Marilyn Hawkes, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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Attention fellow potato lovers: Tuesday, Feb. 2 is National Tater Tot Day. While many people turn up their noses at the thought of tater tots rather than french fries, I’m here to tell you that the deep-fried cylinder-shaped potato shreds need no defense. To wit, here are five places in the Valley to get tater tots. Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers This Valley-wide burger joint puts out two crave-worthy tater tot dishes: Original “Tot Chos” smothered...

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Sure, the Stetson chopped salad is the Valley’s preeminent leafy entrée, with its tidy rows of air-dried corn, Israeli couscous, avocado, tomatoes, pepitas and currants all snuggled atop a bed of peppery arugula bathed in creamy basil buttermilk dressing. But plenty of other salads around town have developed a well-deserved cult following. Here are our best bets to depose the king. Turkey & Avocado Cobb at Flower Child Among the cornucopia of made-to-order salads on...

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Now that Valley restaurant veteran Chris Nicosia has a few months under his belt as executive chef and partner at The Craftsman Cocktails + Kitchen, we decided to check in and see how he’s doing. Nicosia spent close to eight years at now shuttered Sassi, a popular Italian restaurant in North Scottsdale, and before that, almost 12 years at Desert Mountain. Here’s what he had to say: Q: How’s your new gig now that you’ve...

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January is an excellent time to take stock of old habits and make changes accordingly. Many of us vow to exercise more and clean up our diets. Your local juice bar is a good place to start and we’ve rounded up five spots for you to check out. Craft Juice Bar For a build-your-own juice experience, Craft Juice Bar delivers the goods. Want a pineapple, ginger, cucumber and celery mix – no problem. You can...

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Openings  ALMA Scottsdale Sheila Bryson, chef/owner of Soul Modern AZ Cuisine and Vic and Ola’s, has reopened ALMA West by Southwest, a restaurant she shuttered a few years ago at The Shops Gainey Village.  7001 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-687-2612, almascottsdale.com Angry Crab Shack Mesa-based Asian Cajun seafood restaurant opens its 12th location in Laveen. Currently open for takeout and delivery only. 6360 S. 35th Ave., Laveen, 602-975-1065, angrycrabshack.com AZ Pho & Grill West Chandler...

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If you’ve been waiting for Tempe’s Ghost Ranch to reopen since closing in July due to COVID, mark your calendars for early January 2021. The modern Southwestern restaurant will debut a whole new crew, including executive chef David Mora, who has done stints at The Boulders, Coppa Café in Flagstaff and Mariposa in Sedona, where he worked with chef-owner Lisa Dahl.    While Mora and the staff will be adding some new dishes and cocktails, the menu will retain many old favorites, from tacos and enchiladas to mesquite-grilled entrees, including trout, cowboy steak and pollo asado made with local Two Wash...

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It’s tamale time! Made from masa filled with a variety of shredded meats, cheeses, vegetables and chiles, tamales are wrapped in corn husks and then steamed. The savory packets originated in Mesoamerica (central Mexico through northern Costa Rica) and have been made and eaten for thousands of years. Tamales are more abundant around Christmas because they’re part of the celebration of Las Posadas, the commemoration of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter.      You can make your own, but the Valley is home to many...

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The Canopy by Hilton Scottsdale Old Town debuted October 1, with the distinction of being the first hotel to open in Old Town in more than a decade. Located at the northeast corner of First Street and Marshall Way, the hotel boasts 177 rooms, 2,000 square feet of meeting space and two dining venues – all day dining at Cobre Kitchen + Cocktails and the Outrider Rooftop Lounge, featuring “posh plates” and locally inspired craft...

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Openings Acai Waffle Start with a waffle or bowl, pick your flavor, granola, pudding and toppings for a choose-your-own acai bowl experience. Also on the menu: signature bowls, customized waffles and smoothies. 425 S. Mill Ave, Tempe, acaiwaffletempe.com Adalberto’s Mexican Food Scottsdale stalwart Adalberto’s opens a new outlet near Chandler Fashion Center. 3605 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, 480-899-5802 Belle’s Nashville Kitchen Honkytonk-themed bar and restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale pumps out Nashville hot chicken and...

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, chef/owner Anthony Barr of Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine in Scottsdale, offers a recipe for turkey brine. Never brined a turkey before? It’s an easy step that a lot of people don’t take to ensure a juicy bird, Barr says. And since the salt and other spices and flavors in the brine absorbs into the turkey, you won’t have to season the bird. Barr suggests brining the turkey in a large...

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