Desert Digest

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Photo by Nikki Buchanan   Mochi Donut with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt at The Local Donut I could probably go the rest of my life without eating a donut — or at least that was true until I belatedly discovered The Local Donut, a little South Scottsdale doughnut and pastry shop that isn’t too far from my house. I tried five doughnuts and liked them all, but two of them really stood out: the...

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It’s always momentous, at least for an oenophile like me, when a new wine shop or bar opens. Far Away Wine and Provisions in East Phoenix is the brainchild of Pat Jasmin and Chris French, part of the food-and-bev fabric of Arizona for years. Jasmin has done a little of everything, from writing wine lists to owning a restaurant to wine distribution, which is how she met French, a history and music buff who sold...

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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 Squeeze: The 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...

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The Mix Up Bar interior | Photo by Nikki Buchanan   The Mix Up Bar, tucked away to the left of T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa, is one of my favorite places to hang out over a cocktail. Like the lovely old resort in which it’s nestled, the room is gracious, intimate and — if you time it right — blessedly quiet, the kind of place where you might strike up...

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Casey Moore’s Oyster House | Photo by Brian Goddard   Phoenix’s diverse culinary landscape provides plenty of ways to satisfy late-night food cravings beyond fast food or national chains. If you’re a night owl who wants to try out a new dining destination open until midnight or later, here are four options in each corner of the Valley. For even more options, check out our Ultimate Late-Night Eats Guide. Brenda’s Inferno (Phoenix) Open until midnight...

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Soup’s on! Order extra bread, chips or pita to dunk in these scratch-made slurries that smack of autumn in the Valley. Pozole Rojo Regulars at Arcadia’s CRUjiente Tacos impatiently await the autumnal return of chef Rich Hinojosa’s legendary pozole ($9). It’s rich with pork, red chile and hominy. crutacos.com Matzo Ball Soup Feeling a cold coming on? Fill your prescription for Jewish penicillin ($3/cup, $5/bowl) at Miracle Mile Deli in CenPho. miraclemiledeli.com Broccoli, Spinach &...

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T. Cook’s Burger | Photo courtesy J Lauren PR   Fall is finally here and with it comes seasonal dishes! Here are five brand-new menu items from local restaurants that we can’t wait to try in the next few months. Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast from North Italia This healthy brunch dish won’t be available until October, but that won’t stop us from drooling over its decadence. It features avocado, smoked salmon, arugula, basil, watermelon radish...

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Are you familiar with the humorous autumn adage “It’s decorative gourd season, motherf*&%ers”? In Arizona, we have our own version of the saying, in which the “decorative gourd” is simply replaced by “prickly pear.” Fighting past the cactus fruit’s famously nettlesome needles, food-oriented folk love turning the fruit’s viscous pulp into jellies, cocktail additives and – in the case of this collaboration between Simple Machine Brewing Co. and the Tap That AZ podcast – a...

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  Smoke Show | Photo courtesy Belle’s Nashville Kitchen   It’s National Mezcal Week and to celebrate, we curated a list of local cocktails that contain the famously smoky agave spirit. Whether you prefer fruity, floral, spicy or sour flavor profiles, each of these tasty tipples beautifully showcases mezcal’s signature char. Smoke Show from Belle’s Nashville Kitchen Thanks to passion fruit puree, hibiscus-infused simple syrup and orgeat, this tangerine-hued drink features a fruity flavor profile...

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When UnderTow, Phoenix’s premier underground cocktail lounge, moved from below Sip Coffee & Beer in Arcadia Lite to Century Grand next door, we’ve all been curious about what would occupy the intimate, 600-square-foot subterranean space. Would it be something equally as immersive? Would it offer similarly unique cocktails? Our questions were answered in early July when 36 Below, a Walipini greenhouse-inspired speakeasy officially opened. The new bar is the brainchild of Sip owners Josh Katz...

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SanTan Spirits is making a splash in Arizona and beyond with a tasty trio of canned cocktails perfect for sipping in the sunshine. Aptly named SunSplash, these ready-to-drink vodka sodas came out in July and combine SanTan’s award-winning vodka with fun flavors – cherry lime, watermelon and white peach. SanTan’s sales manager, Alejandro Fontes, says the SunSplash concept has been years in the making. Fontes, who has been with the brewery and distillery for nearly...

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When Kimhak Em and Eugenia Tai opened their brick-and-mortar coffee café, Pair Cupworks, in February 2020, they had no idea that three weeks later, they would be forced to close due to the pandemic. Rather than focusing on all the negative aspects surrounding the closure, Em turned it into a positive. During the shutdown, Em made in-person deliveries of whole coffee beans to customers in the area. “So when we reopened, we had already established...

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  Photo by Nikki Buchanan   Chaufa Combo at Taste of Peru If you’re thinking this Peruvian dish looks remarkably like good old fashioned Chinese fried rice — but with more meat — bingo! That’s exactly what it is. “Chaufa” is a loanword from Cantonese that means “fried rice.” The Peruvians co-opted this dish from the Chinese laborers who worked on plantations and built railroads in Peru in the late 19th Century and early 20th...

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