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.

The TLC eXperience returns with Friendsgiving at Agritopia

The monthly supper club is back after taking the summer off with its first dinner of the season Friday, November 18th at Agritopia in Gilbert. Seating is limited for the 4-course dinner created by Chef Tom Baumbach and his team. Cocktail hour starts at 5:30 with dinner at 6:30. Tickets are $150 per person and can only be purchased here.  Tables of 8 or 10 are also available for purchase.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. Craft Beer & Music Festival happens Saturday

Tomorrow November 5th welcomes NASCAR fans, country music lovers and beer drinkers to Bell Bank Park starting 6 p.m. The popular Hillbilly Deluxe is the headliner with DJ Jeffro and the Get Lit Dancers opens the show. VIP Happy Hour hosted by Michael starts with early entry at 5 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ older festival are available at BellBankPark.com or at Tixr.

Press Coffee opens today inside Sprouts

The first in-store location of the locally owned coffee roster is now open inside the Sprouts at 3320 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix. All weekend long small drip coffees are $1 and all of the proceeds will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Foundation. Give away will be happening on Saturday and Sunday with more details here.

Loco J’s Tacos & Tequila now open in Cave Creek

Navy veteran Jason Clouse opened his new taco joint in this week making it the first Mexican restaurant to open in town in a long time. He was the former owner of nearby Rosati’s Pizza and sold it to focus on Loco J’s. The restaurant is at 28260 N. Tatum Blvd. and opens daily at 3 p.m.

LDV Winery hiring for their Scottsdale tasting room

Looking to make some extra money for the holidays or keep up with inflation, put your wine knowledge and customer service skills to work in the fun and friendly atmosphere.  Submit your resume to info@ldvwinery.com and learn more about the winery at their website.

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.

The Arizona Strong Beer Festival returns to a new venue

The new Bell Bank Park in east Mesa will host the return of the 21st annual Arizona Strong Beer Festival on Saturday, February 19th. The festival will kick-off the 11th Annual Arizona Beer Week organized by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. Over 500 craft beers will be tapped for the festival that goes from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. with close to 10,000 people expected to attend.

“We can’t wait to get back to beer fests!” says Rob Fullmer, Executive Director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. “It’s been a long two years for everyone and we are thrilled to be hosting the Arizona Strong Beer Festival at a new, state of the art location.”

More than 100 events are planned throughout Arizona during the 10 day celebration with the festival being the largest. Arizona Beer Week goes from February 17th-27th.

General Admission tickets are $60 with a limited number of VIP tickets available for $80. VIP tickets allow for early entry at 11:30 a.m., Friday wristband pick-up, Saturday express entry, a food voucher, VIP lounge access with private restrooms and a special edition SWAG bag. Super VIP tickets are available for $100 with all of the above plus commemorative glassware and a Sunday Brunch Brewers Reception. A complete list of brewers participating will be available at their website in late January and it’s also where you can purchase tickets. Bell Bank Park is at 1 Legacy Dr. Mesa 85212.

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