Taste Tidbits

Foodie news roundup for the week of Feb. 1.
Set to open this Friday, Feb. 5 with a grand opening weekend that continues through Sunday, Feb. 7, Café Lalibela’s new retail component, Lalibela Market, located next to its restaurant in Tempe, promises 400 square feet of Ethiopian flavors, jewelry, crafts and grab-and-go beverages, among other specialty items. To welcome the public and give guests a taste of what’s inside, the weekend-long grand opening celebration includes freebies like free small spices to the first 50 guests, buy-one-get-one grab-and-go items from the Lalibela line and all-day tasting samples served up Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Girl Scouts of America have teamed up to offer the ultimate sweet treat: the Thin Mint Shake. The limited-edition shake features house-made vanilla ice cream, handspun with sweet mint white chocolate sauce and crumbles of the iconic Girl Scout cookie. Available through Feb. 14.
Available now through Super Bowl Sunday, Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert dishes up the Carolina Panthers Plate (hickory-smoked Carolina-style chopped pork and spicy slaw in vinegar-based sauce, piled high on grilled Kaiser roll and served with fries and North Carolina’s own Krispy Kreme doughnut), the Denver Broncos Plate (grilled Colorado lamb burger with feta cheese and cucumber tzatziki sauce, served with combo regular and sweet potato fries and a piece of classic chocolate fudge from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory) and a breakfast-only Denver sandwich.
Last month, Sprinkles Cupcakes delighted customers by selling gluten-free chocolate chips cookies at the Scottsdale shop during the entire month. Missed them? They are now available through February.
Fancy yourself a mixologist? Here’s an opportunity to put your cocktail creativity to the test. From Feb. 1 to Feb. 14,  Blanco Tacos & Tequila is hosting a Margarita Recipe Contest where guests will be able to submit their very own margarita recipe for a chance to featured on the menu as “March’s Margarita of the Month.” Feb. 15 – Feb. 20: Blanco chooses the top four recipes; Feb. 22 – Feb. 24: Guests vote for their favorite among the top four on Blanco’s Facebook page; March 1 – March 31: Blanco Tacos & Tequila will feature people’s choice Margarita all month long on menus across all locations.
New sports bar alert: All American Modern Sports Grill recently opened on Market Street at DC Ranch in North Scottsdale. Providing a modern twist on a traditional sports bar, All American Modern Sports Grill features 50 large screen TVs, architecture by Swaback Partners and a Bourbon Bar with more than 60 varieties of bourbon, scotch and Irish whiskey. Its menu includes classic sports grill favorites such as buffalo wings and sliders, more modern options including buffalo shrimp, crab cakes and its “OMG” Grilled Chicken Sandwich, as well as fine dining options such as pork tenderloin and salmon.
Miracle Mile Deli has announced an expanded breakfast menu, now available. In addition to their unique signature items, Miracle Mile offers new breakfast dishes like Blueberry and Candied Walnut Pancakes, Ole Oy Vey Huevos Rancheros and The Veg’d Out Breakfast Burrito. Served Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 11 a.m.
To celebrate 30 years in the Valley, for the first time ever, Someburros will offer their delectable tacos for only $2 a piece each and every Tuesday in 2016.
Bluewater Grill Phoenix hosts “Foods of Love” Oysters and Champagne Tasting in honor of Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, Feb. 9. CTest the reputed aphrodisiacal qualities of raw oysters paired with sparkling wine during the restaurant’s most romantic tasting event of the year. The cost is $29.95, and this year, participants can add 30 grams of Alverta White Sturgeon Caviar and a 750 ml bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne for an additional $200.
Monday, Feb. 8, rings in the Year of the Monkey and to celebrate the Chinese New Year, P.F. Chang’s is rewarding five lucky winners with free P.F. Chang’s for a year. P.F. Chang’s will be hanging traditional Chinese red envelopes filled with free offers on trees near its restaurants and five lucky winners across the country will find an envelope with free P.F. Chang’s for a year. Throughout February, P.F. Chang’s will also donate $1 (up to $100,000)  to Boys & Girls Clubs of America each time someone shares their Chinese New Year wish on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #PFChangswish and when a guest orders an item off the limited-time Chinese New Year menu that includes: Sichuan Chili Garlic Chicken, Hong Kong Style Sea Bass, Long Life Noodles & Prawns, Butternut Squash Dumplings, Mandarin Cake and Monkey Mule.
Tuesday, Feb. 9, is Pączki Day. Pączki (pictured) are rich, jelly-filled fried pastries traditional to Polish cuisine. To celebrate, Liberty Market is taking pick-up pre-orders for a dozen or more; the deadline for pre-orders is Sunday night Feb. 7. Choice of three fillings: chocolate cream, vanilla bean custard, or raspberry jam. Smaller orders will be taken first-come, first-served in person at the restaurant after 7  a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, while supplies last. Paczki are $3 each or $33 per dozen. To order, call Liberty Market at 480.892.1900 or email info@libertymarket.com.
Gertrude’s with Huss and SanTan Brewing Companies will be hosting a delicious evening on the patio with craft food and beer featuring cuisine by Chef Matt Taylor on Feb. 11 at  p.m. The dinner costs $49 plus tax and gratuity per person and reservations are required as seating is limited. Call 480.719.8600 to reserve your place.
Southern Rail will be bringing a little bit of NOLA to PHX this Fat Tuesday (Feb. 9). Enjoy $5 King Cake slices, $5 sazerac, live jazz from Reid Riddough, lots of beads and, of course, Chef Justin Beckett’s fresh and modern Southern-inspired cuisine, including his famous Jambalaya. Come by from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with social hour specials from 3 to 6 p.m. and live jazz from 5 to 9 p.m.
Celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday, Feb. 9 with some Louisiana favorites at TEXAZ Grill, including $5 Calas and house-made chicken gumbo. Plus, for happy hour only, TEXAZ Grill will be offering $1 fresh-shucked Gulf oysters for a true taste of New Orleans cuisine.
For the first time ever, Pei Wei has unveiled a secret menu with favorites like wok-seared edamame, tossed with garlic, ginger and chili paste, honey-Sriracha chicken; lemon pepper chicken, lemon black pepper sauce, scallions, carrots, bean sprouts; and blazing soodles, tomato black pepper sauce, rice noodles, carrots, snap peas, scallions, cilantro, garlic, Thai basi’ and chili paste. For more info, check here: www.peiwei.com/info/secretmenu.
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