Rift Tap and Wine Bar opening in south Scottsdale

If all goes as planned with the expiration of the current Covid-19 lock down on Monday July 27th south Scottsdale could have a new beer and wine bar in early August. Regardless of the lock down Rift Tap and Wine Bar opens for curbside pick-up and delivery that same Monday. Rift is the brainchild of owners Damien Kanser, a wine industry veteran and friend Jon Coppins, the winemaker at Su Vino Winery.

Named after a Phish album that inspired Kanser since his childhood, Rift converted a spot that was a convenience store at Fillmore and Scottsdale Rd.. With little or nothing for craft beer and wine between old town Scottsdale and Tempe they felt this would be the perfect location for their neighborhood bar. The neighborhood is home to many service industry people and young professionals who have had nowhere to gather since Papago Brewing Co. closed a few years ago.

Rift will feature affordable wines and beers from local brewers and wineries and from across the country and the world. 25 beers on tap will be poured along with wines by the glass as guests gather at the 23 seat bar, high top tables or couches. Food trucks will be scheduled for guests to enjoy a bite to eat with their beer and wine. Coolers will house cold beers to go along with a few racks of retail wines. Kanser envisions Rift’s retail component as a quick grab n go for people to purchase on a regular basis to enjoy with dinner or by the pool. They’re sourcing limited production small batch beers directly from brewers giving the shop a unique selection by the bottle and tap.

Rift owners Damien Kanser and Jon Coppins

The wine club at Rift Tap and Wine Bar

This fall Rift will house a studio for their “Spilling the Truth” podcast they started in late 2018. Windows to the studio will allow guests to view podcasts live with brewers and winemakers joining the podcast.

Two wine clubs will be offered featuring local wines and wines to a national audience based on wineries visiting the podcast.

Rift is at 431 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85257. For updates check out their Facebook page.

Feed Phoenix initiative wants local food community to help feed the hungry

The city of Phoenix and Local First Arizona have joined forces to feed the city’s hungry for the Feed Phoenix initiative. They are using money from the CARES Act to recruit local restaurants, farmers & food entrepreneurs to provide and prepare meals. By keeping it with local businesses the money spent will stay local, sustain local jobs & supply chain and keep Phoenicians healthy.

“We are proud to be partnering on such a thoughtful and innovative approach to feeding Phoenix families. This initiative will touch all layers of our local food system and make the greatest impact possible for small businesses across various industries. From local chefs featuring three locally-sourced vegetables in every meal to opting for sustainable to-go packaging for delivery, community-driven solutions to complex problems are how we build a stronger local food system,” said Local First Founder Kimber Lanning.

Local businesses looking to participate in the Feed Phoenix initiative have until 12:00 pm on July 17th to submit a proposal to https://www.localfirstaz.com/feed-phoenix . Restaurants, farmers, caterers, mobile markets, and event venues are encouraged to apply for the 3 month program.

Feed Phoenix requirements

Businesses applying have to….

Be located in Phoenix and have proper licenses and insurance to prepare food for consumption.

-Be able to prepare, store, and safely deliver 500 meals per day. A minimum of one day per week for six weeks, using compostable packaging. 

-Use locally-sourced vegetables as part of the meal to be purchased by Local First

“We are excited that through this partnership we are able to feed individuals and families who are most vulnerable to hunger as a result of the pandemic. This effort also allows us to create economic opportunities for our local businesses and build relationships with our local farmers,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This innovative approach will benefit our local food system now and in the future.”

“I think it’s important to note the city could have chosen to hire one very large company to prepare all of these meals using food grown on the other side of the country. But instead, they contracted with us to spread the funds around locally so we can impact as many Phoenix businesses and jobs as possible,” Lanning added.

Growly Delivers is today’s milkman for local beer brewers

If you were born after the 1980s chances are you’ve never seen a milkman deliver quarts of milk to your door. Dropping off fresh milk in glass bottles and picking up empty bottles for re-use was affordable and convenient for previous generations. Growly Delivers is the milkman of the 21st century delivering growlers of beer instead of milk.

The local delivery service started with PHX Beer Co. to get fresh beer to customers through their weekly subscription service. Plans are to add other local breweries in the future as demand grows. Deliveries are made every Thursday and those wanting to take delivery can subscribe at their website and choose what beer you’d like to be delivered. It couldn’t be any easier than that for beer drinkers. The eco-friendly Growly Delivers takes the empty growlers back to the brewery to be cleaned, sanitized and re-filled.

Beer drinkers that don’t drink as quickly as others can have a specially made high tech growler filled with beer. A compressor with a C02 cartridge allows for the beer to stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. The local startup has successfully sign up almost 50 subscriptions in the Phoenix area in its first two weeks.

Celebrating 4th of July around the Phoenix restaurant scene

We’re half way through 2020 (let it be over already) and that means the 4th of July is a few days away. Celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States around Phoenix at restaurants with specials for the holiday.

North central Phoenix

Aioli Gourmet BurgersIs open for take-out or dining on their patio with these 2 specials and online ordering is available.
$6 Independence Day Celebration ShakeBrownie & Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbles, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, topped with Fresh Whipped Cream, Chocolate Sauce, M&M’s, Mini Cookie and Sprinkles.

$12 Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich- Spicy Fried Chicken Breast, Pickles, Iceberg Lettuce, Green Chili Aioli, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika.

Aioli is at 10652 N 32nd Street, 85028.

Original Breakfast Househas American favorites and a special Italian sweet treat for breakfast & lunch until 2 p.m. Beef Tenderloin Eggs Benedict, $16.50, Crab and Avocado Omelette topped with hollandaise, $16.50 and Tiramisu Pancakes, $12.00. 13623 N. 32nd St. 85032 (602) 482-2328.

Central Phoenix

Miracle Mile DeliThe deli will be closed on the 4th but customers can call in orders for pick-up by 6 p.m. on Friday July 3rd. Family meals and sandwich kits from $55 – $95 and $25 growlers of local craft beer. Find details on each of the platters at website. 4433 N. 16th St. Phoenix 85016. 

Glendale

Padre Murphy’sSpecials include 1/2 rack of pork ribs, fries & cole slaw for $11.99. Watermelon Mojito and Frozen Blue Margarita for $4, Fireball shots $3.00 and drafts of Bud $2.50. Dine- in or take-out. 4338 W. Bell Rd. 85308

Paradise Valley

Salty Sow It’s the return of the restaurants annual “Dinner on Us” meal deal. Buy 1 Get 1 Free when you order one of their signature dinners including Pork ribs, Smoked Brisket and more. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. 4801 E. Cactus Rd. 85032.

Scottsdale

The Roaring ForkLike their sister restaurant Salty Sow, the popular Roaring Fork is offering a Buy 1 Get 1 free “Dinner on Us”. Starting at 4 p.m. choose from wood fired favorites such as the Big Ass Burger, Rainbow Trout or Spit Fired Rotisserie Chicken. 4800 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251.

Phx Beer Co. – is offering The Bird City Beer Brat for $11. The brat is cooked in Bird City Lager with onions and green peppers, served on a hoagie roll with Iron Horse Porter mustard. Choose from seasoned fries, house-made coleslaw or Cowboy Caviar on the side.

Also the Red, White and Bleu burger is available for $15. 8 oz. of AZ grass fed Angus burger is topped with bleu cheese and bleu cheese dressing, served on a challah roll with sliced tomato, onion. Choose a side from above to accompany your burger. 8300 N. Hayden Rd.

Kasai Japanese SteakhouseGet 10% off your entire bill when you wear red, white & blue or the American flag on Sat. or Sun. 14344 N. Scottsdale Road.

The Americanois offering a Bourbon & Family Style Barbecue meal to celebrate. Start with Salted Watermelon Sour, then share a variety of appetizers including Ligurian Onion Focaccia, Waygu meatballs and Caesar salad. For the main course enjoy Americano Smokehouse Barbeque Mary’s Chicken, house salsiccia, Linz Beef “Long Island cut” steak, Cavatappi alla Cacio e Pepe with garlic crumble, corn on the cob and Italian potato salad. Save room for the Tiramisu Cheesecake for dessert.

$55 per person, for reservations, call 480-573-0001. 17797 N. Scottsdale Rd.

Multiple locations

Fired PieGet 20% off your order when you dine-in or take out. Not valid on 3rd party deliveries. Use promo USA to redeem.

Pedal Haus BreweryThe Tempe and Chandler brew pubs are offering a Independence Party Pack all weekend long. For $44 you get two American Flag wristbands, two pairs of Pedal Haus sunglasses and an 8-Pack (or two growlers) of Pedal Haus Day Drinker Light Lager. Add two brats with all the fixings and German potato salad for $15. Pick up Fri, Sat or Sun in Tempe at 720 S. Mill Ave #102 or in downtown Chandler at 95 W. Boston St.

Thirsty Lion GastropubAll day happy hour on cocktails beer & wine. $1 off draft pints and $5.95 for well drinks, house wine & margaritas.

U.S. Egg Save $3 off Mimosa flights all through the month of July. Enjoy the 4th with Stars & Stripes Waffle ($10.99) featuring U.S. Egg’s classic, fresh-made fluffy waffle topped with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream to create a vision of the American flag.

Tempe

Ghost Ranchis offering a special brisket dish for the holiday. 1006 E. Warner Rd. Suite 102-103.

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen – will have live music all day from Cheryl Thurston Dixie Land Jazz Band. $5 for 4th of July Hurricanes and other drink specials will be available. 1325 W. Elliot Rd., Suite 106.

Tortilla Flat

Spend the day visiting the historic western town east of Phoenix in Superstition Mountains. Plenty of room for social distancing and cooler temperatures at the towns restaurant, saloon, museum and country store.

 

 

 

 

Fogo de Chao adapts to a new reality amid Covid 19

When restaurants shut down dining rooms in March due to Covid 19 they had to rely on takeout and delivery until the lock down ended in May. Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao was no different furloughing 90% of staff with managers becoming cooks, order takers and delivery drivers. The restaurant offered Fogo to Go butchered raw meats, meals to go, catered off site meals for small groups and Caipirinha cocktail kits. Management at the headquarters in Dallas were devising a plan for locations throughout the country as how to adapt to the new reality when dine-in service resumed.

Fogo de Chao is known for its generous assortment of meats skewered and served table side by gauchos but also for its generous assortment of cold salads, meats and cheeses at it salad bar. That’s where it biggest challenge would be on how to serve guests who were used to making their way to the salad bar stocked with over 30 items.fogo de chao

The new normal at Fogo de Chao

A recent visit to the Scottsdale location I found out what has changed since they re-opened for dine-in service last month. The changes were obvious once you enter to restaurant, hostess’s and all employees wear face masks, a poster board next to the hostess stand reviews their commitment to health and safety and fewer tables in the dining room for social distancing. Gone were menus, salt & pepper shakers and the green (Go) and red (Stop) coaster cards diners use to let gauchos know whether to approach you for more meat.

As for the buffet, selections have been reduced. Servers now bring a charcuterie board of meats, cheeses and olives followed by courses of salads to choose from. Gauchos continue to roam the room carving slices of beef, chicken, pork and lamb to your heart’s desire as they did prior to Covid 19. Only difference is they approach you asking if you’d like more meat.

Fogo continues to offer Fogo- to-Go’s butcher shop, catering with curbside pick-up and contact-less delivery. Summer promotions are being finalized and I will update as soon I as I hear what they are.

The Scottsdale location is at 6300 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. The restaurant offers full service dining as well as group dining, an outdoor patio and bar. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner & brunch on weekends. For more information and to make a reservation head to their website.

Laurent Halasz hires Brian Archibald as executive chef at FRANCINE

Things are moving right along at the new Scottsdale restaurant from Laurent Halasz, FRANCINE. The restaurant has named local Brian Archibald as executive chef and is holding a job fair July 7th & 8th. At first the restaurant will open for dinner on August 14th at Scottsdale Fashion Square’s new luxury wing then will open for lunch & brunch in September. The restaurant planned to open in April but delays were caused by the coronavirus shutdown. Laurent Halasz owns other restaurants in L.A. and other locations.

Archibald will work alongside Halasz at the new fine dining Mediterranean restaurant inspired by the south of France. Archibald has almost 30 years of cookimg experience at The Phoenician, Boulders Resort and JW Marriott at Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. He’s also worked at several top resorts around the world.

“When you walk into the dining room we want our guests to feel like they’ve been transported to the French Rivera. We have created a relaxing and warm coastal feel with casual elegance and similar to the atmosphere, FRANCINE’s cuisine will feature all the seasonal flavors one would find in the Mediterranean prepared in a very soulful way,” said Archibald.

FRANCINE is hiring 60 employees and the job fair will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Those interested can email resumes to jobs@francinerestaurant.com or find more information at https://francinerestaurant.com/ FRANCINE is at 4712 N. Goldwater Blvd. Scottsdale 85251.

Lumberjack’s Taco Shack on Food Network’s Supermarket Stakeout

Four year old Lumberjack’s Taco Shack has taken to the streets and heading to your TV. Owner Cash Murphy rolled out of his taco shack in Tempe into a food truck in recent weeks and tonight he’s featured on the Food Network’s “Supermarket Stakeout”.

There will be a viewing party for tonight’s episode at Club Red in Mesa with Lumberjack’s Taco Shack food truck. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. running until 11:30 with the episode airing at 10. Large screens inside Club Red are set up and the bar is open with social distancing. Get your tacos while you can because Murphy heads to Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin for the summer before returning to Arizona in October.

During the recent pandemic Murphy loaded up his food truck with an ice cream PA on it announcing his arrival in the neighborhoods selling his tacos. He has several Facebook pages and Youtube channels featuring his cooking. On his Cooking with Cash channel and page he teaches people how to cook at home on a limited budget, PANdemic- Recipes for Quarantine. The videos have been very popular and he hopes tonight’s appearance will continue to spread the word of his award-winning tacos.

To taste the tacos and view Supermarket Stakeout tonight visit Club Red at 1360 W. University Dr. Mesa 85201.

 

SanTan Spirits releases Butcher Jones Straight Rye Whiskey

Chandler’s SanTan Spirits has released its newest spirit, the award-winning Butcher Jones Straight Arizona Rye Whiskey Cask Strength. The whiskey has been honored with a GOLD MEDAL at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a DOUBLE GOLD at the 2019 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition.

Butcher Jones is unique to American Rye Whiskeys because of its high barley grain bill. This helps to balance out the spirit profile as it barrel ages in the harsh Arizona climate, said Anthony Canecchia, founder + brewmaster, SanTan Spirits and SanTan Brewing Company.

The whiskey is distilled with North American Rye, 2- row barley and a hint of corn. Distilled in artisan made pot stills Butcher Jones is then aged for at least 2 years in American oak barrels. Flavors of cola, baking spices and maple caramel were noticed during sampling throughout the maturing process.

At SanTan Spirits, our whiskey is curated over a period of 2-4 years to achieve the flavor profile we are looking for. Our method of E’Levage involves rotating our barrels to different climates during their aging process. We have an amazing advantage here in Arizona with the dry climate and heat, it allows each batch to breath deep into the wood,” continued Canecchia.

SanTan Spirits is the distilling side of SanTan Brewing Co. Limited bottles of Butcher Jones can be tasted and purchased at Spirit House 8 S. San Marcos Pl. Suite 106 Chandler, AZ 85225. For more information or to schedule a tour at the distillery visit their website.

Statewide support expected for new 10 day culinary event

As restaurants begin to re-open for dine in service while continuing to offer take out a new culinary event “Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out” has emerged. The statewide 10 day event is produced by the Arizona Restaurant Association and is Arizona Restaurant Week with the new take out option. Restaurants will offer special prix- fixe menus from June 19th – 28th and September 18th – 27th. Participating restaurants will adhere to CDC guidelines including social distancing whether customers dine in or take out.

“We are so grateful for the support of our local dining community in the weeks that followed restaurant closures in March,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “The quick creation of Arizona Takeout Weeks and Arizona Restaurant Strong efforts could not have been possible without them. As Arizona Restaurant Weeks returns in a modified format to include dine-in, take out and liquor to-go options, we are hopeful that our wonderful community of food enthusiasts will continue to show their support in any way they feel comfortable.”

Like Arizona Restaurant Week, fine dining and casual restaurants will offer a unique 3 course menus for $33 or $44 plus wine during the 10 days. Restaurant goers tend to find new restaurants to check out or visit favorites for the dishes they aren’t used to having.

Short list of restaurants participating

New restaurants statewide have signed up to participate as have returning restaurants. New restaurants include The Dressing Room, Sel, Josephine, The House Brasserie, The Tuck Shop Kitchen & Bar and Stonegrill.

A few of the returning restaurants….

The Canal Club
Chelsea’s Kitchen
Christo’s Ristorante
The Covenant
El Chorro
Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort
Litchfield’s
Los Sombreros (Phoenix and Scottsdale)
Marcellino Ristorante
Match Restaurant & Lounge
The Market by Jennifer’s Restaurant and Bar
Ocotillo Restaurant
Pasta Brioni
PHX Beer Co.
Prado
Preston’s Steakhouse

To see a full list of participants and menus as they become available check out the website.

 

 

Dine-in is back on the menu at Phoenix area restaurants

Restaurants can now re-open for dine-in service as of May 11th according to Gov. Doug Ducey. Many restaurants are opening for guests to dine-in while others will wait it out a bit longer while they continue to offer takeout. Many are having staff where masks and adhering to new sanitizing guidelines.

These Phoenix area restaurants are opening their dining rooms and may require reservations to space out diners. Check back as this post will be updated as more restaurants open their dining rooms for service.

Chandler- Downtown Ocotillo

The Living Room, Rock Lobster, CHoP Steakhouse, Press Coffee, Cherish, Humble Pie. Downtown Ocotillo is at 2475 W. Queen Creek Road 85248.

Chandler- Chase’s Diner 2040 N. Alma School Rd. 85224.

Scottsdale- North

The Spotted Donkey at El Pedergal 34631 North Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree 85377. Liberty Station Tavern 34522 N. Scottsdale Rd. Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd., Carefreee

Dominick’s Steakhouse 15169 N Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85254. The Americano 17797 N Scottsdale Rd 85255.

Scottsdale- Downtown/ Mid

Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen 7303 E Indian School Rd. 85251. Merkins Vineyards 7133 E. Stetson Dr. 85251. Pomo Pizzeria 8977 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale 85253

Ocean 44 4748 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale 85251. Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho 6850 East Main Street 85251. Paul Martin’s American Grill 6186 North Scottsdale Road 85253.

Glendale

Urban Margarita 6685 W. Beardsley Rd. 85308

Phoenix- Arcadia/ Biltmore

Steak 44 5101 N 44th St. 85018

Phoenix metro

The Stockyards Restaurant 5009 E Washington St. 85034.

Phoenix- North

Original Breakfast House (May 28th) 13623 N 32nd St. 85032, Ocean Prime (5/19) 5455 E. High St. 85054

Phoenix- Central/ Uptown

Joe’s Diner 4515 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix

Phoenix- Downtown

Pomo Pizzeria 705 N. 1st Street

Multiple locations

Angry Crab Shack, Koibito Poke, Fired Pie, U.S. Egg, Barro’s Pizza, Chompie’s

Twin Peaks Restaurants, Wildflower (Deer Valley & Gilbert only for now.)