The Blue Heron opens alongside Crust Simply Italian in Gilbert

Crust Simply Italian continues their expansion with their newest location in the Verde at Cooley Station development in Gilbert. With the new opening comes the new speakeasy themed cocktail bar, The Blue Heron. It’s not owner Mike Merendino’s first dual concept as his Chandler location of Crust also houses The Ostrich cocktail bar downstairs.

“We have been looking in Gilbert for some time now, and when we found the Verde project in Cooley Station we fell in love with the neighborhood,” says owner Merendino. A Mesa location is expected to open in mid-2023.

The East Coast Italian restaurant serves up classic dishes and pizza Merendino used to make in his father’s pizzeria on New York’s Long Island. Authentic pasta dishes, Italian style Rustica shaped pizza’s and craft cocktails are signature to Crust. Happy hour happens Monday -Friday from 3- 6p.m. and offers specials on their popular appetizers and cocktails.

“Crust Simply Italian is looking forward to serving the local Gilbert community with delicious authentic East Coast Italian food! We want our customers to come in as friends and to walk away feeling like family!” says Merendino.

“Dealer’s Choice” at The Blue Heron

The Blue Heron specializes in craft cocktails and the popular “dealer’s choice” cocktail. The “dealer’s choice” is perfect for those aren’t sure what they want to drink so the bartenders create custom cocktails based on the customer’s preference of ingredients. Merendino continues his Birds of a Feather theme in naming The Blue Heron, a native bird to Arizona. Doors open daily at 5 p.m.

Both Gilbert locations offer catering and have space for private dining and events. Crust opens daily at 11 a.m. and is at 2470 S Recker Rd #101,Gilbert AZ 85296.

Enjoy my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

 

 

Paloma Punchout bartending competition coming to the Esplanade

A nationwide bartending competition is coming to Phoenix bringing bartenders from around the country to see who makes the best Paloma. Arlene Magana from Platform 16 Bar will represent Phoenix in the Paloma Punchout Saturday, October 22nd at the Esplanade.

The Paloma is prepared by combining tequila, lime juice and grapefruit flavored soda and is the the most popular tequila based cocktail in Mexico. Not much is known how it got its start but some say it was named after a popular folk song “La Paloma”, The Dove. The cocktail debuted in Phoenix in 1938 when grapefruit soda was first used.

Each participant won a competition in their city to earn the chance to win the $10,000 cash prize. Another Round, Another Rally, a nonprofit offering emergency assistance and financial support to those in the hospitality in their time of need will be the beneficiary of the event. Mister Wallin’s Neighborhood, a global community of bartenders, mixologists and food & wine lovers, conducted a nationwide search of top bars to find the best Paloma cocktail. The cocktails will be scored on a weighted system on flavor, balance, appearance, and inspiration.

Tickets for the Paloma Punchout are available at Eventbrite for $50 and gets you seven cocktails from the local pop-up bars in attendance. The Esplanade is at 2501 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. The competition starts at 8 p.m.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Angry Crab Shack to donate to veterans in July

All 15 Arizona locations will donate $.25 from every dine-in guest to Arizona Housing Coalition’s Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance. Their goal is to raise $75,000 during their 6th annual “You Dine, We Donate” campaign until July 31st. Guests can also purchase merchandise with a portion of the proceeds donated as well.

Throwback Tiki Tuesday party at Liberty Station Tavern

The DC Ranch restaurant is hosting the tropical party on Tuesday July 12th from 5-9 p.m. Special guest bartenders will be Garrit Guthrie and Kyla Hein will be mixing up refreshing tropical cocktails.

$1 Monsoon IPA when it rains at PHX Beer Co.

Until the end of September the Scottsdale and Phoenix locations celebrate monsoon season when a measurable amount of rain falls at Sky Harbor Airport. Your first pint of the locally brewed IPA is only a buck.

Make the drive to Queen Creek Olive Mill and save $10

The rising gas prices may be putting the brakes on driving to your favorite local retailer. Those driving out to the East Valley on Saturdays and Sundays can save $10 on purchases the Mill’s branded products of $50 or more. Extra virgin olive oils, spices, sauces and more are available for purchase.

Macayo’s opens newest restaurant in Chandler

Las Tiendas Village is where the locally owned restaurant has opened its doors for lunch, dinner and happy hour. Indoor and outdoor dining is available at the popular retail center at Alma School & Queen Creek Rds. which also welcomed Lou Malnati’s in May.

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.

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen offer Healthy Hour menu

All 6 locations (5 in Phoenix area and 1 in Sedona) kicked off the new summer Healthy Hour recently. Daily from 3 -6 p.m. enjoy popular food items and cocktails such as Baked Wings, Mama’s Meat-Za-Balls and Baked Brie for $8. Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip and Avocado Toast are $7 and Cheese Bread is $6.

Wash them down with $4 Local Drafts, glasses of house wines for $5 and Zo’s House Made Sangria for $6. Signature cocktails including the Prickly Pear Margarita and Smoky Cadillac are $7 and both use the locally owned Shrubwell‘s rimming salt.

 Dole Whip only $2 on Monday at Koibito Poke

Cool off on National Pineapple Day at the Gainey Ranch location of Koibito Poke with the the popular frozen treat. The 5 oz. Dole Whip is available all day from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Chef Brett Vibber and Pedal Haus Brewery team up for beer paired dinner

Master Brewer Derek Osborne and Wild Arizona chef Brett Vibber team up for a five-course dinner on Thursday June 30th. Dinner will take place at the brewer’s downtown Phoenix location at 214 E. Roosevelt St. starting at 6 p.m. Foraged and locally sourced dishes including Wild Mushroom Potstickers and Arizona Wagyu Brisket will be paired with Mexican Amber Lager and Haus IPA. Seats are limited and are $120 and can be reserved here.

Venezia’s Pizza in Chandler now open

The 6th location of the poplar locally owned restaurant I featured last month is now open for business. Known for pizza and wings they offer daily lunch specials and the “Slice of the Day”. Owner Domenick Montanile opened his first location in Tempe in 1998 right after graduating from ASU.

Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen + Bar now open at Chase Field

When it was announced in February that Guy Fieri would we be opening a new restaurant at Chase Field little information was known. Now we know that “Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen +Bar” has opened this week inside the new Caesars Sportsbook. Executive Chef Kayla Laasko offers scratch made food along with classic cocktails, beer & wine. Several of Fieri’s classic dishes including Trash Can Nachos and the popular Bacon Mac n Cheeseburger are on the menu along with new dishes.

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.

$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.

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.

Beard Papa’s opens new location in Gilbert tomorrow

The Japanese build your own cream puff bakery with a cult like following is opening its newest location at SanTan Village Mall, Saturday February 26th. The Gilbert location is the 2nd in Arizona having opened in Scottsdale last year. The first 100 guests when they open at 10 a.m. will receive a surprise gift and BP will be collecting donations for Phoenix Children’s Hospital throughout the day.

Corazon Tequila Dinner at Spotted Donkey Cantina

Seats are available for authentic Mexican cuisine paired with the world class tequila for 4-courses on Friday, March 11th. Fresh ingredients will be used for dishes including Octopus Ceviche, Wagyu Beef Short Rib Mole and more. Seats are $98 per person and can be reserved by calling 480-488-3358 or online here.

Food Truck Friday West hosts more than 10-20 food trucks

Tonight and every Friday from 5 – 9p.m. foodies can try new & favorite foods from the valley’s food truck community. Momma’s Organic Market hosts the weekly event at Desert Financial Credit Union 17445 N. 79th Ave. in Glendale.

Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery open Page brewpub

Almost a year ago the Williams based brewery & distillery announced their 3rd location in the state would be on the banks of Lake Powell. It’s now open with a full menu of craft beers, spirited cocktails and scratch made food. Over 20 TVs and an indoor & outdoor seating are features that will also attract visitors to Horseshoe Bend location that used to be a firehouse.

Cajun festival tomorrow in Chandler

The great weather here in Arizona brings out spicy Cajun cooking, live music and more as Mardi Gras approaches. Tomorrow’s festival in downtown Chandler starts at 2 p.m. For more information and how to get tickets see my featured post.

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.

Foch Café & Bistro opens in Tempe

A new hip bistro opened in downtown Tempe recently serving American & European inspired cuisine and cocktails. Foch Café & Bistro pays tribute to the street in Paris that Fares Tarabichi’s grandparents used to live on. “I am so proud of my French education and visiting my grandparents in Paris every summer made me truly appreciate the beautiful French culture.” says Tarabichi, co-founder of Foch Café & Bistro. “Foch honors both the memory of my amazing grandparents, as well as French culture.”

Tarabichi and partner Chef Timothy Richardson are no strangers to the Phoenix restaurant scene as Tarabichi founded The Crêpe Cafe and co-founded The Bodhi and AZ Liquids. Arizona native Richardson attended Le Cordon Bleu where learned French cooking techniques. For 16 years since he’s worked in several different restaurants from cantinas to fine dining. Before opening Foch Café & Bistro he was senior sous chef at the Arizona Biltmore.

“As a chef, it has always been a dream of mine to open a restaurant and I am excited to share delectable French inspired cuisine with the wonderful residents and visitors of Tempe.” said Richardson, co-founder of Foch Café & Bistro. “Foch is an open, bright and happy space for people to gather and celebrate community once again.”

The bistro offers a full menu for dine-in of hot & cold paninis, salads, freshly baked pastries, a coffee bar and to-go items from Foch Market. Crêpes are featured on the menu and can be paired with unique flavors of gelato. The craft cocktail menu includes cocktails made with house made fresh juices along with local craft beers.

Foch Café & Bistro is at 21 E. 6th St. is open daily from 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. and is dog friendly on the 600 square foot patio. 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.

 

“In the Lane” holiday cocktail event celebrates the spirit(s) of the season

Nothing beats the feeling you get as a kid or as a ‘big” kid during the holiday season. Event producer Mecurial AZ is throwing an event for the “big” kids at their first annual “In the Lane” holiday cocktail event happening next Thursday evening December 15th.

“It’s undeniable that there is something special about this time of year,” says Mercurial AZ founder, Shea Graves. “As children, we watched our world change around this with excitement, but, as we have matured, the holiday essence has become clouded with the stress of gift giving, & making sure everything is ‘perfect.’ The magic of the holidays is not only for children. I want to provide one night for adults to experience a night of the carefree holiday magic we remember so fondly.”

Mrs. Santa’s Sister. All photos courtesy of Miguel Mora

Creative holiday cocktails from valley mixologist Miguel Mora will help set the holiday mood with live music from the Kim Weston Jazz Band performing holiday favorite tunes. Magician and fire-eater, Mike the Trickster will entertain guests and there will be plenty of  photo opportunities including those with the resident “dapper Santa”.

Mora who’s made cocktails at Vecina and Maple & Ash has created a welcome drink and three full sized seasonal craft cocktails for the “In the Lane” event. Cocktails will be made with spirits from Grand Canyon Brewing & Distilling and craft beers from 12 West Brewing & Grand Canyon Brewing and food from The Wildfire food truck will be available for purchase.

Proceeds from the night will benefit Little Eyes International, a Phoenix non-profit that provides free eye exams and glasses to children in Rocky Point. “In the Lane” will be at Alborada Village at Central & Baseline Rd. in Phoenix from 6:30 – 10 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person with the welcome drink and three craft cocktails included. Tickets can be purchased at 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.

It’s tamale time at Los Sombreros

The locally owned Mexican restaurant in Scottsdale and Mesa are taking orders for their homemade Mexican comfort food by the dozen. Customers can split the orders to 6 each of two flavors Green Corn, Tomatillo Chicken, Rajas, Carnitas, Shredded Beef Brisket and Pineapple. 24 hour notice is required and they are available to be picked until December 24th at noon.

Festive Yuletide cocktails at Mavrix for a limited time

The entertainment venue in the Talking Stick Entertainment District has unveiled 4 seasonal cocktails available until December 31st. Sip on a Naughty or Spiced, Mistletoe Mule, White Christmas or Gettin’ Blitzen with scratch made food from their Trophy Room Grill.

Leila’s Empanadas launches in time for the holidays

Chef Leila Beltrame launched her new line of sweet & savory empanadas made from her family’s secret Brazilian recipe. A staple of Latin American cuisine her Beef, Chicken & Olive and Apple Creme Brulee empanadas are available at Sam’s Frozen Yogurt at 3434 W. Anthem Way, Anthem 85086 and online soon.

Crumbl Cookies around Phoenix collecting toys for Harvest Compassion Center

The local cookie franchise is collecting new toys in original packaging or minimum $10 gift card in exchange for a mention of a free Chocolate Chip Cookie. Exchange a toy for a cookie at their Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Queen Creek, Signal Butte, Red Mountain Mesa, Mesa Groves, Arcadia, Norterra and Tempe locations.

2022 RECOUPON AZ Beers Booklet now available

The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild has released their popular booklet of $700 worth of coupons & discounts for the holidays. For only $35 you can use the coupons at 43 of Arizona breweries until the end of 2022. 110 coupons are in the booklet with up to 4 from each brewery. The booklets are available until the end of January 2022 at 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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