The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival safely returning next weekend

Festivals and gatherings are returning to social calendars after many had to cancel their 2020 events due to Covid-19. One of those festivals first to return is The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival next weekend April 17th & 18th. The Town of Camp Verde and the Verde Valley Wine Consortium co-host the 20th annual event in downtown Camp Verde from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and til 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Each day 8-12 wineries will be sampling their wines and pairing them with a variety of pecans. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden, live music, local artists and a competitive pie eating contest. All activities will follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, all areas cleaned and sanitized frequently and recommended mask wearing. Page Springs, Salt Mine Wine, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Winery 101 are a few of the wineries pouring wines at the event.

“We were saddened to have to cancel last year but it was with everyone’s safety and best interests in mind, as this is normally one of the town’s biggest events,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “This annual tradition is a wonderful celebration of two local products of the region and we look forward to its return, with a number of additional safety precautions in mind”.

Entry to the festival is free and for all ages. Those 21 and older can pay $20 for six tasting tickets and a commemorative glass. Additional tickets can be purchased. For more information visit these websites http://www.cvaz.com and http://verdevalleywine.org

Photo credit: Jenelle Bonifeld & Arizona Wine Guide

Rusty Spur Saloon celebrates its 70th anniversary with new owners

Walk through the swinging doors of Scottsdale’s Rusty Spur Saloon and you have an idea of what life was like in the good ‘ol days of early Arizona life. As the oldest bar in Scottsdale celebrates its 70th anniversary it also celebrates a new group of local owners to keep the legendary bar going the years ahead.

Housed in what was Farmer’s Bank of Scottsdale the building was built in 1921 and renovated in 1951 and has been given historic landmark status and the safe is no longer filled with money but beer and liquor. Its other claim to fame is it can be a stop for country music superstars when the pull into town. Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Post Malone and others have been known to stop in for a drink and to listen to some country music.

Former owner Susan Anderson wanted the new owners to be local and have the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it attitude”. She found that attitude in full- time Arizona resident and new owner Bill Toole, who also owns Red, White & Brew, 32 Shea, Bill’s Grill and Lakeside Bar & Grill. “Our company mantra is ‘Local Places, Happy Faces’ and the Rusty Spur Saloon embodies this to a tee. The previous owner, Susan, did a fantastic job honoring and elevating the legacy of the Rusty Spur Saloon over the past 19 years. We’re humbled by the opportunity to lead this historic business into the future,” said Toole.

The Rusty Spur Saloon serves lunch 7 days a week and live entertainment during the days and nights. The saloon is at 7245 Main St. Scottsdale 85251. For more information, to see the menu and hours visit their website.

Chef Aaron May hosts celebrity chef friends for Big Boy Cook Club launch

More than a dozen chefs from around the country will be making their way to Phoenix to launch the first Big Boy Cook Club event. Get your tickets now for the Sunday April 25th event at central Phoenix’s Ocotillo Restaurant. Chef Aaron May will be hosting the party that will limit attendance to adhere to CDC guidelines.

“Big Boy Cook Club is a brand I have been developing for years, and what better place to launch it, than with a fun, casual food event in my own hometown” says Chef Aaron May. The Big Boy Cook Club brand is about the sincere about cooking and taste for food enthusiasts, not foodies and the camera.

Celebrity chefs cooking up delicious, no always photo friendly eats include Aron Sanchez, Todd English, Elsie Eats, Akira Back and Ocotillo’s own Walt Sterling. Jacob Cutino of locally owned Cutino Sauces will announce details of his new monthly “throw back” sauce event. He’ll also be working with each chef helping to pair his sauces with each chef’s dish.

Local mixologist Casey Wallin will be mixing up creative cocktails for the event with beer and wine available as well. DJ for the Miami Heat and surprise guests will be spinning the tunes to keep the crowd moving. A cigar roller, photo booth and spirit sampling will be just a few of the additional activities happening during the 5 hour event. Operation BBQ Relief will be the benefactor of money raised during the event.

The party goes from 2 – 7 p.m. with tickets on sale now at Eventbrite. Tickets are $100 with VIP tickets $200 and the Big Boy Package for $1,000. Ocotillo Restaurant is at 3243 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85012.

 

 

 

Guy Fieri is bringing his Flavortown feast to Phoenix

Celebrity chef and host of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” Guy Fieri is returning to Phoenix but not to film his popular show but to host a party at Sanctuary on Camelback Resort & Spa. The “Flavortown Feast and Fiesta” rolls into the luxury resort in Paradise Valley on Thursday April 15th.

Sanctuary’s Executive Chef Beau Macmillan and Bar Chef Christiaan Rollich will co-host the night full of fun, flavorful food and more. Watching the sunset from the resorts Paradise Views &  Lower Lawn for the fiesta at 6:30 followed by the after-party at 8:30 in The View’s Ballroom that will feature musical guests D. Vincent Williams and the Nashville All-Stars.

The 3-course dinner includes the Triple D Wedge, Johnny Garlic’s New York Strip and the Colossal Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Triple D Passed Bites and specialty cocktails will also be enjoyed.

Seating is limited to hang with Guy Fieri with tickets available for $500 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling 855-245-2051. The full menu and more information can be found at the resort’s 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.

3rd Tuesday wine dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Every 3rd Tuesday the downtown Gilbert restaurant hosts its monthly wine pairing dinner and March’s dinner is Tuesday the 16th pairing wines from Washington and California with owner Romeo Taus’s specially created 3-course pairing menu. Dinner is $39 per person and starts at 6:30 if you’re dining in, if taking out pick-up is between 6 -7. Call 480-962-4224 to reserve your seat or place your order.

Irish Soda Bread from Mediterra Bakehouse now available

From Saturday March 13th – 20th the local bakehouse has its famous bread available. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day the bread is made with whole wheat flour, buttermilk, sea salt, golden raisins & caraway seeds. The loaf sells for $5.99 and can be found at all AJ’s Fine Foods locations, Whole Foods, Uptown Farmer’s Market, Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market and other retailers.

It’s National Pi Day at Fired Pie

On Sunday 3.14 all 20 locations will be selling any 1 topping pizza for $3.14 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m with the purchase of a beverage. The deal is available in store or if ordering online use promo code PIDAY. 1 per person and no 3rd party deliveries available.

New seasonal menu at Z’ Tejas launches Monday

There’s more than a change in the weather in the near future as restaurants change menus to use seasonal ingredients. The Southwestern cuisine restaurant’s locations in Chandler and Phoenix introduce theirs on Monday March 15th. Diablo Eggs, Stuffed Artichoke Chicken, Goat Cheese Fritters and Lemon Bar Cheesecake are just a few of the highlights that can be had until May 24th.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day around Phoenix

If you’re feeling a little bit Irish next Wednesday the 17th, you’re not alone. Celebrate with Irish beer, corned beef & cabbage or a dram of whiskey and more at SanTan Brewing Co., Match Market & Bar, Phoenix City Grille, Chompie’s, Pedal House Brewery, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Trapp Haus BBQ STK Steakhouse, and Kona Grill. Slainte!!

STK Scottsdale steakhouse opens in the heart of Scottsdale

Downtown Scottsdale is the home of the newest steakhouse from STK Restaurants. STK Scottsdale, “not your daddy’s steakhouse”, opens on the banks of the canal in the former Herb Box Restaurant at Southbridge. The new restaurant ushers in “Vibe Dining” that includes spectacular views and plenty of outdoor space to enjoy elevated culinary selections, world-famous cocktails and live music from renowned DJs. This is the 21st location with other locations around the country and internationally.

“We are pleased to start the New Year by celebrating the opening of STK Scottsdale. The new restaurant is a perfect complement to the vibrant surrounding area and offers guests a memorable and safe dining experience,” said Emanuel “Manny” Hilario, President and CEO of The ONE Group. “As one of our managed locations, STK Scottsdale is indicative of our strategic plan, enabling us to expand our signature Vibe Dining experience without investing significant capital.”

Certified Black Angus beef sourced from the Midwest highlights the menu with classic steakhouse staples such as seafood, a raw bar and a la carte sides are also featured.

Unlike many high-end steakhouses STK Scottsdale will be opening for lunch Monday – Friday at 11 a.m. Daily happy hour and dinner service begins at 3 p.m. Weekend brunch launches on January 23rd from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and take-out and delivery is available on January 18th. All staff follow local and federal Covid-19 guidelines and uses technology for a “lower contact” experience.

STK Steakhouse at 7134 E. Stetson Drive 85251. For more information and to view the menu please 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.

PHX Beer Co. goes to the dogs

The Scottsdale location with its dog friendly patio is now serving grass fed burgers ($8) and grilled chicken ($5) for man’s best friend. They’ve also started making their own dog bones for purchase at all locations. Puppy friendly ingredients include the breweries spent grain, peanut butter, whole wheat flour and eggs. A portion of sales of single 3 oz. or 18 packs bones are donated to the Arizona Small Dog Rescue.

Los Sombreros Mesa Grand Opening party

Wednesday December 16th is the Grand Opening of the third location of the regional Mexican restaurant. From 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. guests can get 50% off food & drink when you dine-in or take-out except for family meals. Reservations are recommended. The celebration continues Thursday – Sunday with House Margaritas only $3.

Pedal Haus Brewery celebrates with Ugly Sweater Party

The downtown Tempe brewpub celebrates its 5 year anniversary with its traditional party. Wednesday December 16th party goers can win $50 for the Ugliest Sweater, enjoy live music starting at 6 p.m. and Happy Hour all night starting at 3 p.m. VIP tickets are $5 and includes 2 drinks and slice of cake with proceeds going to Rob Dollar Foundation.

Koibito Poke bottles 2 popular sauces.

Customers can now take a bottle or 2 home with them of Island Teriyaki or Spicy Shoyu sauces. Both are gluten-free and made with natural ingredients for the best tasting and healthy sauces. Each bottle is $6.99 and can be purchased at any of their locations around the valley.

New seasonal menu at Pita Jungle

Customers favorite dishes from the past are now on the new “Pita Jungle Favorites, Hello Again” menu at all Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff locations. The new Mediterranean Ramen joins the return of Seared Ahi Tuna Hummus, Burrito of the Sea and Baba Gnoosh.

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.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has new winter menu

All seven Arizona locations roll out a new holiday season inspired menu on Tuesday December 1st. Enjoy the Chicken Alla Vodka Pizza (sounds crazy good) with a warming Ginger Apple Jack cocktail. The  “Crafted Comfort” menu include salads, desserts and cocktails that will be available until March 1st.

Fresh Take Meal Prep gives a meal when you buy 10

The community minded spinoff of Aioli Gourmet Burgers partners with Valley Youth Theatre and HopeKids raise money and provide meals for families of sick children. When 10 meals are purchased in December from FTMP an 11th will be given to a HopeKids family. 5 meals are $40, 10 meals are $74 and 100 meals are $140. VYT will hold a virtual concert on December 19th and money raised will go to HopeKids. The goal is to provide 200 meals to families.

Sphinx Date Co. offers online holiday deals this weekend

Through Monday November 30th the retailer of locally made goods offers FREE shipping orders over $65 with promo CODE JOY20. Get $5 off purchases when you spend $25, using CODE 5OFF. Shipping within Arizona is only $5 and will automatically be deducted from your order.

Crumbl Cookies gives 20% off on National Cookie Day

Friday December 4th locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Mesa Red Mountain, Signal Butte and Queen Creek will sell boxes of four packs for 20% off the regular $11.98 price. Choose from over 120+ flavors that rotate weekly.

3 Man Blend Bourbon Dinner at Hearth ’61

75 people will enjoy a reception and 3-course dinner on Thursday December 4th that will be paired with special bourbon cocktails. Chef Charles Wiley, Food & Beverage Manager Jim Gallen and Bill Nassikas’s Maker’s Mark bourbon will be featured along with a Zoom call from two Beam Suntory female Master Distillers. Reservations for the dinner are $180 all-inclusive per person and bottles of 3 Man Blend will be available for purchase.

 

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

Wildflower adds new hearty menu items for winter

The locally owned specialty bakery known for its handcrafted artisan breads and more has added 8 new items to its menu. The festive foods include breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, pastas and toasts. There are 16 locations throughout Phoenix and Arizona.

Friendsgiving at Pedal Haus Brewery

Thanksgiving Eve friends and family can gather on the patio for a socially distanced celebration during happy hour. From 3:30 til closing on Wednesday November 25th enjoy happy hour specials, the new Peppermint Porter and live music. The celebration at the Chandler location goes until 10 p.m.

Aridus Wine Company ends its 8th harvest

The award-winning winery ends the 2020 grape growing season with almost 86 tons of grapes. This was their 4th harvest picking grapes from the estate’s 40 acres of vineyards in southern Arizona that started on August 22nd. 72% of the grapes picked will be for red wines, 26% for white wines and 2% for rose.

FRANCINE Restaurant opens patio for dining

You can now enjoy lunch, dinner or brunch at the French Mediterranean restaurant outside on the new patio. Located at the luxury wing of Scottsdale Fashion Square seats 28 people in the relaxing and beautiful setting. Seating is by request with reservations recommended.

Serrano’s closes Tempe location until early 2021

The 6440 S. Mill Ave. location has closed for dine-in and take-out to undergo a major renovation. A major renovation needs to completed and the 4 other locations are open for dine-in, take-out and curbside delivery.