Michael Waltrip Brewing Company beers distributed by Hensley Beverage

Michael Waltrip Brewing CompanyFormer NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip announced recently the formation of his Phoenix based brewery, Michael Waltrip Brewing Company. They’ve decided that its “Two Time” brand will be distributed around Arizona by locally owned beer distributor Hensley Beverage Company.

“We are truly pleased to be able to partner with Hensley Beverage Company on the distribution of our Two-Time line of lagers and ales,” said Michael Waltrip, two-time Daytona 500 champion and FOX Sports NASCAR color announcer.  “I had a chance to visit the leadership and some of the team at Hensley right before the pandemic. What a great group of people. We couldn’t be happier to be part of the Hensley portfolio”

“Two Time” currently brews three beers. “Blonde” Ale, “Checkered Past”, a coconut IPA and “Vamanos”, a Mexican style Lager. Seasonal and year round beers are planned all with subtle references to racing.

Bryan R. Sperber, CEO, Michael Waltrip Brewing Company, said, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with the team at Hensley for many years. So, I know firsthand what a quality organization they have. To be able to partner with them is an amazing opportunity and we really appreciate their enthusiasm for our brand and the Michael Waltrip Brewing Company.”

Hensley Beverage Company dates back to 1955 and has been the distributor of the Anheuser-Busch InBev portfolio. It also distributes local and regional beers throughout most of Arizona.

A brewery and taproom is being planned in Phoenix along with distribution outside of Arizona. For more information visit their website.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Arizona Restaurant Week starts tonight

You’ve probably heard about the Fall 2020 Arizona Restaurant Week starting tonight through next Sunday 9/27. Over 100 restaurants state wide serving 3 course unique menus for $33 or $44 per person. Dine in or take-out is available. For a list of participating restaurants visit the website.

Francine starts weekend brunch and weekday lunch

About a month ago Scottsdale’s newest restaurant Francine opened after afew months delay at Scottsdale Fashion Square. This weekend they start serving brunch and on Monday they start their lunch service.

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Garrison Brothers

Phoenix City Grille & Garrison Brothers pair a 5-course dinner

The central Phoenix restaurant and the distillery join forces Saturday September 26th for spirits pairing dinner. The occasion celebrates the release of Garrison Brothers Cowboy 2020 Bourbon. Chef Micah Wyzlic uses the bourbon in his dishes along with them sipped on with each course. Dinner is $125 per person ++ and the menu can be viewed at http://www.phoenixcitygrille.com/ with reservations made by calling 602-510-7174 or emailing Britnee Reed at Privatedining@phoenixcitygrille.com

Macayo’s popular Pumpkin Flan now available at all restaurants

It doesn’t feel like Autumn in Arizona yet but the Mexican restaurant has added the delicious dessert to the menu. Made with Fall spices, the dessert is $5.79 at all 7 locations around the valley.

24 Carrots shuts dining room to focus on take-out

Owner Sasha Raj has transformed her Tempe plant based restaurant for take out and now uses the dining room as a collection site for donations for the Navajo Nation. Donations can be dropped off every Wednesday. Raj regularly serves & donates meals and food to many other under served people and  non-profits.

“Chopped” champion Chef Nick LaRosa has a new menu at Nook Kitchen

Arcadia’s Nook Kitchen has re-opened this week with a new menu from Chef Nick LaRosa. The restaurant moved to a new larger location along Indian School Road in December and was humming along as it did at the old location when Covid- 19 broke out. They did take out until several nearby restaurants were hit with the virus and owner Frank Vairo and partners decided to close for the summer.

Nicholas Winger, managing partner, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back our guests.  We are operating with limited-seating and dining socially distanced due to pandemic regulations, so we encourage reservations, especially with our small dining room. It fills up quickly.”

What’s on the menu from Chef Nick LaRosa

With the opening comes a new menu of Italian favorites with a modern twist from LaRosa. House made pastas and fresh ingredients are on the menu such as Casarecce Bolognese for meat lovers and Veggie Campanelle for vegetarians. Napolitano styled pizzas are still coming out of the pizza oven along with entrees such as pan-seared salmon, a double bone-in pork chop and the Nook Burger.

LaRosa was champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2017 and has earned other local accolades.

Chef Nick LaRosa
Aracini

“We’re excited and want to shout from the rooftops that ‘we’re back!’ ” LaRosa said. “And we’re really happy to be back, too.  The time off has given us the opportunity to add new menu items, plus fantastic desserts and still focus on the dishes we know our patrons love. “The specialness of our food is Italian with a twist.  If you want to eat hearty, we’ve got it.  If you’d rather eat light, we’ve got that too in spades.”

The menu also includes appetizers including Brussel Chips, Aracini and more. Exciting new desserts include a gelato flight from Cool Gelato and Nook’s version of Affogatto. Sommelier Matthew Wohleb has created a new and old world wine list to compliment the cuisine and mixoligist Gabe Chavez mixes up the cocktail program.

Nook Kitchen opens Wednesday thru Sunday at 5 p.m. and is at 4231 E. Indian School R. Phoenix 85018.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Good news with a Reel Deel Monday’s in Surprise

The newish and popular Reel Pizza Pies in the northwest valley now offers a Reel Deel that includes 2-18 inch cheese pizza pies, a Caesar salad, an order of garlic knots & two cannoli’s for only $39.99. For more information or to order head to their website.

Roaring Fork’s “Dinner on Us” returns for Labor Day

The Scottsdale restaurant celebrates the end of summer with it’s annual Labor Day (Monday Sept. 7th) promotion where guests can Buy One Get One free starting at 4 p.m.

U.S. Egg has new cocktails and a Bloody Mary flight

All 6 locations of this breakfast and lunch favorite spot have introduced a new cocktail menu. Included are a Dreamsicle cocktail, new Mimosa flavors and a Bloody Mary flight.

National Beer Lover’s Day at Miracle Mile Deli

Enjoy Labor Day with $4 pints and $20 growlers all day long at this central Phoenix deli. Choose from Tower Station IPA, Papago Orange Blossom, Kiltlifter & Leininkugel’s Summer Shandy.

Fantasy Football draft parties at Twin Peaks

Pick your teams at 3 Phoenix area locations or have them bring the party to you. Dine-in or take out league commissioners get $50 gift card and each league member gets a $5 gift card for a future visit.

Trevor’s Liquors to offer retail and a beer & wine bar in south Scottsdale

With all the new development in the southern part of Scottsdale new businesses are opening to provide amenities in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the valley. With the new Papago Plaza under construction and other developments along Scottsdale and McDowell roads residents new and old will have a new wine and beer retailer when Trevor’s Liquors opens in November. It will be joining RIFT Tap & Wine Bar which just opened nearby that I posted about in July.

Trevor’s is the sister to Prescott’s Park Plaza Liquors & Deli and is owned by Jeff McDonald and Trevor Philips. Over 15,000 sq. ft. of space will include a large selection of single barrel bourbons and Arizona’s largest selection of agave. Beers will be housed in a walk in beer cave and and 50 reach in cooler doors. Trevor’s will also offer a 400 sq. ft. cigar humidor and a dedicated cigar patio. A craft beer and wine bar with a covered beer garden patio will let customers to enjoy beverages and socialize.

There’s a game area with corn hole boards and a rotating schedule of food trucks will be scheduled for customers. Trevor’s will be at 7340 E. McDowell Rd. 85257. For more information check out their website.

Momma’s Organic Market adds 2 new farmer’s market locations

It’s starting to feel like fall as local farmer’s markets start getting ready open back up. For this year’s season Momma’s Organic Market is adding two new locations to its west valley schedule. For over 10 years the market has been held at Arrowhead Town Center in Glendale offering locally made foods and more with a long list of vendors.

Starting Sunday September 6th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Momma’s will be in Surprise at The Sterling Grove Market. The market at 17193 W. Montpelier Street will run through May. Wednesday October 7th will bring the return of Momma’s to Peoria where it was for over a decade. The late afternoon market will be located at Park West at 9744 W. Northern Ave from 4 -7 p.m. weekly until May.

‘This is an incredible period of growth for us and we’re thrilled to bring our free market to two amazing neighborhoods,” says Christa Esquibel, owner. “Our expansion is a testament to the fact that Arizonans want to, and will continue to, support local. It is a collaborative effort between our location hosts, dedicated vendors and loyal customers.”

The Glendale market will continue to run on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. All 3 markets are free, family friendly and will offer a rotating list of local vendors and food trucks. Cash and credit cards are accepted with trained and leashed dogs welcome.

A short list of Momma’s Organic Market local vendors.

TJ Farms, Udder Delights Dairy, Mama Olga’s Tamales, Mama Olga’s Tamales, Bella’s Candy Shoppe, Can I Get A Ruff Ruff, Tree Huggin’ Bakers, Willy’s Tomatoes and Chilies, My Flower Bed, Dukes Barkery, All About The Booch and Shannon’s Kitchen.

Many more vendors show up and a a complete list of weekly markets can be found at their website.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Aioli Gourmet Burgers to open 3rd Phoenix location

Less than a year after opening their 2nd brick & mortar location in Litchfield Park, award-winning Aioli Gourmet Burgers is set to open their 3rd location. On Labor Day, September 7th at 430 E. Bell Rd. Phoenix 85022 is when & where it all happens. The location should be familiar to burger fans as it was the home to the former Caveman Burgers. Customers can expect the usual mix of gourmet burgers, fries, milk shakes, mac n cheese bites and more.

In addition their original location at Shea & 32nd St is now back open for dine-in service.

Press Coffee’s new blend supports local non-profits

Community Blend is the latest whole bean coffee from local roaster Press Coffee. Every 3 months the company will donate profits from the sales of Community Blend to a local non-profit. Current sales will be donated to Arizona Coalition for Change, an organization that empowers people to help transform their community by building civic power, just & equitable schools and safer neighborhoods.

Community Blend retails for $19 at all locations or online at http://www.presscoffee.com/

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1/2 off cheese pizza at Fired Pie for National Cheese Pizza Day

Saturday September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day and all 21 Fired Pie locations are celebrating. Guests can get 1/2 off with the purchase of a beverage. One purchase per customer and not available on 3rd party deliveries.

LDV Winery temporarily closes Scottsdale tasting room

Structural work in the building housing the tasting room has forced them to close until early October. Guests and wine club members can still still purchase wine for pick up or delivery by calling 602-320-1485 or emailing info@LDVWinery.com

Check their Facebook page or Instagram for updates.

Lobster lovers get your roll at Pedal Haus Brewery

Can’t make it to Cape Cod this summer like me, Pedal Haus Brewery is bringing a cape favorite to you. For $24 you get a Maine lobster roll, side of crispy fries & Day Drinker Light Lager while supplies last. Both downtown Tempe & downtown Chandler locations are serving this summer time favorite.

Jerry’s Restaurant re-opens serving comfort food in Mesa, kind of.

Jerry’s Restaurant was a comfort food staple in Phoenix dating back to the 1960’s when it closed a few years back. With the popularity of comfort food in 2020 Jerry’s is re-opening this month in Mesa but with a catch. It will be a delivery only restaurant with food prepared in another restaurant. Last month I reported on Carnitas Way, the cloud kitchen from the owners of Los Sombreros and now Jerry’s Restaurant, where they will be preparing food out of the new Mesa location.

“We like to refer to it as Jerry’s 2.0,” says Kurt Riske, head of Rooted Concepts. “I’ve been around Jerry’s Restaurant for years. My dad worked at the Phoenix Jerry’s since 1991, so I have gotten to know many of Jerry’s loyal customers and it’s incredible to see the following Jerry’s has here in the Valley. For the moment, we are opening Jerry’s as a delivery only concept, which suits today’s times, since a large percentage of restaurant customers are ordering out and dining at home.”

Jerry's Restaurant
Chicken Fried Steak

Much of the menu will stay the same as the original restaurant that was located on E. Thomas Rd. in Phoenix. Burgers, meatloaf, pot roast, chicken fried steak and breakfast menu along with the popular burritos will be available for delivery.

“This is an unusual year, and we’ve gotten comfortable thinking outside the box,” says Riske. “We’ve been intrigued with the rising trend of cloud kitchens, and this year seemed right for testing it out. We’re using our Mesa Los Sombreros as the home base for delivery of Los Sombreros, our new burrito concept Carnitas Way that launched last month, and now Jerry’s as well.”

Delivery will be available from Grubhub and DoorDash. There is also a Jerry’s Restaurant in Safford AZ and Fallon NV. To view the menu and order visit their website.

Pesto Italian Eatery to be Arizona’s first build your own pasta restaurant.

When Pesto Italian Eatery opens this fall in Chandler it will be the first build your own pasta concept in Arizona. Owner Cosmo Magliozzi is inspired by serving high quality Italian cuisine and by his celebrity chef father Antonio Magliozzi.

“We want to inspire our customers and allow them to express themselves while enjoying a meal with their friends and family,” Magliozzi said. “This is my way of sharing my father’s famous Italian recipes with the world. As he’s known for saying, ‘It’s no secret – it’s olive oil, garlic, onion, oregano, fresh basil and all of my heart inside the sauce.’”

Fresh pasta will be made on-site every day and guests can choose pasta, homemade sauces (marinara, pesto & specialty), proteins (meatball, sausage, chicken) and vegetables (grilled artichokes, eggplant, etc) to combine for themselves. Every bowl will be topped with basil and a special blend of cheese and served with a fresh baked bread sticks. Gluten -free pasta will also be available. Grab n go salads will be available and traditional Italian desserts such as cannoli, torta della nonna and sfogliatella will be served.

The fast casual Pesto Italian Eatery will be located at 2780 W. Chandler Blvd. Suite 6, Chandler. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information visit their website.

 

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine coming to Scottsdale Ranch

E very restaurant owner had to make some of the hardest decisions of their life when Covid-19 hit in March. Anthony and Anna Barr had to make many of the same decisions but they took it to the next level in a short amount of time. The couple had owned and operated Fork & Spoon Productions and Above & Beyond Catering, both very successful hospitality businesses in the SF Bay area. In April after they assessed their situation and laid off 60 employees, a fresh start was needed and they re-located to Scottsdale to open their newest venture Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine.  The family friendly restaurant will open later this month in The Mercado at Scottsdale Ranch at 10155 E. Via Linda.

“We are so excited to bring our upscale-yet-approachable cuisine to the diners of Scottsdale,” says co-founder Anna Barr. “We take much pride in every dish that comes out of our kitchen, and we’re dedicated to, and passionate about, creating memorable experiences through a welcoming atmosphere, spectacular service, and exceptional food.”

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine’s menu

Chefs Anthony’s cuisine will include American favorites and will also include vegan and vegetarian dishes. Stuffed Cheese & Bacon Tater Tots and Impossible Sloppy Joe Sliders will highlight the list of appetizers. Salads and a “Soup of the Day” will offer lighter dishes. Short Rib Grilled Cheese, a Dungeness Crab & Lobster Roll and Grilled NY Strip will be featured on the menu along with other salads, sandwiches and entrees. A children’s menu and dessert menu is available. A full bar will serve local beers, house wines and specialty craft cocktails that will round out the menu.

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine follows CDC guidelines so that customers and staff will be safe and healthy. The restaurant will seat 40 people indoors and the patio will seat 60 allowing for social distancing. The menu is available for dine-in or take-out.

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine will be open daily from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. for take-out and dine-in. For more information and to view their menu visit their website.