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

What’s going on in the Phoenix food & beverage scene?

Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers celebrates 10 years with $10 burger & beer deal

Every Monday – Friday from 3 p.m. –  6p.m. in November the locally owned burger & beer joint is celebrating a milestone anniversary with a deal hard to pass up. All 12 Phoenix area locations are ready to welcome customers with this deal which includes an All-American Burger, chips & domestic draft beer.

Pedal Haus Brewery opens 3rd location in Phoenix

Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix is where Julian Wright decided to open the third location of his popular taproom. The award-winning beers will be delivered daily from the Tempe brewery and guests can expect signature dishes including Haus smoked wings, a giant Bavarian pretzel and more like that found at the Tempe & Chandler locations. An extensive vegan and gluten-free menu offered in Tempe will be rolled out in coming months in Phoenix.

Pork on a Fork awaiting new restaurant opening with Food Truck Friday

Every Friday from 5- 8 p.m., or until they sell out, the food truck will hit the brakes in the parking lot of its future brick & mortar location in Chandler. $200 worth of gift cards will be given away and future food truck events will be announced. The new restaurant will be at 1972 N. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85224.

Chompie’s offering to-go Hanukkah meals

Just when you’re tired of turkey Hanukah starts Sunday, November 28th and Chompie’s Deli locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe & Chandler are offering deli platters and dinners for curbside pick-up. A minimum 24 hours’ notice is required and all pre-orders can be made by calling 480-348-2287, online or in person.

Dapper & Stout Coffee Company now open in Uptown Phoenix

The third location of has opened in at Uptown Plaza offering everything from coffee to food to cocktails. They open bright and early at 6 a.m. seven days a week and stay open til 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday & Saturday. Happy hour is daily from 3 – 6 p.m. with special on cocktails, wine & beer and $2.00 of Small Bites.

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.

Mesquite Fresh Street Mex opening 8th location in Northwest Phoenix

The locally owned Mr. Mesquite has announced it’s now going by Mesquite Fresh Street Mex and will open its 8th location at the end of August. The grand opening is scheduled for August 28th at 10:30 a.m. at 1730 W. Happy Valley Rd. Phoenix.

“We are thrilled to expand the Mesquite brand in Arizona with our eighth location,” said Ahmad Alatrash, co-founder of Mesquite Fresh Street Mex. “Northwest Phoenix is a thriving area with strong businesses, services and a great community around it. We look forward to connecting with residents and sharing our authentic meets modern Mexican concept with the neighborhood.”

The 1,930 square foot fast casual restaurant will serve meats grilled over mesquite wood for a unique and smoky flavor. Tacos, killer burritos, protein bowls and quesadillas make up the menu. Family meals will also be available and tacos start at $2.19 each. All ingredients are of the highest quality and a prepared every day.  Grand opening celebrations will include giveaways and the first 200 people will win a free taco for week for six months.

The restaurant is looking to hire 30 people for the new location joining over 150 other employees throughout Arizona. “We are seeking ambitious and driven individuals ready to join a collaborative team,” said Naser. “We pride ourselves in a family-driven environment and place a large emphasis in creating a supportive and fun atmosphere for our staff.”  For more information about job openings and the grand opening visit their website.

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen opens 6th location

Arizona and family -owned Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen opened its newest restaurant in Gilbert with a limited schedule. Currently opened Thursday – Sunday the new location will gradually open on other days in the coming weeks. Picazzo’s originally started in Sedona serving organic and healthy pizzas, salads and other Italian specialties but in the years since have grown to include the flavors of Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican ingredients.

“We can’t wait to welcome the Gilbert community to Picazzo’s!” says Picazzo’s Operations Manager, Chris Disney. It’s our pleasure to offer a variety of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and allergy-friendly items. Families can enjoy a meal at Picazzo’s and get their favorite dishes, whether they have special dietary needs or preferences or not. We’ve actually had guests cry with happiness when they realize they can order exactly what they want, how they want it!”

The menu in Gilbert is the same as the other locations and includes 95% organic ingredients for its pizzas, pastas, entrees, salads and more. Guests will notice a new modern look that will be rolled out to the other restaurants in the future.  A separate vegan menu is available using plant- based ingredients from Follow Your Heart, Daiya and Beyond Meat.

Picazzo’s new modern look

The restaurant’s spacious 4,300 square feet includes a roll-up garage door connecting the indoors and outdoors. “We thought a lot about our consumer when designing the new restaurant,” explains Disney. “That means creating a space that can accommodate solo diners and couples just as easily as large families. We also focused on selecting aesthetically pleasing textures and surfaces on everything from countertops to walls to the patio decking. We think our guests are going to love the experience here – and we hope they take advantage of the Instagram-worthy setting for taking photos with family and friends!”

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen is at 884 E. Williams Field Rd. Gilbert 85295 with the other locations in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Tempe/Chandler, Arrowhead and Sedona. To find the location closest to you and to view the menu, visit their website.

 

Buck & Rider announces a new North Scottsdale location

Arcadia’s popular Buck & Rider known for fresh seafood flown in daily has announced that they will be opening a second location at The Shops at Chauncey Ranch in North Scottsdale. Seafood fans will still have to head to the Camelback Rd. restaurant as the new location is about a year away from opening.

LGO Hospitality opened the original location in 2015 and has built its reputation serving quality seafood and meats by working directly with the fishermen and farmers. All fish is cut in-house with oysters and fish selections are rotated on a daily basis. Seafood comes from all directions with the seasonality, weather and skill of the fisherman dictating what’s available on the menu.

“Opening an authentic Buck & Rider location in Scottsdale gives us the ability to share our vitality, vim and vigor with the local community. Our goal has always been to bring the freshest seafood possible to Phoenix,” said Emily Collins of LGO Hospitality. “We’re eager and enthusiastic about sharing our unique and genuine vision with even more Arizonans. We utilize the freshest and most immaculate ingredients and apply exactness in cooking so that interference with the natural elements of the food is minimal and truly celebrate the ingredients.”

Serving lunch, dinner, brunch and happy hour Buck & Rider guests to Scottsdale will recognize familiar dishes such as Steak Tartar, Hand Rolled Sushi, Baja Shrimp Ceviche and the famed Abby’s Oyster Bar. A signature cocktail list with premium liquors and wine will compliment your meal. A full patio with outside bar is included in the design by local architect Cathy Hayes with her inspiration and design of the new location being influenced by modern designs and natural decor of the area. For more information and updates as to the opening visit the Buck & Rider website or on Facebook.

Pork on a Fork opening new location in Chandler in May

Popular BBQ joint Pork on a Fork is coming to the East Valley this spring as they get ready to open on Alma School Rd in Chandler. Owners Justin Erickson and Wes Hansen started the started selling their smoked meats and sandwiches at farmer’s markets around Phoenix before opening their original location in north Phoenix’s Deer Valley neighborhood in 2010. After the first location, they opened inside Gila River and Talking Stick Arenas and expanded into catering and a food truck.

The pair gained fame when invited on “Guy Fieri’s Celebrity Food Show” and the host started using their meats during cooking demonstrations. They’ve since found themselves on USA Today’s 10 Best list and on The Cooking Channel’s “Big Bad BBQ Crawl”.

“We’re really excited to continue the expansion of our brand and move into the East Valley,” says Erickson. “This is an entirely new market for us and a big opportunity for us to grow. We can’t wait to welcome this new demographic of BBQ lovers.”

The Chandler location will serve the same slow-cooked smoked meats available in Deer Valley including brisket and pork by the pound. Sandwiches, bowls and burritos along with new items such as Cowboy Nachos, Brisket Chili and smoked turkey and bologna will be on the menu. Dine-in and drive-thru will be available with drive-thru offering more personalized service than traditional fast food drive-thru.

People looking to join the Pork on a Fork team in Chandler can submit an application online at https://www.porkonafork.com/join-our-team. For more information visit their website.

 

Chino Bandido moving after 31 years at its original location

The eclectic Phoenix restaurant that serves Chinese, Mexican and Jamaican fusion is moving to a new location in north Phoenix. Chino Bandido has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is planning an early summer move from its original 19th Ave. location not far to 310 W. Bell Rd.

Owners Eve and Frank Collins opened in 1990 and had a cult like following shortly after opening. “After 31 years, I knew it was time for a change. Frank would have been so happy to see our brand-new location, and I am honored to make this dream a reality,” said Co-Owner Eve Collins. Frank passed away in 2013 and was a staple at the restaurant helping to make the “hole in the wall” restaurant a success.

The new location will 6,000 square feet with almost half of the space dedicated to the kitchen. A new patio for up to 30 people, new tables and chairs will give it a new feel. The industrial “vibe” will be the same and Pancho the 7,500 lb. black granite bear has already made the move to the new location.

It’s business as usual at the original location until early June when Eve hopes to move. The menu will stay the same at the new location as will the hours of operation 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily. “Chino Bandido has been my labor of love for over half my life. Our customers’ extreme loyalty got us through the pandemic, and I could not be more excited for the next chapter in our history,” said Collins. For more information and to stay up to date visit their website.

 

Mr. Mesquite Taqueria to open 1st drive thru location

Local fast casual Mr. Mesquite Taqueria opens its 8th location on Saturday December 12th in Gilbert. It will be the first drive thru for the fast expanding concept founded by brothers Naser and Ahmad Alatrash in 2015 as a walk-up taco stand in Scottsdale’s Entertainment District. Since then they’ve expanded around the Phoenix area and have a location in Illinois.

Their “authentic meets modern” Mexican street food is available for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Meats for their burritos, tacos & quesadillas are grilled over a mesquite charcoal fire gives the meat a fresh smoky smell you notice once you walk in. The menu is simple offering chicken and steak for its popular dishes that are made to order with toppings customers choose. 1, 2, and 3 pound family meals are available with meats, sides and tortillas.

The first 250 guests on Saturday will get free tacos for 6 months. Mr. Mesquite Taqueria have partnered with Academic Opportunity of Arizona for the month December for their toy drive “Toys for Tacos”. Drop off clothes, toys, supplies (make-up, hair products, sewing kits, bedding), sports equipment, games and electronics to any location to get a free taco at the time of drop off.

To find a location near you visit their website.

 

 

IL Bosco Pizza opening new location in downtown Phoenix

You can never have enough good pizza and with many choices in downtown Phoenix another pizza oven is getting fired up. Scottsdale’s award-winning IL Bosco Wood Fired Pizza hopes to be open no later than late December in the former Dvina Modern Fare at 918 N. 5th Street.

Owners Jeff Carlberg and John Dorsey are excited to bring their quality pizza, experience and atmosphere to the downtown restaurant scene. “This is the place, we fell in love with the decor, the downtown vibe, everything,” Carlberg says. “We are really happy to be part of the downtown community.” IL Bosco Wood Fired Pizza will be housed in a 100 year-old bungalow that was also Jobot Coffee’s original location.

Chef Chris is looking forward to a larger kitchen than he’s used to in Scottsdale. With the larger kitchen he’ll be able to increase the offering of pizzas, salads and appetizers. A full bar allows the new location to offer signature cocktails along with its California and Italian wine and craft beer list.

An east facing patio will allow the restaurant to provide a safe and healthy environment for dine-in and will offer take-out and delivery. For more information and updates visit their website.

S & V Urban Italian to open 2nd Scottsdale location this fall

Scottsdale restaurant S & V Urban Italian has announced it will open a second location a few miles north later this year. The original location at 9343 E. Shea Blvd. has served authentic Italian cuisine seven days a week since 2011. The new location will be in a new development called SOHO at 16580 N. 92nd St. and will offer views of the McDowell Mountains from the patio. A large main dining room and spacious bar will also offer a peek outdoors with its adjustable garage doors. The new location will continue to serve the same Italian dishes customers have come to love during lunch, happy hour & dinner.

In other S & V Urban Italian news, they’ve recently started serving Family Meal Deals that feed four. Choose a Caesar or Mista salad, and pasta dishes including Spaghetti & Meatballs ($50), Fettuccine Alfredo ($50; add chicken or sausage $60), Penne Vodka ($50) or Rigatoni Bolognese ($55).

Other great specials include their Pizza & Wine Oh My deal on Mondays from 3PM to 9PM where you can enjoy a pizza and a bottle of wine for only $20. All are available for dine-in or take out. Come in on Wednesdays from 3PM to 9PM, to enjoy half off bottles of wine with your meal or by itself.

For more information and updates on the new location visit their website.

Aioli Gourmet Burgers 2nd brick & mortar location coming to Litchfield Park

Come early April fans of award-winning Aioli Gourmet Burgers can head to Fry’s Marketplace when they open their second location. The Litchfield Park location will be the first in the west valley after their Shea & 32nd St. location in Phoenix. Culinary Institute of America graduate Tommy D’Ambrosio started Aioli Gourmet Burgers in 2013 with childhood friends and a food truck.

“Our entire team is so excited to finally be opening a second location in partnership with Fry’s Marketplace. This has been almost a year in development, and we can’t wait for the store to open for our westside fans. We hope that this will be the first of many Fry’s Marketplace locations across Arizona,” said Kyle Hollenbeck, Co-Owner, Aioli Gourmet Burgers.

The unique chef driven burgers are popular on the food truck and festival scene with the White Truffle Swiss and Italiano. Loaded fries, milk shakes, beer battered onion rings and more are served at Aioli. Tommy’s won “Chopped” and has won “Best Burger” in The Phoenix New Times “Best of Phoenix” and in burger competitions. Before coming back to Phoenix to start the food truck Tommy apprenticed at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. The restaurant group has other food truck concepts that will become restaurants including Modern Tortilla and Oak Wood-Fired Pizza.

Chef Tommy D’Ambrosio

“We are looking forward to Aioli Gourmet Burgers joining the Fry’s family,” says Monica Garnes, President of Fry’s Food Stores. “It’s a great operation with an award-winning history, and we think our Litchfield Park customers are really going to enjoy the experience.”

Fry’s Marketplace is at 13730 W Camelback Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340. For more information visit their website.