Spring 2014 Arizona Restaurant Week Media Preview!

Arizona Restaurant week is quickly approaching! Starting Saturday May 17th and running through Monday May 26th food lovers can take advantage of prix-fixe dinners from $30-$40 per person at a number of participating restaurants statewide.

There is no excuse why you shouldn’t get out of your comfort zone and indulge in that restaurant your taste buds have been begging you to try! Besides making your tummy happy, Arizona Restaurant Week raises awareness of the many wonderful restaurants Arizona has to offer and helps stimulate business as we head into the summer months.

This Spring 50 restaurants are partaking in Arizona’s most delicious week and WhereShouldWeEat.com was invited on Arizona Restaurant Week’s Media Dine Around to preview three of the participating restaurants: Bink’s Midtown, Clever Koi and Sierra Bonita Grill. Check out the mouthwatering pictures:

Check out ALL of the participating restaurants at: http://arizonarestaurantweek.com/restaurants/

Restaurants fill up quick so make reservations ASAP.  Gather with friends and take advantage of Arizona Restaurant Week Spring 2014…you and your stomach will be glad you did!

 

 

Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles Experience

He Said

I don’t want to say it has been on my bucket list but for a foodie this restaurant has been on my priority list from the moment I heard of it. Apparently, it is on the list of a lot of people, the lines can be dismaying at times. If you time your visit just right I found you can have a very little wait, as was the case on my visit. Our group went on a late lunch around 1:30 and only had to wait about 15 minutes for our table. That’s my first tip for you my devoted readers.
I had read on many other websites about the staffs’ penchant for being rude or slow but I experienced the total opposite on my visit. Warmly greeted and our server was the sweetest little lady with an honest vibe and friendly demeanor. In fact, I felt like we were friends by the time we left and I began to wonder where the write-ups came from on those other sites. It’s a true southern soul food restaurant in my mind’s eye, both in service and the food. It took me back to my outings in college to a great meat and three shack we used to go to, where the girls would get all veggies (mostly fried so who were they kidding) and guys would load up on the meats. Ah memories…
We had a hard time deciding what to get, I mean you go to a “chicken and waffles” restaurant and you want to or almost have to go that route. But there are so many exquisite options I honestly wanted one of everything. But alas I had to choose, luckily for me I went with 2 other people so there were 2 more opportunities for additional tastings. I first selected the blue Kool-Aid. Yes boys and girls they have Kool-Aid, honest to goodness full of sugar Kool-Aid served in a mason jar and on our visit with 5 different flavors. See, we had many difficult choices and it starts from the drink order. It was a flash back to my childhood and while I don’t normally drink sugary drinks, I made an exception and encourage you to do the same. Next up, I went with the “Tre Tre”, one waffle and 2 drumsticks. It was the perfect size for me as we also ordered sides of the cheese grits and mac & cheese. The waffle had a cinnamon flavor to it, maybe even a vanilla-cinnamon slant. The chicken was succulent and with just enough crisp on the outside. I envisioned this waffle and chicken being made by my mom growing up as it just felt like home. The grits were covered in cheese and had a big glop of butter on it that melted and began to overflow the bowl (which is why they put the bowl on a plate; I call it the overflow plate). It did need a dash of salt but the grits were cooked perfectly. The mac & cheese was not melted cheese but a nice creamy flow of golden lava. I took the remnants of the bowl home with me as I couldn’t bear to part with its tasty goodness. A co-diner of mine had ordered the biscuits and gravy, which I couldn’t help but take a bite out of because I have a weakness for B&G. The biscuit was golden brown and crispy on the edges and soft and doughy in the middle, score. It was then covered in gravy that is full of sausage and smooth on the tongue. Writing this experience is making me want to go back for lunch today.
So remember my B&G weakness? It of course, is only usurped by my knee dropping weakness for red velvet cake. We ordered a slice to try for the table. It is big enough for a few people to say the least. Again it was a classic rendition, nothing special or outstanding. I enjoyed it for the few bites I could stuff into my already full stomach. Maybe next time I choose between the Kool-Aid and the cake, I must have had 2 days’ worth of sugar on my visit. But it was worth every bite and honestly, if you are going to have chicken and waffles you might as well go all the way.

She Said

Coming Soon!

Read our Listing on this restaurant now.

One Week, Two VERY Different Festivals

 

Arizona Wine & Dine 2014

It was a perfect Arizona spring evening at AZ Wine & Dine last Thursday night. Held at Scottsdale Quarter, AZ Wine & Dine, was a sophisticated but relaxed event showcasing Arizona’s premier chefs, restaurants, resorts, fine wines and craft beer. Live music filled the air as you made your way from station to station sampling exquisite food and drinks. The crowd was festive as people ate, chatted, laughed and even danced through the evening. This event was well organized and I would label it a success in promoting Arizona dining, local liquors and tourism.

 

Arizona BBQ Festival 2014

BBQ filled the air as we pulled up to Salt River Fields on Saturday morning. We followed our noses to the entrance of the Arizona BBQ Festival. Crowds dressed in country and redneck attire filled the field for food, drinks and fun. Beside numerous BBQ places, you could enjoy “Redneck Games”, wrestling matches, live music and even a “Bacon Zone.” It was hard not to have a good time at this food festival. We of course stuffed ourselves and it wasn’t long before BBQ sauce was stained on all our faces. Some highlights of our day were pulled pork from Whiskey Ranch, ribs from Big Johns and brisket from Little Miss BBQ! (Holy Cow that brisket was good…pun intended.) Cold beers helped wash down all the BBQ and quenched our thirst on this sunny AZ day. And as we moseyed on out we all agreed this event was a lot more than just chowing BBQ it was an afternoon of fun!

Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival 2014

The crowds came out in droves on Sunday for Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival. The highly anticipated event sold out days before and on Sunday morning crowds swarmed the streets of Downtown Phoenix ready to enter with hungry bellies.

Check, Please! 2014

CityScape was fenced off for the event and tents lined Central Ave showcasing a large array of some of the Valley’s best restaurants. Wine and beer pairings from participating wineries and breweries were scattered around the event as well. This year’s larger crowd made lines a bit longer, but we patiently waited in anticipation for all the delicious samples.

Some of our samples:

Vogue BistroShrimp Po'Boy
Vogue Bistro: Mushroom Burger and Shrimp Po’boy

 

DVine Bistro
Dvine Bistro & Wine Bar: Braised Short Rib and Brussels Sprout

 

Taste of LouisianaShrimp
Taste of Louisiana: Shrimp Jambalaya

 

Yupha'sYupha's
Yupha’s: Pad Thai and Fried Rice

 

Red, White & Brew
Red, White & Brew: Pesto Chicken over Cheese Tortellini and Asian Spiced Beef Meatballs

 

Check, Please!Panel
Three Stages were at the event hosting cooking demonstrations, wine presentations and even discussion panels. Three James Beard award winners took the stage and we gave our stomachs a break to listen to Robert McGrath (Host of Eight’s Check, Please!), Nobuo Fukuda (Nobuo at Teeter House) and Chef Christopher Gross (Christopher’s Crush.) An open forum with Q&A from the audience was a fun interactive way to get a bit of insight into the lives of these Valley Celebrity Chefs.

Back to the food!

Centurion
Centurion: Meatball and Spinach Salad

 

CPHCPH
Citizen Public House: Original Chopped Salad and Gluten Free Fudge Brownie

 

Shrimp San Remo
Salt Cellar: Shrimp San Remo

 

Havana Cafe Havana Cafe
Havana Café: Pollo Parrilla

 

Bertha's Cafe
Bertha’s Café: S’mores and Homemade Pop Tarts

 

Satisfied we had indulged in every sample available, we left the event once again impressed with Eight’s Check, Please! for pulling off another greet year of food and fun!

The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival

WSWE crew spent this past Saturday Downtown Chandler at The Great American BBQ and Beer Festival. This fest is not only titled Arizona’s largest BBQ event, but also has won for “Outstanding Event of the Year.”

Entrance

We arrived right before the gates opened at noon to find a line of about 500 people anxiously waiting to enter. The aroma of BBQ saturated the air, and we were excited to get in and start sampling some of the 60 BBQ places that were represented.

We walked in and immediately were drawn in by Sally’s BBQ where the friendly Pit Master welcomed us over and invited one of our crew members to help him cook a rack ribs! Of course we had to indulge in “the goods”. We were off to a good start! The St. Louis style ribs were tender, smoky and fall off the bone delicious smothered in a sauce that was slightly sweet with a tomato base.

Sally's BBQRibs!

 

Since this was a BBQ & Beer fest it was time to pull over to one of the many San Tan Brewery tents and quench our thirst. As we were enjoying our brewsky’s we noticed people devouring what looked like nachos but with potato chips. We had to track down which BBQ place was selling this naughty delight. Tom’s BBQ was offering these BBQ Nachos. Homemade potato chips loaded with pulled pork, bbq sauce and all the usual nacho toppings. Whoa, share this with friends…it was huge!

Tom's BBQ    Homemade Potatoes    BBQ Nachos

 

Next was a sample of brisket from QUp! Food Truck. Mesquite Slow Smoked Brisket was not only visually stunning but delicious! Smokey, extremely tender and juicy! Subtle spices from a rub were present but not overwhelming and only added to the natural flavors of the meat.

QUp!

 

As the day went on, the attendance grew. The fest was starting to get crowded. But the layout of the event was well thought out as we walked around with ease. The bands playing at the far end of the fest could be heard throughout and gave a nice festive vibe to the event.

 

We made our way over to Joe’s BBQ. The ribs were meaty and once again fell off the bone the only way good BBQ does when cooked “low and slow.”

Joe's BBQRibs!

 

Our last stop was Ragin Cajun Smoking BBQ. The constant line told us this was gonna be tasty! We ordered pulled chicken sandwich, pulled pork sandwich and a Barge Wrap (four meat.) Cajun goodness! The meats were moist which means smoked to perfection with a spicy but flavorful BBQ sauce. The beans and dirty rice were both nice sides that packed a bit of a punch with spicy southern flavors.

Ragin Cajun Smoking BBQBacon Wrapped AlligatorBarge WrapPulled Pork Sandwich

 

Another successful year for The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival. We all not only enjoyed stuffing our faces (and getting BBQ sauce all over them) but enjoyed strolling, people watching and soaking up the sun!  It was a finger-lickin’ good day!

Asian Restaurant Vote!

Its that time again! We want you to get in on the food fun and pick which Asian Restaurant to send “He” and “She” to:

  1. Clever Koi (Uptown Phoenix)
  2. Bei Sushi (Scottsdale)
  3. Red Thai (Phoenix)
  4. Unphogettable  (Mesa)

vote

To cast your vote:

POST on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WSWEAZ

TWEET us: @wsweaz  #WSWEvote

EMAIL us: ContactUs@WhereShouldWeEat.com

@us on Instagram

You have until Monday March 24th to vote!

We Feed, You Read!  WhereShouldWeEat.com’s He Said/She Said section gives you dining experiences from “He” and “She’s” point of view. Just another feature to help you Satisfy Your Appetite In The Phoenix Metro Area.