MXSW Weekend Guide for Sept. 23-25

BY Jess Harter Friday, September 23, 2016

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Today

Arizona Restaurant Week: The fall edition of our twice-a-year Restaurant Week wraps up this weekend. Through Sunday, more than 100 participating restaurants throughout the Valley are offering special three-course menus for either $33 or $44 per person.

Wild Thing tapping: After discovering a rare batch of wild hops in northern Arizona, brewmaster Uwe Boer and his crew from SunUp Brewing in Phoenix collected them to make a one-of-a-kind beer, Wild Thing IPA, which is being tapped today.

4th Friday Car Show: Gilbert’s Nicantoni’s Pizza hosts its final monthly car show at its current location. The pizzeria is moving at the end of this month to a new location on Gilbert Road.

A Night of Rising Stars: The James Beard Foundation’s touring fundraiser arrives at The Camby in Phoenix tonight. Celebrity chef Amanda Frietag is the special guest at a cocktail reception preceding a $275-per-plate dinner.

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Saturday

Bell’s Fruit & Loops: Start your day with all-you-can-eat breakfast cereal from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. as Yucca Tap Room in Tempe hosts a Bell’s Brewery promo, where the nine featured ales will include Sparkle Berry, Mango Habanero Oberon, and Raspberry.

Garlic Festival: Queen Creek Olive Mill is selling its harvest of organic garlic at its third annual Garlic Festival on Saturday and Sunday. The free-admission event also will include a special garlic menu, food trucks, a beer garden, live music, chef demos, and more.

Sriracha Festival: A $50 ticket ($70 at the gate) gets you unlimited food tastings and four alcoholic drinks at the first annual Sriracha Festival at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix. The 21-and-over event also has live music, a mixology contest, and games.

Casual Pint Oktoberfest: Bratwurst and fresh pretzels are on the menu for the first major event at the recently opened Casual Pint craft beer and market in Chandler. Watch or compete in stein-holding and sausage-eating contests.

New Belgium Beer Dinner: Hangar 9 in Chandler is calling it a beer dinner, but it’s more of a tap takeover by the Colorado brewey, along with some well-paired food specials.

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Sunday

Okra Whiskey Dinner: Chef Cullen Campbell is creating a Southern dinner menu inspired by secret family recipes, which are being paired with whiskey cocktails from mixologist Micah Olson at Okra in Phoenix. Cost is $55 per person.

Jazz & Jambalaya: With the (slightly) cooling temperatures, live jazz returns to Southern Rail in Phoenix on Sunday nights. Three great bands are scheduled to perform. Specials include half-off all bottles of Arizona wine.

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Post image for Oct. 1: Mexican brunch cooking class at El Palacio in Chandler

Oct. 1: Mexican brunch cooking class at El Palacio in Chandler

BY Jess Harter Friday, September 23, 2016

After a summer hiatus, cooking classes return to El Palacio Mexican Restaurant & Cantina in Chandler next weekend.

From 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 1, chef-owner Anthony Serrano will teach you how to make four items:

  • Chilaquiles
  • New Mexico enchiladas
  • Mexican eggs Benedict with a homemade English muffin
  • Peppered Maria (a spicy Bloody Mary)

The class is just $15, which includes lunch and a cocktail. RSVP here.

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Post image for Friday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

Friday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

BY Jess Harter Friday, September 23, 2016

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Post image for Valley writer’s Phoenix Magazine feature wins major food-writing award

Valley writer’s Phoenix Magazine feature wins major food-writing award

BY Jess Harter Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kudos to Valley food writer Gwen Ashley Walters, who won one of the top awards Wednesday at the annual Association of Food Journalists conference in Seattle.

Walters took first place for Best Non-Newspaper Food Feature for ‘‘Saintly Stockers,’’ which appeared in the January 2015 issue of Phoenix Magazine.

The article explored the unusual food storage practices of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Besides contributing to numerous magazines and newspapers, Walters has authored three award-winning cookbooks. She also writes a blog, Pen & Fork.

You can see the full list of 2016 AFJ winners here.

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Post image for Dubina Brewing signs distribution deal with Crescent Crown

Dubina Brewing signs distribution deal with Crescent Crown

BY Jess Harter Thursday, September 22, 2016

Coming soon to a bar, restaurant, or sports venue near you: Beers from Dubina Brewing.

The Glendale brewery, which launched in 2014, is the latest Arizona brewery to sign with a major distributor, in this case Crescent Crown.

(Pictured above: Dubina’s Cinder Hills black IPA, Grandpa’s Pils Czech pilsner, and Bell Road IPA.)

Dubina recently added four more 15-barrel fermenters, allowing the brewery to triple its production, and prompting owner Jared Dubina to approach the distributor.

‘‘We are excited and think they were the best fit for us, not just now but in years to come,’’ Dubina says. ‘‘We knew that if we want to get into more stadiums for spring training, they would be the best fit.’’

Crescent will carry all of the brewery’s beers, ‘‘but most importantly Bell Road IPA, which will help us with our stadium distribution at Peoria Sports Complex, and our Guns N Goses, which will be on tap at Jon Lane‘s (OHSO) airport location,’’ Dubina says.

Dubina plans to get packaging – canning or bottling – up and running by next summer.

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Post image for Bobby Q to open Mesa location on Oct. 3

Bobby Q to open Mesa location on Oct. 3

BY Jess Harter Thursday, September 22, 2016

Back in February, MXSW broke the news Phoenix favorite  Bobby-Q Great Steaks and BBQ was opening a second location in the former R.T. O’Sullivan’s Sports Grill building on the southwest corner of Stapley and U.S. 60 in Mesa.

The rustic, family-friendly restaurant finally has announced the opening date: Monday, Oct. 3.

The public opening will be preceded by several invitation-only ‘‘friends and family’’ lunches and dinners as the staff gets up to speed.

Bobby-Q was named one of the Top 100 Places to eat in the U.S. for 2016 by Yelp. It also was selected as one of the 30 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America by OpenTable in 2014.

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Post image for Rania’s Kabob Grill offers meal-prepping for health-conscious diners

Rania’s Kabob Grill offers meal-prepping for health-conscious diners

BY Jess Harter Thursday, September 22, 2016

With today’s hectic schedules, it’s often difficult to find the time to prepare healthy meals.

Rania’s Kabob Grill in Gilbert is making it easy for the health-conscious. The restaurant has launched a meal-prepping service called Resultz Fuel.

‘‘Signature’’ entrees, which you can order online, typically feature:

  • A protein, such as grilled shrimp, chicken, or sirloin – or even protein waffles.
  • A vegetable, such as green beans, broccoli, or asparagus.
  • A starch, such as spinach basmati rice or mashed sweet potatoes.

The signature entrees start at $6.75. Custom meals also are available, including different portion sizes. Complete nutritional information is provided for all meals.

Best of all, the meals can be delivered right to your door, if you choose.

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Post image for Thursday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

Thursday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

BY Jess Harter Thursday, September 22, 2016

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Post image for Surf’s up: Jimmy Hula’s makes AZ debut in Tempe

Surf’s up: Jimmy Hula’s makes AZ debut in Tempe

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Orlando, Fla.-based Jimmy Hula’s, a chain of island-themed eateries known for tacos, burgers, and craft beers, has opened its first Arizona location.

It takes over the former Long John Silver’s on the northeast corner of Broadway and Hardy in Tempe.

Jimmy Hula’s features a ‘‘surf shack’’ decor with open rafters, mismatched furniture, and upside-down buckets as lamp shades.

The menu offers six kinds of fish tacos, 12 ‘‘turf’’ (beef, pork, chicken, etc.) tacos, eight burgers, and ‘‘crack’d’’ street corn.

(Pictured above: The Johnny Utah tacos with smoked pork, BBQ sauce, and mac ’n’ cheese.)

The beer list features 44 selections, mostly craft beers. Wine also is available.

Jimmy Hula’s is open 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. daily.

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Post image for Loco Patrõn Mexican Brewery coming to north Scottsdale

Loco Patrõn Mexican Brewery coming to north Scottsdale

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Loco Patrõn is getting into the brewery business.

The Mexican grill and bar, which has locations in Scottsdale and Tempe, has announced plans to open Loco Patrõn Mexican Brewery.

It will take over the former Salty Senorita building southwest of the Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright in north Scottsdale. It’ll be just south of OHSO and Four Peaks locations.

‘‘We have been looking for the right location for the past three years to deliver our newest concept, and believe we have found a great building and neighborhood,” co-owner Ryan Vertuca says.

“Renovations are underway. First on the list is to almost double the size of the current patio. The new patio will have a backyard feel to it.”

Vertuca didn’t reveal how big the brewing system will be and what beers it will produce.

Loco Patrõn Mexican Brewery is scheduled to open in January.

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