The Whining Pig Beer & Wine Bar opens at Desert Ridge Marketplace

The 6th location of The Whining Pig Beer & Wine Bar has opened in north Phoenix at Desert Ridge Marketplace. Across from Dave & Buster’s The Whining Pig will be the neighborhoods go to wine and beer bar that occupies more than 4,000 square feet.

Photos courtesy of The Whining Pig Beer & Wine Bar

The friendly and knowledgeable staff pours wines from around the world and over 125 craft beers from rotating taps. A selection of grilled cheese sandwiches and meat & cheese plates are available off the limited menu.

Vintage boards games and other forms of entertainment make the place good hang out with friends and family.

The bar opens daily at 1 p.m. and stays open til the late evening and early morning hours.

Waimea Canyon then back to the east end of Kauai

After my day at sea I continued west toward Waimea for the night so I could drive through Waimea Canyon and where else the road would take me. I pulled into Waimea Plantation Cottages for the night to refresh and enjoy the beachfront accommodations.

A bit higher than I wanted to pay for less than 24 hours I ponied up the cash for the studio($184) and enjoyed the surroundings. Since this was the western most part of the island I was staying on I hoped to see a sunset from the beach but the clouds put a damper on those plans.

A bit disappointed with the amount of insects in the room my $25 resort fee was refunded. That’s what you get with arid temperatures near the ocean.

Up to Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park

I woke up energized and made my way up Waimea Canyon Dr. (550) towards Waimea Canyon State Park taking in the views of Waimea area and the Pacific.

Winding roads climb in elevation as this area is where hunters, hikers and campers head to enjoy the outdoors. Many pull-offs to stop to take pictures I make it into the park and view steep green and brown cliffs and waterfalls.

In the distance you hear but barely see the helicopters taking tourists even closer.(See below). After several pictures and “oohs” and “aahs” I exit the park and continue toward Koke’e State Park.

I pass military outposts that take advantage of the farthest west part of the U.S. and high elevations to protect our country. Koke’e State Park offers views of Napali Coast from Kalalau Valley Lookout and  Pu’u O Kila Lookout. There are breathtaking views from high above of steep rock formations spiking upwards. Hiking trails lead to beaches through the green lined cliffs. Shorter hikes can be done and you should always prepare accordingly.

Down the road and heading back east

After two hours taking in breathtaking views I head down to sea level and cruise back through Waimea towards Lihue making stops along the way. First stop was Kauai Coffee Company to taste the locally grown coffee and take a self guide tour. Much what you’d expect of coffee samples, gift shop, a coffee museum, local plants and rows of coffee trees. Free tours are available and so is a small sandwich shop. Definitely worth  a stop to take in the local culture and surroundings.

I was hungry so I made my way to Koloa and grabbed fish tacos from a food truck before I strolled the village. Old Koloa Town is a plantation village with shops, restaurants and rich in sugar plantation history….and filled with chickens roaming and singing. I love the trees in the area as their canopy offers shade and seem very nicely manicured.

I headed back through the resort town of Poipu past small local beaches and condos towards the Spouting Horn geyser. Taking a few minutes to watch the surf erupt through the lava holes forming spouting geyser. A nice stop to view the surf crashing and let mother nature do her thing.

I made my way to Kapaa to Bubba Burger on a recommendation from a friend for dinner. Using local Kauai beef Bubba Burger is tasty and easy on the wallet. Sit above the street and watch people and traffic go by along the beach road. After my burger I U turned it back to Hilue for my night at The Tip Top Motel.

Hiking Hanalei and helicopters

The Tip Top Motel, Cafe & Bakery made for an ok stay as accommodations were fine(as were other places I stayed) but the breakfast wasn’t the 4 stars I saw on Yelp!. An average breakfast and no complimentary coffee other places I stayed have offered. At $120 a night(taxes & fees incl) for basic accommodations a couple of cups of coffee would’ve been nice. They say it’s the little things that matter the most.

Checking out during the morning rain I continued my way east towards Hanalei hoping the rain would end so I could hike that I previously mentioned. As I drove I saw blue sky peeking trough the clouds giving me optimism my hike would happen.

In no hurry I turned off Kuhio Highway often to drive along the beach and hills to see the sights. Not being able to see a sunrise or sunset due to clouds or my location on the island I was glad to see a rainbow over the mountain.

A quick left over the single lane bridge into Hanelai is the road that leads into the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge and the Okolehao Trail. The only car in the parking lot I was skeptical but determined to head up the steep and muddy trail. Grabbing a walking stick I made my way up through the forest trying to keep my balance.

After 25 minutes I made my way to a great vantage point for viewing Hanalei Bay and the farms below. I continued 200 yards through thicker forest, with rain clouds in the distance I figured I’d seen enough and headed down.

On my way down I met a hikers on their way up who mentioned I made it to the best point to see the view. The trail goes higher and steeper I was told that captures a view of the whole island. With the clouds I doubt I would’ve seen it all, perhaps on my next visit.

Pulling into Hanalei village I walked to the beach to fill a container with sand for a friend who collects sand(???). I then made my way to Tropical Taco for Ahi tacos for a#TacoTuesday lunch.

Leisurely I headed back to Lihue pulling off Kuhio Highway to see the sights on the northern side of the island. I stopped at Island Helicopters to book a flight and found myself on a flight 90 minutes later. Island Helicopters is the only helicopter company to land at Jurassic Falls. I didn’t take that tour but did take the Grand Deluxe tour ($180 cash/ $187 cc) which lasted 50-60 minutes. I did my research and Island Helicopters offers the best price for helicopter tours on the island.

With a front row view we lifted off from the Lihue Airport heliport and had amazing views of Kauai. Mountains, waterfalls, farms, over the ocean, Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon you see everything and many only visible by air.

Our pilot Joseph is a Kauai native and knew about everything we flew over from who owned what land, what it used to be used for, what movies we’re filmed where on the island(The Descendants, Seven Days & Six Nights and Jurassic Park, etc) and so on. An amazing adventure that I almost talked myself out of.

After the hour in the air I walked to Smiley’s Local Grinds for dinner. A small restaurant in a Lihue strip mall filled with locals and people taking out dinner. Good Hawaiian food ( I had Smiley’s Chicken in Garlic Chili sauce ($11.85) at good prices. Nothing fancy just good food and a smiley face whether you’re on a budget or a big spender. Go where the locals go.

The last two days of my trip will be relaxing though I will be out to see and eat more. See ya soon!

***Check out my Facebook & Twitter @SandyWasserman Instagram @SandyWass #SandyTakesKauai for photos and video.***

 

 

Across the Pond to take over space vacated by Central Wine

The owners of Clever Koi and soon to open Fellow Osteria wasted no time when neighbor Central Wine closed to start working on cocktail bar Across the Pond. Slated to open in the fall Across the Pond will be an intimate cocktail bar that features 10 unique custom cocktails, Japanese whiskey, craft beers and wine.

Partners Nicholas Campisano and Joshua James have the designed space to give the bar a  “tropical mid-century modern” look.

“We’ve been looking to add a cocktail bar to the B&R portfolio for a while now, and had been looking all over the Melrose district,” James says, “But we always kept an eye on the Central Wine space. So when the previous tenant’s lease came up, it worked out great for both parties.”

Across the Pond bites and drinks menu

Traditional Japanese sushi (no rolls), bar bites and omakase a.k.a. “chef’s choice” dishes will be served from Clever Koi. The three types of fish used for sushi and omakase  will be sourced from local fish monger Chula Seafood.

James will create a cocktail menu with handcrafted selections that will emphasis Japanese whiskey and served in traditional highball style.

The name, James emphasizes Across The Pond is not a British-style pub, but a casual cocktail bar with Asian accents. “‘The Pond’ was always our nickname for Clever Koi on Central, so it was obvious to name it, Across The Pond.”

The 35 seat bar will be open Wednesday – Saturday from 4:00 p.m. til midnight. Across the Pond is at 4236 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85012.

Zookz celebrates National Sandwich Month with featured sandwiches

Zookz Sandwiches honors the millions of sandwiches eaten everyday in the United States with featured sandwich every week in August. Both locations of the locally owned sandwich shop will be taking 25% off each of the featured sandwiches during National Sandwich Month.

Each pressed and closed sandwich is filled with meats, cheeses, eggs and fruits for one of a kind sandwich. Zookz is open for breakfast and lunch with the sandwiches coming from owner Carole Meyer that are inspired by her grandmother’s recipes.

Featured sandwiches

You have a couple of days left to get this weeks featured sandwich with the new sandwich starting on Monday.

Week of Aug 6th-12th: Cheddar, crispy bacon, tomatoes and thinly sliced turkey topped with Chipotle and green onion scallop potatoes

Week of Aug 13th – 19th: Parmesan cheese &  turkey topped with a kale slaw, pineapple, shredded coconut and roasted almonds in Zookz Voodoo Dressing.

Week of Aug 20th – 26th: Brie, ham, apricot preserves and roasted almonds

Week of Aug 27th – 31st:  Cheddar, Monterey Jack cheeses and thinly sliced ham topped with a Creamy Sriracha and green onion Mac and Cheese 

Zookz are at 100 E. Camelback Rd. (Uptown Plaza) Phoenix 85012 and One N. 1st St. (Downtown & closed weekends.) Phoenix 85004. For more information go to http://zookzsandwiches.com

The butcher returns as Arcadia Meat Market set to open in January

Years ago people would purchase their cheese from a cheese shop, fish from a fish market and meats from a butcher, today you can find the one stop shopping  with few peddling their product knowing only basic information. With that in mind the Arcadia Meat Market is set to open on January 11th 2018.

Partners Nick Addante and Luigi Paroli plan to bring back the old school butcher shop offering Arizona raised beef, pork, chicken and lamb and will source all natural products from Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and California.

Need for the Arcadia Meat Market

Addante is a partner in Arizona’s only grass-fed beef producer who realized that the mass marketed meat industry lacked what consumers want including transparency, product knowledge and the treatment of animals.

“All our meats are free range and pasture raised, never had any antibiotics or hormones, and the animals we sell have always eaten healthy food resulting in the best quality meats.” Addante says.

“We believe that healthy animals raised in open pastures make for a healthier planet and healthy happy customers. We work with producers that care about our planet and the animals they raise. Our ranchers practice sustainable farming methods so their business may continue to thrive for generations to come.”

The Butcher

Addante also wanted a skilled neighborhood butcher who cared about the meats they are butchering for their customers and the customers themselves.

Enter Paroli, a 2nd generation butcher from New Zealand who’s worked across the country and will hand cut all meats in-house.

“It’s all about bringing back trust and transparency, because I was raised on that, including 8,000 hours of training under a master butcher in Wellington, New Zealand,” Paroli says. “I’ve run butcher shops from Alaska to Manhattan and it all comes back to good, healthy, grass-fed, pasture raised, organic proteins. Plus, you can come and get something specially cut for you and feel good about providing for your family.”

Arcadia Meat Market will be open daily Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Also offered will be ready-to- cook meals, grab & go items and more. In the future they plan to sell wine, cheese, charcuterie and cold pressed juices.

Arcadia Meat Market will be 3950 E. Indian School Rd. #150 Phoenix 85018.

 

 

Independents Week returns July 1st -9th along with the Golden Ticket

With Independence Day weekend here what better way to celebrate locally owned independent restaurants and food business’ than with Independents Week. Local First Arizona is helping to co-ordinate it in Arizona along with the American Independent Business Alliance that is coordinating National Independent Week a.k.a Indie Week Saturday July 1st- Sunday July 9th.

“Independence Day is a time for us to reflect on what makes our state and country great,” says Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona.

“Arizona’s independent business community is the backbone of our local economy and the driving force behind what makes us proud to call Arizona home. Up to four times more money stays in the local economy when consumers choose an independent business over a national chain. Independents Week is our way of drawing attention to the important role independent businesses play in our daily lives.”

Independents Week Golden Coupon

The Golden Coupon returns giving users 20% off at hundreds of locally owned business’s around Arizona. Coupons can be printed from the Local First Arizona website or downloaded from their app. on your smart phone. Business such as auto repair shops, boutiques, florists, yoga studios and more will be participating. Individual business have certain restrictions so make sure you ask.

Restaurants and Food related products

Here is a partial list of restaurants and food related products from around Arizona for Independents Week. For a full list refer to Local First Arizona’s website above.

  • The dhaba India plaza
  • TEXAZ Grill
  • Fluff It Marshmallows
  • Caketini
  • Colados Coffee Inc.
  • Southern Rail
  • Huss Brewing
  • Smooth Brew
  • Smitholator Cookie Shop
  • Souvia Teas
  • Iconic Cocktail Co.
  • Fluffy Vegans
  • Witnessing Nature
  • GWIN Wine and Beer
  • Candyman’s Grill
  • NOnna URban Eatery
  • Bite Magazine
  • Queen Creek Olive Mill
  • Arizona Salsa & Spice Company
  • Kettle Heroes Artisan Popcorn
  • Cake Pops by Sal
  • Tammie Coe Cakes
  • TeaRoyalty
  • Desert Rock Winery/Arizona Hard Cider

 

Press Coffee Roasters to join the downtown Phoenix coffee scene

Locally owned Press Coffee Roasters is set to open its flagship store in downtown Phoenix on June 8th making it the 5th location for the award-winning specialty coffee roaster.

Press Coffee at The Muse (1816 N. Central Ave.) will look across Central Ave. to the Phoenix Art Museum but the art is inside Press with a custom Synesso espresso machine,  white  Mahlkonig grinders and futuristic Clever Seraphim brewers. The modern design of the 2,000 square foot space was designed by Larry Lake of Lawrence Lake Interiors.

By late summer Press plans to offer beer and wine along with launching an expanded food menu. Coffee 101 tastings and events are planned in the ‘learning space”.

“I started Press back in 2008, with the idea for a place for coffee, food and wine. This store resurrects that dream at an even higher level,” said Steve Kraus, owner and founder of Press Coffee. “We’re excited to open our doors and be a part of Downtown Phoenix’ diverse coffee and food community.”

To celebrate the opening guests who stop by on June 8th, 9th or 10th will receive a free small cup of drip coffee.

Press has locations in Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix and Tempe and shares their passion for specialty coffee with customers and community by ensuring the highest quality of coffee, service and knowledge on a daily basis

Press Coffee at The Muse will be open Mon. – Sat. 6:30 a.m -8 p.m. and Sun. from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. http://www.presscoffee.com/