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.

Summer Supper returns at Marcellino Ristorante

When downtown Scottsdale’s Marcellino Ristorante returns next Thursday August 4th after a couple weeks of rest and relaxation so will their Summer Supper dining experience. Guests can enjoy a three course for only $49 per person choosing from antipastos, award-winning handcrafted pastas and ending with house-made biscotti for dessert. Imagine a Caprese salad with imported mozzarella or entrees Gnocchi Sorrentina or Filetto Di Maiale without leaving Arizona. The Summer Supper is available nightly from 4 p.m. til closing for parties up to 6 people.

Also returning is their weekly Dinner and a Movie program. Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening through the first week of September at 5:30 p.m. guests can enjoy dinner from the menu or the Summer Supper menu. Enjoy the private dining room with others for a date night, girl’s night out or just letting Marcellino do the cooking. Admission is free but dinner and reservations are  required.

The movies are as scheduled.

August 9; and August 24: “The Talented Mr. Ripley”
August 10; and August 30: “Only You”

August 16; and August 31: “Roman Holiday”

August 17; and August 23: “Eat, Pray, Love”

August 28; and September 7: “When in Rome”
September 6: “The Big Night”
Reservations are suggested for the Summer Supper. To make a reservation call 480-490-9500. For more information and to view their menus visit their website.

 

Lisa Dahl opens second location of Pisa Lisa

Sedona’s Culinary Queen, Lisa Dahl has brought her popular restaurant and pizzeria Pisa Lisa to the Village of Oak Creek. This is Dahl’s sixth restaurant in the Sedona area and the first with a second location. The first Pisa Lisa opened in west Sedona in 2013 with the new location offering an expanded menu with favorites including wood-fired thin crust pizza, organic salads, tapas and locally made gelato.

Pisa Lisa gets its name from what Dahl’s father would affectionately say to her when giving her a pinch growing up, “I wanna little piece of Lisa”. “I put my heart and soul into the first Pisa Lisa location which is a testament to my dedication to serving people special experiences that will turn into cherished memories while honoring the adoration I feel for my family members who are no longer with us,” said Dahl.

A personal touch from Lisa Dahl on the menu

Guests will find many personal touches on the menu including naming dishes after family members. Da Dororthy pizza is named after her mother and made with Mother sauce, provolone-mozzarella, fennel sausage, picante peppers, Parm-Reggiano. The Justino pizza is dedicated to her late son and made with Ricotta, provolone-mozzarella, San Danielle prosciutto gold, organic arugula, and white-truffle oil.

New are the antipasto plates including Lisa’s Plate, an antipasti sampler with fresh bocconcini mozzarella, tomatoes, finnochio slaw, magic mushrooms, caselveltrano olives and fire-roasted artichokes. New from the pastry team for dessert is the Cookie Monster, a warm and molten giant chocolate chip cookie sundae with Strawberry-stracciatella plant-based gelato (vegan and gluten free).

Beverages include natural sodas, local mead, 16 taps for craft beers, and top selling wines. A wide-range of healthy grab-n-go items including paninis, prepped pizzas, morning treats, and locally sourced roasted coffee are available.

The restaurant has an industrial and bohemian look in its 3,500 square feet. The raised bar is surrounded by Rock n Roll memorabilia from Capitol Records from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Indoor and outdoor seating is available as is communal seating at two large tables.

“This new location enables us to expand this heartfelt concept to a larger audience as it is ultimately a culmination of my work and passion for the Sedona culinary scene and my gratitude for those who dine at Pisa Lisa and stand with me in the belief that Rock ‘n’ Roll is here to stay!”

Pisa Lisa in the Village of Oak Creek is located at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351. For more information visit their website.

Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen brings a taste of Italy to north Phoenix.

Father and son Rocco and Marco Pezzano are no strangers to owning and operating Italian restaurants. In the summer of 2021 after a few years out of the business they were drawn back in and opened Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen in the Desert Ridge neighborhood of North Phoenix. Sfizio is Italian for “you don’t need it, but you want it” or a “craving” and you’ll want this authentic Italian cooking.

Rocco was born in southern Italy’s Calabria region and moved to Torino at 16 working in his aunt’s bakery and pizzeria. In 1986 after visiting family in the United States he re-located to Arizona and opened “That’s Italian” and “Caffe Italy” in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Marco, an architecture student at ASU often worked in the restaurants growing up and learned to love it the way his father does. Like many in the industry Rocco got burnt out and started a wholesale company opting for a desk job.

Young Marco noticed his dad, although successful, wasn’t happy and had a “unspoken passion” for owning his own restaurant, inspired him to get back in the kitchen. That was 2019 and the idea for Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen started to become a reality. Mom Zee and Marco’s sister round out the family and can be found at the restaurant when not working or in school.

The food at Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen

All the food at Sfizio is scratch made with all the ingredients imported from throughout Italy. Fresh bread and pizza dough is made twice a day and pasta is made in house every day. Popular dishes include the seafood Frutti Di Mare with shellfish tossed in a spicy red sauce over squid ink pasta, plump Lobster Ravioli and Pollo Parmigina. Pizza Napoletana get tossed and baked in the brick oven in full view of the bar and dining room. Salads, small plates, entrees, antipasto boards and pizzas are served daily at dinner. The lunch menu includes pizza, sandwiches and a couple of pastas until 3 p.m. A full bar is available as is a mostly Italian wine list.

By the time you read this a new menu should be introduced including “The Original Sfizini” available during lunch.  Created by Rocco, hollowed out fresh bread is filled with classic Italian ingredients. Sausage & Peppers, Chicken Cacciatore and Eggplant Parmigiana are just a few of the fillings. Make sure you save room for classic Italian desserts of cannoli, tiramisu and more

Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen is open daily Monday – Friday at 11 a.m. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. 7 days a week. Happy hour is available daily in the bar. Find them at 21050 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix 85050. Visit their website for more information and to view the menus.

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.

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen offer Healthy Hour menu

All 6 locations (5 in Phoenix area and 1 in Sedona) kicked off the new summer Healthy Hour recently. Daily from 3 -6 p.m. enjoy popular food items and cocktails such as Baked Wings, Mama’s Meat-Za-Balls and Baked Brie for $8. Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip and Avocado Toast are $7 and Cheese Bread is $6.

Wash them down with $4 Local Drafts, glasses of house wines for $5 and Zo’s House Made Sangria for $6. Signature cocktails including the Prickly Pear Margarita and Smoky Cadillac are $7 and both use the locally owned Shrubwell‘s rimming salt.

 Dole Whip only $2 on Monday at Koibito Poke

Cool off on National Pineapple Day at the Gainey Ranch location of Koibito Poke with the the popular frozen treat. The 5 oz. Dole Whip is available all day from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Chef Brett Vibber and Pedal Haus Brewery team up for beer paired dinner

Master Brewer Derek Osborne and Wild Arizona chef Brett Vibber team up for a five-course dinner on Thursday June 30th. Dinner will take place at the brewer’s downtown Phoenix location at 214 E. Roosevelt St. starting at 6 p.m. Foraged and locally sourced dishes including Wild Mushroom Potstickers and Arizona Wagyu Brisket will be paired with Mexican Amber Lager and Haus IPA. Seats are limited and are $120 and can be reserved here.

Venezia’s Pizza in Chandler now open

The 6th location of the poplar locally owned restaurant I featured last month is now open for business. Known for pizza and wings they offer daily lunch specials and the “Slice of the Day”. Owner Domenick Montanile opened his first location in Tempe in 1998 right after graduating from ASU.

Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen + Bar now open at Chase Field

When it was announced in February that Guy Fieri would we be opening a new restaurant at Chase Field little information was known. Now we know that “Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen +Bar” has opened this week inside the new Caesars Sportsbook. Executive Chef Kayla Laasko offers scratch made food along with classic cocktails, beer & wine. Several of Fieri’s classic dishes including Trash Can Nachos and the popular Bacon Mac n Cheeseburger are on the menu along with new dishes.

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.

Venezia’s Pizzeria to open its 6th location in Chandler

Locally owned Venezia’s Pizzeria is opening its newest location along the Price Corridor of Chandler in June. The New York style pizzeria has been serving the valley for over 20 years with two locations in Mesa, one in Tempe, Gilbert and north Phoenix. Once opened they will offer dine-in, pick-up, delivery and catering.

“Chandler is a rapidly growing community, so it seemed like the perfect fit for our newest location,” said Domenick Montanile, owner and president of Venezia’s New York Style Pizzeria. “The East Valley has really welcomed us over the years, so we wanted to continue to grow our strong presence there. One of our first locations was in Chandler so we are excited about being back and serving our authentic New York style pizza to the local community.”
The Chandler location will have a modern look with white brick accents and drop lighting indoors and a patio with fire pit for outside dining. 8 large screen TVs and a community table and a state of the art kiosk for ordering are also featured. The menu will include classic New York style pizza, pasta, wings, calzones, sandwiches and salads along with gluten-free options and Zero Crust Pizza Bowls. Daily specials include the Slice of the Day, Slice combinations with salads, wings and a drink.
Venezia’s Pizzeria is hiring for all positions in front and back of the house and offer a management training program for those looking to grow with the company. Interested applicants can apply online. Hours will be Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Chandler location will be 1245 S. Price Rd. Chandler 85286. 480-447-5555

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.

Queen Creek Olive Mill hosting Tavolo dinner

Family and tradition go together like food and wine and Thursday, June 2 all will be featured at the Tavolo Dinner at the Queen Creek Olive Mill. The family- style dinner will feature the flavors, foods & culture of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region known for Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Prosciutto di Parma. The 5-course dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and professionally paired wines are optional.

  • Antipasti
    • Prosciutto Di Parma  Rousseau Farm Melons, Burrata & Basil finished with QCOM Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
    • Mortadella Crostini Con Gnocco Ingrassato – Modenese Pork Fat Flat Bread with thinly sliced Mortadella finished with QCOM Peach White Balsamic Reduction
  • Primi
    • Tagliatelle Al Ragu – Fresh House-made Tagliatelle Pasta, served with a Ragu of succulent Lamb & Pork slowly braised with Onions, Carrots, Celery, Tomatoes, & hardy herbs finished with QCOM Balanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Secondi
    • Maiale Al Latte – Pork Loin from The Pork Shop braised in Milk and fresh Herbs, served with creamy Polenta & roasted Garden Vegetables
  • Insalata
    • Olio E Aceto – Fresh Greens from Steadfast Farm lightly tossed in QCOM Balanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil & QCOM White Balsamic Vinegar from Modena
  • Dolce
    • Latte Della Regione – Parmigiano Reggiano Panna Cotta + Parmigiano Reggiano with Fig Balsamic Reduction

Seats are $99.95 with $40 optional wine pairings and reservations are required and can be made here. The Queen Creek Olive Mill is located at 25062 S. Meridan Rd. Queen Creek 85142.

Deep dish pizza legend Lou Malnati’s now open in Chandler

Las Tiendas Village in Chandler is the home of the newest Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria to open in Arizona. Their famous deep dish pizza is served fresh along with thin crust pizza, sandwiches, salads, pasta and more. Guests can dine-in, take-out or have their favorite pizzas delivered with catering also available.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lou Malnati’s to Las Tiendas Village,” said Kim Pitt, Property Manager of Las Tiendas. “The addition of such a quality pizzeria fills a void in our tenant mix and I am confident will be be welcomed by the neighborhood and community.” The new Las Tiendas Village restaurant is the 7th location for pizzeria in the Phoenix with other locations in Chicago, Milwaukee and Indianapolis metro areas.

Still owned by the second generation of Malnati’s, the family continues to make their famous deep dish pizza from the original recipe and give the great service Lou started 50 years ago. “Since our first location opened in Arizona, we’ve been welcomed with open arms and are so grateful to our loyal fan base,” said Marc Malnati. “Our team is excited to expand in the Valley and make a home in the city of Chandler.  “We’re committed to providing jobs at our restaurants while supporting the local communities we serve. We’re thankful for the overwhelmingly positive response of customers who love our food, family and hospitality,” Malnati added.

The restaurant opens at 4 p.m. til 10 p.m. Monday – Thursday and from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday- Sunday. Las Tiendas Village is at 2815 S. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85286. For more information visit their website.

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