5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in February

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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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Inside Katie Johnson's Vintage-Inspired Kitchen in Central Phoenix

Katie Johnson
Welcome to my kitchen, Phoenix.
Kitchen tours is Chow Bella's monthly series where we get up close and personal with the at-home chef's most prized space. Ditch the grocery list and forget the recipes, this time around we're all about capturing a different kind of taste.

Entertaining a few guests is hard enough. But inviting the entire internet into your private abode? That'll take some coaxing.

Which is why I'm initiating things with a tour of my own private interior in my home in a historic neighborhood in central Phoenix. It's not grand but it's also not god-awful. It gets the job done and, whether I'm using it to create culinary magic or malpractice, it is easily one of my favorite rooms in the house.

So what do you say, Phoenix? I'll show you mine, if you show me yours.

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Waffle Love AZ vs. Waffle Crush: Waffle Truck Take Down

Chloe Nordquist
The "Nutella Love" from Waffle Love AZ
These aren't your average waffles. No, these are mobile and more -- gourmet food truck liege waffles with delicious toppings and homemade creams. We put two Valley waffle food trucks up against each other to answer the question, who has the better sweet treat?

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

Categories: Events

Mama's Cold Brew/Facebook
Chestnut Fine Foods & Provisions

Mondays typically kind of suck. But Chestnut Fine Foods & Provisions and Mama's Cold Brew are trying to ease the struggle. Every Monday from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. you can now get Mama's Cold Brew coffee and Chestnut pastries conveniently delivered to your car; just pull up to Chestnut. The organic cold brew coffee is brewed for 24 hours with a unique blend of spices. Pastry deals include options such as almond croissants, blueberry muffins, and maple oat scones. For more information check the Chestnut Fine Foods & Provisions Facebook.

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Dessert First at Pizzeria Bianco in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Dessert First

Jenny Zink
Mesquite cake.
Decisions, decisions. The waitress stood there, smiling politely. It's hard enough to choose an entree at the world-famous Pizzeria Bianco -- but dessert? I pondered the decision way too long. The options: Flourless chocolate cake (waitress recommended), the seasonal dessert of mesquite cake, or grapefruit curd. I couldn't make up my mind so I did what any self-respecting dessert writer would do. I ordered two out of the three.

I had to show some kind of restraint.

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Jorge's Chicken and Waffles in Tempe Has a Chicken and Waffle Cone -- and It's Not Bad

Categories: First Taste

Lauren Saria
Chicken and waffles from Jorge's Chicken and Waffles in Tempe
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
Inside Jorge's Chicken and Waffles
Restaurant: Jorge's Chicken and Waffles
Location: 1212 E. Apache Blvd, Tempe
Open: About a month
Eats: Chicken & waffles, Mexican
Price: $15 and under/person

Jorge's Chicken and Waffles. Even the name is intriguing. And when you look at the menu -- a diverse assortment of dishes that includes fried chicken, Belgian waffles, and carne asada tacos -- this new Tempe restaurant is at least worth a try.

Located next-door to Curry Corner, the 3,200-square-foot Jorge's Chicken and Waffles offers a large dining room and a side patio with views of busy Apache Boulevard, as well as a full bar. We stopped by for an early Friday dinner, and enjoyed a quiet meal in a mostly empty restaurant.

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9 Metro Phoenix Restaurants Scored a "D" from the County Health Department in February

Categories: News

Evie Carpenter
One downtown Phoenix dining spot failed to pass a county health inspection this month.
We're sad to say there were quite a few restaurants that didn't pass their county health inspections this month. Sure, the majority of restaurants scored an "A" on their inspections, but these nine spots had some trouble. And while some of the violations may not sound so offensive, many of the mistakes that landed restaurants on this list are considered priority violations, or ones that "directly contributes to increasing the risk of foodborne illness or injury."

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Phoenix Chef Glenn Humphrey of Arizona Culinary Institute Has Died

Categories: News

Thumbnail image for ChefHumphrey_ArizonaCulinaryInstitute.jpg
Courtesy of Arizona Culinary Institute
Chef Glenn Humphrey
Phoenix chef Glenn Humphrey, who most recently worked as Placement Director at Arizona Culinary Institute, died earlier this month. The chef's passing means the loss of a mentor and friend to countless Arizona chefs, who Humphrey influenced during his career as an educator in the state.

Humphrey taught at culinary schools in the Valley for more than twenty years -- first at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute from 1993 to 2001, and later at Arizona Culinary Institute from 2001 to 2015.

He was also an active member of the Chefs Association of Arizona, as well as the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (CCAP). His many connections within the culinary field helped him achieve near-95 percent job placement rate for the graduating chefs at Arizona Culinary Institute.

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February Restaurant Openings and Closings in Metro Phoenix

Lauren Saria
Tacos from the newly opened Cafe Tranquilo at The Clarendon Hotel
This month saw a whole slew of restaurant openings including some highly anticipated concepts from local restaurateurs Peter Kasperski and German Osio. February also introduced some new restaurants in familiar spaces -- Cafe Tranquilo took over the space formerly occupied by Gallo Blanco the old Bungalow Bar and Grill in Scottsdale debuted as a new Long Island-themed restaurant called The Montauk.

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

Categories: Weekend Eats

Evie Carpenter
Old Town Scottsdale's Saturday morning farmers market
Edible Education Series
Saturday, February 28

Springtime means the return of the Edible Education series at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market and this weekend the free lesson will be taught buy Lynne Sczruba of Monarch Garden Box. From 10 to 11 a.m. at the at the Co-Liverys' Carriage House Sczruba will teach a class called Cultivate: Growing and Cooking with Fresh Herbs and Edible Flowers. The series runs every Saturday morning through May 9, with future classes taught by Natalie Morris, Sweet Republic's Helen Yung, chef Claudio Urciuoli, Chrysa Robertson of Rancho Pinot, and mixologist Kim Haasarud. You can view a complete schedule of Edible Education classes on the La Bella Terre website.

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