Ever walk by a clearance shelf full of wine and wonder if it’s any good? Most of the time its wines that are past their prime or the winery made way to much that they could not sell and just severely discounted it. Much of the time it’s from wineries you never heard of so chances are you don’t want to take a chance even if it costs only $3.99. That’s been the case when I visit my local $.99 Store, wines at $3.99 that are older and often white wines that have turned darker with age as they’re meant to be drank young and fresh. On occasion you come across a wine that will catch your interest, that is the case with the 2008 Norman Vineyards Petite Sirah from Paso Robles, California.
The following video review is about my take on the wine and how to know if even at $3.99 bottle of wine is worth taking a chance on.
Veteran’s Day is a day when we thank all veterans, active & retired, for their service in defending our freedoms and protecting us from those who want to do harm to us. Friday November 11th is Veteran’s Day and Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que offers all veterans a Free BBQ meal at there 4 Phoenix area locations.
The two meat salute
From 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. all military personnel with proof of service & photo ID will be treated to “The Two Meat Salute”, a meal consisting of 2 meats that include a choice of St. Louis-Style Ribs, Georgia Chopped Pork, Texas Beef Brisket, Country Roasted or Barbeque Chicken, Traditional or Boneless Chicken Wings, Southside Rib Tips, Hot Link Sausage, Chicken Tenders or Beer-Battered Cod, served with a Corn Bread Muffin and a choice of one side.
“Supporting our local Veterans is very important to me and our staff,” said John Erlandson, owner of the Valley’s four Famous Dave’s Restaurants and John should know as he is an Army Reserves Veteran and a graduate of U.S. Army Ranger School in 1990. John wants to show his appreciation to other veterans and thank them for their commitment and service to the country. This meal is for dine-in only and only available on Veteran’s Day.
famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que locations
The four Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que in the Valley are in Chandler at 3250 West Frye Road; Peoria at 16148 North 83rd Avenue, SanTan Village in Gilbert at 2206 E Williams Field Rd and Mesa Riverview in Mesa at 1011 Dobson Road. For more information go to http://www.famousdavesbbq.com/
One of the benefits of living in the Phoenix area are the great sunsets and scenic views that surround us, throw in cold beer at the end of the day and you’ve got it made. With the that in mind, Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale will be kicking off their “Rooftop Beer Garden” series on Thursday Nov. 17th on their 8th floor Sky Line rooftop.
Each rooftop event will have a theme and the first event will be a Tailgate Party with Phoenix’s SunUp Brewing Company. Watch the game between the New Orleans Saints & Carolina Panthers while enjoying tailgate cuisine from the hotels signature restaurant Zuzu that will prepare Lobster Corndogs, Bratwurst, Skewered Bacon Wrapped Top Sirloin and more at 3 tasting stations. SunUp Brewing will be pouring their Horizon Hefeweizen, Vanilla Porter and Trooper IPA with the brew master attending to speak about the beers. Pull up a chair at one of the communal tables and eat at your own pace while you watch the game. During commercials and halftime a DJ will be entertaining the crowd.
Reservations and more
The tailgate kicks off at 5:30 pm and costs $59 plus tax & gratuity and includes food & SunUp beers. A full bar will be available separately. Reservations and payment are required in advance and can be made by calling 480-421-7997 Hotel Valley Ho is at 6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale 85251 http://www.hotelvalleyho.com
The calendar says it’s the end of October but the day time temperatures still feel as if it were May, regardless The Melting Pot is getting ready for the cooler temperatures by offering Free cheese from 5pm-7pm on Wed. Nov. 2nd – Sun. Nov. 6th. Those customers willing to sit on the outdoor patio at 2 Arizona locations will receive 1 free cheese for dipping. Patio tables are available on a first come, first serve basis. The restaurant offers a variety of cheeses including Wisconsin Cheddar and Bacon Gorgonzola.
The 2 locations are in Scottsdale & Ahwatukee. For more information go to www.meltingpot.com
For several months foodies around the valley have been waiting anxiously for the up coming azcentral.com Food & Wine Experience the weekend of Nov. 5th-6th. The event at Salt River Fields will bring foodies together with chefs from Phoenix area restaurants and celebrity chef Mario Batali for cooking classes, dinners, a whiskey tasting and much more.
With great food from over 70 restaurants and more than 200 beers and whiskeys available to taste organizers have put together an a la carte schedule so each festival goer can personalize their own experience.
azcentral.com Food & wine experience a la carte itinerary
Below is the a la carte itinerary so you can plan a fun weekend.
Sat., Nov. 5
Lunch with Mario Batali. The chance to dine on recipes by this global favorite sold out within days. Guests will dine on Mario’s favorite recipes, have the chance to hear firsthand from the maestro about his culinary inspirations and learn what promoted his latest book newest out this fall MARIO BATALI BIG AMERICAN COOKBOOK: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA. SOLD OUT
1:30pm. The Blend. Master bourbon maker and proprietor of Jefferson’s Small Batch Bourbon of Kentucky, Trey Zoeller leads this interactive adventure in blending. Guests create their own custom bourbon and learn the historic secrets to this signature beverage. $39
Scotch, Steaks and Stogies. It’s a triple threat of super talent: chefs James Porter, Christopher Gross and Matt Carter lead this happy hour of great food and strong drink. Porter pontificates straight from his Terra farm + manor; James Beard winner & French chef extraordinaire Christopher Gross adds spark straight from his venerable Christopher’s and Crush Lounge; and super perfect restaurateur Matt Carter delivers the flair of his Zinc Bistro, The Mission, The House Brasserie and the soon opening, Fat Ox. $59
Not Your Average BBQ & Brews. Another super trio elevates the American barbecue to new heights. Think wagu beef vs. pulled pork. ‘nuf said. Little Miss Barbecue’s jewel of a smoker, Scott Holmes, takes the griller’s role; Downtown Phoenix food creative Stephen Jones of DeSoto Market adds his stamp of culinary flair; and Bernie Kantak puts his precision into action straight from Citizen Public House and The Gladly. Want more of a reason to attend this event? Select varieties of Four Peaks, Goose Island and Golden Road breweries are featured accompaniments. $79
Talking Stick Destination Dinner. Indigenous ingredients and savory continental flavors served with each course in this evening of authentic cultural immersion of the Southwest. Come for the food but stay for the flautist and hoop dancing performances of the Native American tradition. $80
Batali + Bianco. Experience elevated dining from two of the world’s most popular Italian chefs. An evening of fine food, excellent wine, warm hearts and two superbly inspiring culinary personalities. This occurs at the new Tratto in Phoenix. An evening to remember! $175.
Sun., Nov. 6
Eat. Drink. Give. We’re talking Sisterhood of the Stove, people! Get on your feet and support this beautiful mini grand tasting lovingly prepared by a 13 all-female chef cast. AND proceeds benefit The Joy Bus, which delivers fresh healthy meals to cancer patients. These sisters bring the heat from the kitchen to create small bites and joyful cocktails in a feel-good midday dining event that won’t disappoint. $99
12:30pm. East Meets West. When Nobuo Fukada decides to put a new twist on cuisine, guests know something exotic and delicious is about to happen. The James Beard Award winning chef enlightens with insights on delicate yet satiating creations in a dining presentation that combines Japanese culture. His small bites are paired with fine wines, rare Japanese whiskey and sake. $49
2:30pm. Sunday Sip ‘n Tell. The traditions, regions and secrets of select wines make for a rare and palate-pleasing storyline in this Sunday afternoon seminar of libations presented by Today’s Patio. $49
The Grand Finale Gio Osso, Alex Stratta, Kevin Fink, Bruce Kalman, and Chris Bianco present a superlative multi-course meal with fabulous pairings, capping off 3 days of rare food and beverages. Each delivers their own creation passionately prepared for an unforgettable evening with mega award-winning culinary personalities. $125
Along the busy restaurant corridor of 7th St. in central Phoenix, Joe’s Midnight Run kicks off its “It’s Midnight Somewhere” weekend brunch menu with drink and food specials every Saturday & Sunday from 9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.
its midnight somewhere’ brunch menu
Start off the morning with $3 Bellinis or Mimosas, $8 Bloody Mary’s, signature cocktails and more while you decide to soak it up with Chef Michael Smith’s Banana French Toast, Biscuits & Gravy or Shrimp & Grits just a few of the new brunch menu items.
For those that prefer the lunch side to the brunch menu they can order Notorious BIG Burger( made with braised pork, beef and chicharones), Milanesa Sandwich, salads, flatbreads and more.
Central Phoenix’s Sierra Bonita Grill is the 1st Phoenix area restaurant to sell Dog Tag Brewing Foundation’s Legacy Lager at their 16th St. restaurant. The beer was created to honor the legacy of men & women in the armed services who made the ultimate sacrifice with all profits going to support their Gold Star families. You can enjoy the beer at Sierra Bonita Grill or take it home with you for $10 a can.
Dog tag Brewing Foundation
The Bozeman MT, Dog Tag Brewing Foundation http://www.dogtagbrewing.org/ uses all profits to support building projects in the communities of the Gold Star Families through grants, consulting with charities and public awareness of the service and sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers. In addition much of the packaging is dedicated to each Fallen Warrior who family has been a recipient of a Dog Tag Brewing Foundation Legacy Grant.
Sierra Bonita Grill donates sales
Sierra Bonita Grill will continue to support Dog Tag Brewing Foundation causes by donating 50% off the purchase price of each beer to Dog Tag sold. According to Sierra Bonita Grill’s Bar Manager, Miguel Lerma, “Honoring the brave individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice is a privilege that Sierra Bonita Grill is humbled by. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve Dog Tag Brewing’s beer.”
Who doesn’t like tasting the delicious flavors of tacos, pizza & burgers to satisfy your appetite, not this guy. While typing this post for the up-coming 2016 Slider Throw Down, I’m building an appetite for day 2 of taco judging. We enjoy tasting food prepared by full time restaurant chefs along with weekend chef and their taco or slider creations. The Slider Throw Down is set to take place at Kierland Commons on Sunday Nov. 13th from 12 noon – 3pm to benefit Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF)
slider throw down food trucks
This years Slider Throw Down will have local food trucks such as Butta Burger, Spice It Up and Phil the Grill preparing sliders for festival goers who contribute $25 for admission and 1 slider from each truck. All proceeds got to Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. Slders will be judged by local “slider experts” and attendees who can vote for the “People’s Choice”
Arizona friends of foster children foundation
The AFFCF helps support children in foster care by letting them enjoy their childhood, according to Kris Jacober, Director of the AFFCF says, “We help these children through difficult circumstances by providing them with resources and allowing them to take part in enjoyable activities that promote self-esteem.” The AFFCF has awarded over $5 million dollars to children in foster care and yet there are still thousands of kids awaiting their help. By purchasing a ticket to the Slider Throwdown you can do your part to help. Purchase tickets here https://fs25.formsite.com/AFFCF/form18/index.html
It’s food festival season here in the Phoenix area with restaurants, food trucks, bartenders & foodies prepping their favorite food & drinks for the masses on a weekly basis. Saturday November 19th brings us the 2nd Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival as it converges on Margret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.
festival pizza makers
15 pizza makers including Fabio on Fire, SuperFarm SuperTruck, La Piazza Al Forno Phx and Dough Mama will give the estimated 3,000+ festival attendees the opportunity to buy slices, full pies and more. Craft beers from Helio Basin Brewing Co, That Brewing Co. and other brewers along with wines will be available to pair with your pizza. Lawn games and live music will be adding to the festive food atmosphere.
downtown phoenix Inc.
Part of the proceeds from the pizza festival will be given to the Downtown Phoenix Inc. as it continues to promote the development & re-vitalization of downtown Phoenix with events and strategic partnerships.
tickets and info
Tickets for the Phoenix Pizza Festival are $10 and only available on online at http://www.phoenix.pizza and are limited. The festival runs from 11am- 5pm & Margret T. Hance Park is at 1202 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85004. Free parking is available around the park and light rail stops 3 blocks from the park.
New restaurants are always opening in the Phoenix metro area, one of the more anticipated and ambitious projects is Zen Culinary, set to open later in October in north Scottsdale. Executive chef Kelly Fletcher is a big piece of the puzzle as he’s been tapped to lead the culinary team that also includes Bitter & Twisted’s executive chef Bob Tam as culinary advisor.
Zen Culinary Team
Kelly Fletcher has been around the Phoenix area food scene for quite a while as former executive chef at House of Trick’s in Tempe and recently at El Chorro Lodge in Paradise Valley. Fletcher has hosted pop-up dinners, been guest chef at many local restaurants and is very active in the Phoenix culinary industry.
Owner Rachel Maculey sought out Fletcher for his food and cultural diversity when it comes to his menu’s, his French training and his commitment to his home-grown Arizona community in an effort to achieve her vision of sharing her family’s culture through food and here upbringing in Thailand. Bob Tam’s bring his culinary ideas including teaching new techniques, introducing new ingredients & his business acumen to this Asian fusion restaurant.
With good food comes good drinks to enjoy and Michael Liberatore is responsible for the beverage program at Zen Culinary. Michael previously worked at Citizen Public House.
Zen Culinary will be serving lunch and dinner from a menu that will include Thai, Chinese, Japanese and American cuisine by using mostly locally sourced organic ingredients that will give diners the opportunity to experience the balance, spice & textures of the teams creations.
Zen Culinary is at 15544 N Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ, Zen Culinary will be open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. http://www.zenculinary.com/