Local Foodie News

Leah LeMoineSeptember 16, 2021
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Photo courtesy Morning Squeeze


All the news that’s fit to nosh.  

Grand Openings: A slew of food-and-bev establishments have recently opened. Some are opening this week! To wit:

  • Morning SqueezeThe local breakfast and lunch joint is opening its third location this Friday, September 17. The Downtown Phoenix outpost is located at the corner of First and Washington streets. The eatery will include an indoor-outdoor bar, wraparound patio and a takeaway-friendly grab-and-go area. Open from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. Other locations: Scottsdale and Tempe.
  • Ingo’s Tasty FoodArcadia’s best spot for a fried chicken sandwich recently opened its second Arizona location on the ground floor of Block 23 in Downtown Phoenix (101 E. Washington Blvd.). This Ingo’s boasts an all-day menu replete with coffee, breakfast, pastries from LGO Bakeshop and, of course, the favorites Ingo’s fans have loved for years: chopped salad, burgers, shattered potato chips and greyhounds (available frozen or on the rocks). New cocktail options include the Diego Rivera (a tequila number from sister restaurant Buck &Rider) and lavender lemonade. Presently, it’s open Monday-Friday, with plans to soon open on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Press CoffeeThe Valley’s preeminent local coffee chain is adding another feather to its cap. A Downtown Phoenix location will be coming this October to 200 E. Van Buren St., on the ground floor of the 200 EVB office building. To celebrate the October 8 grand opening, Press will offer $1 drip coffee from October 8-10 and donate 100 percent of the profits to Pawsitive Friendships. This local nonprofit gives children with special needs access to animal-assisted therapy. The Van Buren location joins eight older Press siblings in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe and Chandler.
  • Air GuitarThe long-awaited nouveau convenience store recently made its debut on Higley Road in Gilbert by Epicenter at Agritopia. Air Guitar is the brainchild of Craig and Kris DeMarco of Upward Projects and Eric and Elissa Seitz of Bro Retail Group. The upscale convenience store has a full-service coffee bar, ice cream, fine wine and beer, kombucha, slushies, grocery staples, grab-and-go meals by M Culinary Concepts, pizza by the slice and fresh bouquets from Camelback Flowers.
  • Buck &Rider: Speaking of Epicenter, it recently welcomed a new tenant to its star-studded lineup of local restaurants and coffee shops. The seafood emporium from LGO Hospitality will have a 6,800-square-foot dining room and bar as well as a 4,000-plus-square-foot patio and outdoor bar. Opening date TBD.
  • Cobre Kitchen + Cocktails: Not a completely new opening, but a reopening! Canopy by Hilton Scottsdale Old Town’s signature restaurant is now open for dinner, with a new menu reflecting its “American brasserie, inspired by the Southwest” ethos. Highlights from executive chef Patrick Gaudet’s lineup include cider-brined pork chop with sweet corn polenta, jalapeño jam and chicharrón; striped seabass with field greens, grilled radicchio, avocado purée and balsamic-pickled onions; and smoked short ribs with pickled apple, chayote risotto, shishito peppers and Tucson Del Bac Bourbon demi-glace. The restaurant will also be participating in Arizona Restaurant Week (September 17-26) for the first time, with a three-course prix fixe meal ($44/person): sweet corn chowder or Cobre Caesar; short ribs, three-cheese agnolotti or seabass; and churro bites or berry crumble pie. 

Pasta Primer: Food Network star and PHOENIX magazine Great 48 honoree chef Scott Conant released a new cookbook this week. Peace, Love and Pasta is his “most personal cookbook yet,” developed during the chef’s time at home with his family during the pandemic. Recipes include Italian classics like fritto misto, pasta e fagioli, gremolata, risotto and plenty of pasta, as well as nods to Conant’s New England roots – stuffed lobster, clam chowder and lobster rolls “both ways” – Connecticut-style and New England-style. Most surprising and tantalizing: the chapter dedicated to Turkish home cooking, inspired by Conant’s Turkish wife. You’ll find recipes for flaky börek (pastries), savory dolmas (stuffed vegetables) and pillowy manti (dumplings). I pre-ordered and got my copy today, and I cannot wait to cook from it. See Conant and get your own copy signed at two upcoming dining/book events: Tuesday, October 19 (The Americano) and Wednesday, October 27 ( Mora Italian).

Taco Rain Check: Due to pandemic-related public health concerns, the 11th annual Arizona Taco Festival has been postponed. Originally scheduled for October 23-24, 2021, the taco fest will now take place on April 9-10, 2022, and October 22-23, 2022, at Salt River Fields. If you purchased tickets to the original event, don’t fret: your tickets will automatically be honored on the rescheduled dates.  

Mug Shots: Tiki enthusiasts, get thee to HULA’S Modern Tiki. The beloved local tiki haunt – winner of our Best of the Valley award for Best Happy Hour – relaunched its signature HULA’S Modern Primitive tiki mug ($35). The glazed ceramic mug was designed by Philippe Tilikete and has an unorthodox yet striking square shape. It’s a welcome local addition to any tropical drink enthusiast’s collection of tiki mugs. Available at all three HULA’S locations: Uptown Phoenix, High Street and Old Town Scottsdale.  

Take It Easy: Tucson-based eegee’s – which recently debuted its first Valley location in Gilbert – celebrates 50 years of serving its eponymous frozen fruit drinks this month. The Arizona-grown chain has christened this Saturday, September 18, National eegee’s Day and will be marking the occasion with a concert and other revelry in Tucson. The Valley location will participate in fun activities and giveaways throughout the month of September as well. Follow the brand on social media for updates. 

Pop-Up Sushi-O: The team behind Chicago-based steakhouse Maple & Ash, which has a glitzy outpost in Old Town Scottsdale, has launched another luxe concept. Chefs Danny Grant and Hari Chan started Kessaku, a sushi restaurant focused on high-quality nigiri, sashimi and rolls, in Dallas, Texas. Valley soosh fans can get a taste with the upcoming Kessaku pop-up on September 27-29. The limited-time Kessaku menu will be offered at Maple & Ash in Scottsdale, so diners can order Wagyu nigiri with caviar alongside their Chicago classic boneless ribeye and fire-roasted seafood tower from M&A.