Local Foodie News

Leah LeMoineApril 11, 2022
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All the news that’s fit to nosh. 

Flower Power: To honor National Autism Awareness Month, on April 14 Flower Child will donate 5 percent of its sales – up to $10,000 – to The Autism Community in Action. This year marks the restaurant’s third Give Back Day to TACA. It has raised more than $33,000 for the nonprofit since 2019. Reason enough to feast on the Flying Avocado wrap and gluten-free mac and cheese. 

Meat Lovers: Carnivores, save the date for April 23. That’s when Phoenix City Grille will host its inaugural Meatapalooza event. Chef Joseph Hagman (Hagman Barbecue Joint) will join the restaurant in crafting a bounty of smoked meats, house-made pickles, signature sauces and side dishes, including PCG’s famed green chile cornbread. The event starts at 6 p.m. and includes a welcome cocktail. $75/person. Email brittnee.reed@outlook.com to reserve your seat. 

Community Coffee: Need to restock your home coffee supply? Pop over to a Press Coffee location. Each quarter, the local specialty coffee roastery teams up with a different nonprofit to create a Community Blend, with 100 percent of the profits going to the organization. Starting April 1, your patronage of the coffee blend will benefit Two Pups Wellness Fund, which provides financial support to canines in need of medical attention. 

New New at ZuZu: Hotel Valley Ho’s flagship restaurant ZuZu has a slew of new things on deck this month. First, executive chef Russell LaCasce just launched new menu items for brunch (offered daily) and dinner. We’re jazzed for the brunch menu’s roasted porchetta Philly sandwich with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone and the dinner dish of slow-braised pork shank with bird’s eye chile hot sauce and pineapple escabeche. On the sweeter side, new pastry chef Maria Arenas debuted delectable desserts including double dark chocolate cake with espresso mascarpone and blood orange panna cotta with mango sorbet. Arenas will also be spearheading the development of ZuZu’s Show Stopper Shakes. This month, the Easter Bunny Shake is a vanilla-pretzel-marshmallow milkshake with pretzel-marshmallow nest, Peeps birds and bunnies, jellybeans, chocolate eggs, white chocolate milk crumb, whipped cream and coconut “grass.” One dollar of each $20 shake sold will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona. 

Return of Tiki: Luckys Indoor Outdoor’s Tiki Takeover returns this year on April 27. Tiki Dan and Captain David will run the trailer bar and shake up tropical tipples including Beaches Love Pineapples and There’s Money in the Pineapple Stand. Pair your tiki drinks with noshes from MozzArepas: carne asada, pork and pineapple, chicken and veggie arepas. The takeover will serve as the official “pre-party” for the annual Arizona Tiki Oasis event. 21+, no cost to attend. RSVP here. 

Cool Collab: Last week, Macayo’s Mexican Food debuted an exciting new beverage program. How exciting? The mixology maestros at Barter & Shake (UnderTow, Century Grand) helped devise the drinks – so you know they’ll be incredible. “It was a natural decision to enlist the help of Barter & Shake as we have worked with Jason for nearly a decade,” says Nava Singam, owner of Kind Hospitality, which owns and operates Macayo’s locations. “He has great experience and knowledge of our entire beverage program and is very familiar with what flavors our guests love, the skills and techniques of our bartenders and products that are complementary to our program.” I’ve got my eye on the Bee’s Passion (gin, house-made sweet and sour, passionfruit, Strawberry Citrus Smash Spiked Ice), Cantarito (tequila, sweet and sour, orange, Ruby Fizz Spiked Ice) and the Guava Colada (rum, sweet and sour, pineapple, coconut, guava, dark rum float). Two sangrias, ranch water and Sparkling Ice Spiked seltzers are also on offer. Cute new glassware showcases the drinks and is available for sale. 

Juicy Juice: Speaking of hot collabs, the meeting of the minds at AZ Liquids and State Forty Eight is another one to watch. The local cold-pressed juice company and the apparel empire partnered to create State Forty Eight Liquid, a juice utilizing Arizona ingredients aloe vera, prickly pear, lime and apple. A portion of profits from each sale of the limited-edition juice will go toward State Forty Eight Foundation, a nonprofit that blends entrepreneurship and philanthropy via volunteer events. “This partnership with AZ Liquids is a prime example of how we like to collaborate,” says Mike Spangenberg, CEO and co-founder of State Forty Eight. “What started as a T-shirt collaboration has evolved into so much more and now, we are working together to make a collective impact.” Pick up a bottle at Foch Café & Bistro, Tammie Coe at Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, The Bodhi, The Crêpe Club, Eat Clean Phx’s website and here. 

Best Dinner Party Ever?: Those wily minxes at Cloth & Flame are at it again. This time, they’re bringing their gorgeously orchestrated outdoor dining events to Arcosanti. The two institutions are collaborating on an ongoing dinner series that will benefit The Cosanti Foundation. “The Cloth & Flame Dinner Series allows us to share everything that is unique and beautiful about Arcosanti – architecture, ecology, art, community and food – by creating unforgettable experiences for brilliant and diverse audiences,” says Kate Bemesderfer, senior director of development and communication for Arcosanti. “As a nonprofit, we are absolutely delighted to be partnering with a company that has such a deep and sincere commitment to the cause of building a better world.” Live music and cultural touches will be ever present in this series. $195/person. Purchase tickets for the next series here. 

New Restaurants on the Block: It’s expansion galore this week, with new outposts of old favorites.

  • Hungry Howie’s: This sprawling chain – originator of the flavored-crust pizza – opened its newest location last month in South Phoenix. It’s local HH franchisee Fawzi Simon’s 23rd store. Visit at 7227 S. Central Ave.
  • Jet’s Pizza: The Detroit-style pizza favorite just opened its first location in Glendale at 20229 N. 67th Ave.
  • Chase Field: The home of the Arizona Diamondbacks will soon welcome two new local restaurants to its arsenal of foodie offerings. Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers and Bourbon & Bones Cocktail Lounge (craft drinks and small plates) will move into the late Friday’s Front Row spot, noted for its suspended patio above left field.
  • Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls: This Maryland-based fast-casual seafood chain is opening its first Arizona location in north Scottsdale (15257 N. Scottsdale Rd.) on April 14. For its grand opening festivities, Mason’s is offering guests a free side of chips, fries or coleslaw with purchase of a lobster roll (April 14-21). Even more icing on the cake: For the rest of April, guests who visit during happy hour (5-7 p.m.) can get a free beverage of their choice when they buy a lobster roll.
  • Mici Italian: Colorado transplant Mici will make its Valley debut later this year in Gilbert. It’s the first in a 30-location plan for the Phoenix metro area.

Eligible Menus: Exciting new menus are always popping up at some of your favorite Valley restaurants.            

  • Salad and Go: Two new menu items are hitting the popular healthy fast-food chain on April 13. The Market Salad (also available as a wrap) boasts sweet potatoes, pickled onions, bacon, ranch dressing and blue cheese crumbles. The broccoli cheddar soup features its namesakes as well as potatoes, onions and celery.
  • Superstition Downtown: The Downtown Phoenix outpost of Prescott’s premier meadery just debuted the Heavenly Hamburger, a fun twist on surf and turf with American Wagyu and shrimp. The restaurant also added two vegan tofu dishes: Mexican-inspired maize and pepita tofu and five-spice tropical tofu.
  • STK Steakhouse: Through April 14, pop by this glitzy steakhouse for The Bounty from the Seven Seas menu. It’s seafood-centric in light of Lent, but you don’t have to be a believer to enjoy miso-glazed Chilean seabass and Maine lobster linguine.
  • Diego Pops: Old Town Scottsdale’s modern Mexican eatery added crunchy taquitos to its lineup. Three taquitos come with avocado, lettuce, pickled onion, salsa verde, crema, queso fresco and cilantro.
  • Peter Piper Pizza: The family-friendly local pizza chain launched its first new menu items in more than three years: fiery meatball pizza (beef meatballs with Alfredo sauce, jalapeños, crushed red pepper, spicy Buffalo sauce), MBP (meatballs, bacon, pepperoni, fresh mozzarella) and the App Trio (mac and cheese bites, mozzarella sticks, boneless wings). They’re available for a limited time, so hustle over to a Triple P near you stat.
  • Huss Brewing Co.: Celebrate Arizona’s tastiest C with the latest seasonal offering from this craft beer favorite. Huss collaborated with Phoenix Vice Mayor Laura Pastor on CenPho Citrus IPA, redolent with lemon, grapefruit and orange harvested from trees in Phoenix’s historic ’hoods.  

 $aving$: Watching the old budget? Who isn’t? Here are some sweet deals to help you $ave.

  • Fired Pie: To celebrate The FRIENDS Experience, this local DIY pizza chain is offering the Joey Special: two pizzas, of course! Show your FRIENDS Experience ticket and get two pizzas for the price of one.