A relaxing all day Cinco de Mayo at Sierra Bonita Grill

Cinco de Mayo celebrations come in all shapes and sizes on Friday May 5th and not everybody wants shots of tequila, loud music or parties in to early Saturday morning. Some prefer to celebrate with a relaxing lunch, a refreshing margarita or an after work Happy Hour with friends or co-workers. If that’s your plan continue reading about what central Phoenix’s Sierra Bonita Grill is serving up.

A Cinco de Mayo margarita

Cinco de Mayo Margaritas

Starting at 11 a.m. SBG will be offering their popular Fresh Squeezed Margarita and Pomegranate Margarita for only $5 until they close. These thirst quenching margaritas are made with tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, a splash orange juice, orange liqueur, house made sweet and sour mix, agave nectar and PAMA liquor.

Lunch and extended Happy Hour

Lunch goes well with margaritas and SBG is serving up 5 tempting lunch specials for $12 until 3 p.m. Guests can choose from Jalapeño Chicken Pasta, Green Onion, Spinach and Cheese Enchiladas served with rice and beans, Chicharron and Potato Taquitos, Red Chile Pork Tostadas, and a Green Chile-Chicken Quesadilla.

If you can’t get in early for lunch SBG is extending their Happy Hour from 3 p.m. until closing. in the bar with cocktails, appetizers and entree items available for $7. Signature cocktails such as Miguel’s Mule, Sangria or the Daiquiri Anos will be available along with dishes that include Carne Asada Street Tacos, a Sonoran Hot Dog and Borracho Nachos.

Sierra Bonita Grill is at 6933 N. 7th St., Phoenix, Ariz., 85014. 602-264-0700 http://www.sierrabonitagrill.com/

 

 

Proof Canteen celebrates Thirsty Thursday with a Pop-Up Tiki bar

Loopholes in life are meant to be taken advantage of and Proof Canteen at The Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale is taking advantage of their “Libation Loophole” for a limited time on Thursdays. Proof is committed to sourcing all their ingredients for the menus from the United States but bends the rules for their tiki styled cocktails at their pop-up tiki bar.

“Spring in Scottsdale is the perfect time to enjoy tiki-style drinks,” says Proof General Manager Karma Tsepal. “We wanted to have a little fun with the cocktail menu, and decided to break our liquor embargo on imported spirits – if only for a limited run!”

Watch the sun set over the ocean desert from Proof’s patio and enjoy a refreshing rum cocktail like the Flaming Zombie Bite, Bitter Burro or Lava Flow and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the beaches of the south Pacific and may not want to return to reality. The specialty drinks range in price from $12-$16.

The Bacon Bun Bao with house made bacon, Thai bird chilis, jicama slaw and mint along with The Shrimp Bibimbap with prawns ancient grains and a sunny side up egg are part of the small bites menu to compliment your cocktails.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling Proof Canteen at 48-513-5088

Just in time for spring Pomelo at The Orchard offers Happy Hour all day

The arrival of spring last week means longer days and a longer opportunity to enjoy Happy Hour at Pomelo at The Orchard daily from 11 a.m – 6 p.m. No better way to enjoy this great weather indoors or out at this former citrus farm turned restaurant, ice cream and candy store.

Pomelo Happy Hour

During Happy Hour guest can enjoy $5 cocktails, $6 specialty cocktails, $5 glasses of wine, $1 off beers and a menu of special appetizers in the bar and lounge. You can also try the signature Bellissimo cocktail made with Pomelo’s own Pomelo Vodka, Blackberry Thyme syrup, fresh grapefruit juice and sparkling wine.

Daily Specials

If a 7 hour Happy Hour isn’t motivating you enough to visit Pomelo maybe these daily specials will.

Monday and Tuesday—All day a pizza and select bottle of wine is just $20.

Wednesday—All day it’s just $10 for two tacos and a house margarita.

Thursday—From open to close a Grass-Fed Burger and Beer is just $13.

Friday—Start the weekend early with happy hour from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the bar and lounge area.

Saturday and Sunday—Brunch is served from until 4 p.m. and there are $5 Mimosas, Bloody Marys or Sangria available.

Pomelo at The Orchard is at 7100 N. 12th St. Phoenix 85020 (602)633-2442 http://www.pomelophx.com/

 

Updated: Nice weather to sip and savor for Social Hour on the patio at Beckett’s Table

Update: Beckett’s Table continues to serve  Social Hour but no longer serves it on the patio. It is only in the bar or at the community table.

The calendar may say it’s still winter but our Phoenix temperatures feel like spring has sprung and there is now better way to celebrate our beautiful weather than patio dining at Beckett’s Table. Come join chef and owner Justin Beckett on the patio for Social Hour daily from 5-6:30 and enjoy Happy Hour pricing on selected eats and drinks through the spring.

Beckett’s Table ‘s signature cocktail The Palmaire. Photo courtesy of Serendipit Consulting

Enjoy your time on the covered wrap around patio sipping on a glass of wine or a signature cocktail including The Palmaire which is made with Pomegranate liquor and juice, orange vodka, house made honey, syrup, lemonade and mint. In between sips, taste bites of the creative cuisine of chef Beckett who sources much of his fresh ingredients from within 30 miles of the restaurant.

Beckett’s Table is at 3717 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018. http://beckettstable.com/

 

Where to eat when in downtown Las Vegas

Are you a foodie who doesn’t like all the pomp & circumstance of the Las Vegas strip and their celebrity chef driven restaurants and buffets and prefer the character and history of downtown Las Vegas but want to avoid the touristy chain restaurants along the Fremont St. Experience continue reading this post.

I spent 4 days last weekend in downtown Las Vegas and for several meals stepped outside the Fremont St. Experience to explore several local restaurants of interest. Not to say I didn’t eat a meal or 2 in the hotels which will get a mention here but I wanted to see where the locals eat.

Day 1

The drive to Vegas up Route 93 where restaurants are hard to come by until you get to Wikieup is where we stopped for a quick-lunch at Luchia’s where my turkey club sandwich on homemade sourdough bread really hit the spot. Luchia’s is the last chance to eat before you get to I-40 & Kingman with only a couple of options a few miles before you get to Luchia’s.

After checking in at the downtown Las Vegas staple Golden Nugget, Ziggy and I made our way to the Artisan Hotel for a wine tasting & tapas at Barcelona Restaurant. The Artisan Hotel is off the strip and may be my new favorite hotel with its dark lobby and art decor with many paintings from Van Gogh, Picasso and more lining the walls along with statues and sculptures around the lobby. The tapas were satisfying and included Empanadas, tacos, croquettes and more at happy hour prices of $5 or $6. Washed down with the wines from Rock n Roll Wines it made for a great 1st night in town. http://www.artisanhotel.com/

Several hours later the we found our self  hungry and decided on a couple of slices of pizza from Pizza Lotto (in the El Cortez & Casino) after a beer at Atomic Liquors(another must visit) several blocks down Fremont St. among the hipsters and locals. This pizza snob thought the slices were spot on like you’d find in NYC.

Day 2

We passed on the all you can buffets and Denny’s for breakfast and made our way down Carson St. to Eat on a recommendation from a friend. Waiting outside til they opened at 8 was worth it as my corned beef hash was one of the best I had and Ziggy’s chicken fried steak looked real good. This breakfast & lunch joint almost had me coming back for the Truffled Egg sandwich but will save it for my next visit. Owner/Chef Natalie Young’s place commands a line on most mornings and for good reason with her breakfast providing the fuel we needed for our chilly mid-morning hike in the Red Rocks west of town near Summerlin. http://eatdtlv.com/#

After burning off our breakfast with the aforementioned hike Ziggy had mentioned Chicago Brewing Company’s large Bloody Mary’s served with appetizers attached. We went next door to the Four Queens Hotel & Casino for lunch which started with my Ghost Mary that came with mozzarella stick wrapped with bacon and spicy chile pepper. The Bloody Mary was made with a spicy ghost pepper Bloody Mary mix and I didn’t find either to be as spicy as expected but both disappeared real quick. My Muffelatta sandwich did me good til our next meal. Ziggy went with his hometown favorite Chicago dog and was underwhelmed with the diced tomatoes as opposed to sliced ones.

Dinner consisted of appetizers during our hosted Happy Hour at Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar inside the Golden Nugget. Nachos, Ahi Tacos and Margaritas tasted the way they would at any other Mexican restaurant. No complaints here.

Day 3

Waking up Saturday morning had me indecisive about where to go for breakfast and I decided to keep it simple with a donut and coffee from Donut Bar on Carson St. After waiting with others til they opened at 8(see a trend here) more indecisiveness kicked in with all my donuts choices including The Big Poppa Tart with a Pop Tart in the middle and many more, see my Instagram video for more (@SandyWass). On this day I went with the Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll and a large coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Roasters. The Las Vegas location is the 3rd with the other 2 in San Diego. http://www.donutbar.com/

A banquet style lunch was in the Golden Nugget and was good piece of steak but lets jump to dinner at Chow. Dining solo for dinner I went back down Fremont St to Chow, Natalie Young’s (of eat.) southern & Chinese food joint that is open for lunch & dinner(closes at 8pm). I started with a Pork Belly bun followed by 2 pieces of southern fried chicken. The overnight brined chicken was crispy  and good and the pork belly bun made me wanting more than 1.  I will definitely be back for noodles and more. http://www.chowdtlv.com/

Day 4

Our final day in Vegas had us in town long enough for breakfast before we hit the road back to Scottsdale. We headed to east Las Vegas to drop of our buddy G. Scott. East Las Vegas is mostly chain restaurants and drive thrus but we did discover Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant before we hit the highway out-of-town. This locally family owned restaurant has 4 Vegas locations and we found ourselves at the east Flamingo Rd location. Good, affordable breakfast and lunch comfort foods such as pancakes, waffles and more on the big menu. I went again with a corned beef hash skillet which almost defeated me but I didn’t let it happen. The always full coffee cup was perfect on this Sunday morning and we left full enough that a lunch stop on the road was not even necessary. http://www.blueberryhillrestaurants.com/

After paying our bill we hit highway south toward Arizona with me thinking of when I can return to Vegas for more local eats as we barely scratched the surface and left me  wondering about others we missed. Ciao for now Las Vegas!

 

 

Tucson’s OBON Sushi Bar Ramen opening in Scottsdale in the spring

Sliding into the space that used to occupy TK’s Tavern at the Scottsdale Quarter, OBON Sushi Bar Ramen will debut this spring from Tuscon based Fukushu Restaurant Concepts.  The Asian influenced eatery is known for its traditional Japanese ramen and sushi with Korean flare and its well received craft cocktail program.

OBON’s Steamed buns

OBON founder Brando Katz is a veteran of the restaurant industry having worked as a regional manager for RA Sushi and in several restaurant positions in Tucson for more than 10 years until he went to open his own restaurant with partner Andrew Joffroy in 2015.

“Expanding this concept into the valley has been a longtime dream of ours since opening our first location in Tucson” says Katz. “From our diverse menu to our innovative cocktails and hip yet approachable atmosphere, I truly believe that we’ve created a unique dining experience that will resonate with people.”

The kitchen will be led by chef Paulo Im and the menu will highlight its OBON sushi, a variety of ramen along with steamed buns, Katsu pork and chicken teriyaki.

The bar program created by Beverage Director Matt Martinez has garnered accolades locally being named “Restaurant Bar of the Year” by Tucson Bar Awards and Martinez being named Tucson’s Bartender of the Year and Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender. In addition to craft cocktails OBON will also offer sake, wine and craft beer.

Check back for updates for more information, a full menu and opening date.

 

 

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.