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.

$1 pizza slices at Spinelli’s Pizzeria for first 500 people

Who doesn’t love a large slice of pizza, I do and if you do too be one of the first 500 customers at Spinelli’s Pizzeria on Thursday August 1st. That’s when the Mill Ave. pizzeria celebrates it’s 5th anniversary by selling $1 pizza slices of cheese and pepperoni. Wash it down with $.75 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and fountain drinks all day long.

“I moved from Philadelphia to Arizona in 2008 and immediately noticed a void for late night food, especially places with full service dining,” said Christopher Palma, owner of Spinelli’s Pizzeria. “After the sudden death of my best friend in 2010, I was motivated to take a chance and chase my dream of owning my own business. After three years of waiting it out and numerous deals that fell through, I was finally able to secure our home…….”

Known for large slices of Philadelphia style pizza and sandwiches, Spinelli’s is a hit with ASU students and pizza enthusiasts since opening in 2014. They are one of the first pizzerias to serve CBD oil infused slices of pizza and cocktails.

“We want to celebrate Spinelli’s successes during the past five years and invite our friends, neighbors and regulars to join us,” added Palma. “Their support is really what has allowed us to accomplish this milestone and we want to take this opportunity to thank the community that has given so much to us.”

Spinelli’s Pizzeria is at 420 S. Mill Ave. Tempe 85281 and opens daily at 11 a.m.

 

Downtown Tempe Brunch Crawl is back with more restaurants

Saturday August 10th is the return of the Downtown Tempe Brunch Crawl and it’s bigger and better than last year. The self-guided crawl goes from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. and has 14 restaurants serving up food and drinks. $5 Event Ticket gets you $7 food and drink options at all restaurants, FREE parking & sunglasses.  Check-in on the southwest corner of 5th & Mill and your on your way.

Tickets are selling quickly and can be purchased here and more information can be found on the website.

The 14 participating restaurants in the Downtown Tempe Brunch Crawl are……

  • Americana Burgers & Beer
  • Caffe Boa Bistro and Wine Bar
  • Daily Jam
  • Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
  • El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria
  • Morning Squeeze
  • Nékter Juice Bar
  • Original ChopShop Tempe
  • Pedal Haus Brewery
  • Pita Jungle
  • Rula Bula Irish Pub
  • Snakes & Lattes Tempe
  • Spinelli’s Pizza
  • Varsity Tavern

 

Desert Ridge Marketplace to get Arizona’s 4th Thirsty Lion Gastropub

Thirsty Lion Gastropub announced that it has chosen Desert Ridge Marketplace for it’s fourth Phoenix area location. The 6,500 square foot restaurant will open in the fall of 2019 on the southwest side of The District. This will be the tenth restaurant to occupy Desert Ridge Marketplace since it’s $22 million upgrade in 2017.

“Desert Ridge Marketplace continues to establish itself as the place to be in the North Valley, evidence of how we chose where to open the fourth Arizona location,” said John Plew, Owner of Thirsty Lion. “We know our bold flavors and creative cocktail program will resonate with the Desert Ridge community, and we look forward to showing them what Thirsty Lion offers.”

The restaurant will have a larger dining room and outdoor bar with a fire pit. The restaurant has locations at Scottsdale Fashion Square, Tempe Marketplace and Gilbert’s SanTan Village.

Once opened the restaurant will serve eclectic gastropub cuisine with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Meats, seafood and fresh fruits and vegetables are all part of the restaurants core menu. Craft beers are served on tap along with uniquely created cocktails and over 20 wines by the glass.

Phoenix based Vestar owns and manages the shopping and entertainment complex. “Thirsty Lion will create an energetic and elevated dining experience at Desert Ridge Marketplace,” said Jenny Cushing, vice president of leasing at Vestar. “With extensive culinary and beverage options, we know Thirsty Lion will truly provide something for everyone in the North Valley.”

The shopping center is on Tatum Blvd. just north of the Loop 101.

Free Sriracha at Pita Jungle Saturday on June 29th.

I personally don’t see the fuss over Sriracha but I know there is a cult like following for the hot sauce. Pita Jungle is giving away a free bottle of their own labeled Sriracha on Saturday June 29th. The day commemorates when Pita Jungle opened its first location in Tempe and the hottest day on record in Arizona. The year was 1994 and the heat made it up to 128 degrees that day.

Visit any Pita Jungle location except Sky Harbor, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Grand Canyon University from open to close and spend $40 to get your free bottle. You must mentioned that promotion and dine-in to receive your bottle. There is a 1 bottle limit per tab.

Pita Jungle started producing their own line of Sriracha in 2018 and offer three flavors Red, Green and Ghost. You can purchase bottles at all 21 locations for $5.99 each.

Morning Squeeze lets kids eat free until August 31st

The kids are out of school and if their not at camp one way to keep them happy is to feed them. Feeding them all summer cad add up so Scottsdale’s and Tempe’s Morning Squeeze is letting kids eat free all summer.

Until August 31st kids 12 and under can eat for free during breakfast or lunch, no purchase is necessary. The offer is good Monday – Friday and is for dine-in only.

Morning Squeeze
Egg My Way with bacon and potatoes. All photos courtesy of Morning Squeeze.

Choose from Mouse Pancakes, French Toast Sticks with maple syrup, 1 Egg My way with bacon and potatoes or Grilled Cheese Sandwich with French fries.

With a dog friendly patio, the restaurant is one of the more popular Scottsdale restaurants and has been serving breakfast and lunch since 2013. Your dog even has it’s own Tail Wagger’s menu to order from.

The restaurants are open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Morning Squeeze is located at 4233 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85251 and 690 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, 85287. Visit their website for more information.

Coffee roaster to open flagship roastery in mid-July

Last year I reported that Phoenix coffee roaster Press Coffee was planning on opening a flagship roastery, it’s almost ready to go. Opening in mid-July it will include three new roasters, classroom & event space and a cafe.

The popular coffee roaster will do all of its roasting in the two-story 5,600 square foot eco-friendly facility. Solar panels on the roof and the use of natural gas will give the roastery energy efficiency. Guests will be able to see the roasting process while they enjoy food and drinks from the lounge area.

“We are thrilled to welcome the community into our new flagship location. The Roastery allows us to share with the public our love for coffee and how we make it. We hope this iconic building and our passion for the seed to cup process will be something Arizona can be proud of for years to come”

A new Probat roaster from Germany will give Press the ability to increase production for years to come of its cold brew and recently released cans. Roasted to perfection, the beans are of the highest quality and sourced from the best coffee farms around the world.

The upstairs will have space for 30 people and will be available for private events and coffee classes.

The cafe will serve and expanded food menu along with beer, wine and liquor. A new addition will be the “adult” cold brew shaker featuring peanut butter whiskey.

For three days Press will sell cups of drip coffee for $1 with all proceeds going to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Press’s roastery will be at 10443 N. 32nd St. Phoenix 85028. To find a Press Coffee roaster near you check out https://www.presscoffee.com/

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen spices it up in Tempe

Restaurateur Ron Lynch is no stranger to opening restaurants having opened over 100 Tilted Kilt’s across the country.  Having left Tilted Kilt, Lynch has opened VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen. The restaurant on Elliot Rd. near Costco serves up Cajun, Creole & Caribbean cuisine.

VooDoo Daddy's Steam Kitchen
Jambalaya. Photos credit Janet Zhou-Wilt

“We are excited about our location and have really put a lot of work into this menu,” said owner and founder, Ron Lynch. “If there’s one thing to know about Cajun food it’s that the dishes have to be just right. Our patio will be a place for families to people watch, sip some custom blended ice teas, porch wines, nitro cold brew coffee or a craft beer and enjoy a nice bowl of gumbo or jambalaya.”

Lynch brought with him James Heyl to prepare the menu full of savory and spicy dishes. Heyl brings with over 25 years of restaurant experience. Dishes include Po’ Boys, gumbo, red beans & rice and pan roasts from the restaurants steam kettles.

The bright yellow 3,150 square foot restaurant is decorated with murals of late night jazz players dancing on piano keys. Dark wood floors and brick walls adorn the inside of the fast casual restaurant.

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen official grand opening

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen is now open but will have an official grand opening on Thursday May 16th at 11 a.m. That day a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Tempe Diablos. The 501-c non-profit civic organization enhances and promotes the Tempe community. In 2018 the Diablos donated $900,000 to Tempe area charities for scholarships, teacher awards and needs based services.

VooDoo Daddy's Steam Kitchen
Pork Po’boy

“The recipe for a great restaurant is incredible food and drinks, a perfect location and rich atmosphere,” said Lynch. “VooDoo Daddy’s has all of that and more. We couldn’t be more excited for this launch.”

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen is at 1325. W. Elliot Rd. Suite 106 Tempe 85284. The restaurant is open Sun. – Thurs. from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. & 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. For more information see their website.

Tempe Public Market Cafe to close in May for a re-model

Popular eatery Tempe Public Market Cafe will temporarily close Monday May 6th to make some changes. The cafe will become a full service cafe and preparations are being made.

“We are committed to keeping in line with the look and feel of this close-knit area,” said Dave Chamberlin, president of Tempe Public Market Café. “When you are relaxing on our patio or if you’re getting a bite with friends and family, we want you to feel like you are at your second home.”

When the restaurant re-opens in early June customers will notice more tables, high top tables on the patio and  plans for a projector. Inside they will have new menu options along with full-service brunch and dinner. Other changes include community tables replacing booths, a new lounge area and an expanded retail area. The retail area will allow for more merchandise, sauces and products from local vendors.Tempe Public market Cafe

A new pastry case will entice customers with sweet treats and new tiles and murals will add color to the decor.

Local artist Gennaro Garcia has been commissioned for the murals both inside and out. Garcia is known for vibrant murals around Phoenix and is popular with other restaurants.

“The work we are doing at the restaurant is all with the community in mind,” said Chamberlin.

Valued employees will be offered jobs at the company’s headquarters and at its sister restaurant Ghost Ranch during the closure.

Tempe Public Market Cafe is at 8749 S. Rural Rd. Tempe 85284. For more information visit their website.

 

As cold brew coffee grows in popularity Press Coffee offers ready-to-go cans

Cold brew coffee sales grew by 137% in 2017 and can now be found on supermarket shelves, not just in specialty coffee shops. Press Coffee will start selling a canned version of their cold brew starting May 4th at all locations around Phoenix. Perfect timing for summer as the cold drink can be refreshing and energetic in the hots days ahead.

“We’re proud at Press to have helped lead the way in creating a great, locally made cold brew that Arizona can call its own,” said Alex Mason, Press Coffee co-owner. “It’s been exciting to see people discover the drink and want to learn more about it. Now with a canned option, it is even easier for them to enjoy Press Cold Brew wherever they go.”cold brew

Cold brew vs hot brewed coffee

Press lead the way in 2013 when it started offering cold drink on tap around town.

Most people think of cold brew as hot coffee chilled and poured over ice. Not true as cold coffee is prepared in a longer and slower process. Press steeps their brew for 20 hours giving it a sweeter taste and more caffeine.

Press increased their production of kegs anticipating the continued popularity of the drink. They now work on a 15 keg system and expect to make equivalent of 10,000 cups of coffee a week.

The increase in production coincides with Press’s soon to open roasting facility in north Phoenix.

“I don’t think anybody imagined the cold brew market would become what it is today at the pace it has,” said Mason. “This expanded production allows us to provide this great drink to even more of Arizona.”

Tempe at Skywater Apartments: 601 W. Rio Salado Pkwy                                  

Tempe at Nexa Apartments: 1221 E. Apache Blvd.

Scottsdale at Scottsdale Quarter: 15147 N Scottsdale Rd. #102

Scottsdale Waterfront: 7135 E. Camelback Rd.

Chandler Ocotillo: 2577 W. Queen Creek Rd.

Phoenix at The Muse Apartments: 1616 N. Central Ave.

Phoenix Biltmore: 2390 E. Camelback Rd.