The time warps here in the Valley keep closing. You know what I mean: those little rifts in the space-time continuum through which you can slip and feel like you’re back in midcentury America. A couple of years ago it was Monti’s La Casa Vieja in Tempe, and in 1998 it was the Cine Capri at 24th Street and Camelback; now it’s the Bashas’ at 7th Avenue and Osborn that’s in its homestretch of existence.
For taco lovers, there’s nothing better than biting into a juicy al pastor taco loaded with tender, spicy pork. You probably have your favorite taco joint, but have you ever tried to make al pastor tacos at home? To help you out, Taco Guild’s Executive Chef Dan Santos has shared the restaurant’s recipe.
In a perfect world, you’ll get the best result if you marinate the pork for 24 hours, but at least shoot for overnight, Santos says. After you marinate the pork, start on the pickled onions so they’ll be ready to serve the next day.
Call it a revival. Call it old school. But really, this is just old Scottsdale.
The latest opening in Old Town Scottsdale is Ellure Lounge, and with it, the owners are promising to bring back Old Town’s club-tastic heyday. In a press release for the grand opening launch party this weekend, owner Chris Sprow claims, “Old Town has lost its reputation as the world-class leader for high-end entertainment. Ellure promises to deliver just that.” Sprow, the former director of marketing for Scottsdale nightclub SIX, which closed its doors in 2009, says the vision in designing Ellure “was to bring class back” to the area.
If you’ve been searching for a brunch dish to “wow” your guests, Z’Tejas Executive Chef James Blanton offers up a recipe that fits the bill. His Southwestern breakfast bake is based on a classic bread pudding, but on the savory side, Blanton says. For the home cook, the recipe is ideal because you can add or delete whichever ingredients you like or don’t like, he says. “It really becomes a vehicle for you to be creative.” That only applies to the bread, meats and vegetables, however. The custard needs to be made as written (with the proper egg and heavy cream ratio) in order to thicken properly.
The relatively new MATCH restaurant opened inside FOUND:RE hotel in Downtown Phoenix late last year, and has quickly become a destination for locals, who praise its stylish surrounds and ever-changing menus from Executive Chef Akos Szabo.
The Feel: Hipper than the first Lollapalooza festival. Feast your eyes on a giant painting by local artist Randy Slack of a young Burt Reynolds naked on a bearskin rug behind the reception desk before walking around the corner to ultra chic MATCH, with its long and loaded bar, wall of wine, floor-to-ceiling windows and modern minimalist design.
Executive Chef Jose Paul Farias of Vintage 95 in Downtown Chandler likes this recipe for creamy Portobello pasta because it doesn’t dirty a lot of dishes. And that’s a plus whether you’re cooking at a restaurant or at home. “It’s essentially one pan and then a pot of boiling water,” he says.
The recipe listed below is fairly straightforward, Farias says, but there are two important variables to consider: When you cook the pasta, be sure to rinse thoroughly to stop the cooking process as well as to remove excess starch; and when adding goat cheese to the sauce, let it melt rather than cook it into high heat or you’ll get a grainy texture and the cheese will separate.
There are many fine New Year’s Eve dinners around the Valley, and whittling them down to ten was no easy task. Our criteria: Price (dinners that cost between $35-$95 per person), the diversity and depth of the dinner menus, and location (we tried to include an option for every area of the Valley). Here are ten places to toast 2017, in alphabetical order.
Each month, we of the PHOENIX Magazine creative team ask ourselves a different question about our favorite dining and drinking experiences in the Valley. Our picks are usually hidden in the back of the magazine among our Dining Guide restaurant listings. Not any more. Our picks are going digital! Feel free to follow us on social media (at least, those of us who tweet) and be sure to tag us (@PhoenixMagazine on Twitter and @PHXMagazine on Instagram) on pics of your favorite picks.
If you’re thinking about serving tamales at your holiday gathering, there are plenty of places around town you can rustle up a dozen or two, including Barrio Queen. But if you’d like to try making them yourself, Barrio Queen’s executive chef Julio Mata says they aren’t that hard to make. “It’s just a little time consuming,” he says.
Mata shares Barrio Queen’s recipe with a couple of suggestions: 1. Make the sauce first so you can mix it with the chicken after it’s cooked. 2. Make sure the masa is smooth, using an electric mixer or mix by hand. 3. It’s better to have a couple of people to help assemble the tamales because it goes faster. 4. You can use Crisco if you’re lard averse and will get the same results.
Once known for its lumberjack college kids, good skiing and decent drinkin' scene, Flagstaff is quickly making a name for itself as a foodie town (and we're not just talking about the phenomenal pizza). To explore the burgeoning culinary scene up north, we're running a series of Q&As with the personalities behind the chef hats behind the town's restaurant renaissance we're calling the "Flag Food Boom."
Today we're chatting with:
Proper Meats + Provisions
110 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff
In 2014, the folks behind Brix and Criollo Latin Kitchen opened Proper Meats + Provisions, a neighborhood butcher shop and deli housed in a downtown Flagstaff historic building. The shop features all local, farm-raised meats, poultry and cured products as well as a deli menu loaded with sandwiches to swoon over, including a house-made pastrami sandwich on grilled rye bread and a fried chicken po’boy. Co-owner Paul Moir recently talked turkey with PHOENIX magazine.
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