Local Foodie News

Leah LeMoineJune 1, 2021
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Photo courtesy Arizona Biltmore

All the news that’s fit to nosh. 

Happy Pride: Today marks the start of Pride month, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, and the Arizona Biltmore has some fun stuff planned. Every night in June, from 9-10 p.m., a five-minute rainbow light show will start every 15 minutes at the resort’s new Spire Bar. Iconic Love, In Color will display from the 30-foot Spire Art Installation, trellis and water fountains. Colorful food and drink specials include the Love Makes the World Go Round cocktail (Ketel One grapefruit and rose, St. Germain, prosecco, grapefruit juice and a rainbow sugar rim, $16); a Bubbles & Oysters package (bottle of Veuve Clicquot yellow label and a dozen oysters with piquillo peppers and mango by the adults-only Saguaro Pool and Spire Bar, $125); and Cake, In Color (vanilla rainbow layer cake with fresh raspberries, white chocolate and luster dust, $10/slice).  

Woo Woo? Woo!: This past weekend, the owners of Z’Tejas Southwest Grill launched a new ghost kitchen concept dedicated to Memorial Day weekend’s signature food: burgers. Woo Woo Burgers operates out of the Chandler location of Z’Tejas and is available for delivery or curbside takeout. “Burgers represent American culture – backyard gatherings, barbecues, nostalgia of the good ol’ days,” says executive chef Diego Bolanos. “I see Woo Woo Burgers as a great opportunity to connect to the community and our guests.” To give back during its opening festivities, Woo Woo Burgers is donating 10 percent of its total sales the first 10 days of business to Living Hope Cancer Foundation. 

Prost for Paws: If you find beagles and beer equally compelling, Walter Station Brewery has the brew for you. The Phoenix brewery has partnered with Arizona Animal Welfare League on a limited-edition AAWLager to celebrate the shelter’s 50th anniversary – complete with adorable can art. A portion of sales of the light lager will support AAWL’s work as Arizona’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. This Saturday, June 5, Walter Station will release the beer with a celebration from 12-4 p.m. Pick up a six-pack and peruse puppies up for adoption – win-win. 

Summer Campo: Chef Alex Stratta’s long-awaited Campo Italian Bistro and Bar opens today, June 1. Stratta also announced the restaurant is now part of Genuine Concepts, the hospitality group behind neighborhood favorites The Vig, The Womack, The Little Woody, The McMillan and Ladera Taverna y Cocina. Campo (reimagined from Stratta’s erstwhile healthy Mediterranean concept, Stratta Kitchen) is a modern Italian tavern and will be overseen by Stratta and Genuine Concepts executive chef Jeremy Pacheco. The mafaldini pescatore and olive oil cake with pistachio gelato sound particularly tempting. 

Bagels on the Move: Memorial Day marked the final day of service for the Paradise Valley Mall location of Chompie’s. As the mall itself closes, the Borenstein family (profiled in our feature on five of the Valley’s legendary dining clans) will be moving to a new location a mile and a half west, at the northeast corner of Cactus Road and 32nd Street. “This new location will deliver an even bigger and better Chompie’s experience for the neighborhood for decades, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve been busy planning for the future of Chompie’s,” co-founder Mark Borenstein says. “As we look back on the memories, we are so grateful for the unwavering support and loyalty we’ve always received from this community, and we look forward to serving you again when we open our new location later this summer.” In the meantime, get your pastrami and black and white fixes at the Scottsdale location on Shea Boulevard, just off the 101. 

Barrel of Fun: After much delay due to the pandemic, The Grey Hen – the whiskey bar/shop from the Barter & Shake Creative Hospitality team behind UnderTow and Century Grand – finally received its shipment of Smooth Ambler Old Scout single-barrel whiskey from West Virginia. “We are so excited to finally be able to share our Smooth Ambler Old Scout single barrel selection,” co-owner Kailee Asher says. “Our team traveled out to West Virginia in February 2020 to hand-select our barrel… then COVID happened. We made it a point to still express that this was one of the barrels we really wanted to make it to us in Arizona.” The Grey Hen has 150 bottles total of the 5-year-old, high-rye-content (36 percent), cask-strength and zero-chill-filtration whiskey that is 115.6 proof. Each bottle purchase ($44.99) includes an invitation to an exclusive virtual Zoom happy hour with Smooth Ambler’s master distiller on Saturday, June 12, at 2 p.m. No quantity limits. Buy and reserve here. 

Booze Battle: Would your entrée pair better with beer or bourbon? Why not try it with both to find out? That’s the idea behind Hotel Valley Ho’s ZuZu restaurant’s “VS” series, which pits disparate alcoholic beverages against each other in a four-course duel to see which reigns supreme. The next dinner is Beer vs. Bourbon on Wednesday, June 16, at 6 p.m. Goose Island Beer Co. will go up against Beam Suntory bourbons over a meal designed by ZuZu chef Russell LaCasce with help from Little Miss BBQ. Anticipate delights like bacon burnt ends and blue corn barbecue green chile enchiladas. $109/person, plus tax and gratuity. Learn more here and reserve your spot at 480-421-7997.

Delicious Do-Gooding: Want to help kids in need and then feast on pancakes? Valley eatery Daily Dose – which specializes in breakfast and lunch, but which now also offers a traditional happy hour and dinner at its Midtown location – has partnered with Harvest Compassion Center for a tasty school supply drive. From June 1 through July 31, bring a backpack filled with school supplies to Daily Dose’s Scottsdale or Midtown locations and receive a free stack of pancakes of your choice (I vote cinnamon roll) or a free specialty coffee of your choice (non-alcoholic). “We first met the Harvest Compassion Center team last year, when we participated in the Feed Phoenix program, and delivered boxed lunches to this incredible nonprofit on a regular basis,” says Daily Dose co-owner JenLyn Long. “Their mission is to provide food and clothing in a hope-filled environment to the underserved in the greater Phoenix area, and they are making good on that promise every single day.” The school supplies kids most need include backpacks, lunchboxes, pencil boxes, glue, scissors, crayons and spiral notebooks. You can also purchase items here and they’ll be sent directly to the nonprofit. But why not enjoy some pancakes while you do good? “It feels great to motivate people to donate school supplies with delicious pancakes and coffee,” says Daily Dose co-owner Matt Long. “We like to think of it as bribery for a good cause!” 

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