Michael Waltrip Brewing Company beers distributed by Hensley Beverage

Michael Waltrip Brewing CompanyFormer NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip announced recently the formation of his Phoenix based brewery, Michael Waltrip Brewing Company. They’ve decided that its “Two Time” brand will be distributed around Arizona by locally owned beer distributor Hensley Beverage Company.

“We are truly pleased to be able to partner with Hensley Beverage Company on the distribution of our Two-Time line of lagers and ales,” said Michael Waltrip, two-time Daytona 500 champion and FOX Sports NASCAR color announcer.  “I had a chance to visit the leadership and some of the team at Hensley right before the pandemic. What a great group of people. We couldn’t be happier to be part of the Hensley portfolio”

“Two Time” currently brews three beers. “Blonde” Ale, “Checkered Past”, a coconut IPA and “Vamanos”, a Mexican style Lager. Seasonal and year round beers are planned all with subtle references to racing.

Bryan R. Sperber, CEO, Michael Waltrip Brewing Company, said, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with the team at Hensley for many years. So, I know firsthand what a quality organization they have. To be able to partner with them is an amazing opportunity and we really appreciate their enthusiasm for our brand and the Michael Waltrip Brewing Company.”

Hensley Beverage Company dates back to 1955 and has been the distributor of the Anheuser-Busch InBev portfolio. It also distributes local and regional beers throughout most of Arizona.

A brewery and taproom is being planned in Phoenix along with distribution outside of Arizona. For more information visit their website.

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

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Arizona Restaurant Week starts tonight

You’ve probably heard about the Fall 2020 Arizona Restaurant Week starting tonight through next Sunday 9/27. Over 100 restaurants state wide serving 3 course unique menus for $33 or $44 per person. Dine in or take-out is available. For a list of participating restaurants visit the website.

Francine starts weekend brunch and weekday lunch

About a month ago Scottsdale’s newest restaurant Francine opened after afew months delay at Scottsdale Fashion Square. This weekend they start serving brunch and on Monday they start their lunch service.

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Garrison Brothers

Phoenix City Grille & Garrison Brothers pair a 5-course dinner

The central Phoenix restaurant and the distillery join forces Saturday September 26th for spirits pairing dinner. The occasion celebrates the release of Garrison Brothers Cowboy 2020 Bourbon. Chef Micah Wyzlic uses the bourbon in his dishes along with them sipped on with each course. Dinner is $125 per person ++ and the menu can be viewed at http://www.phoenixcitygrille.com/ with reservations made by calling 602-510-7174 or emailing Britnee Reed at Privatedining@phoenixcitygrille.com

Macayo’s popular Pumpkin Flan now available at all restaurants

It doesn’t feel like Autumn in Arizona yet but the Mexican restaurant has added the delicious dessert to the menu. Made with Fall spices, the dessert is $5.79 at all 7 locations around the valley.

24 Carrots shuts dining room to focus on take-out

Owner Sasha Raj has transformed her Tempe plant based restaurant for take out and now uses the dining room as a collection site for donations for the Navajo Nation. Donations can be dropped off every Wednesday. Raj regularly serves & donates meals and food to many other under served people and  non-profits.

“Chopped” champion Chef Nick LaRosa has a new menu at Nook Kitchen

Arcadia’s Nook Kitchen has re-opened this week with a new menu from Chef Nick LaRosa. The restaurant moved to a new larger location along Indian School Road in December and was humming along as it did at the old location when Covid- 19 broke out. They did take out until several nearby restaurants were hit with the virus and owner Frank Vairo and partners decided to close for the summer.

Nicholas Winger, managing partner, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back our guests.  We are operating with limited-seating and dining socially distanced due to pandemic regulations, so we encourage reservations, especially with our small dining room. It fills up quickly.”

What’s on the menu from Chef Nick LaRosa

With the opening comes a new menu of Italian favorites with a modern twist from LaRosa. House made pastas and fresh ingredients are on the menu such as Casarecce Bolognese for meat lovers and Veggie Campanelle for vegetarians. Napolitano styled pizzas are still coming out of the pizza oven along with entrees such as pan-seared salmon, a double bone-in pork chop and the Nook Burger.

LaRosa was champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2017 and has earned other local accolades.

Chef Nick LaRosa
Aracini

“We’re excited and want to shout from the rooftops that ‘we’re back!’ ” LaRosa said. “And we’re really happy to be back, too.  The time off has given us the opportunity to add new menu items, plus fantastic desserts and still focus on the dishes we know our patrons love. “The specialness of our food is Italian with a twist.  If you want to eat hearty, we’ve got it.  If you’d rather eat light, we’ve got that too in spades.”

The menu also includes appetizers including Brussel Chips, Aracini and more. Exciting new desserts include a gelato flight from Cool Gelato and Nook’s version of Affogatto. Sommelier Matthew Wohleb has created a new and old world wine list to compliment the cuisine and mixoligist Gabe Chavez mixes up the cocktail program.

Nook Kitchen opens Wednesday thru Sunday at 5 p.m. and is at 4231 E. Indian School R. Phoenix 85018.

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

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Sphinx Date Company announces re-opening

The Palm & Pantry market has re-opened Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. in old town Scottsdale. Just in time for the 2020 date harvest and leading into the holiday season.

Dutch Bros Coffee raises money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Friday September 18th all 28 locations will donate $1 from every drink sold to the hospitals Buck for Kids day of Giving.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar celebrates National Cheeseburger Day

The week of September 14th-18th the Scottsdale & Camelback locations are letting you double burgers in celebration. Get another patty for free when you order online and take your burger to go. Use promo code “double” at check out to redeem.

Milkshakes are only $4 at Miracle Mile Deli

Celebrate National Milkshake Day is Saturday September 12th and Miracle Mile Deli all month with a chocolate, vanilla or strawberry milkshake for a low price.

Duckhorn Wine Dinner at Tommy V’s in Scottsdale

The restaurant resumes its series of wine dinners on Thursday September 17th with the Napa Valley winery. Tables of 8 will be 6 feet apart and other safety precautions will be followed. The 5 course dinner paired with 5 wines is $90 per person plus tax & tip. To see the menu and make your reservation visit their website.

Mad Flavors Coffee delivers cold brew to your door

We’ve here about the demise of many small businesses from the pandemic, especially the toll taken by restaurants and food related businesses that relied on walk-in business. As many fall, others will rise taking advantage of the new reality of on-line ordering and contact-free delivery. The new Mad Flavors Coffee offers the both when it delivers cold brew and whole bean coffee to your door.

What’s not to like about the gluten-free, un-sweetened, zero calorie, dairy-free & vegan half gallon and gallon containers of cold brew. Mad Flavors has started with 4 flavors of cold brew Horchata, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Costa Rican and Strawberry Mocha and 15 flavors of single origin whole bean in 12 oz. bags.

I’m thrilled to finally launch Mad Flavors. I’ve been in the coffee business for over 10 years in Phoenix, so, being able to bring my own brand to fruition and share my passion for flavored coffee with my community is something myself and my family are very proud of. I can’t wait for everyone to try it,” says founder Astro Alvarez.

“Nuestro amor, nuestra pasión. Our cold brew flavors are what set our company apart from the rest. We source only the highest quality beans and roast them daily right here in Phoenix. We flavor our coffee with no added sugars, syrups, or sweeteners,continued Alvarez.

Coffee drinkers can get FREE delivery in the Phoenix area based on the daily delivery zone found on the website. Outside of Phoenix Mad Flavors Coffee will deliver beans for home brewing. The cold brew can be strong so drinkers can adjust strength by adding to your desired strength and flavor. Flavors will be added to on a regular basis.

 

 

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

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Aioli Gourmet Burgers to open 3rd Phoenix location

Less than a year after opening their 2nd brick & mortar location in Litchfield Park, award-winning Aioli Gourmet Burgers is set to open their 3rd location. On Labor Day, September 7th at 430 E. Bell Rd. Phoenix 85022 is when & where it all happens. The location should be familiar to burger fans as it was the home to the former Caveman Burgers. Customers can expect the usual mix of gourmet burgers, fries, milk shakes, mac n cheese bites and more.

In addition their original location at Shea & 32nd St is now back open for dine-in service.

Press Coffee’s new blend supports local non-profits

Community Blend is the latest whole bean coffee from local roaster Press Coffee. Every 3 months the company will donate profits from the sales of Community Blend to a local non-profit. Current sales will be donated to Arizona Coalition for Change, an organization that empowers people to help transform their community by building civic power, just & equitable schools and safer neighborhoods.

Community Blend retails for $19 at all locations or online at http://www.presscoffee.com/

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1/2 off cheese pizza at Fired Pie for National Cheese Pizza Day

Saturday September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day and all 21 Fired Pie locations are celebrating. Guests can get 1/2 off with the purchase of a beverage. One purchase per customer and not available on 3rd party deliveries.

LDV Winery temporarily closes Scottsdale tasting room

Structural work in the building housing the tasting room has forced them to close until early October. Guests and wine club members can still still purchase wine for pick up or delivery by calling 602-320-1485 or emailing info@LDVWinery.com

Check their Facebook page or Instagram for updates.

Lobster lovers get your roll at Pedal Haus Brewery

Can’t make it to Cape Cod this summer like me, Pedal Haus Brewery is bringing a cape favorite to you. For $24 you get a Maine lobster roll, side of crispy fries & Day Drinker Light Lager while supplies last. Both downtown Tempe & downtown Chandler locations are serving this summer time favorite.

Weekend brunch back on the menu at Rusconi’s American Kitchen

Weekends just got better at the intersection of Shea and Tatum as Rusconi’s American Kitchen has re-introduced brunch on the weekend. In the past the scratch kitchen had served brunch only on Sunday’s but added Saturday’s from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to get sweet & savory favorites. Eggs, pancakes, soups, sandwiches and entrees with Rusconi’s twist have returned including……..

-Pork Chile Verde with corn tortillas, sunnyside up egg, cotija cheese, green chile sauce, grape tomato salsa and radish, $14

-The Kitchen Benedict featuring beef short ribs, poached eggs, citrus hollandaise, English muffin and creamy red pepper grits, $12

-RAK French Toast with cinnamon cream, powdered sugar and real maple syrup, $10

-Rico’s New Orleans Beignets with house made jam and chocolate sauce, $9

-Roasted Pork Posole with hominy, corn, avocado, grape tomato salsa, and watermelon radish, $7, bowl; $11, large bowl; add an egg for $2 more

-Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad with rhubarb vinaigrette, praline pecans, granny smith apples and goat cheese, $12

-Harris Ranch “Kitchen” Burger with goat cheese, caramelized onions, arugula and tomato, $14 (add a fried egg for $3)

Enjoy house made Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s for $5 with you meal whether you choose to dine-in or take-out.

Weekend brunch reservations can be made by calling (480)493-0009 or online at https://rusconiskitchen.com/. Rusconi’s American Kitchen 10637 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix 85028

Sandwich deals for the month of August at Miracle Mile Deli

Phoenix’s Miracle Mile Deli re-opens it’s dining room at 50% capacity today just in time for National Sandwich Month. To celebrate the are offering weekly $10 sandwich deals for four of their popular sandwiches. In addition to limiting seating they’re following other CDC guidelines including requiring wearing face masks when not seated to keep customers safe and healthy.

The weekly deals are for dine-in, take-out or curbside pick-up and come with a choice of a side dish and a kosher dill pickle spear. The sandwich deals below are available Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 7p.m.

8/3-8/9 – The Straw
8/10-8/16 – Brisket of Beef Sandwich
8/17-8/23 – Combo (Pastrami & Corned Beef piled high)
8/24-8/30 – New Yorker

Side dishes include….

French Fries
Potato Salad
Cole Slaw
Macaroni Salad
Carrot Raisin Salad
Pasta Salad
Fresh Fruit
Applesauce
Steamed Vegetables
Jello
Potato Chips

Miracle Mile Deli is at 4433 N. 16th St. Phoenix 85016.

 

 

September brings the return of Arizona Restaurant Week

One of the most popular events among the Arizona restaurant community is Arizona Restaurant Week. The 10 day culinary event returns Friday September 18th – Sunday the 27th around the state. Like the June event participating restaurants will offer dine-in or take-out 3 course meals along with liquor to-go. According to the Arizona Restaurant Association almost 80 restaurants have already signed up to participate.

“We feel not only gratitude but also great pride in the fact that the local dining community has showed up again and again in support of our industry since closures and limited re-opening mandates,” says Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are thrilled to see that dining out — whether that means in-restaurant or getting take-out — is still such an important part of people’s lives.”

The modified event started to include take-out options due to the uncertainty of 2020’s Covid – 19 pandemic. Restaurants create 3-course menus for $33 or $44 per person for the September event with wine at an additional cost. Reservations are recommended for those looking to visit a new restaurant or return to a favorite one.

To see participating restaurants and menus head to the Arizona Restaurant Association’s website. The website is updated as new restaurants sign up.

Jared Porter named Director of Culinary Operations at Pedal Haus Brewery

Fork & Dagger Hospitality, the company that owns Pedal Haus Brewery has announced they’ve hired valley chef Jared Porter as Director of Culinary Operations. Porter oversees all food operations at the Tempe and Chandler brewpubs and at a new Phoenix location opening in 2021. His responsibilities include menu development, sourcing of ingredients and management of the culinary team.

“As a longtime Valley resident with deep ties to the culinary community, it is an incredibly exciting opportunity to join Julian Wright and the Fork & Dagger Hospitality team as they continue to grow their influence on Arizona’s food and beverage landscape,” Porter said. “I am looking forward to being a part of the already award-winning team at Pedal Haus Brewery as well as all future concepts within the hospitality group.”

The culinary resume of Jared Porter

Jared Porter started his culinary career over 20 years ago attending the Art Institute of Phoenix on a full scholarship. After graduating he worked at high profile restaurants Vincent’s on Camelback, Michael’s at The Citadel and Fiamma at The James Hotel. He’s successfully helped open La Grande Orange Grocery, Olive & Ivy and his own Clever Koi in 2013. Most recently he’s been executive chef at Buck & Rider.

“We are honored to have Jared bring his extensive culinary expertise to our hospitality group to further enhance our restaurants’ menus and culinary experience,” said Fork & Dagger founder and CEO Julian Wright. “His depth of knowledge has already proved invaluable and we are thrilled to have him join our team as we continue to bring more great restaurants to the Valley.”

The award-winning brewery is popular with beer enthusiasts since opening their Tempe location in 2015. Under Brew Master Derek Osborne they’ve won a gold medal at The Great American Beer Festival and named Best Brewery in the United States at the 2019 Copa Cerveza de Americas. Over 32 gold medals and awards have been earned by the brewery for their beers.