Food & Drink News

Today: McFate releases 2017 Candy Bar Milk Stout in cans

BY Jess Harter Monday, October 23, 2017

Post image for Today: McFate releases 2017 Candy Bar Milk Stout in cans

Candy Bar Milk Stout, the award-winning seasonal from McFate Brewing in Scottsdale, will be released at 11 a.m. today at the brewery’s south Scottsdale location.

The popular brew – a milk stout conditioned with honey-roasted peanuts, cacao nibs, whole vanilla beans, and sea salt – won a silver medal at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival in 2013 just two months after its debut.

This year, Candy Bar Milk Stout is available in cans for the first time. The 16-ounce cans will be sold in four-packs for $18.

There’s a limit of one case (six four-packs) of cans per person. There will be no restrictions on growler fills until McFate is down to the last few barrels.

Candy Bar Milk Stout also is on tap at McFate’s Tap + Barrel for pints or growler fills, but that location’s license doesn’t allow it to sell cans.

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

Nov. 10: Sunset outdoor dinner at Tumbleweed Ranch

BY Jess Harter Friday, October 20, 2017

Post image for Nov. 10: Sunset outdoor dinner at Tumbleweed Ranch

Earlier this week I wrote about the eighth annual Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-off, a free festival that takes place Nov. 10-11 at Tumbleweed Park.

At the time, I didn’t know this year’s Cook-Off will feature a new element: A sunset outdoor dinner to benefit Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch, the non-profit whose mission is to educate the community about Chandler’s agricultural heritage through programs and events like the Cook-off.

From 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, you can enjoy a cowboy-style dinner of an 8-ounce sirloin, salad, bread, potato, and dessert catered by Chandler restaurant Ginger Monkey. Non-alcoholic beverages and live entertainment are included. Local beer and wine will be available for purchase.

After the dinner, you can wander over to the Cook-off’s campfire performance and marshmallow roast with local singer Chip Hanna.

Tickets are $40 and available here. All proceeds will go to the non-profit.

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

Romano’s Macaroni Grill files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

BY Jess Harter Thursday, October 19, 2017

Post image for Romano’s Macaroni Grill files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Denver-based Romano’s Macaroni Grill is the latest national restaurant chain to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The fast-shrinking chain, now in its 29th year, only has three locations left in the Valley, all of which are expected to remain open, at least for now.

Macaroni Grill has had four different owners in the past decade, most recently Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort, who bought it in 2015.

Monfort’s group paid just $8 million for the chain, which sold for $55 million two years earlier. Since its the sale, Macaroni Grill has closed 53 of its 146 locations.

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

Today: No Self Esteam Punk tapping at SunUp Brewing

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Post image for Today: No Self Esteam Punk tapping at SunUp Brewing

SunUp Brewing in Phoenix debuts its latest beer – No Self Esteam Punk – when the brew pub’s doors open at 11 a.m. today. Steam beers, a style technically known as California Common, originated in the 18th-century California.

Because refrigeration wasn’t available, steam beers were brewed with lager yeasts but at warm temperatures, resulting in well-rounded beers with a touch of fruitiness.

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

Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert reopens today after 5 weeks of renovations

BY Jess Harter Thursday, October 12, 2017

Post image for Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert reopens today after 5 weeks of renovations

After closing for more than a month for renovations, Joe’s Farm Grill reopens today on the northwest corner of Higley and Ray.

The 11-year-old, farm-fresh burger shack, which closed Sept. 5, has doubled the amount of indoor seating in what used to be the childhood home of owner Joe Johnston (pictured).

Another big change at Joe’s Farm Grill is it’s now a ‘‘sit-down’’ restaurant. Diners no longer will order at a window and receive a pager to notify them when their food is ready for pickup.

Instead, servers now will take diner’s orders at their table and deliver their food when it’s ready.

Joe’s Farm Grill also is ditching its paper plates and plastic forks, and switching to “real” dishes and silverware.

Hours remain 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

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

Newly opened Ghett’ Yo’ Taco in Chandler cuts back its evening hours

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Post image for Newly opened Ghett’ Yo’ Taco in Chandler cuts back its evening hours

Ghett’ Yo’ Taco, which opened less than two weeks ago in the former Yoli’s Cafe space in downtown Chandler, is adjusting its evening hours.

The eatery’s original closing time was 11 p.m. weekdays and midnight weekends. Starting today, the kitchen will close at 8:45 every night except Sundays,when it will close even earlier (time TBA).

Downtown Chandler entrepreneur Peter Sciacca bought Yoli’s last summer and leased the former bungalow to his son, Christian, who launched the street taco shop.

The elder Sciacca says Ghett’ Yo’ Taco has been a victim of is own success, a combination of too many customers and not enough kitchen help.

He says the eatery still plans to offer late-night tacos in the future.

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

Post image for Cider Corps to open Nov. 11 in downtown Mesa for Veterans Day open house

Cider Corps, the cidery and taproom under construction in downtown Mesa, will host an open house from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Veteran’s Day – Saturday, Nov. 11.

Located on Robson just south of Main, brothers Jason and Josh Duren’s new business is just two blocks from the finish of the Veterans Day parade in Mesa.

From 10-11 a.m. that day, Cider Corps will be selling mulled cider (non-alcoholic) and hot coffee to go so people can stay warm while watching the parade.

A variety of their signature ciders will available for growler or 32-ounce crowler fills ($12-$20). There also will be special “pie ciders,” such as mixed berry and pumpkin, as well as a cold-brewed coffee cider.

Opening on Veteran’s Day has special meaning for the Durens, who started making cider as a hobby after Jason suffered traumatic brain injuries from IED blasts in Afghanistan.

“To open the taproom this way is the embodiment of Cider Corps’ mission: Drink great ciders, honor great sacrifice,” Josh says. “We want it to be a place for veterans to be honored through times of awareness.”

Although the cidery’s opening still is a month away, the brothers’ ciders already are available at more than 30 restaurants and bars in Arizona.

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

4 Valley breweries win medals at Great American Beer Festival

BY Jess Harter Sunday, October 8, 2017

Post image for 4 Valley breweries win medals at Great American Beer Festival

After a disappointing performance in 2016, Arizona breweries bounced back by winning four medals Saturday at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

The world’s largest commercial beer competition, which drew nearly 100,000 people, judged a total of 7,923 beers in 98 styles.

This year’s Arizona medal-winners:

  • Taildragger’s Clan-Destine from Saddle Mountain Brewing in Goodyear, which won the gold for Scottish-style ale (pictured above: sales rep Luis Herrera, on left, gets the medal at Saturday’s ceremony);
  • Pedal Haus Light Lager from Pedal Haus Brewery in Tempe, which won the silver for light lager;
  • Machine Gun Teddy from Goldwater Brewing in Scottsdale, which won the bronze for American-style brown ale;
  • Cannonball Australian-Style Pale Ale from Scottsdale Beer Co., which won the bronze for Australian- or international-style pale ale.

Arizona’s four medals pale in comparison to the hauls by states with more mature brewing scenes, such as California (which led all states with 56 medals) and Colorado (second with 38).

Still, it’s a marked improvement from last year, when Arizona won just one medal – Flagstaff’s Historic Brewing took the silver for its Avant-Chard in the wood- and barrel-aged sour category. The state also won just one medal in 2014.

It’s also notable that – reflecting a national trend at this year’s GABF – Arizona’s four medals went not to the state’s largest or best-known breweries, but to relative newcomers.

Saddle Mountain launched in late 2014. Pedal Haus, Goldwater and Scottsdale Beer all opened in 2015.

See the full list of this year’s medal winners here.

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

Tempe lakeside patio restaurant Pier 54 kicks off Oktoberfest specials

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Post image for Tempe lakeside patio restaurant Pier 54 kicks off Oktoberfest specials

Pier 54, an all-patio restaurant on a suburban lake in south Tempe, is celebrating Oktoberfest with several specials all month:

  • German schnitzel and fries ($11.75, pictured)
  • Bratwurst in pretzel roll with sauerkraut ($8)
  • Bavarian snack: Large pretzel twist, stick sausages and cheese dip ($8)

In addition, you can get Austrian premium lager Stiegl Goldbrau for $7.25, or six Samuel Adams Octoberfest beers for $17.25.

There is live music from 7-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

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

Post image for Nicantoni’s Pizza donating 50% of garlic ribbon proceeds to fighting cancer

If you haven’t noticed the sudden proliferation of pink ribbons around the East Valley, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many restaurants are doing special promotions.

At Nicantoni’s Pizza in Gilbert, for example, owner Vic Buono has come up with a unique menu item – garlic ribbons (garlic knots in the shape of ribbons) – that will be available all month.

Fifty percent of all garlic ribbon proceeds this month will be donated to the Impact One Cancer Foundation.

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