Cloud kitchen helps Chesapeake Bay Bistro to expand

Nowadays if you can figure out a successful recipe for running a restaurant the best way to maximize your potential is through expansion. That’s exactly what’s going on at Chesapeake Bay Bistro a year and half after opening in Ahwatukee. Unlike their brick and mortar location the owners opted to open their new location in a cloud kitchen inside the Tempe Food Court earlier this month. They’re not stopping there as third location will also be in a cloud kitchen in their former hometown of San Diego in January 2023.

“For restaurant owners, the past year has been challenging with staffing, higher prices for food supplies and rising costs for rent and utilities,” says James Brown, who co-owns the Ahwatukee-based bistro with his wife, Yolanda. “Adding locations through a food-court style expansion makes sense on many levels.”

Expansion into a cloud kitchen

Working in a cloud kitchen also gives them the opportunity to open new concepts without all the expenses of a brick and mortar location. That’s why the couple is planning to open a Creole/Cajun concept out of Tempe in 2023. Another reason for the expansion into cloud kitchens is CBB is seeing a lot of take-out from their Ahwatukee location.

“We believe that the food delivery model is the future and allows us to fulfill our customer base request,” said Brown said. “Sixty percent of our sales are call in or pickup now.” CBB works with several food delivery services to deliver the hot and fresh seafood dishes for delivery within 15 minutes.

To help alleviate some of the staffing issues of the past few years, the couple’s three grown sons have joined them in restaurants. One son will be running the new San Diego location in the Aztec Food Hub near the San Diego State University campus. The other two sons help out when mom and dad can’t be at the Ahwatukee location.

“Using cloud kitchen locations benefits small mom-and-pop restaurants like ours in several ways, allowing us to keep our labor and maintenance costs down,” Brown said.

The Tempe Food Court location is at 1900 E. 5th St. 85281, not far from the ASU campus and Tempe Marketplace. The Ahwatukee location is at 5033 E. Elliot Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website or to order for delivery or takeout check out the delivery services.

 

Kitchen 602 debuts new cloud kitchen concepts

Two new food concepts have launched for delivery or pick-up from the new Kitchen 602 cloud kitchen. Tater Traderz and Rice D’light come from Highland Food Hub at 720 W. Highland in Phoenix which also doubles a test kitchen for new concepts.

Founder Sam Marrero has been in the global hospitality industry for over 30 years and played an important role during the Covid-19 pandemic consulting with restaurants on how to adapt take-out and to-go offerings. “We aim to offer our guests a high-quality dining experience with approachable food that appeals to the masses and can be completely customized,” says Marrero. “I’ve always felt it was important to do whatever it takes to ensure my guests have the best dining experience possible, and now I’m combining that goal with the to-go dining concept.”

Tater Traderz is the newest concept at Kitchen 602 and uses locally made Frites Street fries in a variety of delicious ways. You can get fries topped with chicken, the Cluck Off!, OG Chili Cheese Fries, Sweet Baby BBQ and more delivered from a third party delivery service or picked up at the Hub. Rice D’light Sweet Rice Creations features rice pudding bowls, Horchata and the Chai Chatta. Rice D’light was inspired by Marrero’s growing up in New York and working with Tokyo Disney.

A new Big Box is offered for tailgating and football parties exclusively during football season. The French fry fiesta serves 6-8 people and $40 gets 3 mix and match loaded fries options. For more information or to place orders visit their website.

 

The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week in September

As plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options when dining out. The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week, September 11th-18th, people can get a chance to dine on special plant based meals at full service restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, meal delivery services and more.

Founders Jozh Watson (PHX Vegan) and Chef Jason Wyrick (The Vegan Taste) want to continue to bring awareness to plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options to dine out at. “According to Watson, “Last year, Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week was so well received by the community. Every eatery that participated reported a significant increase in traffic during the event. This year promises to be even bigger and better.”

During the week-long event diners will be treated to plant based meals during breakfast, lunch and dinner at participating restaurants not normally found on their menu. Breakfast will be capped at $15, lunch will offer an appetizer, entree and drink for $20 and a three course dinner for no more than $30 with a 5 course meal no more than $44. Reservations are now being taken for the week at restaurants including Salvadoreno Restaurant (Phoenix and Mesa), Dilla Libre (Phoenix and Scottsdale), Early Bird Vegan, Freak Brothers Pizza and others.

A list of restaurants and menus can be found at their updated website as the list continues to grow. Non-vegan restaurants are encouraged to participate to showcase their plant based options. Menus are available for both dine-in and take-out. According to Wyrick, “Restaurants are realizing they need to appeal to a variety of food preferences. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that is here to stay, and we’re proud to show off the amazing culinary mark Phoenix is making.” Photo credit Debby Wolvos

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.

Calzone Connection now available online from Crust Simply Italian

Specialty calzones are now available for delivery or pick-up from the kitchens of Crust Simply Italian locations in Scottsdale and Chandler. The new concept, Calzone Connection offers football sized calzones for sharing or a very hungry person with fillings such as lobster ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs and linguini Alfredo with bacon.

Founder Mike Merendino came up the idea for Calzone Connection from years in Italian restaurants for serving staff meals that aren’t on the menu. “We go beyond the dishes we’re serving – we love to create our own,” Merendino explained. “These menu items we put together are what we used to eat growing up in my father’s pizzeria.”

During the recent pandemic when staff at his restaurants would eat together and have fun creating new things to eat. “We started making these wild calzones,” he recalled. Soon after staff would to have them made again and asking if they could start serving them to guests.

If you’re craving a calzone you can order online from 11 a.m. to 9:00p.m. daily & 11am to 9:30p.m. Friday and Saturday. Pick-up or delivery from third party delivery services is available.  Calzones can be picked up at Crust’s restaurants at 8300 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, and 10 N. San Marcos Pl., Chandler. A third location will in Gilbert will be opening at Williams Field & Recker Rd. later this year.

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.

Woo Woo Burgers coming to Scottsdale with pop-up kick off

Z’ Tejas ghost kitchen that launched last June in Chandler is coming to Scottsdale starting Monday January 3rd 2022. With a pop-up launch by the lake at their McCormick Ranch location the first 200 guests get a free burger, side & a drink. Starting Monday the full menu will be available in Scottsdale for curbside pick-up or third party delivery. The pop-up starts at 11 a.m. and goes until there are no more burgers to serve.

Start 2022 with National Bloody Mary Day at Daily Dose

Drink too much ringing in 2022, get back in the saddle first thing Saturday morning January 1st 2022 with the classic cocktail. All 3 locations kicking it off with their Bacon Bloody Mary and more with brunch.

New hours at Maui Pasta

The popular Gainey Ranch pasta shop and eatery come January 3rd 2022 will be open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The new hours reflect a continued focus by Chef Patty & her staff on making fresh pasta and scratch made Italian & Hawaiian food for dine-in, take-out & catering.

New year, fresh salad specials at Miracle Mile Deli

Those making resolutions to make better eating decisions can head to the central Phoenix deli for weekly $12 salads in January. Starting the 3rd-8th The Mediterranean Salad followed every Monday by the Aloha, Fiesta and Big City Chopped Salads are available.

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

What’s going on in the Phoenix food & beverage scene?

Hanukkah meals & dinners at Miracle Mile Deli

The Phoenix deli is serving individual meals ($17) along with complete family meals (serves 6 $170), signature delicacies and desserts for the holiday of lights. The meals are offered until December 6th and can be picked up or delivered. MMD is closed on Sundays including this Sunday November 28th, the first night of Hanukkah.

U.S.Egg helps to “furever” homes for dogs

The north Scottsdale location (Scottsdale & Shea) is teaming up with Lucky Huskies to find dogs a home on Saturday December 4th. At the 2nd Annual Pupcakes & Puppicinos Adoption Event attendees can meet adoptable dogs, get a free breakfast or lunch, gift cards and more.

Get holiday beer release before they sell out

A limited release of Pedal Haus’s Peppermint Chocolate Porter was released this week. The holiday inspired beer is $5 on launch day at its Tempe & Chandler locations.

It’s Tamale time of year at Serrano’s

From today until December 31st guests can order and pick-up red beef & pork or green corn tamales by the dozen for $29.99 Party platters of mini chimis, flautas, chicken & cheese rollups and jalapeno poppers orders are being taken in 3, 6, 9 dozen increments. All orders can be made by calling any of the 4 Phoenix area locations or ordered online with 24-48 hour’s notice.

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.

Myke’s Pizza now open for lunch

Good news coming from downtown Mesa, the popular pizza joint inside Cider Corps is now open for lunch. Tuesday-Sunday you can get gourmet pizza starting at 11 a.m. Follow them on Instagram for dessert and pizza specials. Throwback a cold cider from Cider Corps or a hot coffee or tea from Pair Cupworks while you’re there.

Daily Dose rolls out new Fall inspired seasonal menu

5 new menu items are now available at their Phoenix (Mid Town), Scottsdale (Old Town) and Tempe (Rio Salado) locations until Thanksgiving. Enjoy Pumpkin Crunch Pancakes, Cinnamon Churro Waffles, a Cranberry Club Sandwich, Pumpkin Latte and Apple Cider Mimosa.

The Parlour Room opens this weekend in Gilbert

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the new basement cocktail bar opens tomorrow, Saturday October 30th at 7 p.m.

Fresh Taste Meal Prep to discontinue weekly meals

Weekly family meals are being discontinued at the end of October but corporate meals, holiday meals and large meals of 35 or more are still being offered. If you’re still looking for a meal prep and delivery service Fresh Taste recommends Scottsdale’s Complete Cuisines and The Simple Chefs.

Chompie’s is opening its new location next week

Big sandwich lovers in northeast Phoenix have been waiting for the new Chompie’s to open since it closed its location at Paradise Valley Mall. Wait no more as the restaurant will be opening on Wednesday November 3rd. Expect much of the same and more, read about the new location here at my post from April.

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.

Fab Chef’s Table offers gourmet food delivery service

Phoenix’s Fabulous Food catering just started the new high-end gourmet meal prep and delivery service, Fab Chef’s Table. The scratch made meals focuses on nutritious and delicious meals that are allergy sensitive. Unlike other meal prep services, it doesn’t rely on specific diets or calorie content but does also offer vegan and vegetarian options.

“As a full-service catering company with a restaurant that was completely shut down due to COVID-19, we’re grateful we were able to keep most of our key staff,” says Chantal Hause, who owns Fabulous Food with husband Skip. “We found that while we couldn’t help execute large events for our clients during this time, they still wanted to enjoy our food so we came up with a solution.” The couple started Fabulous Food in 1996 serving corporate clients with individual fresh made meals for employees and family meals during Thanksgiving, Christmas & Easter. They also over food activities such as cookie making kits with everything you need to decorate desserts.

With feedback from their catering clients, they took popular dishes and created them for home delivery making it easy for customers to heat and eat. All meals are photo ready and memorable, delivered to your front door by the company themselves without any third party delivery. Fab Chef’s Table has a wide delivery area throughout the valley and is willing to work with customers outside the delivery area mutually beneficial to both.

To read more about Fab Chef’s Table or to place an order visit their website.

 

Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week launches mid-September

Two of the valley’s vegan advocates have come together to launch the first Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week September 12th- 18th. Chef & author Jason Wyrick and vegan taste maker and owner of Phoenix Vegan Jozh Watson launched the week long culinary event to bring more attention to plant- based restaurants, foods & cooking.

According to Wyrick, “Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week is a celebration of plant-based cuisine in Phoenix. We want to raise awareness about everything vegan that’s now available in our city, get everyone excited, and out-and-about trying all of the great dining options.”

Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week
Simon’s Hot Dogs. Feature photo Maya’s Cajun Cuisine’s Po’ Boy

How Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week works?

The pair are encouraging restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, food trucks and others to showcase their plant-based cooking and more. During the week participants will be offering a specially created menu with breakfast & lunch offering at $20 and a 3-course dinner menu at $30.

“We want to position Greater Metro Phoenix as a premier, inclusive dining destination,” said Watson.

During the week diners can experience the growing Phoenix plant-based food scene visiting new establishments or returning to familiar ones. A a few of the participating eateries include: Beaut Burger, Brunch & Sip, Chilte, Dilla Libre, Early Bird Vegan, Earth Plant-Based, Giving Tree Café, Ground Control, Hot Sauce & Pepper, Maya’s Cajun Kitchen, Pachamama, Positively Frosted, Salvadoreno Restaurant, Shameless Burger, Simon’s Hot Dogs, The Nile Coffee Shop, Urban Beans Café, Tesoro Vegano, The Vegan Taste, Verdura, and Wok this Way.

According to Wyrick, “Restaurants are experimenting more with vegan cuisine and showcasing some really great offerings. Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week allows them to cater to a growing clientele and test the waters for expanding their vegan selections.” For more information and to see additional participants head to their website.

Wow Bao ghost kitchen now available from Fired Pie

Chicago’s Wow Bao steamed dumplings, pan-seared pot stickers and bao sandwiches are now available from a ghost kitchen inside Fired Pie. The popularity of ghost and virtual kitchens continue to grow with numerous local restaurants taking on new concepts without opening new restaurants. Currently Fired Pie’s Scottsdale Fashion Square and Northsight locations are preparing Wow Bao’s dishes with plans to expand to other locations in the next 30 – 90 days.

“Our customers have been turning to online ordering, takeout and third-party delivery during the pandemic, so we felt this was the perfect time to launch our ghost kitchen,” said Fired Pie Co-Owner, Doug Doyle. “At Fired Pie, we offer our guests the highest quality ingredients possible and Wow Bao’s menu aligned with our mission to continue to do that.”

Wow Bao sources high quality, sustainable raised proteins that are GMO, antibiotic and steroid free. In addition to bao, dumplings and pot stickers the menu includes Asian Street food favorites Teriyaki, Spicy Kung Pao and Orange Chicken bowls. Family Bundles and catering are available with Family Bundles feeding 4-5 people and Party Bundles feeding 8-12 people.

“We are excited to align ourselves with a concept that has seen explosive new growth in the past year,” said Fired Pie Co-Owner, Fred Morgan. “As the ghost restaurant trend continues to grow, we expect to continue to add virtual concepts to our local storefronts.”

Wow Bao is only available through 3rd party delivery partners DoorDash, UberEats, Postamates and Grubhub. Catering is available through EZCater’s website. For more information or to place an order visit their website.

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