YC’s Mongolian Grill opens a new Scottsdale location

Locally owned YC’s Mongolian Grill returned to Scottsdale last week with the opening its new Loop 101 & Raintree location. Loyal customers couldn’t wait to get back to building their own stir fry bowls as was evident when I visited with owner Geoff Stansic recently. The previous Scottsdale location was at The Pavilions but was shut down with the other 4 locations due to the pandemic. As the pandemic waned and the economy improved Stansic decided to re-open 3 of the locations in Gilbert, Tempe and Scottsdale with a 4th location slated to open sometime in 2023.

“After a tough few years of working through adversity during the pandemic and beyond, we are ready to open the doors to an all-new YC’s experience and reconnect with our Scottsdale customers,” Stanisic said. “We take pride in the food we serve and love being able to provide our customers with the best ingredients and a bowl full of authentic flavor.”

Stansic took over in 1996, five years after the first location in Tempe was opened by the original owner YC. He knew a thing or two about the restaurant business as he was kitchen manager for Hyatt Hotels and Houston’s before going into business for himself. It shows as he greets his returning customers by name, knows what bowls they will build and sauces they will have them tossed with. He even has a few signature sauces named for long time customers. He credits much of the success to his attentive staff, several who have been with since before he took over almost 30 years ago.

YC's Mongolian Grill
Beef & Broccoli bowl

What is YC’s Mongolian Grill?

Folklore has it that in the days of Genghis Khan, his army would cook their food on their shields over a hot fire, similar to how it’s done at YC’s. In each location after you’ve piled high your meats, vegetables, noodles and sauces the cooks will grill them on 600 degree circular flat top grill in full view. During peak times 4 cooks will toss the ingredients on the grill rotating around the grill.

There is no one demographic at YC’s Mongolian Grill as the food has something for everybody. Vegan and gluten free diets can be accommodated as there are plenty of vegetables, noodles and sauces for all.  Want meat in your bowl, add white or dark meat chicken, pork and or beef with shrimp available during dinner. Don’t be afraid to pile your ingredients high, it’s encouraged. Their signature noodles are sourced from Chinatown in L.A. with vegetables coming from local distributors.

A separate bowl is used combine ingredients for your Asian inspired sauce. A menu board offers several signature sauces recommending how much and which water based sauces and rice wines to use. The staff is always nearby to help create your sauce before grilling making tastes and combinations endless.

Free Stir Fry Day

To celebrate the new location, customers coming in Wednesday, November 2nd will get free small bowl from 11 a.m. – 7p.m. The new location is at 14850 N. 87th St., Scottsdale, AZ. For more information visit their website.

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.

California vs. Oregon: Pinot Battle at Hotel Valley Ho

The hotel’s monthly Versus Series dinner tries to answer the age old question, who makes better pinot noir, California or Oregon? Diners at the Thursday September 15th dinner will help decide. The four course dinner featuring seafood and duck will pair perfectly with the chosen wines. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and is $129 ++ per person. To make a reservation call 480-421-7997.

National Cheese Pizza Day at Streets of New York

All 16 Arizona locations will be celebrating one of the best foods ever made on Monday September 5th. Buy one pizza get another at 1/2 off whether you dine-in or take-out. If ordering online use promo code 50%OFFPIZZA.

Labor Day specials around Phoenix

Take Monday September 5th off and enjoy yourself and save some hard earned money on food & drinks around town.

Fired Pie is giving 20% off entrees when you order online or in person use or mention code LBR20.

Pedal Haus Brewery in Chandler and downtown Phoenix offer its new “World’s Best Happy Hour” starting at 11 a.m. Enjoy $4 select Haus beers, $5 well drinks, $6 Haus margs/Haus wine and $7 steins. Plus, $3 bacon popcorn, $4 Haus mac & cheese, $5 loaded fries, $6 Haus smoked wings, $7 happy burgers.

Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill celebrates the end of summer all weekend long.

    • Friday, 9/2/2022 – $5 Frozen Thai Mai’s and Ginger-Lime Margaritas all day long!
    • Saturday, 9/3/2022 – BOGO Half Price Sushi Rolls… buy one sushi roll, get another sushi roll for half price
    • Sunday, 9/4/2022 – 15% off Take Out Orders
    • Monday, 9/5/2022 – All Day Happy Hour… enjoy Happy Hour food and drink specials all day long!

Chef’s Table: A Night of Favorites at Hearth ’61

Wednesday September 14th’s special five course dinner will feature each culinary team member’s all-time favorite dish. Start with passed hors d’ oeuvres and sparkling wine before dinner that will be paired with award-winning wines. A complimentary room for the night is also included. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and is $250 per person, or $500 per couple. To reserve your seat and room visit http://mountainshadows.com.

Everything Lobster all month at STK Steakhouse

The Scottsdale steakhouse is featuring the seafood delicacy until September 30th with a special lobster focused menu. Choose one or all for an appetizer or entree; Lobster Roll ($49), Lobster Caviar Salad ($45), Maine Lobster Ravioli ($42) and Spicy Lobster Rigatoni ($62).

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.

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.

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.

A new modern look at Federico’s 25th location in Tolleson

The locally owned Mexican fast food restaurant shows off a new modern look and the same classic tacos, burritos, tortas and more. The new location at 220 N. 83rd Ave. is open 24 hours a day offering daily and Taco Tuesday specials. Co-owners Isidro Araiza, Ricardo Araiza and Carlos Vazquez opened the first Federico’s in 2005 with other locations throughout the Phoenix area, Arizona and New Mexico.

3rd Tuesday dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Three courses paired with California wines is how Chef Romeo Taus shows off his popular dishes and his next dinner is Tuesday August 16th. $39.00 gets you a seat at the table; reserve your seat by calling 480-962-4224.

Walter Station Brewery’s Ale Wagger to raise funds for life saving pet programs

The local brewer and Arizona Animal Welfare league (AAWL) team up for the new Ale Wagger for the rest of the summer or while supplies last. On Saturday August 20th celebrate with a launch party from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. to load up on some beer, food and puppy cuddles. A portion of the proceeds will go towards vet services, vaccinations, pet education and more.

Back to school deals at Picazzo’s in August

Every Monday this month Buy One, Get One 50% off lunch combos and Kid’s Eat Free on Wednesday’s. Lunch is from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and kid’s 12 and under get a free Junior Meal with a purchase of $25 or more. Available at all 6 locations in Phoenix and Sedona.

White Castle opening 2nd Arizona location

Love them or hate them, east coast and mid-westerners have an affinity toward these sliders. A new Tempe location has been announced with a mid-2023 opening planned. The first Arizona location opened in 2019 on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation off the Loop 101 in Scottsdale.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Corn Roast event at Queen Creek Olive Mill

Next Friday July 22nd those who love corn can feast on a corn curated menu prepared by Del Piero Kitchen and Di Olivia Bistro & Bar. BBQ Chicken & Roasted Corn Pizza, Fresh Corn Carbonara, Pulled Pork with Corn Salad and more will be available for purchase. Locally grown corn on the cob from Rousseau Farms will also be available along with live music and games. The fun starts at 3 p.m. and admission is free.

Eat Up Drive In now offers catering

Whether it’s a office party or family gathering the Arcadia fast casual restaurant offers menus for all tastes. Entrees, boxed lunches, salads, sides and desserts can be accommodated. Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options are also available. To order 602-441-4750.

Start the weekend early at Koibito Poke

Visit the Scottsdale Waterfront location on Thursday July 21st & 28th from 6 – 9 p.m. for $4 draft beers or $3 drafts with the purchase of a bowl. Happy hour is extended all night for $5 wine, sake & cider and $3 seltzers.

Maui Pasta serving Aloha Hawaiian Plates

What started as a virtual menu in December 2020 is now a second menu at the Gainey Ranch restaurant. Know for house made pasta, the Aloha menu became so popular they started serving it in the restaurant. Plate lunches including Loco Moco, Hawaiian BBQ, Kalua Pulled Pork and more come with a side of rice, macaroni salad or a green salad.

Organ Stop Pizza celebrates 50th anniversary

The Mesa restaurant that features live pipe organ entertainment with a side of pizza reaches a milestone this year. Every year over 300,000 diners visit the dinner only restaurant for fun and food from with a variety of tunes from the “Mighty Wurlitzer”. “Every visit to Organ Stop Pizza is unique with patrons hand picking the songs via request,” says co-owner Jack Barz. “By the end of the night, an eclectic mix of music is enjoyed by audience members ranging in age from two to 102.”

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.

National Burger Day is Saturday 5/28

A favorite of many, the hamburger is celebrated all month of May and especially tomorrow. Two local restaurants are taking advantage of the American comfort food with free offerings.

Eat Up Drive In Get a Free side of fries with every burger purchase when you mention this promotion at the Arcadia restaurant.

Woo Woo BurgersBuy One Burger Get One Free when you order online for pick-up or delivery from their Chandler or Scottsdale ghost kitchens.

FiiZ soda shop opens tomorrow in Downtown Mesa

A cold refreshing soda hits the spot and Fiiz’s list of sodas has almost 60 on it. Italian sodas, smoothies, flavored coffee drinks (Choffy) and add-ons make sure you won’t go thirsty. At 52 S. Mesa Dr. this is the first of what the owner hopes to be 6-8 locations in Mesa. Snacks include pretzels, nachos, Chonuts (churro & donut) and more are also available. The new shop will open Saturday May 28th from 12-6 p.m. Regular hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. FiiZ will be closed on Sundays.

Four Peaks Brewery to give grants to 12 teachers

You have until June 30th to nominate a teacher for the “Four Peaks for Teachers” campaign. 12 teachers nationwide will be surprised with $1,000 grants for school supplies. In addition a portion of sales from its Kilt Lifter Amber Ale will be set aside to purchase 10,000 school supply kits for teachers in 5 states. Four Peaks is partnering with the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Rising to host kit distribution events in July.

The brewery’s 8th Street pub in Tempe is hosting several specials for teachers through July 31st.

  • Weekly food specials — $1 from each special is donated to the nonprofit Four Peaks Charities to help fund the Four Peaks For Teachers program.
  • Teacher Tuesday “All Day Happy Hour” featuring $4 pints through July 31.
  • “Buy a Teacher a Beer” tear pad program…these are pint tear pads — pub patrons can buy one, put them on the wall and then teachers can pull them off and redeem them.

Barro’s Pizza raising money for Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children in June

The community minded , family owned restaurant with 47 locations in Arizona is raising money for the 7th year for children and families affected by pediatric cancer. Along with Pepsi they will donate up to $40,000 from sales from any lunch special until June 30th. Lunch hours vary by location.

Food and drink specials at Morning Squeeze for Pride Month

The Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix locations share the love and support of the LGBTQ community with 2 specials in June. Pride Punch ($10) is rum cocktail with peach schnapps, pineapple & lemon juice and a melon liqueur. It’s garnished with a candy rainbow ribbon. Stuffed French Toast ($14) layers cream filling between two slices of the restaurant’s original French toast and tops it with colorful garnishes.

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.

New menus debut at Zuzu

The signature restaurant at Old Town Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho recently debuted the new menu from Executive Chef Russel LaCasce. Hotel guests and locals can choose from a Steak & Potato Skillet, Strawberry Crème Brûlée French Toast, the Hot Hot Chicken Sammie and more on the everyday brunch menu.

The dinner menu now includes Grilled Portuguese Octopus, a Slow Braised Pork Shank, Pan-Seared Diver Scallops and more. Save room for the Blood Orange Panna Cotta, Double Dark Chocolate Cake and other desserts from new Pastry Chef Maria Arenas. Reserve your table by calling 480-421-7997.

3rd Tuesday Dinner next week at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

The popular cafe in downtown Gilbert still has seats left for its monthly dinner on Tuesday, April 19th. The three course dinner is paired with wines from around the world to complement each dish chosen by his staff. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224.

Eat Up Drive In celebrates its 1st anniversary

Starting Monday, April 18th through Sunday, April 24th the Arcadia restaurant will be serving up iced teas, lemonades, including their new seasonal cucumber lime lemonade, French fries and their famous gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, all for just one dollar each.

After a 2 year hiatus Foodstock is back next weekend

Over 55 food trucks will be heading back to the Peoria Sports Complex for the return of Arizona’s favorite food truck festival. The family friendly event is next Saturday, April 23rd from 4-10 p.m. Admission is $5 with children under 12 getting in for free. The event is a collaboration between Get Local Arizona Events and Peoria Diamond Club with all the proceeds from the gate going to feed hungry children in the west valley.

Huss Brewpub ready to open at Phoenix Convention Center

It’s been a long 2 plus years that I wrote about the local brewery opening in downtown Phoenix and a longer four years of planning for co-owners Jeff and Leah Huss. It’s about to pay off next Wednesday, April 20th on Monroe St. between 2nd and 3rd St. on the Convention Center’s north facade.

As part of the celebration one lucky winner will win a “Season Table at the Brewpub”. The winner and 3 guests will enjoy a table for 24 games with the reservation guaranteeing them a table during busy times. The winner will be announced on Monday, April 18th on social media in time for the Phoenix Suns playoff rally.

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.

Over Easy and Hickman Family Farms raising money for United Food bank in April

Starting today and all month long, the 11 locations are matching customer donations dollar for dollar and the farm will donate a dozen eggs for each donation. The two local businesses have a goal of donating $20,000 and 10,000 dozen eggs. Customers will see a prompt when paying their bill asking if they want to make a donation to United Food Bank.

March Madness at Koibito Poke this weekend

College basketball fan or not score $4 off your order when ordering online or on their app. Use promo code FINAL4 this Saturday and Sunday for this Final Four deal.

Rusty’s Beer Fest is this Sunday

Enjoy cold beers on the patio overlooking The Short Course and Camelback Mountain at Mountain Shadows Resort’s bar & grill. All the details and how to get tickets are here.

Raise a glass of rosé at Match Market & Bar

The downtown Phoenix restaurant in the Found:RE Hotel hosts its Monthly Guide to Wine featuring the perfect wine for Spring and Summer. Join the fun tasting and discussion about rosé Wednesday, April 6th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Admission is $25 and includes light fare with tickets available here.

Leila’s Empanadas celebrates National Empanada day with 2 events

Next Friday, April 8th the locally owned artisan maker of the Latin American hand held food celebrates from 4-6 p.m. at Sam’s Frozen Yogurt located at 3434 W Anthem Way, Suite 140, Anthem, AZ 85086. On Saturday Leila will be serving them up from 10 AM – Noon at Lil Miss Butcher 4705 E Carefree Hwy. Cave Creek, AZ 85331.

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.

Birdcall opening its first Arizona location in Scottsdale next month

The Denver-based fast casual restaurant Birdcall will be opening its first all-natural chicken restaurant in Scottsdale in April. Once opened in the former Jason’s Deli near the northeast corner of Scottsdale & Shea it will be the first of 10 planned locations in Phoenix. The company was founded in 2016 and the Scottsdale location will be the company’s ninth location.

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Newlin said that the new Phoenix area locations align with the company’s growth strategy. “We’re trying to change the way that people look at fast food,” Newlin said. “We’ve incorporated cutting-edge technology to deliver delicious natural foods and beverages quickly, without sacrificing quality. Our customers appreciate the fact that they can either grab a meal to-go or dine in with family and friends in a casual, hip setting that conveniently works around their schedules and any time constraints.”

Once opened, Birdcall will serve lunch and dinner that will feature 100% all-natural chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, crispy tenders, gluten & dairy free chicken nuggets along with vegetarian options. Phoenix’s Noble Bakery will provide fresh buns and sauces will be made from scratch in-house using 100% all natural ingredients. Local beers from SanTan Brewing and Greenwood Brewing will be served as will organic teas & sodas and milkshakes.

A community minded Birdcall

Birdcall is very focused on the communities it enters and gives back at least 1% of sales to the community. “Community is the heart and soul of everything we do at Birdcall,” Newlin said. “We want to be measured by the impact we create, not the money we make, and that’s why our beneficiaries range from local street artists and musicians to schools and nonprofits.”

Inside will be spacious with a contemporary design and outside will be a mural inspired by Arizona and shaded tables on the dog-friendly patio. Technology will make ordering easy with kiosks for dine-in & take-out and a double lane drive-thru is available for those on the go. A second location at  SanTan Village is planned for Fall 2022 and a Phoenix location planned in early 2023. For more information and to view their menu visit 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.

The Ostrich brings in new talent for new craft cocktails

The downtown Chandler speakeasy starts a new era in announcing 5 new hires. They welcomed Craft Operations Manager Tyler Zhorne, Craft Bar Manager Jared Ammon, lead bartender Samantha Dengler, bartender Adam Slaton and server Tyler Yenkala to the team. With the new hires comes a new reverse happy hour to accommodate hospitality employees and collaborations with other local bars and restaurants for events & specials.

Society by EVO opens for dinner tonight in Tempe

Announced in January, Society by EVO opens tonight night at 4p.m. according to co-founder Nick Neuman’s Facebook page. The hip & high energy restaurant in Tempe will serve top notch cocktails and food until 1:30 a.m. every night. The menu will feature popular dishes from Neuman’s Scottsdale restaurant EVO along with new Mediterranean influenced dishes. A grand opening is scheduled for next Friday, March 25th.

Mother Road Brewing & Rombauer Vineyards battle it out at Zuzu

It’s beer vs. wine at the Hotel Valley Ho’s Versus Series Dinner next Thursday, March 24th. Seats are still available for when the Flagstaff brewer meets the popular Napa Valley winery paired with Chef Russell LaCasce’s has special four course menu. Seats are $159 ++ per person and you can make a reservation by calling 480-421-7997

Mesquite Fresh Street Mex opens new location in Gilbert

The newest location opens Saturday March 19th is the first that is walk-up and drive-thru only for the locally owned fast casual concept. During the grand opening a “Golden Ticket” promotion will give free burritos for a year to several winners. The new location is at 4875 S. Val Vista Dr.

The James Beard Foundation narrows down list of Award finalist.

The list of 15 Arizona nominees was whittled down to 4 finalists for the June 13th awards ceremony.

Outstanding Restaurateur– Chris Bianco, Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Best New Restaurant- Bacanora, Phoenix

Outstanding Baker- Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ

Best Chef: Southwest- Giovanni Scorzo, Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale, AZ

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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