February 2018

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Phoenix Files

The Lobby

Things we love and loathe this month

A Strong Time Coming

Chiropractor Dr. Jimmy Yuan disarms pro athletes with humor and a fix-it approach to pain

Standard Policy

Arizona lawyers and HR professionals: Employers need to be proactive in nipping out sexual harassment.

Jail Break

Can Sheriff Paul Penzone’s kinder, gentler use of the Tent City grounds help high-risk inmates from returning to jail?

Baked Expectations

Wood-fired ovens have sparked a caveman-cooking renaissance in ultramodern Valley restaurants.

Land ‘Zo – Rocky Waters

Arizona’s and Sonora’s governments have secured funding to reignite construction on Rocky Point’s long-stalled cruise terminal. But if they build it, will Arizonans really come?

Business Buzz – Finger on the Puls

Service industry interrupter Puls forecasts Phoenix as its primary market in 2018.

Daring Deadlifts

Test your muscles’ mettle in these Valley powerlifting gyms.

Listen Local

Arizona-borne podcasts are popping in the Valley of the Sun.

Brush with Destiny

Chalk up your walls and furniture with Urban Oasis Décor’s locally brewed chalk paint.

Artist of the Month: Travis Ivey

Travis Ivey creates complex murals using packing tape in lieu of paint

Forgive, Never Forget

Scottsdale veteran Marc Raciti chronicles life after war in I Just Want to See Trees: A Journey Through P.T.S.D.

Top 3 Arts Events February 2018

Our top picks for February’s best arts events

Music Notes: Melodrama Masters

Melodrama Masters: Collins vs. Del Rey

Art Break: Studio Snapshot with Charmagne Coe

Surrealist painter Charmagne Coe surrounds herself with sentimental and centering objects in her home studio

Clayton Keller

The Arizona Coyotes’ slapshot scholar is a front-runner for the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy

Delicious Duos

These cupid-struck Valley culinarians prove that couples who cook (for the masses) together, stay together

Madame Question Mark

Widely rebuked for two election fumbles, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan says she’s rehabilitated and ready for re-election – that is, if she doesn’t become governor first.

What’s in Your… Purse with Carey Peña

Emmy Award-winning news anchor, TV host and podcaster Carey Peña lets us peek into her purse

Film Review: Saturday Church & Desperado LGBT Film Festival

A little awkward, like any 14-year-old’s coming-of-age story, Saturday Church is an original, heartfelt musical of Ulysses’ odyssey to self acceptance – like many of the films at the ninth annual Desperado Film Festival.

Open Road?

As strip-club brawls go, it was fairly pedestrian. No guns. No knives. No strippers, even. But it did produce a corpse, and a host of questions about Arizona’s outlaw-biker power structure.

Survival of the Fibbest?

Scottsdale survivalist and Discovery Channel star Todd Jostes is accused of bilking multiple women out of thousands of dollars.

Fire Sale

To offset budget cuts, businesses can now buy ad space on Mesa firetrucks – signaling a trend some consumer watchdogs say is cause for alarm.


52 Weekend Adventures 2018

Take your seat, fasten your belt and please keep your hands and arms in the vehicle at all times – our annual rollercoaster tour of Arizona’s best weekend travel destinations is about to leave the gate. New this year: souvenir suggestions for every trip!

Love on Picacho Peak

Share your Arizona trail adventures on our monthly hiking page

Roswell & Carlsbad

Boldly go where only the brave have gone before in this otherworldly slice of southeast New Mexico.


Sister Act

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, nun-run Xavier College Preparatory has changed as much as Phoenix itself – yet some habits remain the same.

The Giving Tree

Oranges, lemons and grapefruits no longer fuel Arizona’s economy, but they sweeten our lives in other ways.

Eat Beat


With a new-ish chef and sharper service, the legendary farm-to-table restaurant remains a Phoenix date-night classic.

Second Story Liquor Bar

With its fourth chef in as many years, the swank Scottsdale gastropub may have found a keeper.

Breaking Bad

Get egg on your face with these recently opened Valley brunch joints.

Heft Bread

Baker Tom Brecke uses airborne bacteria and a sourdough starter to craft heavenly loaves of his old-school Heft Bread

Indian Crêpes

Masala dosai are a gentle introduction to exotic Indian fare at Ruchi Vegetarian South Indian Cuisine

Amuse-Bouches February 2018

Tasty local news bites to whet your appetite

Starch Your Engines

Gourmet bread service? Just roll with it.

Chopstick Nights

Score bargain bibimbap and other bites at these upscale Asian happy hours.

Real Bullets!

Embrace the shrub in the herbal, apricot-enriched Real Bullets! cocktail from Scottsdale’s Counter Intuitive

Recipe Friday: Butternut Squash Pancakes

With cold and flu season peaking, Constance Bradley of Scottsdale Integrative Acupuncture says it’s a good time to load up on nutrients and foods that boost the immune system. “I’m always thinking about what I can do with an ingredient that I see in the store this time of year besides chop it up and roast it because that gets really boring after a while.”

Because squash is so plentiful right now, Bradley, a nationally board-certified acupuncturist, devised a recipe for summer squash pancakes. Since she lives in a house divided (her husband favors sweet flavors and she likes savory), the recipe can be altered to swing either way.

Butternut squash is rich in vitamins A, B and C, provides more potassium than a banana and is laden with zinc, magnesium and calcium. “Squash is amazing. Everyone should be eating it.”

Recipe Friday: Brat Haus Superfood Salad

When you think about Brat Haus, the popular artisan sausage eatery in Scottsdale, superfood salad probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But Brat Haus Executive Chef Jeffrey Schoening aims to switch that up a bit. “We want to diversify our clientele because not everyone wants sausages, french fries and chicken wings,” he says.

Schoening started playing around with ingredients to make a salad that was healthy, but still filling enough to satisfy someone with a hearty appetite. “I’m 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, and if I eat a salad, it needs some body to it,” he says. That’s where the grains – like quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat – come in.

The beauty of this salad is that you can use whatever vegetables you have in the refrigerator, Schoening says. “It’s anything goes. And the salad dressing is good on everything.”

Recipe Friday: J’s Kaiyo Short Ribs

As the name suggests, J’s Kaiyo Sushi + Bar is a sushi restaurant. But it’s so much more than that, says the eatery’s Executive Chef Jason McGrath. “We have a strong sushi program and that’s definitely our guiding light, but we also have a really good hot menu.”

McGrath shares the short rib recipe from his hot menu, which can be made in the oven or a slow cooker (that is, if This Is Us hasn’t scared you off from the set it and forget it lifestyle).

It’s important to sear the meat over high heat to lock in all the flavors, and after braising the ribs for about four hours, they’re so tender McGrath guarantees you won’t need a knife.

“Short ribs are time consuming, but they’re really hearty and a good, clean and simple dish,” McGrath says. “These are old school short ribs.”

Sidenote: These short ribs were called “the best” she’s had in a long time by our dining critic, Nikki Buchanan in January. Read the review here.

Recipe Friday: The Quartiere’s Bolognese

Erick Geryol, owner of new Tempe Italian spot The Quartiere, is sharing his Bolognese sauce recipe because he wants to shed some light on the thick, slow-simmered, full-flavored ragu. “It’s something everyone can make at home and I think it’s one of the best sauces out there.”

When shopping for ingredients, look for Fontanini Italian sausage, a brand that Geryol grew up with in the Midwest. “You can’t cook Italian food without it,” he says. Also, if you don’t have the time or patience to make demi-glace, you can pick some up pre-made at Whole Foods.

Because the sauce is sturdy, remember to pick hearty pasta to match – something like gemelli, fettuccine or pappardelle, Geryol says. “You need something to support the weight of the sauce.”

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