Cloud kitchen helps Chesapeake Bay Bistro to expand

Nowadays if you can figure out a successful recipe for running a restaurant the best way to maximize your potential is through expansion. That’s exactly what’s going on at Chesapeake Bay Bistro a year and half after opening in Ahwatukee. Unlike their brick and mortar location the owners opted to open their new location in a cloud kitchen inside the Tempe Food Court earlier this month. They’re not stopping there as third location will also be in a cloud kitchen in their former hometown of San Diego in January 2023.

“For restaurant owners, the past year has been challenging with staffing, higher prices for food supplies and rising costs for rent and utilities,” says James Brown, who co-owns the Ahwatukee-based bistro with his wife, Yolanda. “Adding locations through a food-court style expansion makes sense on many levels.”

Expansion into a cloud kitchen

Working in a cloud kitchen also gives them the opportunity to open new concepts without all the expenses of a brick and mortar location. That’s why the couple is planning to open a Creole/Cajun concept out of Tempe in 2023. Another reason for the expansion into cloud kitchens is CBB is seeing a lot of take-out from their Ahwatukee location.

“We believe that the food delivery model is the future and allows us to fulfill our customer base request,” said Brown said. “Sixty percent of our sales are call in or pickup now.” CBB works with several food delivery services to deliver the hot and fresh seafood dishes for delivery within 15 minutes.

To help alleviate some of the staffing issues of the past few years, the couple’s three grown sons have joined them in restaurants. One son will be running the new San Diego location in the Aztec Food Hub near the San Diego State University campus. The other two sons help out when mom and dad can’t be at the Ahwatukee location.

“Using cloud kitchen locations benefits small mom-and-pop restaurants like ours in several ways, allowing us to keep our labor and maintenance costs down,” Brown said.

The Tempe Food Court location is at 1900 E. 5th St. 85281, not far from the ASU campus and Tempe Marketplace. The Ahwatukee location is at 5033 E. Elliot Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website or to order for delivery or takeout check out the delivery services.

 

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.

Where to watch the World Cup

The 2022 World Cup kicks off Sunday and with the 10 hour time difference it may be hard to watch. Looking to watch it with other fans, Pedal Haus Brewery in Tempe will be showing all 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 12 noon games. Breakfast and drink specials will be offered on game days. All 4 Twin Peaks locations will be opening at 9 a.m. to show the games on almost 100 flat screen TVs. Scratch made breakfasts and beer specials will be served.

Dad’s Modern Cocktails & Eatery gears up for Thanksgiving week

You’ll have to do the cooking next Thursday but starting Sunday you can enjoy the restaurant’s popular Peach Sangria for only $5 until next Saturday. Tuesday and Wednesday next week it’s Happy Hour all day then a Family Feast when they re-open on Friday. The Family Feast includes 8 wings, a Caesar salad and a 20 inch 1 topping pizza all for $45.

Holiday tamales available at Diego Pops

Whether you dine-in or take a dozen to-go the downtown Scottsdale restaurant has the traditional holiday food for you.  The Tamale Plate includes two tamales topped with black beans, corn queso, pickled onion, Fresno pepper and cabbage. It comes served a side of rice and beans of your choice. Choose a dozen red or green chile chicken Tamales Togo with a side of rice and beans. Tamales are available until the end of December and have limited availability.

Sportsman’s Park Market debuts tomorrow

The Great Lawn at State Farm Stadium is the home of the new farmers market from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. tomorrow. Over 100 fresh food vendors, local products and a Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar will be available along with live music and activities for kids. December’s market will be Saturday the 17th.

Chompie’s closes Tempe restaurant after 25 years

The popular restaurant for hungry students and others craving Jewish deli fare will have to find somewhere else to eat. It was a difficult decision to close the restaurant but necessary to help fuel the company’s growth. Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale and Chandler locations are still open.

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.

The TLC eXperience returns with Friendsgiving at Agritopia

The monthly supper club is back after taking the summer off with its first dinner of the season Friday, November 18th at Agritopia in Gilbert. Seating is limited for the 4-course dinner created by Chef Tom Baumbach and his team. Cocktail hour starts at 5:30 with dinner at 6:30. Tickets are $150 per person and can only be purchased here.  Tables of 8 or 10 are also available for purchase.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. Craft Beer & Music Festival happens Saturday

Tomorrow November 5th welcomes NASCAR fans, country music lovers and beer drinkers to Bell Bank Park starting 6 p.m. The popular Hillbilly Deluxe is the headliner with DJ Jeffro and the Get Lit Dancers opens the show. VIP Happy Hour hosted by Michael starts with early entry at 5 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ older festival are available at BellBankPark.com or at Tixr.

Press Coffee opens today inside Sprouts

The first in-store location of the locally owned coffee roster is now open inside the Sprouts at 3320 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix. All weekend long small drip coffees are $1 and all of the proceeds will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Foundation. Give away will be happening on Saturday and Sunday with more details here.

Loco J’s Tacos & Tequila now open in Cave Creek

Navy veteran Jason Clouse opened his new taco joint in this week making it the first Mexican restaurant to open in town in a long time. He was the former owner of nearby Rosati’s Pizza and sold it to focus on Loco J’s. The restaurant is at 28260 N. Tatum Blvd. and opens daily at 3 p.m.

LDV Winery hiring for their Scottsdale tasting room

Looking to make some extra money for the holidays or keep up with inflation, put your wine knowledge and customer service skills to work in the fun and friendly atmosphere.  Submit your resume to info@ldvwinery.com and learn more about the winery at their website.

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.

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.

Dia de los Muertos Festival at Cien Agaves

The newly re-modeled restaurant and bar in Old Town Scottsdale is showing off its new look this Sunday, October 30th. From 1 – 4 p.m. festival goers can taste 15 different agaves, enjoy live music & get a swag bag. Capacity is limited and tickets are $30 and can be purchased here.

Tommy V’s hosts The Carlton Winemakers Studio dinner

Next Thursday, November 3rd the Scottsdale restaurant hosts a 5-course dinner paired with wines starting at 6:30 p.m. Red & white wines will be paired with Shrimp & Tuna Wheat Ceviche, Hazelnut Risotto, Braised Short Ribs and more. Seats are a $135++ and reservations can be made by calling the Scottsdale restaurant at 480-427-2264.

Trinchero Family Estates wine dinner at The Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

Tara & Travis Rawlings purchased Moon Valley’s Aiellos and Isa’s Pizza in May and changed it to The Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar making some changes to higher quality ingredients and adjusted the menu to regional Italian. They host a six course dinner featuring Italian wines from the California based wine company on Wednesday, November 9th. They’re offering two seating’s at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. for $125++. You can reserve your spot for this memorable evening at their website.

Blue Hound Kitchen welcomes a new chef and new menu

Executive Chef Alex Robinson joined Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Hotel Palomar in August and hit the ground running working on a new menu. The menu and new cocktails from Clint “Spotty” Spotelson debuted in early October and features chef’s signature BHKC 900 Hot Stone with Australian Wagyu or Yellow Fin Tuna, Net of  The Sea, Roasted Airline Chicken Breast to name a few. Cocktail highlights include the bourbon based Stealth Bomber, Open Sesame with black sesame infused George Dickel rye and Pedro Conejo, an interesting combination of liquors, carrots and lime.

Halloween weekend around Phoenix

There are too many spooky events to mention this weekend around the Phoenix area. Look and you’ll find spooky cocktails, costume parties and more at your favorite restaurants, bars and breweries. Have fun and be safe!

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.

Phoenix Suns Gorilla helps create new pizza with Spinato’s

As the new season for the Phoenix Suns is about to start their mascot had a busy off season. The Gorilla has been working hard at creating the new “Courtside Classic” pizza with Spinato’s Pizzeria and will be showing it off at launch party next week. After working on several recipes everybody decided the “Courtside Classic” will be made with Spinato’s classic red sauce, hot Soppressata (Italian dry salami), Spinato’s secret spice, house-pickled jalapeños, red onions and mozzarella. The pizza will be made with fresh dough and ingredients for every Suns and Mercury game.

Spinato’s co-owner Anthony Spinato was impressed with the Gorilla’s pizza making skills. “We didn’t know what to expect, but he did a pretty good job helping me in the kitchen,” Spinato said. “He’s nimble and has a good work ethic. If he wasn’t working for the Suns, we might consider hiring him.” It’s not the first time Spinato’s has partnered with someone outside the family as they just finished a collaboration with the Wizard of Za and Beer Research Institute.

Phoenix Suns
Courtside Classic Pizza

The pizza will be available at all Spinato’s locations and at The Footprint Center starting Tuesday, October 11th for $28.50. The Central Phoenix location will host a launch party on the 11th from 4-6 p.m. and will feature Phoenix Suns Gorilla, Phoenix Suns Dancers, the Mercury Scorch, State 48 and Four Peaks Brewing Company. Spinato’s ran a contest to choose the name of the new pizza and Maria Linder won a $100 gift card.

The Central Phoenix location of Spinato’s is at 5509 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85014.

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.

Zach Hunter joins Pedal Haus Brewery as Culinary Director

Pedal Haus Brewery recently announced the hiring of Michelin starred Chef Zach Hunter as its new Culinary Director. Hunter is no stranger to the Phoenix restaurant scene as he attended Arizona Culinary Institute before working at restaurants in Spain, NYC and Austin. The Illinois native came to Pedal Haus from Fox Restaurant Concepts and had previously worked at Wildfish in Scottsdale.

One of Hunter’s first tasks was to update the brunch menu at the downtown Phoenix location with the Chandler and Tempe locations to see the updated menu in the next couple of months. He will also focus on updating the menus frequently, beer pairing dinners, using more seasonal & locally sourced ingredients and spend more time 1 on 1 & mentoring the other chefs at Pedal Haus. Guests will find new dishes such as PB&J Sticky Buns, Smoked Short Rib Hash, Fried Chicken & Belgian Liege Waffles and more on the new brunch menu.

“Zach is an incredible chef and brings an impressive amount of experience and expertise with him. We’re excited to have him join the Pedal Haus family,” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Pedal Haus Brewery. “We look forward to elevating our food menu to match our expertly crafted beers and offering something unexpected to our guests.”

The career of Zach Hunter

After graduating ACI, Zach worked at Mugaritz in Spain and Atera in New York City where both were awarded two Michelin stars. From there he headed back out west to Austin where he was part of the research and development teams at Chef Tyson Cole’s acclaimed Uchi and Uchiko restaurants, before working at the namesake restaurant of James Beard award winner Paul Qui. At Qui, he was an important part of creating the multi-course menu in the restaurant’s tasting room.

He then went to Ausin’s Brewer’s Table as executive chef and learned about pairing beer and food. He was named Rising Star Chef of the Year by CultureMap Austin and the restaurant was named Restaurant of the Year by Austin Monthly Magazine.

“I’m thrilled to join the Pedal Haus family and work closely with our amazing teams to evolve and elevate our culinary program,” said Hunter. “I’m so excited to dive in head-first with my passion for hospitality and cuisine that seamlessly connects food and beer!”

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.

 

 

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