Hopdoddy vs. The Stand: Salted Caramel Shake Smackdown

Alissa Irei
The Salted Dulce De Leche Shake at The Stand.

Remember when salt first started upstaging sugar during dessert, to the shock of mainstream diners everywhere? (Sea salt on chocolate chip cookies? Shut the front door!) These days you'd be hard pressed to find a hip restaurant that doesn't give salt top billing on at least one post-dinner dish; what once connoted culinary cool has become commonplace. Not that we're complaining - nothing makes sugar's sweetness sing like a little NaCl.

We recently pitted two of the Valley's best shakes against each other to see which would survive a salty caramel smackdown.

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La Fontanella in Arcadia Has Closed After More Than 30 Years

isabella .jpg
Lauren Saria
Isabella Mannone-Bertuccio of La Fontanella
There must be something in the air this month because in just the last few weeks we've had to say goodbye to quite a few classic Valley restaurants. The most recent casualty: La Fontanella, the more than three decades-old Italian restaurant that served solid, old-school Tuscan cuisine in the Arcadia neighborhood.

According to the restaurant's answering machine message, owner Isabella Mannone-Bertuccio and husband, Berto, will be retiring -- and taking the time "to smell the sea breeze."

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O.H.S.O. to Open Second Location in Scottsdale (Spoiler Alert: They'll Be Distilling Spirits)

Phoenix New Times
O.H.S.O. is heading north.
Get excited, beer and cocktail lovers, because O.H.S.O. owner Jon Lane is getting ready to open a second location in Scottsdale within the next few months.

Lane says the second O.H.S.O. will be at 15681 North Hayden Road in Scottsdale, inside a shopping center located south of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard off Loop 101. Fans of the Arcadia location can look forward to a similar menu of food, plenty of beers, and, yes, another dog-friendly patio.

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10 Unusual Ways to Eat Eggs

Sweet & Saucy blog
Baked eggs just got a whole lot better.

Eggs have been a rising trend in restaurants for the last few years, and we can't expect them to be pulled off menus, well, ever. And for good reason! Not only are they incredibly versatile, but this essential ingredient is every bit as super as kale or salmon.

If you're still eating your eggs scrambled or hard-boiled, in omelets or frittatas, you're missing out on all the possibilities for a delicious meal. Just in time for your Easter table, here are 10 totally trendy -- yet kinda strange -- ways to prepare eggs.

Baked Eggs in Ham

Although the recipe first appeared in the February 2002 issue of Gourmet Magazine, the concept of lining a muffin pan with sliced ham still feels a bit bizarre. But there's nothing off-putting about the combo of soft baked eggs, crispy ham, and herb mushroom stuffing. It's easy to make, yet they'll look stunning served with brunch.

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Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. Called the World's Best New Brewery

Categories: Wake Up Call

Katie Johnson
A small sample of the kind of top-notch brews you can find at Arizona Wilderness Brewing.
One of Phoenix's newest breweries is gaining a lot of buzz with its craft brews after RateBeer.com, which is known as the preeminent craft beer ranking site, made it number one in its list of the world's top new breweries. Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. in Gilbert has only been open a little over half a year, but the small craft operation has gained praise with an ever-changing lineup of beers using all locally sourced ingredients.

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KFC's Chicken Corsage: How to Completely Ruin Someone's Prom

Categories: Wake Up Call

Courtesy of KFC.
We love fried chicken. We don't love it as an accessory.
Prom sucks. There's a lot that can go wrong from wardrobe malfunctions to being stuck dateless, but perhaps a fate even worse than going stag is being given a fried chicken corsage by your date. For some reason, KFC thought anyone would be interested in wearing fried chicken on their wrist in formal attire -- as if being a teenager didn't entail enough greasy skin issues.

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The House at Secret Garden Has Closed

The House at Secret Garden/Facebook
For four years The House at Secret Garden has been a destination for romantic patio dining, a go-to spot to impress out-of-towners with the restaurant's uniquely Arizonan cuisine.

Unfortunately as of Saturday, April 12 that is no longer the case.

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5 Substitutes for Basic Baking Ingredients

Categories: Sugar Rush

Rachel Miller
Cupcakes with an egg substitute.

It's midnight on a Tuesday. You have promised to bake up your amazing chocolate cupcakes for the office tomorrow. After ripping apart your refrigerator for the fifth time, you realize that dozen eggs you thought you had is only two eggs. Now what?

This happens to me more often than I'd like to admit, either late at night or after I've just returned from the grocery store. Here are some substitutes you can create when you have that "oh shit" moment in your pantry.

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Scottsdale Culinary Festival's Best of the Fest 2014: Beautiful Tablescapes, Memorable Food

Categories: Events

Lauren Saria
Chef Matt Carter of Zinc Bistro prepared a smoked veal New York with black truffle and grilled baby corn.
The weeklong Scottsdale Culinary Fest came to an extravagant end last night at the annual Best of the Fest dinner held at the Scottsdale Hyatt Regency. The event brought out eight of the Valley's top chefs who each prepared a coursed dinner for two tables of guests. It's a sort of unofficial competition between the restaurants to put together impressive and elaborate tablescapes that either reflect the restaurant or the chef's menu of the night.

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33 World Beer Cup Winners to Look For in Arizona

Zach Fowle
Four Peaks claims another World Beer Cup award.
There are two major judging competitions for beer. One, the Great American Beer Festival, is held yearly in Denver. It's the largest and most competitive tasting in the country -- but entrants have to be from this country. Winners of a GABF gold medal are deemed the best examples of their respective styles among American craft brewers, but what of the men and women making beer in the other 195 countries across the globe?

These folks send their beer to the World Beer Cup, an earth-wide competition held every other year in a rotating selection of cities. This year's Cup got all Rocky Mountain high in Denver, very near its ancestral home -- Vail, Colorado -- where the competition was first held in 1996. That initial WBC featured 600 beers from 250 breweries; this year saw 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries in 58 countries. All those brews compete for just 282 awards in 94 beer style categories, and the ones that win are considered by many to be the world's best.

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