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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival returns

Tickets are now on sale for the 2021 Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival that was canceled last year because of the global pandemic. The festival is on Saturday November 6th at downtown Chandler’s Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. It goes from 12- 4:30 p.m. with early entry at 10:30 a.m. for ticket holders with early access.

In order to keep festival goers safe a cleaning company has been hired to sanitize tables & chairs and vendors will be sanitizing their booths. Masked are suggested when standing on line but not required.

Times will be staggered this year with a limited amount of tickets allocated during three time periods and ticket holders MUST arrive in their allocated time. Tickets are non-refundable if you miss your allocated time but you can email the festival organizers to change your time if tickets are still available. Food and drinks sold separately by each vendor with at least one bao or dumpling available for $5 or under. Children 6 and under are free and so is parking. Boba, desserts and other Asian dishes will be available and a curated marketplace with artists will also be happening.

Early admission ticket ($14.99) holders arrive at 10:30 a.m. and no later than 11:30 a.m.

General admission ticket ($10) holders arrive at 12:00 p.m. and no later than 1:30 p.m.

Happy Hour ticket ($6) holders arrive at 2:00 p.m.- until the end. No guarantee that all food and drink will still be available. Menu and vendors subject to change.

Tickets for the Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival can be purchased and more information can be found here.

Ling’s Wok Shop fast casual by day, full service at night.

The owners of Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill recently opened their newest concept, Ling’s Wok Shop in north Scottsdale. The new restaurant offers fast casual meals for those on the go during the day then switches to a full service restaurant for happy hour and dinner.

Ling's Wok Shop
Photo’s courtesy of LWS

Whether you during the day or at night you’ll get the same healthy modern Asian cuisine. The new concept gives the restaurant the flexibility to adapt to a changing world as people spend more time at home. Choose from wok fired dishes to salads, noodz, soups and more. A full service bar serves hand crafted cocktails, wine s and local craft beers.

Ling’s Wok Shop is at 20511 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale 85255. For more information visit 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.

Bitter & Twisted and Aioli Gourmet Burgers partner for new in-house menu

Downtown Phoenix’s Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour has joined forces with the award-winning Aioli Gourmet Burgers for a new menu to pair with their cocktail program. The newly re-vamped menu was created by Aioli’s Executive Chef Vicktor Velez.

“Bitter & Twisted has always been committed to innovation and constant evolution with the ultimate goal of providing a world-class cocktail lounge experience here in Phoenix. With their food truck roots and success now as top flight restaurateurs, I knew Tom and Kyle were the perfect partners for the B&T kitchen, and Chef Vicktor has created some amazing new dishes and flavors,” says proprietor Ross Simon, who also notes that B&T founding chef, Bob Tam, remains a partner at B&T, while also having more “freedom and opportunities to concentrate on his other businesses and partner projects.”

New dishes at Bitter & Twisted

Chef Velez’s new menu is inspired by his travels through Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines while still keeping with Aioli’s co-owners Tommy D’Ambrosio and Kyle Hollenbeck vision of sourcing fresh, seasonal & local ingredients. Guests to Bitter & Twisted can enjoy dishes such as Togarashi Tuna Tataki, one of Velez’s favorites on the new menu, along with Korean French Fries, Korean Loaded Nachos, Truffled Mac & Cheese and of course an Aioli burger.

“It’s a huge honor for us to have this opportunity to partner with Ross at Bitter & Twisted. I’m proud to see Chef Vicktor’s growth and development in this role as he continues to create new and innovative dishes,” said Tom D’Ambrosio, Owner/Chef of Aioli Gourmet.

The award-winning cocktail bar has also updated their hours of service from Tuesday through Thursday (4 – 11pm food served till 10pm) and Friday and Saturday (4pm – 1am food served till 10pm), with Happy Hour served Tuesday through Friday (4 – 6 pm). Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is located at 1 W. Jefferson St. (Jefferson & Central) Phoenix. For information check their website.

JINYA Ramen opens first Arizona location in Chandler

As we said goodbye to April we said hello to the first Arizona location of contemporary Japanese restaurant JINYA Ramen. Downtown Chandler’s New Square development is where franchisee Daradee Olson opened the 40th location of the concept that was founded in 2010. Olso discovered the concept while vacationing in Utah and having lived & traveled in Southeast Asia she wanted to bring the concept home to Arizona.

JINYA Ramen offers bowls of broths slow cooked for 20 hours and handmade noodles. Fuji water is used for broths because its 99.9% free of impurities and noodles go through a special aging process before they are cooked. 12 signature ramen are on the menu and including chicken, pork and vegetable based broths. Guests can customize their bowl with more than 25 add-ons. In addition to ramen guests can order starters, salads, small plates and rice bowls that can be prepared vegan or vegetarian.

Local and Japanese craft beers, wine and signature cocktails are available at the bar. The sake menu has been curated by both Olson and General Manager Stephanie Daniels who are certified sake sommeliers.

According to Olson, “After eating at JINYA for the first time, I knew this was the style of ramen I had been searching for in the United States. When I returned home, I immediately began the process of bringing a JINYA Ramen Bar to the Valley.” Olson is so passionate about the concept she has plans to open four more locations in greater metro Phoenix over the next four years.

Guests can enjoy themselves inside the 60 seat restaurant that includes a ramen bar or on the patio with views of downtown Chandler. The modern & sleek atmosphere includes lively music and views of the kitchen in action from the ramen bar. JINYA Chandler is at 130 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, Ariz., 85225. For more information, call 480-758-5198 or visit their website.

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.

The running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday

The 1st Saturday of May is the famed Kentucky Derby from Louisville. Here in Phoenix you can celebrate around town at the Bulleit Bourbon Derby DayClub at Turf Paradise along with other restaurants and bars offering cocktails and food for the festive day. Belle’s Nashville Kitchen, CRUjiente Tacos and Blue Clover Distillery have specials for the day.

May the 4th be with you at SanTan Spirit House

Star Wars fans are invited to dress up like their favorite character from the George Lucas film and head to downtown Chandler to celebrate on Tuesday. Specially created Stars Wars themed cocktails will be available along with Millennium Falcon and Death Star raffles.

Cinco de Mayo happens Wednesday around Phoenix

The popular May 5th celebration has quite a few restaurants around the valley celebrating with food, drinks, live music and more. Head to places such as Z’ Tejas, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Hopdoddy Burger BarA Su Salud, Ghost Ranch, The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen, The Spotted Donkey Cantina, Ghett’ Yo’ Tacos,

Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants celebrate teachers and nurses

All 7 of the Phoenix area locations celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week May 3rd -7th with teachers getting 20% off their order. May 6th – 12th nurses can get 25% their orders during Nurses Appreciation Week.

Thai Chili 2 Go emphasize new vegan & vegetarian dishes on menu

Meat and dairy-less Pineapple Fried Rice and Vegetarian Spring rolls are now available for take-out and delivery at all 10 valley locations.

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