Phoenix Convention Center to get its own brewpub

As downtown Phoenix continues to grow the city looks for more amenities for downtown residents and visitors. Dining out is popular downtown which is why Huss Brewing Co. has agreed to open brewpub at the Phoenix Convention Center. The two-story, street front brewery and restaurant will open in the fall on Monroe St. between 2nd and 3rd streets.

Huss Brewing Co. entered into a partnership with the city and convention center food & beverage provider Aventura Catering. “The Phoenix Convention Center is one of Downtown Phoenix’ most visible points of pride, and we are thrilled that they will now house a beloved local company with Huss Brewing Co.,” says Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This new location will help further showcase the strength of our community’s craft beer industry to the millions of visitors who come to our city each year.”

Huss Brewing Co. will serve their award-winning beers along with a chef driven menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.

This has become a passion project for Huss Brewing co-owners Leah and Jeff Huss. “Jeff and I have been working on this project for more than a year and a half,” Leah says, “It has been a joy working with the Phoenix Convention Center, and Aramark (Aventura’s parent company) throughout the process of putting this dream together. Most important, we’re looking forward to being a part of the downtown Phoenix community and helping the revitalization of the area, especially bringing a vibrant nightlife back to downtown’s sports, arts and events community.”

12 West Brewing to open taproom in downtown Mesa

Gilbert’s 12 West Brewing will ring in 2020 in style when it opens its new taproom on New Year’s Eve. Finding 12 West Main Street should be easy as it’s the name and address of the taproom in downtown Mesa. The former event venue is owned by 12 West founder and Mesa native Bryan McCormick.

“12 West Brewing Company is crafted for the community. We know the bond formed when sharing a pint or sipping a cocktail at the bar–people meet, converse and make memories surrounded by good friends, tasty food, and great beer. We want to be a community space, where our guests are on their own time,” says owner Bryan McCormick, who also owns 12 West Brewing at Barnone in Gilbert. “I always wanted to put a brewery in here,” he said. “I waited for the light rail to get built and for Mesa’s time to come.” That time is now, he said, with downtown Mesa ready for growth. The 19,000 sq ft building has undergone extensive renovations recently, and there are plans to develop the basement into a music venue in the near future.

Beer, cocktails & food at 12 West

12 West Brewing beers will be poured along with beers it collaborates on with other brewers. Classic cocktails will use spirits of local distillers Arizona Distilling Company and Grand Canyon Brewing & Distilling. Chef David Linville has created a menu with small plates, flatbreads and salads. Signature dishes include the Bretzel, a Bavarian pretzel made with beer cheese with 12 West’s Wheat Beer. The Katsu Chicken sandwich is a Japanese style of fried chicken topped with Asian slaw. Linville sources ingredients locally and every aspect of the menu is made in house from fresh, whole foods.

12 West Main Street will be open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sun- Thurs. and 11 a.m. – midnight on Fri. and Sat.

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.

The Camelback Market at Vincent’s has returned for another season

The Camelback Market
The beet goes on.

Those farmer’s markets that took the summer off have re-opened for our cooler months. One of the more popular markets that is back is The Camelback Market at Vincent’s on Camelback. The opened air market with European flare runs through early May from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday.

Customers can wander by local produce vendors along with imported exotic fruits and vegetables, warm & crusty breads, buttery croissants, fresh pasta, homemade jams, imported cheeses and more.

Enjoy made to order omelets, crepes, wood fired pizzas, meat & seafood paella and other delicacies from Vincent. Relax with a glass of wine and watch the crowds go by. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up gifts for the holidays imported from the south of France.

The Camelback Market is held in the parking lot of Vincent’s at 3030 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85018. For more information visit their website.

Pizzeria Bianco to donate profits on World Food Day

Critically acclaimed Pizzeria Bianco will be donating a part of its profits to Food for the Hungry on World Food Day, Wednesday October 16th. Guests can dine at either location at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix and at Town & Country Center at 16th St. & Camelback Rd. to help raise money for the non-profit.

The Phoenix-based non-profit is an international relief and development organization is trying to establish a zero-hunger world and eliminate all forms of poverty.

“Currently, 821 million people suffer from chronic hunger and almost 15,000 children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every day,” said Beth Allen, Senior Communications Manager of Food for the Hungry. “To combat this statistic, people around the world come together on World Food Day to promote awareness and action to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. We are so grateful to Pizzeria Bianco for joining us in our efforts to end hunger in some of the hardest areas of the world.”

Pizzeria Bianco’s two Phoenix locations at 623 E. Adams Street and 4743 N. 20th Street.

 

Castle Hot Springs re-opens with Harvest, serving crop driven cuisine

Arizona’s first luxury resort, Castle Hot Springs has re-opened for its first full season. Originally opened in 1896, the 210 acre property will be opened from October til late June offering guests the opportunity to detach from the digital world while rejuvenating and healing in the resorts 120 degrees thermal hot springs. Hiking, horseback riding, foraging and star gazing are a few of the many activities guests can enjoy at the iconic resort and its surrounding desert and mountains.

Harvest, Castle Hot Springs signature restaurant

Castle Hot Springs is home to Harvest, the signature restaurant and farm offering crop driven cuisine. Executive chef Christopher Brugman’s menu rotates daily based on what’s available at the resorts one acre farm. The farm and greenhouse are overseen by resident agronomist Ian Berger. He oversees over 150 fruits and vegetables native to the desert along with the properties groves that are home to 36 types of citrus trees. Included in the farm are over 35 varieties of heirloom tomatoes.

Working together Brugman and Berger choose ripe fruit and vegetables for each days menu. What they don’t grow they  get from local vendors to fill in the gaps. Harvest also adheres to zero waste and sustainable guidelines. Guests can participate in daily foraging and learn about “flavor farming” that covers the sweet and savory tastes through a foods color. Dishes such as Coconut Carrot Bisque and Tandoori Octopus Grilled over Juniper Wood have been on the menu. The culinary team also has an in-house pickling program and creates concoctions such as Brugman’s Onion Ash.

Food & Beverage Manager and Sommelier Thomas Burris has created a beverage program to complement Brugman’s cuisine. Signature cocktails such as the Trade Secret and Lady & The Tramp also use ingredients sourced from the property. Trade Secret is made with rosemary infused vodka, Elderflower and pink grapefruit. The savory Lady & The Tramp combine Pecorino Romano infused vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and fresh basil leaves. Castle Springs Lithium Lager is made exclusively for Harvest and uses natural elements of the resorts hot springs.

The resort is at 5050 E. Castle Hot Springs Rd. Castle Hot Springs AZ. 85342. For more information and to make a reservation head to their website.

New menu and new look as a re-vamped Zuzu re-opens

Hotel Valley Ho’s Zuzu is back open after getting a new look and menu. Hotel guests and locals will notice the restaurant’s new mid-century modern look is in-line with the hotels 1950’s style. Designed by Mendil + Meyer Design Studio, new features include a Zuzu neon sign, 1950’s inspired wood screens and new lighting. The lounge and dining room has been combined for welcoming space and the hotel’s signature circle design is noticeable.

“We are beyond excited to re-introduce ZuZu, not only to our wonderful Scottsdale community, but also to the guests of Hotel Valley Ho,” said Executive Chef Russell LaCasce. “Our new menu is meant to surprise and delight, while still satisfying those classic cravings.”

look
Crispy Pork Shank. All photos courtesy of Kristin Heggli at Hotel Valley Ho

Look at the new menu

LaCasce’s new menu features smaller, shareable plates with a few guests’ favorite dishes remaining. Many of the menu’s ingredients come from the restaurant’s new 240 foot herb and vegetable garden. Zuzu continues to work with local farmers and purveyors including Pinnacle Farms, Schreiner’s Fine Sausage and Hickman’s Family Farms.

New signature dishes include Oxtail Pappardelle with foie gras & Parmesan and Crispy Pork Shank with sour apple molasses glaze, cucumber tarragon yogurt and pita. Two new monthly revolving dishes will be available….. Cut of the Moment will be a savory dish with a unique plating design and Farmer’s Plate will offer seasonal vegetables making for a great vegetarian meal. Those looking for a unique dining experience can let LaCasce Take the Wheel. For $75 per person chef will create a hand selected meal. Weekend brunchers will notice a few changes and brunch is now served all day during the week.

Zuzu Chocolate Bar

Save room for dessert as Zuzu’s famous Show Stopper Shake is still available along with new desserts. Le Cordon Bleu trained Pastry Chef Clarissa Robinson brings her chocolate expertise to new desserts Zuzu Chocolate Bar, a Donut Sundae and Buttermilk Pie. Adults can add their favorite spirit to dessert to spike it up.

Private dining, wine room and more

Speaking of spirits new cocktails have been added including the Zuzu Mango Tango along with a new wine room. The new “Vine Vault” house wines from around the world. “The Rosie Room” is a new hidden private dining room named for Rosalyn “Rosie” Bennett Lyon, the matriarch of the family that owns the hotel. Her grandchildren called Rosie “Zuzu” and the inspiration for the restaurant comes from her cooking and warm hospitality.

I’ll be visiting Zuzu next week to check out the new menu and more. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @SandyWass for pictures.

Zuzu and Hotel Valley Ho is at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251.

Hatch Chiles are here and AZ Food Crafters is preparing meals with them

With the arrival of Fall and people on the go AZ Food Crafters offers prepared meals that are fresh and delicious. With the availability of Hatch Chiles the Chandler based food kitchen is offering Green Chile Pork Stew with other meals coming soon. The seasonal pork stew is made with pork shoulder, onions, green Hatch Chiles and homemade green chile sauce. A 16 oz. container is $7.

Other meals soon to be available include…..

New Mexico Red Chile Pork aka Pork Adovada — Slow cooked pork shoulder in New Mexico red chile mixed with seasonings and love. $16 for a 24-ounce container

Red Chile Beef Hand Pies — Red chile-braised grass fed beef in a savory homemade crust. Frozen three-pack, $12

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese — Available beginning Friday, September 13, this dish features squash cheese sauce, roasted squash and sage. $10 for a 20-ounce

Shepherds’ Pie Entree – Gluten-free beef, onion, carrot, celery, butternut squash, and sage in butter sauce, topped with mashed gold potatoes. $14 for a 24-ounce container

Chicken Pot Pie – Enjoy chicken pot pie in a variety of ways! The hand pies offer a hand-held version of this comfort food favorite (frozen three-pack, $12) or enjoy a single serving pie-tin with homemade crust topping for $8.

Prepared meals are available until the end of October in limited quantities at their Chandler store or at farmers markets below.

Roadrunner Park Farmers’ Market 3502 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix. Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. through September; 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. beginning October.

Gilbert Farmers’ Market 222 N. Ash St., Gilbert. Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m.-11a.m. through September; 8:00 a.m.-noon beginning October.

Ahwatukee Farmers’ Market 4700 E. Warner Rd., Phoenix.  Sunday’s from 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. through September; 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. beginning October.

AZ Food Crafters 961 W. Ray Rd., #1, Chandler 85225. You can pre-order by calling 480-264-2532. Pick up hours are Tuesday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m.-3:00p.m.

 

 

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.

Gayle’s Chocolates & Carlson Creek Vineyards plan Vortex Crunch Event

Arizona isn’t just home to many great restaurants, it also is home to many small artisan food producers. One of those is the newly re-located Gayle’s Chocolates in Cottonwood. Gayle’s started in Michigan in 1979 but was recently sold to Sedona residents, Michael and Andrea Portnoy. Friday September 20th will have the Portnoy’s introducing their chocolates at one of their first events, Vortex Crunch Event.

“Six years ago, when we tried Gayle’s we knew it was love at first bite. Now we are taking her creations and bringing them to the southwest. Taking inspiration from the Sedona Vortex’s our newest treat, the Vortex Crunch is sure to be a sweet and salty spiritual experience,” said Co-owner Michael Portnoy.

Carlson Creek Vineyards is partnering with Gayle’s Chocolates for the first of what hopes to be an annual event. Vortex Crunch is the newest addition to the line of homemade chocolates. Loaded with rice krispies, Michigan cherries, almonds, cashews, toffee, glazed orange peel, toasted coconut and a layer of semisweet chocolate. All ingredients combing for a sweet and salty taste.

Carlson Creek will pair their 2014 Rule of Three red blend and 2017 Muscat with the chocolates.

The Vortex Crunch Event will from 12 – 3 p.m. at Gayle’s Chocolates Willy Wonka like factory in their flagship store at 541 N. Main St. Cottonwood 86326. For more information visit their website.