24 Carrots Natural Caffe & Urban Juicery to close in December

The popular plant-based 24 Carrots Natural Caffe & Urban Juicery will be closing its brick & mortar location in Tempe in early December after 13 years. “Our landlord decided not to renew our lease at our current location for the next year; therefore we have no choice but to say goodbye to our beloved restaurant,” said owner and founder Sadhana Raj.

Raj will help her employees find new jobs in similar positions with like-minded restaurants around the valley. Raj will continue to use her voice and reputation for community minded projects and food advocacy for healthier eating and food insecurity and plans to stay involved in the industry around Phoenix and elsewhere. She will be donating her kitchen equipment to schools, culinary programs and other non-profits.

She plans to wind down 24 Carrots by December 10th but will continue to offer her Vegan Thanksgiving menu and will sell a good and products at soon to be announced date. Raj said, “We could not have created such an incredible restaurant and cause to fight for without the support of our team and our very loyal customers. We will be eternally grateful to both.”

Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week launches mid-September

Two of the valley’s vegan advocates have come together to launch the first Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week September 12th- 18th. Chef & author Jason Wyrick and vegan taste maker and owner of Phoenix Vegan Jozh Watson launched the week long culinary event to bring more attention to plant- based restaurants, foods & cooking.

According to Wyrick, “Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week is a celebration of plant-based cuisine in Phoenix. We want to raise awareness about everything vegan that’s now available in our city, get everyone excited, and out-and-about trying all of the great dining options.”

Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week
Simon’s Hot Dogs. Feature photo Maya’s Cajun Cuisine’s Po’ Boy

How Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week works?

The pair are encouraging restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, food trucks and others to showcase their plant-based cooking and more. During the week participants will be offering a specially created menu with breakfast & lunch offering at $20 and a 3-course dinner menu at $30.

“We want to position Greater Metro Phoenix as a premier, inclusive dining destination,” said Watson.

During the week diners can experience the growing Phoenix plant-based food scene visiting new establishments or returning to familiar ones. A a few of the participating eateries include: Beaut Burger, Brunch & Sip, Chilte, Dilla Libre, Early Bird Vegan, Earth Plant-Based, Giving Tree Café, Ground Control, Hot Sauce & Pepper, Maya’s Cajun Kitchen, Pachamama, Positively Frosted, Salvadoreno Restaurant, Shameless Burger, Simon’s Hot Dogs, The Nile Coffee Shop, Urban Beans Café, Tesoro Vegano, The Vegan Taste, Verdura, and Wok this Way.

According to Wyrick, “Restaurants are experimenting more with vegan cuisine and showcasing some really great offerings. Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week allows them to cater to a growing clientele and test the waters for expanding their vegan selections.” For more information and to see additional participants head to their website.

CoreLife Eatery opening location in Gilbert with “Pay What You Want Day”

Former ASU & NFL player Adam Archuleta is opening the 2nd Arizona location of his healthy fast casual concept CoreLife Eatery in Gilbert next week. The restaurant is known for offering nutritious meals, useing fresh ingredients free of GMOs, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners and additives. Grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken & pork and cage-free eggs are used for their grain bowls, salads and dinner plates.

Archuleta, Managing Partner of CoreLife, spent 7 years in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins & Chicago Bears and during the football season he’s an NFL Game Analyst with CBS Sports. As an athlete Archuleta knows the benefits of eating nutritious meals and is passionate about promoting healthy eating at CoreLife. The menu caters to all diets and eaters with its customizable greens, grains & broth bowls. The menu also offers made-to- order tacos and wraps and features global flavors with naan bread, tortilla shell or or lettuce wraps. Handcrafted beverages are also available.

“Customers have been trained to believe that healthy food cannot taste good, but we are debunking that myth,” says Todd Mansfield, partner and chief cultural officer for CoreLife Eatery. “We create our menu every day in store from simple, top-quality ingredients that taste great and our customers want to eat.”

CoreLife Eatery opens on Thursday May 20th for its “Pay What You Want Day” to benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Guests will decide who to pay for their meals with all the day’s proceeds being donated. Friday the 21st will be the Grand Opening. The first location opened in Tempe in October 2020 and there are plans to open as many as 300 locations. There are currently 3 locations in Utah.

The Gilbert location is at 1555 N. Higley Rd., Suite C-105 85234. 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.

“Thank a Nurse” with Tea of A Kind in November

Tempe based Vessl and its Tea of a Kind ready-to drink tea have partnered with Nightingale 2030 Resilience Fund and American Cancer Society for their #ThankANurse campaign starting November 1st. 5% of all tea and product sales will be donated to local nurses.

GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina opens November 5th

New plant-based Mexican food eatery opens its first location at the Cornerstone Mall at University & Rural in Tempe.

AZ Paint Night returns to Padre Murphy’s

Glendale’s oldest bar and restaurant welcomes artist Lexie Swan every Tuesday for an evening of socially distanced painting on the patio. Canvas and paint are $20 and you get to take home what your art. Food and drink are sold separately and AZ Paint Night goes from 6:30 – 8:30.

Chef Danielle Leoni partners with World Central Kitchen Phoenix for meal kits.

The owner of the Breadfruit & Rum Bar has been keeping busy preparing farm to table meal kits for local organizations. Last week she delivered 400 meal kits to those in need at A New Leaf and Roosevelt Community Church. Another 400 meal kits will be prepared this Sunday November 1st with some going to those standing in line to vote on Election Day.

Highway 12 Vineyards & Winery featured at Sunday Supper Club

Hearth ’61, the signature restaurant at Mountain Shadows Resort hosts its monthly 5-course dinner. The unique menu is created by executive chef Charles Wiley to be paired with wines from California. This month’s dinner is on November 15th and cost $109 ++per person. To view the pairing menu and make a reservation visit their website.

Kids eat free on Halloween at Angry Crab Shack

No tricks are needed but costumes are at all 11 locations on Saturday October 31st. Until 6 p.m. all kids under 12 years old get a free kid’s meal. Choose from chicken tenders, mac n cheese, fried shrimp, kid’s cheeseburger or min corn dogs. All meals come with a fountain drink and choice of side.

 

 

 

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Arizona Restaurant Week starts tonight

You’ve probably heard about the Fall 2020 Arizona Restaurant Week starting tonight through next Sunday 9/27. Over 100 restaurants state wide serving 3 course unique menus for $33 or $44 per person. Dine in or take-out is available. For a list of participating restaurants visit the website.

Francine starts weekend brunch and weekday lunch

About a month ago Scottsdale’s newest restaurant Francine opened after afew months delay at Scottsdale Fashion Square. This weekend they start serving brunch and on Monday they start their lunch service.

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Garrison Brothers

Phoenix City Grille & Garrison Brothers pair a 5-course dinner

The central Phoenix restaurant and the distillery join forces Saturday September 26th for spirits pairing dinner. The occasion celebrates the release of Garrison Brothers Cowboy 2020 Bourbon. Chef Micah Wyzlic uses the bourbon in his dishes along with them sipped on with each course. Dinner is $125 per person ++ and the menu can be viewed at http://www.phoenixcitygrille.com/ with reservations made by calling 602-510-7174 or emailing Britnee Reed at Privatedining@phoenixcitygrille.com

Macayo’s popular Pumpkin Flan now available at all restaurants

It doesn’t feel like Autumn in Arizona yet but the Mexican restaurant has added the delicious dessert to the menu. Made with Fall spices, the dessert is $5.79 at all 7 locations around the valley.

24 Carrots shuts dining room to focus on take-out

Owner Sasha Raj has transformed her Tempe plant based restaurant for take out and now uses the dining room as a collection site for donations for the Navajo Nation. Donations can be dropped off every Wednesday. Raj regularly serves & donates meals and food to many other under served people and  non-profits.

Plant based GuacStar Kitchen to open first location in Tempe

One of the biggest trends in 2019 was plant based foods and soon the first plant based restaurant in Arizona will open in Tempe. When GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina opens near ASU at University & Rural Roads it will be a one of a kind eating, drinking and entertaining restaurant.

Partners James Carlin, Tom Cerino, Randy Feldman, Suzanne Davis and Julie LaRussa look to re-define plant based restaurants with an upbeat and hip concept found in N.Y.C and L.A. “GuacStar’s goal is very simple – to show the masses that you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds or your wallets by eating plant-based cuisine,” said Carlin, GuacStar co-owner. “Our mission is to make healthy food sexy and to create an exciting, unpretentious plant-based dining destination where the overall experience counts just as much as the food.”

Executive Chef Vincent Contreras has created plant based versions of classic Mexican cooking. The full-service restaurant will also have a beer, wine and cocktail program.

GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina will have a contemporary decor with soft lighting, raw materials and a warm, inviting atmosphere. The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and late night dining.

GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina will be at the Cornerstone Mall at 930 E. University Dr. Tempe 85281.