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.

A new modern look at Federico’s 25th location in Tolleson

The locally owned Mexican fast food restaurant shows off a new modern look and the same classic tacos, burritos, tortas and more. The new location at 220 N. 83rd Ave. is open 24 hours a day offering daily and Taco Tuesday specials. Co-owners Isidro Araiza, Ricardo Araiza and Carlos Vazquez opened the first Federico’s in 2005 with other locations throughout the Phoenix area, Arizona and New Mexico.

3rd Tuesday dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Three courses paired with California wines is how Chef Romeo Taus shows off his popular dishes and his next dinner is Tuesday August 16th. $39.00 gets you a seat at the table; reserve your seat by calling 480-962-4224.

Walter Station Brewery’s Ale Wagger to raise funds for life saving pet programs

The local brewer and Arizona Animal Welfare league (AAWL) team up for the new Ale Wagger for the rest of the summer or while supplies last. On Saturday August 20th celebrate with a launch party from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. to load up on some beer, food and puppy cuddles. A portion of the proceeds will go towards vet services, vaccinations, pet education and more.

Back to school deals at Picazzo’s in August

Every Monday this month Buy One, Get One 50% off lunch combos and Kid’s Eat Free on Wednesday’s. Lunch is from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and kid’s 12 and under get a free Junior Meal with a purchase of $25 or more. Available at all 6 locations in Phoenix and Sedona.

White Castle opening 2nd Arizona location

Love them or hate them, east coast and mid-westerners have an affinity toward these sliders. A new Tempe location has been announced with a mid-2023 opening planned. The first Arizona location opened in 2019 on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation off the Loop 101 in Scottsdale.

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.

Bell Bank Park is the new home of the Arizona Taco Festival

When the 13th annual Arizona Taco Festival returns on November 12th and 13th it will have a new home in the East Valley. Mesa’s Bell Bank Park will welcome the popular event along with special guest and celebrity host Aaron May and his Band of Celeb-U-Friends. May is known for his appearances on the Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” and the NFL’s annual Official Tailgate event before the “big game”.

This year’s Taco Festival will include popular events including Lucha Libre Wrestling, a Hot Chile Pepper & Taco Eating Contest, mariachis and more. New this year will be a Taco Queen Drag Contest, Hot Sauce Expo and Day of the Dead Wedding. The Tequila Expo is now the “Tequila Passport” and attendees can sample over 100 top shelf tequilas all day. “I’m going to make this year’s taco fest into a full Taco-Palooza of epic proportions. I might even get in the wrestling ring with the Luchas!” says May.

Let’s not forget that over 50 local taco vendors and restaurants will be on hand serving up tacos and more while trying to be crowned the “Top Taco” to win $$$ and more.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and goes until 6 p.m. This is a family friendly event with Early Bird tickets available online for $15 and kids under 12 get in for free. Bell Bank Park is at 1 Legacy Dr. Mesa 85212.

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.

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.

Pretzel Fest every Wednesday at Pedal Haus Brewery

The local brew pub with locations in downtown Phoenix, downtown Chandler and downtown Tempe couldn’t wait til Oktoberfest to feature their new Bavarian Board. Each board includes charcuterie meats, olives, a large Bavarian pretzel, beer cheese, maple butter, haus mustard and 2 beers for $16. Upgrade the beers to a Stein for $20 or a bottle of Haus wine for $25.

Hearth ’61 now offers a vegan tasting menu

Chef de Cuisine Alfred Muro has created a 4-course vegetable focused menu at the Mountain Shadows Resort’s signature restaurant. The menu consists of Celeriac Salad, Parsnip Confit with curry chickpea stew, a Roasted Portobello Mushroom with eggplant cous cous and a Strawberry Lemon Tart with ginger meringue. The menu is available all year long and is $89 plus tax & gratuity.

Society by EVO opening in Tempe

A new restaurant from Nick Neuman and his partners is coming to Tempe in February. The late night upscale dining experience restaurant is looking to hire 50 people and is having a hiring fair today, Friday January 28th from 12 noon til 4 p.m. at EVO on Goldwater Blvd. in Scottsdale. Interested applicants can also send Nick a resume to nickneuman@evoscottsdale.com. The restaurant will be in The Cornerstone at Rural and University and will be open from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.

The Mexicano now serving lunch

The new restaurant from Joey Maggiore is now serving lunch 7 days a week starting at 11 a.m. The made from scratch Mexican cuisine restaurant in northeast Phoenix offers a build your own Michelada bar along with agave based cocktails to go along with your Guacamole and Salsa Ferris Wheel, tacos made with blue corn tortillas, lava rock fajitas and a three foot long quesadilla. On weekends rotating DJs play Latin music to enhance the vibrant atmosphere.

The Crepe Club celebrates National Crepe Day

Next Wednesday February 2nd get a free Nutella or Parisian (butter & sugar) crepe at the Scottsdale Fashion Square (in the food court) location from 9 – 11 a.m.

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.

Trapp Haus BBQ owner expanding and rolling out new food trucks in 2022

Phil “The Grill” Johnson, award-winning pit master & owner of the downtown Phoenix BBQ joint is expanding the size of the restaurant. When completed in January 2022 guests will enjoy a better dining experience with easier ordering, a pick-up window, full bar and more. In the Spring he launches 2 new food trucks that will feature the foods of his native NYC and east coast.

Not busy enough he’s also starting a business to build food trucks and help first time food truck owners get started. Listen to Phil’s story on Episode 41 of The Podcast.

First drive-thru only Mesquite Fresh Street Mex to open

The locally owned authentic Mexican concept continues to grow in 2022 with the opening of its first drive thru only location Gilbert in February. It’s the ninth location with three more drive-thru only locations coming later in the year.

Koibito Poke now offering side dishes

Four new side dishes were recently introduced at all 4 Phoenix area locations including Seaweed Salad, Cucumber Salad, Crab Mix and Spicy Crab Mix. Enjoy the 5oz. sides with your bowl or by itself. The also recently introduce Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 4 -6 p.m. and all day on Saturday & Sunday. Enjoy specials on beer, wine, sake & seltzers and $2.00 off Signature Bowls.

New Year’s Eve free rides from Valley Metro

Local beer distributor Crescent Crown and Coors Light are footing the bill through a donation for free rides on all bus routes and light rail Friday December 31st from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m Saturday January 1st 2022.

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.

EAT by Stacey Weber giving away a 3 free Thanksgiving meals

You can nominate a family to receive a Turkey and all the fixings (valued at $248) to feed a family of 4 until next Thursday, November 18th. You can nominate a family here or email at phoenix@eatbystacyweber.com. Pick up would be on Wednesday, November 24th between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the 4740 E. Shea Blvd Phoenix 85028.

The Phoenix Pizza Festival is this weekend.

Finally a favorite festival is here in downtown Phoenix’s Margaret T. Hance Park on Saturday and Sunday. See all the details, participants and changes for 2021 here.

2021 Slider Throwdown is this Sunday 11/14

The popular “Battle of the Burger” event returns to High Street in north Phoenix on Sunday. Stop by and vote for your favorite slider and help raise money for Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation from 12 – 4 p.m. Admission is $40 and includes sliders, lemonade from Cuties Lemonade & More food truck and dessert from Kicks Frozen Yogurt. Live entertainment and a silent auction will also be happening.

Seats still available for Miner Family Wines dinner

Assistant winemaker Michelle Safir will be in town for the dinner at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa next Thursday, November 17th. For more details see my September post about how to reserve your seat and December’s Truchard Vineyard dinner details.

Trade “Toys for Tacos” at Mesquite Fresh Street Mex

Until December 15th the fast casual concept has partnered with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to collect toys in exchange for a free taco. Drop off new & unwrapped toys, non-perishable foods and toiletries at a location near you.

The Montauk adds new dishes to its menu

The downtown Scottsdale restaurant added to its eclectic menu this week. The new dishes are as follows. Playa Salad – Oranges, red onion, pepitas and queso fresco over a bed of artisan greens with coriander vinaigrette to finish. Short Rib Bowl – Overnight braised short rib, house made BBQ sauce, roasted root vegetables, crispy baked potato wedges and scallions served with brown rice. Buddah Bowl– Roasted broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, avocado, grilled onions, edamame and pepitas, served with chipotle tahini and a soft-boiled egg over brown rice. Short Rib Huevos Rancheros (brunch only) – Eggs, braised short rib, refried black beans, red onion, queso fresco, morita-cashew salsa, sour cream, cilantro on a tortilla.

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.

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.

Mesquite Fresh Street Mex opening 8th location in Northwest Phoenix

The locally owned Mr. Mesquite has announced it’s now going by Mesquite Fresh Street Mex and will open its 8th location at the end of August. The grand opening is scheduled for August 28th at 10:30 a.m. at 1730 W. Happy Valley Rd. Phoenix.

“We are thrilled to expand the Mesquite brand in Arizona with our eighth location,” said Ahmad Alatrash, co-founder of Mesquite Fresh Street Mex. “Northwest Phoenix is a thriving area with strong businesses, services and a great community around it. We look forward to connecting with residents and sharing our authentic meets modern Mexican concept with the neighborhood.”

The 1,930 square foot fast casual restaurant will serve meats grilled over mesquite wood for a unique and smoky flavor. Tacos, killer burritos, protein bowls and quesadillas make up the menu. Family meals will also be available and tacos start at $2.19 each. All ingredients are of the highest quality and a prepared every day.  Grand opening celebrations will include giveaways and the first 200 people will win a free taco for week for six months.

The restaurant is looking to hire 30 people for the new location joining over 150 other employees throughout Arizona. “We are seeking ambitious and driven individuals ready to join a collaborative team,” said Naser. “We pride ourselves in a family-driven environment and place a large emphasis in creating a supportive and fun atmosphere for our staff.”  For more information about job openings and the grand opening visit 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.

The Arizona Taco Festival is coming back for its 11th year

2020 may have knocked down the Arizona Taco Festival but it didn’t knock it out as the popular 2 day festival returns in October 2021. This will be the 11th year of the festival that is planned for October 23rd & 24th and will be returning to Salt River Fields.

Over 50 taco vendors will be on hand serving up hundreds or thousands of their homemade tacos and more starting at $3 each. In addition to tacos festival goers can get a Tequila Passport to sample 10 premium tequilas to go with their tacos and 6 chefs from local Mexican restaurants will prepare their specialties at the new Super Food Stations. Vote for your favorite tacos to win the People’s Choice Taco Competition and hang out at one of the shaded party tents with DJs providing music, vendors and bars serving margaritas, beer and more.

Tickets for the 11th Annual Arizona Taco Festival go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday May 21st at the ticketweb site. General Admission tickets are $14 in advance and $20 day of event. The Tequila Passport is an additional $25 and VIP Tickets are $100 ($120 day of) and include the Passport. The El Presidente ticket is $200 with the Passport, $220 day of. Parking at Salt River Fields is free. For more information head to their website.

 

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