I had a chance to try the new Cartel Brewery beer. Specifically, the D.P.A. (Desert Pale Ale). It’s a take on a pale ale and I loved it. Strong beer, with solid sweet finish! More info: http://www.cartelbrewery.com/beer/
Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church holds a Greek festival every year called A Taste of Greece. Each year, they close off their parking lot and set up tents and chairs. The event is a mix of dancing, music, and great food. There are multiple food options from several vendors. The host also has a huge buffet option that we really enjoyed. You just can’t go wrong with lamb and hummus.
The music and dancing were fun to watch! The dancing seemed to mostly be kids, and they were cute and quite good at the routines.
If you are interested in going to the festival, you can get more information online.
2716 N Dobson Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85224
There is an entree at Barrio Cafe called the Chiles en Nogada and it is considered one of the best variations on this entree in the world. If you are at Barrio’s for dinner, and wondering what to try, we highly recommend it!
The flavors are delicious, and fresh! The entree is a stuffed poblanos pepper that includes chicken, apples, onions, pecans and spices. The dish is served on a white almond sauce with pomogranite. The pommogranite adds such a delightful sweet flavor next to the apple and chicken. Truly one of my favorites.
My father recently rediscovered Barrio Cafe and invited us to a Sunday lunch after church. I had visited back in 2007, but since then hadn’t had an opportunity for a revisit.
Barrio Cafe in Phoenix is certainly one of the best Mexican restaurants in the valley. It has wide acclaim from food enthusiests. Even celebrity chefs, and weathermen like Al Roker have visited.
The interior of Barrio Cafe is simple and elegant. It’s a small restaurant, with multiple small rooms.
Outside, the building is covered with colorful murals.
Parking is available on the street or behind the building, and is free. We’ve found that the least-busy time to visit is on Sunday afternoons, but you may want to call and ask foor a reservation.
They are located on 16th St. in Phoenix.
2814 N. 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85006
Phone: (602) 636-0240
Last night we drove to Old Town Scottsdale for the monthly Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan. It is generally announced on the preferred social media channels of the day (that means Instagram, currently) by all of the food trucks involved.
They often use the hashtag #scottsdalefoodtruckcaravan when announcing the date.
Most of your favorite food trucks are involved on a rotating basis, including:
They serve coffee and desserts, as well as smoothies and other drinks. While I was there, they made a traditional macchiato for me.
Waffle Love AZ
One of my all-time favorite food trucks in the valley. They serve delicious Belgian Liege Waffles, which I’ve written about before. These are delicious, and they top them with a variety of fruits and ice cream or cream. Don’t miss them, if you spot their truck!
Spice It Up
They serve a variety of Thai and Asian dishes you’ll be familiar with, including a Panang Curry dish which I tried the other night. Surprisingly, it wasn’t anything like a Panang Curry… in fact, it was just a mix of rice, chicken, and grilled veggies. They threw on some curry, I think, but it wasn’t a curry dish as advertised. They also have a lemon chicken wrap entree, which sounded delicious but they had just sold out.
There are usually 8 – 10 different food trucks that show up, and so you can usually find a little bit of everything!
They meet from 6 – 9:30 pm at the corner of 5th Ave. and Goldwater in Old Town Scottsdale. You can’t miss them, and parking is free along 5th Ave. We’ve always been able to find parking.
Since the late 1970s the Organ Stop Pizza Restaurant has been providing an amazing experience to their customers. The combination includes fantastic pizza, and amazing music played on an authentic pipe organ.
And, this isn’t your ordinary pipe organ, this is a whurlitzer pipe organ that has tons of cool features like dancing cats, flags and disco balls, and every single bell and whistle you can imagine.
The venue is huge, until you decide to find a seat. The place is packed! We recommend arriving before the 6 pm dinner crowd, because seating is limited and you may have to wait. Don’t worry, though, there’s a 15 minute interval once an hour where people usually clear out.
The seating is strictly simple: Large picnic tables lining the hall with simple tablecloths. But, don’t let the seating fool you! They make a terrific pizza, and they have great music!
A couple of the music selections we heard the night we were there:
- Michael Jackson
- Back to the Future
- Beauty and the Beast
- Sound of Music
And many more! You can make special requests, and the organ player will usually accommodate — especially if it is your birthday or anniversary. On the night we attended, the organ player played two of the songs we asked for.
The pizza is really good. Not amazing, by any standard, but decent and enjoyable. It should be noted that they only accept cash, and they have an ATM in the lobby.
They also serve cold beer, and ice cream.
So, don’t miss Organ Stop Pizza! It’s worth the trip to Mesa just for the show!
1149 E. Southern Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85204
Phone: (480) 813-5700
Here’s my quick review of the Chipotle Cultivate event which we attended in Scottsdale on April 17, 2015.
There are no burritos.
How could they do that? We found tacos (two for $6), and meatball rice bowls (also $6), as well as Kale Salads ($6 again) and a few more options like ice cream and coffee.
Beer and music seem to be the highlights of this event. I must admit, I was impressed with the beer tents. There’s a line of over a dozen beer vendors. Each vendor was selling three different beers on tap. For a 12 oz cup, I paid $6. It seems like everything at the Chipotle Cultivate event is $6.
Entry to the event is free, and held outdoors. It was a nice day, so we didn’t get too hot.
They have a kids event section and surprisingly all of that food was free! We got hot dogs for the kids, and juice, milk, and snack packs were absolutely free! Awesome! They had drawing, painting, and a few other things for the kids to do like t-shirt painting and such. Our 3-year old loved this part of the day.
I had a chocolate ale beer which was terrific! Then, I had some of the tacos. After that, I tried the DPA Cartel Beer which was also tasty!
So, if you’re looking for a fun time, check out the Chipotle Cultivate event. It was a one-day event. I’m honestly not sure if it will come back to Scottsdale.
To be honest, the lack of a Chipotle burrito was a bit weird. I left hungry, and that’s a shame.
A designer I work with suggested we go to lunch and so we met up at a local sandwich shop called Croque Famous Sandwiches.
Croque is conveniently located at the south west corner of Thunderbird Rd. and Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ. It’s super close to my home as well!
I’ve actually reviewed Croque before. About 15 years ago I used to frequent this sandwich shop with my grandfather. We would visit and over time tried all of the sandwiches.
Today, Croque is still located in the same strip mall location, and they have expanded their food options to include breakfast options, as well as rice bowls and soups. The Asian rice bowls are apparently really popular, but I have not tried them yet.
Back to the sandwich: I ordered my old favorite, the Croque Madame sandwich, pictured in this post. This is by far my favorite sandwich at Croque, because of the great flavors. I only wish they would put more of the garlic sauce on it. I even paid for extra sauce, but it sure didn’t go far.
Also, the bread is a bit on the dry side. I’d much prefer if the bread was fresher and not as dry.
Despite these criticisms, I’ll be back at Croque for a sandwich very soon!
Croque Famous Sandwiches
13610 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Phone: (480) 607-1285
I’ve just returned from a visit to our favorite local frozen-yogurt shop, Zoyo Frozen Yogurt.
I thought it would be fun to just list of the variety of flavors they have for sale right now:
- Strawberry Banana
- Cake Batter
- Chocolate Sorbet
- Orange Cream
- Raspberry Sorbet
I think they may have had a couple of extra sorbet options, but my mind isn’t remembering. I’ll check back in a few weeks! We tend to visit at least once a month.
The toppings are always the impressive part. Today, they had a few new options. It seems to me they’ve added to the candy options, because they now have more options like Snickers, Kit Kat, Crunch, Butterfingers, and mini peanut butter cups. Delicious!
Don’t fret, if you want fruit they have options! Today, I saw strawberries, kiwi, blackberries, and pineapple.
So, if you are looking for a new frozen-yogurt shop, do yourself a flavor… er, favor, and check out Zoyo Frozen Yogurt.
Zoyo Frozen Yogurt has several locations around the valley. We usually visit the locaton at Tatum Blvd. and Shea Blvd. For a list of locations check out their web site.
There’s a Sauce Pizza location about 5 minutes from my house in Scottsdale, but I had never been there until recently. Here’s my take on this extremely popular pizza restaurant.
When you enter Sauce for the first time you’ll be amazed at how large the interior is… it looks small from the outside. Sauce is a pizza restaurant where you place your order at the counter, and then find an available table. This certainly reduces the cost as tipping is not expected. This is similar to restaurants like Pei Wei and Five Guys.
Our pizza arrived a few minutes later: We ordered the combination style pizza, which had sausage and pepperoni.
We also ordered a salad, which was also very good. One other thing they sell are meatballs, and we ordered a few of them to try. They were very good.
The food compares favorably to other pizza nearby, but we still like the pizza over at Fired Pie the best. Simply for it’s customizable nature.
Sauce is a fast-casual pizza restaurant founded by Fox Restaurant Concepts, and recently sold to the owner of Ra Sushi. That means that it’s a local company running the operation and that it will likely have strong standards and consistency.
There are nine locations of Sauce Pizza around the valley and in Tucson. You can get a full list of locations on their web site at saucepizzaandwine.com.
Now that I think about it, I’ve been a customer for at least half of that time. My parents introduced me to the Sugar Bowl back in the 1980s, and we’ve been introducing friends ever since.
The last time I wrote about this classy dessert place was in 2005!
So, what can you order? Much more than just ice cream, you can enjoy malts, shakes, cones, sorbet, and cookies and cakes.
They also serve a wide selection of food entrees, like tuna fish sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, and other tea-related items. They really have an extensive menu. During the spring and fall they will typically serve a fresh orange shorbet or ice cream that they make. It’s quite a treat.
The interior of The Sugar Bowl is painted pink, with white accent. It’s like stepping into an old fashioned soda bar from the 1950s.
The Sugar Bowl
4005 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: (480) 946-0051