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.
Phoenix might be the sixth-largest city in the nation, but when summer hits (and the unofficial worm-turner is usually the week after Mother's Day), the local restaurant business drops like a rock. Servers who were busting their butts and making bank a few months earlier slowly turn into coral reefs.
A handful of indie restaurants typically take a "why fight it?" stance, and close up shop for a few days, a few weeks, or even an entire month. The time off gives chefs a chance to relax, re-charge, and maybe even dream up a few new ideas.
If you thought the prospect of a long, hot summer looked dreary before ... check out the list of restaurants, which will be closed for a time -- or open only on specific days -- this summer. See the list of Phoenix's closing restaurants.
-- Nikki Buchanan
Father's Day, celebrated this year on Sunday, June 17, pays tribute to our dads, who, in one sweaty and heated moment, engaged in coitus with our moms and made us the people we are today. Yay, Dad.
But dads aren't all the same, especially when it comes to what they like to eat. So Chow Bella crafted a handy little list that helps match the kind of dad with the kind of restaurant he might enjoy the most this Father's Day. And even if they don't match exactly, perhaps the lists will help to spark some ideas. As Dad would say, "Now that's usin' your noodle."
-- Laura Hahnefeld
Brewing and distilling go hand in hand. When boiled with hops and grain, the liquid in the mash tun becomes wort, which a meeting with yeast will turn into beer. When grain is boiled without hops or other solids, however, the mash produces wash, the building block of whiskey distilling.
Collaborations between brewers and distillers can be lucrative -- brewers provide the wash for distillers to make into whiskey, and distillers provide used barrels for aging bigger brews like stouts and barleywines.
And it looks like we may see one such alliance come together in Tempe very soon.
A new distillery, Copper State Spirits, is tentatively set to open this fall in one of the vacant buildings west of Four Peaks' Tempe brewpub. The best part? The principal on Copper State is none other than Rick Burch, bassist for local-band-made-good Jimmy Eat World.
-- Zachary Fowle
How long has Josh Hebert been obsessed with food? Let's put it this way: one of his first words was "breakfast." It's an elaborate family story his mother loves to tell, he says, adding that he actually started rattling around in the kitchen at the ripe old age of 12.
While most boys were still playing GI Joe, Hebert was impersonating Southwestern Cuisine guru Dean Fearing, making Southwestern dishes from cookbooks.
Hebert was a junior at Brophy Prep when he landed a job at a corporate Italian restaurant and six months later, begged his way into the kitchen at Tarbell's, where he was a line cook his senior year.
He stayed at Tarbell's for five years, eventually moving up to sous chef, all the while learning everything he could about running a business properly from Mark Tarbell.
Check out the full interview with Chef Josh Hebert of Posh.
-- Nikki Buchanan
Downtown Phoenix could always use another eatery, particularly one that is open late, cheaper than dirt, and, most important, serves up some serious grub.
Tacos Sonora Grill opened late last week just southeast of Chase Field, across Seventh Street.
The taco shop is open until 2 a.m. on weekends, and follows the uniquely Phoenix tradition of stuffing a tiny eatery into a tiny house next to an adult video shop.
Parking consists of a small dirt lot of undoubtedly contentious ownership.
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The menu is caveman-simple and features only seven items. Three tacos, three drinks, and an option for a post-taco flan. Nothing on the menu is over $2.50 and a carne asada taco will set you back only $1.50.
-- Ando Muneno Don't forget to check out Chow Bella's continuing list of 100 Tastemakers.