How to Make Glögg, Scandinavian Mulled Wine

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
Half of a mug is one full serving. May your days be merry and bright, indeed.

I'm all set for chilly weather. Granted, given that I live in Phoenix, I probably shouldn't keep my hopes up. But the mild climate doesn't keep me from enjoying one of my favorite winter beverages, mulled wine.

There's something about a steaming pot of mulled wine that's just a little bit more festive than most other holiday drinks. The communal nature of the drink makes gathering around a roaring fire an especially convivial event.


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Outback Tonight

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Luster Kaboom
Chow Bella took a bite out of the holidays earlier this month with our annual "Eating Christmas" event at Crescent Ballroom. No worries if you missed it -- catch the essays here through the holiday season.

My grandma is tired, she explains, and this Christmas it's going to be real easy: We're going out for Christmas Eve dinner.

My grandma announces this on Thanksgiving. We've cleared the table, dishes are soaking in the sink, and everyone is picking at their slices of pie. This is the traditional time for proclamations in my family. "No presents this year except for the kids," someone always says, but it never goes down, so I take this "out on Christmas Eve" thing as an empty threat. As the night creeps closer it becomes clear that grandma is not kidding. I hold out hope that someone is going to jerk the wheel, but no: We're going to Outback Steakhouse.

I don't wanna besmirch the place too much -- there are worse chain restaurants, and I'm not above the perverse charms of the "bloomin' onion" -- but the last place I want to spend Christmas Eve is Outback Steakhouse. I try reasoning. How bad could it be?
It is very bad.


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Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to Open on The Row in Downtown Chandler

Categories: News

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RSP Architects
If you've lived in the South or spend a decent amount of time there, you might already know the name Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. But for those who've never heard of the 19-location Texas-based chain of movie theaters, know that Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas has been combining movies, booze, and food since long before it was trendy.

Founded as a single-screen movie theater in Austin in 1997, the company has opened locations throughout the country. Now the Alamo is coming to Arizona -- specifically to downtown Chandler as the lead tenant for the city's new entertainment district.

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Diego Pops Brings Brussels Sprouts Nachos and Late-Night Tacos to Old Town Scottsdale

Categories: First Taste

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Lauren Saria
Brussels Sprouts Nachos
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

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Lauren Saria
Diego Pops in Scottsdale
Restaurant: Diego Pops
Location: 4338 N. Scottsdale Rd
Open: About a month
Eats: Mexican
Price: $10-$15/person

It's been about a month since Diego Pops opened quietly in the former home of Mexican pottery store off Scottsdale Road. The new dining spot is the second concept to come from the folk behind the popular health food restaurant mini-chain, Original ChopShop Co., and offers a modern Mexican-inspired menu of tacos, salads, appetizers, and sides.

You won't head here for the truest representation of Mexican cuisine, but between the late-night hours and retro-chic design Diego Pops should appeal perfectly to the Old Town Scottsdale dining crowd.

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12 Christmas Dining Options in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Seasonal

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ZuZu

Don't feel like cooking Christmas dinner this year? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

Here are some of the top Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner specials at restaurants around the Valley.

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5 Places to Pick Up A Last Minute Christmas Dessert in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Seasonal

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Tammie Coe Cakes and MJ Bread/Facebook
Tammie Coe Christmas Cookies
At the beginning of the holiday season you swore that this year you wouldn't just show up with another plate of grocery store cookies on Christmas Day. But as the date creeps closer and closer, you realize there are still presents to be bought (and wrapped), decorations to be hung, and, oh, about a million other tasks that will keep your baking dreams from becoming a reality.

Well, don't fret. There's still time for your dessert table to shine. Whether you're searching for a beautiful Bouche de Noel or a batch of special holiday cookies, we've got a few last minute options.

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Viniq Shimmery Liqueur: for Your Glittered Cocktail Needs

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JK Grence
Before shaking the bottle, and after. Say it with me now: Oooh, aaah!

The Guilty Pleasure: Viniq Shimmery Liqueur.
Where to Get It: Well-stocked liquor stores and Fry's.
Price: $19.
What it Really Costs: The bottle is 15 inches! Where the hell am I going to put this thing?

It's hard for new products in the spirits category to stand out. This isn't much of a surprise, given that the contents of a liquor store are literally thousands of varieties of the exact same product. So, spirits makers will resort to any number of gimmicks to make their bottle that much more eye-catching and therefore get ordered in a bar or taken home for enjoyment as both beverage and an ersatz objet d'art.

Some of the more noteworthy ones include Hpnotiq, with a cerulean hue not usually seen outside of waters in the Caribbean Sea, and Galliano, with its nearly 18-inch bottle that can't be missed, but also can't be put on quite a few shelves.

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Tumi Fine Peruvian Cuisine in Chandler Will Re-Open in New Location This Friday

Categories: News

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Lauren Saria
Ceviche at Tumi Fine Peruvian Cuisine in Chandler.
After two years in a Chandler strip mall near the intersection of Warner and Alma School roads, Tumi Fine Peruvian Cuisine is relocating to different digs. During the short transition, the restaurant's original location is closed.

Since opening in 2012, the Peruvian restaurant owned by chef Oscar Graham has become a destination for those seeking dishes such as fresh ceviche and mariscos al aji amarillo, a colorful plate of fish, octopus, shrimp, squid, and scallops with peas and red peppers in a yellow chile sauce.

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Zest for Life

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Luster Kaboom
Chow Bella took a bite out of the holidays earlier this month with our annual "Eating Christmas" event at Crescent Ballroom. No worries if you missed it -- catch the essays here through the holiday season.

Being a type-A psycho, I approach Christmas the same way a warlord might hope to vanquish an enemy: swiftly, emotionless, and with admirable precision.

Each winter I set out to conquer the holidays, checking items off lists that I have no intention of checking twice, attending an obscene number of parties, and almost always committing to one recipe whose ingredients list, steps, and photo-free instructions would make mere mortals quiver.

It's sort of like a game. Actually, it's sort of like Game of Thrones. Blood and tears will be shed. Yelling and betrayal are inevitable. And don't you dare make Khaleesi get the dragons. Though, if we're being practical, they might prove handy when it comes to the baking part.

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Phoenix Public Market Cafe Hosts Coffee Cocktail Showdown This Sunday

Categories: Grind

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JK Grence
If you like a lil' sumpin' in your coffee, you'll love this event.

This Sunday, some of Phoenix's finest baristas and bartenders will compete to see who can create the Valley's best coffee cocktail.

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