Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co. rises out of pandemic

A year ago Arin Finger didn’t think he’d be making NY -style pizzas around town but he is. He’s one of many stories of 2020 who had to adapt when the global pandemic to over earlier this year. Finger, a franchisee of i9 Sports, a youth sports organization for over seven years knew how to run his own business and with a network of over 2,500 youths and their families, had what was needed to start Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co.

“With no idea how long the closures would last and refund requests pouring in, I had to do something to support my family and my key employees,” says Finger. “Dough Riders is a solution to a need that developed out of COVID-19 — providing families with wholesome food without leaving home — and we’re proud that we can do something during these times that reconnects neighborhoods and communities.”

Dough Riders signature pizzas

He approached i9 Sports soccer instructor Codey Stetler who had a culinary background at his family’s pizzeria and the new business was born. Both Finger and Stetler are from the east coast and knew creating a menu for Dough Riders would be easy. The two now travel the valley with an 800 degree oven in tow making made-to-order pizzas, appetizers, salads and desserts for farmer’s markets, private & corporate events, outdoor concerts or any occasion is where you’ll find them.

Signature pizzas are made in less than 2 minutes including Elote, made with garlic oil, roasted corn and poblano, bacon, cilantro, Mexican cheese and lime crema; the Backyard BBQ, featuring Dough Riders’ signature BBQ ranch base, mozzarella, BBQ chicken, red onions, crispy bacon and scallions. Appetizers include Garlic Knots, Pepperoni Rolls and others and two salads are offered, The Signature and a Caesar. Save room for desserts, the Sweet Bacon Jammin’ and Stuffed Pizzelle Cookies.

To find Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co. follow them on Facebook and Instagram and head to their website for more information.

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.

Press Coffee opens Gilbert location today

The local coffee roaster opens today at 225 E. Germann Rd. In addition to high quality coffee and coffee based drinks, breakfast sandwiches, burritos and avocado toast are available. $1 drip coffees are available from November 6th-8th with profits being donated to local non-profit Winged Hope. Temporary hours at this location are 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekends until further notice.

Today is National Nachos Day, these restaurants are celebrating

Urban Margarita in Glendale is helping you save a few bucks on their Hatch Green Chile Nachos. Get 1/2 off ($7.25) when you dine-in all day.

Macayo’s Nachos Supreme is $8 today rather than regularly priced $12.99. Offer is available at all locations for dine-in, take-out or Macayo delivery.

2020 Slider Throwdown is Sunday

The popular fundraiser moves to High Street in north Phoenix this year and will have food trucks battling to see who wins “Best Slider” judged by local foodies including myself. Attendees can vote for the “People’s Choice” winner.

Food & drink for military personnel on Veteran’s Day around Phoenix

Wednesday November 11th we say “Thank you” to all active and retired members of the military. Local restaurants are offering deals on food & drink around the Phoenix area.

Pita Jungle offers happy hour platter

National Happy Hour Day is Thursday November 12th and all Pita Jungle locations are showing off their signature tapas. $25 gets a platter of hummus and chicken with pine nuts, fresh mozzarella & tomato, baked pita chips, kafta mini pockets, feta, pickles, and cucumbers. A vegetarian platter is available too.

 

 

Food trucks battle for “Best Slider” at Slider Throwdown

As culinary events are slow to return to the calendar the 2020 Slider Throwdown is back with a new location. Circle Sunday November 8th on your calendar for the popular burger battle between local food trucks. This year’s event is moving from Kierland Commons to north Phoenix’s High Street and proceeds will again go to Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation.

Eight food trucks battle from 12- 3 p.m. for “Best Slider” chosen by judges and “People’s Choice” awards. Attendees will sample sliders for all tastes including beef, chicken, veggie and more. Food trucks cooking up sliders include Bayou Bistro, Food Diva, Aioli Gourmet Burgers and more.

“The Slider Throwdown is one of our favorite annual events because it brings the community together through food, fun, and entertainment,” said Kris Jacober, executive director of the AFFCF. “Without the support of our community through fundraisers like this, we could not continue to fulfill our vision of helping to give foster youth in Arizona the type of childhood that everyone deserves — so we are deeply grateful for every attendee.”

The burger battle will follow CDC guidelines including social distancing, limited ticket sales, hand sanitizer stations and attendees wearing masks. “We are excited to bring this event to High Street in a safe, secure and delicious environment on High Street,” said Jacober.

Tickets are $35 dollars per person and include samples of all sliders and three non-alcoholic beverages. The Josh West Trio will provide live music and attendees can bid for exciting prize packages at a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.affcf.org/events-2/

Farmers markets heat up as the weather cools down

A sure sign of the change of seasons and cooler weather is the re-opening of farmers markets across the valley. Farmers markets feature locally grown produce and other food products and crafts and have become very popular in recent years. Several feature coffee, food trucks and have local restaurants preparing ready to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. Others offer cooking demonstrations and seminars for the communities benefit. 2020/21 markets are following CDC guidelines with social distancing and wearing of masks to keep everybody safe and healthy. Many welcome dogs as long as they are on leashes. Markets if not running year round usually end before the summer heat kicks in in May.

The this Saturday October 3rd brings the re-opening of the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market. The popular market starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 1p.m. at 2nd St. and Brown.

The return of north Phoenix’s High Street Farmers Market is set for Sunday October 25th. Over a 100 vendors will be selling food, arts and more from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Some farmers markets haven’t waited for the weather to cool down such as Momma’s Organic Market in Surprise. The new market started up at The Sterling Grove Market on Sunday September 6th. Momma’s market at Park West in Peoria kicks off Wednesday October 7th at 4 p.m. Their Glendale market at Arrowhead Town Center is open on Saturday mornings.

Arizona Community Farmers Markets organizes 10 markets in the Phoenix area including the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market. For information and their locations visit their website.

Trevor’s Liquors to offer retail and a beer & wine bar in south Scottsdale

With all the new development in the southern part of Scottsdale new businesses are opening to provide amenities in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the valley. With the new Papago Plaza under construction and other developments along Scottsdale and McDowell roads residents new and old will have a new wine and beer retailer when Trevor’s Liquors opens in November. It will be joining RIFT Tap & Wine Bar which just opened nearby that I posted about in July.

Trevor’s is the sister to Prescott’s Park Plaza Liquors & Deli and is owned by Jeff McDonald and Trevor Philips. Over 15,000 sq. ft. of space will include a large selection of single barrel bourbons and Arizona’s largest selection of agave. Beers will be housed in a walk in beer cave and and 50 reach in cooler doors. Trevor’s will also offer a 400 sq. ft. cigar humidor and a dedicated cigar patio. A craft beer and wine bar with a covered beer garden patio will let customers to enjoy beverages and socialize.

There’s a game area with corn hole boards and a rotating schedule of food trucks will be scheduled for customers. Trevor’s will be at 7340 E. McDowell Rd. 85257. For more information check out their website.

Momma’s Organic Market adds 2 new farmer’s market locations

Update: The Surprise market has moved to Asante Prep Academy at 23251 N 166th Dr. in Surprise and the Peoria Night Market at Park West has been cancelled for the season due to unforeseen circumstances. The Glendale market has not changed.

It’s starting to feel like fall as local farmer’s markets start getting ready open back up. For this year’s season Momma’s Organic Market is adding two new locations to its west valley schedule. For over 10 years the market has been held at Arrowhead Town Center in Glendale offering locally made foods and more with a long list of vendors.

Starting Sunday September 6th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Momma’s will be in Surprise at The Sterling Grove Market. The market at 17193 W. Montpelier Street will run through May. Wednesday October 7th will bring the return of Momma’s to Peoria where it was for over a decade. The late afternoon market will be located at Park West at 9744 W. Northern Ave from 4 -7 p.m. weekly until May.

‘This is an incredible period of growth for us and we’re thrilled to bring our free market to two amazing neighborhoods,” says Christa Esquibel, owner. “Our expansion is a testament to the fact that Arizonans want to, and will continue to, support local. It is a collaborative effort between our location hosts, dedicated vendors and loyal customers.”

The Glendale market will continue to run on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. All 3 markets are free, family friendly and will offer a rotating list of local vendors and food trucks. Cash and credit cards are accepted with trained and leashed dogs welcome.

A short list of Momma’s Organic Market local vendors.

TJ Farms, Udder Delights Dairy, Mama Olga’s Tamales, Mama Olga’s Tamales, Bella’s Candy Shoppe, Can I Get A Ruff Ruff, Tree Huggin’ Bakers, Willy’s Tomatoes and Chilies, My Flower Bed, Dukes Barkery, All About The Booch and Shannon’s Kitchen.

Many more vendors show up and a a complete list of weekly markets can be found at their website.

Rift Tap and Wine Bar opening in south Scottsdale

If all goes as planned with the expiration of the current Covid-19 lock down on Monday July 27th south Scottsdale could have a new beer and wine bar in early August. Regardless of the lock down Rift Tap and Wine Bar opens for curbside pick-up and delivery that same Monday. Rift is the brainchild of owners Damien Kanser, a wine industry veteran and friend Jon Coppins, the winemaker at Su Vino Winery.

Named after a Phish album that inspired Kanser since his childhood, Rift converted a spot that was a convenience store at Fillmore and Scottsdale Rd.. With little or nothing for craft beer and wine between old town Scottsdale and Tempe they felt this would be the perfect location for their neighborhood bar. The neighborhood is home to many service industry people and young professionals who have had nowhere to gather since Papago Brewing Co. closed a few years ago.

Rift will feature affordable wines and beers from local brewers and wineries and from across the country and the world. 25 beers on tap will be poured along with wines by the glass as guests gather at the 23 seat bar, high top tables or couches. Food trucks will be scheduled for guests to enjoy a bite to eat with their beer and wine. Coolers will house cold beers to go along with a few racks of retail wines. Kanser envisions Rift’s retail component as a quick grab n go for people to purchase on a regular basis to enjoy with dinner or by the pool. They’re sourcing limited production small batch beers directly from brewers giving the shop a unique selection by the bottle and tap.

Rift owners Damien Kanser and Jon Coppins

The wine club at Rift Tap and Wine Bar

This fall Rift will house a studio for their “Spilling the Truth” podcast they started in late 2018. Windows to the studio will allow guests to view podcasts live with brewers and winemakers joining the podcast.

Two wine clubs will be offered featuring local wines and wines to a national audience based on wineries visiting the podcast.

Rift is at 431 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85257. For updates check out their Facebook page.

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.

 

Uncorked: AZ returning to Scottsdale for its third year

Wineries from around the world will be represented when the 3rd annual Uncorked: AZ wine festival makes its way back to Salt River Fields, Saturday April 18th 2020. The national tour brings over 40 wineries pouring more than 100 wines to town along with local gourmet food trucks serving wine friendly sweet and savory dishes. Dueling pianos and other entertainment will make for a fun evening with friends under the stars.

A few wineries in attendance include Chronic Cellars, Etude, Smith & Perry and K Vintners. Food trucks include Cousins Maine Lobster, Re Di Roma, Wok Sticks and Seoul Good and more.

Uncorked: AZ is a 21 and over (no babies) event and goes from 7 – 10 p.m. VIP tickets ($70) allow early access with shorter lines at 6 p.m. General Admission are $55. Admission includes unlimited wine tastings but food will be sold separately. No pets and no refunds. For more information and to purchase tickets check out their website.

Part of the proceeds will benefit local non profit Cortney’s Place which strives to improve the lives of individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

 

Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival is back March 21st and 22nd

Downtown Camp Verde is getting ready for people of all ages for the 20th annual Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival co-hosted by the Verde Valley Wine Consortium and the town on Saturday and Sunday March 21st & 22nd. The festival draws people from around Arizona that will feature 15 local wineries along with a variety of pecans. Festival goers can enter a Pecan pie eating contest, enjoy a cold beer in the beer garden, dance to live music, visit local artists and purchase food from local food trucks. It’s one of the festivals coming up that feature Arizona wines.

“What started as a great way to celebrate two local products of the region has turned into an annual tradition that now draws thousands of attendees to our town,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “We now have more wineries than ever, our famous Pecan Pie contest, live music throughout each day and more food and craft vendors – which means we are also expecting our biggest crowds in the festival’s 20-year history.”

 A few of the wineries pouring wine include Burning Tree Cellars, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Page Spring Cellars. The festival is FREE for all ages to attend but those looking to taste wine need to purchase tickets. Early bird tickets are $20 on-line and $25 at the door. Included are a commemorative glass and 6 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased.

Saturday the festival goes from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 75 E. Hollamon St. Camp Verde 86322. For more information visit their website.