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3 Things You Need to Know About the Phoenix Food Scene

Tasia and Paul Ford of Big Red's Hot Sauces.
Tasia and Paul Ford of Big Red's Hot Sauces.
Chris Malloy

What a contrast.  Only a couple of months ago, we learned that Scottsdale was getting Arizona's first White Castle restaurant.  Now, this week, we learn the the international restaurant company Nobu will open its first restaurant in Scottsdale, too.  Time and date to be announced.  Which first will you try first?  While you're pondering that, here are some of our top food stories of the week.

An Arizona Hot Sauce Line Is Turning Heads Nationally
A Phoenix hot sauce maker — Big Red’s Hot Sauce — earned the top spot in the overall hot sauce category at this year's California Hot Sauce Expo. Big Red’s hot sauces range from mango-mustard to smoky bacon jalapeño, from mild to molten. Paul and Tasia Ford, the husband-and-wife team behind Big Red’s, have crafted “Arizona-style” hot sauces for seven years. Paul is the sauce maestro. In a few of his, he uses superhots — a category of pepper that starts with ghost and includes everything hotter (scorpion, Moruga scorpion, Carolina Reaper, Trinidad 7-Pot, etc.). Given the blazing heat of these esoteric nightshades, flavor beyond painful heat would seem impossible. “We didn’t get into the hot sauce industry because we wanted to set people ablaze,” says Tasia. “We got into it because we wanted something flavorful that would be a nice addition to whatever you’re eating.”

One of Nobu's signature dishes: yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño.
One of Nobu's signature dishes: yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño.
Nobu Restaurants

Internationally Renowned Nobu Restaurant Coming to Scottsdale Fashion Square
The multi-million dollar renovation of Scottsdale Fashion Square will include the internationally acclaimed restaurant Nobu, the company that owns the mall, Macerich, has announced. The new Nobu Scottsdale will be located just outside Scottsdale Fashion Square’s luxury wing anchored by Neiman Marcus. The restaurant, which is co-owned by actor Robert DeNiro, will feature signature dishes like black cod with miso, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, world-renowned sushi, and new dishes created especially for the Scottsdale location, the company said in a press release. “Scottsdale is such a beautiful area, and Fashion Square is in the center of it all,” Chef Nobu Matsuhisa said. “We look forward to bringing guests the Nobu signatures they have come to love, along with some very special dishes that will only be available at Nobu Scottsdale.” The opening date and design details haven't been announced.

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The entrance to the Rose and Crown Pub, the calm before the storm.
The entrance to the Rose and Crown Pub, the calm before the storm.
Sean Holstege

The Rose and Crown Pub Is Leaving Heritage Square
According to a Facebook post from The Rose and Crown Pub's owner, Donny Phillippi, the bar will be closing its Heritage Square location and looking for a new spot, most likely in downtown Phoenix. The bar was dubbed as a great spot in the Valley for English Premier League matches, and was a popular place to watch England during the World Cup in June and July. The post reads, "Due to circumstances beyond our control we are having to relocate the pub from Heritage Square. We are currently looking for a new space downtown and will keep everyone posted as soon as we have more information on a new home for the pub as well as LFC PHX, which should be in the next few weeks." Rose and Crown previously lost its liquor license in December 2016, and was forced to only serve food, while maintaining shorter than usual business hours. It received a new liquor license in February 2017.

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