5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in February

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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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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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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10 Best New Metro Phoenix Restaurants of 2014

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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Lauren Saria
Ribs from Little Miss BBQ
Now that 2014 has officially come and gone (and now that I've caught my breath from the holiday season), I'm ready to look back on the collection of new restaurants that joined our local scene in the last year. I ate all over the Valley in 2014, trying new restaurants and re-visiting old ones but these ten spots stand out from the pack. As a whole, I think they represent the face of Phoenix as a restaurant town right now and paint a bright picture for where we're headed in the coming year.

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The 10 Best Things I Ate in Metro Phoenix in 2014

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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Jackie Mercandetti
Peking duck from Hong Kong Asian Diner
In 2014, there were too many good bites to remember -- and some I'd be happy to forget. But each dish on this list stands out not only for the flavors achieved by talented chefs, but also as a memorable experience that revolved around food. Some dishes are unlikely to ever be replicated in exactly the same way, while others have become some of my favorite plates to return to time and time again.

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5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in November

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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Lauren Saria
If there's one lesson to be learned from last month's best bites, it's that a dish doesn't have to be big to make a lasting impression. Whether we're talking about a side plate, an appetizer, or a simple pastry, sometimes it's the smallest morsels that make the most powerful memories. The best eats and drinks I got to try in November include the stunning seasonal plate pictured above and couple dishes from two top new spots.

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

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11 Things We're Grateful For in the Phoenix Food Scene

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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Kholood Eid
Located just off the freeway, Singh Farms is hidden in plain sight.
Saturday Mornings at Singh Farms

It's impossible to overstate how wonderful it is to spend a Saturday morning at Singh Farms in Scottsdale. Located on Thomas Road just east of Loop 101, this farm practically hides in plain sight. Venture inside a desert oasis full of fresh produce, eggs, and bread. The setting is nothing short of magical and you're welcome to wander the grounds, visiting the chickens and horses, provided you stay on the path and don't trample the plants.

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5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in October

Categories: Saria

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Lauren Saria
Baby octopus from Forge Pizza
Though we're already charging into the month of November, I have to admit I'm still reeling from the drama of last last month. Saying good-bye to some well-loved spots -- including Noca, The Local, and soon, Petite Maison -- made October seem at times like a never-ending slew of bad news. Looking back, however, it was also a month of some really great eats. This list of top food and drinks includes some new finds from favorite spots and a selection from one of the many new restaurants to open last month.

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

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Let's Face It, The Commercial Kitchen Is Still A Boys' Club

Categories: Saria

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Seabamirum/Flickr
Next month some of the Valley's top women chefs will gather in the kitchen at Chrysa Robertson's Rancho Pinot restaurant to cook food and to make a stand, to show everyone that great, talented women chefs exist. And furthermore, that they deserve to be recognized.

It's not the first time Phoenix's female chefs have banded together in a show of force. But this dinner is slightly different. It's a response to a slew of collaborative dining events around town that have failed to showcase the talents of women chefs.

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10 Best Things I Ate and Drank in September

Categories: Saria, Top Lists

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Lauren Saria
Last month we released Best of Phoenix 2014, recognizing some of the best restaurants and bars in the Valley. Many of the most memorable things I ate and drank in September come from places included in the Food & Drink section of the issue though some dishes are from new spots around town.

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

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