“Baseball for Babbo” fundraiser honors restaurant’s founder

Locally owned Babbo Italian Eatery lost its founder Ken Pollack to pancreatic cancer in late 2022 and will honor him with a fundraiser on Thursday, June 15th. 100% of the “Baseball for Babbo” sales at the 8 locations will be donated to the Seena Magowitz Foundation and donations will be matched by Ken’s family and Roger Magowitz. Babbo means “daddy” in Italian and Ken was a leading figure to his staff and family along with being an avid baseball fan.

If you give you will get, and if you get you should give,’ was my Dad’s quote. This event is the perfect way for us to honor his legacy and live by his motto,” said Marketing Director of Babbo Italian Eatery Taylor Schultz. Guests can honor Ken and help raise money whether they dine-in or take-out on the 15th.

The Seena Magowitz Foundation was founded by Roger Magowitz named after his mother who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in 2001. Pancreatic cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths with a five year survival rate. The foundation is the voice of the disease and helps bring awareness and how to reduce the risk of getting it.

“The foundation accepts the challenge in pursuit of an eventual cure,” said Magowitz. “We thank Babbo Italian Eatery for their desire and commitment to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research, done by the brightest, most innovative minds in medical science.” Donations can be made directly to the foundation or through Babbo’s donation page.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

 

Festvin 2023, a 4-day wine festival returns to the Wrigley Mansion

Whether you’re an experienced wine drinker or a new to wine next weekend’s Festvin 2023 at the Wrigley Mansion is for you. 4-days of tastings, seminars, cooking demonstrations, dinners, a Grand Tasting and Sunday brunch happen May 18th -21st at the historical landmark in Phoenix’s Biltmore neighborhood. Special guests will be traveling to Phoenix to take part in the event as will wine enthusiasts from near and far.

James Beard award winning chef Christopher Gross and his culinary team including Executive Chef David Brito and sommelier Jason Caballero are pulling out all the stops to this 21 and over event. A portion of Festvin 2023 proceeds will be donated to “Almost There: A Mom and Pup Rescue“.

Festvin 2023 schedule of events

The weekend kicks off with a exclusive dinner on Thursday evening where guests will have the rare opportunity to taste Louis XIII cognac.

May 18 and 19 features FIVE special dinners:
LOUIS XIII Cognac dinner: Taste the Gold at Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion and take a bottle (and many more gifts) home (more than $4,400 value)
Throwback Dinner matching vintages and typical dishes from 1940s-1990s at Geordie’s Chefs Table.
Dom Perignon Dinner at Chefs Table.
Flight Club I where somms Jane Lopes & husband John Ross (of TV’s Uncorked series) face-off as guests vote on each of their pairings and declares one as Champion, Geordie’s dining room.
Grace Under Pressure, a Club Tresors (grower/producer) Champagne dinner, Geordie’s dining room.
May 20
A day of demos, master classes & a Grand Tasting Extravaganza with food, entertainment and adoptable puppies to snuggle.
May 21
Sparkly Sunday Roving Brunch, indoors and out with food, bubbles and entertainment.
Attendees will be able to purchase wines they’ve tasted and tickets to each event are sold separately in advance. To see the daily schedule of events, details of each and to purchase tickets visit their website.
Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

The Shop Beer Co. hosts inaugural Good Fest on May 13th

This Saturday, May 13th local brewer The Shop Beer Co. and Pivot Cycles will host the Good Fest at the Tempe brewery benefiting the Armer Foundation for Kids. The local non-profit’s mission is to support families whose children are facing life altering diagnoses. Saturday’s Good Fest will honor the late “Armer Kid” Logan Gidley and will feature a limited edition beer, food, live music and a bike raffle. “What The Shop Beer Co. and Pivot Cycles are doing to help us raise awareness and funds to help families like Logan’s is incredible,” said Jennifer Armer, founder of The Armer Foundation for Kids.

The festival goes from 3 – 8 p.m. with attendees enjoying local fare from Bacanora, Bad Jimmy’s and Il Bosco Pizza. The “Good Good” Double Hazy IPA will be released on Saturday, is a limited edition collaboration with The Shop Beer Co. and Missouri’s Boulevard Brewing. Artist J. Pierce designed the label paying tribute to Logan’s favorite things to do, biking, music and gaming. J.Pierce also designed the brewer’s popular and Church Music IPA label and the bike being raffled off by Pivot Cylcles. The custom painted bicycle will mimic the Church Music label and is valued at $3,000.

The Shop Beer Co. and Amer Foundation for Kids

“We personally know many of the families the Armer Foundation has supported over the years and want to do our part in giving back to help even more of our community members whose children are facing life-threatening illnesses, like Logan,” said Mikel Anne Arnce, co-founder of The Shop Beer Co.

Pivot Cycles is challenging riders of all ages to ride 13 hours before the Good Fest and to ride by The Shop Beer Co. on Saturday in Logan’s honor.  “Logan loved hitting the trails and enjoying the sunshine and it really inspired us to not only give back a bike but also continue Logan’s legacy with a #iridewithLogan challenge,” said Rachel When, Athlete Coordinator for Pivot Cycles. You can log your rides at their website and show the Pivot crew you log on Saturday to get some swag.

Tickets for Good Fest are $10 online in advance and $15 at the door. Children get in for free and can play games including cornhole, Jenga and play at a putting green. Tickets can be purchased by going to the Armer Foundation’s website. The brewery is at 922 W. 1st St. Tempe 85281.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Arizona’s oldest deli partner’s with the state’s oldest theatre.

On Wednesday May 10th, Phoenix’s Miracle Mile Deli is donating a portion of the day’s meals to the Phoenix Theatre Company’s non-profit “Partners That Heal”. It’s part of the deli’s 74th anniversary celebration and they’re offering a $19.49 Special on the 10th. Enjoy a pastrami, brisket or corned beef sandwich and a draft beer OR piece of pie for just $19.49. They will also giveaway $100 gift cards every hour from 12-7 p.m.

Speaking of gift cards, until June 17th the deli helps celebrate moms, dads, grads & teachers for those who buy $100 gift cards with the chance to win bonus gift cards valued between $20-$100.

Phoenix City Grille hosts Suntory whiskey pairing dinner

Next Friday May 12th, the Uptown Phoenix restaurant hosts a four course dinner paired with Japanese whiskey and bourbon. After your Welcome Cocktail enjoy Seared Sea Scallop, 5 Spice Copperstate Ranch Beef Tenderloin and more from the restaurant’s culinary team. Seats are $175++ person and include a custom engraved bottle of Phoenix City Grille Maker’s Mark Bourbon. To reserve your seat for the dinner that starts at 6 p.m. email Brtittnee Reed or call 602-510-3001.

The Arizona wine community celebrates wine pioneer Bob Lynch

On Saturday May 13th Pillsbury Wine Co. and Page Spring Cellars celebrate the man who had a great impact on the Arizona wine industry prior to his death. The University Club at Monte Vista & 3rd St in Phoenix will host the event from 6-8 p.m. that will include wine paired with tapas and a silent auction with select wines from Bob’s wine cellar. Historian Erik Berg will speak about how Bob helped in having the Arizona wine laws changed in 2006. Tickets are $75 per person and per Bob’s wishes will be donated to the Robert S Lynch Arizona Wine Legacy Fund.

Mesquite Fresh Street Mex partners with Phoenix Rising FC

The locally owned fast casual maker of tacos, burritos, bowls and more is an official partner of Arizona’s only football club for the 2023 season. Mesquite will benefit from the Rising’s promotional activities including posters, video boards, game day signage and more. Fans will benefit by getting free taco cards at home matches and 15% off in store purchases at their new 40th & Washington St. location. Mesquite also provides up to $6,000 worth of meal credits to the team’s players and staff.

Serrano’s May food & drink specials

If you’re still looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo today you can get house margaritas and $4 16oz. drafts of Mexican beer when you dine in any of their 4 locations. All month long the locations in Mesa (2), Chandler and Queen Creek offer three specials. A portion of the proceeds of the specials will be donated to Mission of Mercy Arizona (MOM), a local non-profit that provides free primary healthcare and prescription medications to uninsured Arizonans.

Mangonada: A sweet and spicy mango margarita mixture with Chamoy and Tajin, served in a Tajin-rimmed glass. $6.99

Sonoran Spring Rolls: Serrano’s version of a spring roll filled with a mixture of ground beef, chorizo, corn, black bean salsa and cheese topped with a spicy lime crema. Served with a side salad. $10.99

Dessert Nachos: A layer of house-made buñuelos topped with mixed berries, cheesecake sauces, chocolate sauce, dulce de leche, whipped cream and a sprig of mint. $8.99

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Japanese steakhouse to host Fire & Fairways golf tournament

Scottsdale’s Kasai Japanese Steakhouse is hosting its 2nd annual Fire & Fairways Charity Golf Tournament June 5th at Silverado Golf Club. The tournament will be raising money for Arizonans for Children, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps abused, neglected and abandoned children. Golfers will compete for prizes including a 2 year lease on a Cadillac, a golf trip to Pebble Beach, $10,000 cash and more.

“Kasai is eager to help make a difference for Arizona’s foster children,” said Owner Mike Russello. “In 2022, we raised more than $10,000 after costs, and we hope to continue to make a greater impact for our state’s most vulnerable populations.”

The tournament starts at 7:30 a.m. when a helicopter will drop hundreds of golf balls on a putting green with the three closet balls to the hole winning a prize. After the tournament Kasai Japanese Steakhouse will host lunch that will include sushi, teppanyaki, cocktails, raffles and prizes. Guests not playing in the tournament can attend at 12:30 p.m. by purchasing tickets online for $40 or the day of for $50. Guest’s tickets include a buffet lunch, a cocktail and a raffle ticket.

Registration for the tournament is $175 until May 31st. A Slow Roller rate of $225 will be available from June 1st-5th. Sign-in for the tournament will begin at 6:20 a.m. on the 5th. For more information or to register head to their website.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Fat Freddy’s Catering donating $30,000 to local non-profit

The family owned and operated Fat Freddy’s Catering has been serving up delicious catered meals around the valley for 30 years and to celebrate the milestone they will donate $30,000 worth of food to local non-profit(s).

“We are proud to be celebrating our 30th anniversary in business and we wanted to show our appreciation to the community that has supported us all these years,” said Fred Renstrom, owner and founder of Fat Freddy’s Catering. “We believe that it’s important to give back to those in need, especially during these challenging times.”

To be considered, local non-profits can submit a simple nomination form explaining why they should be considered. Winners will be selected on May 31st and multiple non-profits may be selected to share the $30,000. Once distributed winners can use the food for anything they want including supporting staff morale, fundraising events or give to those in need.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

May the 4th be with you in downtown Mesa

Myke’s Pizza, Cider Corps and Pair Cupworks celebrate Star Wars Day next Thursday starting at 7 a.m. Start your day in warp speed with a Dark Side Latte or a Blue Milk Espresso then at 11 a.m. enjoy a Luke, I Am Your Father’s Cheese Pizza or Dago Bahn Mi Pizza. Cool off with Light Saber Cider Slushie or a Mangolorian Cider. Dessert and tonic specials are also available and all are for dine-in only. At 6 p.m. the Star Wars soundtrack will set the mood and a costume contest is scheduled.

Suns playoff promotions continue in the 2nd round

With the Suns advancing to next round of the NBA Playoffs local restaurants are giving fans something else to cheers about. Old Town Scottsdale’s The Montauk offers a “Sun Burst” shot for $10 throughout the playoffs. It’s made with their dreamsicle frosè and topped with Empress 1908 Gin creating the signature orange & purple team colors. Around the corner at arcade bar The Hot Chick game day specials of $5 Suns Bru drafts, $10 Purple Haze cocktails and $10 Purple Gatorade Shots are offered.

Dave and Buster’s at Tempe Marketplace extend their Slam Dunk Deal including a free appetizer when you sign up for their loyalty program. Included in the deal are $20 Play Card and Watch menu entree of your choice for $29.99. Entrees include a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, All-American Burger, Original and Boneless Wings and more.

Local couple opens 2nd location of Parlay Kitchen + Cocktails in Scottsdale

Kyle and Erica Walters opened their second restaurant last month at the Loop 101 & Via de Ventura 4 years after they opened in Chandler. Parlay features a menu of scratch made dishes for all palates and 24 signature cocktails. In addition to lunch and dinner they offer happy hour 7 days a week from 3-6 p.m., weekend brunch starting at 9 a.m. and live music Friday and Saturday from 6 -9 p.m.

Hundred Mile Brewing Co. hosts water drive in May

All month long the Tempe brewery and restaurant will be collecting packages of water in 12 packs or larger. Customer’s that donate water at the restaurant will receive $5 off each tables order. The water will be distributed to Tempe residents experiencing homelessness by the city’s Homeless Outreach Prevention Effort (H.O.P.E) team.

“As business in Tempe, we see ourselves as part of the community and we want to be good neighbors to everyone,” says Sue Rigler, founder of Hundred Mile Brewing Co. “We love partnering with the city and with other local businesses to support our community and we thank you for helping us help Tempe’s residents in need.”

Z Teja’s now offering new Spring seasonal menu

Warm temperatures means new cooler and refreshing dishes from Executive Chef Danny O’ Campo at the southwestern restaurant in Scottsdale and Chandler. Through July 1st guests can enjoy 5 new menu items including Fried Cauliflower, Green Chili Barbacoa filled Fried Relleno, Mango Steak Salad and Horseradish Honey Mustard Glaze Salmon. From the bar comes a Blue Raspberry Mojito to enjoy with your meal or by itself.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

FnB host’s Blue Watermelon Project night of food & wine fundraiser

Spring has sprung and it’s time for the new season of the Blue Watermelon Project’s of community food activists. This season’s journey begins with a fundraising event Saturday, April 15th at FnB Scottsdale from 6-9 p.m. The local non-profits staff and volunteers continue its mission expand, encourage and engage students in healthy eating.

The group of chefs, restaurateurs, farmers and community food advocates work together to teach healthy relationships with food.

FnB tickets packages

Several tickets and sponsorship packages are available for the FnB dinner.

General Admissions $250 each

Each table will be decorated with ingredients that makeup Arizona’s seasonal table and with mission-led stories accessible via QR codes. This dining experience will be one to remember!

Community Table $250 each

Blue Watermelon Project believes that enjoying a meal can bring strangers together. This table is seated “community” style. The table will be decorated with talking prompts so that guests are encouraged to share food memories, discuss the Chef’s menu, and learn more about their dinner party seated around the table. Decorated with ingredients that makeup Arizona’s seasonal table and with mission-led stories accessible via QR codes, this dining experience will be one to remember! The community table will seat 12 people max.

Seeds – $1,000 

Seeds are investors with aligned interests and a whole lot of enthusiasm for the mission of Blue Watermelon Project. Seeds are looking for a little rain and sunshine to spark their journey.

Sponsorship includes invitation to join a Chef in the Garden school event Recognition on social media and event collateral two reserved seats at the April 15th fundraising event.

Sprouts – $2,500-$5,000 

Sprouts are investors that are rooted in the mission of Blue Watermelon Project and are looking to grow their “true leaves” in an aspect of event or program expansion. Sponsorship includes invitation to join a Chef in the Garden school event, logo placement and recognition on social media and event collateral featured partnership story on BWP website, as well as up to four reserved seats at the April 15th fundraising event.

Story-inspired V.I.P Tables $5,000 each

Story-inspired V.I.P. tables will seat up to 10 people each and will be in one of two rooms within FnB’s more private dining areas. These tables will enjoy a special presentation from a BWP Chef, volunteer, or student that is either directly contributing to BWP’s mission or has directly benefited from BWP’s work in schools.

Bloomers – $7,500 – $10,000 

Bloomers are invested sponsors that contribute to event or program related line-items that expand or deepen programs in individual or geographic-specific communities. Sponsorship includes invitation to join a Chef in the Garden school event, logo placement and recognition on social media and event collateral, featured partnership story on BWP website, recognition with media partnerships including TV, radio, and/or podcast interviews, and up to six reserved seats at the April 15th fundraising event.

Tickets are available on their EventBrite page.

The Tipsy Grinch holiday pop-up debuts at Hyatt Scottsdale Resort

The holiday spirit is in the air and there’s a new pop-up experience to help get you in the mood. The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa introduced their Tipsy Grinch pop-up lounge on the resort’s Lawn Court December 1st. Enjoy festive cocktails and an over the top Grinch holiday theme Wednesday – Sunday from 4 -11 p.m. throughout December.

“The experience is ideal for an after-work holiday happy hour with colleagues, or a fun friend’s night out to celebrate the season. Guests can enjoy a delicious holiday-themed cocktail and snacks while supporting a great local cause here in Scottsdale.” says Vincent de Croock, director of sales and marketing at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch.

Hotel guests and locals 21 and over stopping in will find the furnished lounge with holiday decor including a hanging upside down Christmas tree, snarky pillows and seasonal music. Crafted cocktails including the Bad Santa & Drink Up Grinches are served in holiday mugs available for purchase and can snack on charcuterie, house made pretzels and churros. Beer and wine are also available. The Tipsy Grinch can be rented out for private parties and company happy hours throughout the month.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to the McDowell Mountain Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to the local desert ecosystem. For more information visit the resort’s website.

Puppies and Pancakes at Daily Dose on June 25th

Whether you’re a dog owner or not you can do your part to help raise money to help find them a home. On Saturday June 25th all 3 locations of Daily Dose hosts there Puppies and Pancakes fundraiser for the Arizona Humane Society. The locally owned restaurant serving breakfast and lunch in Tempe, Mid-Town Phoenix and Old Town Scottsdale (all with dog friendly patios) will donate $1 of any entrée served.

“We’re pet lovers here,” says Daily Dose co-owner JenLyn Long. “We love supporting the Arizona Humane Society and we invite everyone out to brunch for a good cause!” The restaurant has previously hosted fundraisers, Doggy Bag Dine-Out and Doggy Date Night to support the Arizona Humane Society.

“As a nonprofit organization that takes in more than 15,000 sick, injured and abused homeless animals each year, fundraisers like this that give back to our lifesaving services and programs are critical to the work we do,” says AHS Spokesperson Bretta Nelson. “We are so appreciative of the generosity and support of fellow pet lovers like our friends at Daily Dose.”

During Puppies and Pancakes guests can choose such entrées as Breakfast Nachos, Cinnamon Roll Cakes and the Hangover Sandwich. For more information can be found on their website or following them on Facebook or Instagram.

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