Downtown Phoenix Oktoberfest returns to Civic Space Park

The end of September should bring cooler temperatures but this is Phoenix so it could still be warm for the annual Downtown Phoenix Oktoberfest. Quench your thirst at this German inspired festival that started as a wedding in 1810 and lasted for several days. The annual celebration continues around the world feasting and drinking for several days. Our downtown festival only lasts 6 hours on Saturday September 28th at Civic Space Park.

The doors open at 3:00 p.m. with authentic German food such as pretzels, brats, currywurst, schnitzel, spatzel and sauerkraut from Brat Haus, Eur Haus food truck and others. Huss Brewing makes sure the beer keeps flowing pouring their beers along with 8 German beers on tap.

“The Downtown Phoenix Oktoberfest is a chance for everyone to be German for the day,” said owner of HDE Agency, Landon Evans. “Oktoberfest is a long-running tradition in Germany and we love bringing it to Cityscape providing an authentic experience, live entertainment and plenty of fun.”oktoberfest

Funkhaus Brass Band will be playing New Orleans style music and games Corn Hole & Jenga will keep people entertained. Servers from Hooter will be serving food and drinks and will host a Stein Holding contest and Beer Maid contest. Save room and enter the brat eating contest.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to ICM Food & Clothing Bank. Since 1983 ICM has provided basin needs such as food, clothes, diapers and more to poor families.

Tickets are $10 online and $15 day off. Groups of 4 can get tickets for $30 online for a 50% savings. Food and beverage sold separately. Civic Space park is at 424 N. Central Ave.

Tickets are on sale for the Phoenix Pizza Festival in downtown Phoenix

It will be a slice of heaven on Saturday November 16th as the Phoenix Pizza Festival returns to downtown Phoenix. Tickets are on sale for the 6 hour festival at Margaret T. Hance Park. Get there by bike, light rail or car to the conveniently located park that will host close to 20 pizza makers, dessert stations and more. Live music, lawn games and a kid’s zone will keep you busy in between bites and sips.

Grab a slice of pizza for $2-$4 or a whole pie and other tasty bites and wash it down with beer from local craft brewers.

Previous years pizza makers included Il Bosco, La Piazza, Freak Bros. and Nello’s. This year’s list is still being compiled and will be available soon at https://www.phoenix.pizza/

Downtown Phoenix Inc. has partnered with the Phoenix Pizza Festival as beneficiary. The community organization helps to promote the growth of downtown Phoenix and by supporting local business’s with events.

Tickets are on sale for the festival at the link above and are $10. The festival goes from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 1202 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85004. Photo courtesy of Flargus.

 

Real, Wild & Woody helps craft beer fans beat the heat

Cold beer makes the summer a lot cooler, how about 350+ craft beers in the air conditioned Phoenix Convention Center. That’s what craft beer fans will enjoy at the 6th annual Real, Wild & Woody festival on Saturday July 27th. The festival is presented by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild and will feature over 75 breweries from the southwest.

Real, Wild & Woody is Arizona’s largest indoor beer festival featuring rare and unconventional beers from over 40 Arizona breweries. Dragoon Brewing Co., Grand Canyon Brewing Co. and others will be pouring their most unique “real, wild & woody” creations. Enjoy up to 20 cask conditioned ales a.k.a Real, beers fermented with wild yeast strains a.k.a Wild or barrel aged beers a.k.a Woody.

The festival has also helped new breweries introduce themselves to beer fans.

“This year, I am especially thrilled to be introducing the VIP experience,” said Rob Fullmer, Executive Director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. “It’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for our most fervent fans to have first, full access to the entire venue, an hour before we open to the public. Along with the exclusive access, there is a VIP meal option that will provide attendees with a three-taco meal (with vegetarian options) & a dessert. We’ll also be featuring distilled products from some of our breweries exclusively in the VIP area.”

Real, Wild & Woody tickets and info.

The events goes from 2-6 p.m. with tickets to the 21 & over tasting online for $60 and $80 for VIP. 1 p.m. entry and an optional(VIP+) multi-course for $20 is available with your VIP ticket. Tickets will be $20 more when purchased at the festival. In addition to beer their will bites to eat from Phoenix restaurants, interactive games, live music and a rock wall.

For more information go to their website and to see the full line-up of brewers use the social beer app Untappd.

The Phoenix Convention Center is at 100 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85004.

Hot Dog toppings are not the usual at The Larry Phx in July

Were you one of the 150 million people expected to eat a hot dog on July 4th, I did? If not The Larry Phx is celebrating National Hot Dog Month during the month of July.

Mine was topped with just mustard but chef Luis Arellano has created three unique hot dogs that out do typical toppings.

Each week starting Monday July 8th the downtown Phoenix restaurant will offer a new one.

Larry Sonoran Dog (July 8-12) – Bacon, tomato, avocado cream, mustard, ketchup, cotija, mayo

Kimchi Dog (July 15-19) – Cheese sauce, house pickles, gochujang mayo

Okonomoyaki Dog (July 22-31) – Savory cabbage pancake, plum sauce,  bonito, nori, kewpie mayo.

The Larry Phx is at 515 E. Grant St. 85004 and is open Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. 6 p.m.

Free Sriracha at Pita Jungle Saturday on June 29th.

I personally don’t see the fuss over Sriracha but I know there is a cult like following for the hot sauce. Pita Jungle is giving away a free bottle of their own labeled Sriracha on Saturday June 29th. The day commemorates when Pita Jungle opened its first location in Tempe and the hottest day on record in Arizona. The year was 1994 and the heat made it up to 128 degrees that day.

Visit any Pita Jungle location except Sky Harbor, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Grand Canyon University from open to close and spend $40 to get your free bottle. You must mentioned that promotion and dine-in to receive your bottle. There is a 1 bottle limit per tab.

Pita Jungle started producing their own line of Sriracha in 2018 and offer three flavors Red, Green and Ghost. You can purchase bottles at all 21 locations for $5.99 each.

Matt’s Big Breakfast announces Scottsdale for its next location

With 4 locations around the valley Matt’s Big Breakfast has announced that its 5th location will be in Scottsdale. After teasing and getting feedback from customers on social media the southwest corner of Scottsdale Rd & Thunderbird will be the new location. When it opens this fall people will line-up for one of the iconic names on the valley’s breakfast scene.

“Scottsdale was hungry,” said Matt Pool, owner and namesake of the most important meal of the day. “Local fans have even submitted suggestions on vacant spots for us to take over!”

This will be the eateries first franchised location taking on the atmosphere of the neighborhood. The menu, fundamentals and culture will be staying the same.

Matt’s Big Breakfast has received national attention with mentions in the New York Times, Bon Appetit and Eater. An appearance on The Food Network also helped put them on the national map.

Matt's Big Breakfast
French Toast

Relying on locals at Matt’s Big Breakfast

Sourcing ingredients from local purveyors customers in Scottsdale can expect sweet and savory dishes from Griddle Cakes to Salami Scrambles. The Big Butter Burger is a favorite of many and pays tribute to Pool’s Wisconsin upbringing.

“One of our main priorities is to avoid growing simply for the sake of growth, and to instead let it happen organically, and with the right people taking the reins of each new restaurant we open,” said Pool. “While this new location may have minor stylistic differences from existing Matt’s restaurants, guests will get to enjoy the same quality, consistency & superior service that they’ve come to expect from the Matt’s Big Breakfast family.”

Since opening in downtown Phoenix in 2004 the eatery has opened in Tempe, Arcadia and Sky Harbor Airport.

“We’re thrilled to add a Scottsdale location to the Matt’s Big Breakfast family,” Pool said. “Local fans will find everything they love about Matt’s at the new location – they just don’t have to drive as far now to enjoy it.”

For more information about Matt’s Big Breakfast checkout their website.

Pomo Pizzeria celebrates its 9th anniversary with what else…a pizza party

Hard to believe it was 9 years ago when Phoenicians fell in love with Pomo Pizzeria. Since then the original location at The Borgata has re-located up the street to Gainey Ranch, a Gilbert and downtown Phoenix location have opened and owner Stefano Fabbri has opened Mora Italian, Luna Gelateria and Meat the Ball. The pizzeria also has racked up numerous accolades for it Neapolitan style pizza.pizza

What better way to celebrate than throwing a pizza party which is what will happen on Thursday May 9th. From 5 – 7 p.m. at the three Pomo locations the public is welcome to join the free party.

Party goers will taste dishes from their happy hour menu, Aperol spritz’s and non-alcoholic punch.

Gilbert: 366 N. Gilbert Rd. #106

Phoenix: 705 N. 1st Street #120

Scottsdale: 8977 N. Scottsdale Rd.

GinWorld calls Phoenix home for Gin Week in April

Connoisseurs of gin make their way to Phoenix in April as the 5th Annual GinWorld sets up shop. During “Gin Week Phoenix” restaurants and bars around Phoenix and Scottsdale will host seminars, tastings and competitions from April 22nd-28th.

“Phoenix is the perfect location to bring our Gin Week festivities,” says Natasha Bahrami, founder of GinWorld and Gin Week events, which has roots in St. Louis, Missouri. “The people, the culture and let’s not forget the weather, are primed for exactly this type of event that celebrates the spirit and spectrum of gin while bringing people together in a fun and engaging environment.”

“Gin Week” kicks off at Bitters Bar in Scottsdale for the “Campari Loves Gin” competition. “Campari Loves Gin” is open to anybody 21 and over and bartenders must be working in a Phoenix area bar/restaurant.  Four recipes must be submitted by April 15th on-line at http://ginworld.com/ and must use Campari and sponsored spirits and modifiers. Winning recipe entrants will be invited to the live cocktail competition on April 22nd. Cocktails will be judged on aroma, appearance, balance of ingredients and overall presentation.

Gin Week cocktail specials will be available at Bitters Bar, Blue Clover Distillery, Monroe Bar and Unexpected Art Gallery.

Gin Week ends on April 28th with a Gin Week Festival at Unexpected Art Gallery in downtown Phoenix. Over a 100 gins will be represented at the festival and attendees can check out educational seminars, meet with distillers and taste the gins. Guest will be able to enjoy the Bloody Mary Bar and Perfect Serve Gin Tonic Bar. Tickets for the festival are $55 and can be purchased on-line.

 

Get fried on 4/20 at Fried: A French Fry & Music Festival

I know what the organizers were smoking when they were planning the first annual Fried: A French Fry & Music Festival. The 4/20 food festival will be at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. Fried is from the food festival folks behind the Downtown Donut Festival and Phoenix Pizza Festival.

Phoenix restaurants and food trucks have signed up to create out of this world french fries for only $2-$3. Larger “Sharing” sizes will be available as well. Fries topped with chorizo, lobster and kimchee are just a few of the toppings I’ve heard about.

Festival goers will enjoy French fries from the likes of The Dressing Room, Trapp Haus BBQ and Hibachibot. Make sure you find your way to Merkin Vineyards Pizza Wagon’s for their Bolognese fries before they sell out. I’ve had them and their delicious.

All fries will be fried in oil from SK Oil Sales, the local fryer oil specialist. I did not know there was such a thing.

Live music from 6 bands including Weird Radicals, Fairy Bones and Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold will entertain the crowd. DJ’s Stoneypie, Reverse Cowboy and Maintenance will be mixing it up too.

Fry fanatics are invited to ride their bikes to the festival and have them valeted by Phoenix Spokes People. Gracie’s Tax Bar will be preparing cocktails along with craft beers and Jarritos sodas.

Fried will benefit Downtown Phoenix Inc. that helps to promote the downtown community.

Tickets for Fried: A French Fry & Music Festival are $15 on only available on-line.  The festival goes from 2-10 p.m. at 1202 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85004.

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.