Food & Drink News

Today: Boulders on Southern taps Black Friday beers early

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, November 22, 2017

BouldersSouthernSign062416Why wait until Friday?

Boulders on Southern in Mesa jumps the gun by kicking off its third annual Black Friday Specialty Beer Tappings a couple days early.

That’s right. The majority of beers on this year’s roster are being tapped today to give you a headstart on the holiday weekend. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Here’s the beer list (the last three with an asterisk will be held back until Friday):

  • Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (2016)
  • Alesmith Thai Speedway stout
  • Great Divide Barrel Aged Espresso Stout
  • Hess Blood Orange Habitus
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration fresh hop IPA
  • IPA Founders Harvest Ale fresh hop IPA
  • Belching Beaver Hoppy Hoppy Night
  • Odell Brazzle
  • Firestone-Walker Bretta Rose
  • Uintah Oak Jacked (2016)
  • Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi (2016)
  • Modern Times Mega Blazing World
  • Grand Canyon Pumpkin Springs Porter aged in Heaven Hill barrels
  • Boulevard/Arizona Wilderness/Creature Comfort Collaboration #7 oak-aged lager
  • Gulden Draak Brewmaster Reserve Calvados
  • Desert Cider House Cheer
  • Deschutes Jubelale nitro
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2017)*
  • Dogfish Head Vanilla Barrel Aged WW Stout*
  • Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (2016)*

Growler fills will be available for most beers; some will be limited to 32-ounce fills.

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Today: ChanDiego beer release at The Hungry Monk

BY Jess Harter Thursday, November 16, 2017

HazyIPA111617The Hungry Monk in Chandler releases ChanDiego, a collaboration brewed at Belching Beaver Brewing, at 5 p.m. today.

Besides the hazy IPA, the Monk will have several other beers from the San Diego County brewery on tap, including:

  • Texifornia: A triple IPA brewed in collaboration with Pinthouse Pizza
  • Hoppy Hoppy Night: New England-style IPA brewed for Belching Beaver’s fifth anniversary
  • Phantom Bride: A collaboration IPA brewed with alternative metal band The Deftones

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The Ostrich lets go Brandon Casey, social media weighs in

BY Jess Harter Monday, November 13, 2017

BrandonCaseyOstrich111317Well, that sure escalated quickly.

If you weren’t on social media Saturday, you missed a classic shitstorm involving Crust, The Ostrich and Brandon Casey (pictured).

It all began when The Ostrich, Crust’s speakeasy-themed basement bar at the San Marcos Resort in downtown Chandler, announced on Facebook it had parted ways with the well-known Valley mixologist:

TheOstrichCasey111317

The above is a screen capture I took Saturday afternoon – the original has since been deleted – when, as you can see, the announcement already had generated more than 100 responses. Without getting into the particulars, let’s just say the majority weren’t polite.

Casey, who came to The Ostrich after a high-profile and successful stint at Citizen Public House in Old Town Scottsdale, had only a brief response on Facebook:

TheOstrichCasey111117

Casey’s supporters. however, were much more vocal – and active – in expressing their disappointment. The Ostrich’s Facebook page quickly received more than 100 one-star ratings, driving its overall rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5) down to just 2.7 stars in a few hours:

OstrichRating111317

I imagine Crust and The Ostrich were surprised by the vehemence of the public response. Quite frankly, though, they don’t owe anyone (except Casey) an explanation for a decision they felt was in the best interests of their business.

But from a food and drink perspective, Casey’s departure, regardless of the circumstances, is a blow to downtown Chandler, which has been cultivating a late-night cocktail scene for the past two years.

Along with The Ostrich, several other restaurants with strong bar programs recently have opened downtown, including The Brickyard Downtown, La Bocca, and Modern Margarita (the latter two temporarily closed after a fire in their shared kitchen last week).

Hard to say where that scene goes now, but that’s a subject for a future post.

Casey, for his part, has plenty to keep him busy while he ponders his next move. Earlier this year he purchased his Tempe neighborhood dive bar, The Woodshed, which was subject to a well-publicized makeover last week.

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AZ Food Crafters offers fresh roasted pumpkin pies

BY Jess Harter Thursday, November 9, 2017

AZFoodCraftersPumpkinPies

If you’re ordering Thanksgiving pies from AZ Food Crafters, you only have six more days. The popular Chandler hand pie shop and cafe has set Wednesday, Nov. 15, as this year’s cutoff date for orders.

Although best known for its smaller hand pies, AZ Food Crafters also sells a variety of gourmet 9-inch pies made from scratch.

Thanksgiving orders will be limited to seven varieties:

  • Fresh Roasted Pumpkin: Made with fresh pumpkin (not canned) that’s roasted and pureed in-house. Each pie comes with 16-ounce container of fresh whipped cream ($22).
  • Maple Pecan: Made with pure maple syrup and a half-pound of pecans ($28).
  • Cranberry Orange Walnut: Southern buttermilk Chess pie recipe with dried cranberries and walnuts seasoned with orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg ($24).
  • Pear Cranberry Streusel: Layered with fresh house-made cranberry compote and lightly seasoned citrusy pears, and topped with a walnut streusel ($28).
  • Classic Apple: Made with lightly seasoned Granny Smith apples in a double crust ($20).
  • Caramel Apple: Granny Smith apples and house-made caramel sauce in a double crust ($22).
  • Dutch Apple: Lightly seasoned Granny Smith apples with a buttery walnut crumb top ($22).

To place an order, call 480-264-2532.

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Fire temporarily closes Modern Margarita, La Bocca

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, November 7, 2017

ModernMargaritaFire110717

A pair of downtown Chandler restaurants – Modern Margarita and La Bocca – are closed after a fire broke out earlier today at the eateries, which share the former Coach & Willy’s sports bar on the southeast corner of Arizona and Boston.

From Modern Margarita’s Facebook page:

You may have heard the news–we had a small fire at Modern Margarita and La Bocca Chandler today. Everyone is okay, but we will be temporarily closed for repairs. Stay tuned for updates. Thank you to everyone for your concern & well-wishes!

No word on what caused the fire, which appeared to be in or near the kitchen.

The sibling restaurants share the former Coach & Willy’s kitchen, although they divided the rest of the 6,000-square-foot space into separate dining areas when they opened in August 2016.

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Cuisine & Wine Bistro launches wine club in Gilbert

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Post image for Cuisine & Wine Bistro launches wine club in Gilbert

Cuisine & Wine Bistro launches a wine club today at its Gilbert location on the northeast corner of McQueen and Warner.

Members can choose either a two-wine or three-wine package, which they would pick up each month. The wines will be selected by Cuisine & Wine’s sommeliers.

The two-wine package will include one red and one white; the three-wine package two reds and one white.

Cost is $39 per month for two wines and $59 per month for three wines. More info: 480-497-1422.

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Today: Uncle Bear’s ‘yappy hour’ at Euro Pizza Cafe

BY Jess Harter Thursday, October 26, 2017

Post image for Today: Uncle Bear’s ‘yappy hour’ at Euro Pizza Cafe

Euro Pizza Cafe in Fountain Hills hosts an Uncle Bear’s Brewery ‘‘yappy hour’’ from 5-8 p.m. today.

The canine-themed festivities include a dog costume party, free dog treats, Uncle Bear’s beer tastings, and pint glass and koozie giveaways.

The dog costume party begin at 6 p.m. The winner receives a gift basket of prizes.

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Michael’s Pizza takes over Sanfratello’s space in Gilbert

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Post image for Michael’s Pizza takes over Sanfratello’s space in Gilbert

Michael’s Pizza – a family-run restaurant that also offers pastas, subs, wings, and salads – has opened in Gilbert. It takes over  the space formerly occupied by Sanfratello’s Pizza on the southeast corner of Lindsay and Warner.

Like its predecessor, it has limited indoor seating but several additional tables on the patio.

Michael’s hand-tossed pizzas start at $8.99 for a 10-inch small, $10.99 for a 14-inch medium, or $13.99 for an 18-inch large.

There are 11 specialty pizzas, ranging from the Italian Classic (meatballs, tomatoes, red onion, and garlic for $13.99-$21.99) to the Sweet & Spicy (pepperoni, pineapple, and jalapenos for $11.99-$19.99).

Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

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Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails closes in Phoenix

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Post image for Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails closes in Phoenix

Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails, the 2-year-old younger sibling of Crudo, has closed its doors.

The restaurant, which offered a unique menu of Southern favorites with Italian influences, opened in August 2015 on Seventh Street, just south of Bethany Home Road, in Phoenix.

According to an announcement on Okra’s website:

‘‘As of yesterday, we’ve made the tough decision to close the doors on our sophomore effort, after co-owner Maureen McGrath moved to California. Cullen (Campbell, co-owner and chef) will now be focusing 100% of his passion at Crudo, with a slew of special dinners, seasonal menu changes, and more to come.’’

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The Perch Brewery unveils new happy hour menu

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Post image for The Perch Brewery unveils new happy hour menu

The Perch Brewery in downtown Chandler has announced new happy hour specials.

Drink specials:

  • $2 off Perch beers
  • $1 off house wines
  • $1 off well drinks

Food specials:

  • $8 pub tots
  • $8 hummus & pita
  • $8 green chile pork
  • $8 Perch pretzels
  • $8 mini four-cheese mac ’n’ cheese (pictured)

The specials are available 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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