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.

Platform 18 at Century Grand on 50 Best Discovery list

The Arcadia Lite cocktail bar made the prestigious list and it’s the first time an Arizona restaurant or bar has made the list. The list is compiled by 50 Best and is an extension of the global list of 50 best bars & restaurants. Global experts approve the restaurants and bars around the world with 2,000 establishments making their original list before cutting it down to the final 50. Restaurants don’t apply for consideration but qualify from receiving a significant amount of votes from current round of polling. Downtown Phoenix’s Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour also made the list.

Sphinx Date Ranch Co. celebrates 70th anniversary

The downtown Scottsdale retailer of locally made foods, wines & more is celebrating with special items, discounts and Mayor David Ortega proclaiming September 16th – 18th as “Sphinx Date Co. Days”. Guests can get 20% off orders of $20 or more when using promo code 1951, the year it opened. The discount goes until September 23rd and special 20th anniversary merchandise will help raise money for the Scottsdale Historical Society. For more information visit their website.

Pedal Haus Brewery release Oktoberfest beer and menu

The downtown Tempe & Chandler brewpub today release their seasonal beer and food menu. Beer brats, pork schnitzel and more are on the menu with the Tempe location also serving a special Flammkuchen pizza. An Oktoberfest celebration is scheduled for October 2nd in Chandler.

Match Market & Bar offer wine class & agave pairing dinner

Wednesday September 15th you can learn about wines from Southern Italy & Sicily while tasting the wines of the region. The downtown Phoenix tasting starts at 7 p.m. and is $25 per person and includes tasting note & pairings, light bites and wine samples. Wines tasted that night can be purchased by the bottle at 15% off.

The 4 -course agave pairing dinner takes place on Friday September 17th from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The chef crafted menu will complement the different types of agave. Cost is $109++ per person and includes a welcoming Corralejo Reposado at arrival.

Caracara Restaurant delays opening til January 2022

The signature restaurant at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown hotel has delayed the opening until 2022. The restaurant was expected to open this month but with Delta variant of Covid-19 on the rise management opted for the safety and health of employees & guests. Check back for updates and to see what you can expect read my post from July.

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.

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.

Bring your favorite pooch to Morning Squeeze on August 26th.

Celebrate National Dog Day next Thursday at the popular breakfast & lunch spots locations in Scottsdale, Tempe & downtown Phoenix. Bring them by the restaurant for a free house-made biscuit or something else from the Tail Waggers menu. $.99 Mimosas for you, dog lovers.

Wine Tasting Wednesday Wine at The Mick

One of the best restaurants to open in 2020 is Scottsdale’s The Mick Brasserie & Bar and every Wednesday they host a tasting, usually wine, starting at 6 p.m. Chef Brent (check out my podcast with Brent) creates a special menu for the night and prices do vary week to week. Next Wed. Aug. 25th they’re doing a sake tasting, Sept. 1st- Chardonnays from around the world. Sept. 8th- South African wines, Sept. 15th– Winemaker from Smith/Deveraux Winery Sept. 22nd– Four Peaks Brewery. Visit their website for more information and to see their menu and other up-coming events.

The Buzz Eatery now open in Kierland Commons

After a soft opening in the spring the breakfast, lunch & early dinner spot is now open. Catch a “buzz” from their selection of coffee drinks, wine, cocktails & adult popsicles while enjoying bagels, acai bowls, baked goods, treats and more from their breakfast and all day menu. They open at 7 a.m. Mon. – Sat. & Sun at 8 a.m. and close daily at 7 p.m. For more information and to see the menu check out their website.

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row adds new dishes to the menu

The Gilbert location added 7 new dishes recently from new Executive Chef Dustin Cooke. Sweet Chili Cauliflower, Bourbon Glazed Wings, Truffle Mushroom Burger and Maple Almond Salmon are few of the rock star dishes.

FRANCINE celebrates its 1st anniversary with new cocktails

The French inspired Mediterranean restaurant in the luxury wing of Scottsdale Fashion Square added new cocktails available through the Fall & Winter. The French Connection, an infused rum and St. Germain cocktail, Summer Thyme, uses a Silencio Mezcal base. Le Jardin combines Citadelle gin & yellow chartreuse San Remo is a premium whiskey-based cocktail and Archies Nightcap starts with Botanist Gin & Averna Amaro. All cocktails were created by bartenders Frank Soldano, Gage Myette, Trevyn StClair with the help of Executive Chef Brian ” Chef Archie” Archibald.

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.

PRONTO by Serrano’s to serve fast casual Mexican food later this year

This Fall the Serrano family will be debuting their new fast casual concept PRONTO by Serrano’s at their Tempe location. Known for serving Mexican food at several east valley restaurants since 1979 they decided to convert that location since it’s been closed for the last year for re-modeling.

“We’ve learned a lot over the past two years and we know that fast-casual concepts have experienced significant recent growth,” said Ric Serrano, CEO of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants. “Our Pronto concept will offer customers fresh, quality ingredients at an affordable price. We hope our loyal customers embrace Pronto and that we gain some new fans as well.”

With a focus on “fresh, flavorful and familiar,” Pronto will offer build-your-own combos featuring burritos, tacos, nachos, salads and more. Favorite Serrano staples like machaca, shredded chicken, asada steak, tomatillo pork and more will be offered. And customers will also be able to add the famous Serrano’s bean dip, chips and salsa to their orders if desired.

“With our customizable menu options, our customers will have an array of meal options to choose from that are served up fast just the way they like it,” Serrano added. “With Arizona State University a few miles up the road and numerous local businesses and busy families in the area, the fast-casual concept should be appealing to both our lunch and dinner crowds.”

PRONTO by Serrano’s will be looking to hire 20 employees in the coming months for all positions in front & back of the house. Be the first to find out about hiring, the grand opening and more head to their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. When opened it will be at 6440 S. Rural Rd. Tempe.

Carcara Restaurant to offer Native American & Sonoran inspired cuisine

Finishing touches are being put on the yearlong renovation at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown and will culminate with the opening of its new signature restaurant in September, Carcara. Executive Chef Chaz Frankefield has been tapped to oversee the new restaurant that will offer locally sourced ingredients for its Southwestern inspired menu.

The 7,000 square foot restaurant includes a 2,000 square foot patio that will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and hand crafted cocktails. Chef Frankenfield’s menu will include dishes such as prosciutto wrapped seared sea scallops served alongside Ramona Farms red corn polenta, wilted spinach and tangerine cranberry sauce or beef ribeye with roasted fingerling potatoes, jalapeno cilantro chimichurri, shaved garlic and lemon broccoli.

“We are thrilled to introduce Carcara not only to our local Phoenix community, but also to travelers and guests of Sheraton Phoenix Downtown,” said Frankenfield. “From the modern design incorporating lush greenery and warm earth tones to the Sonoran and Southwestern-inspired menu using locally sourced ingredients, Carcara evokes the heritage and history of the local Phoenix community and welcomes all to immerse themselves in the destination.”

New York based Celano Design Studio designed Carcara with the regions agricultural history including cotton fields and citrus groves as inspiration. A 14-foot tall Chestnut Oak tree grows in the heart of the dining room and offers a 21 foot canopy. Other feature include a fireplace, two fire pits with Cara Cara orange trees lining the patio and three private dining rooms.

To make a reservation at Carcara Restaurant call 602-262-2500.

Frenchie Pizza bringing a French twist to pizza in Gilbert

The Buschetz family own and operate 3 restaurants in the East Valley and this week will add a 4th when they open Frenchie Pizza on Thursday July 8th. The restaurant will serve American thin sliced pizza along with “flammekueche” or “flammies” for short. The unleavened crispy flatbread is popular throughout the Alsace region of France.

Co-owner and Executive Chef Fabrice Buschetz is a native of France and relocated to Arizona from his home country in 2013 with his wife and co-owner Máiréad who is General Manager of all of the family’s restaurants. Says Máiréad “We’ve always used Fabrice’s past experiences in kitchens to develop concepts,” she said. “We have so many ideas in our head we could probably do 20 more different themes easily.” 

Traditional “flammes” will be served and often uses a tangy & creamy white sauce topped with smoked bacon and onions. Other versions on the menu include potato and mushroom toppings and Americanized version to include buffalo chicken and tomato & basil with honey Sriracha. Dessert “flammes” will include Nutella, caramelized apples, bananas and cream cheese. The American style pizza will be made with 00 flower and San Marzano tomatoes.

The fast casual concept offers pizza for take-out and will seat 30 people in the dining room that includes several TV’s. Six draft beers will be on tap along with single serve bottles of wine and a margarita machine will offer the frozen drink.

Frenchie Pizza is at 3765 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, AZ 85297 and will be open 7 days a week starting at 11 a.m. For more information check out 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.

Valley Coffee Co. to offer coffee, craft beers and all day eats

The valley’s crowded coffee scene will get a little more crowded when Valley Coffee Co. opens for business at Portland St. and Central Ave. The pet friendly coffee shop welcomes local residents and visitors to stay and enjoy not only the food and drinks but the art from local artists.

“Valley Coffee Co. has a little something for everyone whether stopping in on the way to work or relaxing with friends and family after a long day,” says Owner Donny Peper, an NAU graduate who grew up in the Valley and resides in the neighborhood. “We’re proud to work with local vendors to feature the best of Arizona food and drink, and we can’t wait to welcome our neighbors and new friends.”

Valley Coffee Co. sources their coffee from Flagstaff’s Firecreek Coffee Roasters and offer local craft beers, kombucha and wines. Light bites and snacks from Scottsdale’s Squarz Bakery include pastries & baked goods and meat pies. Specialty coffee blends, mushroom jerky, gourmet treats and merchandise are available on the shelves for purchase. Artlink Phoenix curated art features the people, places and things found around Phoenix.

Day to day operations and customer satisfaction will be overseen by manager Jace Musfelt who is hiring and those interested can send an email to dt@valley-coffee.com  for more information. Valley Coffee Co. is at 100 West Portland Street and open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 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.

Eat Up Drive In brings fast casual comfort food to Arcadia Lite

Jocque Concepts recently opened it newest concept, Eat Up Drive In at the busy corner of 40th St & Indian School Rd. The locally-owned company owns The Montauk, Diego Pops and the soon to be re-opened The Hot Chick in downtown Scottsdale. This is their first fast-casual concept that serves up slow cooked fast served comfort food.

Eat Up Drive In offers a small dining room and patio for dining in along with a drive-thru window for pick-up for its individual or family style meals. The menu features dishes such as a Prime Dip Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Grinder (that’s a sub sandwich) and Caesar Wrap. Salads, soups & chili and sides are also on the menu. Six baked potatoes are offered including Vegan Chili, Braised BBQ Short Ribs and Turkey Chili.

Single & Family Meals are popular and include Short Rib Ragu, Wood Grilled Citrus Chicken, Charred Chile Shrimp and more. Each meal comes with two side dishes with patience needed when ordering family meals as they take 25 minutes to prepare. The restaurant uses all natural proteins and supports local vendors including Maya’s Farm and Passport Coffee & Tea.

Currently Eat Up Drive In is open for dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. with lunch service coming soon. For more information, to see the menu and order visit their website. The restaurant is at 4001 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.

Woo Woo Burgers launches ghost kitchen from Z’ Tejas

The team behind Z’ Tejas Southwestern Grill launched its new ghost kitchen concept, Woo Woo Burgers at the end of May. Currently coming from its Chandler location’s kitchen, burgers and more are available for curbside pick-up or third party delivery. “We’re excited to launch this new concept,” said Robby Nethercut chief operating officer. “Woo Woo Burgers is a passion project of ours. It’s the delicious, simple type of food that we love made with the best ingredients.”

The simple menu offers 1/3 lb 80/20 Angus chuck & brisket for its Woo Woo Burger, Cheeseburger or Bacon Cheeseburger. The Woo Woo Chicken Sandwich comes with bacon and cheese. Several variations of the chicken sandwich are also available. All come dressed with lettuce, tomato, red onions, pickles and mayo and sides, sauces and drinks are also available.

“Burgers represent American culture – backyard gatherings, BBQs, nostalgia of the good ‘ol days,” said Diego Bolanos, executive chef. “I see Woo Woo Burgers as a great opportunity to connect to the community and our guests.”

Through Sunday June 6th 10% of all sales will be donated to Phoenix-based Living Hope Cancer Foundation. The non-profit is dedicated to providing cancer patients and caregivers support through lifestyle coaching and advocacy. Living Hope was founded by cancer survivors and more information can be found on their website.

To place an order head to their website.

Ingo’s Tasty Food coming to North Scottsdale in 2022

LGO Hospitality has announced another of its Arcadia Lite concepts will be opening a location in North Scottsdale in the future. Ingo’s Tasty Food will join sister restaurant Buck & Rider along Scottsdale Rd. near the Loop 101 when it opens in mid-2022. Ingo’s is known for its scratch made in- house food including the popular Fried Chicken Sammy, Ingo’s Chopped Salad and grass fed burgers.

“After years of continuous success for Ingo’s in Arcadia, we could not be more excited to expand and introduce the brand community and menu experience to more residents and visitors in new neighborhoods around the city,” says Emily Collins of LGO Hospitality. “The vibrant patio will be great for outside meetings over comfort food, quick in and out delicious coffee bar and breakfast, lunch, dinner and gorgeous sunset happy hours with family and friends over staple LGO Hospitality dishes and spirits.”

The 2,600 square foot North Scottsdale location is being designed by L.A. architectural firm LOHA: Lorcan O’Herlihy will feature a cozy countertop like the one at its original location. A patio and curbside pick-up will also be available.

Founded in 2013 Ingo’s Tasty Food serves its all-day menu for lunch and dinner along with coffee and pastries from the LGO Bakeshop. The North Scottsdale location will be the third for Ingo’s Tasty Food with the second location opening this summer in downtown Phoenix.

Guests are welcome to visit the Arcadia Lite location or can order on the Ingo’s Tasty Food app. For more information visit their website.