Monday, April 20, 2015



Father Time

“Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.”

So quipped American humorist Jack Handey, in one of his many “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey” one-liners. The possible moral of said silly story: Whatever faults our fathers have, at least they’re not likely to treat a bloody cough with bad puns and whoopee cushions. So for Father’s Day on June 15, why not thank dad for seeing you through the hard knocks and sparing you the knock-knock jokes by seeing him through a few rounds of golf and sparing him the ol’ standby tie? Here are a few Phoenix-centric gift ideas that should go over with a bang for pops.


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Noble Rot

0614PHMPF16Making a perfect steak with one of the Valley’s leading practitioners of dry-aging.

Before witnessing chef Admir Alibasic’s crash course in the science of dry-aging beef, you might find little in common between the terms “great steak” and “deteriorating meat.” If so, the New York native will happily enlighten you. Popular in East Coast steakhouses but less so out west, dry-aging concentrates flavor and refines texture by letting a piece of beef, well, go slightly bad. At Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse in Scottsdale – one of a handful of Valley restaurants that dry-ages in-house – Alibasic offers a variety of delectable dry-aged creations, from a generous 22 oz. steak suitable for one to a monstrous 88 oz. steak for four – suitable for flipping over Fred Flintstone’s car. Here’s a step-by-step look at the long journey from pasture to plate that ends with Alibasic’s dry-aged steaks.


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Shea Heights

FLOWER CHILD: The Shea Heights neighborhood was built in the 1960s in the flora-cloaked foothills of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. BYPASSED: The intersection of 32nd Street and Shea Boulevard used to be one of the busiest intersections in Phoenix because 32nd Street was the only route to north Phoenix. The congestion was alleviated in the early 1990s with the unveiling of State Route 51. NAME THAT ‘HOOD: Rebecca Golden, owner of cafe 32 Shea, coined the nickname “Up-Uptown” for the neighborhood, to reflect its up-and-coming-back vibe, driven by new local businesses and hikers who head to the area for the beautiful views and extensive trails.


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¶lim¶Summer Getaways

Summer is the ideal season for Phoenicians to indulge their deepest-held travel fantasies. The snowbirds have flown, the kids are out of school and the northern snows have melted, paving the way for outdoor adventure. From waterfall hikes to canyoneering in the Salome Wilderness to biker rallies, we’ve tracked down some of the best recreation opportunities for summer 2014.

Bonus: Six out-of-state adventures!


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¶lim¶AZ Summer Beer Guide

0614PHMBG01aIt's hot outside, and getting hotter. Thankfully, Arizona's burgeoning brew industry has a seasonal offering just for you.

Summer beers have typically become lighter, more refreshing styles,” says Arizona craft beer distributor and certified cicerone Chuck Noll. Educate your beer-loving mind with this handy overview.


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¶lim¶Toque Off

Two Valley culinary schools, alike in dignity... and delicious French cream sauces. Which will reign supreme? 


Chef Jon-Paul Hutchins of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Scottsdale, left; Chef Dominic O'Neill of the Scottsdale Community College (SCC) Culinary Arts program, right

Joe Dunham, a student at Le Cordon Bleu Scottsdale, chose his culinary school based on reputation. “Le Cordon Bleu is such a prestigious name,” he says.


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¶lim¶Si Mangia Italiano!

Do you speak Italian? Or should we say: Do you speak pasta, pizza and spicy, aromatic sauces? Find them all in our first ever ITALIAN DINING GUIDE, your Valley roadmap to Old World comfort-food bliss.

Titans of Italian
Legendary restaurateurs Angiolo Livi and Tomaso Maggiore joke, reminisce, bash Olive Garden.

Top 10 Countdown
Food writer Gwen Ashley Walters names her 10 most essential Italian restaurants in the Valley.


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