Dessert First at Pizzeria Bianco in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Dessert First

Jenny Zink
Mesquite cake.
Decisions, decisions. The waitress stood there, smiling politely. It's hard enough to choose an entree at the world-famous Pizzeria Bianco -- but dessert? I pondered the decision way too long. The options: Flourless chocolate cake (waitress recommended), the seasonal dessert of mesquite cake, or grapefruit curd. I couldn't make up my mind so I did what any self-respecting dessert writer would do. I ordered two out of the three.

I had to show some kind of restraint.

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Jorge's Chicken and Waffles in Tempe Has a Chicken and Waffle Cone -- and It's Not Bad

Categories: First Taste

Lauren Saria
Chicken and waffles from Jorge's Chicken and Waffles in Tempe
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 Jorge's Chicken and Waffles
Restaurant: Jorge's Chicken and Waffles
Location: 1212 E. Apache Blvd, Tempe
Open: About a month
Eats: Chicken & waffles, Mexican
Price: $15 and under/person

Jorge's Chicken and Waffles. Even the name is intriguing. And when you look at the menu -- a diverse assortment of dishes that includes fried chicken, Belgian waffles, and carne asada tacos -- this new Tempe restaurant is at least worth a try.

Located next-door to Curry Corner, the 3,200-square-foot Jorge's Chicken and Waffles offers a large dining room and a side patio with views of busy Apache Boulevard, as well as a full bar. We stopped by for an early Friday dinner, and enjoyed a quiet meal in a mostly empty restaurant.

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9 Metro Phoenix Restaurants Scored a "D" from the County Health Department in February

Categories: News

Evie Carpenter
One downtown Phoenix dining spot failed to pass a county health inspection this month.
We're sad to say there were quite a few restaurants that didn't pass their county health inspections this month. Sure, the majority of restaurants scored an "A" on their inspections, but these nine spots had some trouble. And while some of the violations may not sound so offensive, many of the mistakes that landed restaurants on this list are considered priority violations, or ones that "directly contributes to increasing the risk of foodborne illness or injury."

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Phoenix Chef Glenn Humphrey of Arizona Culinary Institute Has Died

Categories: News

Thumbnail image for ChefHumphrey_ArizonaCulinaryInstitute.jpg
Courtesy of Arizona Culinary Institute
Chef Glenn Humphrey
Phoenix chef Glenn Humphrey, who most recently worked as Placement Director at Arizona Culinary Institute, died earlier this month. The chef's passing means the loss of a mentor and friend to countless Arizona chefs, who Humphrey influenced during his career as an educator in the state.

Humphrey taught at culinary schools in the Valley for more than twenty years -- first at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute from 1993 to 2001, and later at Arizona Culinary Institute from 2001 to 2015.

He was also an active member of the Chefs Association of Arizona, as well as the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (CCAP). His many connections within the culinary field helped him achieve near-95 percent job placement rate for the graduating chefs at Arizona Culinary Institute.

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February Restaurant Openings and Closings in Metro Phoenix

Lauren Saria
Tacos from the newly opened Cafe Tranquilo at The Clarendon Hotel
This month saw a whole slew of restaurant openings including some highly anticipated concepts from local restaurateurs Peter Kasperski and German Osio. February also introduced some new restaurants in familiar spaces -- Cafe Tranquilo took over the space formerly occupied by Gallo Blanco the old Bungalow Bar and Grill in Scottsdale debuted as a new Long Island-themed restaurant called The Montauk.

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

Categories: Weekend Eats

Evie Carpenter
Old Town Scottsdale's Saturday morning farmers market
Edible Education Series
Saturday, February 28

Springtime means the return of the Edible Education series at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market and this weekend the free lesson will be taught buy Lynne Sczruba of Monarch Garden Box. From 10 to 11 a.m. at the at the Co-Liverys' Carriage House Sczruba will teach a class called Cultivate: Growing and Cooking with Fresh Herbs and Edible Flowers. The series runs every Saturday morning through May 9, with future classes taught by Natalie Morris, Sweet Republic's Helen Yung, chef Claudio Urciuoli, Chrysa Robertson of Rancho Pinot, and mixologist Kim Haasarud. You can view a complete schedule of Edible Education classes on the La Bella Terre website.

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Jerk Hut Jamaican Grille vs. Hot Pot Caribbean Cuisine: Jamaican Jerk Battle

Kristy Westgard
Jerk Hut's jerk chicken.
Jamaican food is hard to come by in the Valley, and whipping up an authentic Jerk Chicken dish at home can be darn near impossible. In any case, you do not "whip up" a dish that is known for having a laundry list of ingredients and should ideally be marinated days in advance.

When the craving hit for a comforting plate of Caribbean fare, we decided to check out these two spots to see who takes the prize for jerk chicken with all the fixins'.

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America Loves Bacon Festival to Hit Rawhide Western Town This Saturday

Categories: Events

Kjetil Ree/Flickr
How much do you love bacon?
We've got a pretty simple question to ask: How much do you love bacon? If your answer is something along the lines of, "A whole hell of a lot," then you might want to clear your plans for this weekend.

That's because this Saturday, the America Loves Bacon Festival will take over Rawhide Western Town. The traveling bacon-focused event will feature celebrity chefs, live music, bars -- and crazy-stupid amounts of cured pig products.

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Counter Intuitive in Scottsdale: Painkillers and Bacon Beignets at Peter Kasperski's Latest (Rotating) Concept

Categories: First Taste, Hooch

Lauren Saria
Micah Olson makes a New Orleans-inspiried cocktail at Counter Intuitive in Scottsdale.
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).

This one, by the way, is more of a First Sip.

Day-drinking be damned. Weekday drinking, too -- or so the story goes for the highly-anticipated cocktail concept from Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz World Wine Bar owner Peter Kasperski, which is now open to the public as Counter Intuitive. Only awake from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., the menu features cocktails from top-shelf Valley talents Micah Olsen and Jason Asher and will change themes every few months. First up: Infused bourbons and a Bourbon Street-infused menu with a back story: a New Orleans estate sale for the deceased, sadly fictitious Bartholomew Chesterfield Ignatius Sugarman.

We went to pay our condolences.

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Arizona Citrus Under Quarantine -- Public Asked Not to Move Fruit, Trees, and Trimmings

Categories: News

USDA ARS Image Gallery
Adult Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (2-3 millimeters long) on a young citrus leaf
The tiny bug in the photo above, called Asian citrus psyllid, could threaten the health of Arizona's $37 million citrus industry. The aphid-like insect, which can be smaller than the tip of a ballpoint pen, can carry citrus greening disease, which is fatal to citrus trees and has already devastated groves and wiped out farmers in Florida.

For now, only the bug (but not the disease) has been found in Arizona. And to prevent the spread of the bug, the Arizona Department of Agriculture has put a quarantine on citrus from some parts of the state. Last week, a small part of Gila Bend became the first part of Maricopa County to be placed under quarantine.

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