Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

December specials at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

From now until New Year’s Eve you can order delicious red beef/pork and green corn tamales by the dozen for $34.99. Having a party and want some traditional Mexican specialties mini chimis, flautas, chicken and cheese rollups, and jalapeno poppers are available to order in increments of 3, 6 or 9 dozen ($45.99, $84.99, $129.99). Orders can be placed any of the 4 locations with 24 hour notice for phone orders and online orders require 48 hours’ notice.

Gift cards are available for purchase with 20% kickbacks. $5 for every $25 purchased, $10 kickback on $50 gift card, $20 kickback on $100.

Looking to dine-in, you’ll find these specials on the menu for the month.

Lisa’s Pronto Bowl: A classic choice with shredded chicken, pinto beans, Spanish rice, red sauce, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoes all piled high on a house-made taco shell topped with chunky salsa. $14.99
White Christmas Margarita: A house-made margarita with white cranberry juice, Sauza Silver tequila, triple sec and lime juice. Garnished with sugar-covered cranberries and mint. $9.99
Caramel Flan: Back by popular demand! House-made caramel flan topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. $6.99.

Barro’s fights hunger on December 6th

From open to close next Tuesday all 46 of the locally owned pizza restaurants in Phoenix and Tucson will donate 100% of the day’s proceeds to St. Mary’s Food Bank. It’s the 11th year the Doran Barro Holiday Hunger Fight fundraiser which has raised over $2.1 million dollars in ten years. The money raised is equivalent to 14.7 million meals and is St. Mary’s largest yearly cause marketing effort.

The Buzzed Bull Creamery offers new flavors for the season

Ice cream never tasted so good, especially buzzed with spirits of the season. The ice cream shop at the Scottsdale Waterfront offers 4 new flavors all month long. Buzzed or non-buzzed the sweet treat can be in a milkshake or cup of ice cream. Need an afternoon pick me up; take 15% off every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 – 5 p.m. The new flavors are….

Girl Scout featuring mint syrup, chocolate sauce, brownie bites and peppermint schnapps.

Apple Cider featuring cookie butter syrup, cinnamon and apple pie moonshine.

Double Chocolate Bourbon with chocolate sauce and bourbon.

Cherry Cake featuring cake batter, cherries and cherry vodka.

Hundred Mile Brewing is ready for its soft opening

Arizona’s newest brewery is putting the final touches for next Wednesday, December 7th opening. The first couple of weeks will feature local beers on tap and starting December 19th fresh brewed HMBC beers will be tapped one day at time. The new brewery is close to the ASU campus and the owner and brewer are alumni and were featured in my August post. During the soft opening (7th-11th) a daily drawing for a $100 gift card will be awarded and Sunday the 11th is Sun Devil Sunday. Anyone wearing Sun Devil gear will get 15% off.

Get 6 free tamales when you pre-order a dozen

Authentic scratch made tamales are a December specialty at Jalapeño Inferno and until December 23rd they are available to order. Choose from sweet green corn tamales and spicy red chili pork tamales for pick- up at their Peoria or North Scottsdale locations.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

20th anniversary celebration coming to Picazzo’s

One day over lunch in 2002 custom home builders Rick Freedman and Doug Stanton realized there was no good pizza in their new hometown of Sedona. So what did the Portland transplants do, they decided to open their first Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen, now their getting ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary Wednesday, November 9th.

In the 20 years since they opened the Sedona location they’ve opened five more in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Arrowhead, Tempe and Gilbert. Since day one the gourmet pizza restaurant has focused on dishes that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free with allergy-friendly options. They’ve since added Italian dishes with 95% of all ingredients being organic with many including sauces and dressings made from scratch.20th anniversary

“We pride ourselves on providing quality, healthy dining options for individuals who may have dietary restrictions as well as our guests who do not,” says Picazzo’s Managing Partner Chris Disney. “Picazzo’s is excited to celebrate our 20th year in business, and we’re even more excited looking towards the future and our continued growth. Our team can’t wait to celebrate with our many loyal customers, and we hope to see everyone on November 9!”

All 6 locations will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with happy hour specials from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. along with giveaways and fun photo opportunities. The first 20 guests over 18 at each location will receive a $20 gift card and those photos posted on Instagram and tagging Picazzo’s will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a $200 gift card. Details about the IG sweepstakes are available at each location which you can find at their website.

Hear more about Picazzo’s from Chris Disney listen to Episode 29 of Pulling Corks and Forks: The Podcast.

YC’s Mongolian Grill opens a new Scottsdale location

Locally owned YC’s Mongolian Grill returned to Scottsdale last week with the opening its new Loop 101 & Raintree location. Loyal customers couldn’t wait to get back to building their own stir fry bowls as was evident when I visited with owner Geoff Stansic recently. The previous Scottsdale location was at The Pavilions but was shut down with the other 4 locations due to the pandemic. As the pandemic waned and the economy improved Stansic decided to re-open 3 of the locations in Gilbert, Tempe and Scottsdale with a 4th location slated to open sometime in 2023.

“After a tough few years of working through adversity during the pandemic and beyond, we are ready to open the doors to an all-new YC’s experience and reconnect with our Scottsdale customers,” Stanisic said. “We take pride in the food we serve and love being able to provide our customers with the best ingredients and a bowl full of authentic flavor.”

Stansic took over in 1996, five years after the first location in Tempe was opened by the original owner YC. He knew a thing or two about the restaurant business as he was kitchen manager for Hyatt Hotels and Houston’s before going into business for himself. It shows as he greets his returning customers by name, knows what bowls they will build and sauces they will have them tossed with. He even has a few signature sauces named for long time customers. He credits much of the success to his attentive staff, several who have been with since before he took over almost 30 years ago.

YC's Mongolian Grill
Beef & Broccoli bowl

What is YC’s Mongolian Grill?

Folklore has it that in the days of Genghis Khan, his army would cook their food on their shields over a hot fire, similar to how it’s done at YC’s. In each location after you’ve piled high your meats, vegetables, noodles and sauces the cooks will grill them on 600 degree circular flat top grill in full view. During peak times 4 cooks will toss the ingredients on the grill rotating around the grill.

There is no one demographic at YC’s Mongolian Grill as the food has something for everybody. Vegan and gluten free diets can be accommodated as there are plenty of vegetables, noodles and sauces for all.  Want meat in your bowl, add white or dark meat chicken, pork and or beef with shrimp available during dinner. Don’t be afraid to pile your ingredients high, it’s encouraged. Their signature noodles are sourced from Chinatown in L.A. with vegetables coming from local distributors.

A separate bowl is used combine ingredients for your Asian inspired sauce. A menu board offers several signature sauces recommending how much and which water based sauces and rice wines to use. The staff is always nearby to help create your sauce before grilling making tastes and combinations endless.

Free Stir Fry Day

To celebrate the new location, customers coming in Wednesday, November 2nd will get free small bowl from 11 a.m. – 7p.m. The new location is at 14850 N. 87th St., Scottsdale, AZ. For more information visit their website.

Bartenders compete to create new Fall cocktails at Spinato’s

There’s no better way to create new cocktails for the Fall season than to go to those who make them on a daily basis. That’s why Spinato’s Pizzeria  bartenders organized a friendly contest with the bartenders at their six locations to see which cocktails make the final list.

“Our bartenders did a phenomenal job creating unique recipes for this contest,” said Erin Schultz, Spinato’s Marketing Director. “We’re really proud of them, and we hope our guests will enjoy the new cocktails as much as we do!” The creative cocktails will be on the menu until Spring and all participating bartenders received a gift card to several local breweries.

Bartenders new Fall cocktail list

The 6 new Fall cocktails are as follows.

Crystal Mirtillo: Crafted by bartender Milan Watt in Scottsdale. Featuring Hornitos Tequila, cranberry juice, lime juice, agave, Triple Sec, a splash of Sierra Mist and served with edible glitter and a sugared rim. $12

Dolce Delizioso: Crafted by bartender Janet Blau in Ahwatukee. Featuring Captain Morgan spiced rum, Kahlua, heavy cream, caramel sauce and served with a salted caramel rim. $16

Harvest Apple: Crafted by bartender Allison Brackenbury in Scottsdale. Featuring Captain Morgan spiced rum, cider simple syrup, lemon juice, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, soda water and served with 3 apple slices and fresh grated cinnamon. $12

Orange You Feeling Cran’d: Crafted by bartender Andrew Brent in Tempe. Featuring Del Bac scotch whiskey and cranberry simple syrup. $16

Porch-Side Smash: Crafted by bartender Conan Zimmerman in Phoenix. Featuring Blue Clover vodka, creme de mure, lemon juice and a press. $10

Spinato’s Spritz: Crafted by bartender Mike Danner in Ahwatukee. Featuring your choice of Blue Clover gin or vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled Luxardo cherries with a press. $10

Danner also created a 3 Halloween themed cocktails.

Butter Beer Cocktail: For all the Harry Potter fans out there! Pinnacle Whipped vodka, butterscotch liqueur, Frangelico, caramel sauce and Grateful Spoon vanilla gelato. $14

Poison Apple Cocktail: Blue Clover vodka, apple liqueur, simple syrup, green edible swirl glitter and one Luxardo cherry. $8

Zombie Blood Cocktail: Kahlua coffee liqueur, creme de menthe and cream with a side of eyeball. $11

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.

Phoenix’s Pedal Haus hosts RAD event to raise money

Today at the downtown Phoenix location 10% of sales from their new R.A.D. Pumpkin Ale will be donated to the Rob Dollar Foundation. The Foundation helps raise awareness about bicycle safety for both drivers and cyclists and is named after the cycling enthusiast who died when riding his bike. Happy hour will be extended today until 8 p.m. with $2 off appetizers and guests will have the opportunity to register for Sunday’s 5th annual Rob Dollar Foundation’s bike ride at South Mountain.

New dishes on the menu at Zuzu

Executive Chef Russel LaCasce and Pastry Chef Maria Arenas have updated their brunch/dinner, dessert and happy hour menus at the Hotel Valley Ho‘s signature restaurant. New on the Brunch menu Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding, Short Rib & Sweet Potato Hash and a Bourbon BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. On the Dinner menu look for the savory Korean Chicken Wings, Citrus & Five Spice Pork Belly, and Pan-Seared Icelandic Salmon and more. Save room for dessert to try there new Brookie and new petite desserts for one or all at your table.

Wine & Candy Pairing at GenuWine Arizona

The downtown Phoenix wine bar pairs wine & candy next Thursday, October 27th just in time for Halloween. 4 wines and candies will be poured during the 2 hour event. Stop in anytime between 6-8 p.m. to taste the sweet & savory treats, tickets can be purchased here. The 4 wines will be 20% off when purchased by the bottle.

Chompie’s Scottsdale location hosts Tip-a-Cop next Friday

Saturday, October 29th Scottsdale’s police officers will be raising money for Special Olympics at the popular deli. From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. guests can Tip-a-Cop or drop by their booth to donate or learn more.

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.

Tequila Corrido pairing dinner at Hotel Valley Ho

The locally owned tequila is being paired with a special menu by the hotel’s Executive Chef Russel LaCasce on Thursday, October 27th. The four course dinner includes Shrimp & Abalone Ceviche, Duck & Pork Tostadas with pickled escabeche, Bone-In Short Rib “Colorado” with Spanish rice and beans, and Elote Cake with mascarpone citrus and tequila gelée. Seats are $109++. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and seats can be reserved by calling 480-421-7997.

Third Tuesday wine pairing dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Next Tuesday, October 18th the downtown Gilbert restaurant hosts its monthly three course dinner. Ahi- Nicoise Salad, Beseme Mucho and Red Velvet Cake are paired with wines from California and Oregon. Seats are $39 and reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.

Liberty Station Tavern celebrates 10th anniversary

Originally named Market Street Kitchen before the Keeler family rebranded it to Liberty Station Tavern in 2016, the two celebrate its 10th anniversary Thursday, October 20th. The DC Ranch restaurants invites guests to night of food, drinks and entertainment starting at 6 p.m. Five food stations along with wine, beer & cocktails are $110.10++ with more information on their website and limited seating reservations can be made by calling 480-278-7044.

Pink Out tomorrow at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

A reminder of the Pink Out tomorrow at all 4 locations and free mammogram at their downtown Chandler restaurant. Details of how you can participate tomorrow and all month are here at the featured post.

Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy has arrived this weekend

The Italian Association of Arizona hosts its annual food and music festival at the Scottsdale Waterfront tomorrow and Sunday. All the details can be found at last month’s featured post.

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.

Tonight starts Four Peaks Oktoberfest

The weekend long festivities at Tempe Beach Park starts at 5 p.m. with happy hour. Live music, beer, food and more is only $20 Friday and Saturday with free admission on Sunday. To see the details of the event read my feature post from last month.

Save $6 on pizza every Monday at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

For National Pizza Month you can save $6 on a 16-inch cheese pizza every Monday in October. Get the pizza for $14 at all 6 Phoenix area and Flagstaff locations when you dine-in or take-out when you call your order in. No third party deliveries or online orders and not available on October 31st.

Beaulieu Vineyards featured at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa dinner

The historic Napa Valley winery’s wines will be paired as part of a 5-course dinner on Thursday, October 10th in the resort’s Alto Ristorante e Bar. The dinner begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7. Winery representative Julia Smith will be in attendance to walk guests through the wines, tell the story of the famous winery and answer questions. Chef Joaquin Estolano Jr. and his culinary team will pair a specially curated menu with guests having the opportunity to purchase wines at a discount to take home. Reservations are required for the $149 per person dinner and can be made by calling 480-629-6231.

Cider Corps nominated as one of the “Best Cideries” in the country

Vote for the locally and veteran owned cidery until October 24th as they’ve been nominated by USA Today for one of the Top 10 in the country. Only 20 cideries were nominated by a panel of experts and you can help them get into the Top 10.

Z’Tejas goes pink in October

For the entire month of October the southwestern restaurant in Chandler and Scottsdale is selling pink ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A portion of the $10 proceeds of each ribbon is being donated to The Singleton’s. The local non-profit helps single parent families battling cancer. When purchasing a ribbon guests receive a complimentary watermelon strawberry margarita or a non-alcoholic, a strawberry lemonade (zero proof) cocktail.

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.

Park West’s “Follow the Fork” event is tomorrow

West valley foodies can join Jalapeño Inferno and over a dozen more restaurants for a progressive dining experience from 6 – 9 p.m. Live music from Rock Lobster, interactive art and more will help to raise money for the Peoria Education Foundation.

National Taco Day is Tuesday October 4th

Next week’s Taco Tuesday has more tacos than most days as its National Taco Day and there are some deals to be had. Agave del Scottsdale has Happy Hour tacos all day. Z’Tejas offers 1/2 off Gringo Tacos all day with 3 beef tacos & toppings only $7.

Farmer’s Markets return this weekend

October bring the return of the popular community gathering spots that feature local produce and more. The High Street market returns to North Phoenix on Sunday’s from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Park West is at the Loop 101 & Northern on Saturday’s starting at 9 a.m. Also on Saturday morning’s is the Old Town Scottsdale farmer’s market returns tomorrow at 8 a.m.

October is National Pizza Month

The Streets of New York is celebrating all month long at their 16 locations with a 16″ one topping pizza for $20. You can save almost $4 when dining in, taking-out or for delivery, make sure you mention when ordering in use promo code $20PIZZA when ordering online. The restaurant is also launching its new seasonal menu from October 10th – December 31st. Enjoy Beer Cheese w/ Passion bread for $9, Baked Mac & Cheese for $12 and Pumpkin Cannoli for $4.

Halloween specials at Morning Squeeze

All 3 locations in Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale start October with a couple of new specials all month long. Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast ($14) is a twist on the restaurant’s annual pumpkin themed dish. The pumpkin sauce is made in house and comes topped with pumpkin granola. The Spooky Brunch Punch ($10) combines tequila, amaretto, lime and orange juice then tops it with an eyeball garnish. A syringe of raspberry puree comes on the side to drizzle into the drink or add appropriate bloodshot effects to the ghoulish eye. 

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.

Chef Hector Godinez rolls out seasonal dishes at Grimaldi’s

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria introduced several new dishes and cocktails featuring the new Fall season that is upon us. Corporate Chef Hector Godinez and his team have been working on the 5 new dishes and 2 new cocktails since early summer. Grimaldi’s rolls out new seasonal dishes every 3 months as the seasons change and seasonal ingredients become available.

Chef Hector Godinez takes inspiration from his years working in various restaurants in Phoenix and Ahwatukee including the last 10 years at Grimaldi’s and 6 as Corporate Chef.

New on the menu at all locations for a limited time are…..

Fallin’ Wedge Salad- Traditional ingredients but swap out the Iceberg lettuce for higher quality Romaine and toss the ingredients.

The Bridge Board- Grimaldi’s version of a charcuterie board that changes seasonally and named after the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza- Chef Godinez’s take on Buffalo wings but with no fryer he puts all the ingredients including the crunchy celery on a pizza with Sweet Baby Ray’s hot sauce.

Pumpkin Cheesecake- Can’t have a Fall menu without a pumpkin spices.

Coco’nana Cheesecake– Godinez’s play on a childhood favorite, chocolate covered banana. Banana cheesecake with Oreo cookie crust and chocolate chips.

Italian Old Fashioned– Whiskey, Tiramisu syrup and bitters over ice with a Luxardo cherry and orange peel.

Amalfi Martini- Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Limoncello and lemon juice shaken and garnished with a lemon wheel and rosemary. 

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.

Z’Tejas new Fall menu launches Monday

Executive chef Diego Bolanos adds new seasonal dishes to the menu for a limited time. Pan Seared Dumplings ($11), Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas ($17), Pasta with Poached Lobster ($25) and Pumpkin Cheesecake ($11) are a few available for lunch or dinner in Scottsdale and Chandler.

Barro’s Pizza teams up with Dr Pepper for tuition giveaway

One lucky student will win $10,000 for tuition during the 2022 Barro’s Pizza Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway. Any Arizona resident 18 & over can submit an entry until December 19th. The winner can use the money for expenses, tuition or to pay of student loans with the winner picked at random. $95,000 has been awarded to students from the giveaway since 2012.

1/2 priced quesadilla’s at Jalapeño Inferno

Sunday, September 25th the local restaurant with 2 locations in north Scottsdale and one in Peoria is offering their Sonoran Grilled Quesadilla for National Quesadilla Day. The quesadilla comes with shredded Mexican cheeses, green chiles, sour cream, and guacamole.

National Chimichanga Day deal at Macayo’s

Who isn’t looking to save a couple of bucks every now and then, if that sounds like you then head down to one of the 8 Macayo’s locations on Monday, September 26th where their signature Original Chimichanga is only $10. Get it with shredded chicken or beef all day long with a side of rice or beans for $.76 each.

Get Oktoberfest food at Pedal Haus Brewery until the beer runs out

Brats, schnitzel, German style flammkuchen and more are on the menu at all 3 locations until their Oktoberfest beer runs out. Next Saturday, October 1st the local brewer celebrates with a festival with SanTan Brewing Co. in downtown Chandler.

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.

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