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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Heather Hoch
Look for local favorites such as AZ Bitters Lab and Arizona Distilling Co.
Chandler Craft Spirits Festival
Saturday, April 25

A two-component well drink is a simple, beautiful thing. But a craft cocktail -- shaken, stirred, muddled, and mashed -- is an event in a glass. You can celebrate the art of the cocktail this Saturday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. in downtown Chandler at the Chandler Craft Spirits Festival, the ultimate craft cocktail event. Distributors for Arizona's top distilleries including Arizona Distilling Co., regional micro-distillers, and some of the nation's biggest spirit companies will come together for the second annual festival. The event will also feature a seminar from Arizona Cocktail Hour's Eddy Garcia and top local mixologists; food from Social Box, SanTan Brewing Company, San Marcos, and Caketini; and more than 50 different craft cocktails. For those imbibing, tickets are $40 and include 15 drink tickets. Designated drivers can purchase admission tickets for just $10. For more information, or to purchase tickets, see the Chandler Craft Spirits Festival website.


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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Phil Darnell/Flickr
Experience Louisiana without having to leave the Southwest at this weekend's Great Southwest Cajun Festival.
Great Southwest Cajunfest
Saturday, April 18

On Saturday, the Great Southwest Cajunfest will be held downtown at the Margaret T. Hance Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event aims to transport you to New Orleans through food and music. Angry Crab Shack will prepare bayou favorites like a crawfish boil, crab cookies and charred oysters. For the meat eaters, barbecue and other Creole specialties will be featured by Raging Cajun BBQ, Honey Bear's BBQ, JJ's Louisiana BBQ, and Sandra Dee's Catering. Louisiana favorite Abita Beer should pair well with with the food, and beignets and coffee from Welcome Diner will complete the culinary tour of southeast Louisiana. Activities and events range from a puppy parade and crawfish eating contests to kid-friendly crafts. Music acts include student jazz bands and the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies. For more information, or to purchase your $10 general admissions or $65 VIP tickets in advance, visit the Great Southwest Cajunfest website.

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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Courtesy of Dinner Lab
Chef Nini Nguyen
Viet Nom Nom Nom Dinner Lab
Friday, April 10

This Friday the dining event company known as Dinner Lab will debut in Phoenix with Viet Nom Nom Nom, a pop-up dinner featuring chef Nini Nguyen. The company hosts pop-up events in cities from coast to coast with diners paying an annual subscription fee of $125 to get access to the Dinner Lab calendar. This first event -- the location of which won't be announced until 24 hours before the dinner -- features New Orleans-born chef Nguyen, who trained under Tairq Hanna of Sucre and Angela Pinkerton of Eleven Madison Park. The menu will include five courses of authentic Vietnamese dishes including Xoi Chien Don (crispy rice cake) and Cha Ca La Vong (turmeric and lemon grass­-seared fish). For more information or to join, visit the Dinner Lab website.


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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Jessica Obert
Cogburn's Big Wings at Wingstock 2014
Wingstock
Saturday, March 4

This weekend the 5th annual Wingstock event will go down at from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Mesa Amphitheatre. The event combines music and chicken by pitting local Valley restaurants against each other in a competition for the title of "Wingstock King of Wings." Participating restaurants include ATL Wings, Cogburn's Big Wings, The Draft Sports Grill, Blasted Barley Beer Company, Uncle Bear's Brewery, and more. Entertainment will include performances from Dan Grimm, Laura Walsh, and Ashley Wineland; wing eating contests; and a Kid's Zone and Easter egg hunt. Admission to the event costs $5 in advance or $8 at the door; wing coupons cost $3 for 4 or $10 for 14. For more information visit the Wingstock website.


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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Maggie Hoffman/Flickr
Get your salsa on this weekend in Maricopa.
Salsa Festival
Saturday, March 28

This weekend, head to Maricopa for the city's 11th annual Salsa Festival, during which salsa chefs compete for prizes including a grand prize of $1,000. The event will be held at Copper Sky Regional Park from 3 to 7 p.m. and will feature live entertainment from groups including Havana Soul, Ballet Folklorico Fuego de Phoenix, and Desert Sun Performing Arts. Attendees also will be able to taste salsa entries in categories such as hot, mild, and unusual and then vote in the People's Choice category. Admission to the event is free, but on-site parking costs $5 and salsa samples cost $1 each. For more information about the event, visit the Salsa Festival website.


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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Evie Carpenter
Flancer's served a goat cheese bruschetta to guests at last year's festival.
Check, Please! Arizona Festival
Sunday, March 22

Fans of Eight's Check, Please! Arizona can sample food and meet chefs from some of the restaurants that have been featured on the popular show at the Check, Please! Arizona Festival at CityScape. The event, which is a fundraiser for Eight, Arizona PBS and is co-sponsored by New Times, will feature more than 25 local restaurants including Haus Murphy's, Tarbell's, Cowboy Ciao, Rancho Pinot, Durant's, and Amy's Baking Company, as well as wine and beer pairings from participating wineries and breweries. The event also includes cooking demonstrations, panel discussions, and a "wine tour," with appearances from chefs including Robert McGrath, Christopher Gross, Chris Bianco, and more. Tickets start at $79 and gates open at 11 a.m. For more information visit the Check, Please! Arizona Festival website.


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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Cameron Morago
Gilbert Food Court
Friday, March 13

Tomorrow the Gilbert Food Truck Food Court will move to a new location and launch as the Gilbert Food Court and Market. After outgrowing its previous space, the weekly food truck roundup has relocated to the Gilbert Park and Ride parking lot at 119 W. Page Avenue. From 5:30 to about 9 p.m., you'll be able to find 30 food trucks and, in a new addition to the event, 30 vendors selling everything from jewelry and handbags, to clothing, home décor, and bath and body products. This week's lineup of food trucks includes Aioli Gourmet Burgers and Catering, BANG BANG Dumpling, Liberty's Biscuits, Roadriggers, The Roasted Shallot, and many more. For more information check the Gilbert Food Truck Food Court Facebook page.


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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Little Cleo's Seafood Legend/Facebook
Little Cleo's new happy hour features $1 oysters and $2 champagne pours.
Happy Hour at Little Cleo's
Today

In honor of National Absinthe Day (which is today, by the way) Little Cleo's Seafood Legend at The Yard in Phoenix is launching a new happy hour that features deals on shellfish, champagne, and, of course, absinthe. The restaurant's new happy hour includes $1 oysters and $1 shrimp, as well as $2 house champagne pours and half off all absinthe and all absinthe cocktails. That deal covers the aptly-named absinthe cocktail Death in the Afternoon made with absinthe, dry sparkling wine, and simple syrup. The restaurant's happy hour will be available Mondays through Saturday form 4 to 5 p.m.


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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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

Categories: Weekend Eats

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Tempe Empty Bowls/Facebook
Tempe Empty Bowls
Tomorrow and Saturday, February 21

This Friday and Saturday you can help fight local hunger by heading to the Tempe Empty Bowls event. Attendees can purchase a handmade ceramic bowl for $10, which Whole Foods will fill with a simple lunch of soup and bread. Proceeds from the bowls will go to local charities including the Tempe Community Action Agency, the Escalante Community Garden, and United Food Bank's Kid's Café program. On Friday, the event will be held at 6th Street Park (just south of City Hall in Downtown Tempe) and on Saturday at the Community Center Courtyard at 3500 South Rural Road. Both events will go from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information check the Tempe Empty Bowls Facebook.


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