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.

 

The new year means new menu items at Burger Theory

As the new years rolls in Phoenix’s Burger Theory rolls out new menu items for those who will quickly forget their new year’s resolutions. Burger Theory already puts unique twists on the classic burger and with these additions they will be spicing it up with the Ultimate Sriracha burger and the On the Border burger. A Breakfast burger has also been added for those who like breakfast all day.

All the burgers on the menu use Angus chuck, brisket and short rib beef  for their single and double patty burgers.

New non-burger menu items include Crispy Fish Sandwich, Sriracha Steak Salad and Nacho Fries and the sweet signature dessert Apple Crumb Mason Jar. Over 30 local craft beers are poured to wash down your burger, salad or sandwich.

Below is a list of all the new menu items at Burger Theory.

Nacho Fries – Creamy nacho cheese, bacon, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole and served with ground beef or chicken. 9

Sriracha Steak Salad – Mixed greens, tomato, red onions, cucumber, bleu cheese and Sriracha ranch dressing.  13

On the Border – Angus chuck, brisket and short rib patty, melted pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo, grilled onions, guacamole, lettuce and KGB sauce. 11

Ultimate Sriracha – Angus chuck, brisket and short rib patty, melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, bacon, grilled onions, tomato, Sriracha mayo. 12

Breakfast Burger – Angus chuck, brisket and short rib patty, melted cheddar cheese, bacon, fried egg, roasted garlic mayo and KGB sauce. 11

Crispy Fish Sandwich – Parmesan panko crusted cod filet, tartar sauce, shredded lettuce and a toasted potato bun. 11

Spicy Chicken Wrap – Crispy chicken tenders, buffalo sauce, lettuce, tomato, bleu cheese dressing wrapped in a flour tortilla. 12

Oven Roasted Chicken – Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, chicken gravy and grilled vegetables. 18

Sriracha Ribeye – Ribeye house marinated in a Sriracha glaze, smashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. 24

Apple Crumb Mason Jar – House made apple pie filling is layered with cinnamon apple pie crumble, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. 5

Burger Theory is at 4401 E. McDowell Rd. Phoenix 85008. Next to the Holiday Inn. http://burgertheoryphx.com/

 

Black Friday restaurant deals around the Phoenix area

2 weeks from today the madness that is Black Friday (Nov. 25th) will be here. Retailers aren’t the only one offering the deals, many of your favorite restaurants around the Phoenix area are offering deals to those that prefer to eat and drink than shop. Below is a list of where to find the restaurant deals around the Phoenix area and a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Scottsdale.

Ticoz Latino Kitchen

All day on Black Friday November 25, Ticoz Latin Kitchen will offer 1/2 off appetizers and “Weary Shopper Sangria” for 1/2 off. Additionally, their Corona, Corona Lite and Imperial beers by the bottle will be 1/2 off all day.

5114 North 7th Street. More information available online at www.ticozaz.com or by calling 602-200-0160.

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Eklectic Pie – 2 locations

Buy one 11 inch pizza, get one free. (limit one per person, may not be combined with other offers)

PLUS by four, $10 gift cards, get one $10 gift card free

Both locations open daily at 11:00 a.m.

eklecticpie.com

Eklectic Pie Mesa

1859 South Stapley Drive

480-207-1613

Eklectic Pie Chandler

2990 East Germann Road

480-855-7342

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El Palacio

Enjoy special offers including half off gift cards, $3 margaritas and $4 Fire & Rice (drink made with rumchata and fireball whiskey)!

El Palacio

2950 E Germann Rd, Chandler, AZ 85249

(480) 802-5770

http://www.epfamilyrestaurants.com

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Drexyl Modern American Restaurant

Enjoy happy hour all day on Black Friday.

Drexyl

8877 North Scottsdale Road

480-840-1861

http://drexylusa.com

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Tavern Americana

Celebrate Black Friday, November 25th with a gift card special. Buy $100 in gift cards and get $25 extra!

Tavern Americana

20469 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale

(480) 502-6740

http://urbantaverngroup.com/tavernamericana/

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The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s

All Day Happy Hour!

20% Off All Local Retail (THE MARKET IS A PROUD MEMBER OF LOCAL FIRST ARIZONA)

Black Friday Power Lunch $24.99 11am – 5pm

First Course

Butternut Squash Bisque

Second Course

choice of

Cuban Sandwich

Bolognese

Chicken

Sweet

choice of

Bread Pudding

Chocolate Mousse

Plus, a glass of house wine

The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s

3603 E. Indian School Rd., Ste A

Phoenix, AZ 85018

602-579-5327

themarketphx.com

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SCOTTSDAZZLE

Christmas Tree Lighting, Soleri Bridge: 5:30 p.m., November 25, sweet treats and cocoa will be offered, live music and more! Mayor Jim Lane and members of the Scottsdale City Council will be on hand to light the one-of-a kind to Arizona tree, imported from Italy. The tree boasts over one million customizable lighting options and will glow nightly on the Soleri Bridge.

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Marcellino Ristorante

Marcellino Ristorante will offer their “lite bites and sips” menu from 12 noon until close on Friday, November 25.  (menu is normally offered from 4 pm – 6 pm) The Lite Bites menu includes appetizers and drinks ranging from $6-$10.

Marcellino Ristorante

7114 E Stetson Drive

Scottsdale

480-990-9500

www.MarcellinoRistorante.com

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WINK 24:

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend and Black Friday at Wink 24.  Wednesday, Nov 23 and Friday Nov 25, Purchase a single serving bottle of Tattinger Champagne and second bottle is a penny!

Biltmore Fashion Park

2502 E. Camelback Road

Phoenix, 85016

602-954-5278

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Char Kitchen + Bar opens in former Bink’s Scottsdale space

When word spread earlier this year that Kevin Binkley would close his Scottsdale restaurant his followers were perplexed, relief came when word spread that a new Mediterranean restaurant, Char Kitchen + Bar would take its place. Char Kitchen is owned by a family of restaurant veterans, the Micakaj family, most notably is daughter & sister Pauline Martinez, co-owner of Scottsdale’s Perk Eatery. Peter, the father has owned & operated restaurants in Michigan for years and son Pal has honed his restaurant skills working with his dad.

Chicken Lollis
Char Kitchen + Bar Chicken Lollis

My fellow restaurant bloggers and I were treated to Micakaj’s hospitality to taste several of the menu items that are influenced by the family’s Albanian heritage along with other eastern European and Mediterranean favorites.

“We look forward to serving our neighbors the kind of food we serve in our own home with the same, familiar atmosphere,” said Peter Micakaj

char kitchen + bar’s menu

Char uses locally sourced ingredients when possible and here are a few of the favorites we tasted. From the Starters part of the menu which we tasted the Chicken Lollis ($9), eaten off the bone that is bathed in a Pomegranate Harissa BBQ sauce, topped with crumbled Feta cheese and pickled onions. Sweet and savory this was a favorite to eat with great presentation. Prefer a bit of a kick to start off your meal, the Siracha Chicken Skewers ($8) offer just that with juicy char grilled chicken served over Basmati rice.

The Grilled Pork Chop ($24) seemed to be the favorite of the night with its Bing cherry and red wine reduction that gave a kiss of sweet flavor. Seared cabbage and lightly crisped potatoes offer a crisp texture to compliment thick cut juicy pork chop that offered enough to take home leftovers. Chicken ($17) & Steak ($19) Skewers come served over Basmati rice and offer a traditional style meal found in often in eastern Europe. Grilled Lamb Chops ($32) comes 4 to a plate and are soft and drizzled with Chimichurri sauce that will make not want to leave any meat on the bone. A pile potatoes and vegetables accompany the lamb chops.

Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Cake
Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Cake

Save room for dessert, especially the Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Cake that was both sinful and delicious to end our experience. Sandwiches, pita, salads and skewers and more are available make return visits inevitable.

Char Kitchen + Bar is open daily for lunch and dinner and is at 6107 N. Scottsdale Road 85250 (480) 664-9238 http://charkitchen.com/