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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Restaurateur Bob Sikora knows a thing or two about opening successful restaurants having opened Bobby Mcgee’s nightclubs growing it to 24 locations around the country and founding Mr. Lucky’s country bar with Willie Nelson. After traveling the country for years searching out and learning about BBQ he opened his first Bobby Q’s Great Steaks & Real BBQ in north Phoenix in 2005 before the BBQ trend started here in Phoenix.
On Monday October 2nd he opens his third Bobby Q’s at Camelback Rd. & 32nd St. I had the opportunity to visit the restaurant to preview it.
The dark & brick walled the restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with the exhibition kitchen just inside the front door. Two almond/mesquite wood smoker and rotisserie are situated inside the kitchen smoking BBQ favorites brisket, pork & beef ribs, sausage links and more. The aroma will sure get people’s attention as people wander the its strip mall location.
Tastes of BBQ
My guest and I sampled a few dishes on our visit courtesy of Bob and his team. Executive chef Mark Hittle and his kitchen team hand run all the meats with their signature rub before they are slow cooked.
We started with the Cajun Shrimp appetizer that are sautéed with Cajun spices and served with garlic bread to mop up the juices. The 6 shrimp were a good size, had nice seasoning and disappeared pretty quickly.
If you know me you then you know I’m a rib man and went with the Baby Back Ribs that were fall off the bone tender and made me a happy man. The brisket we sampled had the right amount of fat and bark to put up against any brisket around town.
On the side we had the Pecan Cole Slaw which was shredded thin, not to creamy as many can be and topped with crushed pecan adding a nice twist and texture. The side of Mac & Cheese won’t disappoint fans of the cheesy favorite.
We were given a bag of warm mini donuts from the donut machine and are free to all guests who dine at restaurant.
The full menu includes steak, fish, burgers, salads and rotisserie chicken that can be seen on Bobby Q’s website. I can see why Bobby Q’s has garnered many accolades from Yelp!, Open Table and Trip Advisor.
Hand crafted cocktails
In-house mixologist Chris Ortega has created a cocktail menu with his take on classic cocktails that include an Old Fashioned that I enjoyed prepared with rye whiskey and barrel smoked maple syrup. Other cocktails include the refreshing Watermelon Cooler and Bobby Q’s version of the classic Mule cocktail. All cocktails are prepared with premium spirits, fresh fruits and house made syrups.
The Camelback location will serve lunch and dinner 7 days a week at 11 a.m. and will stay open until 2 a.m. Tues. – Sat. serving a late night menu. Sun. & Mon. they will be open until 10 p.m.
Bobby Q’s Great Steaks and Real BBQ is at 3154 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016
Options are good and the residents of north Scottsdale will have another dining option when Liberty Station opens in February. The new restaurant will be where Scottsdale Rd. meets Carefree Highway and is from Keeler Hospitality Group, owners of Market Street Kitchen in DC Ranch.
The menu will be focused on American comfort food with a regional twist including specialties from Boston where the Keeler family is from. Lunch and dinner will be served with Executive Chef Michael Hunn and Chef de Cuisine Dan Watts running the kitchen where they will source local ingredients for much of the menu.
Creekstone Farms will be supplying the meats with much of it being smoked in-house in a custom smoker and will include Texas brisket, Carolina pork shoulder and my favorite, St. Louis spare ribs.
The bar will include classic cocktails, local craft beers and a variety of wines.
“Liberty Station is truly the definition of ‘neighborfood.’ You will enjoy a scratch-made meal that is relatable and incredibly tasty, while greeting friends and neighbors in our very comfortable dining room. We’ll have community tables, a very large bar and two patios. We want our neighbors to become friends at Liberty Station,” said Paul Keeler, President of Keeler Hospitality Group.
Liberty Station will be a place for all to enjoy as their will be vegan and vegetarian options including Vegan gnocchi and a Portobello sandwich on Udi’s bread and over a dozen Gluten-free options. A few of the menu highlights will be….
Tavern Mac & Cheese with cheddar cream, bacon breadcrumbs and Pasilla chiles, $10 (shared appetizer).
Liberty Chopped Salad, with white balsamic dressing, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and pepitas, $8
Boston Lobster Roll with lemon aioli and celery on a brioche roll, $18 (lunch menu).
All American Chicago Hot Dog with mustard, tomato, onion, house relish and sport peppers, $8 (lunch menu).
Chopped Brisket Grilled Cheese with smoky cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese and a grilled tomato, $12 (lunch menu).
New England Clam Boil with Littleneck clams, rock shrimp, new potatoes, corn and hot link sausage, $24 (dinner menu).
Kobe Meatloaf with shoestring onions, ketchup vinegar glaze and mashed potatoes, $17 (dinner menu).
Once opened Liberty Station will be serving lunch daily at 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Dinner service begins at 5:00 p.m. nightly. Happy Hour is offered at the bar Monday – Sunday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Brunch will be served Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.