Modern Tortilla food truck opens brick & mortar location

The popular food truck Modern Tortilla has opened its first brick & mortar location inside the Fry’s Marketplace in Litchfield Park. If that sound a little familiar it’s because Modern Tortilla’s sister restaurant Aioli Gourmet Burgers opened inside the same Fry’s in March 2020.

Both Modern Tortilla and Aioli are co-owned by Chopped champion chef Tommy D’Ambrosio. “Modern Tortilla was our second food truck concept. It’s been a huge success for us at events and through catering with weddings and large events. To have the opportunity to offer our southwestern style cuisine alongside our other brand is going to be an incredible experience,” said D’Ambrosio.

Tommy will be serving up his signature tacos including the El Ranchero made with 24 hour marinated skirt steak and Flew the Coop chicken tinga tacos. Burritos, quesadillas, chicken flautas, elote and more will be served. A cold case is filled with tacos kits and meal prep ingredients for home cooking along with grab-n-go meals.

“Our customers are looking for fresh and convenient meal options for them and their families,” said J.J. Mattison, Fry’s Food Stores Deli/Bakery Merchandiser. “Solutions like Modern Tortilla, Aioli Gourmet Burgers and others offer customers a variety of already prepared or easy-to-prepare options that they can easily enjoy.

Fry’s Marketplace is at 13730 W. Camelback Rd. Litchfield Park. For more information visit their website.

Buck & Rider announces a new North Scottsdale location

Arcadia’s popular Buck & Rider known for fresh seafood flown in daily has announced that they will be opening a second location at The Shops at Chauncey Ranch in North Scottsdale. Seafood fans will still have to head to the Camelback Rd. restaurant as the new location is about a year away from opening.

LGO Hospitality opened the original location in 2015 and has built its reputation serving quality seafood and meats by working directly with the fishermen and farmers. All fish is cut in-house with oysters and fish selections are rotated on a daily basis. Seafood comes from all directions with the seasonality, weather and skill of the fisherman dictating what’s available on the menu.

“Opening an authentic Buck & Rider location in Scottsdale gives us the ability to share our vitality, vim and vigor with the local community. Our goal has always been to bring the freshest seafood possible to Phoenix,” said Emily Collins of LGO Hospitality. “We’re eager and enthusiastic about sharing our unique and genuine vision with even more Arizonans. We utilize the freshest and most immaculate ingredients and apply exactness in cooking so that interference with the natural elements of the food is minimal and truly celebrate the ingredients.”

Serving lunch, dinner, brunch and happy hour Buck & Rider guests to Scottsdale will recognize familiar dishes such as Steak Tartar, Hand Rolled Sushi, Baja Shrimp Ceviche and the famed Abby’s Oyster Bar. A signature cocktail list with premium liquors and wine will compliment your meal. A full patio with outside bar is included in the design by local architect Cathy Hayes with her inspiration and design of the new location being influenced by modern designs and natural decor of the area. For more information and updates as to the opening visit the Buck & Rider website or on Facebook.

Pork on a Fork opening new location in Chandler in May

Popular BBQ joint Pork on a Fork is coming to the East Valley this spring as they get ready to open on Alma School Rd in Chandler. Owners Justin Erickson and Wes Hansen started the started selling their smoked meats and sandwiches at farmer’s markets around Phoenix before opening their original location in north Phoenix’s Deer Valley neighborhood in 2010. After the first location, they opened inside Gila River and Talking Stick Arenas and expanded into catering and a food truck.

The pair gained fame when invited on “Guy Fieri’s Celebrity Food Show” and the host started using their meats during cooking demonstrations. They’ve since found themselves on USA Today’s 10 Best list and on The Cooking Channel’s “Big Bad BBQ Crawl”.

“We’re really excited to continue the expansion of our brand and move into the East Valley,” says Erickson. “This is an entirely new market for us and a big opportunity for us to grow. We can’t wait to welcome this new demographic of BBQ lovers.”

The Chandler location will serve the same slow-cooked smoked meats available in Deer Valley including brisket and pork by the pound. Sandwiches, bowls and burritos along with new items such as Cowboy Nachos, Brisket Chili and smoked turkey and bologna will be on the menu. Dine-in and drive-thru will be available with drive-thru offering more personalized service than traditional fast food drive-thru.

People looking to join the Pork on a Fork team in Chandler can submit an application online at https://www.porkonafork.com/join-our-team. For more information visit their website.

 

Chino Bandido moving after 31 years at its original location

The eclectic Phoenix restaurant that serves Chinese, Mexican and Jamaican fusion is moving to a new location in north Phoenix. Chino Bandido has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is planning an early summer move from its original 19th Ave. location not far to 310 W. Bell Rd.

Owners Eve and Frank Collins opened in 1990 and had a cult like following shortly after opening. “After 31 years, I knew it was time for a change. Frank would have been so happy to see our brand-new location, and I am honored to make this dream a reality,” said Co-Owner Eve Collins. Frank passed away in 2013 and was a staple at the restaurant helping to make the “hole in the wall” restaurant a success.

The new location will 6,000 square feet with almost half of the space dedicated to the kitchen. A new patio for up to 30 people, new tables and chairs will give it a new feel. The industrial “vibe” will be the same and Pancho the 7,500 lb. black granite bear has already made the move to the new location.

It’s business as usual at the original location until early June when Eve hopes to move. The menu will stay the same at the new location as will the hours of operation 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily. “Chino Bandido has been my labor of love for over half my life. Our customers’ extreme loyalty got us through the pandemic, and I could not be more excited for the next chapter in our history,” said Collins. For more information and to stay up to date visit their website.

 

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.

Vietnamese style coffee available at Pair Cup Works

Good news for coffee lovers, Pair Coffee & Tea inside Cider Corps is offering Vietnamese style coffee through April. The dark and concentrated coffee is typically served hot, Pair’s version can be served iced and vegan. The drink is based on a Vietnamese coffee but uses Pair’s own espresso, condensed coconut milk and oat milk instead of the traditional blend of robusta and chickory. $5.50 gets you a cup that can be made with dairy or vegan milks.

Sphinx Date Co. partners with Rhiba Farms for produce

Old Town Scottsdale’s Sphinx Date Co. is your pick-up spot for fresh non-GMO and pesticide free produce from the San Tan Valley farm. Customers can order a box of produce by the close of business every Monday for pick-up Wednesday – Saturday, no weekly commitment or subscription necessary. Each box feeds about 4 people and is $36 each. To order head to the farm’s website and more info can be found at Sphinx’s website.

DT Mesa Farmer’s Market moves to a new location.

The popular Saturday morning market has moved to the Mesa Arts Center at 1 E. Main St. It goes from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and a list of vendors can be found here.

Jax Vineyards featured at Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse

The Carefree restaurant will be hosting a five -course wine dinner on Wednesday March 24th. Chef Anthony Apolinar will pair his specially created dishes with wine from Napa & Sonoma Valley. Jax Vineyards CEO and President Dan Parrott will be on hand to speak about the wines, winery and more. Seating is limited and is $95++ per person and reservations can be made by calling 602-374-4784.

Good news as Crumbl Cookies opens newest location in Mesa today

Gourmet cookies are now available starting today at 1911 E. Brown in the Mesa Groves neighborhood. Today only get each customer get 1 free cookie at the new location.

 

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.

Duckhorn Wine Dinner at The Boulders Resort & Spa

Reservations are being taken for the March 11th dinner with the iconic Napa Valley winery. The 4-course dinner will be paired with wines only found at the winery. Dinner will be under the stars in the resort’s Organic Garden. Seats are $175 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-595-4668.

PHX Beer Co.’s new beer supports Arizona Craft Brewers Guild

The new Hefeweizen styled beer, Rebuild the Guild Benefit Beer donates part of the sales to the struggling non-profit while supplies last. Reliant on events the ACBG has not been able to hold any due to the pandemic. Saturday March 27th both Scottsdale & Phoenix locations will donate all money from sales to the organization that support and lobbies for Arizona’s craft brewers.

Cider Corps owner receives big honor

Veteran and owner Jason Duren was named one of 29 Rising Stars in the food and beverage industry from around the country. FSR Magazine recognizes people in the industry who are making a positive change in the industry. Two of the reasons for the honor are Jason’s leadership in the cider industry and his continued support of the veteran community.

Belle’s Nashville Kitchen starts nutritious meal prep service

The new honky tonk bar in Old Town Scottsdale just launched “Belle’s on Wheels” meal prep service. Chef Samantha Roberts created a clean eating & nutritious selection of meals high in protein, low in sodium with no added chemicals. Gluten free and dairy free meals are available. Meals are made in advance with proteins costing $4-$14 per serving and sides are $3. Buying in bulk for family meals is also an option. Curbside and in- store pick -up is available with deliveries available for those within 3 miles of the restaurant. To order your meals call 480-590-3190 or visit their website.

World Famous cream puffs coming to Scottsdale

Beard Papa’s build your own cream puffs opens its newest location at Scottsdale Quarter on Saturday February 27th. The Japanese based bakery will offer free cream puffs with all purchases and a FREE SWAG bag to the first 100 customers.

 

Beard Papa’s brings its cult like following to Scottsdale

Saturday February 27th bring the newest location of Beard Papa’s famous cream puffs to the Scottsdale Quarter.  Started in 1999 as small bakery in Osaka, Japan they’ve grown to over 400 locations in 15 countries and territories. Known for creating the “world’s best cream puffs”, guests customize their own cream puff with unique and traditional flavors.

Guest chooses from 8 cream puff shells that include Oreo cookie crumble eclair, green tea eclair and more. Then choose the fillings from seasonal to traditional flavors.

“The cream puffs are far from your traditional frozen puff found in the freezer aisle. The recipe is simply addicting. I’ve never met anyone that has tried Beard Papa’s that doesn’t crave it again the days following,” says Tucker Kaufman, a marketing representative for the franchise. “The product is unique in that there is nothing else like it on the market. From the high-quality ingredients used in the custard filling to the puff shells that are freshly baked throughout the day, the Beard Papa’s experience is unmatched.”

The first 100 people in line at Beard Papa’s on Saturday will receive a free swag bag and everybody gets a free cream puff with purchase. For more information visit their website.

 

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.

Dog Haus Biergarten Tempe opens this weekend

Grand opening celebrations start when the newest Dog Haus opens at The Watermark on Saturday at 11 a.m. 20% of sales this weekend will be donated to the Tempe Diablos and customers can enter to win a FREE Haus Dog every week through 2021. Until March 7th 20 people will be picked when the text “Tempe” to 31996 to win.

National Margarita Day is Monday 2/22, where are you celebrating?

The famous tequila cocktail is celebrated next week with specials at several restaurant. Scottsdale’s Roaring Fork offers $5 margs starting at 4 p.m. and Glendale’s Urban Margarita offers $4 margs on Taco Tuesday 2/23.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar’s Scottsdale and Camelback locations celebrate all weekend with to-go 32 oz. batches of margs for $20 (normally $29.95) and single serve margs for $5 for dine-in or to-go. Other restaurants celebrating are Z Teja’s, GuacStar Kitchen, Angry Crab Shack, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Macayo’s & Ghost Ranch.

It’s Beer vs. Bubbles at Zuzu

Enjoy a reception and 3 -course dinner paired with beers from Belgium’s Chimay and France’s Perrier- Jouet Champagnes at the Hotel Valley Ho. Thursday 2/25 at 6:30 p.m. is when this friendly competition goes down seeing which beverage pairs best with Executive Chef Russel LaCasce’s menu. Space is limited and seats are $129 per person ++. Call 480-421-7997 to reserve your seat.

Arizona Restaurant Week dates announced

The Spring’ 21 edition of the popular ARW will be May 21st – 30th. The bi-annual event from the Arizona Restaurant Association has local restaurants creating unique 3-course menus for the 10 day culinary event. Dinners are $33 or $44 and can be paired with wine or cocktail for an additional cost. The list of restaurants is always updated and menus will be available in coming weeks and months.

Cigar & Bourbon dinner at Match Market & Bar in Phoenix

Sip, smoke & eat next Friday  2/26 at the signature restaurant in the Founde:RE Hotel. The 4-course dinner will be paired with the Sazerac family of whiskeys tastes and cocktails paired with each course. Fumar Cigars will be featured and available for purchase. Seats are $90++ per person and can be purchased here.

 

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.

Pita Jungle opening Chandler Heights location on February 8th.

The newest location serving Mediterranean cuisine is opening on Monday. Located at the Steelyard at Gilbert Rd. & Chandler Heights the restaurant will have a large dining room, full bar and outdoor patio. The first 50 tables at lunch and dinner will receive a small order of hummus for free. One per table, dine-in only.

It’s Brisket Lovers Month at Miracle Mile Deli

All 3 signature brisket sandwiches (The Original Brisket of Beef, The Big Dipper & The Times Square Cheesesteak) are $12 in February. Available for dine-in, take-out or curbside pick-up Mon.-Sat.

The Boulders Resort & Spa hosting The Prisoner wine dinner

The award-winning Carefree resort hosts a 4- course gourmet dinner on Saturday February 13th at 6 p.m. in The Palo Verde Restaurant. All courses will be paired with The Prisoner wines and is $175 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 480-595-4668.

Twin Peaks opens at Tempe Marketplace on Monday

The 4th location in the Phoenix area opens on in Tempe in a few days. The new build is on the eastern end of the shopping center and offers 29 degree cold beers including local favorites and scratch made comfort food in a lodge setting.

Vote for the best pizza at Pedal Haus Brewery?

You have until National Pizza Day on February 9th to vote for the best pizza created by founders Julian Wright & Derek “Doc” Osborne. Julian’s pizza features slow roasted pulled pork, fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions, peppadew peppers and fresh herbs. Doc’s is a Diavola Soprassata pizza with Boars Head pepperoni, Calabrian chilis, jalapenos and honey drizzle. The creator of the winning pizza will donate $500 and 50% of sales on the 9th to Valley Dogs if Julian wins or AZK9 rescue if Doc wins.

 

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.

New Year, new menu at Kasai Japanese Steakhouse

The Scottsdale teppanyaki restaurant added several new dishes and a dozen cocktails to its menu. Coconut Chicken Skewers, Lobster Fried Rice and Kabayaki Scallops are just a few of the new dishes. Cocktails include the Woodsman & Sweet Orchard which uses Japanese whiskeys and other ingredients. A full list of sake and Japanese whiskey are available.

Keto friendly bread now available from Mediterra Bakehouse

The family-owned artisan bakery now sells breads for those who follow a keto diet. Keto wheat flower is lower in carbohydrates and rich in protein. Sunflower, flax and sesame seeds are added for more nutritional value. Each loaf is $8 and can be found at local farmer’s markets, AJ’s Fine Foods, Divine Bakery, Luci’s Healthy Marketplace and Le Grande Orange.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. partners with Mobetta Golf Tour

Golfer John Daly co-founded the tour has named the NASCAR champions  “Two Times” beers “Official Beer of the Mobetta Tour”. A Phoenix brewery and taproom are in development.

Match Market & Bar to host Great Gatsby dinner

The signature restaurant at the Found:RE Hotel will be transformed into an epic event on Saturday February 6th. A Gatsby inspired five-course dinner paired with themed cocktails of the times will be served to those in attendance. Dinner is called for 7 p.m. and is $75 per person and can be purchased here.

Morning Squeeze coming to downtown Phoenix

The popular breakfast and lunch spot will open its 3rd location in the Spring at 1st and Washington streets. Known for playing 70s and 80s music the new restaurant will include an indoor and outdoor bar, grab n go area for take- away food and ample outlets to plug in your devices for people to meet, eat & work.