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

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Arizona Barbecue Festival Saturday, April 5

This Saturday the "Biggest Honky Tonk in Town," the fifth annual Arizona Barbecue Festival will take over Scottsdale's Salt River Fields. The event will bring together more than 25 top barbecue purveyors, local restaurants, and numerous bars for an event that expects to draw more than 15,000 people. Attendees can look forward to 'cue from Little Miss BBQ, Honey Bears, Piggly's, Tom's BBQ, Whiskey Ranch, Sally's, Steel City BBQ, Montana BBQ, Ragin' Cajun and more, as well as bacon creations from Pig & Pickle, Oink Café, Over Easy, and Crepe Bar at the festival's new Bacon Zone. Other entertainment will include chef demos, live music, and the Redneck Games Arena with contests such as arm wrestling, watermelon seed spitting, bobbing for pig's feet, and keg rolling. Admission costs $12 and parking is free. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the party ends at 8 p.m. For more information visit the Arizona BBQ Festival website.

See also: The Arizona BBQ Festival and The Great American BBQ and Beer Festival: A Side-by-Side Comparison

First Friday Party Friday, April 4

At this month's First Friday event chef Aaron Chamberlin's Phoenix Public Market Cafe will launch a monthly party that will include free live music performances, pop-up art installations and seasonal craft beers. This Friday performances will include The Senators from 9 to 10 p.m. and Dylan Pratt from 8 to 9 p.m. You'll be able to enjoy the show while sipping on a cold brew and playing a game of corn hole at the onsite Cartel Beer Garden. The party begins at 6 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m.

Tequila-Paired Dinner Friday, April 4

The Ritz-Carton's The Club Bar has recently unveiled a new tequila concept that includes house-aged and infused plata and reposado tequilas. To showcase the new spirits and drinks, they're hosting a tequila-paired dinner this Friday beginning at 6 p.m. The four-course menu includes crab salad, a chipotle pork rib appetizer, roasted duck with honey-lime sauce, and tres leche for dessert. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. with a patio reception and costs $85 per person with very limited seating. For reservations call 602-952-2424.

Italian Festival at Southbridge Saturday, April 5

This Friday and Saturday the Italian Association of Arizona is transforming Scottsdale's SouthBridge into an Italian "piazza." The first-ever Italian Festival will offer Italian music, Italian wine tasting, and Italian bites from more than 10 local restaurants including Cibo e Vino, Espresso Italia, Avanti Restaurant, Cuttlefish, Pomo Cucina & Pizzeria Napoletana, and Virtu Honest Craft. Admission costs $10 a person and includes a souvenir of the event. The festival runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. For more information visit the Italian Association of Arizona website.

Day Off Dinners Sunday, April 6

See also: Joe Absolor of Clever Koi in Phoenix: "I'm Having to Hold Back a Little Bit."

The four-man crew behind central Phoenix's The Clever Koi may have left their posts at The Parlor, but they're still connected to the restaurant and its chef. This Sunday The Clever Koi will host a Day Off Dinner event, a collaboration with The Parlor's chef Loan Stephenson and head bartender Michael Allmandinger. The 5-course meal will include cocktails and wine and costs $65 a person. The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. For reservations call 602-222-3474.

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