Easter weekend is hopping at The Wigwam resort

Those looking for a family friendly Easter celebration in Phoenix’s west valley have few choices when it comes to celebrating with the classic resort style brunch. Good news as the historic AAA Four-Diamond Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park is celebrating on both Saturday and Sunday April 15th & 16th.

Easter bunny breakfast at The Wigwam

Kids get ready as the Easter Bunny will be hopping in to the resort’s Aztec Ballroom on Saturday morning for a special breakfast from 8 a.m. – 11a.m. The scrumptious menu includes French Toast, mini waffles, an omelette station along with Applewood smoked bacon, Wigwam potatoes, fresh fruit and an assortment of danishes. Breakfast with the Easter Bunny is $25 for adults and $15 for kids  3-12 years old.

After breakfast head out to the resorts lawn for the Easter Eggstravaganza for Egg Roll Races, Easter Bunny Hopping Trail, egg dyeing and animals from the nearby Wildlife World Zoo. The Easter Bunny will be available for photos and other activities are planned. The Eggstravaganza is free and open to the public and runs from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Sunday Easter Brunch

Those looking for a traditional Easter Brunch buffet should head to the Wigwam Ballroom from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday where they can choose maple peppercorn glazed ham, carved pepper crusted sirloin and seared salmon. An omelette station along with pancakes and penne pasta with basil pesto and goat cheese will also be available. Reservations are required and the cost is $48 for adults, $20 for kids 3 – 12 years old and free for kids under 2 years old.

A four course brunch will be available in Litchfield’s Restaurant that will feature an appetizer course with your choice of field greens, antipasti or fresh berries. Guests can choose from Caprese Benedict, smoked salmon flatbread, shrimp & grits or Huevos Rancheros for an entrée. A dessert station with a selection of truffles, fruit tarts. macrons and other desserts will be available to end your meal. Reservations for Sunday Brunch can be made by calling (623)935-3811. For more information go to http://www.wigwamarizona.com/

 

Foodie “Nirvana” coming to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

When we hear the word “Nirvana” we automatically think of the “grunge rock” band of the 1990’s. Definitions of the word slightly vary but many consider it the “ultimate state of happiness” which is what the culinary and marketing team at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa are hoping for as they were brainstorming for a name of their new culinary festival.

Chef Todd English. All photos Courtesy of Eric Mower & Associates

An exciting 4 days is planned from April 27th- 30th as festival goers will be able to mix & mingle with celebrity chefs Todd English, Robert Irvine and Sanctuary’s own Beau MacMillan as they team up with other visiting chefs and Phoenix area chefs, wine makers and mixologists for themed dinners, tastings and a golf tournament.

With our beautiful weather and sunsets you may want to turn the festival into a vacation and stay at Sanctuary in one of their suites, casitas or a private home. A 2 night minimum is required and rooms start $479 per night plus tax & resort fee.

Sanctuary on Camelback infinity pool courtesy of Eric Mower & Associates

Tickets for the festival can be purchased at http://www.nirvanafoodandwine.com/ with the schedule of events below. Part of the proceeds from the festival will benefit HopeKids, an organization that provides events and support for families with a child who has cancer or other life threatening diseases.

Torch

Hosted by celebrity chef and television personality Robert Irvine and local celebrity mixologist Jason Asher, owner of Counter Intuitive and Undertow

Thursday, April 27, 7-10 p.m.; Infinity Pool and Lawn; $125 per person

Torch will kick-off the festival with a poolside Polynesian fantasy. Mixologists will compete at eight stations, as guests rub shoulders with an esteemed panel of judges to select winners of the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards.

Birds and Bubbles

Hosted by chef, restaurateur, author and television personality Todd English

Friday, April 28, 7-10 p.m.; The Views Ballroom, Lawn; $135 per person, $225 VIP

Fried chicken and Champagne come together in an inspired pairing as guest chefs put their own spin on the southern specialty, complete with side dishes and bubbly. The all-star local line-up includes Stephen Jones (The Larder + The Delta and Homeboy’s Hotsauce), Cullen Campbell (Crudo and Okra), Justin Beckett (Southern Rail), Jeremy Pacheco (LON’s at The Hermosa Inn), Gio Osso (Virtù at The Bespoke Inn) and Beau MacMillan. They will be joined by visiting chefs from Palm Beach, Fla.: Clay Conley (Buccan and Grato) and Lindsay Autry (The Regional Kitchen & Public House). Festival-goers who book VIP admission enjoy personal time for 45 minutes with their favorite chefs.

American country singer/songwriter D. Vincent Williams & the Nashville Allstars, whose “Just Got Started Lovin’ You,” sung by Otto James, topped the country charts in 2008, will provide live entertainment throughout the evening. His songs have also been recorded by major artists like Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, and Rascal Flatts (“I’m Movin’ On”).

Master of Taste honoring Chuck Wagner

Friday, April 28, 7-10 p.m.; Casa Seven; $350 per person; limited availability

Chuck Wagner, owner and winemaker of Caymus Vineyards, and scion of the legendary Napa Valley vintner family, will be the guest of honor at an intimate dinner at one of Sanctuary’s elegant private estate homes.  The evening will showcase the exceptional vintages of the Wagner Family of Wine and three generations of winemaking talent. Preparing the feast will be local chefs Christopher Gross (Christopher’s and Crush), Matt Carter (Fat Ox and The Mission), Mark Tarbell (Tarbell’s and Tarbell’s Tavern), and Beau MacMillan.

Golf Tournament

Saturday, April 29, 10:30 a.m. registration and 12 noon tee; Mountain Shadows; $400 per player

Each foursome will be paired with a renowned chef, star mixologist or notable sports figure at this fun-filled celebrity golf tournament being played at the long-awaited Mountain Shadows course at the base of Camelback Mountain. Plenty of food, beer and spirits will round out an unforgettable day on the links.

Best of the West

Hosted by chef/restauranteur (Mora Italian) and Chopped judge Scott Conant

Saturday, April 29, 7-10 p.m.; Praying Monk and elements restaurant; $145 per person, $225 VIP

Sanctuary’s signature restaurant, elements, and its indoor/outdoor Praying Monk venue will be the setting for Nirvana’s final evening event. More than a dozen elegant restaurant stations will be manned by celebrated chefs from throughout the West, including James Porter (Terra Farm + Manor), Samantha Sanz (Talavera at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Troon North), Sean Currid (Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails) and Beau MacMillan. VIP attendees gain early access and extra time with the chefs.

New Orleans Jazz & Bourbon Brunch

Sunday, April 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; elements; $85 per person

Nirvana will come to a rousing finale with a N’Awlins-style jazz brunch complete with live music and a Bourbon twist, serving up everything from étouffée to feather-light beignets at this fun sit-down event.

 

 

U.S. Egg launches “secret” menu items, get a sneak peek here.

The 1st U.S. Egg was hatched back in 1986 with the Gebran family purchasing it in 1991 and hatching 5 more locations across the valley in the last 26 years. To celebrate the 31st anniversary of the opening of the 1st restaurant U.S. Egg has unveiled a “secret menu” for its loyal customers.

Jalapeno Scramble photo courtesy of U.S. Egg

The  restaurant serves breakfast and lunch and the 8 “secret” menu items will be available all day, every day at all 6 locations. All menu items include fresh ingredients and creative flavors for its classic and unique menu items. U.S. Egg is one of the first restaurants to offer a gluten-free menu and is known for their Protein Pancake.

U.S. Egg “secret” menu items

  • Jalapeno Scramble – eggs, chorizo, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and Jack cheese. Served with hash browns and a tortilla. 11.49
  • Durango Burrito – eggs, chicken, green chilies and jack cheese. Topped with salsa and served with hash browns. 11.49
  • South Beach French Toast – French toast topped with blueberries, bananas, strawberries and fresh whipped cream. 11.49
  • Manhattan Skillet – Italian sausage, green peppers, onions, Jack cheese served on a bed of hash browns with an English muffin and two eggs. 11.49
  • Roast Beef Melt – roast beef, melted cheddar cheese, tomato and mayonnaise served on a grilled sourdough bun with a side of fries or coleslaw. 11.49
  • Hawaiian BBQ Chicken – barbeque chicken is topped with grilled pineapple and melted Swiss cheese served with fries or cole slaw. 11.49
  • BLLT – bacon, lettuce, tomato and turkey served on whole wheat toast served with fries or cole slaw. 11.49
  • Southwestern Chicken Melt – chicken breast, melted cheddar cheese, green chili sauce served on a grilled sourdough bun with a side of fries or cole slaw. 11.49
    South Beach French Toast. Photos courtesy of U.S. Egg

    In addition to good food U.S. Egg recently started selling their own locally roasted signature blend Guatemalan Sunrise coffee.

To find a U.S. Egg near you visit http://www.useggrestaurant.com/

 

 

 

A garden fresh Easter brunch at The Farm at South Mountain

With St. Patrick’s Day in the rear view mirror and spring training closer to the end than the start, restaurants are now looking to Easter Sunday for more spring time fun & celebrating. The Farm at South Mountain is no different and is gearing up for its garden fresh Easter brunch on Sun. April 16th.

Considered as one of the best brunches in Phoenix, seating will be begin at 8:30 a.m. and every 15 minutes after that until 11:15 a.m. Guest will be able to enjoy over 10 buffet options that include a selection of fresh-baked pastries including Coffee Cake, Danishes and more along with The Farm’s famous Pecan French Toast, scrambled eggs with Cheddar cheese, salsa, vegetables and more.You can’t serve brunch without Applewood smoked bacon and country sausage.

If you prefer to eat on the lighter side several salads including Caprese and Kale & Quinoa will be available along with yogurt and granola, dried fruits and cheeses and much more.

Make sure you’re wearing your Sunday best as the Easter bunny will be there to have your photo taken. After brunch burn it off by playing one of the several yard games, stroll through the garden or the chicken coop.

This special brunch is priced at $55.95 for adults, $25.95 for children 8-12 years, $15.95 for children 2-7 years and children under 2 are free. An 8.1% sales tax & 20% production fee are extra and cancellations will not be accepted after April 12th. For more information, to view the full menu & make a reservation for the family visit http://www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com/

The Farm at South Mountain is at 6106 S. 32nd St. Phoenix 85042. (602)243-9081

 

SumoMaya announces a new chef & Bottomeless Brunch on weekends

Chefs move from one restaurant to another like athletes get traded or sign with a new team. Scottsdale’s SumoMaya has announced that they have brought on a new chef to run their team in the kitchen. Roberto Madrid comes to SumoMaya from Deseo Restaurant at The Westin Kierland Resort in north Scottsdale.

Photo courtesy of Debbie Wolvos

One of the first tasks chef Madrid will be overseeing is the new weekend “Bottomless Brunch” the restaurant has begun serving on Saturdays and Sundays. As the popularity of leisurely brunching has become on weekends, SumoMaya’s $39 brunch includes Bottomless Margaritas, Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and Michaelidas along with a few of rounds of foods. For those who chose not to indulge with cocktails brunch is $29.

While sipping on your cocktails guests can then choose from a family style menu for the “First Round” that includes Smoked Salmon Lox, Sweet Mexican Pastries, fresh fruit & granola and more.

Photo courtesy of Debbie Wolvos

On to the “Second Round” where options include….assorted sushi rolls selected by chef Madrid, SumoMaya’s popular Guacamole w/ Pomegranate or Ribeye with tostatdas, Huevos Revueltos Al Abanil with scrambled eggs or Bread Migas + Chorizo.

Diners then choose an entree from the creative menu that includes Sweet Potato Waffles with sliced bananas, Waygu Steak + Eggs with corn arepa, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce or Market Vegetable Scramble with crispy quinoa amongst others. Popular weekday menu items such as Kimchee + Egg Fried Rice with mushroom and Korean chili aioli, Enchiladas Suiza, Pork “Al Pastor” Pad Thai will be available.

Make sure you save room for dessert(easier said than done, I know) as the unique Liquid Cheesecake Brulee or Bunelos, those delicious cinnamon donuts sweetened with condensed milk and dulce de leche are served family style.

Both early riser and those who like to sleep in on weekends can take advantage of brunch as SumoMaya serves from 9a.m. – 3p.m. on weekends.

SumoMaya is at 6560 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250.

 

 

MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails now serving brunch on weekends

If you’re like me, an early riser who eats breakfast well before the sun rises during the winter months, it means you probably want lunch when some still have not had breakfast. This common occurrence is best served on weekends when many restaurants serve brunch to appease both the early & late risers. Now you can enjoy brunch at MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails on Sat. & Sun. from 10:20 a.m. – 4:20 p.m.

MATCH Cuisine photos courtesy of Je-Hyen Valdez

Inside the FOUND:RE Hotel in Phoenix MATCH Cuisine started 2017 by serving brunch that will evolve over time to include Executive Chef Akos Szabo’s take on Dim-Sum but currently includes a menu that is inspired by food from around the world with ingredients that come from closer to home. A few of the delicious brunch menus dishes include……

Filipino Chile Relleno with longanisa sausage, mozzarella, charred tomato, cojita cheese and Mexican oregano, $14
Adela’s Enchiladas with top knot farm chicken, salsa verde, avocado crema and crisp lettuce
Braised Korean Rib Lettuce Wraps with pickled carrots, coriander, Thai basil, gochujang aioli, lime and salted cashews, $15
Not Your Basic Chick with a sweet potato waffle, crispy fried chicken and Caribbean hot sauce, $13
Additional menu items include organic yogurt & granola parfait with seasonal berries at $9 and the Plato Paisa with wood grilled steak, plantains, crispy chicharrones, longanisa sausage, avocado, black beans, crema and fried eggs ($21).
MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails and FOUND:RE Hotel is at 1100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85003. http://www.MatchPHX.com

Liberty Station opening in February by owners of Market Street Kitchen

Options are good and the residents of north Scottsdale will have another dining option when Liberty Station opens in February. The new restaurant will be where Scottsdale Rd. meets Carefree Highway and is from Keeler Hospitality Group, owners of Market Street Kitchen in DC Ranch.

The menu will be focused on American comfort food with a regional twist including specialties from Boston where the Keeler family is from. Lunch and dinner will be served with Executive Chef Michael Hunn and Chef de Cuisine Dan Watts running the kitchen where they will source local ingredients for much of the menu.

Creekstone Farms will be supplying the meats with much of it being smoked in-house in a custom smoker and will include Texas brisket, Carolina pork shoulder and my favorite, St. Louis spare ribs.

The bar will include classic cocktails, local craft beers and a variety of wines.

“Liberty Station is truly the definition of ‘neighborfood.’ You will enjoy a scratch-made meal that is relatable and incredibly tasty, while greeting friends and neighbors in our very comfortable dining room. We’ll have community tables, a very large bar and two patios. We want our neighbors to become friends at Liberty Station,” said Paul Keeler, President of Keeler Hospitality Group.

Liberty Station will be a place for all to enjoy as their will be vegan and vegetarian options including Vegan gnocchi and a Portobello sandwich on Udi’s bread and over a dozen Gluten-free options. A few of the menu highlights will be….

  • Tavern Mac & Cheese with cheddar cream, bacon breadcrumbs and Pasilla chiles, $10 (shared appetizer).
  • Piggy Wings, grilled pork shank with sticky BBQ sauce, $9 (shared appetizer).
  • Liberty Chopped Salad, with white balsamic dressing, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and pepitas, $8
  • Boston Lobster Roll with lemon aioli and celery on a brioche roll, $18 (lunch menu).
  • All American Chicago Hot Dog with mustard, tomato, onion, house relish and sport peppers, $8 (lunch menu).
  • Chopped Brisket Grilled Cheese with smoky cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese and a grilled tomato, $12 (lunch menu).
  • New England Clam Boil with Littleneck clams, rock shrimp, new potatoes, corn and hot link sausage, $24 (dinner menu).
  • Kobe Meatloaf with shoestring onions, ketchup vinegar glaze and mashed potatoes, $17 (dinner menu).

Once opened Liberty Station will be serving lunch daily at 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Dinner service begins at 5:00 p.m. nightly. Happy Hour is offered at the bar Monday – Sunday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Brunch will be served Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.