Those farmer’s markets that took the summer off have re-opened for our cooler months. One of the more popular markets that is back is The Camelback Market at Vincent’s on Camelback. The opened air market with European flare runs through early May from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday.
Customers can wander by local produce vendors along with imported exotic fruits and vegetables, warm & crusty breads, buttery croissants, fresh pasta, homemade jams, imported cheeses and more.
Enjoy made to order omelets, crepes, wood fired pizzas, meat & seafood paella and other delicacies from Vincent. Relax with a glass of wine and watch the crowds go by. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up gifts for the holidays imported from the south of France.
The Camelback Market is held in the parking lot of Vincent’s at 3030 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85018. For more information visit their website.
In its 93 years the “Tourist Home” in downtown Flagstaff has seen its ups and downs. The last 5 years have seen more of the ups than the previous 40 years. The Tourist Home All Day Cafe celebrates its 5th anniversary since it was opened by owners Kevin Heinonen and Chris Kemmerly.
Before the pair had bought the property the boarded up house sat vacant surrounded by a yard full of weeds. Originally built by Jesus Garcia, a Basque sheepherder and his mother Isabella in 1926 as a boarding home for sheep herders who came to Flagstaff for business and to re-locate their sheep as the seasons changed. Today the Tourist Home All Day Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and brunch to locals and out – of – towners. The cafe also serves as the kitchen for the Annex Cocktail Lounge.
“Tourist Home is one of the most sought after destinations, and considered a downtown gem,” said Terry Madeksza, Executive Director of Flagstaff Downtown Business Alliance.
“Not only does the menu offer exceptional baked goods, breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes, it is also a vibrant place for locals and visitors to gather,” Madeksza added. “It is important to remember that before Tourist Home, the building was dilapidated and considered an eyesore for years. The vision and ongoing investment into Tourist Home has spurred revitalization of an entire area.” The served as a case study for the Urban land Institute as an example of private developers and city government working together for redevelopment and economic development for historic places in Arizona.
History meets modern times at Tourist Home All Day Cafe
Technology helps keep the cafe running smoothly and its historic charm keep the cafe a relevant part of Flagstaff’s history. GM Lisa Valentine, Chief Culinary Officer Mike Schmitz and Master Pastry Chef Kat Biemann create menus and relationships with customers, staff and vendors to make the cafe successful.
“The business was and continues as an example of always meeting the changing needs of your customers,” said Heinonen.
The Garcia’s built a “Pelota” (handball) court next door for sheepherders to stay in touch with their Basque roots. Today it’s a performance stage for live music. The owners have added a fire pits, tables with umbrellas and a service window for the Annex to the outside.
The Tourist Home All Day Cafe is at 52 S. San Francisco St. Flagstaff 86001. Check out their website for more information.
Italian-Canadian chef Mauro Martina is bringing his eclectic breakfast concept to north Scottsdale in November. When OEB Breakfast Co. opens it will give the classic breakfast staples an upscale twist from the north. At almost 3,000 square feet, the open kitchen restaurant seats over 100 people in the dining room and on the patio.
“Breakfast means so much more to me than just the first meal of the day,” said Martina, owner and founder of OEB. “It’s about elevating the whole breakfast experience. That’s what OEB is all about.”
Light blue and yellow painted walls give a clean look to the restaurant and guests will notice wood beams throughout with the focal point being the Terrazo bar.
The classically trained Martina learned his skills in Europe before moving to Canada in 1992. At the age of 21 he was already an executive chef and has worked in Michelin Star restaurants since then. He opened the first OEB in 2009 and sources much of his ingredients from local farmers. “We care about where the food comes from and what happens to it before it hits the table,” said Martina.
The menu at OEB Breakfast Co.
Martina’s eclectic menu will take guests on a culinary journey and will include Holy Crab Eggs Benny, Nutella French Toast and Hog & Scallop Poutine. The restaurant will serve hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer and Frizzante on tap from the full service bar. Martina’s philosophy is to raise the bar during the breakfast experience through its cuisine.
“There are not too many places out there that have truffles on the menu or sturgeon caviar and duck and scallops,” said Martina. “Some think fine dining but I think people can have all of that for breakfast.”
The restaurant is currently looking to hire 50 people for all positions. Those interested can send a resume to email@example.com
OEB Breakfast Co. is at 17757 N. Scottsdale Rd. (Scottsdale & Chauncey Lane) 85255. For updates about the opening and more information visit their website.
Downtown Phoenix’s Match Restaurant and Lounge now offers two new weekly food specials. The signature restaurant inside the Found:Re Hotel is offering burger and beer fans a pairing of the two. Every Thursday from 5 p.m. -11 p.m. enjoy a burger & draft beer for $10. What a better way to end your week than with a hot juicy burger washed down with a cold draft beer.
On Sunday’s head to Match for their new brunch buffet. Feast on a rotating menu of crab legs, prime rib and other breakfast and lunch favorites. Make your way to the omelet station then stop by the Bloody Mary bar to mix up your favorite Sunday cocktail.
Brunch is offered from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. for $35 ++ and include 2 Bloody Mary’s or 2 Mimosa’s.
Whether your dining on Thursday or Sunday, Match offers 2 hours of complimentary valet parking.
Match Restaurant and Lounge is at 1100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85003. 602-875-8080
If you’ve followed this blog for a few years you would’ve seen a post or two from my visits to Cape Cod. Well I’m back for another visit by way of Boston for the week to escape the Arizona heat. After my first 3 days I have enough to tell you about from my morning in Boston to the days on The Cape.
Breakfast in Boston
I flew into Boston early Saturday morning and was greeted by my friend who re-located from Phoenix to the Boston area 20 years ago. It was pretty early so we decided to head into the city to wake up and made our way to the newly built Seaport District along Boston Harbor. On the south-side of downtown Boston the Seaport District is full of high rise office and apartment buildings, restaurants and attractions. The big attraction for us was the Harbor Walk that led us towards Boston’s North End for breakfast.
The North End is Boston’s “Little Italy” neighborhood full of narrow streets lined with Italian markets and restaurants. We made our to Theo’s Cozy Corner for breakfast on Salem St. The small cash only breakfast joint serves up traditional breakfast fare at good prices. Eggs, pancakes, etc and good portions Theo’s was full of neighborhood regulars and a few of us outsiders looking to start our day. My friend and I both went with corned beef hash with 3 eggs, home fries and toast. A good choice leaving us both satisfied.
No trip to the North End is complete without a stop at Mike’s Pastry for cannoli for a my mid-morning snack. We also stopped into a traditional Italian market for sliced prosciutto and other meats and fresh bread.
After a walk back along the harbor to the car we headed to the south bay so I could continue down to the Cape.
Saturday and Sunday on the Cape
For years my family has been spending a few weeks every August in Harwichport which is on the south side on Nantucket Bay on a part of the cape that is considered Mid-Cape. A cute town we venture to restaurants to get our fill of fresh seafood. Whether it’s $1 oysters for happy hour at The Port or trying to find the “Best” lobster roll we have our favorites and are always on the lookout for new restaurants to try.
By the time I arrived in mid-afternoon Saturday I was ready to get my fresh seafood feast going. My nephew, brother-in-law and I went across the street to The Port for the $1 oysters from Chatham and Wellfleet. The week before I hear they polished off 90 oysters during one sitting but that wasn’t going to happen on this day as the restaurant was shorthanded with shuckers and we weren’t the only ones there for happy hour. 48 oysters were good enough to satisfy us on this day.
Most days on the cape are lazy with a later start than had I been home in Arizona. Sunday morning started out foggy(the weather, not me) but by late morning the sun was out we’re off to Bank St. beach for a little sand and sun. After a few hours on the beach it was back to relax and decide where to do dinner. We decided it was time to get lobster rolls so we made our way to the Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis. Sesuit on the north side of the cape about a 15 minute drive from Harwichport. Like other “seafood shacks” on the Cape and in New England, Sesuit Harbor Cafe offers fried, broiled or raw seafood. Place your order, find a table outside and wait for the servers bring your food. It’s fast casual before fast casual became a restaurant trend.
Lobster rolls for most of us were served with fries and cole slaw, my nephew went with half a broiled lobster. All were happy as we sat among the sea gulls, marina plotting our next move. We saved room for desert and made our way for homemade ice cream at Schoolhouse Ice Cream in Harwichport.
Sunday or Monday its all the same
When you’re on vacation all the days run together and you realize the work week has begun when the weekenders head back. Not us as Monday has us sleeping in, getting coffee and starting the day. After coffee and my morning walk I made my way to Brew’s Coffee Bar & Beer Garden for breakfast. Disappointing as they stopped serving many of the breakfast sandwiches I remember from 2017. Only 4 choices to choose from that we’re pre-made and warmed up. My egg and bacon burrito was good but not really worth the $9 I paid for it.
Lunch had me craving fried oysters so I drove down the road to the Original Seafood Restaurant in Dennisport. The place has been around since the 1950s and had the old school drive-in feel. Seafood, burgers, hot dogs and more, my fried oyster craving was fulfilled.
After a lazy afternoon walking off my lunch and visiting with family it was time to think about dinner. My nephew and I were on our own and debated which pizza place to go to. The debate was George’s or Ember Pizza and Wings. Ember won out since we’ve never been so we decided to try their coal fired charred pizza. Getting their early before the dinner rush we ordered boneless Buffalo wings which were chicken tenders tossed in Buffalo sauce. Not my idea of wings and going forward I will always order bone-in wings.
Since my nephew doesn’t eat anything green most vegetables were out so we went with the Meat Lovers Pizza. Topped with bacon, sausage, pepperoni and meatballs the thin crust pizza was good and service was good too. Time for a walk and a relaxing Sunday night before we start another day on the Cape.
Check back for more eating adventures and exploring for the next few days. For more images of my trip follow me on Instagram @SandyWass
Football season is here and tailgaters are saving their parking spots for cooking and pre-game partying. The Birdgang Travel Club will be out and about psyching up Cardinals fans up for 2019 season. The NFL team has high hopes after drafting first taking QB Kyler Murray. One of the Birdgang’s first event is at BBQ Island in Tempe for a “Tailgating 101” cooking class.
Saturday August 24th the class will teach fans to cook brisket stuffed jalapeño poppers, smoked chicken wings and more.
“We started Birdgang Travel Club as a way to show our dedication to the Red Sea across the great state and beyond. It’s been so much fun putting events together, celebrating with friends and making new ones each season,” said Tyler Vasquez, Co-Founder, Birdgang Travel Club.
Space is limited for “Tailgating 101” that goes from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the BBQ Island Tempe 1715 W. Ruby Dr. #105 85284. Tickets need to be pre- purchased for $50 or $45 for 2 or more.
More Birdgang Travel Club events
The die hard Cardinals fans are planning to hit the road with the team a couple of times this season. Reservations are being taken for road trips to Oct. 24-28 to New Orleans and Nov. 7-11 in Tampa Bay vs former head coach Bruce Arians.
Home games they huddle up at Majerle’s Sports Bar in Chandler before busing out to Glendale. The safe ride option offers breakfast buffet, a tailgate lunch and a ride to & from the stadium for $65. Tickets to the game and alcohol are notincluded. Fans are welcome to bring beer and alcohol for the ride over to the game. Tickets need to be pre-purchased.
“We started out as a small group of friends that would travel to away games but found it to be very expensive in small groups and quickly realized that by traveling in larger groups we could save a ton of money and have a lot more fun! So, we started Birdgang Travel Club as a way to take some of the work and expense out of individual travel planning. Now, after four years of traveling as a group, we are booking 200-300 fans at a time and are able to pass along an amazing experience and savings to our members,” continued Vasquez.
Things are perking up on High Street with the announcement of The Stir and Gin and Reel opening later this year. Comedian and entrepreneur Rick Bronson is behind the “old school” coffee shop and speakeasy concept. If all goes as planned with construction coffee, cocktails and conversation will begin in September.
“The Stir and Gin and Reel is unlike anything in the North Phoenix/North Scottsdale area,” says owner and proprietor Rick Bronson, who also owns Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy on High Street. “I take great pride in creating concepts with environments that encourage the spirit of human connection as it once existed and that people long for today.”
Coffee, cocktails and food.
The Stir will be serving coffee beverages, coffee cocktails, food and ice cream daily at 6 a.m. Enjoy a “Kick in the Pants” made with cold brew, rum, cold brew liqueur, Mexican Coke & cream or a Coffee Old Fashioned.
For breakfast or lunch diners can enjoy pastries, sandwiches and salads including the BBLT(bacon, lettuce, tomato and turkey). Small plates at the bar will include Deviled Eggs, Lobster Canapes and a Caprese Salad. Boozy milkshakes and alcohol-less ice cream treats will also be available.
At 3 p.m. Gin and Reel opens if you can find the hidden entrance at the back of The Stir. The intimate speakeasy will have the atmosphere of Old Hollywood with vintage photos, directors chairs at the bar and black & white films playing. Prohibition era cocktails like the Manhattan or Sazerac will be served until 10 p.m. weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends.
The kids are out of school and if their not at camp one way to keep them happy is to feed them. Feeding them all summer cad add up so Scottsdale’s and Tempe’s Morning Squeeze is letting kids eat free all summer.
Until August 31st kids 12 and under can eat for free during breakfast or lunch, no purchase is necessary. The offer is good Monday – Friday and is for dine-in only.
Choose from Mouse Pancakes, French Toast Sticks with maple syrup, 1 Egg My way with bacon and potatoes or Grilled Cheese Sandwich with French fries.
With a dog friendly patio, the restaurant is one of the more popular Scottsdale restaurants and has been serving breakfast and lunch since 2013. Your dog even has it’s own Tail Wagger’s menu to order from.
The restaurants are open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Morning Squeeze is located at 4233 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85251 and 690 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, 85287. Visit their website for more information.
With 4 locations around the valley Matt’s Big Breakfast has announced that its 5th location will be in Scottsdale. After teasing and getting feedback from customers on social media the southwest corner of Scottsdale Rd & Thunderbird will be the new location. When it opens this fall people will line-up for one of the iconic names on the valley’s breakfast scene.
“Scottsdale was hungry,” said Matt Pool, owner and namesake of the most important meal of the day. “Local fans have even submitted suggestions on vacant spots for us to take over!”
This will be the eateries first franchised location taking on the atmosphere of the neighborhood. The menu, fundamentals and culture will be staying the same.
Matt’s Big Breakfast has received national attention with mentions in the New York Times, Bon Appetit and Eater. An appearance on The Food Network also helped put them on the national map.
Relying on locals at Matt’s Big Breakfast
Sourcing ingredients from local purveyors customers in Scottsdale can expect sweet and savory dishes from Griddle Cakes to Salami Scrambles. The Big Butter Burger is a favorite of many and pays tribute to Pool’s Wisconsin upbringing.
“One of our main priorities is to avoid growing simply for the sake of growth, and to instead let it happen organically, and with the right people taking the reins of each new restaurant we open,” said Pool. “While this new location may have minor stylistic differences from existing Matt’s restaurants, guests will get to enjoy the same quality, consistency & superior service that they’ve come to expect from the Matt’s Big Breakfast family.”
Since opening in downtown Phoenix in 2004 the eatery has opened in Tempe, Arcadia and Sky Harbor Airport.
“We’re thrilled to add a Scottsdale location to the Matt’s Big Breakfast family,” Pool said. “Local fans will find everything they love about Matt’s at the new location – they just don’t have to drive as far now to enjoy it.”
For more information about Matt’s Big Breakfast checkout their website.
Chase’s Diner in Chandler is featuring a “Pie of the Month” for the hot summer months. Customers can get some relief from the triple digits from May 1st – August 31st with one of our favorite deserts.
During the month of May customers can enjoy a slice of Key Lime Pie. Peanut Butter Crunch is on the menu in June and July offers a cool refreshing Lemonade Pie. The featured pie in August is Chocolate Mint Creme.
Grab a slice after your meal for $4.29 or take a pie to go for $13.29.
Chase’s Diner is at 2040 N. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85224. They’re open daily at 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sun. – Thurs. and 10 p.m. Fri. & Sat.