Love & Tacos…….Get married at a taco festival.


Affordable Food Festivals, LLC, has announced the start of a seven-week contest to win an actual wedding at the upcoming Arizona Taco Festival (Oct. 20-21 at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale). The contest invites couples to create a one-minute video expressing why they deserve a fun “taco wedding” at the Fest, with the winner receiving a full ceremony and 50-person reception on the second day of the Arizona Taco Festival—October 21, 2012.

Sponsored by Arizona Weddings Magazine, the ceremony will take place on the main stage and include all the bells and whistles—officiant, décor, music, vow exchange, photographer, and perhaps the most important element: the ceremonial stomping of the tortilla chips. Also included is reception for 50 people that will include a cake, flowers, catered food, hosted bar, and entertainment. Thousands of event attendees will be there to cheer on the newlyweds.

Founders of the Arizona Taco Festival have long been drawn to the catchphrase: “Love & Tacos,” a popular slogan on t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other taco paraphernalia. While planning the upcoming 3rd Annual Arizona Taco Festival, they decided to take the phrase literally, and add a wedding to the weekend festivities.“We’re calling it ‘Wedding Fantastico,’ and we believe this ceremony will amp up the already festive vibe of the taco fest,” says AFF founder, Rick Phillips.

Arizona Weddings is helping to secure wedding components. “So far, we’ve arranged for photography by Jeff Janke, a prominent wedding photographer who’s looking forward to this colorful affair,” says Kristina Celik, Director of Marketing & Promotions for Arizona Weddings Magazine. “This contest not only gives great exposure for our advertisers, but it’s a fun and fresh idea. Our initial call for entries went out today, and I’m excited to see who enters this contest. The videos should be hilarious!”

Interested contestants simply film a video with anything from a smart phone to a professional camera and link their video to the Festival Facebook page (at www.facebook.com/ArizonaTacoFestival). The deadline for entering is September 20th, 2012. The video with the most “Likes” by September 28th will win the ceremony. A full gallery of videos will also appear on www.aztacofestival.com on September 21. Entry forms, rules, and other details can be found at http://aztacofestival.com/wedding/

Beer & a nosh every Wednesday in August at Graze Desert Grille at Zona Resorts in Scottsdale

Graze Desert Grille has some great craft beer & food pairings this month every Wednesday evening. With representatives on hand to speak about the beer paired with executive chef Keith Osmundson’s locally sourced cuisine should make for a cool and refreshing evening on these hot summer nights. Hurry, seats are limited to 18 people per week.

Some news about brews..

A new ale house opening in downtown Phoenix & a new brewing company coming to Gilbert.

As we continue to sweat out the dog days of summer nothing helps cool you off than a cold beer. I met up with some craft brew enthusiasts for a couple of pints and to catch up on some local beer news and met with the owners of a couple of new beer focused establishments.

Angels Trumpets Ale House opens in mid August in downtown Phoenix, just off Roosevelt Row by Mat & Sherry Englehorn. They will have 31 taps w/ rotating beers and 6 taps for wine. In addition to beer they will be offering food and hope to attract the lunch crowd with a quick turnaround for workers in the area. It will be a welcome addition to the always growing downtown area. In addition for kegs the cooler will have room for a couple of casks of beer and in the future they plan to have beer dinners and teach beer classes with the help from brewers. With over 1,400 “Likes” on their Facebook page they’re expecting to be busy from opening day. Angels Trumpet is at 810 N. 2nd St. Phoenix 85004 (602)317- 0170 www.facebook.com/angelstrumpetalehouse

In the east valley city of Gilbert, Owner/ Yeast Whisperer Jonathan Buford and partners are working on opening Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. at the intersection of Arizona Ave. & Guadalupe Rd before the end of the year. After being snubbed by tenants at the strip mall in Queen Creek they were hoping to open at, the city of Gilbert welcomed them with open arms. Still in the process of building out and going through the licensing process they reached their financial goal through crowd funding on Kicktarter. Self taught brewer Jonathan will be sourcing several kinds of yeast from all over for the brewing process for his beers. To follow their progress you can “Like” them on there Facebook page www.facebook.com/azwbc

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Celebrates Summer With Steak & Sangria Prix Fixe Options

New Pairings Offer A Summer Vacation Experience Every Two Weeks

With long summer days rolling into warm summer nights, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is celebrating summer with a series of Summer Lovin’ Steak & Sangria Prix Fixe dinners that will take guests on a culinary world tour. This summer menu series, offered July 2 through August 26, will introduce a new steak and sangria pairing every two weeks, each featuring an artfully inspired selection of fresh, seasonal ingredients and internationally inspired flavors.

Fleming’s 4 Sangrias

Every Summer Lovin’ Steak & Sangria menu features a summer salad, a uniquely seasoned specialty prime New York Strip Steak with a vibrant topping and a decadent dessert for $39.95*. Each menu also includes a suggested hand-crafted sangria pairing for $7.95*. Guests visiting the bar or patio, will also have an opportunity to enjoy the series of refreshing, seasonal sangrias.

Fleming’s Executive Chef Russell Skall, believes that summer dining is about innovative flavors that convey fun in the sun.

“Steak and sangria are two things that instantly take a summer BBQ from ordinary to extraordinary, and Fleming’s is helping guests take away the fuss by bringing the ultimate summer BBQ to our patios instead of theirs,” said Skall. “The steak and sangria menus will present a variety of marinades and sauces that will highlight fresh summer flavors and provide guests with a global summer vacation feel.”

Summer Lovin’ Steak & Sangria menus for August include:

July 30 through August 12
· Butter Lettuce and Pear Salad with goat cheese, candied walnuts, crispy onions, and a lemon vinaigrette

· Prime New York Strip with a sweet and spicy rub, topped with a savory tomato and roasted red pepper butter and chopped marcona almonds, and served with a side of summer zucchini slaw

Beefsteak & Mozzarella salad, prime NY strip & sangria

· Fresh Peach Cobbler with a brown sugar oat streusel and topped with vanilla ice cream

· Optional Pairing: South Seas SangriaViñedos Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, and Peach Schnapps with fresh peaches, honeydew melon, oranges and lemons


August 13 through 26
· Beefsteak Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with arugula and a red onion balsamic vinaigrette

· Prime New York Strip topped with crispy gorgonzola and served with grilled asparagus, pickled fennel and baby golden beets

· Lemon-Poppy Seed Butter Cookies with vanilla ice cream and a warm apple-ginger sauce

· Optional Pairing: Sailors Sunset SangriaRed Diamond Merlot, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and Peach Schnapps, with fresh peaches, oranges and lemons


Enjoy the Steak & Sangria menus at any of Fleming’s four Valley locations in North Scottsdale at DC Ranch, Scottsdale at Lincoln Road, Chandler and Peoria. Find the restaurant nearest you at FlemingsSteakhouse.com.

*Excluding tax and gratuity. Sangrias are sold separately. Fleming’s abides by all local and state liquor laws.

School is in Session with Tom’s Thumb “101 & Bell” Classes Wine 101: Wine & BBQ

Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market http://www.tomsthumbfreshmarket.com/ starts a series of tasty educational classes in August covering everything from wine, grilling, and cooking. It’s “101 & Bell” sessions provide the basics and beyond from the experts at this unique corner market.

Chuck Hesson, the market manager and a certified Sommelier, hosts the first class “Wine & BBQ “– a Wine 101 pairing varietals with the tangy, smoky flavors of barbecue. The event starts at 6:30 pm with a tasting of five wines and light appetizers. Hesson will describe how each pairs with the different qualities of meats and sauces of the restaurant’s award-winning barbecue.

After the tasting, guests will sit for a 3-course dinner with their choice of barbecue entrée and their choice of one glass wine. Additional drinks are available for purchase.

Cost for the tasting course and dinner is $60 per couple or $35 per individual. Pre-paid reservations are required and can be made online or at the market.

Wednesday, August 8

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market

9393 E. Bell Rd. • Scottsdale 85260

480-513-8186

The Wines

Five food friendly wines from around the world:

  • Italian Prosecco
  • Oregon Rose
  • Oregon Pinot Noir
  • French Cote du Rhone
  • Californian Syrah

The Menu

  • Choice of soup or salad
  • Choice of the Two Meat Platter, Grilled Salmon or Rib Platter
  • Choice of Strawberry Shortcake or Peach Cobbler