Breweries host The Beer, Bourbon, Barbeque and Bands Festival

Local breweries SanTan Brewing and Pedal Haus are teaming up to host a new festival on Friday and Saturday, March 3rd and 4th. The Beer, Bourbon, Barbeque and Bands Festival takes place in downtown Chandler at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park.

Expect world class barbeque from Honey Bear’s, Joe’s Real BBQ, Pork on a Fork and West Alley BBQ along with others. Taste beer and food from both breweries along with bourbon and and enjoy uninterrupted live performance from seven bands over both days. Bands performing are Kevin Lloyd of Banana Gun, Hit Rewind, Georgia Chrome, Mr. Skynyrd, The Foo, The Zeppelin IV and Justin Hinson.

“This is an incredible lineup of bands, impressive chefs, award-winning beers and bourbon – what else could you want?” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Pedal Haus Brewery. “Along with our friends at SanTan, we know how to throw a good party so grab your friends because this is going to be a fun time.”

Friday the festival goes from 4 – 11p.m. and Saturday from noon -11 p.m. Early bird tickets are on sale for Friday are $15 and $18 for Saturday. Two day tickets are $30 and day of tickets are $20 and $25. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Downtown Chandler Community Partnership.

“We’re excited to launch this festival with Pedal Haus and bring a new opportunity to our friends in the community,” said Jamie Hoffman, Managing Partner with SanTan Brewing Company. “We aim to exceed our guests’ expectations and we think this event will do just that.”

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Arizona Craft Brewers Guild hosts the return of the Arizona Strong Beer Festival

On Saturday, February 18th beer enthusiasts kick off the 12th Arizona Beer Week at the Arizona Strong Beer Festival. Arizona Craft Brewers Guild announced a new home for the festival at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for 2023. The 21+ festival welcomes over 100 breweries from across the country at the popular festival that starts at 1 p.m.

Close to 10,000 people attending will sample beers from their favorite breweries and get introduced to new ones. “The Strong Beer Festival is about bringing people together to make a cultural statement about craft beer and why we love it,” says Rob Fullmer, Executive Director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. “Get your pretzel necklaces ready and join us for a beer-filled afternoon at Salt River Fields.”

General admission tickets start at $70 with entry at 1 p.m. A limited number of VIP and Super VIP tickets are available for $90 and $110 each. VIP gets early entry at 11:30 a.m., extra tasting samples, a VIP lounge and restrooms. VIP ticket holders can pick up their wrist bands on Friday at the Pepsi Party Deck at Salt River Fields while enjoying $4 cans of beer and watch a MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament game. Super VIP tickets have VIP status plus a special edition swag item and admission to Sundays Brewers’ Reception Brunch.

The Strong Beer Festival is the largest event of over 100 events during Arizona Beer Week, February 16th-16th. For more information, to see a list of attending breweries and to purchase tickets for the festival visit their website.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

 

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

“Med Meets Mexico” seasonal menu now at Pita Jungle

All 23 locations in Arizona now offer new 10 dishes on their Seasonal Crafts Kitchen Menu. Dishes using the flavors of the Southwest and their Mediterranean inspired menu will be available through April. Highlights of the new menu include Lemon Chicken Rice Soup, Mediterranean Ceviche, Labdeh Dip Mezze Veggies & Dip and a Wood Fired Gluten Free Enchilada. 

Orin Swift Wine Dinner at Palo Verde Restaurant

The signature restaurant at The Boulders Resort & Spa hosts a gourmet four-course dinner paired with wines on Friday, February 3rd with the reception starting at 6:00 p.m. Enhancing the experience will be the scenic views of the golf course’s 6th hole and duck pond. Seats are $175 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-595-4621.

Cider Corps hosts dinner to raise money for traumatic brain injuries

The downtown Mesa cidery will pair its award-winning ciders with dishes from valley chefs Friday, February 3rd. Guests attending the Speakers Dinner for Traumatic Brain Injury Solutions will hear updates from researchers at Cohen Veterans Bioscience. The 21 and over dinner starts at 6 P.m. and is %200 per person. Two other fundraising events are scheduled for the 22 Jumps event with more information and to RSVP click here.

New seasonal dishes at Over Easy launch January 30th

The locally owned and nationally recognized breakfast spot adds two new dishes to its menu on Monday. The scratch made Cinnamon Apple Corncakes ($14) and JohnJay Burrito Bowl ($17) are available for dine-in, take-out or delivery. $1 of every Burrito Bowl will be donated #LOVEPUP Foundation. Also new will be the Spicy Mango Margarita ($8) but only available for dine-in. The new dishes and drink are available at all 11 Phoenix area locations.

Nominations are open for Foodist Awards until February 5th

Its award season and time to nominate your favorite Food & Beverage, Experience, Restaurant and People in the Arizona Restaurant Association’s annual recognition of those in the food and beverage community. The online nominations include 20 categories and 8 new categories for the 2023 awards. Winner will be announced in alive ceremony on Monday April 24th at 5:30 p.m. at The Van Buren in Phoenix.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Semifinalists for 2023 Restaurant & Chef Awards announced

This morning The James Beard Foundation announced the Semifinalists for its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards. Arizona is again well represented throughout several categories. Nominees will be announced Wednesday, March 29th and winners announced Monday, June 5th 2023 in Chicago. You can see the list of all 2023 semifinalists here.

The 2023 Arizona semifinalists are……

Outstanding Chef

Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café, Phoenix

Outstanding Restaurant

Proper Meats + Provisions, Flagstaff

Emerging Chef

Christian Lowe, Shift Kitchen & Bar, Flagstaff

Outstanding Bakery

JL Patisserie, Phoenix and Scottsdale

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Crystal Kass, Valentine, Phoenix

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

Glai Baan, Phoenix

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

Rene Andrade and Roberto Centeno, Bacanora, Phoenix

Jaren Bates and Brett Vibber, The Table at Junipine, Sedona

Nephi Craig, Café Gozhóó, Whiteriver

Wendy Garcia, Tumerico, Tucson

Fernando Hernández, Testal, Phoenix

Yotaka and Alex Martin, Lom Wong, Phoenix

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Kitsune Brewing Co. goes from a dream to a dream job

Tyler Smith went from corporate life to his dream job when he opened Kitsune Brewing Co. in October 2022. The final blessing to make his dream happen came from his wife and business partner Rebecca who told him to do what made him happy. His dream was to push the envelope when making beer and to have local beer drinkers want more. Combine that of his love of Japanese culture and Kitsune “a protector” was born.

“I’ve been home brewing for more than 15 years. A family friend introduced me to it and I fell in love with the process,” says Smith, who’s worked for Nike and PetSmart. Throughout his career home brewing has remained his one constant in his life. “Right before I was about to take another job and move my family, my wife asked me if that would really make me happy or if I wanted to take my home brewing to the next level.”

With the Covid pandemic slowing his plan he used the time to find fellow brewer Marshall Norris of Simple Machine Brewing Company as a mentor and friend. Norris gave Smith space at Simple Machine to bring in two fermentation tanks and after a year and a half Tyler and Rebecca were ready to go at it on their own.

What’s brewing at Kitsune Brewing Co.

Known at first for IPAs, Kitsune Brewing Co. has become now known for its sour beers and pushing the envelope. Tyler wondered “How far we can push it” and released “Dirty Snowflake” a gray beer in appearance. He then wondered “Are people willing to try a gray beer?” and the response was “yes” they were.

There are between 14 and 16 beers rotating on tap with names and images inspired by Japanese culture. Kitsune Brewing Co. has also collaborated with local breweries Tombstone Brewing and Dark Sky Brewing Company. Food trucks on a rotating schedule park outside allow guests to enjoy food with their beers. They also have a BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) policy and allow for food to be delivered.

Future plans include distributing popular beers to local bottle shops and to open a ramen shop next door. “We want to expand so we can get more tanks,” he says of their future growth. “Hopefully, we will be successful enough to need more space.”

Guests can expect activities such as Trivia night every Tuesday at 6:30 and happy hour from 3 – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. Kitsune Brewing Co. is at 3321 E. Bell Rd., Ste. B-5. Phoenix 85032.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Uchi bringing award-winning Japanese cuisine to Scottsdale

Austin, Texas based Hai Hospitality plans to open its first Arizona restaurant later in 2023 when Uchi opens in Old Town Scottsdale. It will be the James Beard award winning restaurant groups sixth location of its flagship restaurant and will be located in the previous Bandera restaurant at Scottsdale Rd. and 1st St. Hai also operates Uchiko, Uchibā and Loro Asian Smokehouse and bar.

“We’re both honored and excited to have the opportunity to bring Uchi even further ‘West’ to Scottsdale, said Hai Hospitality CEO Tony Montero. “I know Uchi will only add to the already vibrant and dynamic mix of destination dining, eclectic art, and nightlife in Old Town Scottsdale when it opens later this year, and we’re looking forward to bringing the distinct flavors, unique perspective, and unparalleled dining experience that is Uchi to Arizona,” he said.

What to expect at Uchi

“Uchi” translates to “home” in Japanese and is named after the little red house where Chef Tyson Cole opened the first Uchi in 2003. Cole’s non-traditional take on Japanese cuisine balances elevated dishes with relaxed service in a welcoming atmosphere. Guests dining at the restaurant can expect a menu that is updated daily and includes signature hot & cold tastings, sushi & sashimi, makimono, yakimono and tempura. A ten course seasonal omakase chef’s tasting, six course tasting and a six course vegetarian tasting will also be offered. Signature cocktails, sake, beer and wine will be ayailable to compliment the food.

The restaurant will seat 180 people and feature a sushi bar, cocktail bar, outdoor patio and private dining room. Phoenix based architecture and urban design firm AV3 Design and Tucson’s architect and design studio Hazelbaker Rush will design the restaurant. Two sculptural’s will flank both the sushi and cocktail bar  along with wood ceilings and artwork and lighting fixtures from local artists.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Barro’s Pizza replaces Chandler location with a new one

The locally owned pizza restaurant has been at its original Chandler location for over 20 years and the family felt it needed a change. They’re moving to a new location in the Ocotillo neighborhood at Queen Creek and Alma School Rd. beginning Tuesday January 24th. The closing location will be open right to the end closing at the end of service on the 23rd. The new modern decor will still have the comfy neighborhood feel customers have come to over 40 years.

Ling & Louie’s Lunar New Year celebration starts tomorrow

As featured last month the north Scottsdale Asian fusion restaurant celebrates the Year of the Rabbit for 2 weeks. The celebration with food and drink specials start tomorrow with all details found in here.

Sunday grilled cheese pop up at Garden Bar

Fates Bread Co. will be making gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches every Sunday at the downtown Phoenix cocktail bar. Starting at 5 p.m. until they sell out guests can choose from a BLT Melt or The Secret Garden. Sundays also feature industry specials for hospitality workers. Reservations are suggested for all visits.

Jackson Family Wine dinner next week at Ling’s Wok Shop

If you haven’t made reservations for the 5 course dinner next Wednesday there is still time to do so. The Asian inspired dinner will be paired with wines from across the globe. For reservation details and to see the menu, see my post from earlier this month.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Mr. Pickles opens its first Arizona location with more to come

Last week the popular California sandwich shop Mr. Pickles opened its first Arizona location in Scottsdale at Shea and Scottsdale Rd. The mom & pop restaurant was founded in 1995 by Frank and Michelle Faugudes who decided to retire and sold it in 2020 to Arizona resident Mike Nelson. The quick service restaurant is known for hot and cold sandwiches served on any of 10 breads and wraps.

Nelson is a longtime customer who is Chief Executive Officer and has over 30 years’ experience as an owner/ operator of restaurants including Wingstop, Subway and Carl’s Jr. franchises nationwide.

Hot and cold sandwiches at Mr. Pickles

The Scottsdale restaurant offer all the favorite sandwiches including the Mr. Pickle, which is chicken breast, bacon, Monterey jack, avocado and the works as it relates to veggies; the Santa Maria Tri-Tip, which is actual tri-tip sourced from the famed Santa Maria region topped with specialty barbecue sauce and the works.

Two new sandwiched have debuted at the new location; Listen Linda is named after Nelson’s wife of 36 years and is piled high with turkey breast, avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese and the works – including our specialty garlic sauce. Della’s Deli, honors Wilson’s business partner, best friend and Mr. Pickle’s president Dean Johnson’s wife of more than 40 years. It features turkey breast, ham, salami, cheddar, and the works. A wide section of chips, sides and of course a jumbo whole dill pickle are available and each sandwich, salad or wrap comes with a FREE chocolate chip cookie.

“Since 1995, Mr. Pickle’s has been a premier sandwich shop specializing in innovative and craveworthy sandwiches, salads and catering,” says Nelson, “During its first three decades, thanks to its community culture, incredible recipes, and all its fans, the brand grew from one to 56 locations across northern California. We look forward to building this brand that now calls Arizona home, as well as helping grow it nationwide in the years to come.”

Continuing to grow

Important to Nelson is its close knit relationships with its vendors and the company continues to grow. “We partner with as many artisan bakers, regional farms and ranches that we can when sourcing our products, making every item unique to us,” says Nelson, who spent the past year bringing the business into the digital age and investing in technology that will propel the brand forward nationwide. “You will not see six-inch and foot-long sizing from us, more specialty breads than uniform options.”

Nelson plans to open locations in Chandler, Laveen, Queen Creek, Surprise and a second location in Scottsdale in the next 18 months. Up to 20 locations are expected to open in California in the next 7 years. Mr. Pickles also relocated it headquarters to North Scottsdale last year and kept its franchisee support center in California.

The restaurant is at 10701 N. Scottsdale Road and is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

 

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

GenuWineArizona celebrates its 5th birthday

Tomorrow January 14th the downtown Phoenix wine bar and retailer celebrates 5 years on Roosevelt Row with free wine samples, a DJ and Hot Sauce & Pepper Food Truck. Raffles will be awarded to attendees with the party going from 2 – 10 p.m.

3 course dinner next Tuesday at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Chef & owner Romeo Taus rings in 2023 with another of his monthly 3rd Tuesday 3 course dinner paired with wine. On January 17th the downtown Gilbert restaurant will feature Osso Bucco paired with a Portuguese wine as its main course. Chorizo and Papas will start the dinner and YAYA’s Chocolate Cake will give the dinner a sweet ending. Seats are $44 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224.

Hundred Mile Brewing Company celebrates grand opening

The new Tempe brewery celebrates its Grand Opening from January 18th – 22nd. Daily specials on food & beer, a community charity drive, a Lap Around the Lake and more are planned from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

PHX Beer Co. releases a new IPA dedicated to the “Zanjeros”

For over a hundred years Zanjeros would travel the state making sure the water flowed to our homes and farms. Without the “ditch riders” there would be no water to make beer and now the Phoenix brewery offers the new “Zanjeros” citrus fruit forward IPA. The beer is available at its downtown Phoenix brewery and Scottsdale restaurant.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Wing Wednesday specials at The Bar in Gilbert

Have you heard the news, people are flocking to downtown Gilbert to get their hands on the flavorful, crispy & juicy John Blaze Honey Hot, Buffalo, BBQ, “Blow Your O-Ring” and Teriyaki wings. The Bar‘s grilling then fried wings are specially priced every Wednesday from 3 p.m. – 1 a.m. for $9 for 6 wings or $14 for a dozen. Each order comes with celery & carrots and your choice of blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Pillsbury Wine Co. and more pouring at Arizona Wine Festival

20 Arizona wineries and other vendors will make downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square home January 28th -29th. Beer and food trucks will also be on hand with tickets for $35 on Saturday and $30 on Sunday. Friday night will be a benefit for Horses Help and the festival starts at 11 a.m. on both days. Information and tickets can be purchased can be found at Eventbrite.

Outerbound Wines featured at Hyatt Scottsdale Winemaker Dinner Series

The Gainey Ranch resort and spa continues its Winemaker Dinner Series in 2023 with its first dinner on Thursday, January 19th. High end wines from Sonoma County will be paired with a five-course dinner from Chef Joaquin Estolano Jr. and his team. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m. with Phillip Kube of Outerbound Wines followed by dinner at 7:00. Seats are $170 per person and can be reserved by calling 480-629-6231.

Save your receipts for 50% off at Koibito Poke

For the month of January purchase lunch between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. then return for dinner from 5 p.m. til closing and get half off. The “Save Your Receipt” promotion is good on the same day 7 days a week at all 4 locations.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

%d bloggers like this: