Taste Tidbits

Foodie news roundup for the week of April 27.
The 6th Annual Arizona BBQ Festival (pictured) returns to Salt River Fields Saturday, May 2, from 12 to 10 p.m. The more than 25 top barbecue purveyors are only part of what’s expected to draw the 15,000-plus people. Guests can participate in the ever-growing Redneck Games Arena,enjoy live music and, of course, savor metro Phoenix’s best BBQ all in one location. The event’s Bacon Station served more than 1,000 pounds of bacon last year, and event planners expect that number to grow. Live music and a kid’s zone is also planned for the event. Tickets are $12 general admission and free parking; kids 12 and under free; $60 advance VIP, $75 at the gate. VIP tickets includes five drink tokens, four food tokens, private restrooms and seats next to the main stage. For tickets and information, visit www.azbbqfestival.com.
Joe’s Real BBQ is planning on giving away more than 5,000 free meals during their annual Customer Appreciation Day on Wednesday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free meal includes choice of a pulled pork or chicken breast sandwich, fresh homemade coleslaw, BBQ Pit Beans, and a drink. There will be children’s sized sandwiches available for the little ones. If you wish to help Open Arms Care Center, please bring cans of food (fruit in particular) or boxes of cereal.  The food donations are not required for the free meal.
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery just launched its budget-friendly Hoppy Hour. The sports bar welcomed back its twist on the traditional happy hour with prices starting at just $4. Available Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Tempe’s Cartel welcomes the Cartel Yard Sale and Backdoor Brunch on Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in addition to its Backdoor Brunch, Cartel will also open up its office dock doors. Inside office equipment, furniture, supplies and Cartel oddities await, ready for bargain hunters to make an offer.
In celebration of its upcoming five-year-celebration at SanTan Village, Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que invites the public to come to SanTan Village  location from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 2 to indulge in Famous Dave’s award-winning St. Louis Style Ribs at a traditional “Ribfest” and a festive, fun and prize-filled cornhole contest. This event will take place in front of Famous Dave’s in the parking lot, and the staff will be feeding everyone in attendance for a donation to the Boys & Girls Club Gilbert Branch.
Today, Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill at Scottsdale Fashion Square is proudly hosting the FOX Sports NFL Draft Party. FOX Sports will be broadcasting live from 12-9 p.m. with all the draft coverage you won’t want to miss.
Every year on May 5, Japan honors its children’s health, prosperity and happiness with a nationwide celebration. To bring the spirit of this holiday to life, Benihana will once again hold its annual Children Helping Children coloring contest, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Through May 5, Benihana invites children to visit their local Benihana and draw a picture of what Children Helping Children means to them. For each picture received, Benihana will donate $1 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. On May 6, Benihana will select one child from each restaurant to win a dinner for eight.
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