“Los Local Love” celebrates all things local at Los Sombreros

As important as it is to support local businesses is become even more important in 2020. Los Sombreros is going all out with its new “Los Local Love” program not only features locally grown and made ingredients but live music from local musicians and gift ideas from local vendors.

Through December local musicians will entertain guests on the patio at Los Sombreros restaurants in Scottsdale, Phoenix & Mesa. Several musicians will be from Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers that the restaurant is raising money for through January with the purchase of take-out enchilada family meals or smoked chicken enchiladas. Check their social media for a schedule of performers.

Los Local Love Gift Boxes are available for your favorite foodie for their birthday or for the holidays. A t-shirt, coffee beans from CULT Coffee, chocolate from Carolina’s Chocolate, Los Sombreros Hot Sauce and more are available at https://www.lossombreros.com/shop.

The restaurants are getting pumpkins from Abby Lee Farms and Crooked Sky Farms in October for their soup and flan. In November the corn chowder will include corn from McClendon’s Select as will the pecans for their pecan pie.

It wouldn’t be the holidays without homemade tamales from Los Sombreros that will feature locally grown produce. You can start to order by the dozen November 1st with tamales available starting December 1st. Mix and match Green Corn, Tomatillo Chicken, Rajas (peppers and onions), Chipotle Pork, Red Chili Beef, and Pineapple. Order at the above link or call 480-938-9500.

 

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

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

20% off your at OHSO Brewery Arcadia donated to AAWL

To celebrate Oktoberfest the brew pub with dog friendly patio will donated 20% of sales from 4-8 p.m. Sunday October 18th to the Arizona Animal Welfare League. AAWL is the state’s largest & oldest no-kill shelter saving thousands of lives.

Local pumpkins sourced for Los Sombreros dishes

Abby Lee Farms and Crooked Sky Farms have provided all three of the Mexican restaurants with pumpkins for 2 seasonal dishes. Pumpkin Soup ($10) and Pumpkin Flan ($8) will be available until October 31st. The feature is part of the restaurants Los Local Love program helping to support Arizona farms and foods.

Fall weather brings seasonal food to Trapp Haus BBQ

With the return of cool weather the popular downtown Phoenix BBQ joint has brought back its popular Texas Burnt End Chili. $6.99 gets you cup and $9.99 gets you a bowl of the juicy & tender beef brisket ends. Wash it down with a Wicked Caramel Apple Cider cocktail for $10. The Fall favorite is made with cinnamon whiskey, apple cider and a caramel drizzle.

Burnt End Chili

Chase’s Diner dishes out Pumpkin Pancakes in October

If pumpkin spice your seasonal favorite head to the Chandler diner who is serving up stacks of their pancakes made with the ingredient. The rich & fluffy pancakes are dusted with powdered sugar and served with real whipped cream sweet butter and maple syrup. A short stack of 3 is $8.79 and a combo plate with 2 pancakes, 2 eggs and bacon or sausage is $8.39.

Twin Peaks Restaurant is raising money for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Donate by putting a name of someone on a pink ribbon to be put on the dining room wall of the 3 locations around Phoenix. All money collected in October will be donated locally to the Phoenix chapter of the American Cancer Society. On October 24th the restaurants participates in Strides Ride for Phoenix.

 

Farmers markets heat up as the weather cools down

A sure sign of the change of seasons and cooler weather is the re-opening of farmers markets across the valley. Farmers markets feature locally grown produce and other food products and crafts and have become very popular in recent years. Several feature coffee, food trucks and have local restaurants preparing ready to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. Others offer cooking demonstrations and seminars for the communities benefit. 2020/21 markets are following CDC guidelines with social distancing and wearing of masks to keep everybody safe and healthy. Many welcome dogs as long as they are on leashes. Markets if not running year round usually end before the summer heat kicks in in May.

The this Saturday October 3rd brings the re-opening of the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market. The popular market starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 1p.m. at 2nd St. and Brown.

The return of north Phoenix’s High Street Farmers Market is set for Sunday October 25th. Over a 100 vendors will be selling food, arts and more from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Some farmers markets haven’t waited for the weather to cool down such as Momma’s Organic Market in Surprise. The new market started up at The Sterling Grove Market on Sunday September 6th. Momma’s market at Park West in Peoria kicks off Wednesday October 7th at 4 p.m. Their Glendale market at Arrowhead Town Center is open on Saturday mornings.

Arizona Community Farmers Markets organizes 10 markets in the Phoenix area including the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market. For information and their locations visit their website.

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 community.

Buy One Get One Free at Koibito Poke on Monday 9/28

All 5 Phoenix area locations are celebrating International Poke Day with a FREE bowl when you buy one.

October is National Pizza Month and Fired Pie is rounding up for PCH

From October 1st – 15th the quick casual pizza restaurant encourages its guests in the community to Round Up up their bill to an even dollar amount. The extra change collected will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. You can give back at any of the 21 locations.

Wake up to National Coffee Day on Tuesday 9/29

Local coffee roaster, Press Coffee is giving away a FREE 8 oz. drip coffee with each purchase at any of its 8 valley locations.

Buy one bag of U.S. Egg’s 10 oz. specialty coffee get another for free. A bag will cost you $10 at any of the 6 valley locations.

Community minded Barro’s Pizza partners with Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway

The local family owned pizzeria is seeking applications from students for a $10,000 towards college tuition and expenses. Students can submit an entry online until Dec. 14th. The giveaway is open to students 18 years and older. Find more information at the website.

Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant heads into October with new specials.

Customers can help test new dishes and give feedback to see if they are popular enough to stay on the menu. All 5 locations will offer these specials at special prices. 6 specials are on every part of the menu from drinks to dessert. Specials include Spiced Brandy Cider, Shrimp Ceviche Tostaditos, Pollo Serrano & Vegetable Salad, Barbacoa Bowl, Mexican Street Corn Lollipop and Caramel Apple Flan.

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.

Good news with a Reel Deel Monday’s in Surprise

The newish and popular Reel Pizza Pies in the northwest valley now offers a Reel Deel that includes 2-18 inch cheese pizza pies, a Caesar salad, an order of garlic knots & two cannoli’s for only $39.99. For more information or to order head to their website.

Roaring Fork’s “Dinner on Us” returns for Labor Day

The Scottsdale restaurant celebrates the end of summer with it’s annual Labor Day (Monday Sept. 7th) promotion where guests can Buy One Get One free starting at 4 p.m.

U.S. Egg has new cocktails and a Bloody Mary flight

All 6 locations of this breakfast and lunch favorite spot have introduced a new cocktail menu. Included are a Dreamsicle cocktail, new Mimosa flavors and a Bloody Mary flight.

National Beer Lover’s Day at Miracle Mile Deli

Enjoy Labor Day with $4 pints and $20 growlers all day long at this central Phoenix deli. Choose from Tower Station IPA, Papago Orange Blossom, Kiltlifter & Leininkugel’s Summer Shandy.

Fantasy Football draft parties at Twin Peaks

Pick your teams at 3 Phoenix area locations or have them bring the party to you. Dine-in or take out league commissioners get $50 gift card and each league member gets a $5 gift card for a future visit.

Trevor’s Liquors to offer retail and a beer & wine bar in south Scottsdale

With all the new development in the southern part of Scottsdale new businesses are opening to provide amenities in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the valley. With the new Papago Plaza under construction and other developments along Scottsdale and McDowell roads residents new and old will have a new wine and beer retailer when Trevor’s Liquors opens in November. It will be joining RIFT Tap & Wine Bar which just opened nearby that I posted about in July.

Trevor’s is the sister to Prescott’s Park Plaza Liquors & Deli and is owned by Jeff McDonald and Trevor Philips. Over 15,000 sq. ft. of space will include a large selection of single barrel bourbons and Arizona’s largest selection of agave. Beers will be housed in a walk in beer cave and and 50 reach in cooler doors. Trevor’s will also offer a 400 sq. ft. cigar humidor and a dedicated cigar patio. A craft beer and wine bar with a covered beer garden patio will let customers to enjoy beverages and socialize.

There’s a game area with corn hole boards and a rotating schedule of food trucks will be scheduled for customers. Trevor’s will be at 7340 E. McDowell Rd. 85257. For more information check out their website.

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.