Zoom out of 2020 and into 2021 for a return to normal

Who thought that on December 31st 2019 the word “Zoom” would become a household name and conjure up flashback’s to the PBS children’s show from my youth. 2020 has been a crazy year we all want to put behind us, the year started like any other with plans for travel, eat my way food festivals and anticipating new restaurant openings. Two months in things changed and 2020 wasn’t going to be typical year. It got serious for me when around St. Patrick’s when the NBA put the season on hold. Before you knew it lock downs were in place, toilet paper was at the top of every bodies doomsday “must have” list and distilleries were making hand sanitizer.

Zoom to a virtual happy hour then a Teams meeting as businesses learned to pivot their business model on a moment’s notice. April and May were like a hazy version of Groundhog’s Day and I was foodie version of Bill Murray’s character. Eating in parking lots and collecting plastic utensils became the norm, taking out from neighborhood favorites wondering how dine-in restaurants are adapting. Some restaurants took a hiatus to figure it out, others stocked up on to-go containers and others closed all together. Food festivals and small, medium and large gatherings were cancelled on a daily basis as many still are into early 2021.zoom

In mid-May when Governor Ducey lifted restrictions while adding new restrictions for restaurants we wondered if we would dine-in and was it safe even wearing masks and washing our hands. I thought I would still do take-out and eat in parking lots or take food home. On Day 2 of dine-in I found myself sitting at the bar alone at The Stockyard’s Restaurant for a burger. To this day I haven’t been afraid to dine-in early and before restaurants get crowded by 2020 standards. By the time summer rolled around more people were venturing out & about and us foodies started to gather. Not at festivals but cautiously as new restaurants began to open after several delays.

I’m still not sure what my final meal will be for 2020 or my first meal of 2021. Still pondering my future meals I’m looking for what 2021 will bring. Less Zoom meetings for sure, in the food world I’m curious how Arizona’s new legalization of recreational cannabis will open new opportunities for cannabis infused meals, foods and restaurants. What new restaurants will be anticipated and which favorites will close their doors. What will the long term effect will 2020 have on local businesses and society? Many un-answered questions going forward into 2021 but I do know one thing……in order to survive we MUST eat and drink. Cheers and to a better 2021!!!

Dine-in is back on the menu at Phoenix area restaurants

Restaurants can now re-open for dine-in service as of May 11th according to Gov. Doug Ducey. Many restaurants are opening for guests to dine-in while others will wait it out a bit longer while they continue to offer takeout. Many are having staff where masks and adhering to new sanitizing guidelines.

These Phoenix area restaurants are opening their dining rooms and may require reservations to space out diners. Check back as this post will be updated as more restaurants open their dining rooms for service.

Chandler- Downtown Ocotillo

The Living Room, Rock Lobster, CHoP Steakhouse, Press Coffee, Cherish, Humble Pie. Downtown Ocotillo is at 2475 W. Queen Creek Road 85248.

Chandler- Chase’s Diner 2040 N. Alma School Rd. 85224.

Scottsdale- North

The Spotted Donkey at El Pedergal 34631 North Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree 85377. Liberty Station Tavern 34522 N. Scottsdale Rd. Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd., Carefreee

Dominick’s Steakhouse 15169 N Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85254. The Americano 17797 N Scottsdale Rd 85255.

Scottsdale- Downtown/ Mid

Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen 7303 E Indian School Rd. 85251. Merkins Vineyards 7133 E. Stetson Dr. 85251. Pomo Pizzeria 8977 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale 85253

Ocean 44 4748 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale 85251. Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho 6850 East Main Street 85251. Paul Martin’s American Grill 6186 North Scottsdale Road 85253.

Glendale

Urban Margarita 6685 W. Beardsley Rd. 85308

Phoenix- Arcadia/ Biltmore

Steak 44 5101 N 44th St. 85018

Phoenix metro

The Stockyards Restaurant 5009 E Washington St. 85034.

Phoenix- North

Original Breakfast House (May 28th) 13623 N 32nd St. 85032, Ocean Prime (5/19) 5455 E. High St. 85054

Phoenix- Central/ Uptown

Joe’s Diner 4515 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix

Phoenix- Downtown

Pomo Pizzeria 705 N. 1st Street

Multiple locations

Angry Crab Shack, Koibito Poke, Fired Pie, U.S. Egg, Barro’s Pizza, Chompie’s

Twin Peaks Restaurants, Wildflower (Deer Valley & Gilbert only for now.)