Thursday, February 26, 2015

Steak 44

The good folk behind the masterful Mastro's have created a steakhouse for the next generation.  Yes, the meat is all expertly executed but the real treats come when you explore the supporting cast which are a clear step above the traditional steakhouse sides.

The 'Must Try'- The Crispy Shrimp

Steak 44 on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Third Annual Eight’s Check, Please! ArizonaFestival
Set for Sun., March 22, 2015, 11am-3pm
Show-Inspired Event Delivers Eclectic Collection of Independents all in one place

Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 18, 2015) – While the Emmy Award-winning television hit, Eight’s, Check, Please! Arizona continues unabated, its culinary cousin, Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival continues on its own glorious path for a third straight year of pleasing fans of local, independent eateries, celebrated once again, Sun., March 22, 2015, 11am-3pm at CityScape in downtown Phoenix.

Check, Please! Arizona is one of the most popular locally produced programs on Eight, Arizona PBS. And Eight will again transform CityScape into a haven for food adventurists, a one-stop exploration of Arizona’s independent restaurant collective that ranges from every-day hamburger haunts to five-star gourmet establishments.

In its third year, the event is crowned with a gathering of Arizona’s James Beard Foundation award-winners, among them, Emmy Award-winning host of Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Robert McGrath, plus Christopher Gross, Chris Bianco, and Nobuo Fukuda.

In addition, as Arizona’s culinary scene continues to advance in global sophistication, the 2015 version of the event will also showcase overlays by Arizona’s chef talent, including a second panel of top Valley chefs, in addition to a lineup of cooking demonstrations by local chefs on two stages, provided by SubZero/Wolf, and a tour of favorite wines by Chef Christopher Gross, including tastings and tips for food pairings.

The festival also will be adding several new restaurants to the lineup this year from Check, Please! Arizona’s five seasons on-air, as well as featuring many returning favorites, to date including:

Switch Restaurant & Wine Bar
The Wild Thaiger
Haus Murphy’s
Frasher’s Steakhouse & Lounge
The Salt Cellar
Flavors of Louisiana
Rancho Pinot
Cowboy Ciao
Jewel of the Crown
Cucina Tagliani
San Tan Brewing Company
Thee Pitts “Again”
Hob Nob
Phoenix City Grille
Red, White and Brew
Betty’s Nosh
Avanti Restaurant
MacAlpine’s Restaurant & Soda Fountain

TICKETS. Tickets are available at General admission in advance is $79; at the door tickets are $89. Tickets include food, wine and beer sampling as well as panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and guest lectures. NOTE: Last year, the event sold out.

For more information on sponsorship and participation opportunities with Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival, please contact Chelsea Fox at R Entertainment Co., 480.657.7333 ext.15 or email

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The San Francisco Giants 2015 Spring Training Dining Guide

First off, congratulations are in order to Giants and their faithful following! We expect that you will be descending upon Scottsdale in droves full of pride and super high expectations.   Once again the good people of Bitesized Phoenix are here to ensure that you are satisfactorily nourished during your stay in the Valley.  We would hate for you waste your dinner budget on the 2 for $19.99 special at Applebee's. Below are some options that are all within 10 minutes from the stadium.  You might even "say hey" I can get a pretty darn good meal in this town.

The Breakfast Beat
You Giants fans have it lucky.  Your home base is in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale.  This little Western nook has some of the Valley's best breakfast spots with each location catering to your varied tastes.  While it's a shame that we recently lost one of your gems, Dottie's, there still are options a plenty.  Here are just a few.

Huevos con Masa at Breakfast Club
1.     Light and Healthy- The Chop Shop packs the perfect punch of green and tasty.  This is a great way to start your day if you anticipate eating 3 hotdogs at the game and you need to alleviate some guilt. The fresh juice selection is definitely worth the trip. They also have some great lunch options.

2.     Heavy and Hearty- Disregard the fact that this is the go-to place for feared rival Bryce Harper and come by to fill up your tank at the Breakfast Club. Go the distance and get their eggs Benedict. You might want to share it with a friend.

3.     A Border Delight- We are just a few hours from old Mexico so we can claim some authenticity.  Sinaloa inspired America's Taco's has Scottsdale's best breakfast burrito.  And remember it doesn't count if it doesn't contain chorizo. The carne asada is also a favorite for lunch or dinner.

4.     Something Nostalgic- Over Easy is a great throw back to the breakfast you remember having as a kid.  Sit back, enjoy the local hospitality, and do yourself a favor by ordering some waffle dogs. Don't ask, just order.

The Lunch Hour Primer
While most of your games will be played in the afternoon, you don't want to be stuck relying on a $6 dog day-in and day-out.  We recommend satisfying your appetite at a few of these spots.

1.      Jimmy Buffett Lite- Rehab Burger is a triple threat that will give you a spot to wet your whistle, mellow out, and enjoy Old Town's best sandwich.  Who says you need to be by the beach in order to have a cheeseburger in paradise.

Cornish Pasty Co.
   2.     Little Italy- Craving some Italian Sausage?  Look no further then the closest thing that Scottsdale has to something that could survive in North Beach, Defalco's Italian Eatery. This long time staple has a deep menu and enough options to make multiple visits.

   3.     Sonoran Style- You can't leave Arizona without a nice big plate of the old school Mexican food that helped define this region.  Stop by El Molino and pick a few items from the menu. It contains all of the old standards ranging from tacos to tostadas to enchiladas.   
4.     Eat Like a 14th Century English Miner- The hipsters at the  Cornish Pasty Company have transformed this simple staple into a family of sweet and savory meat pockets that have a flavor to satisfy most appetites. These things are so tasty that you might feel a bit like Buster Posey as you jealously guard your plate.

Dinner in Style
The evening will present you with the best opportunity to stretch your wallet and splurge with some of our better options.  The list of options in the area is large but here are some of our favorites.

1.      Latin Fusion- The Mission is Mexican 2.0.  But the menu goes far south of old Mexico and offers a fresh take on many of the core dishes that define Latin cuisine.  Also, the Barrio Queen, the latest offering from local legend Silvana Esparza, has the area's best and widest selection of tacos. Feeling guilty that you haven't had your veggies this trip?  Drop by Diego Pops and sample their down right delectable Brussels Sprout Nachos en route to an tacos and tequila. 

2.   \  Preferred Local Watering Holes- Old Town has many spots that have won favor with locals, here are two of the best.  Citizen Public House offers a contemptory and upscale version of the traditional public house. While there are many items on the menu worth your time, do not leave with having the chopped salad.  Eddie's House features a menu as varied and eccentric as owner and local figure, Eddie Matney.

3.     Upscale Italian- There are enough great  trattoria's in Scottsdale that you could swear that the Appian way led you here.The two that stand out are Marcellino's and Franco's. Both have impressive old world pedigrees. Want some pizza?  Head up the road to Pomo, home of the only pizza on the east side of town worthy of the Vera Pizza Napoletana certificate of authenticity. 

4.     Feeling Red Blooded?-  This town has no shortage of joints that cater to the carnivore.  Mastro's City Hall and Don & Charlie's both have a long and tasty history in Scottsdale.  Ben & Jack's is a recent newcomer to the area and it has its  'dry aged' roots firmly planted in famed Brooklyn steakhouse, Peter Luger. Are you a Spring Training purist?  Then the only place for you is the Pink Pony.  Steeped in history it has been a long time staple for our baseball loving visitors.

5.     Couldn't Get Into the French Laundry Back Home?- You don't have to worry about a months long waiting list at Binkley's.  French Laundry alum, Kevin Binkley, is putting his training to good use and he has three locations across the Valley so that you can sample his genius with relative ease. We recommend making the drive up north to Cave Creek to spend an evening at Binkley's.

We could go on and on but we figure that this should tide you over during your desert stay.  Any more suggestions and you might have to take up a more permanent residency.  Feel free to visit for a list of more approved suggestions that cover the entire Valley of the Sun. Remember, just because you might be spending your afternoons at the diamond doesn't mean you have to tolerate its food.

Go Giants!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Streets of New York Pizza

For those moments when you don't need VPN certified, can't tolerate Dominoes, and just need something good and cheap for the family on a weekday night.

The 'Must Try'- Have the kids in tow?  Stick with standard pepporoni

Streets of New York on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 2, 2015

Canyon Cafe

The former Sam's Cafe was one of the first places in town to introduce the tasty melodies that can be produced when you blend Spanish, Southwestern, and Mexican culinary traditions. Still worth the wait should you be down town.

The 'Must Try'- The Salmon Flauta

Canyon Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Lucky’s Burgers & Hotdog Grill

It feels like a family generated labor of love which is cool. Solid burgers but the pricing, marketing, menu need some refinement.

The 'Must Try'-  The Red Wine Burger with Waffle Fries

Luckys Burgers and Hotdog Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Breadcrafters Bakery & Cafe

It has a lot of the elements that you look for in a great neighborhood bakery.  What keeps it from joining the Varsity lunch list? The space is awkwardly cramped.  The lackluster soups detract from otherwise solid sandwiches.

The 'Must Try'- The Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich

Breadcrafters Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nee House

Your prototypical strip mall Chinese joint with the big exception that it also showcases some great Hong-Kong centric dishes available to the savvy diner. Generous portions, good lunch value, and spotty service.

The 'Must Try'- The Szchehuan Stirfried Scallops

Nee House Chinese on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wild Game Grill

This place has carved out a great niche for those who want to catch the game but are hampered by kids in tow and dietary restrictions.  They've got a great atmosphere for sports, a menu full of lean and unique meat options, and a nice corner to drop off the kids.

The 'Must Try'- Head off the beaten path with some Ostrich Ravioli

Wild Game Sports Grill on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Save the Date! Check Please Arizona Tasting Tour- January 20, 2015

You like to eat correct?  I'm assuming you also have a soft spot in your heart for public broadcasting and the good folks behind Check Please! Arizona. Well we have got the event for you.

Follow this link and be whisked away on a splendid culinary journey the likes of which will clearly surpass whatever else you were planning on doing the week of January 18th.