Rift Tap and Wine Bar opening in south Scottsdale

If all goes as planned with the expiration of the current Covid-19 lock down on Monday July 27th south Scottsdale could have a new beer and wine bar in early August. Regardless of the lock down Rift Tap and Wine Bar opens for curbside pick-up and delivery that same Monday. Rift is the brainchild of owners Damien Kanser, a wine industry veteran and friend Jon Coppins, the winemaker at Su Vino Winery.

Named after a Phish album that inspired Kanser since his childhood, Rift converted a spot that was a convenience store at Fillmore and Scottsdale Rd.. With little or nothing for craft beer and wine between old town Scottsdale and Tempe they felt this would be the perfect location for their neighborhood bar. The neighborhood is home to many service industry people and young professionals who have had nowhere to gather since Papago Brewing Co. closed a few years ago.

Rift will feature affordable wines and beers from local brewers and wineries and from across the country and the world. 25 beers on tap will be poured along with wines by the glass as guests gather at the 23 seat bar, high top tables or couches. Food trucks will be scheduled for guests to enjoy a bite to eat with their beer and wine. Coolers will house cold beers to go along with a few racks of retail wines. Kanser envisions Rift’s retail component as a quick grab n go for people to purchase on a regular basis to enjoy with dinner or by the pool. They’re sourcing limited production small batch beers directly from brewers giving the shop a unique selection by the bottle and tap.

Rift owners Damien Kanser and Jon Coppins

The wine club at Rift Tap and Wine Bar

This fall Rift will house a studio for their “Spilling the Truth” podcast they started in late 2018. Windows to the studio will allow guests to view podcasts live with brewers and winemakers joining the podcast.

Two wine clubs will be offered featuring local wines and wines to a national audience based on wineries visiting the podcast.

Rift is at 431 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85257. For updates check out their Facebook page.

Carnitas Way delivers California beach style healthy Mexican food

A new concept has a emerged in the restaurant industry as ghost kitchens a.k.a cloud or virtual kitchens have become popular. Theses kitchens don’t have traditional store front locations and don’t offer dine-in service with delivery the only option. Carnitas Way launched last week from Kurt and Colleen Riske, owners of Los Sombreros. California style burritos, bowls and salads are made at the three locations in Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix then delivered via GrubHub, Postmates and Door Dash.

“We’ve been working on the Carnitas Way concept for some time,” says Kurt Riske. “And while it may seem unusual to open a new restaurant in the midst of a pandemic, it’s actually great timing for this delivery only restaurant that features delicious dishes made with healthy ingredients that offer people serious value.”

Outrigger BowlCarnitas Way

Carnitas Way burritos, bowls & salads.

All menu items are under $10 and burritos can be made into bowls. All burritos and bowls include carnitas except the North Shore.

Baja – black beans, peppers, onions, cabbage, chipotle cream sauce & jack cheese.

Newport – potatoes, poblano peppers, drunken salsa & queso fresco.

Laguna– pinto beans, pico de gallo, & chipotle tomato sauce.

Kapalua – potatoes, carrots, poblano peppers, onions, roasted tomato salsa.

San Carlos – chopped mango, pico de gallo, & habanero salsa.

Outrigger – zucchini, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, pinto beans & mole verde sauce.

North Shore – Veggie

Wedge –  ntwo scrambled eggs, cajun seasoned potatoes, bacon, chipotle tomato salsa, pico de gallo & avocado.

Cancun – salsa verde & jack cheese.

Salads include…

Tamarindo Salad – cabbage, spring mix, diced onions, red pepper, roasted corn, honey lime dressing, tajin, chopped cilantro, goat cheese & fried tortilla strips.

Corn Salad

“Carnitas Way was created to make life a little easier and more enjoyable, by delivering satisfying, flavorful meals right to your door,” says Colleen Riske. “From the beach-inspired names of Carnitas Way menu items to our overall vibe, we’re excited to connect with people who appreciate the simple pleasure of a delicious meal done right.”

Orders can be placed at their website.

The Dash Inn re-opens in Scottsdale after 27 years

If you attended ASU from 1967 – 1994 you probably spent some of your parent’s money on beer and food at The Dash Inn. Closed in 1994 by the fourth set of owners the popular dive bar was an institution at Apache & Rural Rd. has re-opened as part of Brat Haus in Scottsdale. The Dash Inn Tribute Room’s owner Dave Andrea is also the owner of Brat Haus and was one of the last owners at the original location. I visited the new location with a very excited ASU alum on the 2nd night it was opened and many local alumni have been strolling down memory lane as the stopped by to remember their college years. Rumor has it when it was billed to a credit card it read “the library”.

“The Dash Inn was a hip joint, and you could see that just by walking in,” said former employee Tom Cole. “Management never gave long-haired waiters a hard time when they applied for work, which gave the personnel and restaurant a look that attracted the counter-culture while its traditional Mexican feel attracted everyone else.”

Andrea uses one of the dining rooms at Brat Haus for The Dash Inn as guests prefer the outdoor beer garden. Guests will find nostalgia and 500 MTV music videos on a rear projection TV and a limited menu of Mexican food. The menu includes the popular secret recipe margarita and cheese crisp with all menu items costing $8 or less.

“Luckily, I had kept all of the old recipes and plenty of pictures to help replicate the details of design, smallware and furniture,” Andrea said. “The Dash played an important role in thousands of people’s happy memories of a simpler time and college life in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It’s been so much fun listening to all their stories as we bring it back.”

The Dash Inn Tribute Room is located at 3622 N. Scottsdale Road 85251. Hours are Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to close and Saturday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to close. For more information and updates check out their Facebook page.

TasteMakers Marketplace sells local products from Sphinx Date Co.

Scottsdale’s Sphinx Date Co. is looking to regain sales lost due to closing mandates of the Covid-19 virus in March. Customers can purchase local goods at their location, website and at the new online TasteMakers Marketplace. The local retailer is a go-to place for dates, Arizona sourced foods, ingredients and wines.

“We could not be more excited to be included in the launch of the TasteMakers site,” says Rebecca Seitz, co-owner of Sphinx Date Co. “With all the changes and restrictions that have taken place over the course of just the last 30 days or so, this avenue could give us a boost of new consumers we need right now to help save our business.”

TasteMakers Marketplace was created as a way for artisan producers and small businesses to connect with people around the country. Date gifts and bulk date items are available on the site with all of Sphinx’s products available on their website. Their retail location is at 3039 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

“Feed the Heroes” provides healthcare workers free meals from Brat Haus

Old town Scottsdale’s Brat Haus has delivered over 1,500 meals to healthcare workers at HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center in the last 2 weeks. “Feed the Heroes” was launched by owner Dave Andrea to relieve stress of healthcare workers treating patients with Covid 19. The hospital is only a short walk from the popular beer garden and scratch kitchen and each day employees bring 150 meals to the hospital.

“These incredible people are risking their lives daily in order to help others,” said Andrea. “It’s been really gratifying to make even the smallest difference for them. Now is the time to make sure that they are being taken care of too.”

To help support the “Feed the Heroes” Brat Haus re-opened with limited hours on Tuesday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 – 5 p.m. The limited menu offers their signature brats, burgers and pretzels. You’ll probably want some beers so help “Drain the Taps” by having your 64 oz. growler filled for only $10. Beer sales also go towards feeding the healthcare workers.

Several of Brat Haus’s vendors have contributed products and money to the “Feed the Heroes” program. Vendors include Denmark Food, Capistrano Bakery, Waterloo Sparkling Water and Crescent Crown Distributing. “As long as the community continues to visit our curbside pick-up and take advantage of the great beer special, we’ll keep feeding the first responders and health care workers that we’re counting on to get us through this pandemic,” said Andrea.

Brat Haus is at 3622 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale 85251. 480-947-4006

Parking lot eats and social distancing in south Scottsdale

A week into the Covid-19 pandemic and restaurants only serving takeout I’ve been making my way to my neighborhood “Go to” restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are plenty of great restaurants in south Scottsdale and I’ve been to my share but rarely do I dine in the parking lot. With takeout only available I rarely take the food more than a few feet from where I pick it up from. With so many great lists of restaurants serving takeout I wanted to put a list together of my neighborhood parking lot eats that I’ve been supporting before we started social distancing. parking lot eats

I haven’t found the need to travel far from home during this time so most are in 85257/857251 that I can walk or bike to but occasionally I make my way into Phoenix or Tempe.

Follow me on Instagram for real time #ParkingLotFoodPic and check back as update the list of my parking lot eats.

Inner Circle Cafe cheerfully serving coffee breakfast & lunch.

Defalco’s Italian Deli & Grocery– A favorite for sandwiches, wine, pizza and more. The Il Purista is one of the “Best Sandwiches” in town says me.

Losbeto’s on Hayden north of Thomas has 24/7 drive thru.

George’s Famous Gyros– The best gyros, lots of meat!!!

Los Sombreros– Mexican food and Steve-O-Ritas to go at this south Scottsdale staple.

Clancy’s Pub for St. Patrick’s Day, my last dine-in before shutdown.

Gus’s NY Pizza– A coupla slices always taste good.

Tocaya Organica– Healthy food at Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Spinato’s Pizza in Tempe on Rio Salado.

Starlite BBQ– Smoked meats and whiskey while you wait.

Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning for breakfast.

Fiesta Burrito– Can always count of a good, filling & well priced breakfast burritos and more.

D’Lite Healthy on the Go good for breakfast, lunch and coffee at walk-up window or drive-thru.

Berdena’s offers delicious pastry and limited food menu with coffee & tea in downtown Scottsdale.

NY Bagels & Bialy’s south Scottsdale location is closed. Take out available at their Scottsdale & Shea location.

 

Spinatos Meatball sandwich

Arizona Restaurant Association responds with Arizona Takeout Week

In a response to closing all restaurants ordered by Governor Ducey to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the Arizona Restaurant Association announces the start of an ongoing Arizona Takeout Week. Effective today restaurants can only serve food for takeout and delivery along with beer & wine. Some restaurants had already closed their dining rooms to focus on takeout and delivery.

The ARA thought up the idea as they organize the popular bi-annual Arizona Restaurant Week.

“We appreciate and thank Governor Ducey for his efforts in working with the restaurant industry to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus,” says Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “The Arizona restaurant family appreciates his work and that of all elected leaders in our state during this unparalleled time in our history.”

There are more than 200,000 jobs in the restaurant industry in Arizona and with locals ordering take out it’s the only way these restaurants can stay in business.

“At the end of the day, we are the industry of ‘happy’ — that is what the hospitality industry represents. We hope to bring a bit of happiness to Arizonans during this extremely difficult time through Arizona Takeout Week while keeping our employees and restaurants afloat,” Chucri says.

I’ve have 2 posts about restaurants around Arizona who are serving food and wine for takeout. Below are additional restaurants serving takeout meals around Arizona. For more information visit the Arizona Restaurant Association website and for any restaurants looking to participate in Arizona Takeout Week email them at takeout@azrestaurant.org

Federal Pizza
Rusconi’s American Kitchen
Phoenix City Grille
Jewell’s Bakery and Café
Pita Jungle
Little Woody
Wildflower Tucson
S&V Urban Italian
Blanco

Koibito Poke
Liberty Station
Provision
Trapp Haus BBQ
Original Breakfast House
Urban Margarita

Governor shuts restaurants & bars leaving them to offer take out & delivery

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey closed restaurants and bars that were still offering their customers the option to dine in. Many restaurants had voluntarily closed their dining rooms but continued to prepare meals for delivery or pick-up. If restaurants want to continue serving customers it will only be for take-out or delivery going forward. Many restaurant owners have had to make one of the toughest decisions of their life and lay off staff.

Governor Ducey is allowing restaurants that served wine or beer in their restaurant to sell packaged goods so customers can take with them.

Continuing to #supportlocal is very important so this post will add more restaurants preparing food for pick-up or delivery. See my previous post for other Phoenix area restaurants still serving. This post will be updated daily.

Los SombrerosThe Scottsdale location is serving curbside take out with favorites on a limited menu and a drive thru menu of tacos, sides and more. Meal kits and groceries to go also available. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of their famous Steve-O-Rita margarita to wash down lunch or dinner. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. 2534 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85257. (480) 994-1799

Mastro’s City Hall, Ocean Club & Steakhouse Full menus to go with 10% discount and family dinners home steak kits with 28 day aged steaks and more for 2 or 4 people.

Liberty Market- Gilbert’s popular restaurant is doing breakfast burritos, salads, sandwiches, burgers, coffee and more to go. They will also be selling ingredients such as tomato sauce, pancake mix and more so you can make at home. DoorDash & Postmates for delivery in addition to pick up. Accepting only credit cards. 11 a.m – 7 p.m. 230 North Gilbert Road Gilbert. 480-892-1900

Padre Murphy’s- Wed. – Sun. from 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. limited menu of wings, Caesar Salad, Sandwich, canned beer, craft beer & margarita crowlers and Fish Frydays available for curbside pick-up when calling 602-547-9406. credit cards only. 4338 W. Bell Rd. Glendale 85308.

Queen Creek Olive Mill storesQueen Creek (480-400-2302) & Kierland Commons (480-361-9860) stores stocked with groceries, bread, meals to go, eggs, pasta, cleaning supplies & home goods and more from local suppliers.

Jewel’s Cafe– at Thomas & 40th St. is open for take-out & delivery. They are also providing a lot of support for out of work hospitality workers too. To place an order call (602) 714-5243. Located at 4041 E Thomas Rd. Phoenix 85018.

That Place Projects- Flagstaff’s Tinderbox Kitchen and All Day Tourist Cafe are offering pick-up and delivery for their menu items.

Inner Circle Cafe– The south Scottsdale serves coffee, breakfast and lunch and will continue to do so with take-out & delivery.

Hot Noodles Cold Sake in north Scottsdale is open for takeout, now serving beer and sake for takeout. Grubhub, Postmates, and by calling 480-432-9898

Sol Cocinais offering $10 off orders of $35 or more for pick-up. Only for phone & walk in orders, must mention offer. No delivery or online ordering.

Original Breakfast House– is open for take-out (no delivery) and doing a To Go BBQ on Sat. 3/21 to raise money for staff from 7am-12pm.

Hot Bamboo– Recently opened in Chandler, this Asian street food favorite is offering frozen Bao and other dishes for curbside pick-up & take-out.

Beckett’s Table -The Arcadia restaurant is serving its dinner menu to go and can sell you bottles of wine to go with it. Call 602-954-1700 to place an order for curbside pickup. Postmates will deliver too!

Southern Rail– Southern food & wine in the comfort of your own home. Call 602-200-0085 to place an order for curbside pickup. Postmates will deliver too!

Craft 64 Chandler– is offering curbside & to go orders of pizza, wine & more.

Frasher’s Tavern– Old town’s newest restaurant is offering their full menu for pick-up for guests who wish to dine at home. Please call (480) 429-9545 to place your order. Local delivery available too.

92nd St CafeFull menu is available for pick-up, as well as a wide variety of bottles of domestic beer, wine, and liquor. Give them a call at 480-860-4003 to place your order.

Copper Mule– The north Scottsdale restaurant had a modified menu for pick up or delivery along with wine to go specials. To order call 480-573-6853.

Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room and Osteria- Available for to-go food orders and wine by the bottle. Dining room and bar closed to the public until further notice. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. 1001 N. Main St., Cottonwood AZ 86326

Merkin Vineyards Pizza WagonServing the public for walk-up service in Old Town Cottonwood at the corner of Main St. and E Pinal. Hours: Noon to 8 p.m., daily

Merkin Vineyards Old Town ScottsdaleAvailable for to-go food orders and wine by the bottle. The dining room and bar are closed to the public until further notice. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. 7133 E. Stetson Dr. #4, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Tasting RoomAvailable for wine by the bottle to-go sales. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily. 158 Main St., Jerome, AZ 86331

The Thumb– Limited menu for Drive-Thru BBQ & catered delivery(48 hour notice for catering call (602) 686 1629 or email catering@thethumb.com) from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Call ahead at (480)513-8186.  9393 E. Bell Rd. Scottsdale 85255.

24 Carrots CafeVegan meals can be pre-ordered family style for pick-up Sunday, Wednesday & Friday’s. Each meal feeds 4-6 people and menus are posted on their Facebook page and ordering can be done at their on-line store. Check their other social media platforms for specials and more. Meals can be picked up or delivered through Postmates Grubhub & DoorDash. 1701 E Guadalupe Rd. Tempe, Arizona 85283.

New restaurants join the line-up for Arizona Restaurant Week

If you score a reservation for the 13th year of Arizona Restaurant Week you’ll be lucky you did as its one of the most popular culinary events on the Arizona food scene. Spring 2020 ARW starts Friday May 15th until Sunday May 24th where foodies can try new dishes at favorite restaurants or visit a new restaurant. Over 40 restaurants have signed to date with 7 restaurants making their debut on the list.

Twice a year (Save the date Sept. 18th- 27th 2020) the Arizona Restaurant Association hosts ARW to showcase chefs and culinary accomplishments of restaurants big or small. Each restaurant prepares a 3 or 4 course menu exclusively for the week for only $33 or $44. Several restaurants include wine or cocktail pairings for an up charge.

Returning and new restaurants

New to this year’s line- up include….Josephine, Sel, Meritage Urban Tavern, The Dressing Room, House Brasserie & Tuck Shop Kitchen and Bar. They join those returning ….Los Sombreros, Alexi’s Grill, Arrowhead Grill, Salty Sow, Urban Margarita & ZuZu Restaurant to name few.

“We are so proud that Arizona Restaurant Week continues to be such as a popular and well-attended event that our locals and out of town visitors look forward to each Spring and Fall,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “ It is our privilege to have a hand in bringing Arizona’s culinary excellence to the forefront for 10 delicious days and to give our local restaurants a platform to present some unique and creative dishes that aren’t always offered on their daily menus. We feel this gives chefs a chance to really showcase their creativity in new ways.”

To see the full list of restaurants visit the Arizona Restaurant Week website. The list is being updated daily and menus will be uploaded once finalized.

 

 

FRANCINE from restaurateur Laurent Halasz to open in April

Every few weeks it seems another restaurant is opening at the new luxury wing at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Come late April we’ll have a new restaurant from Fig & Olive and Farmhouse owner Laurent Halasz. FRANCINE will join Nobu, Toca Madera and other restaurants that have opened in recent months. This will be Halasz’s most passionate project serving cuisine from the south of France where he grew up. Halasz also owns several locations of FIG & Olive and L.A.’s Farmhouse.Francine

“Everything on my mother’s table was fresh, seasonal, and full of flavor, and that is exactly what FRANCINE will offer our guests,” says Halasz. “We are so excited to bring our new take on classic French Mediterranean and open FRANCINE this April in Scottsdale.”

The fine dining restaurant will serve lunch and dinner with guests gathering in the plant filled restaurant of 5,000 square feet. In his youth Halasz’s mother would host meals around beautiful foods and draws inspiration and pays homage to those days with friends and family.Francine

Signature dishes to be on the menu include Zucchini Terrine, Grilled Octopus, Salmon Carpaccio and Seared Duck a la Provencal. A less formal lunch will serve a selection of pizza, salads and shareable dishes.

Check back for updates about the opening or head to their website.