Foodies don’t care about a little rain at Day 1 of Devour Culinary Classic

Many of Saturday’s events around Phoenix were cancelled but don’t mess with foodies and our food festivals but that’s what the weather gods did on day 1 of Devour Culinary Classic. A rainy morning forced Desert Botanical Garden staff, Local First Arizona and purveyors to scramble to but it didn’t deter those in attendance. Umbrella, tents and raincoats were busted out to minimize the rain and puddles.

Here are a few of the many highlights of day 1. Be sure to check back for sunnier day 2 and for more images and commentary check my Instagram @SandyWass  Facebook page & Twitter @SandyWasserman

Bar Magic serving up Hurricane Cocktail in the VIP Lounge with Mardi Gras theme
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Prep & Pastry Churro Cronut & Blueberry Scone
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Scandinavian Sushi coming to Scottsdale later this year from Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey
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AZ Wilderness PB & J Burger
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A leaky tent didn’t dampen the spirits of L’Auberge de Sedona Chef Morgan serving her delicious dessert
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T. Cooks Arcadia Orange Bombe- white chocolate, Grande Marnier mouss, hazelnut & citrus curd
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Dust Cutter Restaurant’s confit pork belly, masa, chorizo & roasted poblano gremolata
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Lincoln Steakhouse Surf & turf- Lobster Escargot & Beef Tongue Popover
Love seeing all the color exhibits and art at the Desert Botanical Garden

Cider, coffee & pizza deals under one roof for Spring Training

Your ticket to any Spring Training game is worth more than the outcome of the game for cider, coffee and pizza in downtown Mesa. Under one roof at Cider Corps fans can save $2 on a pint of cider when you order a flight and show your server your game ticket. The crisp refreshing cider is made a few feet away and there are 12-15 rotating taps with five 4oz flights only $12. One order per customer. The cidery will be open 11 AM – close Mondays – Saturdays and 10 AM close on Sundays.

Before the game head to nano-roastery Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea inside Cider Corps for a pre-game boost. Show your ticket to your barista and save $1 on any drink. Pour-over small batch coffee, artisanal teas, cold brew & cold brew mocktails are $3-$8. One order per customer. Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea is open 6:30 AM – 2PM Wednesdays – Friday and 7 AM – 2 PM Saturday – Sunday. For updates on roasts and cold brew specials follow Pair Cupworks on Instagram @pair.cupworks.

Once there you won’t be able to avoid the aromas of Myke’s Pizza so stay for a pie. The award-winning pizza has become a permanent resident at Cider Corps and offers guests $2 off a Margherita pizza with any game ticket. Add pepperoni to any pizza for only $2.50 more. Myke’s Pizza is open Tuesday – Thursdays from 5 – 9 PM and Friday – Saturday from 4 – 9:30 PM.

Cider Corps is at 31 S. Robson. #103, Mesa

Bao down at the upcoming Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival

Asian street food continues to gain popularity around the valley with the announcement of the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival on March 21st 2020. From 12:30 – 5 p.m. at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park festival goers can taste the popular filled bao and dumplings along with other Asian foods, Boba and desserts until their hearts desire. You’ll be able to shop at marketplace, visit with local artists and play games in between tastes and sips.

Bao
Happy Buns Coconut Bao

Tickets are now on sale for this family friendly event with General Admission tickets only $8 plus tax & fees. There are a limited amount of Early Admission tickets at 11:30 a.m. are $13 ++. Children aged 7 – 12 are $4 and under 6 are free with a paid adult. Admission is separate from food and drink purchases.

Dr. A.J. Chandler Park is in historic downtown Chandler at 3 S. Arizona Ave. 85225.

The Stillery coming to new development in downtown Chandler

A new development in downtown Chandler just snagged the popular Nashville bar and restaurant The Stillery to move in. When it opens this fall at the New Square mixed use development downtown it will be its first location outside of Nashville. Other tenants include a Hilton Garden Inn, the first hotel built downtown since the San Marcos Resort over 100 years ago and the 10 year old DC Steakhouse moves south of its current location.

Chandler residents Steve and Alane Kovach founded The Stillery and once opened it will serve elevated comfort food and be the largest music venue in Chandler. Signature dishes include Nashville hot chicken, double stacked burgers, wood-fired pizzas and more. Grab a southern style cocktail, beer or moonshine at the horseshoe shaped bar before you hit the dance floor.

A stage, lighting and a state-of-the-art sound system will give downtown Chandler an indoor venue for live music. The historic neighborhood is popular with music & food festivals at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park and restaurants and bars .

New Square started construction in 2018 and is a partnership between local developer Spike Lawrence Ventures and HCW LLC. The development is slated to have tenants move in this spring with a grand opening celebration on March 25th.

“At New Square, we’ve brought together a selection of businesses that fill a need and bring great meaning to the community. The Stillery is such an exciting addition and will help to further elevate downtown Chandler’s dining and nightlife scene,” said Spike Lawrence, founder of Spike Lawrence Ventures. To stay up to date about The Stillery’s open date head to their website.

 

 

Pedal Haus Brewery to start tapping beers in downtown Chandler

Tempe’s award-winning Pedal Haus Brewery is getting ready to tap the first beer at its new location in downtown Chandler later this month. It’s the 2nd location of the brewery that started making craft beer on Mill Ave. in downtown Tempe in 2015. Beers will be brewed in Tempe and will be delivered daily to the Chandler location. Pedal Haus Brewery

“We love the community in downtown Chandler and felt this was a great fit,” said Wright. “Chandler has been very welcoming, and we are excited for our first expansion beyond our Tempe location.” says owner Julian Wright.

Once opened guests can expect signature dishes such as smoked wings and smoked salmon found at the Tempe location. A limited released Salted Nut Brown Ale will be tapped at opening with all proceeds donated to the Chandler Compadres. The Chandler based charity donates time, money & resources to Chandler and east valley families and children in need.

Brewmaster Derek Osborne will oversee both locations line-ups of rotating beers that has won over 32 awards and medals.

A grand opening is scheduled for March 7th with half of food and beverage sales between 2-6 p.m. going to the Compadres. Customers will be given a raffle ticket for every $10 spent dining in for a Pedal Haus bike on Sunday.

Pedal Haus Brewery is at 95 W. Boston St. Chandler

Verde Valley Wine Festival is back for its 5th year Mother’s Day weekend

There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a glass of wine or two with dear old mom. You can purchase tickets for you and your mom for the 5th annual Verde Valley Wine Festival, Saturday May 9th 2020. Four Eight Wineworks presents the festival that will host 20 Arizona wineries along with local breweries, distilleries, food trucks and restaurants. The festival takes place at Clarkdale Town Park from 12 – 5 p.m. Each year the festival donates part of the proceeds to a local non-profit, this year’s festival benefits The Arizona Vignerons Alliance and the Arizona Winegrowers Association. Participating wineries, food trucks and other vendors is will be announced soon.

“Wine’s economic impact on our state demands more resources to defend, protect and grow this incredibly delicate, yet robust industry in Arizona,” said David Baird, festival director and co-owner of oDDity Wine Collective. “Guests fly in from all over the world to attend this festival. For many people, the first time they understand the depth of Arizona wine is at our festival. We’re honored to be a conduit for that magic.”

General Admission tickets for the Verde Valley Wine Festival are available on-line for $35 in advance and $45 at the festival. VIP tickets are $125 and get you early entry at 11 a.m., access to the VIP Lounge, additional tastings and a swag bag. Platinum VIP tickets are $199 and include dinner and live auction on Friday May 8th. Festival goers are encouraged to spend the night and accommodations for glamping are available on the website.

Clarkdale Town Park is at 1001 Main St. Clarkdale.

 

 

 

Mardi Gras fun with a jazz brunch at The Boulders Resort

Bananas Foster, beads and beignets are part of Mardi Gras parties and you can celebrate the festive day at The Boulder Resort’s Mardi Gras Jazz Brunch. Sunday February 23rd on the outdoor terrace at the resort’s Grill Kitchen & Bar guests will revel in the sounds of Louisiana along with New Orleans and French Creole cuisine from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sip on New Orlean’s Hurricane cocktails or Mimosas from the cart while enjoying Classic Cajun Gumbo, Egg Sardou Benedict, Shrimp Grits and more. Take in the breathtaking desert views while grooving to live jazz music.Mardi Gras

Tickets are $75 per person plus tax & gratuity. Reservations and more information can be had by calling 480-488-9020 or visiting https://www.theboulders.com/. The Boulders is at 34631 N. Tom Darlington Dr. Carefree AZ. 85377.

Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar opens in north Scottsdale

Regional cuisine is served up at a restaurant that recently opened in north Scottsdale. Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar is owned R Squared Restaurant Concepts’ Christi & James Rice and James’s brother and sister in-law John & Erin Rucker. Their New American menu is full of dishes from states that the 4 have previously lived of New York, Texas, Mississippi, New Mexico & Arizona.

“Through the places we have lived before Scottsdale, we’ve grabbed flavors from our life experiences,” says co-owner Christi Rice. “Our menu and our specialty cocktails express all the culinary adventures we’ve had and what we’ve learned about food in other areas of the country. We also have fun infusing spirits into our culinary creations.”

All photos courtesy of Christi Rice

Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar serves lunch and dinner daily with happy hour in between from 3-6 p.m. Guests can expect dishes such as the Cay Shrimp Salad, Lemon Dill Grilled Salmon, Midwest Angus Beef Burger and AZ Ale Fish & Chips along with pitas, sandwiches salads and more. $2 off all appetizers during happy hour includes favorites Montauk Fried Olives, Delta Deviled Eggs and chicken wings.

With a name like Copper Mule it comes as no surprise the cocktail menu offers 9 mule cocktails. Irish and Kentucky Mule’s join signature cocktails from around the country including The Georgia Peach, The Tipsy Texan and more.

The family friendly, reasonably priced restaurant has a dog friendly patio. The Copper Mule Kitchen & bar is at 23335 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85255. For more information and to see the menu check pout their website.

Phoenix Convention Center to get its own brewpub

As downtown Phoenix continues to grow the city looks for more amenities for downtown residents and visitors. Dining out is popular downtown which is why Huss Brewing Co. has agreed to open brewpub at the Phoenix Convention Center. The two-story, street front brewery and restaurant will open in the fall on Monroe St. between 2nd and 3rd streets.

Huss Brewing Co. entered into a partnership with the city and convention center food & beverage provider Aventura Catering. “The Phoenix Convention Center is one of Downtown Phoenix’ most visible points of pride, and we are thrilled that they will now house a beloved local company with Huss Brewing Co.,” says Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This new location will help further showcase the strength of our community’s craft beer industry to the millions of visitors who come to our city each year.”

Huss Brewing Co. will serve their award-winning beers along with a chef driven menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.

This has become a passion project for Huss Brewing co-owners Leah and Jeff Huss. “Jeff and I have been working on this project for more than a year and a half,” Leah says, “It has been a joy working with the Phoenix Convention Center, and Aramark (Aventura’s parent company) throughout the process of putting this dream together. Most important, we’re looking forward to being a part of the downtown Phoenix community and helping the revitalization of the area, especially bringing a vibrant nightlife back to downtown’s sports, arts and events community.”

The Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest returns for its 6th year

Downtown Chandler will feel a bit like New Orleans’s French Quarter for a few hours on Saturday, February 15th 2020. This is when fans of Cajun food and culture can expect to party into the night at the 6th Annual Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest.

AJ Chandler Park will again host over a dozen restaurants including Angry Crab Shack, Bayou Bistro and Honey Bears Cajun BBQ Cuisine serving up gumbo, crawfish, Po’boys and more. Abita beers such as Purple Haze, Hop On and more will be on draft.

“Angry Crab Shack is excited to team up with HDE Agency and bring a Mardi Gras party to the East Valley while benefiting one of our partners in Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” said Andrew Diamond, president of Angry Crab Franchise. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

HooDoo Coasters, Bluesman Mike, NolAz Band and Souled Out Jazz Band will perform live throughout the 9 hour festival. Food eating contest, lawn games, flame throwers and a Kid’s Zone will entertain festival goers.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital as they plan to expand into the east valley. The festivities start at noon and ticket options including veteran’s discounts, general admission and the Big Easy Lounge are available. To purchase tickets for the Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest and get more information head to their website.

AJ Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler