Taste Tidbits

Foodie news roundup for the week of March 18.

Arizona Foodie announces Smoked, a unique food event featuring top local chefs, innovative cocktails, live entertainment and more, at Phoenix’s Ocotillo on March 23. Guests will be wowed as they hang out in the Bulleit Smoked Lounge, complete with comfy furniture and smoked drinks. Sponsored by Ketel One, Seagram’s, Bulleit, Johnnie Walker and Union Mezcal, Smoked is a 21-and-older event that gives you the chance to chat with chefs while participating in social media-worthy photo opportunities. Participating chefs include Matt Carter, Stephen Jones, Aaron May, Jason Alford and more. Tickets are available to purchase here for $35 and include all food samples and drink samples and entry at 1pm. A limited amount of VIP tickets are available for $50, which includes early entry at noon and food and drink samples. Tickets are limited.

Just in time for the March Madness Tournament, Giordano’s is launching four specialty wing flavors to align with each of the four competing conferences that will be pitted against one another. The limited-time wings will be available beginning Tuesday, March 19. Every bracket is a winner in Giordano’s Wing Madness bracket contest, which lets wings lovers vote for their favorite of the four new flavors online at www.Giordanos.com/wingmadness. After casting their vote, participants will receive a coupon for 20 percent off a future order. Each order includes 12 traditional bone-in chicken wings with a complementing dipping sauce for $10.45. From Tuesday, March 19, through Sunday, March 24, patrons can take advantage of a buy one, get one free offer for dine-in and online orders of the limited time Wing Madness wing flavors (use code 249-238-711). Or scout them all with the all new Wing Flight, which offers a half order each of each Wing Madness flavor, along with dipping sauce and sliced dill pickles for $20.95.

On Wednesday, March 27, all Valley Jersey Mike’s locations will donate 100 percent of proceeds to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Stefano Fabbri, the talent behind Pomo Restaurant Group’s Pomo Pizzeria, Luna Gelateria and Mora Italian, will open his new restaurant, called Meat the Ball on Thursday, March 21. (The restaurant is located at Biltmore Fashion Park.) In honor of the new restaurant, the public is invited to Meat the Ball’s grand opening party on Thursday, March 21, from 4 to 6 p.m.  Guests can enjoy free finger food, cocktails, ribbon cutting, red carpet, DJ and more. They will also be collecting donations for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.  

Scottsdale League for the Arts hosts the Four Peaks Burger Battle on March 22 at Scottsdale Waterfront at Southbridge. Join in at the burgers-with-benefits charity event supporting local arts programs and education for burger tastings, fries, milkshakes, beer, live music by The Walkens, lawn games and more. See all the sizzling action of more than 10 burger contenders competing for the best burger title at this 21-and-over fundraising culinary event. The event kicks off at 7 p.m., and general admission tickets are $65.

Phoenix Rising has partnered with Hickman’s Family Farms for an exciting contest and to promote the health benefits of eating eggs. From March 18 through April 30, 11 different player cards will be released including Jose Aguinaga, Aj Cochran, Joey Farrell and James Musa. If you collect all 11 player cards, you have a chance to win a trip for four to Los Angeles to see the Phoenix Rising play the LA Galaxy on August 3. For official rules visit https://www.phxrisingfc.com/hickmans.

Guests are invited to stop by a casual open house to get a sneak peek of new and current products available this season at Sphinx Date Company in Scottsdale March 23 from 3 to 7 p.m. Many local food crafters will be on hand to offer samples of their products including chile-infused chocolate from Carolina’s Chocolate and local honey from Miss Bee Haven Farm. Mark Lewis of Chmachyakyakya will present native foods education as well as samples of tepary beans, cholla buds, mesquite flour and prickly pear. Guests can also enjoy Sphinx signature date shakes, date salsa and dates themselves, along with local wines.

Bring the whole family to the Unicorn Cupcake Boutique for a free, fun-filled Princess Day event on Saturday, March 23, from 11 a.m. to noon. Children will get to meet Princess Merida from the movie “Brave,” listen to an exciting story, take photos and get a signed autograph. Little girls are welcome to come dressed in their favorite princess or party dress. Advanced registration is required. Call ahead to make a reservation: 602.601.2911.

March 25 is International Waffle Day. Here’s how we’re celebrating: with the Banana Nut Bread Belgian Waffle (pictured) from The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, A Destination Hotel. This decadent dessert-for-breakfast features caramelized bananas, Devonshire cream and the heartiness of banana nut bread.

On Saturday, March 23, savor a five-course meal complete with complementing brews and wine pairings at The Saturday Showdown: Beer vs. Wine. ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho has teamed up with local favorite Huss Brewing Co. and Austin Hope Family Wines to create a dining experience that beer and wine aficionados will surely love. Following each course, a secret ballot vote will be held to determine the ultimate winner in the beer versus wine showdown. The event kicks off at 4 p.m. and is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made at 480.376.2600. 

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