Zach Hunter joins Pedal Haus Brewery as Culinary Director

Pedal Haus Brewery recently announced the hiring of Michelin starred Chef Zach Hunter as its new Culinary Director. Hunter is no stranger to the Phoenix restaurant scene as he attended Arizona Culinary Institute before working at restaurants in Spain, NYC and Austin. The Illinois native came to Pedal Haus from Fox Restaurant Concepts and had previously worked at Wildfish in Scottsdale.

One of Hunter’s first tasks was to update the brunch menu at the downtown Phoenix location with the Chandler and Tempe locations to see the updated menu in the next couple of months. He will also focus on updating the menus frequently, beer pairing dinners, using more seasonal & locally sourced ingredients and spend more time 1 on 1 & mentoring the other chefs at Pedal Haus. Guests will find new dishes such as PB&J Sticky Buns, Smoked Short Rib Hash, Fried Chicken & Belgian Liege Waffles and more on the new brunch menu.

“Zach is an incredible chef and brings an impressive amount of experience and expertise with him. We’re excited to have him join the Pedal Haus family,” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Pedal Haus Brewery. “We look forward to elevating our food menu to match our expertly crafted beers and offering something unexpected to our guests.”

The career of Zach Hunter

After graduating ACI, Zach worked at Mugaritz in Spain and Atera in New York City where both were awarded two Michelin stars. From there he headed back out west to Austin where he was part of the research and development teams at Chef Tyson Cole’s acclaimed Uchi and Uchiko restaurants, before working at the namesake restaurant of James Beard award winner Paul Qui. At Qui, he was an important part of creating the multi-course menu in the restaurant’s tasting room.

He then went to Ausin’s Brewer’s Table as executive chef and learned about pairing beer and food. He was named Rising Star Chef of the Year by CultureMap Austin and the restaurant was named Restaurant of the Year by Austin Monthly Magazine.

“I’m thrilled to join the Pedal Haus family and work closely with our amazing teams to evolve and elevate our culinary program,” said Hunter. “I’m so excited to dive in head-first with my passion for hospitality and cuisine that seamlessly connects food and beer!”

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

The Uncommon brings 70s, 80s, & 90s nostalgia eatery to Chandler

Baby boomers and Gen X’s will reminisce strolling down memory lane surrounded by life size video games, pinball machines and music from classic rock to new wave at the new eatery and barcade The Uncommon. Downtown Chandler welcomed the opening last month to the sister concept from the Tipsy Egg.

“The amount of detail that has been packed into The Uncommon has been overwhelmingly received with smiles and laughter brought on by the memories of childhood,” said Niels Kreipke, The Uncommon owner. “The space is unrivaled in the Valley and is truly special.”

Common food at The Uncommon

Guests will enjoy scratch made comfort food with an uncommon spin from executive chef Schuyler Estes. The “Sloan Peterson” (Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend) is a smoked salmon BLT, made with avocado and garlic aioli on sourdough bread. The “Inigo Montoya” (of Princess Bride fame) is burger that’s served on a freshly made English Muffin with white American cheese, bacon, pickles, arugula, red onion and garlic aioli. “There isn’t a menu item that shouldn’t be tried here,” said Estes. “A well balanced and perfectly executed blend of offerings is key to the success of this menu.”

The cocktail menu from General Manager Nick Kadkec has as much creativity as the food. Popular cocktails including Poppin Cherry Limeade,” made with Smirnoff cherry vodka, lime juice, Sprite, grenadine and a cherry. The “1.21 Gigawatts,” is made with Basil Hayden whiskey, simple syrup and orange bitters. The “We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat” is a cocktail for two that comes in a blue ceramic fish and is served with Candy Fish and Nerds in the bottom. Over 30 craft beers are on tap from local brewers and throughout the country.

Have fun playing the games including Skeeball, shufflebaord and more in the arcade. A stage for up to 3 musicians to play on weekends with DJs spinning the classics during the week. Currently serving dinner starting at 4 p.m. for all ages The Uncommon becomes 21 and over nightly at 10 p.m. The Uncommon is at 1 E. Boston St. Chandler, for more information and to see the menu 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.

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.

 

 

The Tipsy Egg brings an elevated brunch experience to Chandler

With the growth of restaurants and bars in downtown Chandler locals and visitors have few breakfast options to start their day. Local developer and owner Niels Kreipke wanted to change that so he took one of his properties on the corner of Arizona Ave. and Boston St. and opened the Tipsy Egg in early May. His experience as partner with other restaurant concepts around the valley gives him the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and so far this concept exceeds his expectations.

Encompassing 3,000 square feet the modern decor and design is eye catching and features mid-century modern booths and brass finishes. “Tipsy Egg is bringing a wide range of all age groups and is a growing destination area for locals and out of town visitors,” said Kreipke. “We are excited to provide a unique and playful menu, a welcoming indoor/outdoor bar setting and a menu that is anything but typical for our guests to enjoy.” This food first and cocktail forward concept, hence the name, is the first of what will be others throughout the valley.

Photos courtesy of Evolve Public Relations & Marketing

Bold flavors at the Tipsy Egg

The menu offers guests breakfast and lunch all day including Mom’s Post Roast Benedict (go with the Party Potatoes on the side), Yuzu Masco Mint Pancakes, a Chinese Chicken Salad and an Uptown Burrito filled with filet mignon, eggs, roasted garlic, vegetables, Gouda cheese and more. The cocktail menu offers more than Mimosas and Bloody Marys for those looking for something other than coffee or juice in the morning. The BRKFT in Bed blends Sailor Jerry Rum, butterscotch schnapps, orange juice, lemon lime soda and an orange wheel. The Early Morin Margarita features Tepozan Añejo tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, pineapple juice, lemon lime soda, homemade tajin, a lime wheel and pineapple spear. Non-alcoholic mocktails are also on the list along with a selection of Bloody Marys and local craft beers.

The Tipsy Egg is 1 E. Boston St. Chandler and is open daily from 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and is available after hours for private parties and business meetings. For more information 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.

 

Recreo brings international cuisine to its playground themed restaurant

The newest restaurant in downtown Chandler opened last week serving fun and food inspired from around the world. Recreo features specialty cocktails, an edible garden and international cuisine with its live outdoor entertainment. The theme is reminiscent of times as kids playing with friends in the school yard and playground.

“Recreo is bringing a fresh, youthful atmosphere to Chandler’s downtown area,” says General Manager Henry Malachowski. “We are thrilled to provide fresh local ingredients, an inviting indoor/outdoor garden hangout vibe and unique cocktails that will have you daydreaming about your next visit.”

The “foodventurous” uses Arizona grown ingredients for its signature dishes including charcuterie boards “The Patio Board & The Garden Board”, the Buddha Bowl, ceviche and The Amazing Mushroom. Crepes Foster and “That’ll Do, Fig” are featured desserts. Cocktails have a school recess theme called “Elementary Cocktails” and include the Greyhound inspired “The Mean Dog on the Other Side of the Fence” and the “After School Special”, a white wine spritzer. Signature cocktails include the frozen “Yolo Whip”, the “Second Star to the Right” and “Hot Pink”.

In between eating and drinking guests can have fun on the bar swing set, view the bus art installation and enjoy live music from the stage made from a shipping container suspended above the outdoor patio. “From the moment we discovered the site, we were instantly dedicated to recreating the space to honor our great state, it’s ‘melting pot’ culture, and to also creating new experiences as a community,” said Chris Field, founder of Allium Hospitality. “Recreo celebrates the history of Chandler, while simultaneously looking forward to its vibrant, bustling future.”

The restaurant is at 28 S. San Marcos Pl. Chandler 85225 and opens daily at 11 a.m. For more information visit their website.

 

 

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.

Pretzel Fest every Wednesday at Pedal Haus Brewery

The local brew pub with locations in downtown Phoenix, downtown Chandler and downtown Tempe couldn’t wait til Oktoberfest to feature their new Bavarian Board. Each board includes charcuterie meats, olives, a large Bavarian pretzel, beer cheese, maple butter, haus mustard and 2 beers for $16. Upgrade the beers to a Stein for $20 or a bottle of Haus wine for $25.

Hearth ’61 now offers a vegan tasting menu

Chef de Cuisine Alfred Muro has created a 4-course vegetable focused menu at the Mountain Shadows Resort’s signature restaurant. The menu consists of Celeriac Salad, Parsnip Confit with curry chickpea stew, a Roasted Portobello Mushroom with eggplant cous cous and a Strawberry Lemon Tart with ginger meringue. The menu is available all year long and is $89 plus tax & gratuity.

Society by EVO opening in Tempe

A new restaurant from Nick Neuman and his partners is coming to Tempe in February. The late night upscale dining experience restaurant is looking to hire 50 people and is having a hiring fair today, Friday January 28th from 12 noon til 4 p.m. at EVO on Goldwater Blvd. in Scottsdale. Interested applicants can also send Nick a resume to nickneuman@evoscottsdale.com. The restaurant will be in The Cornerstone at Rural and University and will be open from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.

The Mexicano now serving lunch

The new restaurant from Joey Maggiore is now serving lunch 7 days a week starting at 11 a.m. The made from scratch Mexican cuisine restaurant in northeast Phoenix offers a build your own Michelada bar along with agave based cocktails to go along with your Guacamole and Salsa Ferris Wheel, tacos made with blue corn tortillas, lava rock fajitas and a three foot long quesadilla. On weekends rotating DJs play Latin music to enhance the vibrant atmosphere.

The Crepe Club celebrates National Crepe Day

Next Wednesday February 2nd get a free Nutella or Parisian (butter & sugar) crepe at the Scottsdale Fashion Square (in the food court) location from 9 – 11 a.m.

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.

A double header of food festivals coming February 5th & 6th

One ticket is all you need for two up-coming food festivals in downtown Chandler. The double header starts on Saturday February 5th with the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival then keep your tickets for Sunday’s Arizona Ice Cream and Donut Festival. Both festivals will be at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park with the Bao and Dumpling starting at 10 a.m. and the Ice Cream and Donut Festival starting at 11 a.m.

Food items can be purchased separately from admission with foods ranging from $5-$14 depending on the dish with many about $8. In addition to the main dishes other Asian foods, desserts and boba will be available. An anime marketplace featuring local artists will be on display.

Tickets for the double header are $14.99 for Early Admission at 11 a.m., $10 for General Admission at 1 p.m., the Night Market starting at 4 p.m. is $10 and Happy Hour admission at 7:30 p.m. is $6.00. Children 7-12 years old are $6 and those under 7 are free. The ticket prices do not include tax and a processing fee with nearby parking is free in lots and garages. To purchase your tickets follow this link and to stay up to date on both festivals follow them on their Facebook page.

Forty8 Live! and Angry Crab Shack team up for Cajun festival

Event producer Forty8 Live! and Angry Crab Shack will be bringing the Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Festival to downtown Chandler come Saturday February 26th. The family friendly Mardi-Gras style bash will turn Dr. A.J. Chandler Park into Bourbon Street with French Quarter back drops, magicians, a Mardi Gras float and of course food.

“Whether it’s the smell of the seafood boil, the sounds of our brass bands, the thrill of our live gators or the thousands of beads being thrown, we want you to feel like you are transported right inside NOLA!” said David Horen, Director – Events at Forty8 Live!

Starting at 2 p.m. Cajun food lovers can expect giant seafood boils from Angry Crab Shack, frog legs, beignets, King Cake, Po’ Boys, hush puppies, alligator & catfish bites and more. The Swamp, a drink tent will offer Hurricanes, frozen daiquiris and other Mardi Gras inspired cocktails. A live alligator petting zoo, marching bands, a kid’s zone, jugglers and stilt walkers will entertain the crowds. The “Prince of Zydeco” headliner C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will play live and costumes are encouraged.

“With thousands upon thousands of true Cajun Fest fanatics, we are so excited to once again be delivering our first-in-class Mardi Gras themed event to the heart of the East Valley!” said Mike O’Donnell, Director – Partnerships at Forty8 Live!

Tickets are $12 online, $20 at the door and kids 12 & under are free with food and beverages purchased separately. Part of the proceeds is going to the Greater Cause Foundation that provides funding to several Arizona causes. Tickets can be purchased and more information can be purchased online at Forty8 Live!’s website.

Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival returns

Tickets are now on sale for the 2021 Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival that was canceled last year because of the global pandemic. The festival is on Saturday November 6th at downtown Chandler’s Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. It goes from 12- 4:30 p.m. with early entry at 10:30 a.m. for ticket holders with early access.

In order to keep festival goers safe a cleaning company has been hired to sanitize tables & chairs and vendors will be sanitizing their booths. Masked are suggested when standing on line but not required.

Times will be staggered this year with a limited amount of tickets allocated during three time periods and ticket holders MUST arrive in their allocated time. Tickets are non-refundable if you miss your allocated time but you can email the festival organizers to change your time if tickets are still available. Food and drinks sold separately by each vendor with at least one bao or dumpling available for $5 or under. Children 6 and under are free and so is parking. Boba, desserts and other Asian dishes will be available and a curated marketplace with artists will also be happening.

Early admission ticket ($14.99) holders arrive at 10:30 a.m. and no later than 11:30 a.m.

General admission ticket ($10) holders arrive at 12:00 p.m. and no later than 1:30 p.m.

Happy Hour ticket ($6) holders arrive at 2:00 p.m.- until the end. No guarantee that all food and drink will still be available. Menu and vendors subject to change.

Tickets for the Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival can be purchased and more information can be found here.

Serrano’s partners with the Arizona Rattlers for ticket giveaways

The 1st place Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League (IFL) has partnered with Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants to be a Training Table Partner and in doing so Serrano’s will provide the team with catering and meal vouchers throughout the 2021 season.

For fans this means Serrano’s is giving away tickets for games via their Facebook and Instagram pages and their newsletter and a free Cheese Crisp via the Rattler’s Dine Out Maricopa Facebook page.

“The Arizona Rattlers Training Table partnership gives us an opportunity to showcase our Sonoran-style Mexican favorites to players and fans with hearty appetites,” said Ric Serrano, CEO of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants. “The team has a history of big wins and we’re eager to give our fans a chance to win Rattlers tickets from us.”

In other Serrano’s news they have closed all their locations on Sunday’s and Monday’s due to the labor shortage and those looking for a job can see their website for job openings. July’s food and drink specials include……..

Drink of the Month: Strawberry Passion Fruit Margarita, Cool down with a twist on a favorite. $6.99

Appetizer of the Month: Shrimp Cocktail Tostaditas, Shrimp, diced red onions, tomatoes and chiles mixed with our custom blend of sauces and spices. Topped with house-made guacamole, queso fresco and cilantro. Served on three miniature tostadas. $9.99

Salad of the Month: Al Pastor Citrus Salad, Fresh romaine, al pastor-marinated chicken, orange and grapefruit segments, queso fresco, cilantro and Tajin-roasted pepitas. Paired with a house-made citrus vinaigrette. $12.99

Entrée of the Month: Al Pastor Chicken Fajitas, Chicken breast strips immersed in our house al pastor marinade with onions, green chiles and red bell peppers seasoned to perfection and served on a sizzling platter. $13.99 (Add a side of your choice for $2.99)

Dessert of the Month: Apple Pie Frita, An All-American favorite with a twist! House-made apple pie and cheesecake filling folded into a tortilla and deep fried. Topped with cinnamon sugar and caramel drizzle. $5.99

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