Desert Digest

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Photo courtesy Morning Squeeze    Egg lovers, this one’s for you: Friday, April 16, is National Eggs Benedict Day. Classic eggs Benedict is a splurge-worthy dish on its own merit – poached eggs and ham smothered in hollandaise sauce layered on a toasted or grilled English muffin. Tradition aside, there are many interpretations of this dish, which is said to have been invented in 1894 by a Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict at New...

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Hard to believe it’s been nearly 25 years since Phoenix City Grille brought its brand of casual-but-sophisticated urban dining to North-Central Phoenix. One constant through it all: the restaurant’s now-iconic signature pasta dish, which isn’t so hard to whip up at home. 1 1/2 cups penne pasta, cooked 2 tbsp. olive oil 6 oz. raw chicken breast, diced 1/4 cup Chardonnay or other white wine 1/4 cup chicken stock 3/4 cup heavy cream 1 tbsp. roasted...

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Food trucks morphing into brick-and-mortar operations is becoming more and more popular. Just ask the team behind Aioli Gourmet Burgers, which started six years ago as a restaurant on wheels. Now, the award-winning burger joint has three stationary eateries across the Valley, including inside Fry’s Marketplace in Litchfield Park. Its sister company and fellow mobile culinarian, Modern Tortilla, is now following in its footsteps. The Aioli team’s second food truck concept is now setting up...

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Photo courtesy Red Havas    All the news that’s fit to nosh.   Tucson Takeover: After years of anticipation, Tucson fast-food icon eegee’s is opening its first Valley location. The eatery, which specializes in subs, grinders, specialty french fries, soft pretzels and its signature eegee frozen fruit drink, will open this summer at the southwest corner of Baseline Road and Val Vista Drive in Gilbert. “We’re very fortunate that there’s already so much anticipation around our expansion,” says eegee’s CEO Ron Petty. “Our brand affinity in Tucson...

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Though many people don’t know that Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, they are familiar with the parades, music, food and drinks that accompany this day of Hispanic heritage. Honor history by indulging in a few drinks and traditional dishes at these local haunts.   Los Sombreros pollo fundido | Photo courtesy Elaina V. Public Relations   Los Sombreros Though Cinco de Mayo falls...

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Beer and ramen? We like the sound of that. Such are the dual passions of multi-versed culinarian Tyler Smith, who hopes to open the Kitsune Brewing Co. and Ramen Shop in Cave Creek later this year. In the meantime, Smith has joined forces with Simple Machine Brewing Co. in North Phoenix to can his first generation of brews, becoming Arizona’s first African American commercial brewer in the process. (Know the cans by the elegantly spare,...

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Food festivals may be scarce this spring, but you can still make the most of the season with al fresco dining courtesy of these mobile culinarians. Hot Pot Caribbean Cuisine Chandler’s premier Caribbean eatery now has a food truck ferrying its beef patties, jerk chicken and curry goat all around the Valley. hotpotcuisine.com Goat & Ram Track down this pizza mobile for inventive spins on pie like the Wurst Pizza Ever: roasted garlic cream, bratwurst,...

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Liberty Market Strawberry Shortcake | Photo Courtesy Knife & Fork Media Group    Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9 and local restaurants are celebrating with multi-course meals, exclusive menu items and novelty cocktails. Here’s a running list of restaurants celebrating Mom this May with sustenance – and lots of Champagne, natch. Ember at We-Ko-Pa Raise a glass for moms everywhere with a complimentary Bellini, mimosa or glass of Champagne, plus an elaborate brunch including an...

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Fresh, customizable food for a good cause? Where do I sign up? The answer is Fresh Taste Meal Prep, a local meal delivery service that was recently launched by the team behind Valley foodie favorite Aioli Gourmet Burgers. Fresh Taste brings fully cooked and freshly prepared dishes directly to your door, and in turn supports local nonprofits focused on feeding the hungry. Here’s how it works: Order meals online for weekly delivery or pickup. For...

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Photo by Will Coles    Mellow evening temps are here for a brief visit in the Valley before the sweltering summer months, and with them come my favorite springtime activity – drinking on rooftops. I could always opt for a White Claw on the sundeck of my Midtown Phoenix apartment complex, but why do that when I can venture to Scottsdale and enjoy a craft cocktail, the sunset and sweeping views? Well, that is precisely...

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Tostada de Pescado | Photo by Nikki Buchanan   I’ve never actually counted, but I’m going to hazard a guess that metro Phoenix has more Mexican seafood restaurants than American-style seafood restaurants, which is a plus if you’re more interested in great, reasonably priced seafood than, say, la-di-da décor. El Heroico Guaymas, which opened in Peoria last December, is the newest of these no-frills, no-BS spots and based on a terrific lunch I had there...

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Thanks to a slew of new and established plant-based eateries, the Valley is quickly becoming a burgeoning hub for vegan and vegetarian fare. Whether you’re a veteran vegan or just looking for a meat-free meal, here are a few of our fave local dining establishments that avoid animal products. 24 Carrots Daily specials and a cozy, coffee shop vibe make this vegan café a regular destination on our rotating list of Valley eateries. Billed as...

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All the news that’s fit to nosh.   Mambo Italiano: Food Network favorite Scott Conant is reopening his Phoenix eatery Mora Italian on April 9. “We’re finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel after a very challenging year, and we think now is the time to welcome the community back to Mora in a safe and responsible way,” Conant says. “Guests can expect the same level of soulful deliciousness that has made Mora a neighborhood favorite, but...

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Lincoln Steakhouse & Bar Cauliflower | Photo courtesy JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa   Opening 5 Star Dive Bar & Grill At this “dive” bar, you’ll find 32 beers on tap, plenty of cocktail choices and a robust selection of bar snacks and burgers. 1807 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, 480-597-3067, fivestardivebar.com Bacanora Ghost Ranch veteran Chef Rene Andrade opened a Mexican restaurant with partners Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin of Tacos Chiwas....

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