Back exploring food and more in Boston and Cape Cod

If you’ve followed this blog for a few years you would’ve seen a post or two from my visits to Cape Cod. Well I’m back for another visit by way of Boston for the week to escape the Arizona heat. After my first 3 days I have enough to tell you about from my morning in Boston to the days on The Cape.

Breakfast in Boston

I flew into Boston early Saturday morning and was greeted by my friend who re-located from Phoenix to the Boston area 20 years ago. It was pretty early so we decided to head into the city to wake up and made our way to the newly built Seaport District along Boston Harbor. On the south-side of downtown Boston the Seaport District is full of high rise office and apartment buildings, restaurants and attractions. The big attraction for us was the Harbor Walk that led us towards Boston’s North End for breakfast.

Italian market in Boston’s North End

The North End is Boston’s “Little Italy” neighborhood full of narrow streets lined with Italian markets and restaurants. We made our to Theo’s Cozy Corner for breakfast on Salem St. The small cash only breakfast joint serves up traditional breakfast fare at good prices. Eggs, pancakes, etc and good portions Theo’s was full of neighborhood regulars and a few of us outsiders looking to start our day. My friend and I both went with corned beef hash with 3 eggs, home fries and toast. A good choice leaving us both satisfied.

No trip to the North End is complete without a stop at Mike’s Pastry for cannoli for a my mid-morning snack. We also stopped into a traditional Italian market for sliced prosciutto and other meats and fresh bread.

After a walk back along the harbor to the car we headed to the south bay so I could continue down to the Cape.

Saturday and Sunday on the Cape

For years my family has been spending a few weeks every August in Harwichport which is on the south side on Nantucket Bay on a part of the cape that is considered Mid-Cape. A cute town we venture to restaurants to get our fill of fresh seafood. Whether it’s $1 oysters for happy hour at The Port or trying to find the “Best” lobster roll we have our favorites and are always on the lookout for new restaurants to try.

By the time I arrived in mid-afternoon Saturday I was ready to get my fresh seafood feast going. My nephew, brother-in-law and I went across the street to The Port for the $1 oysters from Chatham and Wellfleet. The week before I hear they polished off 90 oysters during one sitting but that wasn’t going to happen on this day as the restaurant was shorthanded with shuckers and we weren’t the only ones there for happy hour. 48 oysters were good enough to satisfy us on this day.

Oysters at The Port in Harwichport

Most days on the cape are lazy with a later start than had I been home in Arizona. Sunday morning started out foggy(the weather, not me) but by late morning the sun was out we’re off to Bank St. beach for a little sand and sun. After a few hours on the beach it was back to relax and decide where to do dinner. We decided it was time to get lobster rolls so we made our way to the Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis. Sesuit on the north side of the cape about a 15 minute drive from Harwichport. Like other “seafood shacks” on the Cape and in New England, Sesuit Harbor Cafe offers fried, broiled or raw seafood. Place your order, find a table outside and wait for the servers bring your food. It’s fast casual before fast casual became a restaurant trend.

Lobster rolls for most of us were served with fries and cole slaw, my nephew went with half a broiled lobster. All were happy as we sat among the sea gulls, marina plotting our next move. We saved room for desert and made our way for homemade ice cream at Schoolhouse Ice Cream in Harwichport.

Sunday or Monday its all the same

When you’re on vacation all the days run together and you realize the work week has begun when the weekenders head back. Not us as Monday has us sleeping in, getting coffee and starting the day. After coffee and my morning walk I made my way to Brew’s Coffee Bar & Beer Garden for breakfast. Disappointing as they stopped serving many of the breakfast sandwiches I remember from 2017.  Only 4 choices to choose from that we’re pre-made and warmed up. My egg and bacon burrito was good but not really worth the $9 I paid for it.

Lunch had me craving fried oysters so I drove down the road to the Original Seafood Restaurant in Dennisport. The place has been around since the 1950s and had the old school drive-in feel. Seafood, burgers, hot dogs and more, my fried oyster craving was fulfilled.

Oyster roll at The Original Seafood Restaurant in Dennisport

After a lazy afternoon walking off my lunch and visiting with family it was time to think about dinner. My nephew and I were on our own and debated which pizza place to go to. The debate was George’s or Ember Pizza and Wings. Ember won out since we’ve never been so we decided to try their coal fired charred pizza. Getting their early before the dinner rush we ordered boneless Buffalo wings which were chicken tenders tossed in Buffalo sauce. Not my idea of wings and going forward I will always order bone-in wings.

Since my nephew doesn’t eat anything green most vegetables were out so we went with the Meat Lovers Pizza. Topped with bacon, sausage, pepperoni and meatballs the thin crust pizza was good and service was good too. Time for a walk and a relaxing Sunday night before we start another day on the Cape.

Check back for more eating adventures and exploring for the next few days. For more images of my trip follow me on Instagram @SandyWass

 

 

 

Birdgang Travel Club partners with BBQ Island for tailgate cooking lessons

Football season is here and tailgaters are saving their parking spots for cooking and pre-game partying. The Birdgang Travel Club will be out and about psyching up Cardinals fans up for 2019 season. The NFL team has high hopes after drafting first taking QB Kyler Murray. One of the Birdgang’s first event is at BBQ Island in Tempe for a “Tailgating 101” cooking class.

Saturday August 24th the class will teach fans to cook brisket stuffed jalapeño poppers, smoked chicken wings and more.Birdgang Travel Club

“We started Birdgang Travel Club as a way to show our dedication to the Red Sea across the great state and beyond. It’s been so much fun putting events together, celebrating with friends and making new ones each season,” said Tyler Vasquez, Co-Founder, Birdgang Travel Club.

Space is limited for “Tailgating 101” that goes from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the BBQ Island Tempe 1715 W. Ruby Dr. #105 85284. Tickets need to be pre- purchased for $50 or $45 for 2 or more.

More Birdgang Travel Club events

The die hard Cardinals fans are planning to hit the road with the team a couple of times this season. Reservations are being taken for road trips to Oct. 24-28 to New Orleans and Nov. 7-11 in Tampa Bay vs former head coach Bruce Arians.

Home games they huddle up at Majerle’s Sports Bar in Chandler before busing out to Glendale. The safe ride option offers breakfast buffet, a tailgate lunch and a ride to & from the stadium for $65. Tickets to the game and alcohol are not included. Fans are welcome to bring beer and alcohol for the ride over to the game. Tickets need to be pre-purchased.

“We started out as a small group of friends that would travel to away games but found it to be very expensive in small groups and quickly realized that by traveling in larger groups we could save a ton of money and have a lot more fun! So, we started Birdgang Travel Club as a way to take some of the work and expense out of individual travel planning. Now, after four years of traveling as a group, we are booking 200-300 fans at a time and are able to pass along an amazing experience and savings to our members,” continued Vasquez.

Chef Vincent Guerithault gets “Toast & Roast”ed for 50 years in the kitchen

Before there was a Phoenix culinary scene there was chef Vincent Guerithault of Vincent’s on Camelback. The award-winning chef started his culinary career in his home country of France before accepting a job at Le Francais in Chicago then making his way to Phoenix. His career started 50 years ago and to commemorate the milestone a “Toast & Roast” is planned for Friday, October 11th.

His classic French cuisine prepared with local ingredients has garnered him many awards and recognition in his home country and the United States including the 1993 James Beard Award for “America’s Best Chef- Southwest”. He is culinary royalty here in Phoenix having opened his Camelback Road restaurant 32 years ago.

Chef Vincent will be roasted by local celebrities including Senator John Kyl, businessman Jerry Colangelo, restaurateur Mark Tarbell, former Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard and more.

Chef Vincent Guerithault classic dishes

The multi-course dinner will highlight classic dishes the chef has served over the years at prestigious restaurants. The exciting evening is open to the public and is $295 per person plus tax & service and includes wine pairings. The menu is below.

Rondelles d’Aubergines Farcies aux Asperges et Parmesan (L’Oustau de Baumanière,Les Baux de Provence). Eggplant Wrapped Asparagus with Parmesan and Fleur de Sel

Consommé de Canard au Gingembre (Le Français, Chicago). Duck Consommé with Ginger

Homard et Saint-Jacques à la Vapeur au Beurre Blanc (Le Français, Chicago). Steamed Maine Lobster and Sea Scallops served with Beurre Blanc

Tourte de Ris de Veau au Champignons (L’Oustau de Baumanière, Les Baux de Provence). Veal Sweetbread Turnover with Wild Mushrooms

Tournedos Rossini et Pommes Soufflées (Le Français, Chicago). Beef Tenderloin with Foie Gras and Soufflé Potatoes

Crêpes Veuve Joyeuse au Citron (Maxim’s, Paris). Lemon Crêpe Soufflé

Pot de Crème et Gourmandises

Information and reservations for the celebration can be found at https://vincentsoncamelback.com/toast-and-roast.php. Vincent’s on Camelback is at 3930 E. Camelback RD. Phoenix 85018.

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.

 

Customers and staff help Liberty Market create 31 unique burgers

When you wake up tomorrow it will be August 1st or as Gilbert’s Liberty Market calls it “Burger Days”. For 31 days in August the restaurant serves a unique burger for their annual celebration of the American comfort food. For this years event executive chef David Traina created the list of burgers with input from loyal customers and staff.

Customers ordering a burger on a given day may find other than locally raised beef between the buns. Bison, elk and a veggie burger will be served and all will have unique flavor profiles and toppings. All burgers are a 1/2 pound and many will have an international spin.

Miso Sticky burger. All photos courtesy of Sarah Roberson

Customers save your receipts

Save your receipts from each burger visit as you will be rewarded with gift cards. A $50 Liberty Market gift card will be given to customers who eat 10 different burgers. If you stop by for all 31 burgers a $250 gift card is yours. Customers will have until the end of the first week of September to redeem their gift cards.

Here is the list of 31 burgers.

1- Short Rib – AZ raised beef patty, blue cheese sauce, roasted onion and arugula on onion bun.

2- Carne Asada – AZ raised beef patty, drunken beans, grilled green onions, cotija cheese, and guacamole on onion bun.

3- Buffalo Blue Cheese Fry* – bison patty, curly fries, buffalo cheese sauce, blue cheese, and chives on a pretzel bun.

4- French Onion – AZ raised beef patty, sherry caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, fresh garlic aioli, and au jus, on a Ciabatta bun.

5- Philly Cheese Steak – AZ raised beef patty, Cheese Whizz, roasted peppers, provolone cheese and onions on Ciabatta bun.

6- Torta Style – AZ raised beef patty, topped with adobo braised pork, beans, jalapeño salsa, crema, cotija cheese, avocado, and cabbage slaw, on a bollio bun.

7- The Issac – AZ raised beef patty, pesto aioli, fried fresh mozzarella, bacon, and tomato on an Italian rosemary bun.

8- Chicken Katsu – AZ raised beef patty, fried chicken, jalapeño aioli slaw, and Katsu sauce on a sesame bun.

9- Cajun Shrimp – AZ raised beef patty, roasted red bell peppers and onions, and Tabasco aioli on a Ciabatta bun.

10- Breakfast Nduja – AZ raised beef patty, sunny side up egg, grain mustard, Seahive cheese, and arugula on ciabatta round.

11- Anti-Pasto – AZ raised beef patty, fried mozzarella, salami, marinated artichoke, roasted red peppers, pesto, and arugula on a Kalamata olive bun.

12- Korean BBQ – AZ raised beef patty, Korean bbq sauce, cabbage nauc cham slaw, sesame seeds, rice wine cucumbers, on a brioche bun.

13- Whiskey Onion – AZ raised beef patty, BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, and whiskey onions on fried cheddar cheese as the bun.

14- Hatch-Frito – AZ raised beef patty, brisket patty, pepper jack cheese, chipotle bbq aioli, and Fritos on a chili cheese bun.

15- Bourbon BLT – AZ raised beef patty, bourbon brown sugar bacon, oven dried tomato aioli, and butter lettuce on onion bun.

customers
Buffalo Blue Cheese burger

16- Piggly Wiggly* – AZ raised beef patty, hatch cheddar, pulled pork, sliced ham, fried onion straws, yellow BBQ sauce, and chicharrones on an onion bun.

17- Crab Salad – AZ raised beef patty, marinated crab salad, cambozola cheese, Tabasco aioli, and butter lettuce on a brioche bun with 9 grain topping.

18- Burrata Burger – AZ raised beef patty, truffle dressed arugula, bacon, tomato, and black pepper aioli on Italian olive oil bun.

19- Miso Sticky* – AZ raised beef patty, miso and maple glazed pork belly, pickled cucumber and carrots, red onion, thin jalapeño slices, butter lettuce, sesame seeds, and gochujang aioli, on a bollio bun.

20- Pepper Jack Sausage – AZ raised beef patty, Beehive Barely Buzzed cheese, roasted onions, cajun aioli on a ciabatta roll.

21- Ma’s Meatloaf – AZ raised beef patty bacon meatloaf, arugula, roasted garlic onion and horseradish aioli on a brioche bun.

22- Cuban Mojo –  house blend patty (orange, lime zest, garlic cumin oregano, cilantro, Fresno chiles) Manchego cheese, grilled yellow onions and Anaheim chiles, avocado, and tequila-lime aioli, on an onion bun.

23- Cheesy Tot* – AZ raised beef patty, onion dip ranch, tater tots, hatch chile cheese curds on an onion bun.

24- Crispy Carmen – AZ raised beef patty, chilaquiles, sunny side up egg, tomatillo salsa, cotija cheese, on a ciabatta bun.

25- Mac Daddy* – AZ raised beef patty, jalapeño bacon mac and cheese, BBQ short rib, grilled red onion, cheddar cheese, and sriracha aioli on a jalapeño Ciabatta bun.

26- Pastrami Style – AZ raised beef patty, sauerkraut, and 1000 Island dressing on marble rye.

27-Veggie – house made red bean and rice patty, Cajun tofu, and cashew butter on rustic bun.

28- Far East – AZ raised beef patty, topped with greens, wontons, hoisin aioli, tamarind-ginger glaze on seeded Kaiser roll.

29- Green Goddess – AZ raised beef patty, Green Goddess dressing, fried zucchini, roasted portobello mushrooms, lemon ricotta, and arugula on a rustic bun.

30- Lobster-Prosciutto* –  AZ raised beef patty, brie, Boston lettuce, classic aioli on a french bun.

31- Elk Burger – AZ raised beef patty, speck, peppadews, Gruyere cheese, spring mix, and whole grain mustard sauce on a garlic bun. 

Liberty Market is at 230 N. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert.

Weekly dinner series starts at Nico Heirloom Kitchen

Thursday nights will be better than most the next 12 weeks at Nico Heirloom Kitchen. The downtown Gilbert restaurant is launching a weekly dinner series on Thursday, July 25th. The chef driven restaurant will offer 4-courses with drink pairings for $70 which includes tax and gratuity.

Guests can expect dishes that may include hand-rolled pastas, fresh and locally grown produce and family recipes. Below is a preview of the first weeks dinner.

  • Sweet Corn Fritter | Green Chili Aioli |Tomatillo Chow Chow | Ferrari Carano Rose
  • Warm Cauliflower | Crispy Kale | Caper | Golden Raisin | Girard Sauvignon Blanc
  • Porchetta | House Made Sausage | Tomato Barley | Arugula | Jackson Estate Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir
  • Strawberry Olive Oil Cake | Burrata Cream | Picked Rhubarb | Pink Peppercorn | Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling

To reserve your spot for the weekly dinner series head to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/travel-the-us-nico-heirloom-kitchen-dinner-series-registration-65133691625

Nico Heirloom Kitchen is at 366 N. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert 85234.

Rick Bronson to open coffee bar & speakeasy on High Street.

Things are perking up on High Street with the announcement of The Stir and Gin and Reel opening later this year. Comedian and entrepreneur Rick Bronson is behind the “old school” coffee shop and speakeasy concept. If all goes as planned with construction coffee, cocktails and conversation will begin in September.

“The Stir and Gin and Reel is unlike anything in the North Phoenix/North Scottsdale area,” says owner and proprietor Rick Bronson, who also owns Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy on High Street. “I take great pride in creating concepts with environments that encourage the spirit of human connection as it once existed and that people long for today.”

Coffee, cocktails and food.

The Stir will be serving coffee beverages, coffee cocktails, food and ice cream daily at 6 a.m. Enjoy a “Kick in the Pants” made with cold brew, rum, cold brew liqueur, Mexican Coke & cream or a Coffee Old Fashioned.

For breakfast or lunch diners can enjoy pastries, sandwiches and salads including the BBLT(bacon, lettuce, tomato and turkey). Small plates at the bar will include Deviled Eggs, Lobster Canapes and a Caprese Salad. Boozy milkshakes and alcohol-less ice cream treats will also be available.

At 3 p.m. Gin and Reel opens if you can find the hidden entrance at the back of The Stir. The intimate speakeasy will have the atmosphere of Old Hollywood with vintage photos, directors chairs at the bar and black & white films playing. Prohibition era cocktails like the Manhattan or Sazerac will be served until 10 p.m. weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends.

The Stir and Gin and Reel will be at 5415 E. High Street, Suite 103. Phoenix 85054.

Mark your calendars for 2019 Fall Arizona Restaurant Week

Hot off the heels of 2019 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week the Arizona Restaurant Association announces dates for Fall 2019. Foodies and foodies in training mark your calendars for Friday September 20th- 29th for 10 days of culinary discovery.

Arizona Restaurant Week showcases local restaurants creating special menus that offer 3 or 4 course prie-fixe menus. For $33 or $44 per person guests can visit restaurants  for dishes not served during the rest of the year. Wine pairing are extra.

“Consumer demand for restaurants in Arizona has been the highest it’s ever been and that’s why we see such support each year during both Spring and Fall Restaurant Week,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are proud to be leading the charge in an initiative that helps diners discover some of the best local, chef-driven restaurants as well as support some of the most well-known restaurants in the state.”

This is the 12th anniversary of the twice yearly event with the list of participating restaurants growing every year. Over 70 restaurants around Arizona are confirmed to participate in 2019 Fall Arizona Restaurant Week. To see the list of restaurants participating & menus go to https://arizonarestaurantweek.com/. Restaurants are being added weekly so check back for updates. Photo courtesy of David Blakeman

 

Carlson Creek’s Scottsdale tasting room has 3rd anniversary celebrations

Carlson Creek Vineyard’s is celebrating the 3rd anniversary of its Scottsdale tasting room. Throughout the month of July daily and weekly events and tastings are planned. Wine Society members and the public are welcome to celebrate with them. Photo courtesy of Jenelle Bonifield of Food & Lifestyles AZ.

Scottsdale tasting room events

July 8-14: For current Wine Society members only, refer a new member and each will receive a complimentary bottle of 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

13th at 2pm:  Scottsdale tasting room’s 3rd Anniversary party featuring live music, food from Old Ellsworth Brewing Company and conversation with the winemakers (free to attend)

14th: All-day happy hour featuring $5 glasses of Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé

July 15-21: Purchase a bottle of Carlson Creek wine + Queen Creek Olive Mill’s olive oil or vinegar and receive $5 off

18th at 6pm:  Wine Society members-only Library Wine Flight featuring five wines from the Carlson Creek library ($20/person)

July 22 – 31: Daily featured food and wine pairings ($15/person)

22nd: 2013 Sangiovese paired with garlic hummus, red pepper hummus, pesto and pita chips

23rd: 2013 Chenin Blanc paired with tortilla chips and date salsa from Sphinx Palm & Pantry

24th: 2014 Sauvignon Blanc paired with watermelon, feta and mint topped with Queen Creek Olive Mill’s balsamic vinegar

 25th: 2014 Rule of Three paired with chorizo, olive, mozzarella and parsley stackers

26th: 2015 Sauvignon Blanc paired with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber bites

27th: 2014 Sangiovese paired with bleu cheese and dates from Sphinx Palm & Pantry

28th: 2017 Grenache Rosé paired with chocolate filled roll

29th: 2018 Chardonnay paired with butter and kettle popcor

30th: 2018 Sweet Adeline Riesling paired with spicy street corn

31st: 2015 Rule of Three paired with brie and Sauvignon Blanc fig preserves on a toasted baguette

July 25 at 6pm: Arizona Wine History class with Q&A and wine tastings ($10 for members / $15 for non-members)

The tasting room is at 4142 N. Marshall Way 85251. For more information, call the Scottsdale tasting room at 480.947.0636.

The Little Woody celebrates “Christmas in July” for charity

The weather may not feel like Christmas but you can get in the spirit of the holiday for 3 days later this month. July 25th- 27th is when The Little Woody will celebrate “Christmas in July” with special events and festive cocktails to support New Pathways for Youth.

The Arcadia speakeasy kicks of the three days on Thurs. 7/25 with “Christmas Carol Karaoke” from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. On Fri. the 26th guests are encouraged to wear their favorite Hawaiian shirt to win a prize from 8-11 p.m. Santa Claus makes an appearance on the 27th and enjoy a bowl of homemade chili with jolly St. Nick. On the 27th The Little Woody will be collecting school supplies.

New Pathways for Youth helps children from 12-21 years old suffering from abuse, poverty, neglect and substance abuse. Mentors help them with life skills and personal development through workshops and retreats to get them on track for better life they desire.

There is no cost to attend “Christmas in July”, food and drink will be available for purchase.

The Little Woody is at 4228 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018. For reservations call (602)955-0339 or visit their website.