Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

December specials at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

From now until New Year’s Eve you can order delicious red beef/pork and green corn tamales by the dozen for $34.99. Having a party and want some traditional Mexican specialties mini chimis, flautas, chicken and cheese rollups, and jalapeno poppers are available to order in increments of 3, 6 or 9 dozen ($45.99, $84.99, $129.99). Orders can be placed any of the 4 locations with 24 hour notice for phone orders and online orders require 48 hours’ notice.

Gift cards are available for purchase with 20% kickbacks. $5 for every $25 purchased, $10 kickback on $50 gift card, $20 kickback on $100.

Looking to dine-in, you’ll find these specials on the menu for the month.

Lisa’s Pronto Bowl: A classic choice with shredded chicken, pinto beans, Spanish rice, red sauce, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoes all piled high on a house-made taco shell topped with chunky salsa. $14.99
White Christmas Margarita: A house-made margarita with white cranberry juice, Sauza Silver tequila, triple sec and lime juice. Garnished with sugar-covered cranberries and mint. $9.99
Caramel Flan: Back by popular demand! House-made caramel flan topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. $6.99.

Barro’s fights hunger on December 6th

From open to close next Tuesday all 46 of the locally owned pizza restaurants in Phoenix and Tucson will donate 100% of the day’s proceeds to St. Mary’s Food Bank. It’s the 11th year the Doran Barro Holiday Hunger Fight fundraiser which has raised over $2.1 million dollars in ten years. The money raised is equivalent to 14.7 million meals and is St. Mary’s largest yearly cause marketing effort.

The Buzzed Bull Creamery offers new flavors for the season

Ice cream never tasted so good, especially buzzed with spirits of the season. The ice cream shop at the Scottsdale Waterfront offers 4 new flavors all month long. Buzzed or non-buzzed the sweet treat can be in a milkshake or cup of ice cream. Need an afternoon pick me up; take 15% off every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 – 5 p.m. The new flavors are….

Girl Scout featuring mint syrup, chocolate sauce, brownie bites and peppermint schnapps.

Apple Cider featuring cookie butter syrup, cinnamon and apple pie moonshine.

Double Chocolate Bourbon with chocolate sauce and bourbon.

Cherry Cake featuring cake batter, cherries and cherry vodka.

Hundred Mile Brewing is ready for its soft opening

Arizona’s newest brewery is putting the final touches for next Wednesday, December 7th opening. The first couple of weeks will feature local beers on tap and starting December 19th fresh brewed HMBC beers will be tapped one day at time. The new brewery is close to the ASU campus and the owner and brewer are alumni and were featured in my August post. During the soft opening (7th-11th) a daily drawing for a $100 gift card will be awarded and Sunday the 11th is Sun Devil Sunday. Anyone wearing Sun Devil gear will get 15% off.

Get 6 free tamales when you pre-order a dozen

Authentic scratch made tamales are a December specialty at Jalapeño Inferno and until December 23rd they are available to order. Choose from sweet green corn tamales and spicy red chili pork tamales for pick- up at their Peoria or North Scottsdale locations.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Tickets on sale for Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival

Just in time for the holiday shopping season tickets are on sale for the “9th Annual Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival” on Saturday, February 23rd 2023. Over 30 wineries will return to Oro Valley’s Steam Pump Ranch for the 6 hour event hosted by the Arizona Wine Growers Association.

“After multiple sell-out years, we were able to work with the Historic Steam Pump Ranch and nearly double our footprint for this year’s festival,” said Kris Pothier, president of the AWGA and owner of Chateau Tumbleweed. “This will not only allow for more attendees, but more wineries, food vendors and ample parking.”

8 local food trucks will have food to purchase and artists will be in attendance along with live music to entertain festival goers. Taking the stage will be Heather Hardy Trio (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.), Paul Green and Midnight Blue (12:30 – 2:30 p.m.) and Matrix featuring Lexa Raquel (3 – 5 p.m.). A few of the wineries pouring include Callaghan Vineyards, Los Milics, Carlson Creek, Winery 101 and Garage -East.

“Given the year over year success of the event combined with the extra space available, we are now also adding a VIP option for attendees that will include early admission, a wine tote swag bag, and a parking pass,” said Pothier. “There is also a limited opportunity for guests looking for some seats and shade to reserve a picnic table with an umbrella and seating for eight, which are $250/each and include one VIP ticket.”

The festival goes from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. with general admission tickets on sale for $30 per person and VIP tickets are $70. If any tickets remain the day of the event they will be $40 each. Tickets are available at Eventbrite or www.offthevine.com For more information visit the Arizona Wine Growers Association website.

Wine & Tapas event coming to the Scottsdale Wine Trail

The Scottsdale Wine Trails hosts its first ever Wine & Tapas event on Wednesday, November 30th from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Located in downtown the Scottsdale Wine Trail is home to seven tasting rooms giving guests an opportunity to taste and learn about the Arizona wines and the local industry.

Stroll the Trail at your leisure as you visit participating Merkin Vineyards, LDV Winery, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Salvatore Vineyards, Carlson Creek and The Wine Collective of Scottsdale. Taste award-winning wines and light bites during the 2 hour event and speak with representatives and winemakers. The cost is $90 per person.

To participate in the Wine & Tapas event registration is needed by Sunday, November 27th by calling LDV Winery at 480-664-4822. For more information visit https://www.scottsdalewinetrail.com/.

Paso Robles wine tasting coming to Scottsdale

You don’t have to travel to the California coast to taste good wine, although I recommend that you do, as The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance is coming to Scottsdale later this month. Just as the 2022 harvest is coming to an end more than 20 wineries with over a 100 wines will be at The McCormick Scottsdale Resort on Thursday, October 27th at 6:00 p.m.

In addition to wines guests will enjoy appetizers and Paso- based good such as olive oil, honey, spirits and more from Travel Paso. The region halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco has more than 40,000 acres of vineyards and over 200 wineries.

“The Paso Robles region is so excited to bring our wines and winemakers to Scottsdale,” said Joel Peterson, executive director of the Wine Country Alliance. “The Phoenix and Scottsdale area has long loved the wines from Paso Robles and the direct flights make it easier for us to connect.” Flights to San Luis Obispo can have you there in about 2 hours and sipping on wines shortly after arrival.

Award winning wines from large and small wineries will be poured from Eberle Winery, Tooth & Nail Winery, DAOU (featured photo) and more. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at the Wine Country alliance’s website.

Paloma Punchout bartending competition coming to the Esplanade

A nationwide bartending competition is coming to Phoenix bringing bartenders from around the country to see who makes the best Paloma. Arlene Magana from Platform 16 Bar will represent Phoenix in the Paloma Punchout Saturday, October 22nd at the Esplanade.

The Paloma is prepared by combining tequila, lime juice and grapefruit flavored soda and is the the most popular tequila based cocktail in Mexico. Not much is known how it got its start but some say it was named after a popular folk song “La Paloma”, The Dove. The cocktail debuted in Phoenix in 1938 when grapefruit soda was first used.

Each participant won a competition in their city to earn the chance to win the $10,000 cash prize. Another Round, Another Rally, a nonprofit offering emergency assistance and financial support to those in the hospitality in their time of need will be the beneficiary of the event. Mister Wallin’s Neighborhood, a global community of bartenders, mixologists and food & wine lovers, conducted a nationwide search of top bars to find the best Paloma cocktail. The cocktails will be scored on a weighted system on flavor, balance, appearance, and inspiration.

Tickets for the Paloma Punchout are available at Eventbrite for $50 and gets you seven cocktails from the local pop-up bars in attendance. The Esplanade is at 2501 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. The competition starts at 8 p.m.

Four Peaks Oktoberfest coming to Tempe Beach Park

Three days of live music, carnival rides, wiener dog races, a celebrity brat eating contest and more are scheduled for the return of Four Peaks Oktoberfest to downtown Tempe. The fun starts at 5 p.m. on Friday October 7th with happy hour and goes until Sunday afternoon at Tempe Beach Park.

Festival goers won’t be bored with entertainment from start to finishing that also includes watch parties for both ASU and Cardinal games on Saturday and Sunday. Bands such as Authority Zero, Wyves, The Black Moods, 2 Tone Lizard Kings, Voyager and SuperHero will entertain attendees on 2 stages. Denmark Foods will be featuring vegetarian and poblano chicken empanadas along with Island Noodles and German desserts. Four Peaks beers will be poured along with German style drafts, wine and cocktails.

Tickets for Pour Peaks Oktoberfest are $20 on Friday and Saturday with free admission on Sunday. Attendees under 20 years old are free all weekend and pre-sale tickets are available for discounts. For more information and to purchase tickets head to their website.

Mystical Pizza Festival launches this weekend in Sedona

Restaurateur and chef Lisa Dahl is celebrating the opening her Oak Creek Village location of Pisa Lisa in a mystical Sedona way. The new Mystical Pizza Festival starts this Friday, September 16th and goes all weekend long with a pizza dough ribbon cutting, flying saucer unveiling, a cookbook signing and more.

The festivities start Friday at 5 p.m. with Kick-Off party and a welcome from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, a Dedication and Blessing ceremony by an Uqualla medicine man and Drumming Ceremony with Sabina Sandoval. Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. guests can enjoy sound therapy, a gelato tasting, astrology readers, doggie meatball tasting with Chef Lisa, animal massages and more.

The Mystical Pizza Festival goes until 5 p.m. and there is no cost to attend but some weekend events may have a cost. Guests are encouraged to wear mystical attire for the many photo opportunities. Pisa Lisa is at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351

 

Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits brings Oktoberfest to Ahwatukee

If you can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest then make your way to Ahwatukee for the 2nd annual WCKD Oktoberfest at Wicked Brews, Bites and Spirits on Wednesday September 14th. Their Oktoberfest Lager will also be released on this Wicked Wednesday, the weekly all day happy hour that features live music at night from Abby and Luke.

Put on your favorite pair of lederhosen and raise your glass and sing while enjoying a special German inspired menu. A classic sausage platter, pork shank, pork schnitzel are featured along with Brewja Brats and a Bavarian Charcuterie Board. Chef Gee’s menu will be served until mid-October and the Lager will be on tap until it’s gone.

The rich and malty German lager is balanced with clean hop bitterness. A blend of hops gives the beer a traditional hop flavor with nuances of toasted bread, biscuits and caramel.

Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits is at 4921 E. Ray Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website.
Hear wicked Brews owner Chip Mahoney on Episode 13 of my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman

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.

50 days to celebrate 50 years at Organ Stop Pizza

From Saturday August 20th through Saturday October 8th guests can help celebrate this monumental anniversary with food specials. The $50 meal deal gets you two large pizzas with unlimited toppings (not including extra cheese), two appetizers (combo basket excluded) and two pitchers of soft drink. There will also be nightly food and merchandise giveaways and Sundae Funday with 50% off small and large sundaes.

Spanish Wine Tasting at GenuWine Arizona

Thursday August 25th join the downtown Phoenix wine bar for 4 unique Spanish wines from 6-8 p.m. It’s free for wine club members and $10 for non-members. The 4 wines will be 20% off during the event. You can RSVP here.

Pork on a Fork finally opens Chandler restaurant

BBQ fans can now get their fill as the long delayed opening happened this month. The official grand opening is Wednesday September 7th with the first 50 guests getting a free swag bag. The restaurant is open Tuesday – Sunday at 11 a.m. and located at 1972 N. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85254.

Pumpkin is back at Dunkin

The un-official sign that Fall is just around the corner, Dunkin introduced several pumpkin flavored drinks and foods this week. Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, a Pumpkin Spice Latte and new Nutty Pumpkin Coffee are on the beverage side. A glazed pumpkin donut, Pumpkin Munchkins donut holes and a pumpkin muffin are available to snack on. Other seasonal flavors include a Blood Orange Refresher, a Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich and Maple Sugar Snackin’ Bacon.

Anoche Cantina now open

The new Mill Ave. restaurant and nightclub is now open daily at 11 a.m. until late in the night. Read about what to expect at my post earlier this month.

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.

Breweries team up to host Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest

Two local breweries are combining their efforts to throw one hell of a beer festival. SanTan Brewing Co. and Pedal Haus Brewery host the Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest on Saturday October 1st at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park from 3 – 11 p.m. Both are familiar with downtown Chandler as SanTan has its brewpub their and Pedal Haus has a taproom nearby.

“Oktoberfest is always one of the most festive and fun times of the year,” said Alejandro Fontes, sales director with SanTan Brewing Company. “We’re excited to partner with our friends and neighbors at Pedal Haus Brewery and look forward to serving our award-winning brews and spirits to patrons of the 2022 event in Chandler.”

Both breweries will be pour beers including German styled Oktoberfest and seriving foods including pretzels, brats and more. Put down the beer and have fun with Oktoberfest games including Stein holding, a wiener toss and sausage eating contests. A Desert Polka party and live music from Hit Rewind and The Dirt will entertain the crowds.

“We are stoked to be joining forces with our friends at SanTan to throw one of the best Oktoberfest events in the Valley this year,” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Pedal Haus Brewery. “I’ll be emceeing the stein holding and sausage eating competitions, so grab your friends and lederhosen, this is going to be a fun event!”

Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door.

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.

 

 

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