And it's only the middle of the month.
Myke's Pizza makes one of metro Phoenix's absolute best pizzas, as we wrote last month. This was always incredible given that Myke Olsen, leader of the pop-up, had no pizzeria. He baked pies in portable ovens on a Mesa sidewalk, persevering through elements and Sonoran heat that made the process of handling dough much harder. Not anymore, though. Olsen is getting a pizzeria. And, in a move that adds a stellar one-two combo to Mesa’s Main Street, he is getting a pizzeria inside of Cider Corps — which will be expanding to accommodate him and to broaden its operations.
Six female chefs from the Phoenix area have been named semifinalists for the 2019 James Beard Awards. These awards are considered the Super Bowl of food awards for chefs. The semifinalists include Chrysa Robertson (Rancho Pinot); Samantha Sanz (Talavera at the Four Seasons); Cassie Shortino (Tratto); Nadia Holguin (of the now-closed Roland's Market Cafe Bar); Silvana Esparza (Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva); Kevin Binkley (Binkley's Restaurant); and Charleen Badman (FnB). Kai Restaurant in Chandler was nominated for outstanding service. The finalists will be announced on March 27 and the winners on May 6. We'll keep you updated as these awards progress to future rounds.
Opened in 2013 in Gilbert, Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. is a leading light of the Valley’s beer scene. This year, Wilderness has been expanding operations. The new, impressive downtown Phoenix location will boost Phoenix’s already-robust beer culture. And not just because the beer-garden-style drinkery on East Roosevelt and Second streets can pack 650 people. Not just because you can chill in a large outdoor area or at a sidebar along the sidewalk, watching cars and people roll by. Not just because some days the kitchen will be serving burgers until long after midnight. It's simply because, crucially, the beer is that good.