Burger Review: The Farm Fresh burger at Burger Theory

Photo credit: Burger Theory
Photo credit: Burger Theory
As mentioned in a recent post I have decided to include my burger reviews on this blog after the site where I was reviewing burgers decided to cease operations, after 293 burger reviews this is my 1st review on this blog. By reviewing burgers on this blog I will have the freedom to express my thoughts without the restrictions of a corporate entity and will be a work in progress while I explore the right format I want to take it in. If you’ve read my burger reviews on the other site you will see a resemblance but I hope to mix it up and expand on it a bit without losing the burger review aspect of it. I often dine out with friends but will review only the burger I ate but our dining experience and opinions may be included.

The recently opened Burger Theory connected to the Holiday Inn & Suites on McDowell Rd. at 44th St seemed like an out of the way place for a sit down burger restaurant despite the heavily trafficked intersection. As my dining companions arrived we weren’t sure if this was an independently owned restaurant renting space from the hotel or part of the hotel, many indications led us to believe it’s part of the hotel’s corporate structure. Regardless of who owns and runs it we were there for burgers and with 6 1/3 lb. burgers of Angus chuck, brisket and short rib blended beef and another 4,300+ ways to Build Your Own Burger we dove into the menu to see which burger each of us would go for.

Although all of the burgers sounded delicious I opted for the Farm Fresh burger with a single patty for $10 (a double patty is $14) and comes topped with a Portobello mushrooms, grilled onions, diced roasted red peppers, iceberg lettuce (on the bottom half), goat cheese and roasted garlic mayo in between a toasted potato bun that looked and tasted like you ordinary hamburger bun. All came served in a plastic basket lined with Burger Theory wax paper.
Burger theory
Although satisfying I felt there was a heavy hand when it came to the Goat Cheese and that’s not easy to admit as I love Goat cheese but the strong flavor took away from the flavors of the vegetables and made the roasted garlic mayo un-necessary. The burger which is cooked to order was cooked pretty much the way I like it and had drops of juices dripping after the first few bites. Sides are not included in the price and a side of fries will set you back another $3.50.

I was somewhat happy with the Farm Fresh burger but felt a bit let down with a 1/3 lb burger for $10 with sides being extra. There are better burgers around town for your burger dollar. I decided to include a picture from the Burger Theory website and a photo of my actual burger. Had I been served the burger from there website this could’ve been a better burger.

Burger Theory is at 4401 E. McDowell Rd. Phoenix, Arizona 85008 602-358-0924 and is open for lunch and dinner from Mon-Thu. 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat. 11am-12am and Sunday 11am-11pm www.burgertheoryphx.com

A message from Sandy

binkleys burger

Good morning friends, foodies, burger enthusiasts and strangers,
Thanks you for returning to this site on a consistent basis. As many of you know I have written burger reviews for the Examiner.com in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale and surrounding areas for the last 6 years. Those days will soon be behind me as the Examiner.com will no longer exist after on or about July 10th, 2016. As for now you have until then to check any of my 293 reviews and articles until the links disappear. http://www.examiner.com/burger-in-scottsdale/sandy-wasserman and http://www.examiner.com/burger-in-phoenix/sandy-wasserman

Going forward my plan is to incorporate burger reviews into this blog as a new feature and am spending the weekend brainstorming as how to best pull it off.

Serious feedback is welcome and I look forward to your continued support on this food journey.

Have safe and Happy July 4th weekend,

Sandy

Arizona Foodie Pop Up Dinners now Eatable plus a permanent home

Diana Brandt headshot1[6]
If you’re a foodie in Phoenix and like intimate dinners with rotating guest chefs then you should know the name Arizona Foodie Pop Up Dinners, well forget that name as it’s now called Eatable and has found a permanent location at 1514 W. Lynwood St. in Phoenix. The new name was changed to help show all that founder Diana Brandt had in mind when she started the dinners, “I really envision this space and concept helping to create an even brighter food scene for Phoenix and opening up opportunity for those with a passion. I hope for more collaborations, more creativity and more out of the box cooking, all while breaking bread with new friends and old.”

Pop up dinners will still be on the menu that can host up to 20 guests who can socialize with other guests while dining on courses prepared by Phoenix areas most respected and popular chefs. Cooking demonstrations will also be available for those attending the dinners. Local chefs who have prepared dinners for Eatables pop ups and who will be in the future include Chef Aaron Chamberlain, Chef Stephen Jones, Chef Gio Osso, Chef Mel Mecinas, Chef Cory Oppold and Chef Juan Zamora, Jacob Cutino from Homeboy’s Hot Sauces, Chef Greg Wiener and Chef Doug Robson.

The dinners also provide up and coming chefs the opportunity to showcase their cooking while building a following as there careers continue to rise.

In addition to pop up dinners Eatable event space is available for private parties, new product launches and more according to Diana “I have people ask all the time for a place where they can have a special meal for a birthday or anniversary. This space can be used to connect a Chef with these people to create a memorable celebration.

Dinners sell out quick and are $65 and guests dine on passed hors d’oeuvres, 3 courses or more and beverages. For more information about pop up dinner and Eatable visit www.azfoodieblog.com

Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame announces nominees, winners announced March 28th.

March 28th is when the 25th annual Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame will announce it’s newest inductees at Livewire in Scottsdale. The nominees of the 8 categories are listed below and are currently being voted on by a vast range on industry personnel. The event is sponsored by the Scottsdale League of the Arts and will be emcee’d by local TV personality Jaime Ceretta.
Culinary Hall of fame photo
Nominees for the 2016 Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame include:

Chef of the Year

Mel Mecinas, Talavera at the Four Seasons Troon North

Joshua Hebert, POSH “Improvisational Cuisine”

Bernie Kantak, Citizen Public House and The Gladly

Christopher Nicosia, Sassi

Best Upcoming Chef

Garrison Whiting, Counter Intuitive

Taylor Sorenson, Christopher’s Restaurant and Crush Lounge

Dushyant Singh, Artizen at The Camby

Sacha Levine, Ocotillo

Restaurateur of the Year

Cakewalk Management

Fork and Dagger Development

Osio Culinary Group

Jim Riley and Tucker Woodbury

Mixologist of the Year

Ross Simon, Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Luke Detraz, Director of Mixology, Southern Wine and Spirits

Robert Porter, Jade Bar at the Sanctuary Resort on Camelback Mountain

Brandon Casey, The Ostrich

Brewer of the Year

Anthony Canecchia, SanTan Brewery

Adam Schmeichel, Fate Brewing Company

Eric Greene, Dragoon Brewery

Preston Thoeny, Wren House Brewing

Winemaker of the Year

John McLoughlin, Cellar 433

Kent Callaghan, Callaghan Vineyards

Eric Glomski, Page Springs Cellars

Karyl Wilhem, Wilhem Family Vineyards

Food Truck of the Year

Aioli Gourmet Burger

Short Leash Hot Dogs

The Grilled Cheese Truck Phoenix

Satay Hut

Food Writer of the Year

Lauren Saria, Phoenix New Times

Christina Barrueta, Write on Rubee

Diana Brandt, Arizona Foodie

Joanie Simon, JoanieSimon.com

Lifetime Achievement Award

Christopher Gross

Tickets to the 25th annual Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame are $25 and include small bites and one cocktail. A cash bar will be available. The event will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Livewire AZ, 7320 E Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251. For more information, visit: http://scottsdalefest.org/.

Liberty Market to host Dead Restaurant dinner March 21st.

Joe Johnson and the chefs at Liberty Market in Gilbert are paying homage to the “Dead’ (closed) restaurants that they honed their culinary skills at on Monday March 21st. The is a Community Dinner and the menu is as follows……

Dead Restaurant Revival Menu

Smoked AZ Grass-fed Beef Carpaccio, Roasted Peppers, Caciocavallo and Basil Oil (Cal’s, NYC)

Open Saffron Ravioli with Pan Seared Seafood and Red Chile Beurre Blanc (Cafe Terra Cotta, Scottsdale) Where I honed my restaurant skills & learned about food and wine.

Calamari Salad with Yuzu Dressing (Bloom, Scottsdale)

Duck Confit Shepard Pie, Creamed Corn and Truffled Pomme Puree (Feenie’s Bistro, Vancouver, BC)

Crochettes, Italian Almond Donuts with Trio of Dipping Sauces (Fiamma, Scottsdale)

The dinner is open to the public with sign up at the Liberty Market Strada Bar. Limited seating is available for up to 30 people.

Dinner will start at 6:30pm. Cost for dinner is $60 per person, and an additional $20 per person with our wine and cocktail pairing.

Liberty Market N. Gilbert Rd. (480) 892-1900 www.libertymarket.com

The Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival returns to rock downtown Chandler

Great Amer BBQ 2015 FB-24
Saturday March 19th is when Dr. A.J. Chandler Park in downtown Chandler will be rocking with barbecue as over 30 pit masters return for The Great American Barbecue and Beer Festival from 12 noon until 10 p.m. This years festival is bigger and better with an expanded stage and with new foods including Poutine from The American Poutine Company. Other foods such as fry bread, kettle corn and ice cream will also be available for purchase. Here a few of the BBQ vendors that will be in attence from around the country.
Great American BBQ & Beer 2014-51
· Elmer’s Tacos—Bean and cheese, red chili and green chili burros, quesadillas
· Hogwear DBA Hogg Dogg—Hotdogs, Louisiana andouille, polish sausage, beer brats, meatball subs, pulled pork, chocolate covered bacon, pickle on a stick, waffle dogs
· Honey Bear’s BBQ—Pork, beef, chicken, hotlinks, hot dogs, beans, coleslaw, mac n cheese, French fries
· JJ’s Louisiana BBQ—Ribs, pulled pork, brisket, rib tip, chicken, baked beans, potato salad, hot links
· Memphis Best BBQ—Briskets, ribs, pork, links, beans, coleslaw, potato salad, greens, turkey legs
· Montana BBQ —Whole hog sandwiches on Hawaiian roll with grilled onions and pineapple, filet mignon wrapped in bacon on a stick

On the stage to entertain the festival goers will be headliner Granger Smith along supporting acts Ben Miller Band, Zach Deputy and Georgia Chrome.

General admission tickets are available online for $12 at www.chandlerbbq.com and $15 at the gate. Children 12 years of age and younger are admitted for free and all valley Bashas’ locations have discounted $10 admission ticket available.

Be sure to “like” this event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bbq.beer.music and follow on Twitter and Instagram @BBQBEERFESTIVAL.

Liberty Market celebrates Paczki Day on February 9th

Libertys Pi
Many people celebrate Fat Tuesday with King Cake but on Tuesday February 9th Gilbert’s Liberty Market is celebrating with the Polish favorite, Paczki a jelly filled fried pastry. This sweet treat has it’s own parade every year in Hamtramck Michigan and has people lined up outside bakeries around Detroit to get their Paczki on.

Liberty Market’s pastry chef LaDawn Driscoll will be up early on the 9th to prepare dozens of Paczki’s and LM is taking pre-orders for a dozen or more for customers to pick up; the deadline for pre-orders is Sunday night February 7th. They’re offering a choice of three fillings: chocolate cream, vanilla bean custard, or raspberry jam. Smaller orders will be taken first-come, first-served in person at the restaurant after 7:00am on Tuesday February 9th, while supplies last. Paczki are $3 each or $33 per dozen. To order call Liberty Market at (480) 892-1900 or email info@libertymarket.com.

Brat Haus owner to open SmokeHaus next door in January

smokehaus logo

What started as a catering business will soon be a restaurant for Brat Haus’s owner Dave Andrea as he prepares to open SmokeHaus next door in the former Union Barrelhouse come mid January 2016.

This won’t be your typical Texas or southern style BBQ or smoke house but will feature Santa Maria style BBQ influenced from the central coast of California with an Arizona twist. SmokeHaus’s signature dish is the Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich using meat smoked from 2 meat smokers and an open flame grill that uses Mesquite & Red Oak wood.
Entrees include chicken, ribs, pulled pork and salmon as well as rattlesnake chili, Greasewood burger and 1984 Taco salad paying tribute to its roots here in Arizona. Side dishes sound good and will include pork belly mac & cheese, street corn, Ranch beans and more.

One of the benefits of opening next door is the large parking lot included as parking for Brat Haus has always been a challenge and the lot will accommodate parking for both restaurants.

Smokehaus will be located at 3636 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Stay tuned to the Smokehaus website for more details at www.smokehausaz.com and be sure to follow on social channels @smokehausaz

TASTE, Chandler’s Culinary Festival comes to downtown Ocotillo on Sat. October 19th.

TASTE chandler
The southeast valley will get a TASTE of over 24 restaurants on the evening of Saturday, October 19th as TASTE Chandler’s Culinary Festival comes to a new location in the Ocotillo part of town. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at 2855 W. Queen Creek Rd.

Attendees will have unlimited food tastings (while supplies last), 12 drink tickets for wine, craft beers and cocktails and couples who purchase their tickets before the event ($130) will receive a gift bag that includes 2 wine glasses and a bottle of wine. Pre-sale tickets are $65 and day off are $80. Patrons can also vote for their favorite participants in several categories.

This years festival will also honor Geoffrey Hancock, owner of San Tan Sun News and long time supporter of TASTE, Chandler’s Culinary Festival.

This is an 21 and over event and tickets can be purchased at www.tastechandler.com

Eat Valley restaurants participating…..
Bourbon Jacks
CHoP
Coach & Willies
D’Vine Wine Bar
El Palacio Restaurant & Cantina of Chandler
Floridino’s
Frost
Gigi Cupcakes
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
Humble Pie
Latitude Eight Thai Grill
Le Cordon Bleu
My Big Fat Greek Restaurant
Nando’s Mexican Food
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Otuku Sushi
Pearl Sushi
Pitta Souvli
Pittsburgh Willy’s
Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion
SanTan Brewing Company
Shimogamo
The Keg
The Living Room
The Sushi Room
Udder Delights
Vintage 95
Whole Foods
Yoli’s Café

…and more to come!

Mark’s Café in Tempe is giving you just one more reason to fall in love this Valentine’s Day

Mark’s Cafe is hosting a special 4 course Valentine’s Day Dinner sure to please the foodie you love. Guests will start the evening off with upscale crab cakes and salad, with entrée choices Filet Medallions, Macadamia Nut Crusted Salmon, Chicken Piccata and Roast Pork Loin with Chocolate Cake with raspberry sauce for dessert.

Prices range from $40 to $46 per person and include Mark’s fantastic four course meal along with non-alcoholic beverage, tax and tip.
mark's Cafe
One of the highlights of dinner is Mark’s BYOB license allowing guests the freedom to bring wine or beer into the establishment free of charge.

Reservations are Required. Dinner seatings: 5:00pm, 6:30pm and 8:00pm

For any questions or to reserve you Valentine’s Day dinner spot, please email Mark@markscafeaz.com or call 480-839-6455 to reserve your seats today .

MENU:

Appetizer: Crab Cake with Remoulade Sauce

Salad: Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, Rolls and Butter

Choose one: All entrees served with Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans Almandine
Entrée: Filet Medallions with Black Pepper Brandy Sauce $46.00
Macadamia Nut Crusted Salmon with Orange Hollandaise Sauce $44.00
Chicken Piccata $42.00
Roast Pork Loin with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce $40.00

Dessert: Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce