Chow Bella's Top Phoenix Food Stories of the Week

Every week, there's a cornucopia of new Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. It's kind of like those burgers at Old Town Whiskey; it just won't all fit in your mouth . . . or in this case, your day. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.

First Taste: Crudo at New Location: Get. In. The. Car.

New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld was apparently one of the few people who actually made it over to Crudo's new location this week and she wasn't disappointed. Here's an excerpt from her First Taste:

Following my dining experience last week at Crudo, the newly opened and re-located restaurant serving inventive raw seafood, handmade pasta dishes, signature mozzarellas, and wood-grilled items from chef Cullen Campbell, I'm still asking myself: Where the hell was everyone? Perhaps it's the hidden-away location, in the back of the Gaslight Square Plaza at 36th Street and Indian School. Or maybe folks are waiting for the furniture to arrive in the bar area owned and operated by cocktail artist and sommelier, Micah Olson, formerly of Merc Bar. (Though I'd be perfectly happy to sip one of Olson's primo creations -- like the refreshing Modest Monk or the big-points-for-the-Mr. Show-reference Wyckyd Sceptre -- on the temporary patio furniture being used.)

Whatever the reason, the time to visit Crudo is now. There's lots here to be enjoyed.

Read the full first taste at Crudo's new location.

-- Laura Hahnefeld

Downtown Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery and Wine Bar to Close [Tomorrow]

Dan Klocke, board president of Community Food Connections -- the group that runs the Downtown Phoenix Public Urban Grocery and Wine Bar -- announced last weekend that the grocery will close May 12.

So what will become of the charming historic grocery space, which just happens to be parked right next to one of the most popular outdoor farmers markets in town?

Rumors have been flying, and Chow Bella's heard a couple of interesting suggestions. One was that ASU had plans (possibly diabolical) for the space. And, really, is that so far-fetched, given the school's proclivity for snatching up empty buildings while the bodies are still warm? Turns out that one's just a rumor. For now, anyway.

-- Nikki Buchanan

Ten Favorite Spots for Wings in Metro Phoenix

Wings. America's number one bar food is also a favorite around Chow Bella. There is nothing we like more than sitting down to a basket full of steaming hot wings with sauce so hot it'll burn the hairs right outta your nose.

Unless we have a hankering for a batch of barbecue; then we'll be happy with a not-so-hot sauce.

Phoenix has lots of places to get your hot wing fix, but there are 10 particular places have our little chicken-wing-lovin' hearts.

Check out our list of favorite hot wings in metro Phoenix.

-- Shannon Armour

Five Ways Not to Buy Wine

Wine is subjective. Every wine is different. It all depends on your taste. Price doesn't equal quality. It's all the same anyway. Just drink what you like. Blah. Blah. Blah.

We've all heard the nomenclatures. The bullshit lines that every wine geek/snob you've ever encountered will feed you about why you should (or shouldn't) buy certain wines. Some are true, while others just make you want to stab someone with a corkscrew. Because ultimately until you pour yourself a glass, you can't really know whether or not it's good, and whether or not you enjoy it. I'm not looking to tell you what wines to buy -- in fact, quite the opposite. I don't reside inside your brain or know what makes your taste buds jump into a conga line. I want to help you ask the right questions, look for the right qualities, and ultimately continually discover new wines you'll enjoy.

So when you're at the grocery store, liquor store, wine store, or (God forbid) the corner mini mart, here are some ways not to buy wine, and a few better ways to do so.

Read our vine geek Brian Reeder's advice on picking the perfect bottle of wine.

-- Brian Reeder

Chow Bella Kicks off its 100 Tastemakers of 2012

From now 'til we publish the 2012 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times and Chow Bella present 100 Tastemakers -- Valley residents who make the cut in our culinary scene. Some you'll know; for others, it'll be a first introduction (but likely not the last).

Check out the Tastemakers that have made the cut and keep an eye out as more are added. Also check out Jackalope Ranch's 100 Creatives.

-- New Times Staff

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