Bake Like Wes Anderson's Mendl's Bakery: A Tutorial

Categories: Chow Bella

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Courtesy of Fox Searchlight.
Learn how to bake just like Wes Anderson would.
Oh Wes Anderson, you've won our hearts once again by teaching us how to recreate Mendl's courtesan au chocolate, a fictional filled pastry that takes center stage in his new movie The Grand Budapest Hotel. With kitschy designs, muted pastels, and chocolate custard filling, the pastry is as fun to look at as it is to eat. Plus, a Wes Anderson baking tutorial is exactly as adorable as it sounds.

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Soft Openings Are Out of Control

Categories: Chow Bella, Saria

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dlofink/Flickr
"Open" or "soft open"?
Once upon a time in a land without Yelp and Twitter, restaurants fell into one of two categories: open or closed. But these days, the situation has become decidedly less black and white. In recent months, I've dined at a number of Valley restaurants that have decided to open their doors for business -- but on special terms. They say they're "soft open," a phrase that used to refer to a business opening quietly to do test runs before an official grand opening date.

In theory, it's a great idea, for both the business owner and the customer. But lately things have gotten out of hand and the soft opening offenses I've seen run the gamut from slightly annoying to "Seriously? WTF."


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Arizona Aloha Festival 2014: Shaved Ice and Spam Musubi

Categories: Chow Bella, Events

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Natalie Miranda
Hawaiian shaved ice.
This weekend Tempe Beach Park is filled with food, music, dancing and jewelry celebrating the cultures of the Pacific Islands at the Arizona Aloha Festival.

Marking its 20th anniversary, there was no shortage of good food, refreshing sweets and long lines at the event Saturday. It continues today, Sunday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Sweet Republic's Sky Harbor Airport Location Opens Today with 12 Flavors

Categories: Chow Bella

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Nikki Buchannan
Get your toffee banofi sundae before you take off.
There's now hope at the end of the security check line for folks flying out of Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor. Beginning at 8 a.m. today, Sweet Republic airport outpost will be slinging scoops, cups, cones, and shakes for weary travelers. If you're anywhere near Gate B5, you're going to want to get your buns over to Sweet Republic to try one (or all) of its eight ice cream and four sorbet flavors.

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5 Things to Order at Tortas Paquime That Aren't Tortas

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
Paquitostitos from Tortas Paquime

The place to get your torta fix undoubtedly is Tortas Paquime -- near 24th Street and McDowell. The restaurant's inexpensive Mexican sandwiches fill every need when hunger strikes. But did you know that there are other gems on the menu besides tortas?

Just when you thought this place couldn't get any better, it does. Here are five things to try at Tortas Paquime that aren't tortas.

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10 Best Things I Ate in February

Categories: Chow Bella

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Lauren Saria
Squid Salad
Times flies when you're eating great food, and that was definitely the case last month, which means it's time to look back on the very best things I ate in February. The list includes everything from a sweet treat at one of Chow Bella's new favorite bakeries to indulgent dishes at one of the city's best-loved restaurants.

I hope you get to try some of it for yourself soon.

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Glazed Donut Bistro in L.A. -- Doughnuts and Fried Chicken, Together at Last

Categories: Chow Bella

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Courtesy of Glazed Donut Bistro
This beignet has been filled with fried chicken and all is right with the world.
Los Angeles might have just broken the Internet with its newest West Hollywood doughnut shop called Glazed Donut Bistro. Lovers of sweet and savory treats are going absolutely crazy over the announcement, which as of Thursday crashed the new spot's website when the bandwidth limit was exceeded.

Understandably, when you cram a chunk of fried chicken into a beignet, people are going to take note. Considering that the menu features three other savory doughnuts and nearly 30 sweet varieties, the commotion isn't going to stop at that one doughnut.

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$5 Lunch at George and Dragon Pub in Central Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
George and Dragon advertises its $5 lunch specials.

At Chow Bella we go crazy for $10 lunches, so you can only imagine the excitement we felt when the sign outside George and Dragon English Restaurant and Pub advertised a $5 lunch. Once the happy feelings wore off, a bit of skepticism crept in, because how good can a $5 lunch really be? We had to check it out.

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SMILE Biscotti Increases Autism Awareness and Gives One Young Man a Job

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
Matt Resnik, 22, of SMILE Biscotti stands back and counts his biscotti dough mixes.
One family from Paradise Valley is using the power of food not only to operate a biscotti business with their son, who is autistic, but also to represent hope for other families who have children with autism.

Business is so good that you'll be able to buy SMILES Biscotti at the Phoenix location of Changing Hands Bookstore, set to open this spring, says Gayle Shanks, the bookstore's co-owner.

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$10 Lunch at Gordas Baja Taco in Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
The fish, pollo and gobernador tacos at Gordas Baja Taco in Phoenix.
Gordas Baja Taco meets the most important criteria of Baja-style Mexican food: Seafood is heavily present on their menu, and it's fresh without being overcooked.

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