A Decade of Delicious as Arizona Restaurant Week returns in May

What started out 10 years ago with 93 restaurants has blossomed in to a twice yearly foodie event that is Arizona Restaurant Week. Mark your calendars for the week of May 19th – 28th when the 2017 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week returns with over 150 planned to participate.

Nook Kitchen’s Lamb Shank

The Arizona Restaurant Association started sponsoring the state wide event in the Fall of 2008 to help promote the states restaurant industry and increasing awareness of Arizona restaurants. Diners will have the opportunity visit new restaurants along with favorites who will offer unique 3 course prix-fixe menus for $33 or $44 per person.

Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri said, “Arizona Restaurant Week has remained a strong culinary driver to many local chefs and restaurant owners as well as a treasured memory maker for diners. It’s hard to go wrong, and we are delighted to be celebrating ten years of making folks happy.”

Match Cuisine’s Whole Roasted Sea Bream for Arizona Restaurant Week

Arizona Restaurant Week has helped local restaurants become a dining destination for foodies from around the country and the world. Since the 1st Arizona Restaurant Week it has expanded to a Spring foodie extravaganza in 2011 and a Arizona Breakfast Weekend was added a few years later. 2017 Fall Restaurant Week is planned for September 15th – 24th and Arizona Breakfast Weekend will take place from July 27th – 30th will more details to come about the 10 year anniversary celebration in September.

10 restaurants including Don and Charlie’s, Cowboy Ciao, Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn and Roaring Fork have participated in all 10 years.

With a variety of restaurants like Match Cuisine & Cocktails, Mancuso’s, Nook Kitchen, Salty Sow, White Chocolate Grill and all 4 Ajo Al’s Mexican Cafe’s to choose from foodies can expect reservations to fill up quickly so planning ahead is essential. Check http://arizonarestaurtweek.com for participating restaurants and updates of those being added to the growing list.

 

 

Hopdoddy Burger Bar to roll out new seasonal menu items this week.

You already know that Hopdoddy Burger Bar serves good burgers but did you know they also serve handcrafted milkshakes and cocktails at their full service bar. All 3 of these components are part of Hopdoddy’s success and on April 5 they will be introducing a seasonal burger, milkshake and cocktail.

For a limited time guests will be able to order the Double Stack Burger and Purple Rain Shake until April 18th and High + Rye Cocktail until May 2nd.

The Double Stack Burger ($10) will be made with two freshly ground Angus beef and onion patties topped with melted Swiss and cheddar, sassy sauce and tangy chipotle ketchup, proving two patties are better than one.

The Purple Rain Shake ($6) features house made blueberry compote swirled to perfection with toasted hazelnuts, vanilla spiced ice cream and a touch of sea salt, this naturally purple shake pays homage to the beloved rock star, Prince, in both color and name.

The High + Rye is made with local rye bourbon, house made ginger syrup, honey water, fresh squeezed lime juice, and topped with a piece of sweet and spicy candied ginger.

To taste these seasonal menu items or any of the other burgers, shakes and more hurry down to the 2 Phoenix area Hopdoddy’s in Scottsdale on Scottsdale Rd. north of Shea Blvd. and at 20th St. & Camelback Rd. in Phoenix. There are also plenty of Hopdoddy Burger Bar’s in Texas and southern California. http://www.hopdoddy.com/

 

Burger Battle returns to see who makes the Best Burger in the Valley

The Scottsdale League of the Arts annual Burger Battle returns this Thursday March 9th with more burgers, beers and fun to its new location at the Scottsdale Waterfront at 7 p.m.

The Burger Battle is one of the non-profits more popular events which helps raise money for artists, art programs and art education through several fund-raising events throughout the year.

This years Burger Battle will be emcee’d by local sports writer and sports  talk show host Dan Bickley. Burgers will be served from local restaurants such as Hand Cut Burgers, Aioli Gourmet Burgers and Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company.

In between tasting burgers, side dishes and desserts attendees will be able to play lawn games and dance to the sounds of The Groove Merchants.

After tasting burgers patrons will be able to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award for Best Burger while 5 judges will be selecting the Judge’s Choice Award. 2 winners will then compete in the World Food Championships in November.

Tickets for the competition are $65 when purchased in advance or $75 at the door. VIP tickets are available for $85 and include early entry at 6 p.m., a VIP gift and access to a private lounge. This is a 21 and over event. Tickets can be purchased at http://scottsdalefest.org/

 

 

Spring Training returns to Phoenix with home run food & drink deals

In just a few days umpires around the valley will be yelling “Play ball” starting the month-long 2017 Cactus League season for baseball teams and fans. Restaurateurs are well aware of locals and the influx of visitors to see their favorite teams and many are offering a game day and month-long food and drink specials around the Phoenix area. Below is a list of restaurants offering spring training deals around the Phoenix area.

Chompie’s Chipolte Ranch burger

The Scottsdale Charros

If you don’t want to miss any of the fun, you won’t have to stray from the Scottsdale Stadium to get a delicious bite to eat. The Scottsdale Charros make Spring Training an experience to remember with the Charro Lodge. This unique and special feature of Scottsdale Stadium is the perfect spot for a VIP feel with the patio-style seating with all-inclusive food and beverage.

You also get an outstanding view of the game you can’t find anywhere else in the stadium. You won’t find old fashion ballpark food here! The Charro Lodge has had a variety of local and national restaurants showcasing their menus, including Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers and Postino. All proceeds from the Lodge go right back into supporting local charities and SUSD schools.

Kelly’s at SouthBridge

To enjoy the cool weather and feel the awesome Old Town atmosphere, hit Kelly’s at SouthBridge before or after your spring training game. Their spacious outdoor patio, adorned with bright red umbrellas, is hard to miss. Kelly’s is just a few minutes away from Scottsdale Stadium and is the perfect place for some pre/post game day drinks. Kelly’s is at 7117 E 6th Avenue, in Scottsdale. For more information, visit www.kellysatsouthbridge.com.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill

Heading to Sloan Park or Scottsdale Stadium? The patios at Thirsty Lion in Tempe and Scottsdale are the perfect place for a quick drink either before or after those spring training games. You’ll find great food, more than a dozen big screen TVs and over 50 beers on tap. Don’t forget to take the trolley from Tempe Marketplace to Sloan Park! For more information, visit thirstyliongastropub.com.

Burger Theory

Burger Theory is surrounded by FIVE Spring Training facilities! They will have a weekly drawing now through the end of March to win a pair of game tickets. Bring in your baseball ticket from any facility after the game and receive 10% off of your bill. Want to stay longer than a post-game lunch?

Stay and play at Burger Theory with their Room with a Brew hotel package. This package includes your choice of two craft beers daily! Enjoy them at the pool, in Burger Theory or delivered to your room. Burger Theory is at 4401 E. McDowell Road. For more information, visit www.burgertheoryphx.com

Photo Courtesy of Fired Pie

MATCH Cocktails & Cuisine

Cubs fans can hang out at the Cub Hub at the Found:RE hotel and take advantage of daily specials at MATCH Cocktails & Cuisine 7 days a week from 4:20 – 6:20 pm. With a Windy City menu created by executive chef Akos Szabo just show your game day ticket and get 10% off your bill. Just look for the W flag hanging outside the hotel at 1100 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. https://www.foundrehotels.com

Drexyl Modern Cuisine

Show your ticket stub from that day’s game at Drexyl and receive a $1 You Call It glass of wine, beer or spirits with your purchase. Limit 1 per customer. Drexyl is at 8877 N Scottsdale Rd #402, Scottsdale

El Palacio

Craving Mexican food? Head to El Palacio in Chandler and they will give you half off any appetizer with your game day ticket all month-long. El Palacio 2950 E Germann Rd, Chandler, AZ 85249 http://www.epfamilyrestaurants.com/

Chompie’s Deli

Who doesn’t love Buy 1 Get 1 Free and all 5 Chompie’s area locations are offering a free Angus burger or Hot dog free with the purchase of 1. With 6 burgers and 2 hot dogs to choose from this dine in deal is home run. Not valid on March 17th. For a Chompie’s location near you check out www.chompies.com

Fired Pie

If pizza is your go to game day meal the Fired Pie’s Mesa Riverview’s location will give you a $1 off any entree w/ a Sloan park ticket stub and give you a free ride to see the Cubs play at nearby Sloan Park. Fired Pie at Mesa Riverview is at 1003 N. Dobson Rd www.firedpie.com

 

 

 

 

 

The 2nd annual Barrel & Board moves to SoHo63 this Thurs. Feb. 23rd

If you like to sip on barrel aged whiskey & beer while eating cheesy treats then this Thursday’s Barrel & Board tasting event is for you. One of the Scottsdale League of the Arts fundraising events moves to downtown Chandler’s SoHo63 for the 2nd annual tasting.

Barrel & Board photos courtesy of Landon Evans & HDE Agency

The 3 hour event pairs local craft brewers & distillers and their barrel aged libations with cheesy & tasty bites from local restaurants including The Perch, Aioli Gourmet Burgers and more. You can cast your vote for best cheese pairing while listening to local acoustic guitarist Tom Kumagai perform live.

Tickets purchased online are $50 & at the door are $60 while supplies last and include unlimited cheese samples & tasty bites, 4 oz. beer samples, 1 oz. whiskey samples and commemorative tasting mug.

Barrel & Board will be held at SoHo63, 63 East Boston Street, Chandler, AZ.  For tickets and more information, visit http://www.scottsdalefest.org/

Here is a partial list a brewers, distilleries & restaurants participating.

12 West Brewing

Arizona Brewery Tours

AZ Distilling

Brat Haus

Campari

Chicago Distilling

Dragoon Brewing Co

Elizabeth’s Moments of Joy

Four Peaks Brewing Company

Glenfiddich

Grand Canyon Brewing Company

Hamilton Distilling

Helio Basin Brewing Company

Hudson Whiskey

Huss Brewing Company

Modern Tortilla

Mother Road Brewing Company

O.H.S.O. Distillery + Brewery

Russell’s Reserve

SanTan Brewing Company

Two Brothers Artisan Brewing

Uncle Bear’s Brewery

Wisconsin Cheese Market

Wren House Brewing Company

Yancy’s Fancy Cheese

 

Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge is on until Feb. 28th

Have you had your share of Girl Scout cookies in the last month, I know those kids are everywhere hawking their boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas, Savannah Smiles and other irresistible varieties, I like the Toffee-tastics myself. I know their hard to resist both the cute kids selling them & the cookies themself but if you’ve resisted, now may be the time for a sweet surrender as the there is only a 9 days left in the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge.

Through Feb. 28th many Phoenix area & Flagstaff restaurants are participating in the 4th annual Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge by creating a dessert with cookies as an ingredient. Portions of the sales of the desserts will go to the Girl Scouts around the Phoenix  & Flagstaff community.

Chefs creating these delicious desserts are hoping to inspire the home chefs to buy an extra box or 2 of Girls Scout cookies before March 5th and create their own dessert. If you are up for the challenge or visit a participating restaurant and order the dessert, snap a picture of your dessert or you & your family eating it and post on social media with #dessertchallenge tag.

If you don’t know any Girl Scouts or have been under a rock and can’t find them selling their cookies around town visit http://www.girlscoutsaz.org/  or download the Cookie Finder app.

Participating in this years challenge are…..

347 Grill at the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin CircDessert Designer: Frank Abeyta

Assigned Cookie: Samoas

Dessert: UltraStar Samoa Brownie Parfait

Cost: $3.95 Details: 16000 N. Maricopa Road, Maricopa www.ultrastarakchin.com

 Char Kitchen + Bar

Dessert Designer: Peter and Pal Micakaj

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse with Thin Mint Crumble

Cost: $8  6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale www.charkitchen.com

Chompie’s – All Valleywide Locations

Dessert Designer: Neal “The Chomper” Borenstein

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: The Mint Cheesecake

Cost: $5.99 To find a Chompie’s near you  www.chompies.com

Churn

Dessert Designer: Jada Shiya

Assigned Cookie: Savannah Smiles

Dessert: Savannah Smile ice cream

Cost: $3.50/per regular scoop 5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 602.279.8024; www.churnaz.com

 Compass Arizona Grill at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix

Dessert Designer: David Duarte

Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs

Dessert: Tagalong Crunch Bar

Cost: $8 122 N. 2nd Street, Phoenix; 480-440-3166; www.compassarizona.com

Coup des Tartes

Dessert Designer: Ron Pacioni

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: Decadent Thin Mint Chocolate Tarte

Cost: $9 1725 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix; 602-212-1082; www.nicetartes.com

Drexyl Modern American

Dessert Designer: Scott Paget

Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs

Dessert: Tagalong Cookie Dark Chocolate Sphere

Cost: $11 8877 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480-840-1861; www.drexlyusa.com

 Flower Child – All Locations

Dessert Designer: Peder Bondhus

Assigned Cookie: Toffee-tastic

Dessert: Toffee-tastic Chocolate Pudding

Cost: $5 To find a Flower Child near you  www.iamaflowerchild.com

Fresko Mediterranean Kitchen

Dessert Designer: Janna Harris

Assigned Cookie: Savannah Smiles

Dessert: Melopita (Greek Honey Cake)

Cost: $4.50 5033 E. Elliot Road, Phoenix (Ahwatukee); 480-940-3669; www.freskokitchen.com

 Jalapeño Inferno – All Locations

Dessert Designer: Terry Craig

Assigned Cookie: Trefoils

Dessert: Girl Scout Banana Cream Pie

Cost: $5 20825 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale; 480.513.8332; www.jalapenoinferno.com

Lumberyard Brewing Company (Flagstaff)

Dessert Designer: Richard Kimball

Assigned Cookie: Trefoils

Dessert: Strawberry Shortcake Parfait

Cost: $4.95 5 S. San Francisco Street, Flagstaff; 928-779-2739; www.lumberyardbrewingcompany.com

Olive + Ivy

Dessert Designer: Kelli Sappington

Assigned Cookie: Trefoil

Dessert: Trefoil Cherry Cheesecake Gelato

Cost: $3.25 per scoop 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale; 480-751-2200; www.foxrc.com

Proof Canteen at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Troon North

Dessert Designer: Calena Srutowski

Assigned Cookie: Do-si-dos

Dessert: Triple Decker Do-si-do Delight

Cost: $10 10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale; 480-513-5085; www.proofcanteen.com

 Rhythm & Wine

Dessert Designer: Terry Craig

Assigned Cookie: Trefoils

Dessert: Girl Scout Banana Cream Pie

Cost: $5 7605 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale; 480-478-6999; www.rhythmandwine.com

Rusconi’s American Kitchen

Dessert Designer: Dave Rico

Assigned Cookie: Samoas

Dessert: Chocolate Chunk Samoa Pecan Pie

Cost: $8 10637 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix; 480-483-0009; www.rusconiskitchen.com

 Silver Pine Restaurant at the Little America Hotel (Flagstaff)

Dessert Designer: Vanessa Ronspies

Assigned Cookie: Samoas

Dessert: Samoa Tiramisu

Cost: $8 Inside the Little America Hotel at 2515 E. Butler Avenue in Flagstaff; 928-779-7900; www.littleamerica.com

 Sorso Wine Room

Dessert Designer: Paige Murphy

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: #MintHappens Chocolate Mint Cheesecake Mousse

Cost: $7 15323 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480-951-4344; www.sorsowineroom.com

 The Crepe Club

Dessert Designer: Omar Tarabichi

Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs

Dessert: Tag-a-Crepe-Along

Cost: $7.95 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602-956-0087; www.thecrepeclub.com

 The Henry

Dessert Designer: Lucia Alferez

Assigned Cookie: Samoas

Dessert: Samoa Doughnut with Toasted Coconut Cream Filling

Cost: $3 per doughnut 4455 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602-429-8020; www.foxrc.com

 The MARKET by Jennifer’s Restaurant + Bar

Dessert Designer: Jennifer Russo

Assigned Cookie: Trefoils

Dessert: Twixted Trefoil Bar

Cost: $10 3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602-626-5050; www.themarketphx.com

The Thumb

Dessert Designer: Susan Kolman

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: Minty Oh!

Cost: $4.25 9393 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale; 480-513-8186; www.thethumb.com

Twisted Grove

Dessert Designer: Christopher Collins

Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs

Dessert: T.A.G. (Tagalongs Are Great) Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Cost: $5 8220 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale; 480-699-0811; www.twistedgrove.com

 

 

PHX Vegan Food Festival returns to the Phoenix Art Museum

The 2nd annual PHX Vegan Food Festival will be returning to the Phoenix Art Museum next Saturday Feb. 25th with a larger space to accommodate more food vendors, food trucks, live entertainment and an upgraded VIP Experience. This family friendly event will be held outside from 11 a.m. – 5p.m.

There will also be chef demos and presentations from industry experts including Chef Jason Wyrick of The Vegan Taste, Kristin Lajeunesse, Blogger and Author of Will Travel for Vegan Food, and Author, Wellness Coach and Vegan Chef, Tess Challis. A kids activity area will be available hosted by Free Arts of Arizona.

In attendance will be local vegan and vegan friendly restaurants, food trucks and vendors including 24 Carrots, Café Lalibela, The Coronado, Juice Core, Local Lunchbox, Mi Vegana Madre, Pomegranate Café, Urban Beans, Simon’s Hot Dogs, and Southern Fried Vegan. Guest will be able to enjoy samples of food as well as speak with the vendors about their vegan friendly products and services.

Davisson Entertainment is the organizer of the PHX Vegan Food Festival and according to Daniel Davisson, founder “We were blown away by the reception we received from the first PHX Vegan Food Festival, proving that the Valley has been hungry for this type of event. We learned a lot from the inaugural event, so the second annual festival promises to be even bigger and better, creating more excitement and awareness for the vegan community,”

General admission tickets are $25 and include access to the entertainment, vendors & food samples and the VIP admission is $50 and has early entry an hour earlier, 2 beverage tickets, reserved seating for demos and complimentary parking for the first 150 guests. Kids 12 and under are free.
For more information & to purchase your tickets for PHX Vegan Food Festival go to http://www.phxveganfest.com/
The Phoenix Art Museum campus is at 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, Ariz. 85004