Post image for Yet another restaurant coming to downtown Gilbert: Culinary Dropout at The Yard

For months I’ve been asking Sam Fox‘s people about rumors his Culinary Dropout concept is coming to downtown Gilbert, but always was told, ‘‘We have nothing to announce.’’

Well, today they finally have something to announce: Culinary Dropout at The Yard will open across Gilbert Road from the downtown Heritage Marketplace in the fall of 2018.

The site is adjacent to the so-called Powerline Trail, along the canal that runs east-west just north of the Marketplace.

A 25,000-square-foot, two-story building will have a dining room, patio, and two game ‘‘yards’’ (one for adults, one for kids) on ground level, and a 150-person event space called The Coop upstairs.

Fox already has five Culinary Dropout locations, with a sixth opening in Tucson next year. The Gilbert location will be the largest, and the only one with a kid-focused yard.

“We are still working on details, but The Yard at Gilbert Heritage District will definitely be designed with the whole family in mind,” Fox says.

Another of Fox’s concepts, Zinburger, was among the first restaurants to open at the Heritage Marketplace in October 2014.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Post image for Pita Jungle selling Empty Bowls through Dec. 15 to help feed Valley’s hungry

Pita Jungle has kicked off its third annual Empty Bowls campaign, a two-week fundraiser for Waste Not, a local nonprofit that has been feeding the hungry in the Valley for more than 25 years.

Through Dec. 15, you can buy handcrafted clay bowls – which come with your choice of soup or hummus (dine-in or carryout) – for $15 apiece at any of the Mediterranean eatery’s 15 Valley locations.

The bowls are created by Arizona Clay Association artists and their friends in the community, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to Waste Not. Every dollar raised feeds six people.

‘‘The beauty of Empty Bowls lies in being able to support local artisans and support our fellow neighbors in need at the same time,” says Bassel Osmani, who co-founded Pita Jungle while attending ASU.

Pita Jungle’s campaign is just one of several Empty Bowls events held in the Valley at various times of the year. The idea began in Michigan in the early 1990s and has grown into an international movement.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

MXSW Weekend Guide for Dec. 2-4

BY Jess Harter Friday, December 2, 2016

Post image for MXSW Weekend Guide for Dec. 2-4

Today

Grand opening at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Chandler

SunUp beers & night golf at Kokopelli Golf Club in Gilbert

Date night wine dinner at Blooming Beets Kitchen in Chandler

Winter menu launch happy hour at Peixoto Coffee in Chandler

Fall Festival of the Arts in downtown Tempe (pictured above)

Phoestivus tapping party at Phoenix Ale Brewery in Phoenix

Saturday

Tamale class at El Palacio Mexican Restaurant in Chandler

Fall Festival of the Arts in downtown Tempe

Taste of Arizona festival at Mesa Riverview Park

All-Arizona wine tasting at BottleShop 48 in Tempe

Grand opening party at My Pie in Gilbert

Arizona Asian Festival at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall

4-year anniversary party at Pig & Pickle in Scottsdale

Arcadia Pop Up Marketplace at Arcadia Premium in Phoenix

Dine & Donate fundraiser at Noodle Bar in Phoenix

Sunday

Fall Festival of the Arts in downtown Tempe

Picket Fence Pastries pop-up at Peixoto Coffee in Chandler

Arcadia Pop Up Marketplace at Arcadia Premium in Phoenix

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

MXSW’s newest advertiser: IncogNitos in Chandler

BY Jess Harter Friday, December 2, 2016

Post image for MXSW’s newest advertiser:  IncogNitos in Chandler

Please welcome IncogNitos, a neighborhood sports bar that opened on the northwest corner of Alma School and Warner in Chandler in September, as MXSW’s newest sponsor.

Taking over the longtime Gallagher’s space, IncogNitos offers a all-star menu that ranges from Wisconsin cheese curds to Hatch green chile dip. (One owner is from Wisconsin, the other from New Mexico.)

Creative twists on traditional sports bar fare include The Arizonan (pictured), a half-pound burger with local beer cheese, and The Louisianan, a pulled-chicken sandwich with ghost pepper cheese and house-made BBQ sauce.

Besides showing games on its numerous TVs, IncogNitos hosts Team Trivia at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Texas hold ’em poker at 7 p.m. Mondays, 7 p.m. Thursdays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Please thank IncogNitos for its support of local food and drink coverage.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

MXSW’s newest advertiser: Flancer’s in Gilbert & Mesa

BY Jess Harter Friday, December 2, 2016

Post image for MXSW’s newest advertiser: Flancer’s in Gilbert & Mesa

Please welcome Flancer’s, a pair of fun and casual cafés with a Southwest-inspired menu, as MXSW’s newest sponsor.

Owner Jeff Flancer, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, opened the original Flancer’s in Gilbert in 2000 and added a northeast Mesa location in 2008.

Both offer the same great sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, salads, and entrees – including Flancer’s famous Chile Verde Birdie turkey sandwich – and a fondness for rock ’n’ roll from the 1960s and ’70s.

Flancer’s recently launched a breakfast menu, available 8-11 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday. (More about that coming soon.)

Please thank Flancer’s for its support of local food and drink coverage.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Friday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

BY Jess Harter Friday, December 2, 2016

Post image for Friday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

Baja Joe’s: $6.99 fish and chips

The Brass Tap: Teachers get 25% off between 4-7 p.m.

Fibber Magees: $15 all-you-can-eat fish & chips (pictured); $5 Car Bombs, $3 signature cocktails.

Flancer’s: Breakfast from 8-11 a.m. (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only)

Hungry Monk: $11.50 all-you-can-eat fish & chips; $3 Captain Morgans, margaritas on rocks & house wine.

La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen: 15% off any tequila shots all day.

Nicantoni’s Pizza: Mention word of the day (found on Facebook page) and get 10% off your bill.

Rania’s Kabob Grill: $12.99 all-you-can-eat fish (pictured above).

Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants: Chile relleno burro with green sauce, rice or beans, and soda for $7.49 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Social Box Neighborhood Eatery: Purchase an entree and get a dessert for half price.

Uncle Bear’s: $9.99 fish & chips; $4.50 Three Olives Vodka; $3.50 Dog Park Dark Ale pints.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

5 things you need to know about Saturday’s Taste of Arizona in Mesa

BY Jess Harter Thursday, December 1, 2016

Post image for 5 things you need to know about Saturday’s Taste of Arizona in Mesa

1. Taste of Arizona, an outdoor festival featuring more than 30 restaurants, food trucks, and other food and drink vendors, takes place 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday at Mesa Riverview Park (map). The event is a benefit for the Boy Scouts of America.

2. General admission is $6, with a $1 discount for Boy Scouts, military, police, and firefighters. Kids 11 and under get in free. Food or drink must be purchased separately. Parking is free.

3. Participants include Famous Dave’s, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, The Melting Pot, California Pizza Kitchen, Paletas Betty, Tom’s BBQ, Bobby-Q, Bosa Donuts, Gordon Biersch, Filibertos, and more.

4. A 21-and-over Beer Garden & Wine Tasting offers pints of beer or glasses of wine for $7 apiece, or three for $20. Includes a free commemorative glass.

5. Activities include chefs’ cooking demos, a BBQ competition, a Dutch oven cook-off, a kids zone, and live music from local country and Latino bands.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Post image for Thursday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

Thursday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

BY Jess Harter Thursday, December 1, 2016

Baja Joe’s: $9.99 fajitas; Cantina Toritos for $5 after 5 p.m. (cantina only).

The Brass Tap: Service industry gets 25% of draft beer and house wine from 9 p.m.-close.

Fibber Magees: Half-price wings & tenders; $2 off Captain Morgan drinks, $4 shooters.

Hungry Monk: 99-cent chicken tenders; $3 Jack Daniels & Jagermeister.

La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen: Ladies receive happy hour pricing on drinks from 6-9 p.m. in bar.

My Wine Cellar: 20% off all bottles of wine.

El Palacio: $2 street tacos, $3 Mexican pints, $4 margaritas, $5 sangria

Romeo’s Euro Cafe: Five-course “Taste of Romeo’s Euro Cafe” dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants: Chicken Suiza enchilada with black beans and soda for $7.49 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Social Box Neighborhood Eatery: Special weekly cocktail and pricing for ladies.

Zappone’s Italian Bistro: Buy one pizza (pictured), get a second for half-price. Dine-in or takeout.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Long-awaited Alamo Drafthouse Cinema finally opens in south Chandler

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Post image for Long-awaited Alamo Drafthouse Cinema finally opens in south Chandler

It was two years ago this month MXSW reported Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was coming to Chandler. After 24 months of uncertainty and one site change, the much-anticipated Texas-based concept finally has opened its doors.

The complex, on the northeast corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights, features nine screens with food and drink service, a restaurant, and a locally focused craft beer bar.

Earlier: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema coming to Chandler after all – just not downtown

A grand opening is scheduled for Friday, but doors opened to the public last night for a three-day soft opening during which food prices are discounted while the staff undergoes training.

Tale of 2 sites

Those who’ve followed the tortuous tale of Alamo’s arrival in Arizona know the theater originally was planned for downtown Chandler, where it was supposed to join several restaurants in a yet-to-break-ground development called The Row.

The announced opening date was Dec. 14, 2015, for the premiere of ‘‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.’’

After months of delays due to contaminated soil, however, Alamo selected a new site five miles directly south where, perhaps fittingly, it’s opened just in time for the next ‘‘Star Wars’’ film, ‘‘Rogue One,’’ which hits screens Dec. 16.

Alamo FAQs

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was launched in Austin, Texas, in 1997, and has expanded to more than 20 U.S. cities. In addition to the location in Chandler, another is planned for south Tempe in 2017.

The concept has earned a reputation for its strict etiquette rules about talking, texting, arriving late, and tipping poorly in its theaters. Infants and unaccompanied minors are not allowed at most screenings.

In 2010, the company launched Drafthouse Films to distribute ‘‘provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world.’’

Alamo has been named ‘‘best theater ever’’ by Time Magazine and ‘‘coolest theater in the world’’ by Wired.

Chandler specs

Alamo Drafthouse Chandler has nine screens that will show a combination of new releases, classic movies, and its own signature programming.

The largest theater can seat 170 moviegoers, the smallest 48. Each theater has Sony 4K digital projection and a state-of-the-art sound system.

All seating is reserved, and tickets can be purchased using the theater’s app. Seats are 24 inches wide, instead of the typical 21 inches, for extra comfort.

Food & drink

Alamo’s food menu focuses on appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas. Many would be considered ‘‘upscale,’’ such as its signature Brie & Onion Jam Burger ($15) or Brussels Sprouts, Smoked Bacon, and Goat Cheese Pizza ($12).

There’s a brunch menu every day for screenings that start before 2 p.m. A kids menu also is available.

The full bar has 32 craft beers on tap ($4-$7), including 24 from Arizona, plus another 21 in bottles. There are six red and six white wines by the glass ($5-$9) or bottle, as well as sangria and mimosas.

There also are six ‘‘adult’’ milkshakes ($8), such as a Resposado Chocolate Shake with tequila and Maker’s Mark Milk Punch Shake with bourbon.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts

Blooming Beets in Chandler to hold soft-opening dinners Thursday & Friday

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Post image for Blooming Beets in Chandler to hold soft-opening dinners Thursday & Friday

Blooming Beets, a Colorado-based concept focused on Paleo-centric eating, will hold soft-opening community dinners at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

The concept takes over the former Fired Up Grill, which closed last November in the Casa Paloma shopping center on the southwest corner of 56th Street and Ray in west Chandler.

Blooming Beets’ gluten-free and grain-free menu uses organic and local ingredients whenever possible. Meats are wild-caught or grass-fed. No processed sugar, seed oils, or GMO soy or corn is used.

The four appetizers are among the most popular items on the menu:

  • Bacon-wrapped dates with pastured pork and cashew herb butter stuffing ($6.50 for two or $10.50 for four, pictured above)
  • Brussels sprouts with apples, candied pecans, apple cider reduction, and dairy-free lemon aioli ($8.20)
  • Hazel Dell wild oyster mushroom soup ($8.20)
  • Elk carpaccio with Haystack Mountain Sunlight raw goat cheese, olive oil, and herbs ($13)

bloomingbeetsburger112916A bunless burger made with ground elk, venison, bison, and wild boar, with a poached egg, crispy sweet potatoes, organic arugula, and smokey aioli ($16.50-$18, pictured) is another signature menu item.

Iva Paleckova launched Blooming Beets in 2014 in Boulder, Colo. The Chandler location will be her second, with a third opening soon in Denver.

The Chandler location – which will have a full bar offering ‘‘Paleo cocktails,’’ something not found at the original – will host a three-course grand opening dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday. Reservations are required.

Regular brunch and lunch service (11 a.m.-2 p.m.Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday) starts Friday, followed by another special dinner Friday night.

Regular dinner service (5-8 p.m Tuesday-Thursday, 5-9 Friday-Saturday, and 5-8:30 Sunday) begins Saturday.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email roundup of new MXSW posts