Virtual kitchens/food halls continue to gain popularity with the local restaurant industry. Concept Entertainment Group (CEG), owners of Thirsty Lion Gastropub have opened Central Kitchen, a virtual food hall from the kitchen of Chandler’s Thirsty Lion. Arizona is the 4th state to open Central Kitchen which was launched late last year in Oregon then Texas and Colorado. Guests can order from five concepts Soy Joy Kitchen, Southern Jewel, Killer Wings, Pizza & Spice and Thirsty Lion.
“We’ve been fostering the idea of a kitchen focused on takeout and delivery for the last year,” said John Plew, president and CEO of Thirsty Lion Gastropub. “The pandemic put the process into hyper speed, and we saw this as the perfect opportunity to pivot with the climate and launch an idea that aligns with current consumer demands. Central Kitchen fills a need in the restaurant space by providing multiple culinary offerings from one hub. Guests can order the food that everyone in their home is craving under one ticket.”
All menus include scratch made dishes created by Keith Castro, CEG’s VP of Food and Beverage Executive Chef. Guests can order take-out and delivery from one central website with ease and efficiency.
Soy Joy Kitchen specializes in rice bowls, sushi, ramen and other Asian favorites. Southern Jewel offers Southern fried chicken, Nashville hot chicken, sliders and Southern specialties. Killer Wings serves boneless and traditional wings with a variety of house made sauces. Pizza and Spice has a large selection of gourmet specialty pizzas and salads. Don’t forget burgers, salads, sandwiches and more from the Thirsty Lion and vegetarian options are available from most concepts. Starting January 26th Central Kitchen will offer 25% off each to-go meal ordered at the central website.
Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.
Z’Tejas launches seasonal menu
The Chandler and Phoenix locations debut a new Winter menu on Monday December 28th. Chipolte Short Ribs, Posole and Grits & Lobster are just a few of the new dishes that use traditional Mexican and Southwestern ingredients. Two new specialty drinks have also been added to keep you warm.
Holiday gifts still available from Garden Bar
Cocktail kits and grazing boxes are available for your favorite foodie or mixologist. Perfect for staying at home and enjoying the holiday’s cocktails kits from mixologist Kim Haasarud include ingredients and a how-to video.
Gabriella’s launches weekend brunch
The Scottsdale restaurant that opened earlier this year now offers brunch on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. From 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. guests can enjoy such dishes as a Crab & Lobster Benedict, Gabriella’s Chicken Hash and Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Berries. Enjoy those and more with Bottomless Mimosa’s for $18.
Barro’s Pizza raises money for St. Mary’s Food Bank
The locally owned pizza restaurants bested 2019’s donations by over $50,000. Through the 2020 Doran Barro Holiday Hunger Fight over $335,000 was raised at the families 44 locations in Phoenix and Tucson on December 1st when all sales where donated to the food bank.
Kasai Japanese Steakhouse donating to Arizona Children’s Association.
Through Christmas Eve a $1 from each teppan meal will be donated to Arizona’s oldest and largest foster care organization. Also every Tuesday and Wednesday in December the Scottsdale restaurant has been hosting foster family’s for dinner.
You can never have enough good pizza and with many choices in downtown Phoenix another pizza oven is getting fired up. Scottsdale’s award-winning IL Bosco Wood Fired Pizza hopes to be open no later than late December in the former Dvina Modern Fare at 918 N. 5th Street.
Owners Jeff Carlberg and John Dorsey are excited to bring their quality pizza, experience and atmosphere to the downtown restaurant scene. “This is the place, we fell in love with the decor, the downtown vibe, everything,” Carlberg says. “We are really happy to be part of the downtown community.” IL Bosco Wood Fired Pizza will be housed in a 100 year-old bungalow that was also Jobot Coffee’s original location.
Chef Chris is looking forward to a larger kitchen than he’s used to in Scottsdale. With the larger kitchen he’ll be able to increase the offering of pizzas, salads and appetizers. A full bar allows the new location to offer signature cocktails along with its California and Italian wine and craft beer list.
An east facing patio will allow the restaurant to provide a safe and healthy environment for dine-in and will offer take-out and delivery. For more information and updates visit their website.
Beer drinkers wanting to taste the new Angelo’s Ale from Four Beaks Brewing Company need to get the east valley. It’s for a good cause as Barro’s Pizza’s east valley locations will pour the beer named after Barro’s founder Angelo Barro. In 1961 Angelo opened the first restaurant Chicago then opening in Arizona in 1980. He passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2015 and proceeds from Angelo’s Ale are being donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest Chapter.
“We are really moved by Four Peaks’ offer and partnership to honor our Dad with a local brew,” said Bruce Barro, co-owner of Barro’s Pizza. “We saw our dad suffer from Alzheimer’s, and it means a lot to be able to help fund Alzheimer’s education and support.”
During a kickoff event in mid-November a $5,000 check was presented to the Association.
There is no better combination than pizza and beer,” said Rocky Arredondo, Four Peaks’ sr. director of marketing. “We wanted to find a way to honor the patriarch of the Barro family while also Four Peaks Brewing Company and Barro’s Pizza helping fight Alzheimer’s. He was an important icon in Arizona, and it only felt right to come up with a brew that we could dedicate to him. We’re honored to have our beer available at Barro’s locations across the East Valley.”
Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has new winter menu
All seven Arizona locations roll out a new holiday season inspired menu on Tuesday December 1st. Enjoy the Chicken Alla Vodka Pizza (sounds crazy good) with a warming Ginger Apple Jack cocktail. The “Crafted Comfort” menu include salads, desserts and cocktails that will be available until March 1st.
Fresh Take Meal Prep gives a meal when you buy 10
The community minded spinoff of Aioli Gourmet Burgers partners with Valley Youth Theatre and HopeKids raise money and provide meals for families of sick children. When 10 meals are purchased in December from FTMP an 11th will be given to a HopeKids family. 5 meals are $40, 10 meals are $74 and 100 meals are $140. VYT will hold a virtual concert on December 19th and money raised will go to HopeKids. The goal is to provide 200 meals to families.
Sphinx Date Co. offers online holiday deals this weekend
Through Monday November 30th the retailer of locally made goods offers FREE shipping orders over $65 with promo CODE JOY20. Get $5 off purchases when you spend $25, using CODE 5OFF. Shipping within Arizona is only $5 and will automatically be deducted from your order.
Crumbl Cookies gives 20% off on National Cookie Day
Friday December 4th locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Mesa Red Mountain, Signal Butte and Queen Creek will sell boxes of four packs for 20% off the regular $11.98 price. Choose from over 120+ flavors that rotate weekly.
3 Man Blend Bourbon Dinner at Hearth ’61
75 people will enjoy a reception and 3-course dinner on Thursday December 4th that will be paired with special bourbon cocktails. Chef Charles Wiley, Food & Beverage Manager Jim Gallen and Bill Nassikas’s Maker’s Mark bourbon will be featured along with a Zoom call from two Beam Suntory female Master Distillers. Reservations for the dinner are $180 all-inclusive per person and bottles of 3 Man Blend will be available for purchase.
The continued popularity of cider is causing Mesa’s Cider Corps to expand for the 2nd time since opening three years ago. This expansion has the veteran owned business move production to a new larger facility in nearby Gilbert in mid-2021. Don’t worry cider drinkers the downtown Mesa taproom will still be open along with Myke’s Pizza.
Co-owners brothers Josh and Jason Duren (retired U.S.M.C.) need the additional space to meet demand for its cans and keg business. “Our immediate goal is to ramp up production to be able to share our ciders with even more people in Arizona,” said Josh Duren. “As we grow, it’s nice to have kind of a blank page of space that can evolve as we do, and that can adapt as life beyond the pandemic does.”
Expansion plans in Gilbert
The 11,500 sq.ft. Gilbert facility will have a main building for production and retail sales for customers to take cider home. When it becomes safe to do so the brothers will host tours of the cidery and have events scheduled. Upon entry to the facility a canning line will be visible and customers can see the packaging process. A second building will be used for cold storage. The additional production will allow for experimentation of new ciders and techniques.
The current equipment will be moved and new equipment will be purchased so they can triple production to 1,000 barrels. Cider Corps opened in November 2017 and in 2019 expanded with by 2,000 sq. ft to accommodate the growth of their ciders.
“We get a ton of people from the East Valley, Gilbert and beyond, who make the trek to the taproom. We’re really excited about being closer for them” he said. “But I’m just as excited about being able to grow and create more ciders for all of Arizona”. The new facility will be at 685 S. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert 85296.
Last week Scottsdale’s Slice Eat opened its drive-thru window as the “l’originale”, is the first of its kind in Arizona. Owner Luca Gagliano, a native of Italy and owner of central Phoenix’s Forno 301 saw the need for the convenience of getting authentic Italian pasta dishes and pizza.
If you don’t want drive-thru, guests can order at the counter and watch their food being made then enjoy it in the dining room, on the patio or take it to go. Choose from wood-fired Romana styled pizzas by the slice or the pie or classic Italian dishes such as Eggplant Parmigiana and creamy Fettuccine. Salads, locally made gelato and cold brew from Press Coffee are also available.
Slice Eat is at 7111 E. Thomas Rd. Scottsdale 85251. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for updates and information.
The popular Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers in Old Town Scottsdale is getting a new neighbor next month. That’s when owners Square One Concepts will open Cold Beers & Pizza, Local Pizza Joint next to its “big sister”. The restaurant will feature Midwest style “thin crust” and hand tossed Neapolitan pizzas and 70+ beers on tap, in bottle and can.
Square One Concepts Founder & CEO, S. Barrett Rinzler, said: “It’s a challenging time for all of us in the restaurant industry. But the way we see it, we’ve got to keep living and doing things for the future. This seemed like a natural next step. We now know how to cope with the ‘new normal,’ so we feel confident that we can open a new concept and continue the very best health practices per CDC and Arizona guidelines, for our customers and our staff.
The walk up style restaurant will offer a relaxed atmosphere in the dining room and on the patio. Servers will be on hand to deliver beverages and answer questions and like Cold Beers & cheeseburgers the restaurant will have big screen TVs although fewer. The dining room will be filled with tables and booths for dining.
The menu will include an extensive list of traditional pizzas and a BYOP, “Build Your Own Pizza” options. Gluten free and cauliflower crusts will be offered. Classic pastas, salads and sandwiches give diners options, make sure you save room for dessert.
“In fact, our team is very excited to launch Cold Beers & Pizza, and dovetail, you might say, off our popular Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers brand. We’re working hard to be sure everyone can enjoy this new branch of our restaurant family. We’ve created delicious, straightforward pizza options and a menu we know everyone can enjoy.”
Cold Beers & Pizza will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner with happy hour Monday- Friday from 3 – 6 p.m. 4222 N Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251. For updates follow on Facebook and Instagram @ColdBeersPizza
A year ago Arin Finger didn’t think he’d be making NY -style pizzas around town but he is. He’s one of many stories of 2020 who had to adapt when the global pandemic to over earlier this year. Finger, a franchisee of i9 Sports, a youth sports organization for over seven years knew how to run his own business and with a network of over 2,500 youths and their families, had what was needed to start Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co.
“With no idea how long the closures would last and refund requests pouring in, I had to do something to support my family and my key employees,” says Finger. “Dough Riders is a solution to a need that developed out of COVID-19 — providing families with wholesome food without leaving home — and we’re proud that we can do something during these times that reconnects neighborhoods and communities.”
Dough Riders signature pizzas
He approached i9 Sports soccer instructor Codey Stetler who had a culinary background at his family’s pizzeria and the new business was born. Both Finger and Stetler are from the east coast and knew creating a menu for Dough Riders would be easy. The two now travel the valley with an 800 degree oven in tow making made-to-order pizzas, appetizers, salads and desserts for farmer’s markets, private & corporate events, outdoor concerts or any occasion is where you’ll find them.
Signature pizzas are made in less than 2 minutes including Elote, made with garlic oil, roasted corn and poblano, bacon, cilantro, Mexican cheese and lime crema; the Backyard BBQ, featuring Dough Riders’ signature BBQ ranch base, mozzarella, BBQ chicken, red onions, crispy bacon and scallions. Appetizers include Garlic Knots, Pepperoni Rolls and others and two salads are offered, The Signature and a Caesar. Save room for desserts, the Sweet Bacon Jammin’ and Stuffed Pizzelle Cookies.
To find Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co. follow them on Facebook and Instagram and head to their website for more information.
Quick sips of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar gives free burgers to First Responders
Wednesday, October 28th is National First Responder’s Day and the Camelback & Scottsdale locations are responding. Show your badge or come in uniform for a free Classic burger or cheeseburger when you dine-in or take-out.
Marcellino Ristorante begins Fall Wine Dinners
The downtown Scottsdale restaurant known for homemade pastas and authentic Italian cuisine has its first dinner on Tuesday October 27th. Paired with Italian wines chosen by sommelier Dario Soldan of Classico Wines, Chef Marcellino decides on what to serve at the 4-course dinner the day of. Prepaid seats are $75 ++ per person for the 6 p.m. dinner and can be reserved by calling Bettina at 480-990-9500.
“Crazy for Curry” then head to Thai Chili 2 Go
Until Wednesday October 28th, curry fans can get a bowl for half price when a bowl is purchased at regular price. Red, yellow, green, Massamann and Panang curries are available at all locations for pick-up and delivery.
Nashville Hot Chicken Pizza now available at Fired Pie
All 20 locations of the fast casual pizza restaurant are now selling the new specialty pizza. Made with house-made dough Nashville Hot sauce, mozzarella cheese, then topped with Nashville Hot Chicken, spicy cole slaw & chopped Dill pickles. It can be made with regular, cauliflower and gluten-free dough.
Hotel Valley Ho launches The R + R Show virtual cooking class
Executive Chef Russel LaCasce and hotel General Manager Ronen Aviram debut their first free episode of their monthly cooking, cocktail and recipe podcast. Details of each month’s classe and link to the podcast can be found at an earlier post.