5 Best Restaurants in Arcadia Right Now

Categories: Top Lists

Evie Carpenter
The Stand's "hecho in Arcadia" burgers are a neighborhood staple.
With its central location between Scottsdale and downtown Phoenix and an abundance of upscale homes, it's really no surprise that the Arcadia neighborhood has become one of the Valley's best dining spots. There are plenty of people in this part of town that love to eat and drink, and plenty of others who are willing to drive here to frequent the many restaurants and bars.

Whether you're looking for an upscale dinner option or a local restaurant that serves food on the go, Arcadia has an option that will fill the bill.

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Kari Spencer of the Micro Farm Project on How to Grow Food in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Now Growing

Courtesy of The Micro Farm Project
Kari Spencer gives us a primer on desert food production.
Master Gardener Kari Spencer is well-versed in the challenges of growing edible plants in the desert. Spencer teaches Urban Farming at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and is founder of The Micro Farm Project. Her home is a functional urban food oasis, complete with goats, chickens, and turkeys. We spoke with Kari about challenges common to Phoenix-area gardening, how to control pests (without any yucky chemicals), and upcoming events for aspiring urban farmers.

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Lost Abbey Red Poppy: One of America's Best Flanders Red Ales

Beer: Red Poppy
Brewery: The Lost Abbey
Style: Flanders Red Ale
ABV: 5 percent

In Illa Brettanomyces Nos Fides reads an eight-foot sign hanging over the entrance to the barrel room of The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, Calif. It's a Latin phrase that, translated precisely, means "in this place we have faith in British fungus." Less literally, it means "in wild yeast we believe," which is a fitting mantra for one of the most celebrated brewers of sour ales in the U.S. Inside the barrels contained in that room, billions of yeast and bacteria cells are churning, changing the liquid inside to sought-after sours like Cable Car, Veritas and Duck Duck Gooze. Because Brettanomyces and other funky strains take so long to impart their most unique aspects onto a beer, many of these barrels won't see the light of day for years.

Some of them, however, are open now. It's Red Poppy season.

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Songbird Coffee & Tea House Is Now Open in New Location on Third Street

Categories: Now Open

Lauren Saria
The new freestanding coffehouse is located at 812 North Third Street.
Since opening in July 2012, Songbird Coffee & Tea House has been located inside the monOrchid Gallery on Roosevelt Row. The coffeeshop occupied a 675-square-foot corner space inside the gallery, but a number of causes (including issues with the landlord, limited parking, and a desire to expand) led owners Erin and Jonathan Carroll to relocate earlier this year.

The new Songbird Cofee & Tea House can be found at 812 North Third Street, about a tenth of a mile south of the former location.

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

Categories: Events

Sake Master Yuji Matsumoto will unlock the secrets within these sake barrels.
Kabuki Restaurants
Tuesday or Wednesday, April 28 or 29

If your idea of sake involves an accompanying beer and $3 happy hour maki rolls, then Master Sake Sommelier Yuji Matsumoto could teach you a thing or two. Fortunately, Japan-born Matsumoto has made it his life's mission to spread sake culture throughout the United States. Matsumoto will be in town this Tuesday and Wednesday at the Tempe and Glendale locations of Kabuki restaurants to host a two-hour class, sharing his knowledge as the first Master Sake Sommelier recognized in the United States. Matsumoto will showcase his spring sake selections, with varieties such as Hakutsuru and Mio Sparkling, both alone and in specialty sake cocktails. The $20 admission includes samples of sake, shochu and beer, along with small bites and appetizers from the Kabuki kitchen. Class starts at 6 p.m. Visit the Kabuki website for more information.

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Blue House Serves Simple, Mobile Coffee in the Heart of Tempe

Categories: Grind

Zaida Dedolph
Blue House serves exactly three things: on-tap cold brew, pourover coffee, and Welcome Donuts.

Tempe-based Blue House Coffee might be the best coffee you haven't tasted yet. The company has been pedaling its coffee around ASU's campus since 2012. No, we didn't spell that wrong -- someone actually rides a cart around on a bicycle. We stopped by to check it out, and oh, boy, was it an adventure!

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Kallen Schmerler: 2015 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Culinary Arts

Categories: Big Brains

Katie Johnson
A Valentine's Day cocktail created by Lux bartender Kallen Schmerler.
You submitted nominations for the best and brightest emerging Valley creatives, and the results are in. Presenting the 2015 BigBrain finalists.

Leading up to the announcement of winners at Artopia on May 9, Jackalope Ranch, Chow Bella, and Up on the Sun will introduce the finalists. Up today is Kallen Schmerler.

There's no shortage of places to get a good drink in Phoenix. But even amid a growing number of restaurants and bars serving truly craft cocktails, Lux Central offers something unique.

The midtown hipster haven is a coffee shop and cocktail bar rolled into one, with an ├╝ber-cool vibe that tends to attract creative types. They sink into the cozy chairs with a cup of joe during the day and belly up to the bar for a drink at night.

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DeSoto Central Market in Phoenix Serves Great Food but Has Some Growing to Do

Categories: First Taste

Lauren Saria
Hoppin' John, a classic dish of rice and peas, from yard bird + larder at the DeSoto Central Market.
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).

Restaurant: DeSoto Central Market
Location: 915 North Central Avenue
Open: About two weeks
Eats: Burgers, Southern cuisine, Latin-Asian fusion, salads
Price: $15/person

When you get your first look inside the DeSoto Central Market, it's hard not to be impressed. The sentiment may result from the building's sheer size (it's 17,138 square feet, to be exact) or the beauty of the original concrete walls and exposed wooden beams. In any case, the space -- with its historical touches and abundance of natural light -- shines.

But getting inside the building may prove more difficult than you'd expect. Though the space is grand, it lacks a grand entrance, just one of a number of small but important oversights that may leave some customers confused.

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Coup Des Tartes to Reopen Next Friday in New Location -- Here's a Peek Inside

Lauren Saria
The new Coup des Tartes has taken over a 1922 single family Brick Tudor duplex.
It's been 23 months since Coup des Tartes owner Ron Pacioni found out his 18-year-old restaurant would be torn down to make room for a car dealership parking lot. It's been 21 months since he found a new at 1725 East Osborn Road to move into. And it's been eight months since the restaurant closed its doors at 4626 North 16th Street to prepare to move.

And though that might sound like a long timeline to you, for Pacioni the past two years have been "a consistent rush."

"To have to do something of this magnitude off the cuff was . . . a struggle," Pacioni says.

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Cibo e Vino in North Scottsdale Reopens After Renovations

Categories: Restaurant News

Courtsey of Cibo e Vino
The North Scottsdale restaurant has reopened after months of renovations.
It's been a long time since North Scottsdale restaurant Cibo e Vino closed its doors for renovations. In 2014, the Italian restaurant announced via Facebook that it would "be closed briefly" after Sunday, August 3.

Apparently, "briefly" meant 10 months, but after the long wait the restaurant is finally ready to reopen. Located at 34522 North Scottsdale Road, on the southwest corner of Scottsdale Road and Carefree Highway in the Terravita Marketplace, the restaurant serves a menu of Italian dishes inspired by chef/owner John Collura and his family's recipes.

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