Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

The TLC eXperience is down on the farm for its Spring Fling

Saturday, April 8th brings the return of the supper club’s visit to San Tan Valley’s Rhiba Farm for a multi-coursed meal sourced from the farm. Social Hour begins at 5:30 with a farm tour to follow at 6:00 then dinner at 6:30. Seats are $175 per person and can be reserved at their website.

Get”baked” wings from ATL Wings at Mint Dispensary & Cafe next weekend

Get the munchies and satisfy them at the same time with the two day collaboration next Friday and Saturday, March 24th & 25th. The specialty wings will be tossed in 100mg infused sauce and are $20 for 8 wings. Mint Dispensary and Café is at 5210 S. Priest Dr., Guadalupe 85283.

The Spring 2023 Arizona Restaurant Week is set for…..

Friday May 18th – Sunday May 29th. The 10 day twice a year event has become “The Most Edible Time of Year” showcasing the Arizona culinary scene. The Arizona Restaurant Association has been bringing ARW to foodies for over 15 years and the list of participating restaurants has grown to well over 100. Restaurants create special 3 – course menus for $33, $44 or $55 just for ARW. With the list of restaurants growing and menus in development a full list will be revealed on May 1st at http://arizonarestaurantweek.com/.

STK Steakhouse expands with rooftop dining

The downtown Scottsdale restaurant along the canal now offers dining with a view of the scenic canal and neighborhood. The rooftop is open Thursday- Sunday starting at 4 p.m. and weekend brunch from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. With a full bar and fireplaces the new dining area is great for happy hour, dinner and is available for private functions.

Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers opens in Maricopa

The 14th location of the Scottsdale based restaurant has just opened its doors south of Phoenix. The largest of all the locations, Maricopa has indoor and outdoor dining that features 50 flat screen TVs, a 50 foot bar and a menu full of burgers, sandwiches, salads and tot-chos. The new location is at 20350 N. John Wayne Parkway in Sonoran Creek Marketplace. Locations in Buckeye’s Verrado and in metro Tucson in Oro valley are planned for later in 2023.

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.

The Giant Sonoran available until March 31st.

Just in time for baseball season, Old Town Scottsdale’s Cien Agaves steps up to the plate with a foot long Sonoran dog. The bacon wrapped all beef hot dog is topped with refried beans, pico de gallo, Mexican crema, avocado salsa and queso fresco. It is served with roasted chiles on the side.

Vino Stache & Tracy Dempsey Originals host Wine & Dessert Social

The Arizona winery along Dempsey’s ODV wines pair wines and desserts next Saturday, March 18th from 1:30 – 3p.m. Meet with Vino Stache Winery’s owner Brooke Lowry as you make your personalized wine charm for your glass. The social takes place at Tracey’s shop in Tempe with tickets in limited supply going for $30 each. Email tracy@tracydempseyoriginals.com to reserve your seat.

March specials at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

All 4 locations celebrate the start of Spring and more with three food and drink specials.

March Madness: This refreshing cocktail combines Midori liquor and sweet and sour with a splash of seltzer. We garnish it with a cherry and lime wedge. $9.99

Drunken Barbacoa Flautas: Barbacoa flautas served in our tomatillo sauce. Topped with shredded lettuce, queso fresco, cilantro and crema. Served with one side. $17.99

Luck of the Irish: Layers of chocolate cake with mint simple syrup and colorful vanilla pudding are topped with mint sandwich cookies, whipped cream, cookie crumble and a chocolate gold coin for good luck. $7.99

Spinato’s Pizzeria introduces a new Spring menu

The locally owned pizzeria with locations in Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Ahwatukee has its new seasonal menu available through early May. The “Honey Hot Pie” pizza is topped with salami, Mike’s Hot Honey, feta cheese, light sauce and crushed red pepper flakes. 6 new cocktails are on the menu including a Rum Negroni, Mojito Italiano and Limonata. The bar menu also includes new wines from Italy and Arizona along with new locally made beers and spirits.

Chesapeake Bay Seafood closes to focus on catering

It’s never fun writing about the closing of a restaurant especially one I featured a few months ago. Unfortunately James and Yolanda Brown had to consolidate its operations to catering closing their ghost kitchen in the Tempe Food Court and the brick and mortar location in Phoenix. Yolanda’s recent health concerns and staffing issues had James spreading himself to thin tending to the restaurants and Yolanda’s needs. He’s in the process of updating the website to accommodate their loyal following with a new catering menu.

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

Arizona Wine Month is here and the Grand Festival is weeks away

Last year Governor Ducey proclaimed March Arizona Wine Month and March 25th the Arizona Wine Growers Association hosts an outdoor festival celebrating the local wine industry. The 2nd Annual Arizona Wine Month Grand Festival and Governor’s Cup Celebration kicks off at 11 a.m. at Steele Indian School Park that is sponsored by ArizonaWines.com and Dawning Public Relations. Wineries from the state’s three wine regions Verde Valley AVA, Willcox AVA and Sonoita/Elgin AVA will be in attendance.

“With March officially being Arizona Wine Month, and the Governor’s Cup wine competition being held that month as well, we had to take this opportunity to celebrate this thriving industry, the state’s award-winning wines and the winemakers who make it all possible,” said Kris Pothier, president of the AWGA and owner of Chateau Tumbleweed.

In addition to award-winning wines food trucks and local artists will be on hand. There will be live music to entertain festival goers as well. General admission tickets are $35 online and $45 at the door. Admission includes a commemorative glass and 8 tasting tickets. VIP tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door with entry at 10 a.m. and extra tasting tickets. Tickets are non-refundable. Because of limited parking, ride sharing and arriving by light rail is encouraged. This is a 21+ event and only service dogs will be allowed and the festival is happening rain or shine.

To see a full list of participating wineries and to purchase tickets visit the AWGA website or Eventbrite.

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

Kingman gets the 4th location of Grand Canyon Brewing +Distillery

“Go west young man” said author and newspaper editor Horace Greely as America expanded to the West to find riches. Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery founder John Peasley is taking those words to heart as he opens the 4th location of his brewery along the historic Route 66 in Kingman in March. In the past Peasley has expanded east to Flagstaff and Page from the original location in Williams.

Located in downtown Kingman at 312 E. Beale St. the building was previously used by Rickety Cricket and is almost 10,000 square feet and comes with a seven barrel brewhouse. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to expand our brand into Kingman. The community there has already welcomed us with open arms, we can’t wait to join the downtown area with our brand,” said Peasley.

Once opened, guests will enjoy Grand Canyon Brewing beers along with beers from other Arizona breweries. The cocktail list will feature signature cocktails from their distillery. The food menu will include comfort food favorites burgers, pizza, pretzels, sandwiches and more. Guests can purchase beers, spirits, ready-to-drink canned cocktails and merchandise in the retails space. Have fun playing corn hole, shuffleboard, pool, horseshoes and arcade games to help pass the time.

Listen to Alex Phillips, sales director at GCB on Episode 15 of our Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast.

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.

 

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.

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.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

High praise for Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion from Gayot Guide

Christopher Gross is no stranger to racking up accolades over the years for his cooking and restaurant’s experience. He can now add being named one of the “Best Restaurant’s in the U.S.” and “Most Memorable Meals of 2022” from Gayot- Guide to the Good Life to his resume. Sophie Gayot gave Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion an 18/20 score for his French/ Contemporary cuisine.

Gayot says “During my soirée at the 32-seat restaurant, my head spun at each of the modern French cuisine dishes presented to the table. There is no show, no eccentricity, just perfectly calibrated and balanced execution.”

Bubbles wine tasting at GenuWine Arizona

Just in time to toast the New Year the downtown Phoenix wine bar hosts a tasting on Thursday, December 29th from 6- 8 p.m. 4 sparkling wines will be tasted for $10 with 20% off any bottles purchased that evening. Tickets are available here.

New Year’s Eve and Day at Ghost Ranch

The Tempe restaurant is offering its NYE Chef Series Menu on a first come, first serve basis until it sells out. The four course dinner offers chicken, seafood & Wagyu NY Strip before dessert. New Year’s Day enjoy specials on Bloody Maria’s, Birria Tacos & Burritos.

B & B Cocktail Lounge now serving weekend brunch

You can now check out weekend brunch from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the new lounge that opened earlier this year in Old Town Scottsdale. Bacon Steak & Eggs, B & B Breakfast Fries are included on the gourmet menu. You can even “Build Your Own” Avocado Toast with 25 toppings to choose from. For the sweet side there is Bourbon Coffee Cake, Sweets Board with fruit, bacon and sweet garnish.

Of course brunchy cocktails are served including Breakfast Bee, a bourbon-infused milky play on Honey Nut Cheerios, a Mimosa Flight with 9 juice options and Lemon Basil Squeeze with Haku Vodka, Chandon Rosé, lemon juice and more.

Hundred Mile Brewing releasing its first beers

The newly opened Tempe brewery started releasing its own beers the past couple of weeks. New beers include Natural Blonde Ale, Pinetop Pilsner, Infinite Coyote a West Coast IPA, Crowd Surfer a Mexican style lager and Desert Neon hazy IPA.

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

Earn Your Booze & Grand Canyon Brewing team up for new beer

Come January just as we’re hoping to maintain our New Year’s resolutions two locally and veteran owned business are encouraging us to do that. And it includes drinking a new beer from Grand Canyon Brewing & Distillery. The Williams brewery is teaming up with Earn Your Booze combining beer and fitness to release Dead Hanger Pale Ale.

“Our collaboration with Earn Your Booze is a great opportunity for us to share our common core values and elevate two local businesses through physical fitness and enjoying great craft beer. We have a lot of fun events and activation’s planned this year and encourage our friends to join us as we spread the good word about living adventurously and earning it all,” says Alexander Phillips, Director of Sales, Marketing and National Accounts, Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery.

Dead Hanger is a hazy pale ale with a delicious mouthful of hop flavors and tropical & stone fruit characteristics and a bold grapefruit taste. It will be sold in 4-packs in Albertsons and Safeway and by the pint in bars and restaurants around Arizona.

How to Earn Your Booze

The new beer is named after the physical fitness test “Dead Hang”; where one hangs from a pull up bar using all your strength to hang on. It’s considered the ultimate test of one’s physical ability. “I believe that the best things in life are earned, including great beer, so we have teamed up with the great people at Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery to create this amazing beer that tastes like hard work and sweet rewards,” Justin Cross, CEO & Founder, Earn Your Booze.

Cross founded Earn Your Booze after his time in in the Navy, where he worked hard and played hard. After working in a brewery he realized the alcohol industry isn’t focused on health and fitness so he started the business. He didn’t want to discourage beer drinking and playing hard but to “Earn Your Booze” through prepping the mind and body. Today he offers monthly coaching and 90 day Total Recreation to transform your mind and body.

Grand Canyon Brewing and Earn Your Booze aren’t stopping at beer, their planning two outdoor fitness festivals in Flagstaff and Phoenix and other events in 2023. Hear Alexander Phillips speak about Grand Canyon Brewing & Distillery and more on my podcast.

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