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.

Summer focused special’s at Serrano’s Mexican Food in August.

The family owned Mexican restaurants is offering 3 refreshing lighter food and drink specials at all locations this month. The Sangarita ($8.99) is their version of sangria & a margarita in one. Fresh fruit and an orange garnish make a great way to cool off. Carolyn’s Pronto Salad ($13.99) Crispy lettuce & cabbage topped with carne asada, fajita vegetables and more tossed with guacamole cilantro ranch dressing. Key Lime Margarita Ice Cream ($7.99) homemade margarita no churn ice cream with a graham cracker mix-in.

Inflation busting Happy Hour deals at Pedal Haus Brewery’s Phoenix location

Every Monday – Friday from 3- 6 p.m. at the downtown Phoenix location guests can save a few bucks on food & drinks at the locally owned brew pub. All food & drink specials sold separately.

$3 Day Drinker beer & Bacon Popcorn- fresh popped in bacon fat, seared bacon pieces, and bacon powder. $4 Select Haus Beers & Haus Mac & Cheese – add green chili +$1, add bacon +$2 vegan + $2. $5 Well Drinks & Loaded Fries – mushroom gravy, ground beef, beer cheese, sour cream, goat cheese, chives. $6 Haus Margs/Haus Wine & ½ lb of Haus Smoked Chicken Wings. $7 Steins & Happy Burger – 6oz beef patty, American cheese, haus sauce, diced onions, pickles.

Kids eat free at Morning Squeeze

Monday- Friday in August kids under 12 years old eat for free. Choose from Kid’s Menu dishes Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Fries, Eggs, Bacon & Potatoes, French Toast Sticks and a Mouse Pancake. All items come with a choice of soda, juice or milk. Available at all 3 locations in Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix.

Huss Brewing serving Hulu’s “The Bear” inspired sandwich

The downtown Phoenix location is serving the classic Chicago style Italian Beef sandwich for a limited time. The popular sandwich on social media is made from slow braised beef with Italian seasonings and sweet peppers then topped with melted sharp Provolone cheese and giardiniera on a crusty roll for $15.90. It comes with Sidewinder fries and is served during lunch and dinner while supplies last.

Aloha Spirit specials return to Original Breakfast House.

The north Phoenix breakfast and lunch restaurant rolled out new tropical inspired specials. Enjoy Short Rib Loco Moco ($16), Kalua Pork Benedict ($16), Spam & Eggs ($13.75), Tropical French Toast ($13.75), Kona Coffee Shrimp & Grits ($16.50) and a Hawaiian Lunch Plate for $13 or $14 depending on meat.

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.

Caffe Vita joins the Phoenix coffee scene with 1st Arizona location

Phoenicians can’t get enough coffee and on Saturday July 30th there will be a new place to get your daily cup of go-go juice. Seattle’s Caffe Vita opens its ninth location nationwide and first in Arizona in the former Easley’s Fun Shop at 509 W. McDowell Rd. To celebrate their arrival, all day Saturday their giving away a FREE oat milk lattes.

Paying respect to the former tenant and its history in Phoenix, Caffe Vita is preserving several aspects of Easley’s including their signature bright yellow sign “Our business is fun”. Also renting out space in the building will be brewery Roses by the Stairs and men’s clothier Cave and Post.

“It was important for us to give a nod to the beloved business that once called this space home, and we worked with Carol Easley and family to preserve as much of the building as possible while constructing a space that’s uniquely Caffe Vita,” said Deming Maclise, Owner and CEO of Caffe Vita. “We think Phoenix residents will be pleasantly surprised at how much this space feels like an evolution of the location, rather than a takeover.”

Coffee and more at Caffe Vita

Beans will be roasted in a vintage Probat UG 22 and will be overseen by Director of Coffee Sam Spillman. Spillman is the 2019 United States Barista Champion and brings a wealth of knowledge and kindness to the job.

Guests can sip on signature coffee drinks such as Caffe Del Sol Espresso, single origin coffees and Oatdos. The latter is a cortado made with oat milk. Seasonal drinks including the Cold Brew Shandy and Prickly Pear tonic will be exclusive to the Phoenix location. To keep cool on hot days there will also be a selection of slushy drinks.

La Grande Orange Bake Shop, Yo Donut and Suss Pastries will provide locally made pastries and breakfast specialties. On the menu you’ll find a Prickly Pear Fruit Pocket, gluten free and vegan Passion Fruit donuts and more.

Caffe Vita will be open daily from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. 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.

TLC eXperience dinner partners with non-profit

Limited seating is available for the next supper club on Friday May 20th that  returns to Ahwatukee at Lights, Camera, Discover!‘s new venue. Chef Tom and his team’s menu is always a mystery until you arrive but you won’t be disappointed. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7. Seats are $175 per person and can be reserved here.

Dominick’s Steakhouse host Fitz’s Supper Club

There’s still time to get your tickets for next Tuesday May 10th’s VIP Reception and Dinner to benefit the Larry Fitzgerald Foundation. The former Arizona Cardinal’s wide receiver hosts the dinner and is joined by former teammates and local celebrities to raise money for underrepresented communities across the United States and around the world. It helps children with what they need to feel confident growing up and to support women and men affected by breast cancer. Larry’s mother passed away from breast cancer in 2003 and when he started his foundation in 2005 he said its deeply rooted in his mission.

The VIP Reception starts at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Seats can be reserved here.

Free hummus during happy hour at Pita Jungle

Friday, May 13th is International Hummus Day and from 3-6 p.m. participating locations will give guests a free small hummus dip with purchase of an entree. Choose from Classic Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper or the spicy Cilantro Jalapeño.

Tia Carmen opens at JW Marriott Desert Ridge

“Top Chef” Angel Sosa recently opened his contemporary southwestern restaurant at the north Phoenix resort. The resort’s signature restaurant serves breakfast and dinner and has partnered with local partners and purveyors. Read the full story at my post from March.

New brunch menu at PHX Beer Co.

The Scottsdale restaurant is introducing new dishes on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Guests can choose from such dishes as Corned Beef Hash Skillet, French Toast Platter, Avocado Toast, a Breakfast Burrito and more.

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.

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.

Myke’s Pizza debuting new seasonal vegetable pizza series

The popular downtown Mesa pizza joint continues to support local farmers using fresh vegetables for his innovative pizzas, the first is this week’s Kale & Golden Raisin Pizza. Using baby kale from Steadfast Farms, Myke tops it with mozzarella & Idiazabal cheese, charred lemon relish and golden raisins. The new pizza is $17 and he expects kale to be available until July.

Mountain Shadows Resort introduces new Library Teapot

The Paradise Valley resort added tea to its Library Coffee Cart that launched last year. Teas are from local tea company Teaspressa and will be available all year long. Locals and guests are invited to enjoy coffee, tea and creative coffee drinks in The Living Room every Friday- Sunday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and all drinks are $7.

Macayo’s Mexican Food launches new cocktail menu

Jason Asher & Mat Snapp of Barter & Shake helped to curate 7 new cocktails available at all Phoenix area locations. Several are made with ready to drink low calorie hard seltzers. New to the menu are the Guava Colada Myer’s Platinum Rum, house made sweet and sour, pineapple juice coconut and guava with a Myer’s Dark Rum float. Ranch Water — made with Corazon Blanco, house made sweet and sour and pineapple topped with Cherry Lime Chiller Spiked Ice. Red Sangria featuring house red blend, Gran Gala Orange Liqueur, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, house made sweet and sour, lime juice, orange juice and blackberry.

Angry Crab Shack adds meat to the menu

The seafood restaurant recently added 4 all beef dishes to the menu for a limited time. Surf & Turf includes a 8 oz. filet & lobster tail, corn on the cob, potatoes and butter for $38. A Steak Sandwich, Steak Bowl and Steak Salad were also added for $19 each. All locations prepare the beef medium to medium well.

Grand Canyon Brewing + Distilling investing over $1,000,000 in expansion.

Owner John Peasley expects to start construction any day on an additional 12,500 square feet at his flagship Williams brewery and distillery. Once completed over the summer new equipment including 5 fermenters, one large tank and a keg washer & filler will be housed for the brewery. The distillery will add four 1,000 gallon pot stills and a coffee bean roaster.

Currently combined in one building the distillery will move to the rickhouse where the whiskey is stored and aged in barrels. Production in the distillery will grow by 600% with the new stills and the new brewery equipment will let Peasley increase production of the popular Prickly Pear Wheat beer and other beers.

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.

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 menus debut at Zuzu

The signature restaurant at Old Town Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho recently debuted the new menu from Executive Chef Russel LaCasce. Hotel guests and locals can choose from a Steak & Potato Skillet, Strawberry Crème Brûlée French Toast, the Hot Hot Chicken Sammie and more on the everyday brunch menu.

The dinner menu now includes Grilled Portuguese Octopus, a Slow Braised Pork Shank, Pan-Seared Diver Scallops and more. Save room for the Blood Orange Panna Cotta, Double Dark Chocolate Cake and other desserts from new Pastry Chef Maria Arenas. Reserve your table by calling 480-421-7997.

3rd Tuesday Dinner next week at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

The popular cafe in downtown Gilbert still has seats left for its monthly dinner on Tuesday, April 19th. The three course dinner is paired with wines from around the world to complement each dish chosen by his staff. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224.

Eat Up Drive In celebrates its 1st anniversary

Starting Monday, April 18th through Sunday, April 24th the Arcadia restaurant will be serving up iced teas, lemonades, including their new seasonal cucumber lime lemonade, French fries and their famous gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, all for just one dollar each.

After a 2 year hiatus Foodstock is back next weekend

Over 55 food trucks will be heading back to the Peoria Sports Complex for the return of Arizona’s favorite food truck festival. The family friendly event is next Saturday, April 23rd from 4-10 p.m. Admission is $5 with children under 12 getting in for free. The event is a collaboration between Get Local Arizona Events and Peoria Diamond Club with all the proceeds from the gate going to feed hungry children in the west valley.

Huss Brewpub ready to open at Phoenix Convention Center

It’s been a long 2 plus years that I wrote about the local brewery opening in downtown Phoenix and a longer four years of planning for co-owners Jeff and Leah Huss. It’s about to pay off next Wednesday, April 20th on Monroe St. between 2nd and 3rd St. on the Convention Center’s north facade.

As part of the celebration one lucky winner will win a “Season Table at the Brewpub”. The winner and 3 guests will enjoy a table for 24 games with the reservation guaranteeing them a table during busy times. The winner will be announced on Monday, April 18th on social media in time for the Phoenix Suns playoff rally.

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.

Cory Oppold to Course it out later this year

Chef Cory Oppold has been working on his restaurant concept since 2016 and if all goes as planned Fall of 2022 Course will become a reality. Serving dinner, Course will be a hyper-seasonal 5 and 8-9 course dining experience changing menus every two to three months. There will be cocktail program but his focus will be on wine pairings to compliment his cooking.

“This has been a long process for me and almost an obsession to make it work. The pandemic was actually what kind of kick started Course. During the shutdown I started a smaller company called “Simmer Down”. The menu was driven to be extremely easy for the guest to make as most or part of the meal was pre-made but sealed in Cryovaced pouches for easy heat up and clean up. More importantly it was designed to be safe alternative at that time of the pandemic for delicious food that was easily delivered to the public”.

The cooking philosophy of Cory Oppold

Cory studied at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and built his reputation as Executive Chef at Atlas Bistro. He credits other valley restaurants including Binkley’s, Tarbell’s and Different Pointe of View as shaping his cooking philosophy. It wasn’t until he started teaching at Le Cordon Bleu that his philosophy made sense. “In order to teach you have to research and learn for yourself. This was the time period in my life that I really started to understand my approach to food.”

His philosophy is vegetable driven and believes Mother Nature is the “greatest menu writer”. “I approach each ingredient as to take as much care of it as possible. There is no ranking system in ingredients importance – The carrot is just as important as the caviar or lobster tail. I try to create the complexity of a dish from multiple simplistic items allowing each component of a dish to be pure and a direct representation of itself.”

Until Course is ready to open he will continue his in-home dining where he prepares 6-7 course meals. Cory loves the intimacy of cooking for people in their homes but the menu’s lack consistency so he felt a brick and mortar restaurant was needed. Course will be in the “Restaurant District” of East Shea Village on Shea Blvd. just east of Scottsdale Rd. For more information and to book Cory Oppold for an in home dining experience visit his website.

Chesapeake Bay Seafood Bistro lets guests BYO beer & wine

The popular Ahwatukee seafood restaurant, Chesapeake Bay Seafood Bistro now lets guests bring in their own beer and wine to enjoy with lunch or dinner. The restaurant opened in June 2021 and caught on quickly with locals for its friendly service, selection of fresh seafood and reasonable prices.

Owners James and Yolanda Brown are no strangers to seafood having lived in Virginia before moving to San Diego for 30 years. They’re happy to have guests be able to bring in beer or wine during the hours of 12 -10 p.m. Corkage fees of $10 per 750 ml bottle of wine, $5 per 375 ml and $1 per can of beer offset the cost of glassware & labor and help keep food prices low.

“This allows our guests who would like to pair drinks with their food to have a gourmet experience at a fraction of the price of a fine dining restaurant,” Yolanda said. “We invite everyone to let us know which combinations work best so we can share suggestions with others.”

Since opening they’ve received a great review from the Arizona Republic dining critic Andi Berlin and in January their blue crabs landed on Phoenix Magazine’s 101 Best Dishes list. Daily seafood dishes run between $4.50 for tacos up to about $20 for plates for sandwiches, tacos, salads and plates. “Off the Grill” selections can be seasoned with Old Bay, garlic herb butter, teriyaki, lemon pepper and others. “Out of the fryer” dishes come seasoned with a light cornmeal batter. Side dishes include hush puppies, house-made Old Bay chips, corn on the cob, fried zucchini and more. They have live blue crabs flown in daily from Maryland during the season.

Chesapeake Bay Seafood Bistro is at 5033 E. Elliot Rd. Phoenix 85044 and is open Tuesday- Thursday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more information check out 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.

February specials at Serrano’s

Throughout the month of February the family owned Mexican restaurants are featuring 3 dishes on the menu. Chichalada is a fried masa patty stuffed with chicharrones (fried pork bites similar to bacon), onion, cilantro and queso fresco, and topped with tomatillo sauce and crema is served with one side of your choice for $10.99.

The Phat Elvis is part of the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge and features Tagalongs Graham cracker crust, peanut butter cheesecake, whipped cream and crumbled Girl Scout Tagalongs mixed with bananas and topped with chocolate ganache, brown-sugar bacon and a bonus Tagalong cookie for $7.99. The Strawberry Margarita is the Drink of the Month is $6.99.

All four locations are looking to hire both front and back of the house employees with on the spot walk in interviews every Wednesday from 2 – 4 p.m. Apply online if you can’t get to there on Wednesday’s.

Outdoor dining coming to Nook Kitchen

The Arcadia restaurant will increase capacity by 50 seats when their new covered patio opens. Owner Frank Vairo always envisioned al fresco dining at the restaurant but couldn’t get the city of Phoenix to approve it until it became a necessity during the Covid outbreak. The restaurant remains open for dinner and late night dining on Friday & Saturday’s til 2 a.m. during construction with reservations recommended.

Brick Road Coffee opens in Tempe

Co-owners and husbands Gabe Hagen and Jesse Shank opened their new coffee shop with the Wizard of Oz philosophy of acceptance and self-realization. All are welcome to enjoy a sense of community and art with their daily cup of Joe. Custom made murals by local artist Paige Reesor and L.A. artist Corrie Mattie adorn the walls and gender neutral restrooms. Coffee is supplied by local roaster CULT Artisan Beverage Company and pastries are from Tempe’s Squarz Bakery. Brick Road is on Rural Rd. just south the the 60 Freeway.

Koibito Poke adds a Keto bowl to the menu

Those on the high fat, low carb Ketogenic diet can now get the cauliflower based bowl packed with tuna & salmon, cucumber, green onion, kale, brussel sprouts, Sriracha aioli and topped with sesame seeds. The Keto bowl is available for dine-in, take-out and delivery.

LDV Winery receives 2 awards from prestigious wine competition

The San Francisco Chronicle 2022 Wine Competition announced the Arizona winery took home a gold and silver medal for their 2015 “The Signature” Petite Sirah in the $46 and over category and their 2015 Petite Sirah in the $40- $45.99 category. The competition had 45 judges from the trade, media, retail and hospitality industry and more 5,800 wines from North America were entered.

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.

 

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.

Z’ Tejas launches new Winter seasonal menu

The southwestern restaurant’s Executive Chef Diego Bolanos launched his new seasonal menu this week at at their Scottsdale and Chandler restaurants. 8 dishes were added and include Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Chipolte Short Ribs, Achiote Shrimp Alfredo Pasta and Ginger Apple Cheesecake with a house made churro.

AZ Liquids offers $2 drinks all week for National Green Juice Day 1/26

The online retailer of cold pressed juices celebrates the week of January 24th- 31st. Order 1 drink at regular price and get another cold pressed juice for $2. Choose from Greens 01, Greens 02, Eat Green Machine or Eat Greens Phx. The discount will be applied to one green drink. To order and see ingredients of each visit their website.

Cala at Senna House is now open

The newest restaurant on the Scottsdale scene opened its door to the public this week. An all star cast of local food and beverage personnel are in charge of the Mediterranean inspired cuisine.

La Canasta Mexican Foods celebrates 60 years of Arizona’s best tortillas

The maker of My Nana’s Best Tasting Tortilla Chips started in 1962 by Richard & Carmen Abril and today makes 2.5 million chips daily. The Phoenix based company is run by Josie Ippolito, daughter of the founders and the chips can be found throughout Arizona and western states, The company is known not only for its chips but also for being a successful Hispanic and women owned business.

Sedona chef releases second cook book

Chef and restaurant owner Lisa Dahl releases her second cookbook, “A Romance with Food” on February 1st. The cookbook features 91 recipes and over 150 photos of Latin fusion dishes from her restaurant, Mariposa. Dahl owns 5 restaurants in Sedona and the cookbook offers recipes from salads to main dishes to desserts. Follow this link to pre-order your copy.

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.

Cala to open with all-star culinary team led by Beau MacMillan

When the Cala restaurant opens next week at the new Senna House hotel in Scottsdale it will have an all-star cast running the food, wine & cocktail programs. Celebrity chef and Food Network star Beau MacMillan serves as Culinary Director with Executive Chef Peter McQuaid Jr. returning to Phoenix to from Las Vegas where he opened Money, Baby! at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Also returning to Phoenix from Las Vegas is Clint “Spotty” Spotleson who will oversee the restaurants cocktail program and just this weekend David Johnson announced he’s coming on board as the restaurants Sommelier and Wine Director. Johnson was last at Octotillo Restaurant in central Phoenix as General Manager and both are long time staples on the valley’s cocktail and wine scene.

What to expect at Cala

Once opened Cala will serve Mediterranean dishes inspired by the cuisine of Spain, Italy, Morocco and other seaside countries. Envision handmade pastas, fresh cheeses & breads, locally grown vegetables and fresh seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. The simple, healthy and flavorful dishes will emphasize the seasonal ingredients of the coastal regions.

“Cala is a place that guests will find themselves not wanting to leave; it’s vibrant with great energy creating an immersive environment with an experience that offers something for everyone,” said MacMillan. “We’ve intentionally created a modern establishment with a perfectly curated vibe and approachable food that is incredibly cared for alongside unforgettable cocktails.”

Macmillan will continue at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain where he was recently named Culinary Advisor and McQuaid Jr. will be overseeing the day to day operations at Cala. It’s not the first time the two have worked together as McQuaid Jr. worked with MacMillan at Sanctuary and considers him a mentor. You can hear McQuaid Jr. tell his story and his relationship with MacMillan on Episode 42 of The Podcast.

Senna House opened last month in Scottsdale’s Entertainment District on the spot that used to house the legendary Don & Charlie’s Restaurant and is paid tribute too with a montage of sports memorabilia in the hotel’s lobby. Cala is owned by local restaurant & hospitality group Clive Collective which also owns Money, Baby! in Las Vegas. MacMillan also oversees the culinary program at Money, Baby! and is Clive Collective’s Director of Culinary Operations. Cala and Senna House is at 7501 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale 85251 and reservations can be made at their website.

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