Taste Tidbits

dinner lab

Foodie news roundup for the week of June 8.

There is a new burger joint in town! The Counter Custom Built Burgers, a premium build-your-own-burger restaurant, opened its first Arizona location in Phoenix this week. During opening week, The Counter is proud to partner with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, giving back 50 cents of every burger sold through June 13 to improve the health and lives of Arizona’s children. Try the amazing fry-topped Fork & Knife burger and the yummy Graceland milkshake, a concoction of banana, peanut butter and applewood-smoked bacon bits.

You are invited to experience the Arizona Culinary Institute, located in Scottsdale, at an open house on Saturday, June 13. Chef instructors will be giving tours of the school from 9 a.m. to noon, and admissions and financial aid representatives will be on hand to answer questions from prospective students and their families. LGO Hospitality will be on site for ACI’s open house. Interested parties will be able to speak with representatives about job opportunities with the company’s many restaurant concepts including LGO Grocery + Pizzeria, Chelsea’s Kitchen, and Ingo’s Tasty Diner. Their newest concept, Buck & Rider, will be opening in September 2015 and LGO is actively hiring to fill available management and hourly positions.

Kelly’s At SouthBridge is celebrating its three-year anniversary in style this summer. The public is invited to attend Kelly’s Annual Affair in Scottsdale June 18-19 for a glamorous 1920’s and 30’s themed event. The Affair will begin on Thursday the 18th at 5 p.m. with a live, acoustic band until 7 p.m. The entertainment continues with another live band from 7-10 p.m. and a must-see candy bar with all your favorite sweets! Enjoy $8 Patron, $8 Moscow Mules and $6 Vodka Red Bulls from 5 p.m. to close on the 18th and 19th.

For those needing a mid-week pick-me-up, Thirsty Lion in Scottsdale is introducing Wine Wednesdays. All day, every Wednesday, happy hour wine specials are just $4.

Dinner Lab (pictured), the national social dining experiment taking the culinary world by storm, is ramping up for its third monthly dinner in the desert. Dinner Lab’s June dining event Friday, June 19, at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., featuring chef Chris McKinley, a Southern California-born chef and consultant whose current and past accolades include stretches with Fox Restaurant Concepts as a corporate restaurant consultant, the Atlas Bistro, The Local and The House Brasserie. The secret location for the multi-course meal, this month’s theme deemed “The Revival: Refined Compositions of the Past,” won’t be revealed until 24 hours prior. Membership is required for attendance at all Dinner Lab events. See here for membership details.

Friday June, 12 is International Falafel Day. Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill has two locations in the Valley (Desert Ridge and across Cactus from PV Mall), where they offer each customer who walks in a free falafel sample.

Through August 31, $1 from every participating Sam Fox Restaurant kid’s meal sold will be donated to No Kid Hungry, an organization that is combating childhood hunger in America by making sure kids have the healthy food they need, every day. When guests order off the kid’s menu at True Food Kitchen, North Italia, Culinary Dropout, Flower Child, Blanco Tacos + Tequila, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, and The Henry or cool down with the Strawberry Banana Oat smoothie at Juby True they will be directly helping the cause. Parents and kiddos alike won’t want to miss the specially priced for summer $3 kid’s meals at Zinburger.

Seven of the top Valley chefs are coming together to recognize Gregory Casale, one of the most innovative culinary minds here in Phoenix, with a seven-course tribute on Sunday, June 14 at 6:30 pm at Crudo. Each chef will handcraft their version of Casale’s most famous dishes, such as hazelnut-crusted sweetbreads and bacon-wrapped monk fish. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. To RSVP, all 602.358.8666.

June 18 is International Sushi Day, and Sushi Roku is celebrating with four courses worth of tasting tickets for $40, each paired with fine sakes from 5 -9 pm. Even better, June 18 kicks off Sushi Roku’s local love program, meaning that Arizona residents receive 20 percent off their bill all summer long until September 1 (proof of residency is required).

SumoMaya is celebrating their first birthday in style—with an all-day celebration. Revelers can enjoy all day June 18 (from 11 a.m. to close) social hour pricing at the bar including: $2 off wines by the glass, $1 off draught beer, $2 off specialty cocktails and $3 bites.

Join TapHouse Kitchen on Wednesday, June 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a beer tasting. As part of the event, guests will enjoy four unique pints of the featured brew from Firestone Walker, along with a light assortment of appetizers. Jeff Prior from Firestone Walker will also be in attendance to speak with guests about the unique pints and featured brews. Space is limited so reserve your spot today by calling TapHouse Kitchen at 480.656.0012.

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