Ever want to have one of your homemade culinary creations on the menu at your favorite restaurant? Now’s your chance as you have until May 1st to submit your best milkshake recipe to Hotel Valley Ho’s “Battle Freak Shake” contest.
Once submitted online the Zuzu culinary team will review recipes & ingredients before picking the finalists on June 1st. The finalist will make their milk shake for them and the top shakes will go to “Battle Freak Shake”. The winner will….Have their shake featured as the Showstopper Shake in August, 3 night stay at hotel w/ upgraded guest room, Dinner for 2 at Zuzu and 2 90-minute VH Spa treatments. And of course bragging rights.
3 shakes will be featured at each of the hotel’s Chef + Farmer’s Market events. Guests and chef judges will vote for a winner who goes to the final market event of the summer to be crowned the winning shake.
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.
It’s hard to believe we’re closer to the end of our busy season here in Phoenix than the beginning. In the next month spring training fans and winter visitors will head home to wait out the hot Arizona spring and summer. Restaurants will cut back their hours of operation and food festivals will go on hiatus for a few months. Don’t worry foodies we still have 10 days in May of Arizona Restaurant Week to look forward to. Save the date of Friday May 17th – Sunday May 26th and make your reservations soon.
Arizona Restaurant Week is when many local restaurants entice new and returning customers with unique 3 course prix-fixe tasting menus for $33 or $44. It’s a great reason to visit a new restaurant or favorite one.
“Arizona Restaurant Week has become one of the most popular dining events in the state,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO, Steve Chucri. “We are proud to have a hand in sharing our state’s culinary chops with residents and visitors alike, and give our local restaurants a platform to showcase their amazing talents through a fun and creative outlet.”
Many Phoenix restaurants participate as well as restaurants from around the state including Tucson and Flagstaff. Restaurants are being added daily to the list as are their menus being submitted. Here is a short list of a restaurants participating.
Mother Bunch Brewing Co.
The Keg Steakhouse + Bar
The Melting Pot
Four Peaks Brewing Company
Thirsty Lion Gastropub
The Canal Club
Buck & Rider
If you’re a long-range planner save the date of September 20th – 29th 2019 as Fall Arizona Restaurant Week has been announced.
Diana Brandt a.k.a Arizona Foodie is looking to blow your mind with “Smoked”, her food event on March 23rd. Bringing together local chefs and creative cocktails she wants people to hang out and enjoy what the local culinary scene has to offer.
“I wanted to create an event that captures the quality and talent of the Arizona Food scene but also keep it very intimate,” says Brandt. “There’s something primal about cooking with fire and it’ll be really cool for the guests to interact with the Chefs and watch them as they prepare distinctive dishes. It’s going to be lit. You will be amazed how creative these Chefs will get. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!”
Chefs will be left to create whatever dishes they want as long as there is an element of smoke. Expect to taste dishes from these chefs scheduled to participate.
Matt Carter from The Mission, Zinc Bistro and Fat Ox
Stephen Jones from The Larder + The Delta
Aaron May from Malibu Burger, The Goodwood Tavern, The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen and Over Easy
Jason Alford of Bulthaup Az
Walter Sterling from Ocotillo
Alex Levine from Starlite BBQ
Adam Allison of Handlebar Diner
Chef Dell from Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Chef Paulo from Obon Sushi Bar Ramen
Justine Dachel of Jewel’s Bakery and Cafe
Ketel One, Seagram’s, Bulleit, Johnnie Walker and Union Mezcal are sponsoring the event and guests will be able to sip on their creative cocktails in the Bulleit Smoked Lounge.
They won’t just be creating cocktails but their own brand experience. Wander over to the Seagram’s Airstream trailer with a photo booth and dry ice cocktails. Ketel One Botanicals will decorate their space with fresh flowers and guests can created their own smoked candles. Johnnie Walker and Union will create their own fun experiences too.
“I truly want the Smoked experience to be available to everyone. So I’m keeping this upscale event affordable so the ticket price doesn’t kill the budget,” says Brandt. “I’m hoping that this event will show many of the people that follow me how amazing our food scene is and get them out of their routines and into these restaurants.”
Today owners Frank Schneider and Cat & Randy Frankel open their new Scottsdale restaurant Modern Oysterbar Chophouse. Combined they have almost a centuries worth of experience on the Phoenix culinary scene including Steak 44, Mary Elaine’s and Mastro’s Ocean Club.
The new 6,000 square foot locally owned restaurant takes over the space vacated by Sonata’s at Scottsdale Rd. and Gold Dust Ave. The modern look offers dark interiors, high top tables in the bar and plush seating for almost 300 people. A private dining room and outside patio can accommodate 30 people in each. The large oyster bar will be the center of attention and seats 12.
“This is not your average steakhouse,” said Cat. “Every detail is being considered to make this a true culinary experience.”
On the menu at Modern Oysterbar Chophouse
Executive Chef Mike Bouwens brings his steakhouse experience at Fleming’s and The Capital Grille to Modern Oysterbar Chophouse. That experience will come in handy with 7 cuts of prime meats on the menu. Plenty of seafood including hot and cold seafood towers from the oyster bar along with grilled fish and Modern’s take on Bouillabaisse are on the menu.
Pastry Chef Samantha Frankel background includes Kierland Common’s Zinc Bistro and will show off her dessert and cheese charcuterie skills.
Dylan Frankel will be handling the beverage program at Modern that will include 4 wines, 2 specialty cocktails and beer on tap. Dylan honed his bar skills at Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers and Zinc Bistro.
“We are showcasing the best in meats, raw seafood and in house desserts. The cocktail component is equally as impressive,” said Randy.
The bar opens daily at 4 p.m. and dinner service begins at 5.
Modern Oysterbar Chophouse is at 10050 N. Scottsdale Rd. #127 Scottsdale 85253. To see the full menu and make a reservation head to their website.
If you’re not familiar with the Tuscon food and wine scene now is a great opportunity to get to know it. This Saturday’s SAVOR Food and Wine Festival showcases southern Arizona’s restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries at the Tucson Botanical Garden. Over 60 participants will be offering tastes and sips of their food and drinks.
The 6th annual event promotes the region as a serious player on the national food scene. The festival is co-sponsored by the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, Local First Arizona and Tuscon Botanical Garden. The three non-profits promote the cultural uniqueness that southern Arizona has to offer.
“The Savor Food and Wine Festival not only showcases the rich and delicious culture of the region, but highlights the importance of supporting these local food businesses in our daily lives,” said Kimber Lanning, Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona. “Much of Southern Arizona’s local economy is driven by those in the dining, culinary, and local foods industries. Without them, we wouldn’t have the diverse culture and economy that we see today in Tucson and beyond.”
Tastes and sips at SAVOR Food & Wine Festival
Festival goers can expect to taste delicious foods from new restaurants along with long time Tucson favorites. A few of the restaurants participating include…..
Pastiche Modern Eatery, Tohono Chul Garden Bistro, Omni Tuscon National, Merkin Vineyards Pizza Wagon, Casino Del Sol, El Cisne Cocina de Mexico and Brushfire BBQ.
Wineries, distilleries and breweries include….. Barrio Brewing, Caduceus Cellars, Pillsbury Wine Co. Whiskey Del Bac, Mother Road Brewing Co. and Adventurous Stills.
Guests will also enjoy educational food demonstrations, live music, unique art displays and a raffle. Admission includes Butterfly Magic and the “Out of the Woods” exhibit on tour from the New York Botanical Garden.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with tickets costing $79. Tickets are available at https://www.saaca.org/
The Tuscon Botanical Garden is at 2150 N. Alveron Way.
Change is inevitable in restaurants, some changes follow food trends, decor, some are changes in a brand and customer service. Some changes come often with seasonal availability of ingredients. Some changes are years in the making and that’s the case at Sierra Bonita Grill.
This is the restaurants first major menu change since 2011 and is about getting back to its roots and paying tribute to Sierra Bonita Ranch. The ranch down in Wilcox is Arizona’s oldest continuous family run ranch and where the restaurant got its name.
The popular central Phoenix restaurants menu is influenced by Southwestern and Mexican cuisine but owner Nate Hopper wanted more of a western influence.
“When I first learned about Sierra Bonita Ranch, I knew that I wanted Sierra Bonita Grill to honor our state’s ranching heritage. The updated menu now puts more emphasize on ‘out on the range’ cowboy-style cooking, while still integrating ingredients prominent in Mexican and Native American cuisine. We’re representing the old west, with a modern approach,” said Hopper.
“From the Ranch” at Sierra Bonita Grill
Longtime favorites Buttermilk Chicken, Grilled Fish & Carne Asada Tacos, Smoked Red or Green Chile Pork Roast and the SBG Signature Burger are staying along with others.
Guests will notice separate lunch and dinner menus with lighter options at lunch and heartier dishes at dinner. Included are more salads like the Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with grilled shrimp ($16) and The Bacon Wedge Salad ($16).
Other lighter menu additions include Vegetable and Noodle Shrimp ($28) and Avocado Toast ($10).
The biggest change on the dinner menu is the “From The Ranch” section featuring steaks, chops and chicken. A few include a 14 oz. NY Strip ($38), an 18 oz. split bone-in Ribeye ($42), a 10 oz. bone-in Pork Chop (24) and half roasted chicken ($27). Entrees come served with a choice of side dish and homemade sauce.
Side dishes include a baked potato, seasonal vegetables, green chile mac ‘n’ cheese or green chile scalloped potatoes. Choose a sauce from a selection of horseradish cream, roasted tomatillo, roasted guajillo chile au jus, and chimichurri.
Sierra Bonita Grill is at 6933 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, Ariz., 85014. 602-264-0700 To see their new menus check out their website.
Central Phoenix’s Taco Guild restaurant takes the new year pretty seriously as they’ve introduced new cocktails and food. The new cocktails were crafted by new mixologist Kyla Dahl who comes to Taco Guild after spending the last few years crafting cocktails at Scottsdale’s Liberty Station Smokehouse. It was there she learned to make creative cocktails and make a name for herself in the Phoenix cocktail community.
Dahl has shaken things up with 7 new cocktails that pair well with Taco Guild’s Mexican food. All the new cocktails are priced at $12 each. Most of the new drinks use tequila or mezcal with a few of the drinks listed below.
Everybody was surprised to wake up in October to hear that Kazimierz Wine Bar had closed the night before. The iconic wine bar in downtown Scottsdale was a favorite “speakeasy” for the wine crowd and fans of live jazz. The bar gets a new lease on life this week as restaurateur Tommy Plato takes over the space opening Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar.
Plato founded The Gelato Spot and owns Second Story Liquor Bar around the corner from Kazimierz. The atmosphere will be the same but guests will see a new decor, furniture, a VIP area and whiskey program.“Peter was a pioneer in Old Town and what he created here with Kazimierz in this space is exactly what Scottsdale needs,” said Tommy Plato. “I’m excited to keep this tradition alive but with an updated twist on a high-end establishment where you can go to have after-dinner drinks, light bites and great live music all night long in an upscale environment that caters to wine and cocktail enthusiasts,” said Plato.
New menu at Kazimierz Wine & Whiskey Bar
Happy hour will be offered daily from 4 – 7 p.m. and a new full menu will be available until closing. Plato will introduce a new chef, menu and Whiskey Ambassador Program when the Kazimierz opens on Thursday, January 24th.
The new menu will include charcuterie plates, bruschetta, oysters, flatbreads and more. Ingredients will be sourced from local purveyors including Noble Bread and Chula Seafood. Desserts are Plato’s strong point from his experience at The Gelato Spot.
Over 100 wines and 500 whiskeys, bourbons, ryes offerings from the U.S., Scotland, Ireland and Japan will be available. Included will be hand-picked selections and rare bottlings.
“Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar is the perfect blend of good food, upscale atmosphere and the best wine and whiskey selection in Old Town. I am so excited to bring a new late-night concept to a familiar place that has had an incredible following for many years,” said Plato.
Kazimierz Wine & Whiskey Bar is at 7137 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. 480-495-3004
Expecting over 3,000 people to converge on Kierland Commons next weekend organizing TasteAbout Scottsdale is no easy feat. It’s nothing compared to what wounded military personnel have gone through serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military personnel will benefit from the hungry attendee’s as TasteAbout Scottsdale has partnered with Jared Allen’s Home for Wounded Warriors.
The food and beverage event takes place Saturday January 26th from 2 -9 p.m. with over 30 restaurants participating. In addition to tasting food and drinks there will be live music, a Burger Beatdown and speed painting.
“We are thrilled to bring together so many food and beverage purveyors all in one place to highlight the unique culinary talents in Arizona and benefit an important cause,” says Erik Merkow, founder and CEO of TasteAbout Scottsdale. “With every event, we take great pleasure in finding a platform for residents and visitors of the area to discover some of the best local restaurants, breweries, distilleries and more in a fun and entertaining atmosphere, while also giving back to the community.”
TasteAbout Scottsdale participants
The list of popular local restaurants, breweries and distilleries that will be providing sips and tastes is updated daily. Popular restaurants serving up include Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Famous 48, Kasai, Modern Oyster & Chophouse and Eggtasy to name few. Sip on beer from San Tan Brewing, Grand Canyon Brewing and Beer Research Institute.
Frankly Organic Spirits, Arizona Distilling and Dulce Vida Tequila will be pouring their spirits.
Local foodies will judge which popular chef serves the best and most creative burger at the Burger Beatdown. Guests will vote for Best Dish, Best Craft Beer, Best Drink and Best sweet Dish.
Once all votes are tallied the winners will be notified in the days after the event.
Artist Katia Von Kral will be showing off her “speed painting” talents for the event. Proceeds from her paintings sold at the event will be donated to the non-profit.
Tickets for the 21 and over event are available at Eventbrite. General Admission tickets are $65 per person and includes all tastes of food and drinks. VIP tickets are $85 and include 2 tokens for full pour drinks, VIP Garden access, Express Entry. Ultra VIP Tickets are $125 and come with 5 full pour drink tokens, a VIP swag Bag, VIP Garden Access and express entry.