Tis the season to give gift cards to your favorite restaurants

Many have already started their holiday shopping for friends and family with gift cards making for great gifts. Gift cards have two benefits, the restaurants get much needed money up front for expenses and the foodie in your life can visit a new or favorite restaurant. Tis the season to give and receive as many restaurants offer bonus gift cards and discounts to those who purchase the gift cards.

These restaurants are selling gift cards for your holiday gift giving. Be sure to check their website for more information.

Miracle Mile Deli– Phoenix- For every $100 spent purchaser get to pick a surprise gift card worth various amounts.

Los Sombreros– Multiple locations- A $100 gift card purchased gets a $25 gift certificate. A $50 gift card gets a $10 gift certificate.

Fogo de Chao Scottsdale-On Black Friday from 8-11 a.m. the first 200 guests’ in-store will get a FREE lunch dining card for every $100 gift card purchased. There after receive a bonus $25 gift card for $75 in GC, purchases, $75 for $300 purchased and $100 for every $400 purchased.

Garden Bar– Downtown Phoenix- 20% bonus card with purchase of $150.

Tocaya Organica-Multiple locations- Give $50 Get $10.

Pita Jungle– Multiple locations- Spend $25, get $5 in Pita Dough.

S & V Urban Italian-Scottsdale- $30 gift card with purchase of $100 gift card in December.

Peacock Wine Bar– Gilbert- Buy $50 Get $10 or Buy $100 Get $25 in December

Thai Chili 2 Go– Multiple locations- For every $50 purchased get a $10 voucher.

Paul Martin’s American Grill– Scottsdale- Buy $50, get $10 bonus card.

Koibito Poke– Multiple locations- For every $30 spent get a $10 gift card.

Chompie’s Deli- Multiple locations- Purchase $50 get a $10 card.

Fired Pie– Multiple locations- Black Friday get $15 for $50 in purchases. Then $5 bonus card on $25 purchased through December 24th.

Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants– Multiple locations- A $10 “Thank You” gift card on $50 in gift card purchases. And a bonus set of Senor Bob and Cha Cha mugs with $100 in gift cards.

Pasta 78– Chandler- Tis the season to save $$ too. Buy a $100 gift card for $85.

Jalapeno Inferno– Multiple locations– Black Friday “BOGO” event. Buy a $25, $50 or $100 gift card get a voucher for same amount.

 

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

Quick sips of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar gives free burgers to First Responders

Wednesday, October 28th is National First Responder’s Day and the Camelback & Scottsdale locations are responding. Show your badge or come in uniform for a free Classic burger or cheeseburger when you dine-in or take-out.

Marcellino Ristorante begins Fall Wine Dinners

The downtown Scottsdale restaurant known for homemade pastas and authentic Italian cuisine has its first dinner on Tuesday October 27th. Paired with Italian wines chosen by sommelier Dario Soldan of Classico Wines, Chef Marcellino decides on what to serve at the 4-course dinner the day of. Prepaid seats are $75 ++ per person for the 6 p.m. dinner and can be reserved by calling Bettina at 480-990-9500.

“Crazy for Curry” then head to Thai Chili 2 Go

Until Wednesday October 28th, curry fans can get a bowl for half price when a bowl is purchased at regular price. Red, yellow, green, Massamann and Panang curries are available at all locations for pick-up and delivery.

Nashville Hot Chicken Pizza now available at Fired Pie

All 20 locations of the fast casual pizza restaurant are now selling the new specialty pizza. Made with house-made dough Nashville Hot sauce, mozzarella cheese, then topped with Nashville Hot Chicken, spicy cole slaw & chopped Dill pickles. It can be made with regular, cauliflower and gluten-free dough.

Hotel Valley Ho launches The R + R Show virtual cooking class

Executive Chef Russel LaCasce and hotel General Manager Ronen Aviram debut their first free episode of their monthly cooking, cocktail and recipe podcast. Details of each month’s classe and link to the podcast can be found at an earlier post.

 

Alice Cooper’s non-profit & Ailoi Burgers team up for teen burger contest

Culinary inspired teens aged 12-20 have until October 16th to submit their burger and or shake recipe to win gift cards and bragging rights. Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers will benefit from the winning recipes and partners with Aioli Gourmet Burgers as host and chef Tommy D’Ambrosio as mentor.

“I can’t wait to see what fresh new ideas the kids come up with and I’m very excited to partner with Alice Cooper’s Teen Centers. I was once a culinary student too, so I know how fun it can be to have opportunities like this. Plus, we’re thrilled to support a great organization that offers free arts programs for teens,” said Tommy D’Ambrosio, Chef, Aioli Gourmet Burgers.

3 winners will be announced on October 19th based on emailed recipes to info@aioliburger.com. Online public voting takes place October 20-28th with winners announced October 29th during a live concert at Ailoi’s 32nd St & Shea location. The winning burger and shake will be featured on the menu at all 3 Aioli locations in November with 10% of sales donated to Alice Cooper’s Rock Solid Teen Centers.

“Experiences like this are so valuable and vital for teenagers in the community” said Randy Spencer, Partnerships and Development, Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers. “We love providing unique opportunities like this for the youth we serve with great brands like Aioli Gourmet Burgers. Alice and Sheryl Cooper, our staff and board members are excited to try the burger and shake that the winning teens create!”

First place winners win a $200 gift card, cook with Tommy and menu feature. Second and third place winners will win a $100 and $50 gift card. For more information visit their website.

Food trucks battle for “Best Slider” at Slider Throwdown

As culinary events are slow to return to the calendar the 2020 Slider Throwdown is back with a new location. Circle Sunday November 8th on your calendar for the popular burger battle between local food trucks. This year’s event is moving from Kierland Commons to north Phoenix’s High Street and proceeds will again go to Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation.

Eight food trucks battle from 12- 3 p.m. for “Best Slider” chosen by judges and “People’s Choice” awards. Attendees will sample sliders for all tastes including beef, chicken, veggie and more. Food trucks cooking up sliders include Bayou Bistro, Food Diva, Aioli Gourmet Burgers and more.

“The Slider Throwdown is one of our favorite annual events because it brings the community together through food, fun, and entertainment,” said Kris Jacober, executive director of the AFFCF. “Without the support of our community through fundraisers like this, we could not continue to fulfill our vision of helping to give foster youth in Arizona the type of childhood that everyone deserves — so we are deeply grateful for every attendee.”

The burger battle will follow CDC guidelines including social distancing, limited ticket sales, hand sanitizer stations and attendees wearing masks. “We are excited to bring this event to High Street in a safe, secure and delicious environment on High Street,” said Jacober.

Tickets are $35 dollars per person and include samples of all sliders and three non-alcoholic beverages. The Josh West Trio will provide live music and attendees can bid for exciting prize packages at a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.affcf.org/events-2/

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.

Sphinx Date Company announces re-opening

The Palm & Pantry market has re-opened Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. in old town Scottsdale. Just in time for the 2020 date harvest and leading into the holiday season.

Dutch Bros Coffee raises money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Friday September 18th all 28 locations will donate $1 from every drink sold to the hospitals Buck for Kids day of Giving.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar celebrates National Cheeseburger Day

The week of September 14th-18th the Scottsdale & Camelback locations are letting you double burgers in celebration. Get another patty for free when you order online and take your burger to go. Use promo code “double” at check out to redeem.

Milkshakes are only $4 at Miracle Mile Deli

Celebrate National Milkshake Day is Saturday September 12th and Miracle Mile Deli all month with a chocolate, vanilla or strawberry milkshake for a low price.

Duckhorn Wine Dinner at Tommy V’s in Scottsdale

The restaurant resumes its series of wine dinners on Thursday September 17th with the Napa Valley winery. Tables of 8 will be 6 feet apart and other safety precautions will be followed. The 5 course dinner paired with 5 wines is $90 per person plus tax & tip. To see the menu and make your reservation visit their website.

Jerry’s Restaurant re-opens serving comfort food in Mesa, kind of.

Jerry’s Restaurant was a comfort food staple in Phoenix dating back to the 1960’s when it closed a few years back. With the popularity of comfort food in 2020 Jerry’s is re-opening this month in Mesa but with a catch. It will be a delivery only restaurant with food prepared in another restaurant. Last month I reported on Carnitas Way, the cloud kitchen from the owners of Los Sombreros and now Jerry’s Restaurant, where they will be preparing food out of the new Mesa location.

“We like to refer to it as Jerry’s 2.0,” says Kurt Riske, head of Rooted Concepts. “I’ve been around Jerry’s Restaurant for years. My dad worked at the Phoenix Jerry’s since 1991, so I have gotten to know many of Jerry’s loyal customers and it’s incredible to see the following Jerry’s has here in the Valley. For the moment, we are opening Jerry’s as a delivery only concept, which suits today’s times, since a large percentage of restaurant customers are ordering out and dining at home.”

Jerry's Restaurant
Chicken Fried Steak

Much of the menu will stay the same as the original restaurant that was located on E. Thomas Rd. in Phoenix. Burgers, meatloaf, pot roast, chicken fried steak and breakfast menu along with the popular burritos will be available for delivery.

“This is an unusual year, and we’ve gotten comfortable thinking outside the box,” says Riske. “We’ve been intrigued with the rising trend of cloud kitchens, and this year seemed right for testing it out. We’re using our Mesa Los Sombreros as the home base for delivery of Los Sombreros, our new burrito concept Carnitas Way that launched last month, and now Jerry’s as well.”

Delivery will be available from Grubhub and DoorDash. There is also a Jerry’s Restaurant in Safford AZ and Fallon NV. To view the menu and order visit their website.

Aioli Gourmet Burgers 2nd brick & mortar location coming to Litchfield Park

Come early April fans of award-winning Aioli Gourmet Burgers can head to Fry’s Marketplace when they open their second location. The Litchfield Park location will be the first in the west valley after their Shea & 32nd St. location in Phoenix. Culinary Institute of America graduate Tommy D’Ambrosio started Aioli Gourmet Burgers in 2013 with childhood friends and a food truck.

“Our entire team is so excited to finally be opening a second location in partnership with Fry’s Marketplace. This has been almost a year in development, and we can’t wait for the store to open for our westside fans. We hope that this will be the first of many Fry’s Marketplace locations across Arizona,” said Kyle Hollenbeck, Co-Owner, Aioli Gourmet Burgers.

The unique chef driven burgers are popular on the food truck and festival scene with the White Truffle Swiss and Italiano. Loaded fries, milk shakes, beer battered onion rings and more are served at Aioli. Tommy’s won “Chopped” and has won “Best Burger” in The Phoenix New Times “Best of Phoenix” and in burger competitions. Before coming back to Phoenix to start the food truck Tommy apprenticed at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. The restaurant group has other food truck concepts that will become restaurants including Modern Tortilla and Oak Wood-Fired Pizza.

Chef Tommy D’Ambrosio

“We are looking forward to Aioli Gourmet Burgers joining the Fry’s family,” says Monica Garnes, President of Fry’s Food Stores. “It’s a great operation with an award-winning history, and we think our Litchfield Park customers are really going to enjoy the experience.”

Fry’s Marketplace is at 13730 W Camelback Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340. For more information visit their website.

 

Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar opens in north Scottsdale

Regional cuisine is served up at a restaurant that recently opened in north Scottsdale. Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar is owned R Squared Restaurant Concepts’ Christi & James Rice and James’s brother and sister in-law John & Erin Rucker. Their New American menu is full of dishes from states that the 4 have previously lived of New York, Texas, Mississippi, New Mexico & Arizona.

“Through the places we have lived before Scottsdale, we’ve grabbed flavors from our life experiences,” says co-owner Christi Rice. “Our menu and our specialty cocktails express all the culinary adventures we’ve had and what we’ve learned about food in other areas of the country. We also have fun infusing spirits into our culinary creations.”

All photos courtesy of Christi Rice

Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar serves lunch and dinner daily with happy hour in between from 3-6 p.m. Guests can expect dishes such as the Cay Shrimp Salad, Lemon Dill Grilled Salmon, Midwest Angus Beef Burger and AZ Ale Fish & Chips along with pitas, sandwiches salads and more. $2 off all appetizers during happy hour includes favorites Montauk Fried Olives, Delta Deviled Eggs and chicken wings.

With a name like Copper Mule it comes as no surprise the cocktail menu offers 9 mule cocktails. Irish and Kentucky Mule’s join signature cocktails from around the country including The Georgia Peach, The Tipsy Texan and more.

The family friendly, reasonably priced restaurant has a dog friendly patio. The Copper Mule Kitchen & bar is at 23335 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85255. For more information and to see the menu check pout their website.

Dog Haus to open in Gilbert at SanTan Village in coming weeks

You’ll want to be sent to this Dog Haus but you’ll have to wait ’til it opens. The gourmet hot dog, sausage and burger concept announced it will open at SanTan Village this fall. Gilbert residents Andi and Damon Ott will be the franchisee’s bringing this Pasadena based craft casual concept to the east valley. The modern industrial designed restaurant will include a dog friendly patio, HD TVs and a beer garden. There is a Dog Haus at The Scottsdale Quarter, Yuma and a Phoenix location is in the works.

Guests can expect a full menu of hand-crafted sausages, Angus beef hamburgers, corn dogs, must have sides and shakes. The menu will also include plant-based proteins from Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. All meats are hormone and antibiotic free and come served on King’s Hawaiian rolls. 24 craft beers will be on tap with an emphasis on locals beers and signature Haus Cocktails are created by Phil Wills seen on Bar Rescue.The restaurant is currently accepting applications for front and back of the house positions. Interested applicants can send a resume to santanvillage@doghaus.com

“We are excited to bring Dog Haus’ one-of-a-kind creations to Gilbert,” said Franchisee Andi Ott. “We have found the perfect location, so the next step is to hire an awesome team that shares our core values of serving great food, giving back and having a good time. We’re looking for people that are excited to work with the brand that’s continually raising the gold standard for hot dogs, sausages and burgers – creating ambassadors to help us introduce ‘The Absolute Würst’ to East Valley.”

Brat Haus Biergarten SantTan Village is at 2224 E. Williams Field Rd. Gilbert.

 

Commander Hamburger opens inside The Churchill

Chef Bernie Kantak and partner Andrew Fritz have stepped out of their comfort zone of full service restaurants to open their first casual concept, Commander Hamburger. The two own the critically acclaimed restaurants The Gladly in Phoenix and Citizen Public House in Scottsdale. The superhero inspired burger stand opened this week in downtown Phoenix’s The Churchill, an opened air shipping container food court.

Much like the pairs other restaurants and comic books Commander Hamburger should have a cult like following. Guests can expect hamburgers and chicken sandwiches on Noble Bread buns, fries, Danzeisen soft-serve ice cream and more. Fans of Kantak know of his famous Original Chopped Salad and they shouldn’t worry as he’s saved the day as it’s on the menu too. The atmosphere will be of the vintage comic style. Commander joins 9 other small businesses at The Churchill and the only one focusing on burgers.

“Let’s bring back memories of sitting in your best friends’ basement, trading cards, flipping through comics and watching old-school cartoons,” said Kantak, of the vibe at his latest endeavor. “Throw a great hamburger in that scene and we’re set.”

Commander Hamburger and The Churchill is at 901 N. 1st St. Phoenix 85004. For more information check out their website.