Twenty Highland Tavern: Happy Hour Report Card

Hayden Harrison
The green chili beer cheese dip cost $8.

The Spot: 20 Highland Tavern
4701 N. 20th St. Phoenix

The Hours: Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. daily.

See also:FEZ in Phoenix: Happy Hour Report Card

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Shelley's Specialty Desserts: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

Josh Chesler
Shelley Au is a celebrity entrant for the 2014 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: Shelley Au of Shelley's Specialty Desserts

Shelley Au started baking at a very young age. Not because she had a particular passion for it, but because it provided heat.

"I've been baking ever since I can remember," Au says. "I grew up in Minnesota, so I always hung out wherever the warm spot was, and the oven was always warm."

It's not that Au didn't like baking, but it was her grandmother who really started her down the path of making desserts for a living.

"When I was pretty young, I would help my grandma with the pie crust. I think it was like (Tom Sawyer) except I was making a pie crust instead of painting a fence. I think that was her master plan," Au says.

These days, Au runs Shelley's Specialty Desserts in Glendale, where she makes everything from pies to cookies to sugar art from fresh local ingredients.

"We use as many local fruits as possible. For instance, we get these peaches that are picked on Tuesday, and I drive an hour to get them on Wednesday morning. We don't compromise on ingredients, people can tell the difference."

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The Mission @ Minder Binder Brings Tempe History to Life -- But the Food's Not So Good

Lauren Saria
The classic cheeseburger from The Mission @ Minder Binder
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
The Mission @ Minder Binder
Restaurant: The Mission @ Minder Binder
Location: 715 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe
Open: Less than a week
Eats: Burgers, pizza
Price: $15+ a person

Since closing in the mid-2000s, the big red barn on the northeast corner of University and McClintock Drive in Tempe has sat empty. But for 30 years before that, the red barn housed one of Tempe's most loved bars and music venues, Minder Binders. It originally opened in 1972, bringing the raucous college crowd five bars, an outdoor volleyball pit, and plenty of booze.

As of last week, Minder Binders is back in a new form. Thanks to a new group of owners the barn has been remodeled -- extensively -- and is now home to a restaurant and drinking establishment dubbed The Mission @ Minder Binder.

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

Categories: Weekend Eats

Yasser Alghofily/Flickr
On Friday people will try to set a record for the most participants in an apple-crunching event in downtown Phoenix.
Phoenix Food Day
Friday, October 24

Tomorrow you can head to Ceasar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix to help celebrate healthy, sustainable, and affordable food at Phoenix Food Day. The free event will bring 50 exhibitors representing restaurants and local food groups to offer attendees food samples, nutrition information, gardening tips, and other activities. Exhibitors include Arizona Microgreens, Crooked Sky Farms, Nature's Sweetness, Slow Food Phoenix, and Up One Dessert Company. This year's event will also be the debut of the Food Day Café where you'll be able to see cooking demonstrations from expert chefs and nutritionists. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information visit the Phoenix Food Day website.

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GRAZ Kitchen Fresh Is Now Open in Chandler; Here's the Menu

Categories: Now Open

GRAZ Kitchen Fresh/Facebook
Chandler-ites looking for a breakfast and lunch destination can add a new restaurant and juice bar to their list of options. GRAZ Kitchen Fresh, located at 1005 S. Arizona Avenue in the San Tan Gateway Center, opened earlier this month and is serving a menu of salads, sandwiches, and juices.

Breakfast options include steel cut oatmeal and sandwiches such as the Fly Me to The Moon, made with turkey sausage, eggs, and Vermont white cheddar. For lunch you can head to the new spot for options such as The Flying Pig, which features turkey breast, bacon, lettuce, herb spread, and harvarti cheese.

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Kelly Fletcher's The Revival Revamps Menu from New American to Mexican

Categories: News

Lauren Saria
Chef Kelly Fletcher of The Revival
Earlier this summer, Tempe said goodbye to long-standing Mexican restaurant Mucho Gusto to make room for a new concept from well-known local chef Kelly Fletcher. After closing down for a month of renovations, the restaurant re-opened as The Revival, a neighborhood spot with an eclectic menu of internationally inspired fare.

Now, less than four months later, the chef has pivoted his plan for The Revival -- and he's going in a direction that might feel familiar to Mucho Gusto fans. As of this week, The Revival will serve lunch and dinner menus of Mexican fare.

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10 Cocktail Books You Should Read Right Now

Categories: Hooch, Top Lists

Learn the ways of craft cocktails, new and old, with these ten books.
Diving into the wild world of craft cocktails and mixology head first is one way to start learning more about them. You can also take one of a few different mixology classes here in town. However, for you bookworms out there, there's a ton of great reads for beginners and experienced cocktail enthusiasts. Whether you're a history buff or an aspiring bartender, there's something on this list for you to get good and booze nerdy over.

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Omei Eaglerider of Fabulous Food Catering: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

Lauren Saria
Faabulous Food Catering's pastry chef, Omei Eaglerider.
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: Omei Eaglerider of Fabulous Food Catering

"I am an equal opportunity dessert person," Omei Eaglerider says when asked if her favorite sweet is pie. Since 2001 the pastry chef and art school grad has been working with Fabulous Food Catering, a custom fine dining catering company here in the Valley. As pastry chef for the company, Eaglerider gets to craft one-of-a-kind desert menus for clients to fit specific themes -- like an "all white" dessert menu. Following a career in special effects and design, the chef -- whose first name means "one who loves" in the language spoken by the Blackfoot tribe of Native Americans -- decided to go back to culinary school. Now she says she uses her experience to craft "tasty, edible art."

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5 Tips from Chef Mel Mecinas on Growing Restaurant-Quality Produce

Categories: Now Growing

Mel Mecinas
Maya's Farm: Plenty of shade fo leafy greens

If you hear "pumpkin spice" and think "harvest," chances are you've been growing some veggies for at least a season or two. If you're looking to take your harvest to the next level, you're in the right place. We talked to Chef Mel Mecinas of Talavera at Scottsdale's Four Seasons about how to improve your starter garden and harvest restaurant quality produce, like he does.

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Coca-Cola's Freestyle Machine Lets You Customize Your Drink in Amazing Ways

JK Grence
Where the magic happens.

The Guilty Pleasure: A new app for Coca-Cola Freestyle soda machines
Where to Get It: A handful of Freestyle machines, at least for now.
Price: A couple of bucks, give or take. Depends on the restaurant.
What it Really Costs: A potential sharp uptake in high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetener.

By now, you may be familiar with The Coca-Cola Company's next-generation soda machine, Coca-Cola Freestyle. If you haven't seen one yet, I think they're worth seeking out just for the gee-whiz factor.

You use a touch screen on the machine to select what kind of beverage you want (of 26 different base varieties, including Sprite, Dr Pepper, and of course several versions of Coke), then add optional flavorings (orange Sprite? Sure! Raspberry Coca-Cola Zero? It's mighty fine!). Between the 26 sodas and all of the flavor variations, there's about 150 different drinks available from one soda machine.

But for some, yours truly included, somehow even that isn't quite enough.

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