The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week in September

As plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options when dining out. The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week, September 11th-18th, people can get a chance to dine on special plant based meals at full service restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, meal delivery services and more.

Founders Jozh Watson (PHX Vegan) and Chef Jason Wyrick (The Vegan Taste) want to continue to bring awareness to plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options to dine out at. “According to Watson, “Last year, Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week was so well received by the community. Every eatery that participated reported a significant increase in traffic during the event. This year promises to be even bigger and better.”

During the week-long event diners will be treated to plant based meals during breakfast, lunch and dinner at participating restaurants not normally found on their menu. Breakfast will be capped at $15, lunch will offer an appetizer, entree and drink for $20 and a three course dinner for no more than $30 with a 5 course meal no more than $44. Reservations are now being taken for the week at restaurants including Salvadoreno Restaurant (Phoenix and Mesa), Dilla Libre (Phoenix and Scottsdale), Early Bird Vegan, Freak Brothers Pizza and others.

A list of restaurants and menus can be found at their updated website as the list continues to grow. Non-vegan restaurants are encouraged to participate to showcase their plant based options. Menus are available for both dine-in and take-out. According to Wyrick, “Restaurants are realizing they need to appeal to a variety of food preferences. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that is here to stay, and we’re proud to show off the amazing culinary mark Phoenix is making.” Photo credit Debby Wolvos

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian opens at former Peking Palace in Tucson

Husband and wife Nattha and Eric Post both grew up around food, she in Thailand and he in Tucson. Both attended Blue Elephant and Napali cooking schools in Thailand and have worked in restaurants in their native countries. They’ve now opened Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian, bringing authentic Thai and Cantonese Chinese cuisine to Tucson.

“Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian is a labor of love and an opportunity for us to invite the dining community in to taste the result of our passion for and dedication to serving authentic Asian cuisine that is approachable and delicious,” says Eric. “We want people to enjoy the experience of trying new things but also feel comfortable eating the familiar dishes they love.”

Tam “Sam” Quan is the executive chef serving a wide variety of “AppeThaizers”, soups, Thai curries & rice and more. Dishes include Yum Nua (grilled beef salad), Yum Woon Sen (glass noodle salad with shrimp and ground pork); soups like Tom Kha (coconut milk) and Tom Sabb (pork ribs); Thai curries including red, green, yellow, mussaman, panang and more; Thai noodle stir fries such as Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodle); Thai rice stir fries like Pad Prik King (with crispy pork belly) and Pad Krathim (garlic chicken). They serve beer, wine and cocktails along with Thai teas.

Nattha came to the U.S. in 2018 and hopes to be a citizen soon and has worked in several local restaurants. Eric, a practicing attorney learned to cook from his Italian mother and worked at Tucson’s Kipple’s Pizza Parlour. Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian is at 6970 E. 22nd St. Tucson 85710. Hours are Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Visit their website for more information.

Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill “Takes a Gallon Off” your meal

John Banquil, owner of Scottsdale’s Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill and Ling’s Wok Shop knows how the high gas prices affect people’s everyday life. With that in mind he came up with the “Take a Gallon Off” promotion during July and August. The idea came to him while at Disneyland after seeing the high price of gas and knowing it’s on the top of the mind of his staff and customers.

Everyday he checks the AAA website for the cost of a gallon of regular gas and emails his managers and those who sign up to be a Wokstar. When customers present the email during the purchase of $40 or more they get the amount off their bill. Many of the meals at both restaurants are gluten free and they offer a variety of dishes for all tastes including vegan and vegetarian eaters. In the first 10 days 5-10 people per day, per store have taken advantage of the promotion. To sign up to be a WokStar visit either restaurants website.

The “Take a Gallon Off” promotion is just one of the ways Banquil supports the local community with donations. The monthly “Cooking for a Cause” at Ling’s Wok Shop has chefs create a special dish and donate part of the proceeds to charity. July’s dish is the Thai Tuna Bowl and proceeds go to Gabriel’s Angel.

Ling & Louie’s have 2 locations in Arizona and one in Idaho and Texas. In Arizona visit Scottsdale at 9397 E. Shea Blvd 85260 and at Wild Horse Pass Casino at 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd. Phoenix 85048. Ling’s Wok Shop is at 20511 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale 85255.

 

Tempe Beach Park is the place to be for Foodie Fri-YAY in May

Food trucks, beer & wine and live music is a good way to end the work week. Those looking to unwind can head to Tempe Beach Park Friday’s in May for Foodie Fri-YAY from 5 – 9 p.m. Each week offers different food trucks, breweries and musicians with May 6th hosting Hot Bamboo, Seoul Good Food Truck and Kingpin BBQ. Huss Brewery will be pouring cold beer and Nomadica red, white and rose wines will be available for wine drinkers. Admission is free with food, beer & wine available for purchase. Alcohol purchases will be cashless with only credit card payments.

“Tempe Beach Park has always been a top destination for festivals, concerts and other enjoy all that Downtown Tempe offers,” said Kate Borders, Executive Director of the Downtown Tempe Authority. “With Foodie Fri-YAYs, we’re welcoming everyone back to this beloved hot spot while celebrating the best of local food, drinks and musicians.”

Tempe Beach Park is at 80 W. Rio Salado Dr. Tempe 85281. For more information and to see the complete line-up of food trucks. beer & wine partners and live music head to their website.

Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey is bringing fine dining to the Melrose District

Master sushi chef and owner Engin Onural is bringing his popular sushi restaurant Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey to Phoenix’s Melrose District come May. A hit in Palm Springs the experience includes hard to get Japanese whiskeys, the foundation of the restaurant’s cocktail program. Onural has been recognized by the Sushi Proficiency Institute and certified by the AJSA Sushi Skills Institute. He placed in the Best Chefs America Index in 2015 and was the recipient of the World Sushi Cup and Kuro-Obi Pin in 2017.

“We put an incredible amount of care and attention to detail into everything we do from start to finish at Sandfish to ensure an impeccable experience when guests dine with us,” says Chef Onural. “We look forward to creating an environment where the residents of Phoenix can enjoy an intimate date night or a special celebration.”

What to expect at Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey

Guests dining at Sandfish will be taken on a culinary journey that will tantalize all the senses. The expertly curated menu starts with Spicy Tuna Tostada, Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms and more. Signature rolls are where Onural lets his creative senses flow with The Experiment Roll (snow crab with mango, avocado and cucumber topped with tuna, jalapeno, cilantro and yuzu aioli) and the Baby Langoustine Roll (crab meat and avocado topped with tempura-style baby langoustine, spicy aioli, teriyaki sauce and micro greens).

Braised and grilled Spanish Octopus and Hamachi Kama (yellowtail collar) are just a couple dishes that aren’t sushi. Salads, sushi rolls and carpaccio are featured on the menu. The adventurous may opt for the Omakase Chef’s Tasting Menu which includes popular dishes with a few surprises from Onural. Save room for the signature Matcha Cheese cake for dessert. The bar will include signature and classic cocktails, sake, beer, wine and mocktails. Whiskeys from around the world will also be available.

Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey will be at 4232 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix and  is currently hiring staff for all positions. For more information visit their website.

Pyro to be first restaurant at The Grove

The intersection at 44th St. & Camelback Rd. has always been one of the busiest in Phoenix and will get even busier when the mixed-used development The Grove opens later this year. The first restaurant to announce it will open there will be the Japanese bistro Pyro from Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group.

“The Flagship Restaurant Group team and I are very excited to bring Pyro to The Grove,” said Nick Hogan, CEO and co-founder of Flagship Restaurant Group. “We felt that it was the right time to bring our brand-new concept to this location, as there is much development taking place in-market and residents and travelers in Phoenix are always looking for the right mix of creativity coupled with responsibly-sourced fare. Everything we serve our guests is fully transparent, from the farms the vegetables come from to the areas where each of our fish is sourced. We are looking forward to another new chapter in the city.”

Flagship’s other concepts in Phoenix are Châm Pang Lanes, Palma and Ghost Donkey in the Roosevelt Row Arts District.

What to expect at Pyro

When opened Pyro will be 4,200 square feet including large outdoor patio with an open hearth and full bar. The restaurant uses an open flame for cooking sustainably sourced seafood and proteins. The fire will give each dish its own unique layers of flavor and texture. The cocktail bar will offer classic and signature cocktails from a wide variety of spirits and wine.

“The Grove is dedicated to bringing innovative and exclusive dining options to the Valley with a sophisticated flair,” said Mike Ebert, managing partner at RED Development. “Pyro is setting the standard for the caliber of culinary offerings we’ll be welcoming at The Grove, we couldn’t be more honored to announce an original concept as the first restaurant to call it home.”

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment

A double header of food festivals coming February 5th & 6th

One ticket is all you need for two up-coming food festivals in downtown Chandler. The double header starts on Saturday February 5th with the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival then keep your tickets for Sunday’s Arizona Ice Cream and Donut Festival. Both festivals will be at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park with the Bao and Dumpling starting at 10 a.m. and the Ice Cream and Donut Festival starting at 11 a.m.

Food items can be purchased separately from admission with foods ranging from $5-$14 depending on the dish with many about $8. In addition to the main dishes other Asian foods, desserts and boba will be available. An anime marketplace featuring local artists will be on display.

Tickets for the double header are $14.99 for Early Admission at 11 a.m., $10 for General Admission at 1 p.m., the Night Market starting at 4 p.m. is $10 and Happy Hour admission at 7:30 p.m. is $6.00. Children 7-12 years old are $6 and those under 7 are free. The ticket prices do not include tax and a processing fee with nearby parking is free in lots and garages. To purchase your tickets follow this link and to stay up to date on both festivals follow them on their Facebook page.

The Metro Phoenix Night Market to showcase over 12 Asian food vendors

As live events continue returning fans of Asian food will want to circle Saturday, January 29th on the calendar. That’s when the Metro Phoenix Night Market returns showcasing a variety of food and culture from China, Korea and other Far East and southeast Asian countries. The Press Room in Tempe will host the event that starts at 4 p.m. for early admission ticket holders.

Vendors will offer at least one menu item for $5 or less with beer and cocktails also available for purchase. A curated market with local artists will be showcasing their work at the outdoor event. All vendors will accept cash or credit but cash is suggested and parking is free.

Early admission tickets are $14.99 to get in at 4 p.m., General Admission starts at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $10. Happy Hour starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $6.00 and children aged 7-12 are $4.00. Children under 7 are free. Tickets prices don’t include sales tax or a booking fee.  You can purchase tickets to the Metro Phoenix Night Market here and get more information and stay updated at their Facebook page. The Press Room is at 3125 S.52nd St. Tempe 85292.

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

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

Trapp Haus BBQ owner expanding and rolling out new food trucks in 2022

Phil “The Grill” Johnson, award-winning pit master & owner of the downtown Phoenix BBQ joint is expanding the size of the restaurant. When completed in January 2022 guests will enjoy a better dining experience with easier ordering, a pick-up window, full bar and more. In the Spring he launches 2 new food trucks that will feature the foods of his native NYC and east coast.

Not busy enough he’s also starting a business to build food trucks and help first time food truck owners get started. Listen to Phil’s story on Episode 41 of The Podcast.

First drive-thru only Mesquite Fresh Street Mex to open

The locally owned authentic Mexican concept continues to grow in 2022 with the opening of its first drive thru only location Gilbert in February. It’s the ninth location with three more drive-thru only locations coming later in the year.

Koibito Poke now offering side dishes

Four new side dishes were recently introduced at all 4 Phoenix area locations including Seaweed Salad, Cucumber Salad, Crab Mix and Spicy Crab Mix. Enjoy the 5oz. sides with your bowl or by itself. The also recently introduce Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 4 -6 p.m. and all day on Saturday & Sunday. Enjoy specials on beer, wine, sake & seltzers and $2.00 off Signature Bowls.

New Year’s Eve free rides from Valley Metro

Local beer distributor Crescent Crown and Coors Light are footing the bill through a donation for free rides on all bus routes and light rail Friday December 31st from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m Saturday January 1st 2022.

Don’t forget to 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 you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

House of Tricks owners retiring and closing in 2022.

Robin & Bob Trick have been a staple on the downtown Tempe food & wine scene for over 3 decades, before there was a food & wine scene. They’ve decided to retire and broke the sad news on their Facebook page that they will be closing their popular restaurant at the end of June 2022. Until then they will continue to serve happy hour & dinner Mondays thru Saturdays. Thank you for your contribution to the Tempe food & wine scene, they deserve a great send off into retirement.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria launches winter for a limited time

Margarita or Margherita no matter how you spell it, it’s on the new menu at all Arizona locations through March 7th. New menu items include the Margherita Pizza, Arugula Sunset Salad, a Black Cherry & a Reese’s Peanut Buttercup Cheesecake, Black Cheery Margarita & Peach Margarita.

Romeo’s Third Tuesday dinner continues next week

The popular monthly dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe in downtown Gilbert is on for next Tuesday, December 21st. The 3 course menu features Mousse of Duck Foie Gras, Pork Shank Latino & Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake. All courses are paired with wine and the dinner is only $39 per person. Call 480-962-4224 to make your reservation.

Thai Chili 2 Go opens newest location Saturday

The west valley gets the 12th location of the popular fast casual concept when it opens in Peoria on Saturday December 18th. The first 50 guests on the 18th get a free entree, then from 19th – 31st guests stopping in to the new location at 16955 N. 75th Ave. will get free order of Thai Dumplings with the purchase of an entree. To order online use promo code Peoria13 to get the free dumplings.

Garden Bar PHX is now open

Holiday cocktails and tasting boards are available at the new cocktail bar from Kim Hasaarud. The downtown Phoenix cottage at 822 N. 6th Ave. is open Thurs- Saturday from 5-10 p.m. and will offer brunch on Sunday’s at 11 a.m. starting December 26th. For more information, to order a cocktail kit or to get on the “Wait List” head to their website.

Don’t forget to 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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