Desert Digest

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I first met Brooke Lowry Ide of fledgling winery Vino Bandito Vineyards after a long day this past harvest. A former corporate marketing pro with three new plots in Sonoita-Elgin, Ide told me how she’d just processed four tons of Graciano – by herself. Wow. I needed to know more. One thing is certain: She has a pioneering spirit. Why did you get into the wine industry? Desk life was wearing on me, and I...

THE SCENE While I love our new office at The Quad business/restaurant complex in the south Scottsdale/Arcadia area, there are quite a few things I miss about our old office at Scottsdale Quarter in north Scottsdale. Chief among them are Press Coffee (where I was a daily visitor) and Sorso Wine Room, the first wine bar I fell for as a nascent wino and a frequent happy hour haunt for PHOENIX and Phoenix Home &...

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For those looking for a fun Day of the Dead cocktail, the folks at Taco Guild have rustled one up for Desert Digest readers. Luke Detraz, Taco Guild’s beverage & brand director, says while any mezcal will work, he prefers El Silencio because of its level of smokiness. “It’s a happy medium where it’s not overbearing, but has enough flavor to taste through the (rest of) the cocktail.” The garnish is inspired by leftovers, in...

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These creative culinarians are cookin’ up spirited feasts and treats in all corners of the Valley.  New Wave Market – Scottsdale If you’re a child of the ‘80s, the ambient new wave music might be enough to lure you in for one of their scrumptious sammies – derived from local ingredients. Growing up in the restaurant industry, it seems like a natural progression that real-life couple Country and Sergio Velador eventually opened a restaurant together...

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OEB Breakfast Co. owner and founder Mauro Martina believes breakfast means so much more than the first meal of the day. The award-winning Canadian concept puts a creative spin on breakfast classics, offering inventive eats like Nutella French toast and blue crab eggs Benedict. OEB is opening its first U.S. location in Scottsdale next month. “It’s about elevating the whole breakfast experience,” Martina says. “That’s what OEB is all about.” The restaurant will be located...

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Sample sliders for a good cause at Kierland Commons at the 2019 Slider Throwdown, which will take place on Sunday, November 17 from noon to 3 p.m. The burger battle, which features local food truck vendors competing for the coveted “Best Slider” title, will benefit the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF), a nonprofit that provides programming and scholarships to foster children throughout the state. “Our mission is to help foster children navigate the...

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Donut Bar’s Scottsdale location closed abruptly last week, according to an Instagram post from franchise owner Sheley Brien. The San Diego-based donut shop known for its extravagant, Instagram-worthy culinary concoctions, opened in The Promenade shopping center in November 2018. “We regretfully announce the closure of Donut Bar Scottsdale on Monday, October 16th, 2019. We have enjoyed being a part of our hometown community and appreciate how welcoming everyone was to us,” the post says. “We...

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Local beer and liquor enthusiasts now have something new to add to their bucket list. SanTan Brewing Company, Arizona’s largest independent brewery and distillery, is now offering tours and tastings at their 35,000-square-foot production facility in Chandler. The behind-the-scenes brewery tours take guests through the craft beer and spirits labs, provide a peek into the science and similarities of the brewing and distilling process and include an intimate education about the past and future of...

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Once upon a time, three finicky foodies met up for happy hour at what they’d heard was a hot new restaurant in town. The restaurant had tagged one of the ladies’ social media accounts incessantly in its posts leading up to its opening – a misguided attempt to generate buzz that left her feeling more besieged than intrigued – and they had high hopes. After ordering wine and glancing at the menu, they were underwhelmed. The...

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Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse rolled out a new menu October 1 with four new pasta entrees and a host of other tempting items. Hand Cut’s executive chef (and culinary director for Riot Hospitality Group) Samantha Roberts has graciously shared one of the pasta recipes with PHOENIX magazine. The recipe calls for imported Italian basil pesto, which you can pick up at the grocery store. Roberts says to look for imported Italian pesto that has...

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Ahhh, fall. The pumpkin patches have popped up, PSL is back in our lives, and in comes all things pumpkin flavored. If you can’t get enough of the October special, we’ve rounded up some of the best pumpkin dishes the Valley has to offer: Grilled Fairytale Pumpkin with Soil & Seed Garden Rosemary Essence at Quiessence at the Farm The fairest pumpkin of them all! The French delicacy, the fairytale pumpkin, is the star of...

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Local eateries are thinking pink this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the whole month, these Valley venues will donate a portion of the proceeds from select menu items to various breast cancer foundations. Here are six places to sip and sample for a good cause. Farm & Craft This trendy Old Town Scottsdale spot is known for the Forbidden Fruit, freshly blended fruit juice cocktail served in a hollowed-out watermelon. All October long,...

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This Saturday, October 19, 13 cideries from six states will come together in the Valley at the second annual Southwest Cider Festival. Hosted by Mesa-based Cider Corps, the Valley’s first fully dedicated cidery, the festival will showcase the growing popularity of craft cider in the region. Festivalgoers can enjoy samples of local and regional ciders while feasting on food truck fare and listening to live music. Attendees can imbibe ciders from Arizona’s four cideries –...

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Husband and wife Jason and Katherine Dwight are bringing something new to the Uptown Phoenix area. The duo recently opened a restaurant and bakery called Persepshen – pronounced “perception” – in the space formerly known as Hula’s Modern Tiki on Central Avenue and Camelback Road. Their menu reflects high-quality, farm-to-table recipes and will change daily to incorporate fresh, local and organic ingredients. Persepshen spent two years at the Uptown Farmers Market selling sandwiches, smoked sausages,...

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It’s the week of Friday the 13th and Lola Forbes and Chris Szydlowski have a rack of 100 sugary hockey masks on cooling racks in their kitchen. This is par for the course at Spooky’s Swirls, the duo’s gluten-free, horror-themed bakery in Chandler. Patrons can find a rotating menu of horror movie-inspired masterpieces in the bakery’s display case. Pennywise, Godzilla and the Demogorgon from Stranger Things have all appeared on pastries in the past. Forbes...

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