blanc accentuates the buttery richness of the scallops, and its citrus qualities echo the dish’s Meyer lemon-honey glaze
Filet Mignon Skewers and B.R. Cohn Silver Cabernet
Powerful foods need a powerful wine, and the full, rich flavors of this Sonoma Cabernet pair well with the robust flavors of seared beef, creamy gorgonzola and smoky bacon
Lobster Tempura and Silverado Chardonnay
The richness and sweetness of the lobster echo the rich flavors of crème brûlée and citrus found in this medium-bodied Chardonnay
“Guests could pick a pairing with a blindfold on and still would not go wrong with the seven wine selections on our Small Plates, Big Pours menu,” says Russell Skall, Fleming’s Executive Chef. “Larger groups can experiment by ordering several of the Small Plates to see who comes up with the favorite pairing of the evening,” he adds.
There are four Fleming’s in Phoenix at Scottsdale at Lincoln Road, North Scottsdale at DC Ranch, Peoria and Chandler. For more information or to find your nearest Fleming’s location, please visit www.FlemingsSteakhouse.com. Follow Maeve Pesquera and Chef Russell Skall on Twitter @WineMaeven and @RussellOnSteak.
Dutchman’s Holdings, LLC has established Dutchman’s Truffiere to be the first French Perigord (tuber malenosporum) truffle orchard in Arizona. Their planting of at
least 10 acres of host seedlings will begin after land acquisition has
been finalized. With the confirmation of initial soils data, Italian white
summer Alba truffles will also be planted commercially for the first
time in North American soil.“This will allow us to bring a very rare and desirable food item to market, not just locally, but nationwide. Fresh black winter truffles are
very difficult to get here in the US. Fresh white summer truffles from
Italy are impossible to obtain because they spoil too quickly.
Eventually we’ll even produce our own truffle salt for our sister
company, go lb. salt”, stated Liz Eckburg, owner and co-founder of
Dutchman’s Truffiere. “When growing truffles, you need to follow the
vines. So we are finalizing site selection for planting in one of the
three key wine growing regions in Arizona.”
“Dutchman’s Truffiere represents a very unique venture. Not only
because of its notable crop, but also because we are utilizing
Indiegogo to secure the remaining funds necessary to establish and
successfully maintain the truffiere for the first 10 years of operation.
This is necessary because there can be no expectation of any
saleable crop during the first decade as we work to establish the first
legacy truffle orchard in the Southwest”, stated Aaron Eckburg, cofounder.
“This is the largest crowd funded project to date and every
backer will be acknowledged as a founder of the truffiere. We see the
crowd funding platform as a great way to generate public interest for
the project and to introduce a new and emerging crop into Arizona’s
agriculture program. Most importantly, it will help preserve a unique
crop that is becoming increasingly more rare around the world.”
Dutchman’s Truffiere is the first and only truffiere for growing French
Perigord truffles in Arizona and the greater desert Southwest. If the
white truffle part of the venture is successful they will be the first
commercial truffiere to cultivate white Alba truffles. As such, they are
pleased to announce the start of this project as a unique addition to
the Arizona agriculture and viticulture communities and economies.
Individuals interested in learning more about Dutchman’s Truffiere can
visit www.dutchmanstruffiere.com. Persons who would like to know
more about the Dutchman’s Truffiere Indiegogo crowd funding project
can visit http://t.co/6gCeXH4
Tucked up in the desert amongst golf courses and the growth of north Scottsdale is the 431 room Zona Hotel and Suites. To coincide with a renovation that started in the summer of 2011, they also have re-branded the restaurant that is on property calling it, Graze Desert Grille. Emphasizing the cuisine of the Southwest, Executive Chef Kevin Myers uses the ingredients sourced from local farmers and suppliers and using all natural ingredients. Food and Beverage director Brian Blanke will compliment the food by featuring Arizona wines, spirits and beers along with other selections. I recently had the opportunity to taste several items from the new menu to debut April 5th, 2012.
The evening started with select cocktails of our choice including Flagstaff’s High Spirits Distillery gin for Martinis.
If your a fan of corned beef hash you won’t be disappointed by the Corned Beef & Green Chile Hash that comes topped with an Sunny Side Up egg. tasty and with a hint of spice this is a good way to start your day.
I enjoyed the Duck & Brie Quesadilla that includes duck confit, caramelized apples and Brie cheese and drizzled with Balsamic vinegar. A nice combination of sweet, creamy and savory make this a unique take on the classic appetizer.
Locally grown vegetables are the stars of 2 of the salads I tasted, The Rocket Salad uses Arugula that is tossed with dried apricot, aged Manchego cheese, pistachios and oregano dressing. The Beet Salad is complimented with Purple Haze goat cheese, baby lettuce and a hazelnut vinaigrette. Both salads are flavorful and make for a great light lunch or as a start to your dinner.
Pressed Pulled Pork Sandwich uses in house seasoned and smoked pork that comes served on a locally baked Ciabatta rolled and is topped with Arugula, sweet and sour onions and a Guajillo pepper aioli. This was one of my favorites of the evening and comes served with thick cut, crispy French fries.
Two of the entrees were tasted on this evening and I recommend both of them. If you’re in the mood for fish the pan seared Grouper should serve you well. The white, flaky fish is served over a bed of spaghetti squash, it is drizzled with smoked tomato butter and comes with braised greens that offer a nice contrast to the other ingredients. If red meat is part of your plan the Whiskey Braised Shortribs is not to be missed. Placed atop a pile of white cheddar and chive mashed potatoes, it comes with spinach from local farmers markets, an oven roasted tomato and its own juices pour over it. Tender and flavorful the meat is very good.
All courses were paired with the wines from Arizona Stronghold Vineyards with the exception of the pork sandwich which was paired with Lake Havasu City’s Mudshark Brewery’s Scorpion Amber Ale. The wines all tasted very good and were paired well with the food. National Sales Manager Paula Woosley joined us to talk about the wines and the success Arizona Stronghold and the Arizona wine industry is enjoying.
7677 East Princess Boulevard
Scottsdale, Arizona 85255