We're entering one of the best times to be eating in Phoenix. People are outside, soaking up the weather and sipping drinks, eating sushi, and barbecue, and spring vegetables. We've had a spate of wide-ranging food news in recent weeks, a run of cool new happenings before things slow down for the summer. Here, we give you the lowdown on three of the tastiest pieces of metro Phoenix food news.
Metro Phoenix Gets Its First Fully Vegan Grocery Store
Buying vegan food products in the Valley has come a long way. Sandra and Dylan McKee are driving change with their new all-vegan grocery store, Veggie Rebellion in downtown Glendale. “We wanted to create a place here to shop,” Sandra says, “where you don’t have to read labels to know if something is vegan." Some things you’ll find on the shelves are salad dressings, sweet treats, soups, pastas – including a few mac-and-cheese kits – along with pet eats and supplies, and household cleaning products. In addition to those shelved goods, Veggie Rebellion also has a cold food case featuring vegan creamy and sliced cheeses, deli meats, and yogurts. Frozen goods include a variety of dairy-free ice creams, as well as savory foods like veggie burgers and a "ham" made by faux meat stalwart Tofurkey.
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La Santisima Owners to Open Jalisco-Style Restaurant on McDowell Road
Felipe Guzman's new restaurant on East McDowell Road is going to be a celebration of Jalisco, the Mexican state of his birth. Jalisco is home to birria and tequila. La Marquesa will specialize in both. Guzman, who owns La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop on 16th Street and a second location in Glendale, says he will open La Marquesa in May. La Marquesa will serve birria made from goat and beef. Tacos — including lengua, carnitas, brain, cheek, and chamorro, a braised pork — will be made in the Jalisco spirit. There will be torta ahogado, drowned in sauce almost like an enchilada-style burrito, a torta style popular in Guadalajara, as well as marrow bones roasted in the mesquite-fired brick oven that will be the heart of the restaurant's cooking. "It's going to be food from Jalisco," Guzman says. "All the food is going to be cooked in the brick oven." La Marquesa will open its doors in May at McDowell Road and 19th Street, just west of Tacos Chiwas.
'Vegetable-Obsessed' Chef Sacha Levine Will Be Hosting Pop-Up Dinners
Sacha Levine, who has cooked at Rancho Pinot, FnB, Quiesscence, and most recently Ocotillo, will be hosting a number of pop-up dinners from now until her new restaurant opens in late summer or fall. Levine left Ocotillo earlier this year. This lineup of pop-ups will fill the gap between her past and future. Levine will be cooking at the pop-ups with Carlos Carbajal, the chef she'll be partnering with for the new eatery, which will be called The In Betweens. "It's all local, seasonal, and vegetable-driven," Levine says of her approach at the pop-ups. "Everything's new American now. It's a big melting pot." Pop-up partners include Noodle Bar in Phoenix, Noble Eatery, and Cloth & Flame. To keep up with The In Betweens, check out the group's Facebook page.