New Restaurants

Saturday: GRAZ celebrates new space in Chandler

BY Jess Harter Friday, October 20, 2017

Post image for Saturday: GRAZ celebrates new space in Chandler

GRAZ Kitchen Fresh will celebrate the grand opening of its new home in the Palette Collective building behind Chandler Fashion Center from 6-9 p.m. Saturday.

The independent gourmet sandwich shop launched in 2014 on the southeast corner of Arizona Avenue and Pecos in Chandler. It moved in August.

Saturday’s party will include free food and gift card giveaways.

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

Today: SunUp helps celebrate Casual Pint’s grand opening

BY Jess Harter Friday, October 20, 2017

Post image for Today: SunUp helps celebrate Casual Pint’s grand opening

SunUp Brewing will be on hand today to celebrate the grand opening of The Casual Pint at 16th Street and Highland in central Phoenix.

Doors open at 4 p.m. The first 50 customers will receive free Casual Pint growlers; pint glasses, T-shirts, signs, and a San Diego vacation also will be given away.

SunUp’s White Russian, May The Schwartz Be With You and Hoppy Pumpkin will be on tap. Its Trooper IPA, Bearded Blonde, Tanline Brown Ale and White Russian will be available in cans.

It’s the Valley’s second location for The Casual Pint, a Tennessee-based concept that’s a cross between a craft beer bar and a retail store. The first opened in Chandler in 2016.

The two Valley locations are operated by different franchisees.

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

Sauce Pizza & Wine opens today in Queen Creek with dog rescue fundraiser

BY Jess Harter Saturday, October 14, 2017

Post image for Sauce Pizza & Wine opens today in Queen Creek with dog rescue fundraiser

Sauce Pizza and Wine opens its 13th location (not including Sky Harbor) at 11 a.m. today in Queen Creek and will donate 100% of the day’s proceeds to 2nd Chance Dog Rescue, which is in dire need of funds.

In addition, the first 50 customers today will receive a $10 Sauce gift card with their purchase.

The new location – the fast-casual chain’s largest at 3,000 square feet – is next to the Harkins theaters at Ellsworth Loop and Rittenhouse.

2nd Chance Dog Rescue, a Queen Creek non-profit dedicated to saving abandoned and abused dogs, is trying to relocate after being forced out of their space.

“When we learned that 2nd Chance Dog Rescue was seeking support, there was no question we would do what we could to help them,’’ says Scott Kilpatrick, CEO of Sauce Pizza & Wine.

‘‘We hope our donation will play a role in getting them into a new space so they can continue to be a safe haven for dogs in need.”

Sauce is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

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

Bitters gastropub to hold grand opening Friday at ASU Skysong Center

BY Jess Harter Thursday, October 12, 2017

Post image for Bitters gastropub to hold grand opening Friday at ASU Skysong Center

Bitters, a small gastropub that had its soft opening 10 days ago at SkySong in south Scottsdale, holds its official grand opening Friday.

SkySong, also known as the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, is located on the southeast corner of Scottsdale and McDowell.

The 2,700-square-foot craft cocktail bar and restaurant, the brainchild of Mesa native Erika Rode, is the first of four restaurants planned for the building.

Bitters’ focus is a menu of 17 specialty cocktails – along with local craft beers and boutique wines – complemented by seasonal small plates from chef Ehren Litzenberger.

(Pictured: Burrata, oven-roasted tomato, and charred bread with balamic drizzle.)

East Valley diners might remember Litzenberger from BLD, which he helped open in Chandler in 2011.

Bitters is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

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

Denver-based Snooze’s 5th Valley location opens today in Ahwatukee

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Post image for Denver-based Snooze’s 5th Valley location opens today in Ahwatukee

After a couple community fundraising days, Denver-based Snooze, an A.M. Eatery officially opens its fifth Valley location to the public today in Ahwatukee.

It’s a newly constructed building in the Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center on Ray Road just west of the I-10.

The breakfast-and-lunch eatery features a coffee and cocktail bar, plus a shaded indoor-outdoor patio where guests can play games such as cornhole or Jenga.

There’s seating for 148 people inside and another 48 outside.

Menu offerings include flights of pancakes, breakfast pot pies, and a half-dozen variations of eggs Benedict, including chilaquiles Benedict.

Snooze is open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

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

Steak & Stone opens 2nd E.V. location at Gilbert Town Square

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Post image for Steak & Stone opens 2nd E.V. location at Gilbert Town Square

Steak and Stone, a two-year-old steakhouse and BBQ restaurant at Falcon Field in northeast Mesa, has expanded its East Valley footprint with the opening of a second location in Gilbert.

It takes over the former American Taphouse building on Gilbert Road, south of Warner, in Gilbert Town Square. Other previous occupants were BoomBozz Pizza and Boston’s Gourmet Pizza.

Steak and Stone’s signature menu items are steaks cut in-house and cooked at your table on a 500-degree stone (pictured). Filet mignon is $25.99 for 6 ounces, $49.99 for 12 ounces, and $61.99 for 16 ounces.

At the less expensive end of the spectrum, house-cut sirloin steak or smoked tri-tip are $12.99 for 6 ounces, $19.99 for 10 ounces, and $25.99 for 16 ounces.

The menu also offers ribs, pork, chicken, brats, and shrimp.

A full bar will have two dozen beers, wines, and specialty cocktails.

Steak & Stone opens at 11 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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

Family-run Henhouse Cafe opens 3rd E.V. location at Mesa Riverview

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Post image for Family-run Henhouse Cafe opens 3rd E.V. location at Mesa Riverview

The Henhouse Cafe, a family-run breakfast and lunch restaurant, has opened its third location on the northeast corner of Dobson and Rio Salado at Mesa Riverview.

It takes over the space formerly occupied by Flip’s Burgers & Brews and, before that, Volcano Buffet. It had been vacant since Flip’s closed in February.

Besides some of the biggest pancakes in the Valley (pictured), the Henhouse Cafe offers tasty temptations like strawberry cheesecake French toast, crab cake Benedict, and a Morning Meatloaf platter.

Its other locations opened at Higley and Guadalupe in Gilbert in 2012 and Lindsay and Pecos in Gilbert in 2015.

Hours are 6 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.

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

Post image for Ghett’ Yo’ Taco to open in ex-Yoli’s space in downtown Chandler on Sept. 29

It looks like much-loved Yoli’s Cafe in downtown Chandler will not reopen under new ownership after all. A new taqueria called Ghett’ Yo’ Taco instead will open in the former Yoli’s building on Friday, Sept. 29.

Downtown Chandler entrepreneur Peter Sciacca bought the six-year-old cafe from Rick Scott and chef Yolanda “Yoli” Fernandez in June. His original plan was to find someone to run the restaurant with just a few minor tweaks.

Over the summer, though, Sciacca shifted gears and leased the bungalow-turned-eatery next to The Perch brew pub to his son, Christian, who will launch the taqueria.

Ghett’ Yo’ Taco will offer a simple menu of six tacos – al pastor, carnitas, carne asada, pollo asado, pescado, and ‘‘muncher especial’’ – for $2.95 apiece.

GhettYoTacos092617

The rest of the food menu consists of mini quesadillas ($2), beans ($1), rice ($1), and chips ($1.50-$2.50).

Beer and wine are available by the can (starting at $2.95).

The building has been extensively remodeled, including a large front mural (pictured at top) by famed Valley artist Lalo Cota and a patio that wraps around all four sides.

A late-night walk-up window will be added next month.

Ghett’ Yo’ Taco will be open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-midnight weekends to start.

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

Post image for 100 people to win free burros for year at Queen Creek Someburros opening Sept. 29

Someburros, the Tempe-born chain of fast-casual Mexican restaurants, finally opens its much-delayed Queen Creek location on Friday, Sept. 29.

The first 100 people in line when doors open at 9 a.m. will receive a free burro every month for a year.

Opening-day festivities also will include mariachi band performances, piñata photo opps, and giveaways.

The Queen Creek Someburros, originally scheduled to open at the end of 2016, is located near Oregano’s and McDonald’s on Maya Road, between Ellsworth and Ellsworth Loop, across the street from Queen Creek Marketplace.

It’s the family-run chain’s sixth location in the East Valley and eighth in Arizona.

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

Gilbert’s barbecue binge continues with opening of Arizona BBQ Company

BY Jess Harter Friday, September 22, 2017

Post image for Gilbert’s barbecue binge continues with opening of Arizona BBQ Company

It’s a great time to be a barbecue lover in Gilbert: Arizona BBQ Company opened this week in the former La Calabria strip-mall space on the northwest corner of Val Vista and Ray.

It’s the second new smokehouse to open in the town in the past week. Waldo’s BBQ opened a second location last weekend just a mile south of Arizona BBQ at Val Vista and Williams Fields.

And famed Texas-based chain Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q is coming soon to Higley and Baseline.

Arizona BBQ owners Mark and Colette Nichols wanted a couple of days for a true ‘‘soft opening’’ before I wrote about their joint. So please continue to be patient while they continue to work out the early kinks.

It’s the longtime Gilbert residents’ first restaurant, although Mark is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who’s worked in the hospitality industry for 27 years.

For the past five years, the couple have run JC’s Catering.

On the menu

Arizona BBQ Company’s menu offers several smoked meats – St. Louis-style ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken – available in platters ($11-$20 with two sides and tortilla), half-pound sandwiches ($9-$11 with a side), and even tacos ($3.25 apiece).

A sauce bar offers six choices: sweet and tangy, chipotle, habanero, mustard, red chile, and green chile.

Sides have a distinctive Southwestern flair, such as chipotle potato salad, green chile mac ’n’ cheese with house-cured bacon, black bean and corn salad, and chile lime roasted corn.

House specialties

House specialties include two kinds of chili – brisket and brisket chile verde – as well as ‘‘Gila monster eggs,’’ jalapenos stuffed with cheese, wrapped in ground pork, and smoked.

There also are salads, churros for dessert, and a kids menu.

A full bar offers beer on tap and in bottles, and locally inspired cocktails like an Arizona Sunset, an Arizona Mule, and a Bloody Basin Bloody Mary.

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