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.

The Metro Phoenix Night Market to showcase over 12 Asian food vendors

As live events continue returning fans of Asian food will want to circle Saturday, January 29th on the calendar. That’s when the Metro Phoenix Night Market returns showcasing a variety of food and culture from China, Korea and other Far East and southeast Asian countries. The Press Room in Tempe will host the event that starts at 4 p.m. for early admission ticket holders.

Vendors will offer at least one menu item for $5 or less with beer and cocktails also available for purchase. A curated market with local artists will be showcasing their work at the outdoor event. All vendors will accept cash or credit but cash is suggested and parking is free.

Early admission tickets are $14.99 to get in at 4 p.m., General Admission starts at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $10. Happy Hour starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $6.00 and children aged 7-12 are $4.00. Children under 7 are free. Tickets prices don’t include sales tax or a booking fee.  You can purchase tickets to the Metro Phoenix Night Market here and get more information and stay updated at their Facebook page. The Press Room is at 3125 S.52nd St. Tempe 85292.

Local First Arizona announces the return of “Devour at Home” in 2022

Local First Arizona announced that when Devour Week returns for its 13th year in February 2022 its signature event will be “Devour at Home” for the second year in a row. To kick-off the popular culinary event “Devour Week”, will be the in-person “Seven Chefs” dinner on Sunday, February 20th.

Like “Devour at Home” in 2021, foodies can order dinner from any number of participating restaurants from January 31st – February 18th and pick up dinner on Saturday February 26th. More than 430 dinners were prepared for “Devour at Home” in 2021 raising almost $75,000 for participating restaurants.  3-course dinners for 2 are $95 and $200 for 4 with orders packed in commemorative tote that includes other goodies.

Returning restaurants include Beckett’s Table, Cibo Pizza & FnB with new restaurants include Sapiens Paleo Kitchen and Kaizen. To see all participating restaurants and menus as they become available visit the website that is updated as restaurants are added. Each menu is in limited quantities and orders are suggested early as they all sold out in 2021.

The “Seven Chefs” Dinner will be the evening of the 20th at The Gladly with details of the 7 chefs and the menu announced in early January. Proceeds from both events will go to participating restaurants. For more information about Local First Arizona 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.

Mountain Mike’s Pizza to open first Arizona location in Mesa

A family friendly pizza and arcade concept is opening its first Arizona location at Mesa’s Riverview Shopping Center in 2022. When Mountain Mike’s Pizza opens it will be serving its legendary crispy & curly pepperoni pizza along with other Mountain sized specialty pizzas that take toppings to the edge. The Newport Beach based company will also introduce its new “Pizza the Way It Oughta Be” signature experience in Mesa.

“Everyone should have the chance to experience Mountain Mike’s iconic pizza, and we’re thrilled to bring the legacy concept and its legendary pizzas to Arizona for the first time,” said Donte’ Andry of Pelican Food Concepts, which will own and operate the Mesa location. “We wholeheartedly believe in the brand’s amazing food and restaurant features, like an arcade area and big screens throughout, so we’re excited for Mesa-area locals to find out for themselves why Mountain Mike’s has been a go-to pizza spot for families and sports fans for more than 40 years!”Mountain Mike's Pizza

The restaurants are known for using the freshest and finest ingredients for its pizzas including 100% whole milk mozzarella. Other favorites on the menu will be bone-in wings, salads, garlic bread for dine-in, take-out or delivery. Beer and wine will also be served.

In addition to Mesa other Arizona locations are planned along with locations in Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Texas. “Mountain Mike’s continues to capture loyal fans throughout the West, and we’re ready to become a fixture for families and pizza fans in communities throughout Arizona, beginning with Mesa,” said Jim Metevier, President and COO. “For more than four decades, guests have been coming together to share memorable moments over our amazing pizza, and we are extremely proud to extend the one-of-a-kind Mountain Mike’s dining experience into Arizona.”

For more information and to stay up-to-date about the opening visit their website.

 

Foch Café & Bistro opens in Tempe

A new hip bistro opened in downtown Tempe recently serving American & European inspired cuisine and cocktails. Foch Café & Bistro pays tribute to the street in Paris that Fares Tarabichi’s grandparents used to live on. “I am so proud of my French education and visiting my grandparents in Paris every summer made me truly appreciate the beautiful French culture.” says Tarabichi, co-founder of Foch Café & Bistro. “Foch honors both the memory of my amazing grandparents, as well as French culture.”

Tarabichi and partner Chef Timothy Richardson are no strangers to the Phoenix restaurant scene as Tarabichi founded The Crêpe Cafe and co-founded The Bodhi and AZ Liquids. Arizona native Richardson attended Le Cordon Bleu where learned French cooking techniques. For 16 years since he’s worked in several different restaurants from cantinas to fine dining. Before opening Foch Café & Bistro he was senior sous chef at the Arizona Biltmore.

“As a chef, it has always been a dream of mine to open a restaurant and I am excited to share delectable French inspired cuisine with the wonderful residents and visitors of Tempe.” said Richardson, co-founder of Foch Café & Bistro. “Foch is an open, bright and happy space for people to gather and celebrate community once again.”

The bistro offers a full menu for dine-in of hot & cold paninis, salads, freshly baked pastries, a coffee bar and to-go items from Foch Market. Crêpes are featured on the menu and can be paired with unique flavors of gelato. The craft cocktail menu includes cocktails made with house made fresh juices along with local craft beers.

Foch Café & Bistro is at 21 E. 6th St. is open daily from 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. and is dog friendly on the 600 square foot patio. 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.

 

Oak on Camelback brings laid back fine dining to central Phoenix

When Robert Bogart graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 2001 he knew he wanted to stay in Arizona to open his own restaurant. It didn’t happen as quickly as he wanted having gone to Denver to become executive chef at Elway’s Steakhouse at The Ritz- Carlton before heading to Temecula, California to open two restaurants. He decided that 2019 would be the year he returned to Arizona in pursuit of a restaurant to purchase. By early 2020 he decided that the popular central Phoenix restaurant St. Francis was the place. Not long after taking ownership not only did the pandemic hit but so did a kitchen fire. Now almost 2 years later after navigating the restrictions of Covid and a re-branding Bogart’s opened Oak on Camelback.

Oak on Camelback

Chef Bogart has introduced his globally inspired menu while keeping a few favorite dishes from St. Francis. He’s also kept the wood burning oven as the centerpiece of his cooking at Oak on Camelback. Wood fired cooking by the fire with his grandfather in Texas is where he found his love for cooking and with a wood fire. New menu items include Scallop & Risotto, a Banh Mi Pho Dip and Thai Peanut Salad. Dining at brunch you’ll see the likes of Lox Pizza and Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast on the menu. He continues to use high quality seasonal ingredients that compliment his cooking techniques.

Oak on Camelback is at 111 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85012. Hours are Tuesday – Thursday from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information and to view the menus visit their website.

 

 

The Wilde Resort & Spa opens signature restaurant Rascal

Sedona’s newest resort, The Wilde Resort & Spa, opened in September has introduced Rascal, its signature restaurant with Executive Chef Mercer Mohr. Rascal serves diner comfort food with Chef Mohr’s innovative and market driven ingredients and dishes.

“We are thrilled to officially be opening our doors and can’t wait to share the amazing menu we’ve created with our local community and visitors,” says Mohr. “In addition to incredible food, Rascal will deliver a unique vibe and sense of place that is integral to The Wilde Resort & Spa experience.”

The Wilde Resort & Spa
Dry rub St. Louis pork ribs

The classic diner fare with an upscale twist, Rascal serves breakfast all day & lunch til 3 p.m. with happy hour and dinner starting at 4. Guests can expect all-American dishes including Rascal eggs benedict, biscuits & gravy and beef brisket hash and poached egg. Other highlights include crispy southern fried chicken, lamb chop lolli-pops, grilled salmon with Greek lemon pasta and more.

Handcrafted cocktails compliment the menu serving classic cocktails that are playful and sophisticated. The “Old Rascal” features Old Grand Dad bourbon with baked apple demerara, house bitters and ginger mist. The “Young Rascallion” is made with Rittenhouse rye, peach, orgeat, smoked bitters, lemon and aquafaba. Local craft beers including Mother Road Brewing and Four Peaks are poured as are small format wineries from the Sedona area and beyond.

For more information about Rascal check out their website.

 

24 Carrots Natural Caffe & Urban Juicery to close in December

The popular plant-based 24 Carrots Natural Caffe & Urban Juicery will be closing its brick & mortar location in Tempe in early December after 13 years. “Our landlord decided not to renew our lease at our current location for the next year; therefore we have no choice but to say goodbye to our beloved restaurant,” said owner and founder Sadhana Raj.

Raj will help her employees find new jobs in similar positions with like-minded restaurants around the valley. Raj will continue to use her voice and reputation for community minded projects and food advocacy for healthier eating and food insecurity and plans to stay involved in the industry around Phoenix and elsewhere. She will be donating her kitchen equipment to schools, culinary programs and other non-profits.

She plans to wind down 24 Carrots by December 10th but will continue to offer her Vegan Thanksgiving menu and will sell a good and products at soon to be announced date. Raj said, “We could not have created such an incredible restaurant and cause to fight for without the support of our team and our very loyal customers. We will be eternally grateful to both.”

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.

Hulu premiers “Baker’s Dozen” & a Scottsdale native is one of the winners

Scottsdale native Tess Levin was one of the recent winners on the new Hulu show “Baker’s Dozen” that premiered in early October. She wowed the judges on Episode 3 with her candy art to advance to round two where all remaining contestants made the identical signature dessert before narrowing it down to 3 people for the finals. The “culinary comedian” as Levin calls herself, won the coveted “Golden Rolling Pin” and cash by impressing the judges with her “Mermaid Under the Sea” themed macaron tower.

The 8-part Hulu series is hosted by Tamera Mowry- Housley of Sister, Sister fame and former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses. The 26 year old Levin currently lives in L.A. but grew up in Scottsdale attending Arcadia High School and makes frequent trips back to Arizona. You can see the trailer for the show here.

 

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