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.

Dog Haus Biergarten Tempe opens this weekend

Grand opening celebrations start when the newest Dog Haus opens at The Watermark on Saturday at 11 a.m. 20% of sales this weekend will be donated to the Tempe Diablos and customers can enter to win a FREE Haus Dog every week through 2021. Until March 7th 20 people will be picked when the text “Tempe” to 31996 to win.

National Margarita Day is Monday 2/22, where are you celebrating?

The famous tequila cocktail is celebrated next week with specials at several restaurant. Scottsdale’s Roaring Fork offers $5 margs starting at 4 p.m. and Glendale’s Urban Margarita offers $4 margs on Taco Tuesday 2/23.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar’s Scottsdale and Camelback locations celebrate all weekend with to-go 32 oz. batches of margs for $20 (normally $29.95) and single serve margs for $5 for dine-in or to-go. Other restaurants celebrating are Z Teja’s, GuacStar Kitchen, Angry Crab Shack, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Macayo’s & Ghost Ranch.

It’s Beer vs. Bubbles at Zuzu

Enjoy a reception and 3 -course dinner paired with beers from Belgium’s Chimay and France’s Perrier- Jouet Champagnes at the Hotel Valley Ho. Thursday 2/25 at 6:30 p.m. is when this friendly competition goes down seeing which beverage pairs best with Executive Chef Russel LaCasce’s menu. Space is limited and seats are $129 per person ++. Call 480-421-7997 to reserve your seat.

Arizona Restaurant Week dates announced

The Spring’ 21 edition of the popular ARW will be May 21st – 30th. The bi-annual event from the Arizona Restaurant Association has local restaurants creating unique 3-course menus for the 10 day culinary event. Dinners are $33 or $44 and can be paired with wine or cocktail for an additional cost. The list of restaurants is always updated and menus will be available in coming weeks and months.

Cigar & Bourbon dinner at Match Market & Bar in Phoenix

Sip, smoke & eat next Friday  2/26 at the signature restaurant in the Founde:RE Hotel. The 4-course dinner will be paired with the Sazerac family of whiskeys tastes and cocktails paired with each course. Fumar Cigars will be featured and available for purchase. Seats are $90++ per person and can be purchased here.

 

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.

FRANCINE adds new dishes using award-winning olive oil

The Scottsdale restaurant is now using MillPress Imports olive oils sourced from Spain for new dishes. FRANCINE owner Laurent Balasz met MillPress owner Tim Balshi 15 years ago and uses his olive oil at his L.A. restaurant Fig & Olive. A few of the south of France inspired dishes using the olive oil include Mediterranean Branzino, Grilled Lamb Rack and Golden Apple Pear Sorbet.

Devour at Home pre-orders start February 1st

Foodies can start to order meals for the virtual food festival starting this coming Monday. Local restaurants will prepare meals for the weekend of February 27th and 28th. The virtual Devour at Home is the 2021 version of the annual Devour Culinary Classic from Local First Arizona. Only 25 orders from each restaurant will be available with 10 restaurants participating each day. Orders can be placed starting at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. on February 19th. For more information and to place an order visit https://www.devourphoenix.com/

Pita Jungle’s new food truck rolls out in February

The locally owned Mediterranean food restaurants with locations around Phoenix debuts its new food truck next month. Selections from their menu will be available around Phoenix and will soon be available for private events and corporate functions. New dishes just for the on the go crowd will be available along with meal combos at a set price. Find out where to find the food truck at https://www.pitajungle.com/

National Tater Tot Day at Angel’s Trumpet Alehouse

Enjoy the popular side dish on February 2nd at the downtown taphouse and restaurant with a Basket O’ Tots for $7. The special is available all day and even during happy hour form 3-6 p.m. where you can get $5 pints of local drafts and $9 flatbreads. You can ask for basket upgrade for only $2 more.

Daily Dose debuts dinner at its midtown location

Good news for dinner fans, the restaurant known for fresh and scratch made brunch debuts dinner on Tuesday February 2nd at its 20th St. and Highland location. New dishes include Chorizo Mac n Cheese, Roasted Baby Back Ribs, a selection of loaded fries and more. A new budget friendly happy hour will also be available and includes new cocktails.

 

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.

New Year, new menu at Kasai Japanese Steakhouse

The Scottsdale teppanyaki restaurant added several new dishes and a dozen cocktails to its menu. Coconut Chicken Skewers, Lobster Fried Rice and Kabayaki Scallops are just a few of the new dishes. Cocktails include the Woodsman & Sweet Orchard which uses Japanese whiskeys and other ingredients. A full list of sake and Japanese whiskey are available.

Keto friendly bread now available from Mediterra Bakehouse

The family-owned artisan bakery now sells breads for those who follow a keto diet. Keto wheat flower is lower in carbohydrates and rich in protein. Sunflower, flax and sesame seeds are added for more nutritional value. Each loaf is $8 and can be found at local farmer’s markets, AJ’s Fine Foods, Divine Bakery, Luci’s Healthy Marketplace and Le Grande Orange.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. partners with Mobetta Golf Tour

Golfer John Daly co-founded the tour has named the NASCAR champions  “Two Times” beers “Official Beer of the Mobetta Tour”. A Phoenix brewery and taproom are in development.

Match Market & Bar to host Great Gatsby dinner

The signature restaurant at the Found:RE Hotel will be transformed into an epic event on Saturday February 6th. A Gatsby inspired five-course dinner paired with themed cocktails of the times will be served to those in attendance. Dinner is called for 7 p.m. and is $75 per person and can be purchased here.

Morning Squeeze coming to downtown Phoenix

The popular breakfast and lunch spot will open its 3rd location in the Spring at 1st and Washington streets. Known for playing 70s and 80s music the new restaurant will include an indoor and outdoor bar, grab n go area for take- away food and ample outlets to plug in your devices for people to meet, eat & work.

 

JBF Women of AZ collaborate on creative meals for a limited time

This weekend’s launch of JBF Women of AZ shows off the partnership of 15 talented women chefs as Phoenix is one of 10 cities participating in the national alliance “Let’s Talk” from The James Beard Foundation Women’s Leadership Program. “Let’s Talk” is the brainchild of Chicago’s Rohini Dey, Ph.D., owner of Vermilion and trustee of the JBF whose goal is to bring women restaurateurs together for collaboration and support.

This weekend (sold out) and the weekends of January 22nd & 23rd and 29th & 30th you can order a special 3-course meal from 5 groups of chef’s preparing each course of the meal. Each three- course meal feeds two people and is $55 with meals needing to be ordered online by 10 p.m. the Wednesday of each week for pick-up on Friday or Saturday night.

By collaborating the women are learning from each other, sharing ideas and helping to support locally owned businesses during the pandemic.

The 15 Phoenix area women led restaurants participating in the JBF Women of AZ are……

Maya’s Cajun Kitchen
24 Carrots
Cotton & Copper

The Farish House
The Joy Bus Diner
Songbird Coffee House

FnB
Hana Japanese Eatery
Tracy Dempsey Originals

Fat Ox
The Market by Jennifer’s
Sweet Republic

The Cellar
Nonna Urban Eatery
The Breadfruit & Rum Bar

To see the menus & chefs, place an order and pick-up instructions head to their website.

Devour at Home, a virtual Devour Culinary Classic coming in February

2021 is almost here but we’re not out of the woods yet from Covid-19 so virtual get togethers are still happening in the new year. Continuing to support local restaurants Local First Arizona announced their annual Devour Culinary Classic is going online with Devour at Home the weekend of February 27-28.

Each day local chefs will prepare and have delivered a special prix-fixe meal to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. There will be a limited amount of meals offered with each meal being $200 and feeds 4 people. Each meal includes wine glasses, warming instructions, chef bios, a 2021 Devour at Home place mat and a commemorative thermal tote.

Chefs participating in Devour at Home include Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Stephen Jones of The Larder +Delta, Silvana Salcido Esparanza of Barrio Cafe and others. Attendees can show off their plating skills from home to win prizes selected by the chefs and other virtual experiences. The nationally recognized event plans to return in person when CDC guidelines allow.

The participating restaurants will receive 100% of all proceeds from the weekend’s event. You can order your meals starting on February 15th and get more information at https://www.devourphoenix.com/.

 

September brings the return of Arizona Restaurant Week

One of the most popular events among the Arizona restaurant community is Arizona Restaurant Week. The 10 day culinary event returns Friday September 18th – Sunday the 27th around the state. Like the June event participating restaurants will offer dine-in or take-out 3 course meals along with liquor to-go. According to the Arizona Restaurant Association almost 80 restaurants have already signed up to participate.

“We feel not only gratitude but also great pride in the fact that the local dining community has showed up again and again in support of our industry since closures and limited re-opening mandates,” says Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are thrilled to see that dining out — whether that means in-restaurant or getting take-out — is still such an important part of people’s lives.”

The modified event started to include take-out options due to the uncertainty of 2020’s Covid – 19 pandemic. Restaurants create 3-course menus for $33 or $44 per person for the September event with wine at an additional cost. Reservations are recommended for those looking to visit a new restaurant or return to a favorite one.

To see participating restaurants and menus head to the Arizona Restaurant Association’s website. The website is updated as new restaurants sign up.

Statewide support expected for new 10 day culinary event

As restaurants begin to re-open for dine in service while continuing to offer take out a new culinary event “Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out” has emerged. The statewide 10 day event is produced by the Arizona Restaurant Association and is Arizona Restaurant Week with the new take out option. Restaurants will offer special prix- fixe menus from June 19th – 28th and September 18th – 27th. Participating restaurants will adhere to CDC guidelines including social distancing whether customers dine in or take out.

“We are so grateful for the support of our local dining community in the weeks that followed restaurant closures in March,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “The quick creation of Arizona Takeout Weeks and Arizona Restaurant Strong efforts could not have been possible without them. As Arizona Restaurant Weeks returns in a modified format to include dine-in, take out and liquor to-go options, we are hopeful that our wonderful community of food enthusiasts will continue to show their support in any way they feel comfortable.”

Like Arizona Restaurant Week, fine dining and casual restaurants will offer a unique 3 course menus for $33 or $44 plus wine during the 10 days. Restaurant goers tend to find new restaurants to check out or visit favorites for the dishes they aren’t used to having.

Short list of restaurants participating

New restaurants statewide have signed up to participate as have returning restaurants. New restaurants include The Dressing Room, Sel, Josephine, The House Brasserie, The Tuck Shop Kitchen & Bar and Stonegrill.

A few of the returning restaurants….

The Canal Club
Chelsea’s Kitchen
Christo’s Ristorante
The Covenant
El Chorro
Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort
Litchfield’s
Los Sombreros (Phoenix and Scottsdale)
Marcellino Ristorante
Match Restaurant & Lounge
The Market by Jennifer’s Restaurant and Bar
Ocotillo Restaurant
Pasta Brioni
PHX Beer Co.
Prado
Preston’s Steakhouse

To see a full list of participants and menus as they become available check out the website.

 

 

A virtual bao & dumpling food festival is happening

Many daily activities and special events have gone virtual in the last few weeks with the social distancing of the coronavirus. The organizers of the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival are in the process of re-scheduling the festival to the Fall and are organizing 2 virtual online parties. The Bao & Dumpling Online Party’s are scheduled on Facebook for Saturday April 25th and May 23rd. The online parties were created to the spirit of the festival alive while showing the diversity of the food.

The FREE parties start at 6 p.m. and invites foodies to share homemade bao & dumpling photos and socialize with foodies. They’ve also put together a resource guide full of recipes, different types of bao and dumplings, pictures and a directory of local restaurants doing bao & dumpling for takeout.

For a chance to win tickets to the re-scheduled festival, join the party by clicking on the Facebook link above and to get the Resource Guide click on this link. Tickets are still on sale for the festival and can be transferred to the new date when it’s been confirmed.

 

2020 Arizona Food & Farm Forum hopes to go off as scheduled

With current events planning a festival or other culinary events is hard not knowing how the coronavirus will affect future events. I’m hoping the 2020 Arizona Food & Farm Forum goes off as planned on April 28th & 29th 2020. The two day conference of farmers, local food advocates and food entrepreneurs will be held at the Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds in Laveen.

Organized by Local First Arizona the forum helps build and strengthen relationships aimed at collaborations between the Arizona food and farm industry. Arizona’s farming future will be discussed among the more than 200 food entrepreneurs and advocates.

“Phoenix is committed to achieving a healthy, sustainable, equitable, and thriving food system and has recently completed a 2025 Food Action Plan that includes various strategies and actions that address food insecurity, urban agriculture, land use, job creation, and the contribution of the entire food system to our local economy,” said city of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

She added, “We are excited to host the Arizona Food & Farm Forum in South Phoenix to showcase the rich agricultural history of the area, its assets, and value to the development of a resilient food system for future generations.”

Arizona Food & Farm Forum line-up

The 2020 Arizona Food & Farm Forum will have farm tours, workshops and networking opportunities for all to participate in. Keynote speakers include Nephi Craig, Founder of the Native American Culinary Association, Lilian Hill, Executive Director of the Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute and Sara Dolan, Owner of Blue Sky Organic Farms.

“From strategizing local opportunities for farmland conservation to exploring food as medicine, the 2020 agenda is focused on ensuring Arizona can thrive as a delicious and nutritious place to live,” said Kate Radosevic, Local First Arizona Food & Farm Initiatives Manager.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Heritage and Planning for the Future” with sub-themes….. Planning for the Future is centered around policy and systemic changes, including strategy sessions on Agriculture Workforce Development, Urban Farmland Conservation, and Funding Community Food Systems.

Indigenous Foodways will provide a space for tribal members and allies to explore Decolonization Through Food, learn from the American Indian Farmers’ Panel, and explore Food as Medicine.

Growing a Food Business will offer technical assistance in Building Your Brand; Protecting Yourself & Your Workers in a Hotter, Drier Climate; and Strategies for Diversifying Farm Revenue Streams.

Tickets for the 2020 Arizona Food & Farm Forum are $99 for 2 days & $59 for 1 day. Students, ranchers and young farmers are $40 for 2 days and $20 for 1 day. Local First Arizona members will save 10% when you use the promo code “LOCALFIRST”. For more information and to purchase tickets head to the website.

 

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.