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.

Arizona Restaurant Week starts tonight

You’ve probably heard about the Fall 2020 Arizona Restaurant Week starting tonight through next Sunday 9/27. Over 100 restaurants state wide serving 3 course unique menus for $33 or $44 per person. Dine in or take-out is available. For a list of participating restaurants visit the website.

Francine starts weekend brunch and weekday lunch

About a month ago Scottsdale’s newest restaurant Francine opened after afew months delay at Scottsdale Fashion Square. This weekend they start serving brunch and on Monday they start their lunch service.

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Garrison Brothers

Phoenix City Grille & Garrison Brothers pair a 5-course dinner

The central Phoenix restaurant and the distillery join forces Saturday September 26th for spirits pairing dinner. The occasion celebrates the release of Garrison Brothers Cowboy 2020 Bourbon. Chef Micah Wyzlic uses the bourbon in his dishes along with them sipped on with each course. Dinner is $125 per person ++ and the menu can be viewed at http://www.phoenixcitygrille.com/ with reservations made by calling 602-510-7174 or emailing Britnee Reed at Privatedining@phoenixcitygrille.com

Macayo’s popular Pumpkin Flan now available at all restaurants

It doesn’t feel like Autumn in Arizona yet but the Mexican restaurant has added the delicious dessert to the menu. Made with Fall spices, the dessert is $5.79 at all 7 locations around the valley.

24 Carrots shuts dining room to focus on take-out

Owner Sasha Raj has transformed her Tempe plant based restaurant for take out and now uses the dining room as a collection site for donations for the Navajo Nation. Donations can be dropped off every Wednesday. Raj regularly serves & donates meals and food to many other under served people and  non-profits.

Carnitas Way delivers California beach style healthy Mexican food

A new concept has a emerged in the restaurant industry as ghost kitchens a.k.a cloud or virtual kitchens have become popular. Theses kitchens don’t have traditional store front locations and don’t offer dine-in service with delivery the only option. Carnitas Way launched last week from Kurt and Colleen Riske, owners of Los Sombreros. California style burritos, bowls and salads are made at the three locations in Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix then delivered via GrubHub, Postmates and Door Dash.

“We’ve been working on the Carnitas Way concept for some time,” says Kurt Riske. “And while it may seem unusual to open a new restaurant in the midst of a pandemic, it’s actually great timing for this delivery only restaurant that features delicious dishes made with healthy ingredients that offer people serious value.”

Outrigger BowlCarnitas Way

Carnitas Way burritos, bowls & salads.

All menu items are under $10 and burritos can be made into bowls. All burritos and bowls include carnitas except the North Shore.

Baja – black beans, peppers, onions, cabbage, chipotle cream sauce & jack cheese.

Newport – potatoes, poblano peppers, drunken salsa & queso fresco.

Laguna– pinto beans, pico de gallo, & chipotle tomato sauce.

Kapalua – potatoes, carrots, poblano peppers, onions, roasted tomato salsa.

San Carlos – chopped mango, pico de gallo, & habanero salsa.

Outrigger – zucchini, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, pinto beans & mole verde sauce.

North Shore – Veggie

Wedge –  ntwo scrambled eggs, cajun seasoned potatoes, bacon, chipotle tomato salsa, pico de gallo & avocado.

Cancun – salsa verde & jack cheese.

Salads include…

Tamarindo Salad – cabbage, spring mix, diced onions, red pepper, roasted corn, honey lime dressing, tajin, chopped cilantro, goat cheese & fried tortilla strips.

Corn Salad

“Carnitas Way was created to make life a little easier and more enjoyable, by delivering satisfying, flavorful meals right to your door,” says Colleen Riske. “From the beach-inspired names of Carnitas Way menu items to our overall vibe, we’re excited to connect with people who appreciate the simple pleasure of a delicious meal done right.”

Orders can be placed at their website.

The Vegan Taste hires “The Nutrition Doctor” PK Newby

In an effort to make its healthy food healthier, meal delivery service The Vegan Taste has hired nutritionist PK Newby. Owner Jason Wyrick started The Vegan Taste in 2006 to deliver artisan, healthy vegan meals to subscribers doorstep. Newby and Wyrick will work together to make sure meals use the right balance of ingredients for optimal nutrition. Wyrick is also owner the Glendale vegan restaurant, Casa Terra.

Wyrick says, “Creating flavorful, good-for-you meals has always been our focus at The Vegan Taste. However, with the increased emphasis on maintaining excellent health and immune support, we wanted to add another layer of reassurance for our subscribers. Now, with PK’s help, our meals feature the most immunity boosting ingredients possible.”

Newby has over 25 years of experience researching diet related diseases and studies how peoples food choices have an effect on the environment and teaches why what we eat matters. She is also an author with her latest book “Food and Nutrition: What Everyone Needs to Know.” and adjunct professor at Harvard.

Offerings at The Vegan Taste

The menu at The Vegan Taste changes weekly and can be made gluten free, oil free & soy free by request. Sample menus have included Enchiladas Suizas with creamy salsa verde, CT cheese, beans, and market veggies; Thai Peanut Noodles with carrots, cabbage, green onions, and tofu; Barbacoa Tacos with smoked mushrooms, black beans, queso fresco, and pineapple pico; Tikka Masala with carrots, cauliflower, red peppers, and tofu; Turkish Lentil Soup with potatoes, tahini sauce, sumac, and fresh herbs; and Meatball Grinders with zucchini and ground sausage in a fire roasted tomato sauce.

The meal delivery service is offering new customers 20% off meals for 8 weeks with a 6- meal package for $65. 46 and 12 meals for $109.10. Because the meals are being at the cost The Vegan Taste pays for ingredients no profit is being made. Prices include tax and free delivery valley wide. Subscribers can purchase addition meals to be donated to first responders and healthcare workers. For more information or to subscribe visit their website.

MIXT brings fast casual farm to table healthy food to Scottsdale Quarter

California based MIXT is almost ready to open its newest restaurant on March 7th at the new wing of Scottsdale Quarter. It will be the fast casual farm to table concept’s first restaurant in Arizona and the 16th since the company was founded in 2005 by Leslie and David Silverglide. The other 15 locations are in California and Texas.

“We’re beyond excited to bring MIXT’s delicious, sustainable, healthy food to Scottsdale,” says MIXT CEO Leslie Silverglide. “We’re looking forward to serving the growing number of Arizonans looking for fresh, delicious, and fulfilling meals that fit a health-conscious lifestyle.”

The high quality sourcing of ingredients translates into healthy grain bowls, salads, sandwiches and protein plates. MIXT tries to source as much as possible locally for its scratch made dishes. The menu changes when the seasons change with the availability of produce. Salads are customized to your liking with over 75 ingredients to choose from. MIXT Market Plates include herb roasted grilled chicken and Steelhead trout that are paired with house-made sauces.

Kombucha on tap, house made iced teas & lemonade, local beers and boutique wines are offered with lunch and dinner. MIXT

MIXT Salet

No miss-spelling, MIXT offers a Salad Valet for those on the go who place orders on their app or on-line. You won’t need to leave your car as the Salet will bring your order right to you when you pull up to the “take-out zone”. Looking to stay, MIXT has an inviting modern look to dine inside or out to enjoy your chef created meals.

With its sustainable business practices MIXT is the first multi-unit concept to become a Certified B Corporation. Not only is the food good for you, it’s good for the community as well.

MIXT will be open daily from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Check out their website for more information or to fill out an application as they are hiring 50 staffers.

Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen to open in March from famed chef

James Beard award winning chef Alex Stratta is preparing to open his new healthy concept restaurant in Scottsdale early in 2020. When Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen opens it will serve dishes that he prepared to overcome colon cancer and lose over 100 pounds. Natural and seasonal whole foods will be on the menu with an emphasis on Mediterranean styled diet.

“My passions have always been found and developed in the kitchen,” says Stratta. “This new concept is so personal to me and I am thrilled to once again share my passions with our local and visiting diners who have come to expect, and deserve, an elevated yet wholesome meal in a quick-casual atmosphere.”

Healthy eating at Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen

The popular quick serve concept will let customers dine-in or take out, a departure for Stratta from his upscale dining days at The Phoenician and in Las Vegas. The menu will appeal to all diets and will include gluten-free, naturally dairy free and vegetarian dishes.  The menu will offer five sections including “To Share or Not to Share”, “Greens”, “Grains”, “Proteins” and “Sweets”.

“To Share or Not to Share” will include Vegetable and Potato Frittata, Baked Artichoke, Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip and more.

“Greens” include Beets and Apples with Arugula, goat cheese cracker, pistachios and balsamic crunch and more salad based dishes. “Grains” offers Vegetable Pistou Soup and Terra with wild mushrooms, green lentils, spinach, Brussel sprouts, asparagus and purple yams.

“Proteins” allows guests to choose from Alaskan Sterling Salmon, Free Range Chicken, Char-Grilled Strip Steak, Grilled King Trumpet Mushroom and more. “Proteins” can be customized with sauces including Moroccan Spice Tahini, Chimichurri and Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette.

Indulge in healthy desserts with “Sweets” including Goat Cheese and Honey Panna Cotta, Warm Walnut Date Cake and Pistachio Baklava.

Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen will be at 8260 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale.

Fresh Millions promotes healthy eating & raises money to prevent cancer

According to the American Cancer Society over 4,800 people per day will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019. Research shows one of the ways to minimize the chances of getting the disease is to eat healthier. Fresh Millions promotes healthy eating with its protein rich meals and on Saturday December 7th will donate 50% of sales to the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center for cancer research.

Many of us have been impacted by cancer personally as have members of the Fresh Millions family including Lydia Moore, local Director of Operations, Salesh Deo, Operator & Manager and mother of the founder Mrs. Sanghera.

“As a cancer survivor, I always remind myself not to let the disease define me,” said Moore, “Over the years, cancer remained in the back of my mind, but I didnt let it become my mindset. Doing a fundraiser like this allows us to help others who are in the middle of this fight. We chose Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center because of their significant presence and esteemed reputation in the East Valley. Fresh Millions is now a proud Community Champion for Banner Health.

Opened from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. the fundraiser will include free food samples, prize giveaways and cancer awareness education.

Fresh Millions Restaurant brand is proud to support the communities where we operate and giving back is an important part of our core philosophy,” added Moore. Our fundraisers generously give back 50 percent to beneficiaries. For the past five years that we’ve been in the East Valley, we have supported many schools and non-profit groupsCancer hits close to home for us and we are proud to say that our brand is led daily by survivors who wish to give back, too.” 

Fresh Millions is at 1515 N. Gilbert Rd., #105, Gilbert. To make an online donation visit http://give.bannerhealth.com/cancer

Mediterranean diet favorite dishes return to Pita Jungle

For the last 25 years Pita Jungle has been serving up healthy Mediterranean diet inspired dishes. Many customers have their favorite’s over the years but they tend to come and go with seasons. As part of their Seasonal Kitchen Crafts Menu they’ve brought back many fan favorites from the past.

All 23 locations throughout Arizona are serving dishes with a balance of Mediterranean diet and global cuisine. The menu is popular with all dietary needs including keto, paleo, vegan and gluten-free. The seasonal menu will be available thru the rest of the year. Dishes include……

  • Cauliflower Hummus (V) – cauliflower, tahini, garlic, evoo, lemon juice, cucumbers, pita (gluten free with blue corn chips).
  • All Veggie Pita Pocket – avocado, baby greens, seasonal mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, sprouts, tabbouleh, lemon vinaigrette, in a pita pocket, severed with tahini (vegan with no tabbouleh, gluten-free with gluten-free pita upcharge).
  • Bone Broth Ramen with Shirataki Noodles (GF) – beef bone broth, with miso, kimchi, red onion, gluten-free soy sauce, garlic and ginger, shirataki noodles, spinach, green onions.
  • Ginger Stir Fry with Shirataki Noodles (GF) – stir-fried fresh vegetables and kimchi, shirataki noodles, spicy ginger sauce, beef bone broth, fresh cilantro, fresh mint, pea sprouts (vegan with no kimchi and no beef broth).

    Mediterranean
    Ginger Stir Fry with Shirataki Noodles
  • Wood-Fired Medchilada (GF) – savory garlic-cilantro chicken in a beef bone broth enchilada sauce, cheddar and feta, turmeric cauliflower rice, cabbage-kale super greens, fresh jalapenos, radish, pico de gallo, pine nuts, gluten-free pita.
  • Chicken Avocado Pita Tostada with Cauliflower Hummus – grilled and chopped marinated all-natural chicken breast, avocado, cilantro-avocado crema, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled red onions, bell peppers, cauliflower hummus, feta, pine nuts, baby arugula, pea sprouts, chipotle vinaigrette, pita tostada or low-carb pita or gluten-free pita (vegetarian option without chicken.
  • Mediterranean Tuna Pita Pocket – albacore tuna, avocado, seasonal mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, tabbouleh, lemon vinaigrette, pea sprouts, in a pita pocket.
  • Baklawa Bread Pudding sweetened with stevia and agave syrup.

To find a Pita Jungle near you head to their website.

Laura’s Gourmet Granola celebrates 15 years with continued growth

You’ve probably had Laura’s Gourmet Granola if you’ve been to OverEasy, Scramble or Fox Restaurant Concepts locations. They’re just a few local restaurants who serve the popular healthy mix of nuts, oats, fruits and other ingredients. As the company celebrates its 15th anniversary it expands to accommodate the growing demand. The new west Phoenix location is triple the size of its original production facility.

“Our sole focus always has been to make unparalleled, classic granola using only all natural ingredients and prove that healthy and delicious can coexist in every artisan crafted, gluten-free bite,” says Laura Briscoe, founder and executive chef of Laura’s Gourmet Granola.

The growth is not only due to local restaurants using her granola but consumers supporting it in Arizona markets including AJ’s, Tempe Public Market, Whole Foods and others. Until recently Laura’s Gourmet Granola was only found in Arizona specialty retailers, now it’s available in Texas, Chicago and Wisconsin. In 2012 Laura’s started working with hotels, restaurants and healthcare organizations around the country.

Started in 2004 with the classic Vanilla Almond Crunch, there now six flavors including AppleLicious Crunch and the newest, Sinful Cinnamon Crunch. The seasonal Pumpkin Pecan is available through the end of the year. “We are committed to creating granola flavors that will delight the palate without compromising one’s health or sending one to the dictionary to understand our ingredients. We have done this for 15 years with seven flavors and look forward to more.” says Briscoe.

The granola is low in sugar, has healthy fats and proteins with nut free, vegan, dairy free and gluten free options.

To find Laura’s Gourmet Granola near you visit her website.

 

Kaleidoscope Juice expanding to The Shops at Gainey Ranch

A food lovers life can’t always be about cheeseburgers, pizza and bacon. Healthy food helps to cleanse the body and your mind so we can continue to eat the guilty pleasures. Fortunately there is Kaleidoscope Juice which is opening their newest location at The Shops in Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale. Opening in October, the 1,000 square foot store will offer an all organic menu of cold pressed juices, salads, sandwiches, protein bowl and more.

“We are delighted to open this new, beautiful location in the neighborhood where I started the company delivering juices to people’s homes,” said Alexandra Maw, founder and owner of Kaleidoscope Juice. “We believe in the vibrancy of Kaleidoscope and look forward to sharing our passion for healthy, healing foods with the Scottsdale community.

Another location will open soon after as the health and wellness company continues to expand from its current four locations.

The ingredients and recipes are scientifically proven to help with specific dietary needs and deficiencies. The menu is attractive to people with different diets including Keto and gluten-free. Ingredients are locally sourced when possible.

Brook McGregor, co-owner and COO and master’s degree candidate in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine added, “We are excited to expand our menu outside the normal fruit and vegetable combinations. Our new smoothies are intentionally crafted providing a myriad of healthy fat compositions, hormone maintenance blends and cognitive support.”

The Shops at Gainey Ranch is at 8977 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. Kaleidoscope Juice will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. For more information check out their website.

Free Sriracha at Pita Jungle Saturday on June 29th.

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.