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.

Good news National Cold Brew Day is Tuesday 4/20

Those liking a cold brew can get a free can at Press Coffee when you spend $5 or more on their app.

Trapp Haus BBQ pop-up at Found:RE Hotel

Phil “The Grill” Johnson takes his smoker and more around the corner this Sunday April 18th for a pop-up appearance at the downtown Phoenix hotel. From 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. hotel guests and locals are invite poolside to enjoy Phil’s smoked meats, a DJ spinning some tunes and creative cocktails from Match Market & Bar. Admission is free, reservations needed.

Kitchen United Mix giving $10 off $30 for vaccine

The Scottsdale ghost kitchen with more than 10 restaurants under one roof is offering $10 off $30 order from any or all restaurants under its roof. Use promo code “Vaccine” when ordering.

Winemaker dinners at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa taking reservations.

The upscale resort with views of the McDowell Mountains released the dates for its upcoming winemaker dinner series. Paul Hobbs Winery is next Wednesday 4/21, Copper Cane Wednesday 5/19 & Miner Family Wines is Wednesday 6/23. Each dinner starts with a reception at 6:30 followed by a 4-course culinary experience of food & wine at 7:00. “Take Home” wines are available for purchase at the end of the dinner. Each person is $145++, seating is limited and reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-629-6231.

Cider Corps named 5th Best Cidery in Country

USA Today named the three year old Mesa cidery one of the best out of over 800 cideries vote on by a panel of judges. Started as a hobby during recovery from an injury suffered in Afghanistan, retired SGT. USMC Jason Duren says” it means a lot to be considered as one of the best”.

 

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.

Whiskey Wednesday’s at Belle’s Nashville Kitchen

The Scottsdale hony tonk bar offers up flights of 4 tastes of whiskey’s every Wednesday for $35-$45. Saturday 3/27 is International Whiskey Day and Belle’s is celebrating with 4 signature whiskey cocktails. Tuesday 3/30 is National Hot Chicken Day and several choices (sandwich, tenders & salad) are on their menu to celebrate with.

Jersey Mike’s donating all sales to Phoenix Children’s Hospital

All 45 sandwich shops around Phoenix will donate 100% of sales on Wednesday 3/31. The day of giving is part of Jersey Mike’s 11th annual month of giving in March and is supported by local valley owners Duane Layton, Bill Mapes and Josh Barton.

New menu items at Trapp Haus BBQ

Phil “The Grill” updated the menu at his Roosevelt Row BBQ joint to include  Chicken Fried Corn & Chicken Fried Pickles and Family Style smoked meats by the pound for dine-in or to-go. New Philly Crack Wings flavors include Jamaican Jerked, Nashville Hawt and BBQ. Wash it all down with the new vodka based Purple Rain cocktail.

Orin Swift wines paired at Match Market & Bar dinner

No foolin’ around on Thursday April 1st when the downtown Phoenix restaurant inside the Found:RE Hotel pairs 5-courses with red & white wines. $99++ gets you a seat at the table that starts at 7 p.m. Seats can be reserved here and for more information click here.

LDV Winery re-opens tasting room on April Fool’s Day, seriously

No joke here when owners Peggy Fiadaca and Curt Dunham re-open their downtown Scottsdale tasting room after almost a year. Covid-19 and structural issues had them closed longer than expected but they’re glad to be back open seeing friends and pouring their award-winning wines.

 

 

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.

 

Social distancing “parking lot picnic” at Liberty Station Terravita

We’re all going a little stir crazy by now with all this social distancing and staying home unless necessary. The Terravita location of Liberty Station American Tavern & Smokehouse is hosting a “parking lot picnic” Saturday, April 25th for those looking to get out for a bit. From 3 – 6 p.m. call in & pick up your order, park the car, roll down the windows or lower the tailgate and enjoy your delicious meal.

Popular local musician Jaty Edwards will be playing live music while you enjoy your dinner and social distancing. The restaurant is open daily from 12 – 7 p.m. for pick up & delivery and offers 50% off all alcohol with any takeout order.

To place an order call 480-595-9930 or visit their website. Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse ­- Terravita is at 34522 N. Scottsdale Rd., #180, Scottsdale 85266.

Surprise to host inaugural Rib Fest Showdown in April

Update: Postponed, no new date set.

As culinary events and food festivals get postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus a new festival is moving forward as planned. The first ever Rib Fest Showdown debuts April 25th & 26th 2020 in Surprise at Mark Coronado Park. The Throwdown pits Kansas City vs. Texas pitmasters to see who makes the best smokes meats. With the aroma of burning wood in the air festival goers will taste ribs and other smoked meats.

The city of Surprise was chosen as co-host of the event as it’s the Spring Training home of both Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals & Texas Rangers.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Surprise to launch this exciting event,” said Landon Evans owner of HDE Agency. “Supporting the economic growth and working together to build a cornerstone event for the city that will come to be recognized as an annual program is both rewarding and awesome.”

LDE Agency is also producing the KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival on March 28th in Chandler and is taking every per-caution to make sure both festivals are safe, clean and happen as planned.

The family friendly festival also features a ‘Battle of the Bands” with local and national performers, a kid’s zone, food eating contests and more.

The Rib Fest Showdown goes from 12 – 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are on sale with 2 for $16, 4 for $30 or 6 for $40. Walk -up tickets the day of will be $10  each. VIP tickets and a Stay & Play overnight packages are available. A portion of the proceeds from the Rib Fest Throwdown will be donated to Mighty Change of Heart, a local non-profit that provides support for foster children.

Celebration of Summer at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North

Whether you want to enjoy a cocktail and light bites or a sit down dinner the Four Seasons Resort at Troon North have something to offer. My last post about Talavera Restaurant dining experiences offers an epicurean adventure to Spain and Latin America. The resorts other restaurants Proof, An American Canteen, Onyx Bar and Lounge as well as Talavera, offer culinary treats created in time for summer.

I had the pleasure of tasting all of the dishes and drinks below. All cocktails below are created by the resorts beverage director in conjunction with the chefs of each establishment. The dishes are light and offer seasonal ingredients and the drinks were refreshing and unique.

Onyx Bar & Lounge at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North

Just of the lobby with a beautiful view to the south you can enjoy these specially created bites and cocktails. Talavera Restaurant Sous Chef Samantha Sanz and her culinary team created the these three dishes.

Salmon Belly Tartare
Chistorra and Peppers Flatbread with charred chistorra, pipperada, caramelized onion and mustard sauce, cotija cheese.
Cheesy Arepa Bite
Salmon Belly Tartare
Illegal Anejo Mezcal Old Fashioned
Negroni Spritz
Ultimate Honeydew

Proof, An American Canteen

Everything served in this roadhouse styled restaurant is from the good ol’ U.S.A. Take a road trip around the country in June, July and August with the specially created dishes and drinks.

Prepared by chefs Dell Morris, Joey Cavaretta and Conrad Butler “Proof Across America”  along with Smokehouse Fridays where entrees are cooked low n slow in their outdoor smoker.

Four seasons Resort at Troon North
Texas BBQ Platter

June- Stone Crab Cake with sea urchin and Key lime remoulade

July– Texas BBQ Plate with beef brisket, smoky beer cheese sausage and house made BBQ sauce. Watermelon Panzanella Salad with Crow’s Dairy goat feta and mint. I love BBQ!

August- Crispy cactus fries with cotija cheese and avocado ranch.

Havasu Heat (with Ixa Tequila, pineapple and charred jalapeño)

Huss Arizona Light Lager

Le Cumbre Elevated IPA

Talavera Restaurant

The Spanish steakhouse serves tapas styled small plates, desserts and cocktails unique to the Spanish culture. More from sous chef Sanz and dessert by Pastry Chef Lance Whipple.

Four Seasons Resort at Troon North
Brazilian Carrot Cake

Pan con Tomate – Noble bread, roasted garlic, heirloom tomato and Spanish olive oil

Queen Creek Olives

Summer Corn and Tomato Tapa with summer corn, heirloom tomato with tomato butter cilantro and charred lime

Charred Tuna with grilled peach and salted marcona almonds

Summer Corn Paella with chorizo Bilbao, prawn, peas, mussels and clams, and chermoula verde

Brazilian Carrot Cake with chocolate brigadeiro icing, and summer carrot purée. This was a personal favorite, like no carrot cake you’ve had before.

Leche Frita with cajeta goat milk caramel and sherry blackberries

Rose Sangria with watermelon, tangerine and strawberry

Tarragon Gin Tonic- Did you see my Instagram video of Beverage Director Laura creating this cocktail?

The Four Seasons Resort at Troon North is at 10600 Crescent Moon Dr. 85262

It’s National BBQ Month and Famous Dave’s has deals for your meals

There’s a lot to celebrate in the month of May including foodie favorite National BBQ Month. The 4 Phoenix area Famous Dave’s BBQ’s have a months worth of BBQ deals for smoked meat lovers.

Chicken Week starts today through the 12th. $12.99 for a chicken platter, 2 sides, salad and cornbread.

Add-On Brisket Week is the 13th – 19th. For $2 you can add smoked brisket to any entrée.

Every Monday in May is BOGO Monday. Buy 1 sandwich and get 1 FREE!

Must mention above offer to get deals.

Tuesday is $29.99 Feast for 2. Save $14!

When mom and dad order an entrée on Tuesday, kid’s get to eat for free from the Lil Wilbur’s menu. 1 free kids meal per adult entrée.

Wing Wednesday gets you $.50 Jumbo Wings. Do I need to say anything else!

All You Can Eat Rib Tips for $15.99 on Thursdays. Sorry no sharing or to-go boxes for this one.

Kick off the weekend on Friday’s with $5 Hand Crafted Signature Drinks.

Also during National BBQ Month

You know your mom loves BBQ so bring her in on Mother’s Day for a $10 gift card for another visit. And Signature Drinks are just $5.

Senior Lunch Deal gets those 55 & over saving 20% everyday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in May. Don’t forget to mention the offer for this one.

Book a graduation party at Famous Dave’s during National BBQ Month and get a $25 gift card for future visit. Call 480-718-5331, text 480-310-9310 or email  catering@famousdavesaz.com  for more information and to place your order!

Until May 19th bring a case of water and help fill an F-150 and receive 1/2 off voucher for Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix AND a free brisket sandwich. Limited quantities on both.

Visit Famous Dave’s BBQ for more details. No other discounts on above promotions valid. The 4 Phoenix area Famous Dave’s are at Mesa Riverview, Santan Village in Gilbert, Chandler & Peoria.

 

 

BBQ, smoked meats and a pitmasters journey at Naked BBQ

There’s a lot of BBQ joints in and around Phoenix with more on the way. It’s one of my favorite foods so it’s always good to see what’s what and who’s who in the BBQ world. More times than not the people are just as good as the food they serve, this is one pit masters journey into the world of BBQ and smoked meats.

I visited Naked BBQ to taste the meats and get the lowdown from Oren Hartman  at his Scottsdale location. His affordable smoked meats and friendly service & atmosphere have Oren thinking about expanding his “Eat Naked” philosophy. Not one for the competition circuit he prefers to spend his time at the restaurants or any number of catering events he does with his staff and customers.

He has many friends in the BBQ community in Arizona and from his travels and many come through for a taste.

Naked BBQ

Growing up in New York there wasn’t much BBQ but college in Madison WI. and living in Chicago helped open his eyes to smoked meats.

Corporate America had Oren travel the country most weeks and not a fan of steakhouse dinners he would visit BBQ pits in the south and mid-west. When a buyout of the company allowed Oren to retire early he knew BBQ was his next career.

After much research and development Oren opened Naked BBQ 4 years ago at Bell Rd. & 23rd  Ave. in north Phoenix and a Scottsdale location last year.

Brisket, ribs and pork shoulder in the smoker

Naked BBQ is named as one of the 100 restaurants by Arizona Republic food editor Dominic Armato in his recent article “The Ultimate Guide to Phoenix Restaurants”.

The meats at Naked BBQ

The aromas of the oak and pecan wood capture you right when you walk in the door as you make your way up to the counter and menu board. No surprises here brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage, smoked chicken and few sides are all you need. Smoked in a meat carousel for up to 16 hours meats are usually pulled sooner if they tasted the way they should.

Naked is the way your meats arrive with 4 sauces available if you choose to. My first tray arrives with strips of brisket that are moist and have a thin layer of fat and are well smoked. My St. Louis style pork ribs tender and cling to the bone just my bite to help fall off. A side of warm mixed beans have chunks of meat scraps and a tinge of heat. Not a big fan of potato salad only a bite or two and I’ll save the calories for the meats.

Tray two brought 2 kinds of smoked sausage, pulled pork, mac n cheese and creamy & Carolina style cole slaws. The pile of pulled pork was juicy and flavorful.

Naked BBQ
Tray 2

Sausage is low on my BBQ priority list so it was good to taste the sausage situation. A lingering spiced sausage and a herbed savory link set the bar for me as I’ll have to start to save room for the links. All three sides were emptied as who can’t resist mac & cheese and I’m always craving a good home cole slaw(s).

Friday and Saturday night specials Oren smokes up Prime Rib then Brontosaurus (beef) ribs respectively.

Sauce it up

If you prefer to dress you meats with sauce there are 4 styles to choose from. Sweet, spicy, a North Carolina vinegar and a rarely seen South Carolina mustard sauce will give you a look at regionally diverse sauces.

If you want more heat ask for the hot pepper paste to stir into your sauces. If you dare taste the paste naked with the meat. A few local beers are on tap to help tamper down the heat.

Scouting for other locations to open Naked BBQ, collaborations with other pitmasters & friends and playing around with a retail line of sauces and rubs Oren’s second career tastes better than his first.

The 2 locations of Naked BBQ are..

2340 W. Bell Rd Phoenix 85023 Lunch only Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or til the meats gone. Fri. & Sat.  11a.m. 8 a.m.

10240 N. 90th St. Suite 105. Scottsdale 85258. Sun – Thurs 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sat. & Sun. til 9 p.m.

 

 

Keeler Hospitality Group lets Liberty Station take over sister restaurant

Paul Keeler, President & Chief Operating Officer of Keeler Hospitality Group announced that Liberty Station will take the space of Market Street Kitchen. Both restaurants are owned by Keeler Hospitality Group and this will be the 2nd location of the popular smokehouse and tavern. The original Liberty Station is in north Scottsdale in Terravita Marketplace just south of Carefree. The new location is at Market Street at DC Ranch and will open on October 1st.

.“We are delighted to bring this level of traditional BBQ favorites combined with American comfort style dishes to DC Ranch diners,” says Keeler.

The new location will keep popular dishes from Market Street Kitchen and the beverage program. Liberty Station will offer smoked meats and regional dishes from Keller’s travels in the hospitality industry. Guest will enjoy Pan Seared Crab Cakes, Shrimp Po’ Boy, house made meatloaf and more.

The specialty of Liberty Station is smoked meats from the 500 custom-made Camelback Smoker. BBQ fans will enjoy Texas style brisket, St. Louis spare ribs and Carolina pork shoulder. Customers can order  traditional side dishes of Boston baked beans, cole slaw and green chile mac n cheese to accompany entree’s.

Guest won’t notice much difference inside as the interior will stay the same.

Guests can celebrate the transition the new location will offer Buy 1 Get 1 Free lunch entree’s from October 1st-7th. During opening week guests can also get penny draft beers or house wine with a purchase of a BBQ entrée.

October 11th brings a Hawaiian BBQ and Tiki night starting at 5 p.m. Members of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce will be on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 15th at 11:30 a.m.

Liberty Station in DC Ranch is be at 20825 N. Pima Rd. Scottsdale 85255. http://libertystationtavern.com/

 

Wrigley Mansion fire’s up Sunday BBQ Brunch in September

People are closing down their smokers as summer comes to an end but Wrigley Mansion executive chef Christopher Gross is firing his up. Beginning September 9th chef Gross will be pit master as he offers a weekly Sunday BBQ Brunch through mid-October.

Smoked pulled pork and Sorghum glazed beef brisket will be served from chef manned stations along with cole slaw, fresh baked rolls and tortillas. Guests will invited to build their own salads from a variety of fresh vegetables, greens, grains, fruits and cheeses.

Wrigley Mansion
View of downtown Phoenix

Made to order omelettes, eggs and waffles will be available with sides of bacon, sausage and fresh fruit.

Enjoy beautiful views of downtown Phoenix and Camelback Mountain from the hilltop mansion as you sip Mimosas and sparkling wine included in the $45 price.

The limited time Sunday BBQ Brunch replaces their Signature Brunch for the next month.

Reservations can be made by calling 602-955-4079 or by visiting http://www.wrigleymansion.com/

The famed Wrigley Mansion is at 2501 E. Telewa Trail Phoenix 85016.