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  • Pho Avina might be worth going back to college for

    Article

    Pho Avina might be worth going back to college for

    For years after I graduated from college, I spent way too much time jonesing to go back. Somewhere along the line, though, I stopped obsessively ordering grad school catalogs and ditched the idea of taking on more student loans. And, hey, look whe...

    by Michele Laudig on April 24, 2008
  • Article

    The Food Network feasts at Joe's Farm Grill

    "When they call, you make time," says Joe Johnston, owner of Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert, of his recent contact with the Food Network. A production crew from the show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" will be onsite tomorrow to start shooting for an ...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on December 6, 2007 @ 4:06 pm
  • Article

    Aiello's opens in old Panino spot

    After extensively renovating the space that formerly housed Panino on Central, Myrah and Joe Aiello opened Aiello's, a new Italian restaurant, a little over a week ago. The couple owned an eatery called Mimi's Macaroni, on Manhattan's Upper West Si...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on December 5, 2007 @ 12:48 pm
  • Article

    What's in a name?

    Oh, admit it -- you were expecting some foodie bloopers resulting from two soon-to-open upscale Japanese restaurants whose names were uncannily similar. I know I was. No offense to either Roka or Sushi Roku, but those names were a little too close...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on December 4, 2007 @ 12:40 pm
  • Article

    Whole Foods wonderland

    So the big adventure of the weekend, aside from getting a long-overdue Lola Tapas fix (I loved the two specials, a melt-in-your-mouth braised pork dish, plus velvety mocha flan), was my visit to the brand-new Whole Foods at the 101 and Ray Road. One ...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on December 3, 2007 @ 10:44 am
  • Digestif in Scottsdale serves up absinthe and "Cal-ital food for the soul"

    Article

    Digestif in Scottsdale serves up absinthe and "Cal-ital food for the soul"

    The most intriguing new restaurant in Scottsdale is a refreshing alternative to the city's clichs. Of course, you'll have to dress up a little, and spend a few bucks while you're there, but at least you won't feel like you've stumbled onto the se...

    by Michele Laudig on April 17, 2008
  • Article

    Talavera set to debut at Four Seasons

    Talk about a fresh start. The Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North will usher in 2008 with a whole new look -- and a whole new restaurant. Renovations have been ongoing at the resort since July. A few months back, I'd gotten word from Kim Cole, t...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on November 27, 2007 @ 9:31 am
  • Article

    A heavenly taste of Utopias

    I spent Thanksgiving Eve giving thanks to the beer gods for sending me a bottle of an incredibly elusive, expensive beer that I never thought I'd get a chance to taste in my lifetime. It's called Sam Adams Utopias, and among beer geeks, it's got a...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on November 26, 2007 @ 4:50 pm
  • Article

    Zen in the kitchen

    I love the Food Network as much as anybody, but it's nice to know that this weekend, there's another entertainment option beyond the TV: the movie theater. Starting tonight, Harkins Valley Art will be screening the new documentary, How to Cook Your...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on November 23, 2007 @ 4:57 pm
  • Frozen yogurt makes its cultural comeback

    Article

    Frozen yogurt makes its cultural comeback

    Pop culture is conspiring to give me a major flashback. From leggings to neon-colored sneakers, hipster kids are dressing like it's the end of the Reagan era. The Police, who reunited last year, are on a world tour. Poison lead singer Bret Michaels h...

    by Michele Laudig on April 10, 2008
  • Article

    New English pub downtown

    Circa 1900 lost its mojo, chef Chris Curtiss got outta there a few months ago (he's currently in the kitchen at Binkley's), and rumors have been floating around that the restaurant's owners, who also own the wonderful Coronado Cafe, would unload the ...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on November 21, 2007 @ 2:48 pm
  • Article

    Nice to be missed

    You know it's time to blog again when somebody drops a line to ask if the food world has stopped! Thankfully, the answer is no. I was just out of town last week for a way overdue visit with my family back in Pennsylvania. It was sort of my early Tha...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on November 19, 2007 @ 11:10 am
  • Stacy Phipps returns bearing BBQ, courtesy of his new restaurant Stacy’s Smokehouse

    Article

    Stacy Phipps returns bearing BBQ, courtesy of his new restaurant Stacys Smokehouse

    Some of this spring's best restaurant news came to me serendipitously. Several weeks ago, driving across a familiar stretch of Indian School Road, just west of the 51, I noticed something that hadn't been there before: a bright purple building, sp...

    by Michele Laudig on April 3, 2008
  • Over Easy  isn't a revolutionary breakfast spot, but it'll treat your hangover

    Article

    Over Easy isn't a revolutionary breakfast spot, but it'll treat your hangover

    "What a draaag it is gettin' old . . ." I can't completely disagree with Mick Jagger on that one. Back when I was a wild young thing, I could rock 'n' roll 'til the wee hours, drinking with abandon, and still wake up fresh-faced the next day. The ...

    by Michele Laudig on March 27, 2008
  • Article

    Wright's names a new chef de cuisine

    Last year, Wright's at the Biltmore unveiled a newly remodeled dining room, and with it, a brand-new menu, whose boutiquey American dishes were dubbed "American Lodge Cuisine." Apparently, things have been quiet at the lodge -- at least until rece...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on November 7, 2007 @ 5:11 pm
  • Article

    Free food today at Joe's Farm Grill

    Anybody up for a field trip? Until 3 p.m. today, and then again from 4 to 8 p.m., Joe's Farm Grill owner Joe Johnston is hosting a "Free Day" in honor of the restaurant's first anniversary, as a way of thanking customers who've fallen in love with ...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on November 7, 2007 @ 1:12 pm
  • Article

    Best excuse to dine out this weekend

    If you're a fan of Maya Dailey's awesome produce from the Farm at South Mountain, check out the Farm's first annual Harvest Festival, this Sunday afternoon. The feast not only features a mouthwatering menu, but a portion of the proceeds will direct...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on November 1, 2007 @ 4:54 pm
  • Crust to crave and palatable pizza at Humble Pie

    Article

    Crust to crave and palatable pizza at Humble Pie

    What makes a great pizza? I swear I'm not trying to start World War III by raising the question. Sure, the subject of pizza invites conversation nationwide, but here in the Valley -- where there's much to be said about Chris Bianco's famous pies, ...

    by Michele Laudig on March 20, 2008
  • Article

    Crepes and frozen yogurt -- what's not to love?

    Still no signs of Pinkberry in these parts, but there is a Scottsdale frozen yogurt spot that opened last week where they serve something quite similar to it, according to owner Charles Cha. The place is called Ice Tango, and the house specialty is ...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on October 30, 2007 @ 3:18 pm
  • Article

    Serendipitous Sunday in Scottsdale

    What a random morning yesterday. I attempted to go to Tempe, and didn't realize I should've gotten off the 202 at Priest -- Rural was closed, and McClintock basically was, too. There was some major bicycling event going on, and all cars were forced...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on October 29, 2007 @ 12:01 pm
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