Starbucks Is Bringing a Coffee Truck to Arizona State University

Categories: News

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Starbucks Coffee
If there isn't a Starbucks on every corner now, this one can just drive where needed.
Students and professors: If you love to grab a venti java chip Frappuccino before heading into the lecture hall, you're in luck. Starbucks is testing out its new mobile trucks at Arizona State University just two months after the company announced plans to reimburse tuition for certain employees through the university's online degree program.

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Lux Commonwealth and County to Open in Downtown Phoenix Next Year

Categories: News

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Katie Johnson
Get excited Lux patrons.

One of central Phoenix's most popular spots at which to eat, drink, and be seen is opening up a second location in downtown Phoenix. Although currently in the early stages of development (construction has yet to begin), the new location will be called Lux Commonwealth and County, named partly after the Virginia stomping grounds of owner Jeff Fischer.

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The Sushi Room in Chandler to Rebrand as Rock Lobster Next Month

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Melissa Fossum
A sushi-making class at The Sushi Room last summer.
Add yet another local restaurant to the list of places going for a rebrand this summer. Every time we turn around, it seems another spot has gotten a face lift and a new name.

This time, it's The Sushi Room in Chandler's turn to change things. The restaurant, which opened its doors in 2011, will reopen as a new concept called Rock Lobster on Tuesday, September 2.

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Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza No Longer a Partner at Barrio Queen in Scottsdale

Categories: News

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Nikki Buchanan
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe in Phoenix has a lot going on right now, including plans for a new restaurant in Gilbert and a fast-casual concept on the west side of town.

What she doesn't have to worry about anymore is Barrio Queen, the Scottsdale restaurant she opened in 2012.

"All I'm free to say is I'm gone," Esparza tells us. "I'm no longer involved in the restaurant."

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La Piazza Locale to Change Name to La Piazza Phx on September 1

Categories: News

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La Piazza Locale/Facebook
The downtown restaurant is being forced to change its name.
If you're looking for another reason to hate on Chipotle -- you know, in addition to the fact that it raised prices and then claimed we gave it permission to do so -- here's a good one: The chain has bullied a local restaurant into changing its name.

As of September 1, downtown's La Piazza Locale will change its name to La Piazza Phx in order to avoid an expensive legal battle with Chipotle. The burrito behemoth's legal team doesn't like how similar "Piazza" sounds to "pizzeria" -- even though Piazza is owner Justin Piazza's last name.

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Chef Herb Wilson Has Left SumoMaya in Scottsdale; Matt Zdeb Promoted to Executive Chef

Categories: News

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Lauren Saria
Left to right: Bill DeGroot, Herb Wilson, and SumoMaya owner German Osio.
It's been about two months since the highly-anticipated Scottsdale restaurant SumoMaya opened its doors, but already there are some changes coming to the restaurant's kitchen.

Chef Herb Wilson of Top Chef Masters fame has left the restaurant to pursue other opportunities outside the Valley. He'll be replaced by chef Matt Zdeb, who was formerly SumoMaya's executive sous chef.

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Nocawich Now Serving Gourmet Hot Dogs and Housemade Soft Serve; Adding Doughnuts Soon

Categories: News

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Lauren Saria
Nocawich has added hot dogs and soft serve to the menu.
For a while now Noca's fast-casual lunch program, Nocawich, has been a go-to place for an affordable gourmet lunch. The selection of top-notch sandwiches features high-quality ingredients -- like everything at owner Eliot Wexler's restaurant -- and will set you back just about $10. We're talking about excellent creations like The Dolly, an $8 'wich loaded with fried chicken, slaw, pickles, and honey hot aioli.

Now Wexler and his chefs are expanding the restaurant's lunchtime offerings to include some pretty fun items. They've started serving gourmet hot dog such as "The Speedy" (pictured above) made with Schreiner's Fine Sausage's hot dogs and served on Sonoran hot dog-style buns sourced from La Reyna Bakery.

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Arizona Fall Restaurant Week is Back This September -- With Higher Prices and A New Schedule

Categories: Events, News

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Winky/Flickr
Arizona Restaurant Week returns this September.
Arizona Restaurant Week will return this September and if you've lived in the Valley for any extended amount of time, then you're probably thinking you know the drill. Restaurants will offer a prix-fixe menu at a discounted price for a week (or so) in order to encourage diners to try some new dining spots.

But this time around there are a few changes to the usual routine. Rather than starting the event on a Saturday night and running it through the following Sunday, this fall's Restaurant Week will kick off on Friday, September 19 to give diners a full ten days of opportunity.

Oh yeah, and the prices have been raised for the first time in the event's history.

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Stephen Jones Leaves Blue Hound Kitchen at Hotel Palomar in Downtown Phoenix

Categories: News

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Hayden Harrison
Chef Stephen Jones
When Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails opened in 2012, the gastro-pub restaurant brought life to downtown Phoenix's CityScape. That was in no small part thanks to then 32-year-old chef Stephen Jones, who quickly won over diners with his contemporary American fare including dishes such as Kentucky fried quail.

But after two years Jones has left his post as executive chef of the hotel restaurant.

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Pizza a Metro in Phoenix Opens Second Location in Gilbert

Categories: News, Now Open

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Nikki Buchanan
A Pizza a Metro pie with fennel sausage, broccoli, and mozzarella.
For years Pizza a Metro on the city's west side has been an out of the way but favorite spot for wood-fired pizzas and scratch-made Italian specialties. The restaurant, formerly owned by Maurizio Benforte, is known for its meter-long pizzas -- in fact, that's where the restaurant gets its name, which translates to "pizza by the meter."

Well, there's good news for East Valley-ites who want to get in on this Italian cuisine action. Pizza a Metro has opened a second location of the popular pizzeria in Gilbert. The new Pizza a Metro is located at 832 S. Greenfield Road, on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Warner.

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