5 Best Things to Eat and Drink This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

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James Beard Foundation Taste America Tour Tomorrow

For the second year the James Beard Foundation will come to the Valley for a weekend of food and drink events as a part of the Taste America Tour. The traveling celebration of local food and drink begins its stay in the Valley with a Night of Culinary Stars tomorrow night at the Royal Palms. The four-course dinner will feature food from top Valley chefs including Silvana Salcida Esparza, Paul McCabe, Charleen Badman, Josh Hebert, Cullen Campbell, Gio Osso, and Kevin Binkley will be joined by chef Sherry Yard of Helms Bakery in Los Angeles. Tickets to the event, which begin at $250 a person, can be purchased online. For more information about A Night of Culinary Stars and other Taste America event, visit the James Beard Taste America website.

See also: James Beard Foundation's Taste America Comes to Phoenix Next Week -- Here's the Menu

El Palacio's Rockin' Taco Street Fest Saturday, September 13

Head to the parking lot at El Palacio in the Crossroads Shopping Center in Chandler this Saturday for live entertainment, street tacos, and a salsa competition. The Rockin' Taco Street Fest will include a taco eating contest, a salsa competition, street taco station, and margarita hut, as well as beach themed games and a water slide. Both the taco eating contest and salsa competition are open to the public, though the salsa contest requires per-registation (available online). The top three salsa competition winners will be awarded gift cards to El Palacio of Chandler. Admission to the festival costs $5 for those over the age of 12 and includes a raffle ticket good for a chance to win a vacation getaway courtesy of Wyndham Vacations. For more information visit the Rockin' Taco Street Fest website.

Gluten Free Creations Bakery & Cafe Saturday, September 13

Since long before gluten-free became one of the buzziest words in the culinary lexicon, Gluten Free Creations has been bringing a wide array of gluten-free baked goods to Valley diners. This weekend the bakery and cafe, which has two locations in town, will be celebrating 13 years of business by offering a few special deals to their fans. On Saturday at both the Phoenix and Scottsdale bakery/cafes, you'll be able to taste upcoming fall creations, get a special edition sugar cookie, and cash in on a surprise percentage off your entire purchase. For more information about Gluten Free Creations visit the bakery's website.

Seven Chef Steakout Sunday, September 14

On Sunday the third edition of Seven Chef collaboration series will continue with a Seven Chef Steak Out at at Top of the Rock Restaurant. This beef-centric event will include courses from Bernie Kantak, Josh Hebert, Kelly Fletcher, Stephen Jones, Scott Holmes, Gio Osso, Gregory Wiener, and Chris Castro. Look for dishes such as skirt chicken fried steak with potato croquette and black pepper gravy and beef tongue pastrami with mustard seeds, beets, and horseradish. There will be two seatings for the event -- the first at at 11 a.m., followed by a second at 2 p.m. -- and the cost is $35 a person. For a reservation call Top of the Rock at the Marriott Buttes Resort at 602-431-2370.

Sprinkles Cupcakes Sunday, September 14

You know what's even better than a Sprinkles cupcake? A free Sprinkles Cupcake. And that's exactly what you'll get this Sunday if you show up to the Scottsdale location of Sprinkles Cupcakes in Arizona Cardinals gear. In celebration of the Cards first away-game, Sprinkles will be giving away a free Cardinals red velvet cupcake to fans wearing Cardinals jerseys, shirts, or hats. Limit one per customer.

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