Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine community.

Buy One Get One Free at Koibito Poke on Monday 9/28

All 5 Phoenix area locations are celebrating International Poke Day with a FREE bowl when you buy one.

October is National Pizza Month and Fired Pie is rounding up for PCH

From October 1st – 15th the quick casual pizza restaurant encourages its guests in the community to Round Up up their bill to an even dollar amount. The extra change collected will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. You can give back at any of the 21 locations.

Wake up to National Coffee Day on Tuesday 9/29

Local coffee roaster, Press Coffee is giving away a FREE 8 oz. drip coffee with each purchase at any of its 8 valley locations.

Buy one bag of U.S. Egg’s 10 oz. specialty coffee get another for free. A bag will cost you $10 at any of the 6 valley locations.

Community minded Barro’s Pizza partners with Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway

The local family owned pizzeria is seeking applications from students for a $10,000 towards college tuition and expenses. Students can submit an entry online until Dec. 14th. The giveaway is open to students 18 years and older. Find more information at the website.

Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant heads into October with new specials.

Customers can help test new dishes and give feedback to see if they are popular enough to stay on the menu. All 5 locations will offer these specials at special prices. 6 specials are on every part of the menu from drinks to dessert. Specials include Spiced Brandy Cider, Shrimp Ceviche Tostaditos, Pollo Serrano & Vegetable Salad, Barbacoa Bowl, Mexican Street Corn Lollipop and Caramel Apple Flan.

“Hot Dog Day’s” at Joe’s Farm Grill all month of October

Hot dogs are so popular they can’t be celebrated just for one day. Gilbert’s Joe’s Farm Grill is celebrating the comfort food favorite for all 31 days in October. “Hot Dog Day’s” will features specialty dogs made with all-beef hot dogs and sausages from Phoenix’s Schreiner’s Fine Sausages.

From 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. customers can get a specialty hot dog served with a side for $12 or $18 for any combination of 2.

Hot Dog Day’s specialty dogs

Cheddar Coney Dog — A grilled hot dog smothered with mild homemade Michigan Coney sauce and yellow mustard then topped by a quarter-pound mountain of finely shredded Tillamook cheddar cheese; served with diced onions on the side

DangerDog — A jalapeno-stuffed, bacon-wrapped fried hot dog with atomic horseradish, honey mustard, homemade sweet-hot pepper relish and a heap of finely shredded ghost pepper jack cheese; served with extra relish on the side

Carolina Blue Dog — A grilled dog topped with a generous portion of Joe’s signature BBQ pulled pork, tangy blue cheese crumbles, and hand-cut sweet coleslaw then drizzled with Joe’s Real BBQ sauce and homemade coleslaw dressing; served with extra Joe’s Real BBQ sauce on the side

Sonoran Dog — A long-time Joe’s Farm Grill favorite, this (slightly) new and improved recipe features a jalapeno-stuffed, bacon-wrapped fried hot dog with homemade Farm beans, queso de cotija, pico de gallo and finished yellow mustard and a sour cream-mayo drizzle; served with whole fried peppers on the side 

Big Fat Greek Dog — Schreiner’s smoked Greek-seasoned pork sausage topped with cucumber tzatziki sauce, drizzled with yellow mustard, and then piled high with Joe’s Greek fries (featuring garlic sauce, feta, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and fresh herbs); served with extra sauce on the side

Italian Sausage Dog — A fresh sweet Italian link baked into Joe’s fresh-made focaccia dough with pepperoni, marinara, and creamy brick and pecorino-Romano cheeses, then topped with sautéed onions and peppers; served with side of mild Giardiniera (*This hot dog requires a slow hand — please allow for slightly longer service time)

Joe’s Farm Grill is at 3000 E. Ray Rd., Bldg. 1, Gilbert 85296. 480-563-4745. For more information visit their website.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Good news with a Reel Deel Monday’s in Surprise

The newish and popular Reel Pizza Pies in the northwest valley now offers a Reel Deel that includes 2-18 inch cheese pizza pies, a Caesar salad, an order of garlic knots & two cannoli’s for only $39.99. For more information or to order head to their website.

Roaring Fork’s “Dinner on Us” returns for Labor Day

The Scottsdale restaurant celebrates the end of summer with it’s annual Labor Day (Monday Sept. 7th) promotion where guests can Buy One Get One free starting at 4 p.m.

U.S. Egg has new cocktails and a Bloody Mary flight

All 6 locations of this breakfast and lunch favorite spot have introduced a new cocktail menu. Included are a Dreamsicle cocktail, new Mimosa flavors and a Bloody Mary flight.

National Beer Lover’s Day at Miracle Mile Deli

Enjoy Labor Day with $4 pints and $20 growlers all day long at this central Phoenix deli. Choose from Tower Station IPA, Papago Orange Blossom, Kiltlifter & Leininkugel’s Summer Shandy.

Fantasy Football draft parties at Twin Peaks

Pick your teams at 3 Phoenix area locations or have them bring the party to you. Dine-in or take out league commissioners get $50 gift card and each league member gets a $5 gift card for a future visit.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Aioli Gourmet Burgers to open 3rd Phoenix location

Less than a year after opening their 2nd brick & mortar location in Litchfield Park, award-winning Aioli Gourmet Burgers is set to open their 3rd location. On Labor Day, September 7th at 430 E. Bell Rd. Phoenix 85022 is when & where it all happens. The location should be familiar to burger fans as it was the home to the former Caveman Burgers. Customers can expect the usual mix of gourmet burgers, fries, milk shakes, mac n cheese bites and more.

In addition their original location at Shea & 32nd St is now back open for dine-in service.

Press Coffee’s new blend supports local non-profits

Community Blend is the latest whole bean coffee from local roaster Press Coffee. Every 3 months the company will donate profits from the sales of Community Blend to a local non-profit. Current sales will be donated to Arizona Coalition for Change, an organization that empowers people to help transform their community by building civic power, just & equitable schools and safer neighborhoods.

Community Blend retails for $19 at all locations or online at http://www.presscoffee.com/

News

1/2 off cheese pizza at Fired Pie for National Cheese Pizza Day

Saturday September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day and all 21 Fired Pie locations are celebrating. Guests can get 1/2 off with the purchase of a beverage. One purchase per customer and not available on 3rd party deliveries.

LDV Winery temporarily closes Scottsdale tasting room

Structural work in the building housing the tasting room has forced them to close until early October. Guests and wine club members can still still purchase wine for pick up or delivery by calling 602-320-1485 or emailing info@LDVWinery.com

Check their Facebook page or Instagram for updates.

Lobster lovers get your roll at Pedal Haus Brewery

Can’t make it to Cape Cod this summer like me, Pedal Haus Brewery is bringing a cape favorite to you. For $24 you get a Maine lobster roll, side of crispy fries & Day Drinker Light Lager while supplies last. Both downtown Tempe & downtown Chandler locations are serving this summer time favorite.

d’Vine Gourmet now sells Serrano’s Original Salsa & Red Hot Sauce

Two locally owned family businesses joined forces when d’Vine Gourmet started selling Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant’s Original Salsa and Red Hot Sauce. Both businesses are based in Chandler and are passionate about supporting the local community. Serrano’s co-founder Evangeline “Eva” Serrano developed both recipes and her picture graces the label of both bottles.

“We’ve been sharing our salsa and hot sauce with our customers for more than 40 years now, and we’ve been fortunate to grow a robust fan following. We’ve even shipped our products across the country to those who want a taste of Arizona,” said Ric Serrano, president and CEO of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants. “Offering our product at d’Vine is a natural extension of our product line, and we’re excited about the partnership with another Chandler-based, family owned business.”

d’Vine Gourmet was founded in 2003 by Denise McCreery to share her love of food, wine and unique culinary creations. d’Vine produces a line of jams, mustard, candies, spices and more in addition to selling local goodies like chocolates from Cerreta’s and Cactus Candies.

“We love everything about Arizona, especially the food! Visiting Serrano’s in downtown Chandler has been a family tradition for more than a decade,” McCreery said. “We are proud and excited to now carry their delicious salsa and hot sauce in our store!”

d’ Vine Gourmet is at 4955 S. Alma School Rd. 85248. For more information or to order online visit their website.

 

S & V Urban Italian to open 2nd Scottsdale location this fall

Scottsdale restaurant S & V Urban Italian has announced it will open a second location a few miles north later this year. The original location at 9343 E. Shea Blvd. has served authentic Italian cuisine seven days a week since 2011. The new location will be in a new development called SOHO at 16580 N. 92nd St. and will offer views of the McDowell Mountains from the patio. A large main dining room and spacious bar will also offer a peek outdoors with its adjustable garage doors. The new location will continue to serve the same Italian dishes customers have come to love during lunch, happy hour & dinner.

In other S & V Urban Italian news, they’ve recently started serving Family Meal Deals that feed four. Choose a Caesar or Mista salad, and pasta dishes including Spaghetti & Meatballs ($50), Fettuccine Alfredo ($50; add chicken or sausage $60), Penne Vodka ($50) or Rigatoni Bolognese ($55).

Other great specials include their Pizza & Wine Oh My deal on Mondays from 3PM to 9PM where you can enjoy a pizza and a bottle of wine for only $20. All are available for dine-in or take out. Come in on Wednesdays from 3PM to 9PM, to enjoy half off bottles of wine with your meal or by itself.

For more information and updates on the new location visit their website.

Fogo de Chao adapts to a new reality amid Covid 19

When restaurants shut down dining rooms in March due to Covid 19 they had to rely on takeout and delivery until the lock down ended in May. Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao was no different furloughing 90% of staff with managers becoming cooks, order takers and delivery drivers. The restaurant offered Fogo to Go butchered raw meats, meals to go, catered off site meals for small groups and Caipirinha cocktail kits. Management at the headquarters in Dallas were devising a plan for locations throughout the country as how to adapt to the new reality when dine-in service resumed.

Fogo de Chao is known for its generous assortment of meats skewered and served table side by gauchos but also for its generous assortment of cold salads, meats and cheeses at it salad bar. That’s where it biggest challenge would be on how to serve guests who were used to making their way to the salad bar stocked with over 30 items.fogo de chao

The new normal at Fogo de Chao

A recent visit to the Scottsdale location I found out what has changed since they re-opened for dine-in service last month. The changes were obvious once you enter to restaurant, hostess’s and all employees wear face masks, a poster board next to the hostess stand reviews their commitment to health and safety and fewer tables in the dining room for social distancing. Gone were menus, salt & pepper shakers and the green (Go) and red (Stop) coaster cards diners use to let gauchos know whether to approach you for more meat.

As for the buffet, selections have been reduced. Servers now bring a charcuterie board of meats, cheeses and olives followed by courses of salads to choose from. Gauchos continue to roam the room carving slices of beef, chicken, pork and lamb to your heart’s desire as they did prior to Covid 19. Only difference is they approach you asking if you’d like more meat.

Fogo continues to offer Fogo- to-Go’s butcher shop, catering with curbside pick-up and contact-less delivery. Summer promotions are being finalized and I will update as soon I as I hear what they are.

The Scottsdale location is at 6300 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. The restaurant offers full service dining as well as group dining, an outdoor patio and bar. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner & brunch on weekends. For more information and to make a reservation head to their website.

Cannabis dispensary, The Mint is holding a cannabis infused recipe contest

Arizona largest cannabis dispensary, The Mint is holding a contest to find the best cannabis infused recipe. Through June 30th, Arizona card holders 21 years of age and older are encouraged to submit their creations. The winning recipe will be featured in The Mint’s kitchen to join other menu items for to-go orders. Cannabis infused foods with less sugar help people battling everything from cancer & epilepsy to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

Entrants need to their share recipe, idea or creation along with the proposed name, key ingredients and description. 10 finalists will be judged by a panel of chefs by July 1st and a grand prize winner will be announced on July 10th which is when the industry celebrates cannabis concentrates and extracts. The winner will also have their recipe in a cannabis infused cookbook to be released in August. The winner will receive $2,500 in cash and a $2,500 donation to a food bank in their name. Sales of the cookbook will also be donated to food banks who have been struggling to feed people the last few months.cannabisRecipe submissions are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. June 30th 2020 and can be sent to Recipes@TheMintDispensary.com. The Mint has a dispensary in Mesa and Guadalupe with a third planned to open this year in north Phoenix.

 

Chef Derek Upton goes from drumming to cooking with cannabis

When I caught up with chef Derek Upton for lunch recently I was surprised our paths hadn’t crossed before with our mutual interest in food, cannabis and the local restaurant community. Spending over an hour speaking with him about everything from food, cannabis & CBD, music and cell phones I realized we will be hearing more from him in the future.

Growing up in Fresno, Derek took to drumming at an early age at church. He didn’t think it would take him around the world playing for national acts, into the recording studio or playing his last gig at the American Music Awards. When life on the road began to take its toll he went to pursue a second act as a chef. Growing up in an Italian Portuguese family helping to cook meals at home he knew what he wanted to be back in the kitchen.

He wound up in Phoenix after touring with Scoti Slate and returned after attending The Institute of Technology in Clovis in 2012 and 2013 where he studied culinary arts and the business side of the restaurant industry. Derek made a name for himself in Phoenix working at Evo, Cafe Monarch, Original Gravity, The Windsor, Beckett’s Table and most recently The Breadfruit. He’s been the private chef to celebrities David Spade, Henry Rollins, Michael Rapaport and Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

chef Derek Upton
Lamb dish from “Cooked with Cannbis”

Derek Upton cooks with cannabis

Educating himself on the benefits of cannabis and CBD became personal. It’s changed his life and ignited his passion for it as he once weighed over 500 lbs. He’s dropped over 150 lbs. since his journey started and wants to lose 150 more. As cannabis becomes legalized around the country Derek found that cooking with cannabis is what he wanted to do.  Cannabis is more than the psychoactive THC that many associate with the plant and he’s looking to redefine the stereotype. Educating others of its health benefits in cooking and telling his story is how he’s going about it.

Using Instagram and other social media platforms, Derek parlayed his use of cannabis in cooking and being hired for private cannabis dinner parties to opportunities on TV. His recent appearance on Netflix’s “Cooked with Cannabis” was the start of another chapter in his life. Unlike most chefs who aspire of owning their own restaurant Derek wants to continue to cooking for others in a private setting and producing cooking shows and videos. Although cooking with cannabis is his specialty he does cook without it as well. Our lunch fell between conference calls where he’s discussing media and ambassador opportunities for the next phase of his career.

He does a lot behind the scenes connecting cannabis related businesses to one another to help move the cause forward. He’s currently filming his own TV show “Stay Hungry” and is on Instagram and Facebook at Chef Derek Upton.

 

Lumberjack’s Taco Shack on Food Network’s Supermarket Stakeout

Four year old Lumberjack’s Taco Shack has taken to the streets and heading to your TV. Owner Cash Murphy rolled out of his taco shack in Tempe into a food truck in recent weeks and tonight he’s featured on the Food Network’s “Supermarket Stakeout”.

There will be a viewing party for tonight’s episode at Club Red in Mesa with Lumberjack’s Taco Shack food truck. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. running until 11:30 with the episode airing at 10. Large screens inside Club Red are set up and the bar is open with social distancing. Get your tacos while you can because Murphy heads to Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin for the summer before returning to Arizona in October.

During the recent pandemic Murphy loaded up his food truck with an ice cream PA on it announcing his arrival in the neighborhoods selling his tacos. He has several Facebook pages and Youtube channels featuring his cooking. On his Cooking with Cash channel and page he teaches people how to cook at home on a limited budget, PANdemic- Recipes for Quarantine. The videos have been very popular and he hopes tonight’s appearance will continue to spread the word of his award-winning tacos.

To taste the tacos and view Supermarket Stakeout tonight visit Club Red at 1360 W. University Dr. Mesa 85201.