It’s going to be a busy weekend in downtown Phoenix for fans of pizza and donuts. Tickets are still available on-line for both festivals at Margaret T. Hance Park. Click on the link for information about Saturday’s Phoenix Pizza Festival and below is what I know about this Sunday’s Downtown Donut Festival.
About 4,000 festival goers are expected on each day and Sunday’s donut festival will have 20 donut vendors give or take. Hurt’s Donuts, Alien Donut’s, The Beignet Babe and The Local Donut are a few of the local donut shops showing off their sweetened fried dough. Arizona Wilderness Brewing will be pouring their beers all weekend along with wines from Acrobat. Donut festival goers can sip on specialty coffee drinks and Mimosas. Lawn games, live music, a kid’s zone and a marketplace with local vendors will be part of the festivals.
Donut samples will be a $1 each and the festival will benefit the Downtown Phoenix Inc. DPI promotes the re-development of downtown Phoenix by supporting events and local businesses.
The donut festival starts 10 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 and $8 for entry after 12 noon. Tickets can be purchased only on-line at http://www.downtowndonutfest.com/
Maragret T. Hance Park is at 1202 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85004.
Food and drink pairings work the best when you can wash down your food a beverage to compliment your food. A favorite pairing is fried chicken and beer and the first annual Chimac festival is serving up both. Chimac is Korean for the pairing and the festival will be Sunday December 15th. Downtown Phoenix’s The Pressroom will host 12 local fried chicken businesses from 12 – 4 p.m.
The Asian inspired festival will offer several styles of fried chicken including Korean and Nashville hot chicken.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase with each vendors offering at least menu item for under $5. The outdoor event will offer a marketplace with local artists and free games to play. Desserts and Boba will be available to offer a sweet treat after the savory and spicy main dishes.
Tickets are purchased separate from food and drink. Early admission at 10:30 a.m. is $13, General Admission is $8. Children ages 7- 14 are $4 and children 6 and under are free. To purchase tickets head to Ticket Tailor and for more information check out their Facebook page. Cash and credit cards will be accepted by vendors.
The Pressroom is at 441 W. Madison. Phoenix 85003.
Oktoberfest becomes Husstoberfest when Huss Brewing Company celebrates the traditional German eating and drinking festival at their Taphouse at Uptown Plaza. Saturday October 19th guests will enjoy locally made bratwurst and other authentic German fare from Schreiner’s and the untapping of Huss’s Bavarian style Marzen beer. The full bodied dry beer is copper red in color and has slightly malty sweet taste.
Other award-winning Huss beers will be poured in traditional German steins. Gourmet caramel dipped apples will be available from Not Your Granny’s Apples food truck.
Husstoberfest takes place from 12- 6 p.m. at 102 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 160 Phoenix 85012.
When the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships comes to WestWorld of Scottsdale next month your taste buds will be in overdrive. “The World’s Greatest Polo Party” will be the place to “see and be seen” on Saturday November 2nd when the gates open at 10 a.m.
In the “Barrett Jackson Champagne and Jazz Lounge” you’ll not only sip on champagne and Bottomless Mimosas you’ll get to snack on M Culinary’s signature French fries, an interesting yet tasty combination. The complimentary snack will be served with Chandon Aluminum Rose and Sweet Star and cocktails made with Ketel One Botanicals. Tickets for the lounge are $65 in advance, $75 at the door.
“We are always looking for ways to enhance the guest experience at the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, and what’s better than champagne and complimentary French fries while watching some the greatest polo played in Scottsdale,” said Chef Michael DeMaria, Co-founder of M Culinary Concepts. “We know this is going to be a tasty addition to Barrett-Jackson’s Champagne and Jazz Lounge.”
All attendees can feast on fried chicken and champagne from the Fried & Fizzy food truck in the general admission area. A VIP experience in the Prime: Luxury Tent Experience by Steak 44 ($275 in advance, $285 at the door) is available. Riot Hospitality Group, owners of Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row and Riot House will have DJs spinning tunes in their party tents.
General Admission tickets are $30 and $40 at the door. To purchase tickets and tables head to their website. WestWorld of Scottsdale is at 16601 N. Pima Rd. 85260.
Mid-week on the cape finds laid back days at the beach and exploring what goes on around Harwich Port. Waking to foggy and humid mornings for coffee and my morning walk lead to sunny and warm days.
Tuesday was a beach day and lingering around town before heading to dinner in Dennis Port at The Oyster Company. A family favorite for dinner we shared quite a bit of oysters, Portuguese and Bangkok mussels and more for appetizers. Still needing to get my fill of lobster I went with the Lazy Man Roasted Lobster. The stuffed lobster with crab meat stuffing satisfied my craving for the local delicacy.
Fun and adventure around Harwich Port
Wednesday had us checking out a few attractions within a few miles from the house. Stopping at Cape Cod Lavender Farm was new to me and had me enjoying the aromas of one of my favorite scents. From there we needed to keep my 10 year old niece happy going to the go-kart track and bumper boats. The adults acted like kids as we all had fun trying to beat each other around the track and getting soaked on the bumper boats. A fun afternoon of playing like a kid.
Dinner had us going to the highly rated Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse in Harwich Port. Plenty of shared appetizers including polenta, charcuterie, proscuitto wrapped artichokes and Aracini had me practically full before our entrees arrived. A grilled romaine salad before my Buca’s Bolognese arrived had me packing up it after only a few bites. It made for a great breakfast the next couple of mornings with the wild boar ragu spread on crispy bread leftovers for my homemade breakfast bruschetta. A breezy sunset made for a great after dinner walk on the beach and through town during its weekly festival with live music and more.
Kayaking the marsh
Thursday brought out our adventuresome side with a 3 hour guided kayak tour through the Nauset Marsh. After meeting up with Matt of Cape Marsh Kayaking we made our way with the outgoing tide towards Nauset Beach. Paddling through the marsh Matt pointed out native birds looking for fish. Did you know there is no such specie as a “sea gull” as it’s a general term for the gulls found in and around the water.
Arriving at the beach 70 minutes after of paddling we had time to explore the beach and watch the seals bathing in the sun and poking their head out of the water to greet us. Before heading back Matt taught us about the different kind of clams, scallops and horseshoe crabs found in the area. Horseshoe crabs are related to spiders more than they are crabs. Paddling back to the boat launch made for quite the workout as we were paddling into the outgoing tide.
Working up quite the appetite after kayaking we headed up Route 6 to Arnold’s Restaurant in Eastham. Packed with families getting their fill of fried seafood for lunch, my Wedge Salad with lobster meat was well earned. Hanging by the pool for a little while it was time to freshen up for dinner at Mooncusser’s Tavern.
Mooncusser’s is a inn and tavern built in the 1700s for retailer Jordan Marsh and his family. Mooncusser’s were land pirates who destroyed lighthouses and set fires on the beach so ships would run a ground to be robbed of their cargo.
My nephew and I shared an appetizer of PEI Mussel Dijonaise followed by my duck infused Gorgonzola & Bacon Burger. The first burger I’ve had on the cape in several years was delicious topped with the melted blue cheese, Crimini mushrooms, Cabernet caramelized onions, garlic aioli and smoked bacon. Saving room for dessert we made our way back to Schoolhouse Ice Cream for the homemade sweet treat.
Heading home from Harwich Port
Friday has us packing and getting ready to head out for the 5 hour drive down I-95 to NJ for the weekend before I head back to Scottsdale. Another great week on the cape full of fun, adventure and eating.
To see more of my visit Follow me on Instagram @SandyWass
Arizona Farmer + Chef Connection is now the Arizona Good Food Expo and returns for its 10th year promoting Arizona sourced foods. This years event will be Monday August 26th at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The event brings Arizona farmers and food & beverage producers together under one roof to meet face to face with buyers. The event from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. is followed by a reception at the resorts signature restaurant, A Different Pointe of View.
“Changing the name to Arizona Good Food Expo better reflects the mission behind the event, to showcase Arizona’s best local food and build lasting relationships between food producers and wholesale buyers, but is more inclusive of the state’s broad range of food buyers who aren’t necessarily chefs,” says Emily Bell, Good Food Programs Manager at Local First Arizona Foundation.
Speakers at Arizona Good Food Expo
Over 75 vendors will provide samples and information for local restaurants, resorts and retail buyers. James Beard award-winner and “vegetable whisperer” Charleen Badman owner and chef of FnB will deliver the keynote speech. Other speakers include chefs Tamara Stanger of Tempe’s Cotton & Copper, Stephen Jones of the larder + delta and Shanti Ride, owner of Whipstone Farm.
“The Arizona Good Food Expo is the ideal setting to ensure the freshest Arizona-grown foods are being served on your plate – whether you shop at the grocery store, are eating at the school cafeteria, or dining out,” says Kimber Lanning, Founder of Local First Arizona Foundation, “The Expo makes it easier for our great chefs and food buyers to source local ingredients and be leaders in Arizona’s food scene. Sourcing Arizona’s homegrown foods is essential to build a healthier Arizona, and the relationships made at the Expo will leverage our agricultural bounty for the benefit of all.”
Tickets for the event are $25 for all day access and $99 for vendor packages. Vendor packages include 2 all day passes, reserved parking, table space and a listing in post event follow up. The deadline to purchase Vendor Packages is August 22nd. Information and purchasing tickets can be found at their website. The Pointe at Tapatio Cliffs Resort is at 11111 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85020.
When you wake up tomorrow it will be August 1st or as Gilbert’s Liberty Market calls it “Burger Days”. For 31 days in August the restaurant serves a unique burger for their annual celebration of the American comfort food. For this years event executive chef David Traina created the list of burgers with input from loyal customers and staff.
Customers ordering a burger on a given day may find other than locally raised beef between the buns. Bison, elk and a veggie burger will be served and all will have unique flavor profiles and toppings. All burgers are a 1/2 pound and many will have an international spin.
Customers save your receipts
Save your receipts from each burger visit as you will be rewarded with gift cards. A $50 Liberty Market gift card will be given to customers who eat 10 different burgers. If you stop by for all 31 burgers a $250 gift card is yours. Customers will have until the end of the first week of September to redeem their gift cards.
Here is the list of 31 burgers.
1- Short Rib – AZ raised beef patty, blue cheese sauce, roasted onion and arugula on onion bun.
2- Carne Asada – AZ raised beef patty, drunken beans, grilled green onions, cotija cheese, and guacamole on onion bun.
3- Buffalo Blue Cheese Fry* – bison patty, curly fries, buffalo cheese sauce, blue cheese, and chives on a pretzel bun.
4- French Onion – AZ raised beef patty, sherry caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, fresh garlic aioli, and au jus, on a Ciabatta bun.
5- Philly Cheese Steak – AZ raised beef patty, Cheese Whizz, roasted peppers, provolone cheese and onions on Ciabatta bun.
6- Torta Style – AZ raised beef patty, topped with adobo braised pork, beans, jalapeño salsa, crema, cotija cheese, avocado, and cabbage slaw, on a bollio bun.
7- The Issac – AZ raised beef patty, pesto aioli, fried fresh mozzarella, bacon, and tomato on an Italian rosemary bun.
8- Chicken Katsu – AZ raised beef patty, fried chicken, jalapeño aioli slaw, and Katsu sauce on a sesame bun.
9- Cajun Shrimp – AZ raised beef patty, roasted red bell peppers and onions, and Tabasco aioli on a Ciabatta bun.
10- Breakfast Nduja – AZ raised beef patty, sunny side up egg, grain mustard, Seahive cheese, and arugula on ciabatta round.
11- Anti-Pasto – AZ raised beef patty, fried mozzarella, salami, marinated artichoke, roasted red peppers, pesto, and arugula on a Kalamata olive bun.
12- Korean BBQ – AZ raised beef patty, Korean bbq sauce, cabbage nauc cham slaw, sesame seeds, rice wine cucumbers, on a brioche bun.
13- Whiskey Onion – AZ raised beef patty, BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, and whiskey onions on fried cheddar cheese as the bun.
14- Hatch-Frito – AZ raised beef patty, brisket patty, pepper jack cheese, chipotle bbq aioli, and Fritos on a chili cheese bun.
15- Bourbon BLT – AZ raised beef patty, bourbon brown sugar bacon, oven dried tomato aioli, and butter lettuce on onion bun.
16- Piggly Wiggly* – AZ raised beef patty, hatch cheddar, pulled pork, sliced ham, fried onion straws, yellow BBQ sauce, and chicharrones on an onion bun.
17- Crab Salad – AZ raised beef patty, marinated crab salad, cambozola cheese, Tabasco aioli, and butter lettuce on a brioche bun with 9 grain topping.
18- Burrata Burger – AZ raised beef patty, truffle dressed arugula, bacon, tomato, and black pepper aioli on Italian olive oil bun.
19- Miso Sticky* – AZ raised beef patty, miso and maple glazed pork belly, pickled cucumber and carrots, red onion, thin jalapeño slices, butter lettuce, sesame seeds, and gochujang aioli, on a bollio bun.
20- Pepper Jack Sausage – AZ raised beef patty, Beehive Barely Buzzed cheese, roasted onions, cajun aioli on a ciabatta roll.
21- Ma’s Meatloaf – AZ raised beef patty bacon meatloaf, arugula, roasted garlic onion and horseradish aioli on a brioche bun.
22- Cuban Mojo – house blend patty (orange, lime zest, garlic cumin oregano, cilantro, Fresno chiles) Manchego cheese, grilled yellow onions and Anaheim chiles, avocado, and tequila-lime aioli, on an onion bun.
23- Cheesy Tot* – AZ raised beef patty, onion dip ranch, tater tots, hatch chile cheese curds on an onion bun.
24- Crispy Carmen – AZ raised beef patty, chilaquiles, sunny side up egg, tomatillo salsa, cotija cheese, on a ciabatta bun.
25- Mac Daddy* – AZ raised beef patty, jalapeño bacon mac and cheese, BBQ short rib, grilled red onion, cheddar cheese, and sriracha aioli on a jalapeño Ciabatta bun.
26- Pastrami Style – AZ raised beef patty, sauerkraut, and 1000 Island dressing on marble rye.
27-Veggie – house made red bean and rice patty, Cajun tofu, and cashew butter on rustic bun.
28- Far East – AZ raised beef patty, topped with greens, wontons, hoisin aioli, tamarind-ginger glaze on seeded Kaiser roll.
29- Green Goddess – AZ raised beef patty, Green Goddess dressing, fried zucchini, roasted portobello mushrooms, lemon ricotta, and arugula on a rustic bun.
30- Lobster-Prosciutto* – AZ raised beef patty, brie, Boston lettuce, classic aioli on a french bun.
31- Elk Burger – AZ raised beef patty, speck, peppadews, Gruyere cheese, spring mix, and whole grain mustard sauce on a garlic bun.
I personally don’t see the fuss over Sriracha but I know there is a cult like following for the hot sauce. Pita Jungle is giving away a free bottle of their own labeled Sriracha on Saturday June 29th. The day commemorates when Pita Jungle opened its first location in Tempe and the hottest day on record in Arizona. The year was 1994 and the heat made it up to 128 degrees that day.
Visit any Pita Jungle location except Sky Harbor, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Grand Canyon University from open to close and spend $40 to get your free bottle. You must mentioned that promotion and dine-in to receive your bottle. There is a 1 bottle limit per tab.
Pita Jungle started producing their own line of Sriracha in 2018 and offer three flavors Red, Green and Ghost. You can purchase bottles at all 21 locations for $5.99 each.
Like many of us living in Arizona, I too came from somewhere else. Across the river from New York City in suburban New Jersey I grew up on take-out pizza, diner food, and bagels. Despite many New York and New Jersey transplants opening restaurants serving food from our home state those foods just taste better back east. Whenever I head back for a visit I head for my favorite foods and I was back a couple of weeks ago.
Most people wouldn’t visit these family restaurants in suburban Bergen County unless you’re visiting family or friends in the area. But if you live there or happen to be traveling through the small towns that dot the metro area they’re easy to find.
When you don’t know what you want or everybody wants something different a local diner is always a good call. So with family who flew into town we headed to to Matthews Colonial Diner in Waldwick. Wanting a char-broiled burger I opted to eat healthy knowing there would be plenty of food this week. The Beet & Goat Cheese Salad was a solid and out of the ordinary choice for me. My family knowing my eating habits gave me the “are you feeling ok” look when the word salad came out of my mouth.
Seems like Italian food reigned the week with 2 or 3 meals as we wound having pizza or pasta delivered. A favorite of my sister and her family is The Sicilian Sun in Ho-Ho-Kus. Whether we walk over to dine-in or have it delivered it rarely disappoints. Ordering take-out I went pasta free ordering Chicken Scarpello with sausage, pepperoncini, mushrooms, garlic and a touch of garlic. So good I may have to head back sooner than later to get it again.
Wednesday lunch had a group of 20 family and friends at the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern for a 4 course lunch. Lots of history at this place that was constructed in 1796. The entree course had your typical, beef, chicken and fish option along with Bolognese Tagliatelle. I had the latter, I told you there was a lot of Italian food.
In the city
A trip to New Jersey isn’t complete without a visit to New York City. Thursday I caught a ride to lower Manhattan’s Financial District to play tourist and walk off the calories I consumed.
Getting into the city early I grabbed a a quick lox, egg & tomato bagel from the Park Place location of Lenwich, a local chain of sandwich shops I’ve never experienced before. Not my typical bagel and lox combination but it gave me the fuel I needed to pound the pavement.
Meeting a friend for lunch who had little time we opted for “street meat” from a food truck nearby. The city is know for it’s food trucks and carts offering a quick and reasonably priced lunch. We went for Mediterranean food and I opted for a falafel sandwich and my friend with a chicken and rice. Filling portions for only $5 each. The weather was one of the nicer days so we opted for a park bench to eat and chat.
Back on the Jersey side
Thursday dinner had us ordering in…… pizza from Anthony Franco’s Pizzeria. A visit to Jersey wouldn’t be a visit to Jersey without a couple of pizza pies. Sausage, onions, mushrooms and more topping our pies a few slices for now and few left for later.
In between rain drops on Friday I decided to give in to my burger craving at Red Cedar Market Season Kitchen for their RCM Mushroom and Swiss burger. This busy cafe made the best burger I’ve had in a while. Made to order and cooked to my preferred medium rare and drizzled with truffle oil and served with delicious fries.
Dinner had heading to the State Line Diner, a couple of miles south of the New York state border on Route 17. So much to choose from I didn’t know what I was going with until the words “Roat Beef & Swiss Cheese Triple Decker sandwich with a side of Steak Cut Onion Rings” came out. The rare roast beef was good but I wish I hadn’t ordered the onion rings as I compared them to a hometown favorite pile from the defunct Louie’s Charcoal Pit.
A quick trip upstate to Saratoga Springs
Saturday afternoon I drove up the New York Thruway to visit a friend I met in Arizona who re-located back home to upstate New York.
Once arriving I made my way to Broadway, the main drag in Saratoga Springs, waiting for my friend to get off work. The best weather of my visit had people out & about on this late Saturday afternoon and I found Druthers Brewery for a cold Raspberry Nut Brown Ale. It hit the spot before I strolled the downtown to Congress Park to taste the spring water known for in the area.
With other friends taking the train from Boston for an overnight visit the plan was for a festive Paella dinner. After wine, a generous portion of charcuterie and realizing it was late our Paella dinner was tabled until Sunday brunch. Made from scratch with each the chicken, shrimp and chorizo cooked separately we all watched and helped prepare as we sipped on our cups of Spot Coffee, an upstate coffee roaster.
Dinner on Sunday night in Saratoga had us paying a visit to get this, a new Italian restaurant Solevo Kitchen & Social. For an appetizer we ordered the tasty Eggplant Chips drizzled with Calabrian Chili Honey and basil. My friends ordered the Sunday Sauce, rigatoni and meatballs in a San Marzano plum tomato sauce and Gnochhi with wild mushrooms, arugula, rosemary in a brown butter sauce.
After seeing several Items I’d already had that week I went with The Cortile, a mix of prosciutto, sweet peas, ground veal in a plum tomato & cream sauce with tagliatelle. Red wine and my Pinky Ring cocktail accompanied our meal and all were satisfied for our walk home.
Back to Jersey then back to Arizona
After a fun visit upstate I made my trip back down to New Jersey Monday morning. Deciding to raid my sisters cabinets and refrigerator for late lunch and early dinner I opted not to order….Italian food for dinner. Despite my best efforts to taste my niece and nephews Chicken Parmigna their like me very protective of their food. Early Tuesday I was on a plane back to my current home, Scottsdale.
More New Jersey and New York eats on my next visit east. See my Instagram for pictures of my visit @SandyWass
Everybody was surprised to wake up in October to hear that Kazimierz Wine Bar had closed the night before. The iconic wine bar in downtown Scottsdale was a favorite “speakeasy” for the wine crowd and fans of live jazz. The bar gets a new lease on life this week as restaurateur Tommy Plato takes over the space opening Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar.
Plato founded The Gelato Spot and owns Second Story Liquor Bar around the corner from Kazimierz. The atmosphere will be the same but guests will see a new decor, furniture, a VIP area and whiskey program.“Peter was a pioneer in Old Town and what he created here with Kazimierz in this space is exactly what Scottsdale needs,” said Tommy Plato. “I’m excited to keep this tradition alive but with an updated twist on a high-end establishment where you can go to have after-dinner drinks, light bites and great live music all night long in an upscale environment that caters to wine and cocktail enthusiasts,” said Plato.
New menu at Kazimierz Wine & Whiskey Bar
Happy hour will be offered daily from 4 – 7 p.m. and a new full menu will be available until closing. Plato will introduce a new chef, menu and Whiskey Ambassador Program when the Kazimierz opens on Thursday, January 24th.
The new menu will include charcuterie plates, bruschetta, oysters, flatbreads and more. Ingredients will be sourced from local purveyors including Noble Bread and Chula Seafood. Desserts are Plato’s strong point from his experience at The Gelato Spot.
Over 100 wines and 500 whiskeys, bourbons, ryes offerings from the U.S., Scotland, Ireland and Japan will be available. Included will be hand-picked selections and rare bottlings.
“Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar is the perfect blend of good food, upscale atmosphere and the best wine and whiskey selection in Old Town. I am so excited to bring a new late-night concept to a familiar place that has had an incredible following for many years,” said Plato.
Kazimierz Wine & Whiskey Bar is at 7137 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. 480-495-3004