The Tipsy Grinch holiday pop-up debuts at Hyatt Scottsdale Resort

The holiday spirit is in the air and there’s a new pop-up experience to help get you in the mood. The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa introduced their Tipsy Grinch pop-up lounge on the resort’s Lawn Court December 1st. Enjoy festive cocktails and an over the top Grinch holiday theme Wednesday – Sunday from 4 -11 p.m. throughout December.

“The experience is ideal for an after-work holiday happy hour with colleagues, or a fun friend’s night out to celebrate the season. Guests can enjoy a delicious holiday-themed cocktail and snacks while supporting a great local cause here in Scottsdale.” says Vincent de Croock, director of sales and marketing at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch.

Hotel guests and locals 21 and over stopping in will find the furnished lounge with holiday decor including a hanging upside down Christmas tree, snarky pillows and seasonal music. Crafted cocktails including the Bad Santa & Drink Up Grinches are served in holiday mugs available for purchase and can snack on charcuterie, house made pretzels and churros. Beer and wine are also available. The Tipsy Grinch can be rented out for private parties and company happy hours throughout the month.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to the McDowell Mountain Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to the local desert ecosystem. For more information visit the resort’s website.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

December specials at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

From now until New Year’s Eve you can order delicious red beef/pork and green corn tamales by the dozen for $34.99. Having a party and want some traditional Mexican specialties mini chimis, flautas, chicken and cheese rollups, and jalapeno poppers are available to order in increments of 3, 6 or 9 dozen ($45.99, $84.99, $129.99). Orders can be placed any of the 4 locations with 24 hour notice for phone orders and online orders require 48 hours’ notice.

Gift cards are available for purchase with 20% kickbacks. $5 for every $25 purchased, $10 kickback on $50 gift card, $20 kickback on $100.

Looking to dine-in, you’ll find these specials on the menu for the month.

Lisa’s Pronto Bowl: A classic choice with shredded chicken, pinto beans, Spanish rice, red sauce, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoes all piled high on a house-made taco shell topped with chunky salsa. $14.99
White Christmas Margarita: A house-made margarita with white cranberry juice, Sauza Silver tequila, triple sec and lime juice. Garnished with sugar-covered cranberries and mint. $9.99
Caramel Flan: Back by popular demand! House-made caramel flan topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. $6.99.

Barro’s fights hunger on December 6th

From open to close next Tuesday all 46 of the locally owned pizza restaurants in Phoenix and Tucson will donate 100% of the day’s proceeds to St. Mary’s Food Bank. It’s the 11th year the Doran Barro Holiday Hunger Fight fundraiser which has raised over $2.1 million dollars in ten years. The money raised is equivalent to 14.7 million meals and is St. Mary’s largest yearly cause marketing effort.

The Buzzed Bull Creamery offers new flavors for the season

Ice cream never tasted so good, especially buzzed with spirits of the season. The ice cream shop at the Scottsdale Waterfront offers 4 new flavors all month long. Buzzed or non-buzzed the sweet treat can be in a milkshake or cup of ice cream. Need an afternoon pick me up; take 15% off every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 – 5 p.m. The new flavors are….

Girl Scout featuring mint syrup, chocolate sauce, brownie bites and peppermint schnapps.

Apple Cider featuring cookie butter syrup, cinnamon and apple pie moonshine.

Double Chocolate Bourbon with chocolate sauce and bourbon.

Cherry Cake featuring cake batter, cherries and cherry vodka.

Hundred Mile Brewing is ready for its soft opening

Arizona’s newest brewery is putting the final touches for next Wednesday, December 7th opening. The first couple of weeks will feature local beers on tap and starting December 19th fresh brewed HMBC beers will be tapped one day at time. The new brewery is close to the ASU campus and the owner and brewer are alumni and were featured in my August post. During the soft opening (7th-11th) a daily drawing for a $100 gift card will be awarded and Sunday the 11th is Sun Devil Sunday. Anyone wearing Sun Devil gear will get 15% off.

Get 6 free tamales when you pre-order a dozen

Authentic scratch made tamales are a December specialty at Jalapeño Inferno and until December 23rd they are available to order. Choose from sweet green corn tamales and spicy red chili pork tamales for pick- up at their Peoria or North Scottsdale locations.

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

The Blue Heron opens alongside Crust Simply Italian in Gilbert

Crust Simply Italian continues their expansion with their newest location in the Verde at Cooley Station development in Gilbert. With the new opening comes the new speakeasy themed cocktail bar, The Blue Heron. It’s not owner Mike Merendino’s first dual concept as his Chandler location of Crust also houses The Ostrich cocktail bar downstairs.

“We have been looking in Gilbert for some time now, and when we found the Verde project in Cooley Station we fell in love with the neighborhood,” says owner Merendino. A Mesa location is expected to open in mid-2023.

The East Coast Italian restaurant serves up classic dishes and pizza Merendino used to make in his father’s pizzeria on New York’s Long Island. Authentic pasta dishes, Italian style Rustica shaped pizza’s and craft cocktails are signature to Crust. Happy hour happens Monday -Friday from 3- 6p.m. and offers specials on their popular appetizers and cocktails.

“Crust Simply Italian is looking forward to serving the local Gilbert community with delicious authentic East Coast Italian food! We want our customers to come in as friends and to walk away feeling like family!” says Merendino.

“Dealer’s Choice” at The Blue Heron

The Blue Heron specializes in craft cocktails and the popular “dealer’s choice” cocktail. The “dealer’s choice” is perfect for those aren’t sure what they want to drink so the bartenders create custom cocktails based on the customer’s preference of ingredients. Merendino continues his Birds of a Feather theme in naming The Blue Heron, a native bird to Arizona. Doors open daily at 5 p.m.

Both Gilbert locations offer catering and have space for private dining and events. Crust opens daily at 11 a.m. and is at 2470 S Recker Rd #101,Gilbert AZ 85296.

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

 

 

Tickets on sale for Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival

Just in time for the holiday shopping season tickets are on sale for the “9th Annual Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival” on Saturday, February 23rd 2023. Over 30 wineries will return to Oro Valley’s Steam Pump Ranch for the 6 hour event hosted by the Arizona Wine Growers Association.

“After multiple sell-out years, we were able to work with the Historic Steam Pump Ranch and nearly double our footprint for this year’s festival,” said Kris Pothier, president of the AWGA and owner of Chateau Tumbleweed. “This will not only allow for more attendees, but more wineries, food vendors and ample parking.”

8 local food trucks will have food to purchase and artists will be in attendance along with live music to entertain festival goers. Taking the stage will be Heather Hardy Trio (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.), Paul Green and Midnight Blue (12:30 – 2:30 p.m.) and Matrix featuring Lexa Raquel (3 – 5 p.m.). A few of the wineries pouring include Callaghan Vineyards, Los Milics, Carlson Creek, Winery 101 and Garage -East.

“Given the year over year success of the event combined with the extra space available, we are now also adding a VIP option for attendees that will include early admission, a wine tote swag bag, and a parking pass,” said Pothier. “There is also a limited opportunity for guests looking for some seats and shade to reserve a picnic table with an umbrella and seating for eight, which are $250/each and include one VIP ticket.”

The festival goes from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. with general admission tickets on sale for $30 per person and VIP tickets are $70. If any tickets remain the day of the event they will be $40 each. Tickets are available at Eventbrite or www.offthevine.com For more information visit the Arizona Wine Growers Association website.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Holiday Breakfast Box available from Morning Squeeze

Looking to feed friends and family breakfast Christmas morning? If so, each Breakfast Box serves up to 10 people and pre-orders are being taken from December 1st until the 20th. Each box includes 1 meat quiche, 1 vegetable quiche, potatoes, fruit, French toast casserole and orange juice. Orders can be picked up on December 23rd & 24th at their new catering kitchen at 1725 W. University Dr. Tempe and each box is $140. To order call 480-967-6610 or email TakeHome@morningsqueeze.com

Tracey Dempsey Originals to host Holiday Market

Now that we’re in the gift giving season make plans to attend the Local Love: Holiday Market next Saturday December 3rd. Baked goods and wines from Tracey Dempsey Originals/ ODV Wines along with other local partners including Ernest +Humble Coffee, The Sober Somm with alcohol free libation options, Broom Brush Tea, candle maker Cactus + Vine and 8 other local vendors. Non-profit partners The Joy Bus, Blue watermelon Project & Sun produce Co-Op will be selling gift cards, tickets to future fundraiser and food delivery subscriptions.

The market will be from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Tracey Dempsey Originals 1325 W. University Dr. Tempe.

Pork on a Fork Friday specials available for pre-order

Not wanting to cook dinner at the end of a long week then pre-order a smoked meat dinner from their North Phoenix or Chandler restaurants. Starting on Monday you can place your order for Tri-Tip for December 2nd pick-up and order Beef Ribs on Monday the 5th for pick-up on the 9th. Quantities are limited and pre-orders are necessary.

New Happy Hour menu at Sfizio in North Phoenix

The Italian restaurant in Desert Ridge just released a new menu available daily in the bar from opening til 6 p.m. Enjoy Shrimp Risotto, Mussel Marinara, Meatballs and Truffle Garlic Bread in house or consider them inspiration for your holiday cooking.

Oro Brewery Company brings home the gold from GABF

The Mesa craft brewer won was awarded a gold medal by the Brewers Asoociation at the 2022 Great American Beer Festival in October. The gold medal beer was the Café Oro, a Blonde Ale infused with cold-press coffee in the “Coffee Beer style” category. The cold press coffee used is from local Village Coffee Roastery.

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

A new Papago Brewing Company coming in early 2023

The brand lived on despite the closing of the original location a few years back to make way for re-development. That’s the story of Papago Brewing Company which was purchased in 2016 by Huss Brewing Company’s Jeff & Leah Huss who announced a new taproom will be opening in early 2023 in the former Brass Tap in Mesa Riverview.

“It’s always been my dream to reintroduce the Papago Brewing experience,” Leah Huss says. “Not a rehash or a replica of the old taproom, but a brand-new iteration. I really wanted to envision what Papago Brewing would look like in 2023, so we’ll still have elements of a traditional European-style beer pub and vintage furnishings, yet very fresh and forward-looking.”

The new Papago Brewing Company

Leah co-owned Papago Brewing Company opening it in 1999 and partnered with Jeff in 2013 to open Huss Brewing and was instrumental in helping to grow the Arizona craft beer scene. She has high praise for Brass Tap founder Jesse Rowe “They’ve been great stewards of the Mesa craft beer scene, and we’re excited to introduce Huss and Papago to the neighborhood.”

The new taproom is a passion project for the Huss’s and Jeff being a diehard Cubs fan; the taproom is a mile from the team’s Spring Training home at Sloan Park.

The new Papago Brewing Company will have 104 seats and will serve the full line of Huss Brewing beers along with other local beers and more. A rotating tap will pour 60 draft beers and packaged beer will be sold to-go. Small batch and experimental beers will feature along with popular beers from the past including Elsie’s Milk Stout and Hopago IPA. Shortly after opening a small menu of premium bar bites will be offered for lunch and dinner.

Papago Brewing Company will be at 1033 N Dobson Rd. Mesa. For more information visit their website.

 

 

Cloud kitchen helps Chesapeake Bay Bistro to expand

Nowadays if you can figure out a successful recipe for running a restaurant the best way to maximize your potential is through expansion. That’s exactly what’s going on at Chesapeake Bay Bistro a year and half after opening in Ahwatukee. Unlike their brick and mortar location the owners opted to open their new location in a cloud kitchen inside the Tempe Food Court earlier this month. They’re not stopping there as third location will also be in a cloud kitchen in their former hometown of San Diego in January 2023.

“For restaurant owners, the past year has been challenging with staffing, higher prices for food supplies and rising costs for rent and utilities,” says James Brown, who co-owns the Ahwatukee-based bistro with his wife, Yolanda. “Adding locations through a food-court style expansion makes sense on many levels.”

Expansion into a cloud kitchen

Working in a cloud kitchen also gives them the opportunity to open new concepts without all the expenses of a brick and mortar location. That’s why the couple is planning to open a Creole/Cajun concept out of Tempe in 2023. Another reason for the expansion into cloud kitchens is CBB is seeing a lot of take-out from their Ahwatukee location.

“We believe that the food delivery model is the future and allows us to fulfill our customer base request,” said Brown said. “Sixty percent of our sales are call in or pickup now.” CBB works with several food delivery services to deliver the hot and fresh seafood dishes for delivery within 15 minutes.

To help alleviate some of the staffing issues of the past few years, the couple’s three grown sons have joined them in restaurants. One son will be running the new San Diego location in the Aztec Food Hub near the San Diego State University campus. The other two sons help out when mom and dad can’t be at the Ahwatukee location.

“Using cloud kitchen locations benefits small mom-and-pop restaurants like ours in several ways, allowing us to keep our labor and maintenance costs down,” Brown said.

The Tempe Food Court location is at 1900 E. 5th St. 85281, not far from the ASU campus and Tempe Marketplace. The Ahwatukee location is at 5033 E. Elliot Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website or to order for delivery or takeout check out the delivery services.

 

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Where to watch the World Cup

The 2022 World Cup kicks off Sunday and with the 10 hour time difference it may be hard to watch. Looking to watch it with other fans, Pedal Haus Brewery in Tempe will be showing all 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 12 noon games. Breakfast and drink specials will be offered on game days. All 4 Twin Peaks locations will be opening at 9 a.m. to show the games on almost 100 flat screen TVs. Scratch made breakfasts and beer specials will be served.

Dad’s Modern Cocktails & Eatery gears up for Thanksgiving week

You’ll have to do the cooking next Thursday but starting Sunday you can enjoy the restaurant’s popular Peach Sangria for only $5 until next Saturday. Tuesday and Wednesday next week it’s Happy Hour all day then a Family Feast when they re-open on Friday. The Family Feast includes 8 wings, a Caesar salad and a 20 inch 1 topping pizza all for $45.

Holiday tamales available at Diego Pops

Whether you dine-in or take a dozen to-go the downtown Scottsdale restaurant has the traditional holiday food for you.  The Tamale Plate includes two tamales topped with black beans, corn queso, pickled onion, Fresno pepper and cabbage. It comes served a side of rice and beans of your choice. Choose a dozen red or green chile chicken Tamales Togo with a side of rice and beans. Tamales are available until the end of December and have limited availability.

Sportsman’s Park Market debuts tomorrow

The Great Lawn at State Farm Stadium is the home of the new farmers market from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. tomorrow. Over 100 fresh food vendors, local products and a Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar will be available along with live music and activities for kids. December’s market will be Saturday the 17th.

Chompie’s closes Tempe restaurant after 25 years

The popular restaurant for hungry students and others craving Jewish deli fare will have to find somewhere else to eat. It was a difficult decision to close the restaurant but necessary to help fuel the company’s growth. Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale and Chandler locations are still open.

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

Wine & Tapas event coming to the Scottsdale Wine Trail

The Scottsdale Wine Trails hosts its first ever Wine & Tapas event on Wednesday, November 30th from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Located in downtown the Scottsdale Wine Trail is home to seven tasting rooms giving guests an opportunity to taste and learn about the Arizona wines and the local industry.

Stroll the Trail at your leisure as you visit participating Merkin Vineyards, LDV Winery, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Salvatore Vineyards, Carlson Creek and The Wine Collective of Scottsdale. Taste award-winning wines and light bites during the 2 hour event and speak with representatives and winemakers. The cost is $90 per person.

To participate in the Wine & Tapas event registration is needed by Sunday, November 27th by calling LDV Winery at 480-664-4822. For more information visit https://www.scottsdalewinetrail.com/.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

The TLC eXperience returns with Friendsgiving at Agritopia

The monthly supper club is back after taking the summer off with its first dinner of the season Friday, November 18th at Agritopia in Gilbert. Seating is limited for the 4-course dinner created by Chef Tom Baumbach and his team. Cocktail hour starts at 5:30 with dinner at 6:30. Tickets are $150 per person and can only be purchased here.  Tables of 8 or 10 are also available for purchase.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. Craft Beer & Music Festival happens Saturday

Tomorrow November 5th welcomes NASCAR fans, country music lovers and beer drinkers to Bell Bank Park starting 6 p.m. The popular Hillbilly Deluxe is the headliner with DJ Jeffro and the Get Lit Dancers opens the show. VIP Happy Hour hosted by Michael starts with early entry at 5 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ older festival are available at BellBankPark.com or at Tixr.

Press Coffee opens today inside Sprouts

The first in-store location of the locally owned coffee roster is now open inside the Sprouts at 3320 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix. All weekend long small drip coffees are $1 and all of the proceeds will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Foundation. Give away will be happening on Saturday and Sunday with more details here.

Loco J’s Tacos & Tequila now open in Cave Creek

Navy veteran Jason Clouse opened his new taco joint in this week making it the first Mexican restaurant to open in town in a long time. He was the former owner of nearby Rosati’s Pizza and sold it to focus on Loco J’s. The restaurant is at 28260 N. Tatum Blvd. and opens daily at 3 p.m.

LDV Winery hiring for their Scottsdale tasting room

Looking to make some extra money for the holidays or keep up with inflation, put your wine knowledge and customer service skills to work in the fun and friendly atmosphere.  Submit your resume to info@ldvwinery.com and learn more about the winery at 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.

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