Parking lot eats and social distancing in south Scottsdale

A week into the Covid-19 pandemic and restaurants only serving takeout I’ve been making my way to my neighborhood “Go to” restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are plenty of great restaurants in south Scottsdale and I’ve been to my share but rarely do I dine in the parking lot. With takeout only available I rarely take the food more than a few feet from where I pick it up from. With so many great lists of restaurants serving takeout I wanted to put a list together of my neighborhood parking lot eats that I’ve been supporting before we started social distancing. parking lot eats

I haven’t found the need to travel far from home during this time so most are in 85257/857251 that I can walk or bike to but occasionally I make my way into Phoenix or Tempe.

Follow me on Instagram for real time #ParkingLotFoodPic and check back as update the list of my parking lot eats.

Inner Circle Cafe cheerfully serving coffee breakfast & lunch.

Defalco’s Italian Deli & Grocery– A favorite for sandwiches, wine, pizza and more. The Il Purista is one of the “Best Sandwiches” in town says me.

Losbeto’s on Hayden north of Thomas has 24/7 drive thru.

George’s Famous Gyros– The best gyros, lots of meat!!!

Los Sombreros– Mexican food and Steve-O-Ritas to go at this south Scottsdale staple.

Clancy’s Pub for St. Patrick’s Day, my last dine-in before shutdown.

Gus’s NY Pizza– A coupla slices always taste good.

Tocaya Organica– Healthy food at Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Spinato’s Pizza in Tempe on Rio Salado.

Starlite BBQ– Smoked meats and whiskey while you wait.

Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning for breakfast.

Fiesta Burrito– Can always count of a good, filling & well priced breakfast burritos and more.

D’Lite Healthy on the Go good for breakfast, lunch and coffee at walk-up window or drive-thru.

Berdena’s offers delicious pastry and limited food menu with coffee & tea in downtown Scottsdale.

NY Bagels & Bialy’s south Scottsdale location is closed. Take out available at their Scottsdale & Shea location.

 

Spinatos Meatball sandwich

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.

Founders Food Fest part of LPGA Founders Cup festivities

The LPGA’s Founders Cup tournament pulls into north Phoenix in March and with it will be inaugural Founders Food Fest. The golf tournament at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa celebrates its 10th anniversary with week-long festivities and the two day food festival will be on Saturday and Sunday March 21st & 22nd and will feature at seven food trucks each day.

“The Founders Cup prides itself on being the ultimate family golf experience in the Valley, and that now includes this fun and tasty event for golf enthusiasts and foodies alike,” said Scott Wood, tournament director. “We’ve selected the most popular trucks in Phoenix for a food tour guests can enjoy while watching the best players in the LPGA compete this spring.”

Founders Food Fest
Photos courtesy of Ivan Morales at Evolve Marketing & PR

Once inside guests can get their “passport” stamped at each food truck then redeem a fully stamped “passport” for drink tickets at the 1950’s Club, an exclusive tented area on the 9th green.

Saturday’s food trucks include Short Leash Hot Dogs, Ice Cream Sociables and Wok this Way.

Sunday guests can taste dishes from Flying K BBQ, Paletta Betty, Chef Wade’s Bistro on Wheels and more.

Tickets for the Founders Food Fest are $65 per day plus tax when purchased on line and $125 for a weekend pass. Wildfire Golf Club is at 5350 E. Marriott Dr. Phoenix 85054.

 

The Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest returns for its 6th year

Downtown Chandler will feel a bit like New Orleans’s French Quarter for a few hours on Saturday, February 15th 2020. This is when fans of Cajun food and culture can expect to party into the night at the 6th Annual Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest.

AJ Chandler Park will again host over a dozen restaurants including Angry Crab Shack, Bayou Bistro and Honey Bears Cajun BBQ Cuisine serving up gumbo, crawfish, Po’boys and more. Abita beers such as Purple Haze, Hop On and more will be on draft.

“Angry Crab Shack is excited to team up with HDE Agency and bring a Mardi Gras party to the East Valley while benefiting one of our partners in Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” said Andrew Diamond, president of Angry Crab Franchise. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

HooDoo Coasters, Bluesman Mike, NolAz Band and Souled Out Jazz Band will perform live throughout the 9 hour festival. Food eating contest, lawn games, flame throwers and a Kid’s Zone will entertain festival goers.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital as they plan to expand into the east valley. The festivities start at noon and ticket options including veteran’s discounts, general admission and the Big Easy Lounge are available. To purchase tickets for the Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest and get more information head to their website.

AJ Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler

The 9th annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival set for Aug. 22 -25

The culinary stars shine bright on southern California when the 9th Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine festival launches for four days in August. Celebrity chefs and local food icons show off the coastal cuisine of southern California cooking. Jerimiah Tower and Nancy Silverton are two of the chefs cooking for guests at diners, cooking demonstrations and more.

The four days start with a series of dinners Thursday evening at restaurants around the city before shifting to the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica airport for the weekend.

Los Angeles Food & Wine festival events

14 culinary events will span the weekend including…..

The Legends Dinner at Chi SPACCA: The widely credited father of California cuisine Jeremiah Tower joins queen of the Mozza-Plex Nancy Silverton at her white-hot Chi SPACCA. This epic, one-night-only pairing promises a lifetime of bragging rights to the 40 festival-goers fortunate enough to snag a ticket.

Dinner at Otium: Fans of Netflix’s “The Final Table” can pull up a chair to watch 2018 season winner Tim Hollingsworth share the spotlight with rising star chef Travis Swikard at Hollingsworth’s downtown masterpiece, The Broad museum-adjacent Otium. 

The Epic Burger Throwdown with Alvin Cailan: In a city known for great burgers, the best are going bun to bun to win the coveted LAFW Golden Burger Show Trophy. Host Alvin Cailan, of YouTube’s “The Burger Show,” joins celebrity judges Seth Rogen, Tiffani Thiessen and Adam Richman in this juicy battle of the beef.

LA’s Faves & Craves: In one short stroll, festival-goers can take in the breathtaking diversity of L.A.’s culinary landscape as the city’s own Jet Tila hosts a showcase of the most crave-worthy dishes of 25 local chefs. L.A’s finest tacos, pizza, hot dogs, donuts, fried chicken and Asian-inspired specialties will share one location for one afternoon.

Meat Me at LAFW’s Great Steak-out & BBQ: Meat master Curtis Stone of Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant and 25 other great tamers of the flame are bringing their A+ game to LAFW. Surf, sides, caviar and Big Cabs will complement the slabs at this event evoking the nation’s greatest steakhouses and BBQ joints.

Sunday Brunch So Hard: Those lucky enough to score one of the very limited VIP tickets to LAFW’s grand finale enjoy rare pre-event access to Jeremiah Tower, the illustrious self-taught chef dubbed “The Last Magnificent” by Anthony Bourdain. Standard tickets are anything but shabby, too, at the culinary legend’s brunch-to-end-all-brunches.

To see a full list of events, more information and to purchase tickets visit their website.

Celebration of Summer at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North

Whether you want to enjoy a cocktail and light bites or a sit down dinner the Four Seasons Resort at Troon North have something to offer. My last post about Talavera Restaurant dining experiences offers an epicurean adventure to Spain and Latin America. The resorts other restaurants Proof, An American Canteen, Onyx Bar and Lounge as well as Talavera, offer culinary treats created in time for summer.

I had the pleasure of tasting all of the dishes and drinks below. All cocktails below are created by the resorts beverage director in conjunction with the chefs of each establishment. The dishes are light and offer seasonal ingredients and the drinks were refreshing and unique.

Onyx Bar & Lounge at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North

Just of the lobby with a beautiful view to the south you can enjoy these specially created bites and cocktails. Talavera Restaurant Sous Chef Samantha Sanz and her culinary team created the these three dishes.

Salmon Belly Tartare
Chistorra and Peppers Flatbread with charred chistorra, pipperada, caramelized onion and mustard sauce, cotija cheese.
Cheesy Arepa Bite
Salmon Belly Tartare
Illegal Anejo Mezcal Old Fashioned
Negroni Spritz
Ultimate Honeydew

Proof, An American Canteen

Everything served in this roadhouse styled restaurant is from the good ol’ U.S.A. Take a road trip around the country in June, July and August with the specially created dishes and drinks.

Prepared by chefs Dell Morris, Joey Cavaretta and Conrad Butler “Proof Across America”  along with Smokehouse Fridays where entrees are cooked low n slow in their outdoor smoker.

Four seasons Resort at Troon North
Texas BBQ Platter

June- Stone Crab Cake with sea urchin and Key lime remoulade

July– Texas BBQ Plate with beef brisket, smoky beer cheese sausage and house made BBQ sauce. Watermelon Panzanella Salad with Crow’s Dairy goat feta and mint. I love BBQ!

August- Crispy cactus fries with cotija cheese and avocado ranch.

Havasu Heat (with Ixa Tequila, pineapple and charred jalapeño)

Huss Arizona Light Lager

Le Cumbre Elevated IPA

Talavera Restaurant

The Spanish steakhouse serves tapas styled small plates, desserts and cocktails unique to the Spanish culture. More from sous chef Sanz and dessert by Pastry Chef Lance Whipple.

Four Seasons Resort at Troon North
Brazilian Carrot Cake

Pan con Tomate – Noble bread, roasted garlic, heirloom tomato and Spanish olive oil

Queen Creek Olives

Summer Corn and Tomato Tapa with summer corn, heirloom tomato with tomato butter cilantro and charred lime

Charred Tuna with grilled peach and salted marcona almonds

Summer Corn Paella with chorizo Bilbao, prawn, peas, mussels and clams, and chermoula verde

Brazilian Carrot Cake with chocolate brigadeiro icing, and summer carrot purée. This was a personal favorite, like no carrot cake you’ve had before.

Leche Frita with cajeta goat milk caramel and sherry blackberries

Rose Sangria with watermelon, tangerine and strawberry

Tarragon Gin Tonic- Did you see my Instagram video of Beverage Director Laura creating this cocktail?

The Four Seasons Resort at Troon North is at 10600 Crescent Moon Dr. 85262

It’s National BBQ Month and Famous Dave’s has deals for your meals

There’s a lot to celebrate in the month of May including foodie favorite National BBQ Month. The 4 Phoenix area Famous Dave’s BBQ’s have a months worth of BBQ deals for smoked meat lovers.

Chicken Week starts today through the 12th. $12.99 for a chicken platter, 2 sides, salad and cornbread.

Add-On Brisket Week is the 13th – 19th. For $2 you can add smoked brisket to any entrée.

Every Monday in May is BOGO Monday. Buy 1 sandwich and get 1 FREE!

Must mention above offer to get deals.

Tuesday is $29.99 Feast for 2. Save $14!

When mom and dad order an entrée on Tuesday, kid’s get to eat for free from the Lil Wilbur’s menu. 1 free kids meal per adult entrée.

Wing Wednesday gets you $.50 Jumbo Wings. Do I need to say anything else!

All You Can Eat Rib Tips for $15.99 on Thursdays. Sorry no sharing or to-go boxes for this one.

Kick off the weekend on Friday’s with $5 Hand Crafted Signature Drinks.

Also during National BBQ Month

You know your mom loves BBQ so bring her in on Mother’s Day for a $10 gift card for another visit. And Signature Drinks are just $5.

Senior Lunch Deal gets those 55 & over saving 20% everyday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in May. Don’t forget to mention the offer for this one.

Book a graduation party at Famous Dave’s during National BBQ Month and get a $25 gift card for future visit. Call 480-718-5331, text 480-310-9310 or email  catering@famousdavesaz.com  for more information and to place your order!

Until May 19th bring a case of water and help fill an F-150 and receive 1/2 off voucher for Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix AND a free brisket sandwich. Limited quantities on both.

Visit Famous Dave’s BBQ for more details. No other discounts on above promotions valid. The 4 Phoenix area Famous Dave’s are at Mesa Riverview, Santan Village in Gilbert, Chandler & Peoria.

 

 

Farmboy American Fare fights childhood hunger with Red Tractor Lunchbox program

Full service caterer Farmboy American Fare has begun a boxed lunch service for perfect group picnics, sales meetings and more. “The Red Tractor Lunchbox” program offers lunch for groups of 10 or more and a portion of all boxes sold will benefit childhood hunger programs. 25 cents from each box sold will be donated to the Association of Arizona Food Banks (AAFB). When ordering online customers can choose to donate more.

“Growing up on the farm, you didn’t think twice about helping someone in need. It’s just what you did to be a good neighbor,” said Zach Gibbs, owner of Farmboy American Fare. “The Red Tractor Lunchbox” giving campaign is our way of carrying on that tradition. I can’t think of a better way to do that than by feeding people, which is what we love to do.”

Each meal comes individually boxed and customers can choose from salads, sandwiches, wraps and BBQ. A Blue Ribbon Prime Rib Sandwich, Harvest Bounty Plate, Southern Fried Chicken are a few options. Executive chef Mike Scoplitte brings over 30 years of experience to Farmboy American Fare. In addition to catering Farmboy also schedules pop-up dinners offering fun culinary experiences.

One in four children in Arizona don’t get consistent meals they need to grow and thrive. “Children who are focused on their growling tummies can’t focus on learning,” said Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of AAFB. “Through special grants and donations like the “Red Tractor Lunchbox” giving campaign, we work to support our community in making sure kids get the nutrition they need through programs such as the Summer Food Service Program, School Meals and Alternative Breakfast Models.”

Once prepared the lunch boxes will be delivered to your door or office and may arrive via tractor.

To place an order visit their website.

 

Business as usual at TEXAZ Grill as owner decides to sell

Rather than closing restaurants as owners move on they are finding new owners to keep them up and running. Yesterday I posted about The House Brasserie getting new owners, today TEXAZ Grill has a new owner.

After 33 years owner Steve Freidkin was ready to move on but didn’t want to close his famous Phoenix restaurant. Selling almost a million Chicken Fried Steaks and Texas style food new owners, the Nguyen family don’t plan any changes.

The new owners

The Nguyen’s moved to Arizona in 2007 from Houston where they immigrated to in 1989. They have been longtime fans of the restaurant ever since and are looking forward to taking it over.

“Our entire family is excited to take the reins at TEXAZ Grill and continue the proud traditions started by Steve Freidkin and Jim Mitchell way back in 1985,” says Long Nguyen. “Most important, we want TEXAZ fans to know their restaurant is in good hands, and we look forward to serving up Phoenix’s best steaks, chicken fried steaks and more for another 33 years.”

Long time staff and management will stay in place to continue serving comfort classics like steaks, chili and BBQ.

Former owner

Friedkin will stay on board with the new owners through November and will then become a customer.

“After three plus decades as owner, chief cook and bottle washer at TEXAZ Grill, I’m ready to ride off into the sunset,” says Steve Freidkin. “But first I had to make sure that my staff and our customers, who are both like family to me, were all in great hands. It was very important to me that TEXAZ remains a family run restaurant.”

“The staff makes TEXAZ Grill great, and I know that they will have the same friendly service and use the same recipes that we’ve had for the past 33 years, including chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, TEXAZ Red Chili, pecan pie, and more.”

TEXAZ Grill is at 6003 N. 16th St. Phoenix 85016. www.TEXAZGrill.com