5 Favorite Dishes from Check, Please! Arizona Last Weekend in Downtown Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Jenny Zink
Betty's Nosh served angry shrimp stuffed mushrooms.
The third annual Check, Please! Arizona (co-sponsored by New Times) was a crowded success, with shade, trash cans, and seats at a premium. What wasn't hard to find was good food. We had trouble narrowing it to our five favorites, but that's what we've done here.

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7 Tips for Taking Better Food Photos

Categories: Chow Bella

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Evie Carpenter
The directional light in this photo leads the viewer's eye right to the octopus.
Let's all be honest for a second. It's not just technology-obsessed millennials who photograph their food anymore. We all live in the age of food porn. At some point or another, we've all been guilty of patiently fighting off hunger as we try to get that perfect snapshot of our lunch.

But whether you're simply sending the pic to your friend or posting it online for all of the Internet to see, there's no reason why that food photo shouldn't look the best that it can. And that's doesn't mean you need fancy, expensive camera. All of the example photos were taken with an iPhone, so grab whatever camera you have, take notes, and good luck choosing just one frame to share.


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Huevos Rancheros: The Traditional, Sometimes Underplayed Mexican Dish

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
A very loaded huevos rancheros plate from La Barquita.

There's nothing better than waking up to a hearty Mexican breakfast. Questions often arise as to what the traditional Mexican breakfast is. Some say it's menudo, for some it's chilaquiles, and still others will argue huevos rancheros.

We're fans of them all, but huevos rancheros seems to get drowned out by the other more popular items.


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8 Asian Restaurants in Metro Phoenix You've Probably Never Tried -- But Should

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Lauren Saria
Taiwan Food Express at Mekong Plaza serves affordable Taiwanese eats.
So you've got a craving for Asian food, but you're sick of the places that fill your usual rotation. Perhaps it's so bad that your go-to spots know your takeout order by heart.

Well, we've got the solution. Here are eight places for Asian eats that you might not have tried before. Whether you're looking to try a new international cuisine, or just want to break out of your dining rut, give these places a try and you will be rewarded.

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What's Fresh at the Uptown Farmers Market in Phoenix

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Zaida Dedolph
The Uptown Market has the perfect balance of Farmers Market vendors.

Uptown Farmers Market, the newest addition to the Phoenix's Farmers Market scene, just might be our new favorite spot for local produce. The Uptown market strikes a perfect balance of fruits, veggies, and local food products, with way less of the fluffy stuff (read as: arts and crafts, random inedible things).

Here are just a few of the highlights.

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El Exquisito Hot Dogs in Phoenix: Tire Shop by Day, Hot Dog Stand by Night

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
One loaded hot dog from El Exquisito.

It's always a good time for a hot dog. Especially if it's wrapped in bacon, topped with freshly grilled onions and more. Some call them Sonoran dogs, some call them street hot dogs. Either way, we love it when we happen upon a hot dog stand and it turns out to be an immediate favorite.

On the northwest corner of 27th Avenue and Camelback, behind the PLS Check Cashers, there's a yellow tent in a tire shop parking lot that says "El Exquisito Hot Dogs." By day it's simply a tent where cars get parked, but at night it's much different.

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Alexis Schulze of Nekter Juice on How to Sneak More Nutrients Into Your Food

Categories: Chow Bella

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Zaida Dedolph
Alexis Schulze of Nekter Juice has a few tricks up her sleeve for how to sneak more veggies into your diet.

Alexis Schulze knows a thing or two about how to trick people into eating their veggies. The Arizona native owns Nekter Juice, a California and metro Phoenix based chain that specializes in making healthy food taste like a treat. She's also a mother of two boys and was a teacher before starting her business - so she knows how fickle young palates can be.

"I think the reason why juicing is so prevalent is you're putting {healthy nutrients} in a vessel that tastes good," she says. But Schulze knows that no one wants to live off juice alone. We caught up with her to get some tips on how to make all the foods your family loves, but healthier.


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4 Veggie Dishes to Try at Salty Sow in Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Zaida Dedolph
The Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves at Salty Sow will not disappoint.

If you're in the market for a restaurant that will appeal to carnivores and herbivores alike, look no further than Salty Sow in Phoenix. The self-described "American Gastropub" specializes in simple but well-executed comfort food, and their vegetable dishes are no exception.

Whether you ascribe to a plant-based diet or you're just looking to add a little nutritional value to your meat-and-potatoes, Salty Sow will leave your mouth happy and your belly full.

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Where to Find Bee Pollen in Metro Phoenix, and What It Does (And Bees Are Magic)

Categories: Chow Bella

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Bee Pollen Hub / Flickr
These gold nuggets are the product of Honeybee Magic.

Don't be surprised if you see it popping up on local menus: Bee Pollen is this season's trending superfood. Here's what you need to know about it.

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Danzeisen Dairy Brings Single-Source Milk to Metro Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
An alfalfa-nosed Holstein cow at Danzeisen Dairy.
I write a lot about coffee, but I feel like I've done Chow Bella readers a disservice. My tendency has been to focus on the terroir of coffee, on who produced it, on how it got to the cup in front of me. But how often have I asked (or answered) those same questions about milk? Its flavor attributes are every bit as dynamic as those of coffee, and its quality is equally - or maybe even more dependent- upon production methods, regional variations, and processing.

Also! Cattle is one of the "Five C's" of Arizona; Coffee, sadly, is not. So really, it's about time I gave a little love to coffee's favorite friend, milk. Which is easy to do, considering that metro Phoenix alone has a fantastic array of local dairy options to examine.

I started out on my quest by visiting Danzeisen Dairy in Laveen to see what makes their milk so special. Warning to the tenderhearted: This post is accompanied by many photographs of very adorable cows. Baby ones, even.

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