Last month we saw the demise of the French cafe Scratch Pastries, which had recently expanded from Scottsdale to downtown Phoenix. We'll miss the pastel colored macarons and dainty cakes but we are set to welcome a new French-inspired eatery to the scene: French Grocery, a cafe and market, set to open soon in Central Phoenix.
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"[The] new barbecue restaurant will be churning out pulled pork, beef brisket, spare ribs, and chicken made with a signature dry rub and smoked over a combination of mesquite and pine wood. Diners can choose from sandwiches, combos, and dinners as well as sides such as scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, and baked beans."
"The concept people usually have is the empanadas we get at Mexican bakeries, you know, with fruit filling? Something you eat for breakfast," explained Meraz.
But that's not what this place is about. They have a selection of savory, meat filled pastries (reminiscent of Cornish pasties) not the sweet breakfast treats people maybe imagining.
"Word surfaced over the weekend that horror-themed Monsterland Bar & Grill in Mesa, which shuttered back in January, will awaken from its long dirt nap and become reanimated in late August.
Here's the rub: Per its owner Kevin Wynn, however, the haunted house-like establishment -- which formerly functioned as a Halloween attraction, as well as a restaurant, bar, and nightclub -- will serve mostly as an event space, at least for the time being."
Republica Empanada in Mesa
"There are traditional sounding options like the Pernil, with slow roasted and specially seasoned pork, in addition to an Achiote Potato, stuffed with potato blended with the delicate annatto seed seasoning. And then come intriguing selections like the Mushroom Chicken empanada with Rebublica shredded chicken prepared with fresh mushrooms & kalamata olive, or the Hawaiian, which boasts ham, pineapple and mozzarella cheese. All of the empandas cost less than $3 a piece."
"French Grocery will have a variety of baked goods and sweets available including croissants, beignets, brioche, cinnamon rolls, baguettes, Southern cornbread, buttermilk biscuits, Madeleines, French macarons, creme brulee and pot de creme as well as French press coffee and espresso drinks."
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"We considered selling our Scottsdale location and selling our house to move downtown. We wanted to become part of the community and involved with the Phoenix Public Market. But nobody was willing to help us out in any way. It's been a frustrating three months," she says. But, she adds, "The restaurant is so beautiful, and the community has been supportive. It was the nicest thing we've ever done."