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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5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in February

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Lauren Saria
Crab swimming in melted butter at Little Cleo's in Phoenix
This month's best bites can be found all over town -- literally so, in the case of the smoothie from one of my new favorite food trucks, which travels to Tempe, Phoenix, and Chandler in any given week. Many of the memorable bites come from places I just recently discovered, proving that there's always room for a new favorite restaurant in your life. Assuming that you make an effort to look.

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

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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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7 Products We Really Want After the Arizona Cocktail Week Artisanal Spirit and Cocktail Market

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Lauren Saria
Suerte Tequila will launch in Arizona next week.
This year's Arizona Cocktail Week Artisanal Spirit and Cocktail Market was a rowdy daytime affair (we blame the free Smirnoff Ice vending machine), but still offered cocktail enthusiasts plenty to see and taste. The vendors ranged from craft distillers to local artisans showcasing everything you could need to make great drinks at home or at a bar.

Not all of the products are available yet or at retail liquor stores, but most can be found at specialty shops such as Tops Liquor in Tempe. If you spot one of the spirits at a local bar, you can also ask if they have a liquor license that allows them to sell bottles to retail customers. Some do.

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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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5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in January

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Lauren Saria
Costilla Adobada from Barrio Urbano
Looking back at the best bites of last month makes me confident in saying that 2015 should be quite a delicious year. Two of my most memorable dishes from January come from collaborations between local chefs, and I have a feeling that the trend of kitchen collaborations isn't going anywhere any time soon. Other favorites come from longtime favorite spots, with one being a farewell drink from a now-closed restaurant.

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

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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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