Heather Hoch

  • Blogs

    October 27, 2014

    10 Best Places for Soup in Metro Phoenix

    Soup making is an under appreciated art. A good broth on its own can be deeply complex and flavorful, building a solid base for all of the ingredients that go into it. Handmade noodles, fresh, seasonal vegetables, and a fair amount of regional spices can be seen in soups across the world, though sou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 27, 2014

    Dana Stern of Bragg's Factory Diner: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

    Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fifth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 15, 2014

    Stephanie Teslar of Blue Hound in Phoenix Uses Sherry in Her Fall Cocktail Menu

    The first thing that probably comes to mind when someone says the word sherry is its use in cooking. While the fortified wine does have its place in the kitchen, Stephanie Teslar is using it to mix up five different cocktails at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. If you're not already on the sherry coc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2014

    The Bakery PHX Shines with Mini Pies and Potato Knishes

    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 item ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2014

    Clever Koi's Fourth Day Off Dinner Melds Asian with Italian with Crudo in the Kitchen

    Every last Sunday of the month, Clever Koi invites another restaurant's team into the kitchen to join forces to create one five course meal. Crudo was the fourth restaurant to do a Day Off Dinner at Clever Koi, joining Welcome Diner, Crepe Bar, and Brat Haus. With a packed house, the kitchen sent ou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2014

    Judging Cocktails: 9 Lessons Learned After Drinking 18 Mai Tais in a Row

    Last night, 18 of Phoenix and Tucson's best bartenders took to the stage at Sandbar in Chandler to compete in the Mai Tai Competition. The two winning drinks were chosen, along with their bartenders, to go to Kona, Hawaii to represent Arizona in the national Don's Mai Tai Competition, named after ic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2014

    Demi Coffee Brings Experimentation and Local Flare Back to Phoenix Coffee

    A lot of coffee shops in town seem poised to become chains, and that's fine. If you're doing it right and you've got your coffee game on lock, why not expand. However, over at Demi Coffee, the brand new spot that took over for Mud Dauber off 16th Street north of McDowell Road, it's more about trying ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2014

    Cartel's Drew Scharnitzke Demonstrates 3 Coffee Brewing Methods

    A few doors down from Cartel Coffee Lab's flagship roastery location in Tempe, there's a door that reads "Cartel World Headquarters." Inside, Drew Scharntizke, along with his fellow coffee instructor Bill Kennedy, spend most days using spectrometers to ensure their brews are being extracted properly ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 18, 2014

    10 Places for Pimm's Cups in Metro Phoenix

    Sure, World Cup mania is hitting a fever pitch right now and cachaça and caipirinhas are taking center right now, but for tennis folk, it's almost time for Wimbledon and that means plenty of Pimm's Cups. Using the original gin-based Pimm's No. 1, the drink commonly includes citrus, cucumber, and mi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 9, 2014

    Latte Artist Perry Czopp Gives a Step-by-Step Tutuorial

    The words latte art might evoke an eye roll, but bear with me. Honestly, Perry Czopp, who has won local competitions with his pours, will be the first to admit that he doesn't take it very seriously. Rather, it's a means to get people passionate about their morning cup of coffee, and that's what he' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2014

    Welcome Diner's Mike Pantoja Makes Ginger Beer and More from Scratch

    Back in the old days of Welcome Diner, if you were looking for a drink, you had your choice of two beers on draft and the ubiquitous hurricane, accompanied by shouting and banging when ordered. Now with Mike Pantoja on board, the Phoenix spot has become as much about its attention to quality and cre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 19, 2014

    Shine Coffee's Christiaan Blok on the Perfect Espresso Pull and Coffee Creativity

    You might remember Shine Coffee as an airstream trailer coffee spot outside of farmers markets around town, but since April of last year, the shop has had a brick and mortar location with a detached lounge area located off of Central Avenue just south of Thomas Road. Since then, Christiaan Blok and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2014

    3 Ways You Can Prepare Yourself for the Impending Whiskeypocalypse

    Bad news, whiskey lovers. According to the Smithsonian, we've all been drinking more whiskey than distillers can make. Representatives from the highly en vogue Buffalo Trace Bourbon said in the article that the situation isn't likely to be fixed anytime soon either: "The increase in sales, coupled w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2014

    Sushi Ken vs. Posh: Chow Bella's Ultimate Battle of the Ramen

    Things are getting down to the wire for this ramen battle bracket. There have been some upsets, like Republic Ramen beating out fan favorite Umami, and there's also been a disqualification due to T.Spot closing shortly before it was set to battle against Posh's ramen. This week Posh will try to prov ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    10 Lessons Learned While Baking an Apple Pie with Beth Howard, Ms. American Pie

    Beth Howard really doesn't see what all of the fuss is about when people bake pies. To her, the process should be as simple as possible. From the meditative quality of making a lattice crust on an apple pie to the alluring ability baking for different guys in her college years, Howard sees a lot o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2014

    Jade Bar in Paradise Valley: Happy Hour Report Card

    The Spot: Jade Bar 5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley 480-948-2100

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2014

    5 Best Barrel-Aged Cocktails in Metro Phoenix

    Barrel aging can transform a cocktail from its typical flavor to a smoother, richer, and more cohesive final product. As the cocktail mixture sits in the barrel, it develops much like a bourbon does as it barrel ages. While cocktails typically spend much less time in barrels than the spirits they're ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2014

    How to Make Bitters Designs on Cocktail Foam with The Parlor's Michael Allmandinger

    When it comes to drinking cocktails, Michael Allmandinger says "the bitter, the better." While his cocktails have a strong herbal element by using infused syrups and bitters as well as liqueurs like Génépi, as he does in his trademark, competition-winning Parlor Star cocktail, calling his creation ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 26, 2014

    3 Classic New Orleans Cocktails from Geoffrey Wilson of Barrelhouse

    Although a search for Mardi Gras cocktails could lead you on a dark path of artificial ingredients and goofy garnishes, Geoffrey Wilson of Chandler's Barrelhouse is here to keep you from being led astray. While working with the legendary New Orleans bartender Chris McMillian, Wilson learned a fair a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2014

    The Market by Jennifer's Offers Plentiful Options with Upscale Price Tags

    Gaslight Square -- on the southeast corner of Indian School and 36th Street -- has become a hub for culinary delights, with Crudo, Beckett's Table, and Nook located in the same plaza. Recently, Jennifer's Catering opened a brick-and-mortar location in the southwest corner of the plaza to add to the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2013

    Ollie Vaughn's Blends Fresh Comfort Food with a Quaint Atmosphere

    Phoenix folk have been buzzin' since hearing former Lux baker Lindsay Magee would be opening her own little sandwich shop featuring her fresh baked bread. We've even spotted some people peeking in the windows of the shop-in-progress off McDowell Road just west of 16th Street trying to catch any glim ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2013

    10 Best Pork Belly Dishes in Metro Phoenix

    By Heather Hoch and Lauren Saria During our quest to find Phoenix's best offal dishes, we noticed a great deal of pork belly popping up on the menus around town. While pork belly didn't quite make the weirdness cut for our offal specifications, we thought the delicious, luxurious cut of pork deserv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 11, 2013

    Mixology 101 at Jade Bar: Bartending Basics With a Double Shot of History

    So you want to be a mixologist, huh? Well, Jade Bar's bartenders are all pitching in to teach weekend classes for the resort's Mixology 101 series. Each week is separated by spirit with a different instructor showing you what you need to know to get started as a home mixologist. We've already clarif ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2013

    10 Best Thai Restaurants in Metro Phoenix

    Ranging from classy Scottsdale digs to shacks in South Phoenix, you'll get a variety of experiences from Thai restaurants in the Valley. It seems there are as many places to get your favorite pad Thai or duck curry in town as there are to get your favorite carne asada burrito or street tacos. With m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 22, 2013

    Ride for the Right Zinfandel from Tough Country: This Week's Fresh Pick

    We've given you the brine for your turkey and a new root vegetable to incorporate into your typical Thanksgiving side dishes, but, after hours of cooking and cleaning and putting up with all of the unique character types that comprise any family gathering, you're likely to need a good glass of wine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2013

    5 Gifts for the World Traveler

    What? Not done with your holiday shopping? Yeah, neither are we. But we've been making lists -- and checking them twice -- and we've got some suggestions for the nice people on your list. Today, Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the world traveler. We all have that friend who jumps from Vietnamese pho sh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2013

    Alexa Bowler's Fall Cocktail Menu at Cowboy Ciao in Scottsdale: A Sneak Peek

    Although Alexa "Pixie" Bowler began her career in culinary school, she found a love for mixology when she realized that it combines the creativity of the kitchen with the guest interaction of the front of the house. She's a "cook by trade" but brings her love of balance, flavor and fresh ingredients ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2013

    Lemon Cucumbers from Crooked Sky Farms

    On the outside, lemon cucumbers look like a small, round, yellow watermelon. However, you'll quickly see when you cut into one that the light yellow tennis ball-size treat with darker yellow streaks is no melon. With a bright and mild citrusy tang, the lemon cucumber tastes exactly like its name wou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2013

    5 Best Gin Cocktails in Metro Phoenix

    It's tough to be a gin girl in a Wild West whiskey world. Although whiskey still dominates the conversation in most imbibing circles, gin does have a strong presence in the craft cocktail world, due to its unique botanical flavor. How each mixologist chooses to expand on that herbal base can range f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2013

    10 Best Juice Bars in Metro Phoenix

    Summer hibernation time is almost over and a light cleanse is a great way to wash away the months of lazing around in air conditioning watching Netflix. Lucky for us Phoenicians, there's been a boost in cold-pressed, raw and organic juice makers popping up around town to help us mainline nutrients i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2013

    10 Best Chicken and Waffles in Metro Phoenix

    Sweet, comforting soul food pours its goodness into one dish -- chicken and waffles. The crispy, savory fried chicken and syrup-soaked waffles are the tastiest culinary odd couple. The chicken and waffle craze has caught on from soul food shacks to some of Phoenix's most upscale restaurants. While n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2013

    7 Best Gelato Shops in Metro Phoenix

    Gelato shops seem to come and go pretty quickly, but the ones that stick around prove their worth with smooth, creamy, cold treats that are so decadent and unique they can transport you to Italy with one bite. The array of flavors, each with its own decorative flair, make gelato as aesthetically ple ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2013

    Bloody Mary Beatdown: Dick's Hideaway vs. Gallo Blanco

    Picture this: It's 9:30 on a Sunday morning. The sun pierces your curtains. Your head throbs. Your stomach turns. Saturday night was fun, but no longer kind to you now. You, our friend, have a hangover. Lucky for you, nothing known to man battles the effects of a hangover quite like the world's best ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2013

    The Parlor in Phoenix: Happy Hour Report Card

    Heather HochThe flavor explosive Smokey pizza at The Parlor.The Spot: The Parlor Pizzeria 1916 East Camelback Road 602-248-2480

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2013

    9 Best Sonoran-Style Hot Dogs in Metro Phoenix

    Chicago has its celery salt and pickles, and New York has its sauerkraut and mustard, but here in the Southwest, we've got Sonoran dogs. The baconified dog (usually wrapped) is covered in mayo, tomatoes, beans, onions and a variety of other sauces, typically served with a roasted pepper on the side. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2013

    5 Weird (and Tasty) Cocktails in Metro Phoenix

    If you find yourself with a Jack and Coke in hand this summer, you're not doing it right. In the wonderful world of cocktails, weird is the way to go. Whether that means you stumble into the back-alley entrance of a speakeasy or you take your drink muddled, shaken, and flambéed into Flavor City, th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2013

    Singh Farms Farmer's Market in Scottsdale: What We Bought, What We Skipped, and What We're Still Lusting Over

    The Spot: Singh Family Farmer's Market , open Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. See Also: - Arcadia Farmer's Market: What We Bought, What We Skipped and What We're Still Lusting Over - Arizona Farmer Chef Connection Conference on June 10 at Desert Botanical Garden - Six Spots to Get Fresh Local Pr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 8, 2013

    Toddy Takedown: Press Coffee Roasters vs. Cartel Coffee Lab

    Toddy-style brewed iced coffee is better than hot drip for a few reasons. First of all, the acidity levels are lower in cold-brewed coffee, making it more drinkable in those indigestion-filled crunch times. It's also higher in caffeine, which means you pretty much only need one cup to keep you going ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 18, 2013

    Lunch Under $10 at ZK Grill in Phoenix

    Considering how many people think Phoenix is devoid of any culture, we sure have our fair share of kabob joints springing up. From Lebanese to Turkish to Greek, the kabob you get depends largely on where it comes from. We were excited to try out the Persian-style kabobs at ZK Grill. With three Valle ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2013

    10 Best Spots for Fries in Metro Phoenix

    Anyone who thinks of French fries as just a side order clearly isn't going to the right places. But don't worry, our love of fries compelled us to put together a list of all the best places to have a gourmet fry experience. We went outside the box on this one -- meaning sauces and toppings are encou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2013

    Chicken Pot Pie Fight: The Duce vs. Porte Cochere

    This might be the last week we can handle hearty comfort foods before the heat imposes a salad-only diet on us. In honor of the waning winter, we put two local pot pie makers against each other to see which savory pastry is the tops. Chicken pot pies have several components that must be executed an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2013

    Snickerdoodle Smackdown in CenPho: Churn vs. Urban Cookies

    When cookie cravings hit hard, more often than not we wish for a snickerdoodle. Chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin are good, but there's something irresistible about the cinnamon-y simplicity of a well-made snickerdoodle. Having eaten probably a million of these tasty baked treats, we do have high s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 6, 2013

    10 Best Margaritas in Metro Phoenix

    Summer is coming. Time to switch our drinking regimen from stouts, red wines, and whiskey to more refreshing beverages. The first thing that always comes to mind when the temps top 80 degrees is a margarita, and, boy, do we know quite a few places around town that serve up unique and delicious takes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2013

    Movie 43 and Dinner at Davanti Enoteca in Scottsdale

    While a jumbo tub of hot buttered popcorn is one of our most frequently indulged guilty pleasures, we think a good movie deserves a little better company than junk food. Try out our movie and meal pairings for yourself or feel free to suggest one of your own favorites in the comments. The Movie: M ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 30, 2013

    Lunch Under $10 at Little Szechuan in Tempe

    Everyone knows there are a few hot spots for good Chinese in the Valley, but we know a secret. It's kind of shocking walking into Little Szechuan time and time again to an empty room. Somehow having great prices, authentic eats and an ideal location just isn't enough to pack the house. With their ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2012

    The Handlebar and Grill: Happy Hour Report Card

    The Spot: The Handlebar and Grill, 680 South Mill Avenue Tempe, 480-474-4888, See Also: - Boulders on Broadway: Happy Hour Report Card - (More) Craft Beer on Mill Ave. at the Handlebar and Grill, Open to the Public Today The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 3 to 6:30 p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2009

    Fresh Baked Gifts: Mom's Semi-Homemade Rum Cake

    Heather HochWe used to beg mom to make this.​Sick of rum cakes that don't deliver on the rum? We are, too. Luckily we know a recipe that has been a family favorite for as long as we can remember. The recipe came straight from mom's secret stash, and we got permission to share it with you.The recip ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2009

    Deep Fried Everything: Finding the Craziest Fair Food

    Heather Hoch The epicenter of fair eats has a delighful view of the ferris wheel.​The Arizona State Fair always seems to attract some rather eccentric food vendors. There are a few running themes in fair fare this year, though. First, if you can batter something like a corn dog, it can be d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2009

    Recipe: Tuna Sashimi Carpaccio with Sesame Soy and Garlic Chips from Sushi Roku

    Heather Hoch The tuna sashimi carpaccio is one blue fin above the others.​Sushi chef Shin Toyoda likes to keep his dishes simple at Sushi Roku, letting the super-fresh, high-quality ingredients speak for themselves. However, he does admit there are a lot of other sushi restaurants near Old ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2009

    Campus Coffee: Drive-Thru Breakfast at D'lish

    Can you remember the last time you had a salad with fresh, crisp spring greens, strawberries, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and pomegranate vinaigrette -- from a drive-thru? What about coffee that didn't taste like a foot? If you answered "never", give D'lish Kitchen and Coffee House a try ... More >>

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