Julie Moreno of Jewel's Bakery & Cafe: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

Lauren Saria
Julie Moreno of Jewel's Bakery & Cafe
Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fifth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one through a quick Pie.Q. quiz to test their baking prowess.

Today: Julie Moreno of Jewel's Bakery & Cafe

"That's my motto, 'It better be as good or better,'" Julie Moreno says of her approach to baking gluten-free sweets. And thankfully for all those who can't eat gluten, she really means it. Moreno's cucakes, macarons, and more are so good you'd never known there's anything missing.

It's been almost a year since the mother and former homebaker opened Jewel's Bakery & Café in Arcadia and during that time Moreno says she's established a strong following of people who love the sweet and savory eats coming out of her scratch kitchen. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch, and brunch, Jewel's now offers grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, pre-made gluten-free baking mixes, as well as monthly classes in gluten-free cooking. The Pie Social veteran hasn't yet decided what she'll be baking for this year's competition, but you can rest-assured it will gluten-free.

More »

Angry Crab Shack and BBQ in Phoenix Brings Southern-Style Surf 'n' Turf to Arcadia

Categories: First Taste

Lauren Saria
Angry Crab Shack's Pit Master Platter
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).

Lauren Saria
Inside Angry Crab in Phoenix
Restaurant: Angry Crab Shack and BBQ
Location: 2808 E. Indian School Road
Open: Just over a week
Eats: Seafood, BBQ
Price: $25+ per person

We can't be the only Central Phoenix residents who've bemoaned the drive to Angry Crab Shack in Mesa. That's not to say the food isn't worth it, but we've just always wished it were just a little closer to the central part of the Valley. After all, less driving means more time crab-eating, right?

Well, as of last week, all our seafood prayers have been answered. The restaurant opened a second location on the northwest corner of Indian School Road and 28th Street in Arcadia. And though we're sure you thought it wasn't possible, the second location may have actually improved upon the concept of its predecessor. Because what more could you want with your bag of boiled crab than a side of ribs and tender brisket? Nothing. That's what else.

More »

3 Best Things to Eat and Drink This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Weekend Eats

Barrio Queen Tequileria/Facebook
Dia de los Muertos Celebration
Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2

This weekend Barrio Queen Tequileria in Old Town Scottsdale will be offering a variety of dining and drinking specials in honor of Dia de Los Muertos. The restaurant and bar will have deals such as $10 Hibiscus Margaritas and $8 Cranberry Fall Sangria, as well as half off Espolon, KAH, and other skeleton themed tequilas and Day of the Dead Beer. For food, look forward to $6 Chorizo Queso Fundido, $22 Roasted Scallops, $20 Pollo Mole Negro, and $8 Pan Dulce. The festivities will also include face painting and sugar skull making for kids from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (both days) and live music and dancing from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Guests are also invited to bring photos of their loved ones to place on a traditional altar to honor the dead.

More »

Joshua Nelson of Jobot Coffee: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

Heather Hoch
Joshua Nelson will be competing for the first time at this year's Pie Social.
Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fifth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one through a quick Pie.Q. quiz to test their baking prowess.

Today: Joshua Nelson of Jobot Coffee

This might be Joshua Nelson's first time throwing down at Pie Social, but as a two-time Chile Pepper Festival champion, he knows how to compete. His strategy this year is to go for something unusual, but familiar in his pie recipe. That way people will feel comfortable trying it, but will still experience something new.

Although Jobot is Nelson's first spot baking in Phoenix, he's worked in many kitchens in Portland, Oregon and has a degree in pastry. Having been with the coffee shop and restaurant for about three of the four years Jobot has been open, he's ready to represent the downtown Phoenix shop in the celebrity baking challenge. He says he has no expectations for the event right now, but you can expect something new and different from his pies, which he says have yet to have a bad review from anyone who has tried them.

More »

Tickets to the Arizona Wine Growers Festival at The Farm Are on Sale Now

Categories: Events

Courtesy of the Arizona Wine Growers Festival at The Farm
Tickets for the 6th annual event are on sale now.
Whether your a hardcore wine aficionado or just beginning to foster a love of the stuff, there should be plenty to learn and taste at the 6th annual Arizona Wine Growers Festival. The event will be held at The Farm at South Mountain and will offer educational seminars, live music, a picnic lunch, and of course, wine tastings.

More »

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill in Mesa Has Closed, Is Moving to North Phoenix Soon

Ted Roundy
Toby Keith's at Mesa Riverview has closed.
East Valley residents with a love for country music and southern eats will have quite a drive to get their fix now that Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill has closed at Mesa Riverview.

The restaurant and bar is moving all the way up to North Phoenix, specifically to the High Street dining/retail/residential complex at 5310 East High Street. An official opening date for the new location has yet to be announced, but in the meantime the Toby Keith's location in Peoria remains open.

More »

Petite Maison's Halloween Offal Menu Is Back -- Plus a Last Hurrah Dinner

Categories: Events

Lauren Saria
Lamb Tongue Pastrami from last year's Halloween Offal Dinner at Petite Maison.
Whether we like it or not, in a few weeks Petite Maison will be gone for good. As we told you earlier this month, the restaurant has been sold to new owners who will change the name and concept.

The good news is that you have a few chances to wine and dine with Petite Maison's chef James Porter and wife/co-owner Wendy Porter before the two begin a new chapter. This weekend, the Porters will offer Petite Maison's annual Halloween Offal Menu and next week they'll host a final bash before saying adieu.

More »

Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar in Gilbert Is Now Open; Here's the Menu

Categories: Now Open

Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar/Facebook
Hey, Gilbert! You got your own Zinburger now.
If we had to pick a favorite Fox Restaurant Concept, it might very well be Zinburger that takes the prize. The five-restaurant chain hits the nail on the head with reliably friendly service and a menu of modern burger creations always made with certified Angus Beef -- or better.

So that's why we're saying congrats, Gilbert! You're the latest 'burb to get your very own Zinburger. As of earlier this week the restaurant's location at Heritage Marketplace in downtown Gilbert is open for business.

More »

But First, Dessert: Casa Filipina Is Great with Sweets and the Savory Side Is Worth Exploring

Categories: Cafe Review

Jackie Mercandetti
Casa Filipina delivers excellent sweets, but it's worth your while to explore the restaurant's savory side, too.
I've been eating it my whole life. I know the truth. Filipino food isn't sexy.

There's little glamor in a reddish-brown stew of bitter vegetables in garlicky shrimp paste sauce or a whole fried fish that stares at you unblinkingly as you separate bits of meat from its skeleton. This food doesn't make you want to take out your phone and snap a photo, and for first-time diners, it doesn't exactly make you want to dig in.

I believe that's at least part of the reason Filipino fare has yet to break into the mainstream while many other Asian cuisines have managed to find a place in the regular eating rotations of American diners.

More »

Avery Pump[KY]n Is the Pumpkin Beer That Will Get You Drunk the Quickest

Beer: Pump[KY]n
Brewery: Avery Brewing Co.
Style: Imperial Porter
ABV: 17 percent

We are now in the thick of pumpkin-beer season. Beer labels, like leaves on trees, have shifted to shades of brown, black and orange. Pie spices and pumpkin puns can be found all over the place, and everyone wants to know: which of these gourd-based brews is the absolute gourdiest?

For myriad reasons that have to do with beer styles, availability and good old-fashioned personal taste, I can't tell you which pumpkin beer is best. I can, however, tell you which one will get you drunk the quickest: Avery Pump[KY]n.

More »