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.

EAT by Stacey Weber giving away a 3 free Thanksgiving meals

You can nominate a family to receive a Turkey and all the fixings (valued at $248) to feed a family of 4 until next Thursday, November 18th. You can nominate a family here or email at phoenix@eatbystacyweber.com. Pick up would be on Wednesday, November 24th between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the 4740 E. Shea Blvd Phoenix 85028.

The Phoenix Pizza Festival is this weekend.

Finally a favorite festival is here in downtown Phoenix’s Margaret T. Hance Park on Saturday and Sunday. See all the details, participants and changes for 2021 here.

2021 Slider Throwdown is this Sunday 11/14

The popular “Battle of the Burger” event returns to High Street in north Phoenix on Sunday. Stop by and vote for your favorite slider and help raise money for Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation from 12 – 4 p.m. Admission is $40 and includes sliders, lemonade from Cuties Lemonade & More food truck and dessert from Kicks Frozen Yogurt. Live entertainment and a silent auction will also be happening.

Seats still available for Miner Family Wines dinner

Assistant winemaker Michelle Safir will be in town for the dinner at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa next Thursday, November 17th. For more details see my September post about how to reserve your seat and December’s Truchard Vineyard dinner details.

Trade “Toys for Tacos” at Mesquite Fresh Street Mex

Until December 15th the fast casual concept has partnered with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to collect toys in exchange for a free taco. Drop off new & unwrapped toys, non-perishable foods and toiletries at a location near you.

The Montauk adds new dishes to its menu

The downtown Scottsdale restaurant added to its eclectic menu this week. The new dishes are as follows. Playa Salad – Oranges, red onion, pepitas and queso fresco over a bed of artisan greens with coriander vinaigrette to finish. Short Rib Bowl – Overnight braised short rib, house made BBQ sauce, roasted root vegetables, crispy baked potato wedges and scallions served with brown rice. Buddah Bowl– Roasted broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, avocado, grilled onions, edamame and pepitas, served with chipotle tahini and a soft-boiled egg over brown rice. Short Rib Huevos Rancheros (brunch only) – Eggs, braised short rib, refried black beans, red onion, queso fresco, morita-cashew salsa, sour cream, cilantro on a tortilla.

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.

Italian Association of Arizona brings a taste of Italy to Scottsdale

Scottsdale City Hall will be the place to be on Saturday, November 6th if you like Italian wine and pizza. The Italian Association of Arizona presents the first annual Italian Pizza & Wine Festival as a preview of the Italian Festival coming on February 27th & 28th 2022. In addition to pizza & wine, the family friendly festival will offer imported beer, Italian sandwiches and plenty of entertainment and Italian culture.

Francesco Guzzo, Executive Director of the Italian Association of Arizona, said: “We want to give families an opportunity to come out this Fall, and simply have fun for a day outside, and eat what might be Italy’s most popular food, pizza!”

Fabio on Fire, Bored Baker Pizza Maker and Ri de Roma are a few tossing fresh handmade pizza. Hand crafted sandwiches and other Italian foods will be available for purchase from Sogno Toscano and Lulu’s Sorbetto. Classico Fine Wines will be pouring tastes of Italian wines and Peroni & craft beers will be available for beer drinkers. Street musicians, face painters, live music and more will entertain festival goers all day.

“And anything worth celebrating in Italy comes with fantastic wines, and beer – Peroni!  Add the excellent Italian and Italian-American musical entertainment, some roving acts for the kids, and it lends the perfect excuse to come out and support our fabulous Italian pizza makers.” says Guzzo.

The Italian Pizza & Wine Festival goes from 12:00- 9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. Children under 12 are free and there is a 20% discount for Italian Association members. All proceeds go to the association.

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.

 

T-Mobile presents the 6th Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival

Pizza lovers will have twice as much pizza to chow down on next month when the popular Phoenix Pizza Festival returns to Margaret T. Hance Park. Thanks to the new sponsor T-Mobile the festival will be both Saturday and Sunday November 13 & 14 and will expand its boundaries to the streets around the park. Sunday was added as a limited amount of tickets for each day will be available and the additional space was needed to give room for social distancing.

The festival returns after a two year absence with 15-20 pizza makers, dessert food trucks, related food vendors, lawn games and live bands. Slices of pizza will sell for $2-$4 and full pies will be sold from the likes of La Piazza Al Forno, Freak Brothers, Into the Fire, Bored Baker and others. Many of the pizza makers are private caterers or food trucks so the festival may be the best way to taste their pizza. A bar featuring Mule 2.0 will serve cocktails, Bogle wines will be poured as will New Belgium Brewing beers and locally owned State 48 Brewing Co.

The Phoenix Pizza Festival presented by T-mobile is again partnering with Downtown Phoenix Inc. The organization helps promote and re-vitalize downtown Phoenix through events and local business’s. Tickets for the festival can be purchased online only and are $12 per ticket. The festival starts at 11 a.m. each day and goes until 5 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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.

Keeler Hospitality Group founder passes away

The Arizona restaurant community lost a good one this week when Paul Keeler sadly past away. He spent his career in the hospitality industry around the country running hotels & restaurants. He & his family owned Liberty Station Tavern in DC Ranch & Terravita, both in north Scottsdale and Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse in Carefree. They also owned to restaurants around the country. My condolences go out his family.

Serrano’s “Pink Out” in memory of Stephanie Serrano is tomorrow

All four locations will remember co-owner Stephanie who passed away from breast cancer 2 years ago this month. A portion of proceeds from sales during the month of October special will be donated to local non-profit Check for a Lump. The October specials are Stephanie’s Stacked Enchiladas, Pink Out Margarita Sampler and Pumpkin Spice Churro Donut.

A few seats still available for Monday’s dinners.

Jewel’s Cafe in Phoenix is hosting San Francisco chefs Frank Gama & Victor Aguilera for cannabis infused dinners. There are two seating’s at 5 & 8 p.m. with details and how to reserve your seats in this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Gilbert Oktoberfest is next Saturday, October 23rd.

Local craft brewers, live music, food and games will be happening at Gilbert Regional Park next Saturday from 2 – 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and on-sale now with children under 12 free.

Carlson Creek Vineyard releases new wines

Four hearty & bolder red wines are now available for the cooler temperatures. 2018 Rule of Three $33- 45% Malbec, 33% Grenache & 22% Syrah 2018 Malbec $47, 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon $45 and 2020 Odyssey $50- a blend of Cabernet & Malbec. All wine make for great holiday gift giving and go well paired with the flavors of holiday meals. Wines can be purchased online or at their Scottsdale, Cottonwood or Willcox tasting rooms.

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.

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.

The Arizona Taco Festival is coming back for its 11th year

2020 may have knocked down the Arizona Taco Festival but it didn’t knock it out as the popular 2 day festival returns in October 2021. This will be the 11th year of the festival that is planned for October 23rd & 24th and will be returning to Salt River Fields.

Over 50 taco vendors will be on hand serving up hundreds or thousands of their homemade tacos and more starting at $3 each. In addition to tacos festival goers can get a Tequila Passport to sample 10 premium tequilas to go with their tacos and 6 chefs from local Mexican restaurants will prepare their specialties at the new Super Food Stations. Vote for your favorite tacos to win the People’s Choice Taco Competition and hang out at one of the shaded party tents with DJs providing music, vendors and bars serving margaritas, beer and more.

Tickets for the 11th Annual Arizona Taco Festival go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday May 21st at the ticketweb site. General Admission tickets are $14 in advance and $20 day of event. The Tequila Passport is an additional $25 and VIP Tickets are $100 ($120 day of) and include the Passport. The El Presidente ticket is $200 with the Passport, $220 day of. Parking at Salt River Fields is free. For more information head to their website.

 

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

Quick sips of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine community.

Pedal Haus releases RAD Pumpkin Ale for Rob Dollar Foundation

The Tempe & Chandler brew pub is releasing its first pumpkin ale on Saturday October 17th. On Saturday in Tempe from 3:00 -6:30 p.m. guests can enjoy the beer at happy hour prices with half of the beer’s sales being donated to the foundation named after the avid cyclist who was killed in 2017. The foundation helps the cyclist community promote safety and awareness to other motorists.

Friday & Saturday nights get Reverse Happy Hour at Nook Kitchen

Starting tonight the Arcadia restaurant is giving customers a few dollars off selected drinks and appetizers starting at 10 p.m. A DJ will be setting the late night vibe until 2 a.m. Last call for food is at 1:30 a.m.

It’s a Pink Out on Saturday 10/17 at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant

The family owned restaurant with 5 east valley locations celebrates the life of co-owner Stephanie Serrano who passed away last year from breast cancer. The sales of Stephanie’s favorite dish Stacked Enchiladas will be donated to HonorHealth’s Virginia G. Piper Foundation, where she received treatment. Customers are encouraged to wear pink and a special price of $10.99 will be offered for the enchiladas.

It’s Pastra-ME Mondays at central Phoenix deli

Start your week off at Miracle Mile Deli and its popular weekly sandwich feature where you get a pastrami sandwich, fries & pickle spear for only $10. The Straw & New Yorker are $12. Good for dine-in or take-out through the end of the year.

Reel Deels now available all week at Reels Pizza Pies

The Surprise pizzeria has added daily Deels in addition to their Monday Reel Deel. Every day two 18-inch one-topping pizzas are just $34.99 or guests can get an 18-inch cheese pizza and 20 wings for $29.99. For a “Reel Deel” lunches available until 4:00 p.m. get a free drink with any two-slice pizza order, free drink with any slice and side salad order or any sub and a medium drink for just $8.

 

A virtual bao & dumpling food festival is happening

Many daily activities and special events have gone virtual in the last few weeks with the social distancing of the coronavirus. The organizers of the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival are in the process of re-scheduling the festival to the Fall and are organizing 2 virtual online parties. The Bao & Dumpling Online Party’s are scheduled on Facebook for Saturday April 25th and May 23rd. The online parties were created to the spirit of the festival alive while showing the diversity of the food.

The FREE parties start at 6 p.m. and invites foodies to share homemade bao & dumpling photos and socialize with foodies. They’ve also put together a resource guide full of recipes, different types of bao and dumplings, pictures and a directory of local restaurants doing bao & dumpling for takeout.

For a chance to win tickets to the re-scheduled festival, join the party by clicking on the Facebook link above and to get the Resource Guide click on this link. Tickets are still on sale for the festival and can be transferred to the new date when it’s been confirmed.

 

Surprise to host inaugural Rib Fest Showdown in April

Update: Postponed, no new date set.

As culinary events and food festivals get postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus a new festival is moving forward as planned. The first ever Rib Fest Showdown debuts April 25th & 26th 2020 in Surprise at Mark Coronado Park. The Throwdown pits Kansas City vs. Texas pitmasters to see who makes the best smokes meats. With the aroma of burning wood in the air festival goers will taste ribs and other smoked meats.

The city of Surprise was chosen as co-host of the event as it’s the Spring Training home of both Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals & Texas Rangers.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Surprise to launch this exciting event,” said Landon Evans owner of HDE Agency. “Supporting the economic growth and working together to build a cornerstone event for the city that will come to be recognized as an annual program is both rewarding and awesome.”

LDE Agency is also producing the KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival on March 28th in Chandler and is taking every per-caution to make sure both festivals are safe, clean and happen as planned.

The family friendly festival also features a ‘Battle of the Bands” with local and national performers, a kid’s zone, food eating contests and more.

The Rib Fest Showdown goes from 12 – 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are on sale with 2 for $16, 4 for $30 or 6 for $40. Walk -up tickets the day of will be $10  each. VIP tickets and a Stay & Play overnight packages are available. A portion of the proceeds from the Rib Fest Throwdown will be donated to Mighty Change of Heart, a local non-profit that provides support for foster children.

The largest BBQ event west of Texas moves to Tumbleweed Park

Update: Postponed, no new date set!

When the 11th annual KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival opens the gates at 12 noon on Saturday March 28th it will be at new location. The BBQ event has moved to the larger Tumbleweed Park in Chandler with 50,000 people expected to attend.

The festival is attracting pit-masters from around Arizona and the country for what’s been awarded “outstanding event of the year”. Over 12 cocktails and beers will be showcased to wash down your spicy, sweet & tangy smoked meats and more. Local BBQ joints include Bobby Q’s, Can’t Stop Smokin’ BBQ, Farm Boy Foods and Tom’s BBQ.BBQ event

Lee Brice and Craig Morgan will co-headline the event presented by iHeart Media and 102.5 KNIX. Country music fans will enjoy non-stop music from multiple stages throughout the 10 hour event. Country superstars Locash and Caylee Hammack will perform along with local talent Jim Bachman & the Day Drinkers, Blaine Long, Drew Cooper and Jacob Morris. Festival goers can enjoy the “For the Love of BBQ” Lounge, VIP tent, Kid Kick Back Zone or other areas.

“This is an incredible musical line-up,” said Landon Evans, owner of HDE Agency. “We are thrilled to partner with iHeart and KNIX to be able to bring this star-studded festival to Chandler for one of our largest events of the year.”

Tickets are on sale now and range in price from $15 for General Admission up to $150 for VIP. To purchase tickets or get more information for the largest BBQ event west of Texas head to their website. Tumbleweed Park is 745 E. Germann Rd. in Chandler.