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.

$6 pitas all day at Pita Jungle on National Pita Day

Tuesday, March 29th at participating locations get a Gyro, Mediterranean Roasted Chicken Shawarma, Falafel, Grilled Chicken Pita and the Philly Chicken or Steak Pita when you dine-in or when you order online. Wraps not included.

Peace, Love & Bubbles every Sunday at The Hot Chick

Nothing like a cooling off from a hot chicken sandwich or warm temperatures than a bottle of cold refreshing champagne. That’s the new plan every Sunday from 12 – 3 p.m. at the Old Town Scottsdale restaurant. Get a bottle of champagne for a $1 with the purchase of an entree.

The KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival is tomorrow

It’s getting hot in Chandler for Saturday’s festival with plenty of BBQ, cold beer and country music superstars taking the stage. Tumbleweed Park now hosts the festival as it outgrew its original location. Tickets are still available online and at the door.

Z’ Tejas introduces Build Your Own Bloody Mary

The Scottsdale and Chandler locations now let guests choose from 7 Bloody Mary’s during breakfast & weekend brunch. Start with the house-made classic or spicy base and choose from Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Jalapeno, Southwest Slider, Candied Jalapeno bacon, Sriracha beer battered shrimp, Chipotle-glazed chicken tender, Diablo egg – spiced up hard-boiled egg or Z’Sausage.

Win a trip to San Diego courtesy of Lenny & Larry

With the weather in Phoenix hitting 90+ degrees this weekend you may want to think about a summer getaway. Cookie maker Lenny & Larry’s are launching their Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie-fied Bar Sweepstakes at 9:00 a.m. Monday, March 28th. Enter to win until 5:00 p.m. June 6th for the grand prize of a trip for 4 to San Diego. The trip includes air transportation, 2 night hotel stay and an inside look at The San Diego Zoo.

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.

KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival expands to Tumbleweed Park in March

The popular KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival returns to Chandler with more than 20 BBQ pit masters showing off their smoked meats and more on Saturday, March 26th. The festival has outgrown previous years festivals and the 2022 festival is being held at Tumbleweed Park. The park will accommodate more people, vendors and country music superstars Lee Brice, Parker McCollum, Kameron Marlowe and Jacob Morris.

“We’ve worked so closely with everyone from KNIX to the City of Chandler and we couldn’t be more excited to drive the tens of thousands of family-based country music and BBQ fanatics to this beautiful and centralized location, delivering a true festival experience for all,” said Mike O’Donnell Director of Partnerships at Forty8 Live!.

The family friendly festival will also include a VIP lounge, X-Game skateboarding, BMX bike stunts, a kid’s zone and a March Madness lounge. “We have an incredible line-up of some of the hottest names in country music as well as legendary Barbecue Pit Masters for this annual signature event in Chandler, Arizona,” said David Horen Director of Events at Forty8 Live!.

The festival starts at 12 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. with tickets available online with General Admission $20 and $35 at the door. First responders and military personnel get $15 off at the door with i.d. Kid’s under 12 are free. VIP tickets are $225 and include catered BBQ, private restrooms, shaded seating, access to the front of the stage and more. Kid’s VIP access is $100 and tickets do not include food & drinks.

The KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival is produced by event producers Forty8 Live! in partnership with KNIX Country 102.5 and part of the days proceeds will be donated to Greater Cause Foundation which helps with critical funding for numerous non-profits around Arizona.

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.

“Show Us Your Tickets” for a FREE breakfast cocktail at OEB

If you’ve been or are going to the WM Phoenix Open golf tournament this weekend take your ticket to OEB Breakfast Co. for a FREE breakfast cocktail. Only minutes from the TPC Scottsdale, the promotion is good for one week after the tournament. Choose a Mimosa or another breakfast cocktail with proof of attendance.

TLC eXperience rescheduled dinner is next week

The planned January dinner had to be rescheduled for next Saturday February 19th at the new hip event venue Juncture in Phoenix. The monthly supper club menu is a surprise and starts with cocktail hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6. The dinner makes a great late Valentine’s Day gift if you can’t make it to Monday’s dinner at Agritopia.

Still time to order your meals for Devour at Home

Local First Arizona’s Devour Week is a couple of weeks away but you only have until next Friday, February 18th to order your dinners for Devour at Home. Tickets are still available for the Seven Chefs dinner on the 20th which is the lick-off of the annual event. Both events are expected to sell out in the next week so don’t hesitate.

Restaurant delays for Pork on a Fork lead to permanent food truck.

Almost a year ago I blogged about the award-winning Pork on a Fork opening a restaurant in Chandler but like many businesses there have been challenges. In November 21st Sips & Bites’ I mentioned that with delays the owners set up their food truck at the location of where their restaurant will be. With continued delays the food truck is now permanent fixture with a drive-thru opening in March. They still hope to open the restaurant and the food truck will be there until it does. A limited menu of dishes is available Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday’s starting next week February 20th.

Arizona Restaurant Assoc. announces Spring 2022 Arizona Restaurant Week

The 10-day event returns Friday May 20 – Sunday May 29th with local restaurants offering creative dishes created for ARW. The popular event offers 3-course prie-fixe dinners are served for $35, $45 or $55 depending on the restaurant. Many new and returning restaurants participate in ARW with a list of restaurants and their menus available on May 1st and gets update as new restaurants get added. Reservations are highly recommended during the 10 days.

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.

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.

Pork on a Fork opening new location in Chandler in May

Popular BBQ joint Pork on a Fork is coming to the East Valley this spring as they get ready to open on Alma School Rd in Chandler. Owners Justin Erickson and Wes Hansen started the started selling their smoked meats and sandwiches at farmer’s markets around Phoenix before opening their original location in north Phoenix’s Deer Valley neighborhood in 2010. After the first location, they opened inside Gila River and Talking Stick Arenas and expanded into catering and a food truck.

The pair gained fame when invited on “Guy Fieri’s Celebrity Food Show” and the host started using their meats during cooking demonstrations. They’ve since found themselves on USA Today’s 10 Best list and on The Cooking Channel’s “Big Bad BBQ Crawl”.

“We’re really excited to continue the expansion of our brand and move into the East Valley,” says Erickson. “This is an entirely new market for us and a big opportunity for us to grow. We can’t wait to welcome this new demographic of BBQ lovers.”

The Chandler location will serve the same slow-cooked smoked meats available in Deer Valley including brisket and pork by the pound. Sandwiches, bowls and burritos along with new items such as Cowboy Nachos, Brisket Chili and smoked turkey and bologna will be on the menu. Dine-in and drive-thru will be available with drive-thru offering more personalized service than traditional fast food drive-thru.

People looking to join the Pork on a Fork team in Chandler can submit an application online at https://www.porkonafork.com/join-our-team. For more information visit their website.

 

Celebrating 4th of July around the Phoenix restaurant scene

We’re half way through 2020 (let it be over already) and that means the 4th of July is a few days away. Celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States around Phoenix at restaurants with specials for the holiday.

North central Phoenix

Aioli Gourmet BurgersIs open for take-out or dining on their patio with these 2 specials and online ordering is available.
$6 Independence Day Celebration ShakeBrownie & Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbles, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, topped with Fresh Whipped Cream, Chocolate Sauce, M&M’s, Mini Cookie and Sprinkles.

$12 Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich- Spicy Fried Chicken Breast, Pickles, Iceberg Lettuce, Green Chili Aioli, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika.

Aioli is at 10652 N 32nd Street, 85028.

Original Breakfast Househas American favorites and a special Italian sweet treat for breakfast & lunch until 2 p.m. Beef Tenderloin Eggs Benedict, $16.50, Crab and Avocado Omelette topped with hollandaise, $16.50 and Tiramisu Pancakes, $12.00. 13623 N. 32nd St. 85032 (602) 482-2328.

Central Phoenix

Miracle Mile DeliThe deli will be closed on the 4th but customers can call in orders for pick-up by 6 p.m. on Friday July 3rd. Family meals and sandwich kits from $55 – $95 and $25 growlers of local craft beer. Find details on each of the platters at website. 4433 N. 16th St. Phoenix 85016. 

Glendale

Padre Murphy’sSpecials include 1/2 rack of pork ribs, fries & cole slaw for $11.99. Watermelon Mojito and Frozen Blue Margarita for $4, Fireball shots $3.00 and drafts of Bud $2.50. Dine- in or take-out. 4338 W. Bell Rd. 85308

Paradise Valley

Salty Sow It’s the return of the restaurants annual “Dinner on Us” meal deal. Buy 1 Get 1 Free when you order one of their signature dinners including Pork ribs, Smoked Brisket and more. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. 4801 E. Cactus Rd. 85032.

Scottsdale

The Roaring ForkLike their sister restaurant Salty Sow, the popular Roaring Fork is offering a Buy 1 Get 1 free “Dinner on Us”. Starting at 4 p.m. choose from wood fired favorites such as the Big Ass Burger, Rainbow Trout or Spit Fired Rotisserie Chicken. 4800 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251.

Phx Beer Co. – is offering The Bird City Beer Brat for $11. The brat is cooked in Bird City Lager with onions and green peppers, served on a hoagie roll with Iron Horse Porter mustard. Choose from seasoned fries, house-made coleslaw or Cowboy Caviar on the side.

Also the Red, White and Bleu burger is available for $15. 8 oz. of AZ grass fed Angus burger is topped with bleu cheese and bleu cheese dressing, served on a challah roll with sliced tomato, onion. Choose a side from above to accompany your burger. 8300 N. Hayden Rd.

Kasai Japanese SteakhouseGet 10% off your entire bill when you wear red, white & blue or the American flag on Sat. or Sun. 14344 N. Scottsdale Road.

The Americanois offering a Bourbon & Family Style Barbecue meal to celebrate. Start with Salted Watermelon Sour, then share a variety of appetizers including Ligurian Onion Focaccia, Waygu meatballs and Caesar salad. For the main course enjoy Americano Smokehouse Barbeque Mary’s Chicken, house salsiccia, Linz Beef “Long Island cut” steak, Cavatappi alla Cacio e Pepe with garlic crumble, corn on the cob and Italian potato salad. Save room for the Tiramisu Cheesecake for dessert.

$55 per person, for reservations, call 480-573-0001. 17797 N. Scottsdale Rd.

Multiple locations

Fired PieGet 20% off your order when you dine-in or take out. Not valid on 3rd party deliveries. Use promo USA to redeem.

Pedal Haus BreweryThe Tempe and Chandler brew pubs are offering a Independence Party Pack all weekend long. For $44 you get two American Flag wristbands, two pairs of Pedal Haus sunglasses and an 8-Pack (or two growlers) of Pedal Haus Day Drinker Light Lager. Add two brats with all the fixings and German potato salad for $15. Pick up Fri, Sat or Sun in Tempe at 720 S. Mill Ave #102 or in downtown Chandler at 95 W. Boston St.

Thirsty Lion GastropubAll day happy hour on cocktails beer & wine. $1 off draft pints and $5.95 for well drinks, house wine & margaritas.

U.S. Egg Save $3 off Mimosa flights all through the month of July. Enjoy the 4th with Stars & Stripes Waffle ($10.99) featuring U.S. Egg’s classic, fresh-made fluffy waffle topped with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream to create a vision of the American flag.

Tempe

Ghost Ranchis offering a special brisket dish for the holiday. 1006 E. Warner Rd. Suite 102-103.

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen – will have live music all day from Cheryl Thurston Dixie Land Jazz Band. $5 for 4th of July Hurricanes and other drink specials will be available. 1325 W. Elliot Rd., Suite 106.

Tortilla Flat

Spend the day visiting the historic western town east of Phoenix in Superstition Mountains. Plenty of room for social distancing and cooler temperatures at the towns restaurant, saloon, museum and country store.

 

 

 

 

Surprise to host inaugural Rib Fest Showdown in April

Update: Postponed, no new date set.

As culinary events and food festivals get postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus a new festival is moving forward as planned. The first ever Rib Fest Showdown debuts April 25th & 26th 2020 in Surprise at Mark Coronado Park. The Throwdown pits Kansas City vs. Texas pitmasters to see who makes the best smokes meats. With the aroma of burning wood in the air festival goers will taste ribs and other smoked meats.

The city of Surprise was chosen as co-host of the event as it’s the Spring Training home of both Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals & Texas Rangers.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Surprise to launch this exciting event,” said Landon Evans owner of HDE Agency. “Supporting the economic growth and working together to build a cornerstone event for the city that will come to be recognized as an annual program is both rewarding and awesome.”

LDE Agency is also producing the KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival on March 28th in Chandler and is taking every per-caution to make sure both festivals are safe, clean and happen as planned.

The family friendly festival also features a ‘Battle of the Bands” with local and national performers, a kid’s zone, food eating contests and more.

The Rib Fest Showdown goes from 12 – 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are on sale with 2 for $16, 4 for $30 or 6 for $40. Walk -up tickets the day of will be $10  each. VIP tickets and a Stay & Play overnight packages are available. A portion of the proceeds from the Rib Fest Throwdown will be donated to Mighty Change of Heart, a local non-profit that provides support for foster children.

The largest BBQ event west of Texas moves to Tumbleweed Park

Update: Postponed, no new date set!

When the 11th annual KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival opens the gates at 12 noon on Saturday March 28th it will be at new location. The BBQ event has moved to the larger Tumbleweed Park in Chandler with 50,000 people expected to attend.

The festival is attracting pit-masters from around Arizona and the country for what’s been awarded “outstanding event of the year”. Over 12 cocktails and beers will be showcased to wash down your spicy, sweet & tangy smoked meats and more. Local BBQ joints include Bobby Q’s, Can’t Stop Smokin’ BBQ, Farm Boy Foods and Tom’s BBQ.BBQ event

Lee Brice and Craig Morgan will co-headline the event presented by iHeart Media and 102.5 KNIX. Country music fans will enjoy non-stop music from multiple stages throughout the 10 hour event. Country superstars Locash and Caylee Hammack will perform along with local talent Jim Bachman & the Day Drinkers, Blaine Long, Drew Cooper and Jacob Morris. Festival goers can enjoy the “For the Love of BBQ” Lounge, VIP tent, Kid Kick Back Zone or other areas.

“This is an incredible musical line-up,” said Landon Evans, owner of HDE Agency. “We are thrilled to partner with iHeart and KNIX to be able to bring this star-studded festival to Chandler for one of our largest events of the year.”

Tickets are on sale now and range in price from $15 for General Admission up to $150 for VIP. To purchase tickets or get more information for the largest BBQ event west of Texas head to their website. Tumbleweed Park is 745 E. Germann Rd. in Chandler.

BBQ, smoked meats and a pitmasters journey at Naked BBQ

There’s a lot of BBQ joints in and around Phoenix with more on the way. It’s one of my favorite foods so it’s always good to see what’s what and who’s who in the BBQ world. More times than not the people are just as good as the food they serve, this is one pit masters journey into the world of BBQ and smoked meats.

I visited Naked BBQ to taste the meats and get the lowdown from Oren Hartman  at his Scottsdale location. His affordable smoked meats and friendly service & atmosphere have Oren thinking about expanding his “Eat Naked” philosophy. Not one for the competition circuit he prefers to spend his time at the restaurants or any number of catering events he does with his staff and customers.

He has many friends in the BBQ community in Arizona and from his travels and many come through for a taste.

Naked BBQ

Growing up in New York there wasn’t much BBQ but college in Madison WI. and living in Chicago helped open his eyes to smoked meats.

Corporate America had Oren travel the country most weeks and not a fan of steakhouse dinners he would visit BBQ pits in the south and mid-west. When a buyout of the company allowed Oren to retire early he knew BBQ was his next career.

After much research and development Oren opened Naked BBQ 4 years ago at Bell Rd. & 23rd  Ave. in north Phoenix and a Scottsdale location last year.

Brisket, ribs and pork shoulder in the smoker

Naked BBQ is named as one of the 100 restaurants by Arizona Republic food editor Dominic Armato in his recent article “The Ultimate Guide to Phoenix Restaurants”.

The meats at Naked BBQ

The aromas of the oak and pecan wood capture you right when you walk in the door as you make your way up to the counter and menu board. No surprises here brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage, smoked chicken and few sides are all you need. Smoked in a meat carousel for up to 16 hours meats are usually pulled sooner if they tasted the way they should.

Naked is the way your meats arrive with 4 sauces available if you choose to. My first tray arrives with strips of brisket that are moist and have a thin layer of fat and are well smoked. My St. Louis style pork ribs tender and cling to the bone just my bite to help fall off. A side of warm mixed beans have chunks of meat scraps and a tinge of heat. Not a big fan of potato salad only a bite or two and I’ll save the calories for the meats.

Tray two brought 2 kinds of smoked sausage, pulled pork, mac n cheese and creamy & Carolina style cole slaws. The pile of pulled pork was juicy and flavorful.

Naked BBQ
Tray 2

Sausage is low on my BBQ priority list so it was good to taste the sausage situation. A lingering spiced sausage and a herbed savory link set the bar for me as I’ll have to start to save room for the links. All three sides were emptied as who can’t resist mac & cheese and I’m always craving a good home cole slaw(s).

Friday and Saturday night specials Oren smokes up Prime Rib then Brontosaurus (beef) ribs respectively.

Sauce it up

If you prefer to dress you meats with sauce there are 4 styles to choose from. Sweet, spicy, a North Carolina vinegar and a rarely seen South Carolina mustard sauce will give you a look at regionally diverse sauces.

If you want more heat ask for the hot pepper paste to stir into your sauces. If you dare taste the paste naked with the meat. A few local beers are on tap to help tamper down the heat.

Scouting for other locations to open Naked BBQ, collaborations with other pitmasters & friends and playing around with a retail line of sauces and rubs Oren’s second career tastes better than his first.

The 2 locations of Naked BBQ are..

2340 W. Bell Rd Phoenix 85023 Lunch only Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or til the meats gone. Fri. & Sat.  11a.m. 8 a.m.

10240 N. 90th St. Suite 105. Scottsdale 85258. Sun – Thurs 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sat. & Sun. til 9 p.m.

 

 

Nothing’s better than BBQ, Bourbon & Beer at Mowry & Cotton

The Phoenician’s Mowry & Cotton restaurant is again hosting their signature BBQ, Bourbon & Beer Feast on Saturday October 27th. Chef de Cuisine Tandy Peterson cooks BBQ favorites smoked spare ribs and whole roasted pig paired with local beers and bourbon. Resort guests and locals are invited to this all-you-can-eat feast.

Guests will be able to sample beers from Four Peaks Brewing Co., Huss Brewing and Phoenix Ale House. Sip on bourbon from Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam and Woodford Reserve.

The 21 & over event offers guests the chance to mix & mingle as they sample food and drink on the patio and at stations inside the restaurant.

Seating is limited and tickets are $70 plus tax & gratuity and include unlimited food and 6 drink samples. The event goes from 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-423-2530 or by email. For more information visit their website.

 

 

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