Firecreek Coffee Company opens first Phoenix location

Flagstaff’s Firecreek Coffee Company has opened its first Phoenix area location and fourth in the state, this week on Thomas Rd. and 46th St. It’s Founder’s Mike Funk’s second go round in the Phoenix coffee community after he opened Cafe Tech in downtown Phoenix in the early 1990s. He gained his coffee “know how” in the 1980s when he was in the coffee industry where else, in Seattle. He moved to Flagstaff to open his first location in 2008 with locations in Sedona and Cottonwood soon following.

“It’s extremely rewarding to be back in the Phoenix area and to be continuing the Firecreek Coffee legacy here in the Valley,” says Mike Funk, founder of Firecreek Coffee Company. “We can’t wait to introduce our unique culture to the Arcadia neighborhood and look forward to becoming a part of the community for years to come.”

Funk has been in every aspect of the coffee industry including building espresso carts, importing coffee machines, opening coffee bars and supplying hotels & restaurants with premium coffee. He plans to open other Phoenix area locations and a roasting facility at 16th St. & McDowell Rd. which will also double as event and concert venue. Firecreek Coffee Company

Firecreek offers small batch coffee, small bites and sweet treats made by pastry chefs in the morning and afternoon. Guests can enjoy quiche, toast options, salads, Paninis and pastries with their coffee drinks. Consumers have been buying whole beans at AJ’s Fine Foods and Whole Foods throughout Arizona and Firecreek supplies other coffee shops with their beans.

The Phoenix location is opened from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. with plans for longer hours in the future to offer craft cocktails and more. For more information visit their website.

 

Maynard J Keenan expands kitchen & hires chef at Scottsdale tasting bar

With the success and popularity of his Merkin Vineyards Osteria and Merkin Pizza Wagon in Cottonwood, owner & winemaker Maynard J Keenan gave the go head to expand his Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale tasting room. Keenan also hired Executive Chef Steve Zimmerman to take the helm of the new Morello Forni Cupola Dome wood-fired oven, imported from Italy and revamp the menu.

“Our dishes feature ingredients grown in our Northern Arizona greenhouses, gardens, and orchards, and we supplement with produce sourced from local Arizona growers,” said Maynard J Keenan. “Merkin Vineyards farm-to-table, vine-to-glass concept is the cornerstone of our success, and it’s a concept we intend to continue developing.”

The award-winning Zimmerman comes to Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale after a career in hotel restaurant management in his home state of Missouri and most recently at Tres Kitchen & Bar ion Tempe. “He’s the perfect culinary artist for our vision,” states Keenan.

The menu at Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale

The new menu includes ingredients from Merkins farm, citrus grove and orchard in the Verde Valley with additional ingredients sourced from local vendors and artisan producers. The new menu changes on a regular basis and includes many seasonal ingredients for its pizzas, pasta, salads and more. The Classic Margarita Pizza, the Calabrian with chorizo, schinken, bacon, calabrian chiles, fig jam and fontina cheese and the Crucifixen, features Merkin farm cruciferous veggies, roasted garlic, Parmesan spread, fresh mozzarella and fontina cheeses are part of the core menu.

Lasagna Cupcakes, gnocchi and Cacio e Pepe shows off Zimmerman’s creativity and attention to detail. Appetizers, charcuterie and few desserts round out the menu which can be paired with any of Merkin Vineyards Four 8 Wineworks and Caduceus wines along with their mead, cider and Puscifer sparkling wine. To see what I’ve tasted on several visits to Merkin Vineyards Old Town check out my Instagram feed.

Merkin Vineyards is located at 7133 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information and to see the menu check out  merkinoldtownscottsdale.com.

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.

Stroll downtown Mesa’s Taco Tuesday Trail next week

This Tuesday July 20th the Downtown Mesa Association is hosting a taco crawl with several restaurants including Tacos Chiwas, Mangos Mexican Café, Margaritas Mexican Grille, Que Chevere, Downtown 12 West Brewing and Desert Eagle Brewing Co. For $20 you get 7 tickets for specialty tacos from participating restaurants from 4-7p.m. Several restaurants will have specialty cocktails available for purchase during the event. To purchase your ticket(s) head to their Eventbrite link.

Childhood Memories dinner at Pillsbury Wine Co.

The Arizona winery’s tasting room in Cottonwood is hosting the 5 course dinner that will remind you of your childhood favorites eats. Taste the Wild chef’s foraged twist on Fish ‘n’ Chips, Corn Dog, Monte Christo, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Nuggets & a Pop Tart. The dinner on Fri. June 23rd starts at 6 p.m. and is $98 plus wine. To make reservation call 949-466-1054 or visit their website.

New “Summertime Sips” drinks specials available at Nonna Urban Eatery

Until August 31st guests can enjoy cool & refreshing cocktails and wine specials Wednesday. – Saturday’s. Spritz Day Wednesday — Every hump day, guests can enjoy a Spritz for just $8. Thirsty Thursday — Get an early start on the weekend with half off select bottles of wine. Friday Bubbles — Glasses of Cava and Prosecco are just $8 each all day. Sangria Saturday — Enjoy glasses of white or red for just $8 each. For more information about the Old Town Scottsdale restaurant visit their website.

Seasonal dishes and cocktails are on the new menu at Los Sombreros

The Mesa and Scottsdale locations recently added several dishes and cocktails to the menu to celebrate summer. Watermelon Salad and Grilled Norwegian Salmon with pineapple are a couple of the new dishes. New refreshing cocktails include a Mezcal Old Fashioned and Sangria. Too see all the new dishes, cocktails and more check out https://www.lossombreros.com/.

2021 Fall Arizona Restaurant Week dates announced

The 14th year of the popular 10-day ARW kicks off in just about 2 months. Local foodies and those new to the valley can experience special 3-course menus at dozens of restaurant starting Friday September 17th – 26th. Each unique meal has be created just for the twice a year event and is priced at $33 or $44 per person. A new $55 price is also being offered for those looking for a more elevated dining experience. Over 60 restaurants have already signed up to participate with more signing on everyday. To see participating restaurants and the menus they will be offering visit their website.

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.

Governor shuts restaurants & bars leaving them to offer take out & delivery

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey closed restaurants and bars that were still offering their customers the option to dine in. Many restaurants had voluntarily closed their dining rooms but continued to prepare meals for delivery or pick-up. If restaurants want to continue serving customers it will only be for take-out or delivery going forward. Many restaurant owners have had to make one of the toughest decisions of their life and lay off staff.

Governor Ducey is allowing restaurants that served wine or beer in their restaurant to sell packaged goods so customers can take with them.

Continuing to #supportlocal is very important so this post will add more restaurants preparing food for pick-up or delivery. See my previous post for other Phoenix area restaurants still serving. This post will be updated daily.

Los SombrerosThe Scottsdale location is serving curbside take out with favorites on a limited menu and a drive thru menu of tacos, sides and more. Meal kits and groceries to go also available. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of their famous Steve-O-Rita margarita to wash down lunch or dinner. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. 2534 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85257. (480) 994-1799

Mastro’s City Hall, Ocean Club & Steakhouse Full menus to go with 10% discount and family dinners home steak kits with 28 day aged steaks and more for 2 or 4 people.

Liberty Market- Gilbert’s popular restaurant is doing breakfast burritos, salads, sandwiches, burgers, coffee and more to go. They will also be selling ingredients such as tomato sauce, pancake mix and more so you can make at home. DoorDash & Postmates for delivery in addition to pick up. Accepting only credit cards. 11 a.m – 7 p.m. 230 North Gilbert Road Gilbert. 480-892-1900

Padre Murphy’s- Wed. – Sun. from 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. limited menu of wings, Caesar Salad, Sandwich, canned beer, craft beer & margarita crowlers and Fish Frydays available for curbside pick-up when calling 602-547-9406. credit cards only. 4338 W. Bell Rd. Glendale 85308.

Queen Creek Olive Mill storesQueen Creek (480-400-2302) & Kierland Commons (480-361-9860) stores stocked with groceries, bread, meals to go, eggs, pasta, cleaning supplies & home goods and more from local suppliers.

Jewel’s Cafe– at Thomas & 40th St. is open for take-out & delivery. They are also providing a lot of support for out of work hospitality workers too. To place an order call (602) 714-5243. Located at 4041 E Thomas Rd. Phoenix 85018.

That Place Projects- Flagstaff’s Tinderbox Kitchen and All Day Tourist Cafe are offering pick-up and delivery for their menu items.

Inner Circle Cafe– The south Scottsdale serves coffee, breakfast and lunch and will continue to do so with take-out & delivery.

Hot Noodles Cold Sake in north Scottsdale is open for takeout, now serving beer and sake for takeout. Grubhub, Postmates, and by calling 480-432-9898

Sol Cocinais offering $10 off orders of $35 or more for pick-up. Only for phone & walk in orders, must mention offer. No delivery or online ordering.

Original Breakfast House– is open for take-out (no delivery) and doing a To Go BBQ on Sat. 3/21 to raise money for staff from 7am-12pm.

Hot Bamboo– Recently opened in Chandler, this Asian street food favorite is offering frozen Bao and other dishes for curbside pick-up & take-out.

Beckett’s Table -The Arcadia restaurant is serving its dinner menu to go and can sell you bottles of wine to go with it. Call 602-954-1700 to place an order for curbside pickup. Postmates will deliver too!

Southern Rail– Southern food & wine in the comfort of your own home. Call 602-200-0085 to place an order for curbside pickup. Postmates will deliver too!

Craft 64 Chandler– is offering curbside & to go orders of pizza, wine & more.

Frasher’s Tavern– Old town’s newest restaurant is offering their full menu for pick-up for guests who wish to dine at home. Please call (480) 429-9545 to place your order. Local delivery available too.

92nd St CafeFull menu is available for pick-up, as well as a wide variety of bottles of domestic beer, wine, and liquor. Give them a call at 480-860-4003 to place your order.

Copper Mule– The north Scottsdale restaurant had a modified menu for pick up or delivery along with wine to go specials. To order call 480-573-6853.

Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room and Osteria- Available for to-go food orders and wine by the bottle. Dining room and bar closed to the public until further notice. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. 1001 N. Main St., Cottonwood AZ 86326

Merkin Vineyards Pizza WagonServing the public for walk-up service in Old Town Cottonwood at the corner of Main St. and E Pinal. Hours: Noon to 8 p.m., daily

Merkin Vineyards Old Town ScottsdaleAvailable for to-go food orders and wine by the bottle. The dining room and bar are closed to the public until further notice. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. 7133 E. Stetson Dr. #4, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Tasting RoomAvailable for wine by the bottle to-go sales. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily. 158 Main St., Jerome, AZ 86331

The Thumb– Limited menu for Drive-Thru BBQ & catered delivery(48 hour notice for catering call (602) 686 1629 or email catering@thethumb.com) from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Call ahead at (480)513-8186.  9393 E. Bell Rd. Scottsdale 85255.

24 Carrots CafeVegan meals can be pre-ordered family style for pick-up Sunday, Wednesday & Friday’s. Each meal feeds 4-6 people and menus are posted on their Facebook page and ordering can be done at their on-line store. Check their other social media platforms for specials and more. Meals can be picked up or delivered through Postmates Grubhub & DoorDash. 1701 E Guadalupe Rd. Tempe, Arizona 85283.

Spirit of Arizona Tours announces wine tours to Scottsdale & Verde Valley

Bookings are now being taken for Spirit of Arizona Tours new experiences to old town Scottsdale and to the Verde Valley.

The Verde Valley Winery Tour includes spending the day visiting 3 wineries between Jerome and Sedona, visit Cottonwood for shopping, lunch and more wine tasting and an interpretive tour of of the Sonoran desert and the Verde Valley. Tours leave the Phoenix area at 8:30 a.m. and return between 6 – 7 p.m.  Cost is $129 per person.

The Scottsdale Wine Tasting Experience visits up to 4 tasting rooms, checking out Scottsdale landmarks & points of interest and time to do a little shopping. Drop off and pick up is available when per-arranged. The tours are 3 hours long and are multiple times a day for $60 per person.

Wine tastings are not included in price as individuals can determine what and how much they want to drink. To book these or any other Spirit of Arizona Tours visit their website.

 

What restaurants are open to serve you on Thanksgiving.

Still un-decided if you want to make Thanksgiving dinner or holding out for that one special invite? If the answer is “no” but you’re still looking to celebrate with turkey and all the fixings and wondering what restaurants are open on Thursday November 28th, wonder no more.

Liberty Station American Tavern & Smokehouse- Both Scottsdale locations are open serving a 3-course dinner for $32 per person and $16 per child 12 and under. Reservations for can be made online at www.libertystationtavern.com or by calling (480) 278-7044 for seating at the DC Ranch location or (480) 595-9930 for seating at the Terravita location.

Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse- From 12 noon- 7p.m. join this north Scottsdale steakhouse for 3- course a la carte menu of traditional holiday favorites. The three-course menu is $55 per person or individual pricing is available per course — 1st course is $10, 2nd course is $39, and 3rd course is $10. A turkey dinner for children ages 12 and younger is available for $25 per child. Reservations can be made online at www.keelerssteakhouse.com or by calling (602) 374-4784.

Luci’s Healthy Marketplace will be open from 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. for your morning coffee, breakfast and last minute needs. Luci’s is at 1590 E Bethany Home Rd. Phoenix.

Dave and Busters at Tempe Marketplace opens at 4 p.m. til 12 a.m. and will offer Game Day specials.

Agave del Scottsdale in Scottsdale is offering a Mexican inspired 3 -course menu for $55. To see the offerings and make reservations head to https://agavedelscottsdale.com/

Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room and Osteria- Up in Cottonwood check out a one plate Thanksgiving dinner with a Merkin’s twist from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. http://merkinvineyardsosteria.com.

Voila French Bistro is doing special Thanksgiving Brunch from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required. The three-course menu is $49 per person. Kid’s, 12 and under $20. www.voilafrenchbistro.com

Modern Oysterbar Chophouse is taking reservations for its traditional turkey dinner will offer a special menu crafted by Executive Chef Mike Bouwens from 1 to 8 p.m. The regular menu will also be available that day. http://modernoysterbarchophouse.com/

Fired Pie’s Tanger Outlet and Arrowhead location will open at 6 p.m. for hungry shoppers getting a head start for Black Friday.

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar at Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge Marketplace will be open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. offering a 3 course dinner for $30.

Lucille’s BBQ at Tempe Marketplace has a Thanksgiving menu and limited regular menu from 11 a.m – 8 p.m.

The Hotel Valley Ho has a Thanksgiving Buffet from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Sands for $69. Zuzu is serving buffet dinner from 4 – 9 p.m. for $52 – $72 depending on entree selection. Children 12 & under can eat for $22 at either buffet. Reservations can be made at https://www.hotelvalleyho.com/hotel/hotel-events/thanksgiving

Mountain Shadows Resort- Hearth ’61 is serving a seasonal brunch menu and special Thanksgiving dinner menu from 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Visit https://www.mountainshadows.com/resort/events/thanksgiving to make reservations.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain has a generous buffet in the Views Ballroom from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. for $105 ++. The resort’s signature restaurant Elements offer s 4-course prie-fixe menu for $115++. Kids 12 & under can eat at either for $35. Reservations can be made at http://www.sanctuaryaz.com/

Match Restaurant & Lounge serves a chef prepared feast from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and includes turkey and all the fixins for $29 ++, $12 for children ages 9-12 and $7 for children 6-8. http://www.matchphx.com/

 

 

Gayle’s Chocolates & Carlson Creek Vineyards plan Vortex Crunch Event

Arizona isn’t just home to many great restaurants, it also is home to many small artisan food producers. One of those is the newly re-located Gayle’s Chocolates in Cottonwood. Gayle’s started in Michigan in 1979 but was recently sold to Sedona residents, Michael and Andrea Portnoy. Friday September 20th will have the Portnoy’s introducing their chocolates at one of their first events, Vortex Crunch Event.

“Six years ago, when we tried Gayle’s we knew it was love at first bite. Now we are taking her creations and bringing them to the southwest. Taking inspiration from the Sedona Vortex’s our newest treat, the Vortex Crunch is sure to be a sweet and salty spiritual experience,” said Co-owner Michael Portnoy.

Carlson Creek Vineyards is partnering with Gayle’s Chocolates for the first of what hopes to be an annual event. Vortex Crunch is the newest addition to the line of homemade chocolates. Loaded with rice krispies, Michigan cherries, almonds, cashews, toffee, glazed orange peel, toasted coconut and a layer of semisweet chocolate. All ingredients combing for a sweet and salty taste.

Carlson Creek will pair their 2014 Rule of Three red blend and 2017 Muscat with the chocolates.

The Vortex Crunch Event will from 12 – 3 p.m. at Gayle’s Chocolates Willy Wonka like factory in their flagship store at 541 N. Main St. Cottonwood 86326. For more information visit their website.