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Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza offers meals to unpaid federal employees, a comic book restaurant is coming, and FnB co-owner Pavle Milic will open a winery in southern Arizona.
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza offers meals to unpaid federal employees, a comic book restaurant is coming, and FnB co-owner Pavle Milic will open a winery in southern Arizona.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Everything You Need to Know About This Week of Phoenix Food News

It's been a wild week of new eatery, brewery, and winery announcements, plus restaurant industry generosity in the form of free meals for unpaid federal workers during the partial government shutdown. Here's everything you need to know to be up-to-date with this week's Phoenix food news — not to mention recommendations for some of the Valley's best bowls of pho, biryani dishes, and new coffee shops.

Barrio Café at 16th Street and Thomas Road is offering free meals to unpaid federal workers.
Barrio Café at 16th Street and Thomas Road is offering free meals to unpaid federal workers.
Evie Carpenter
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If You're an Unpaid Federal Employee, Your Meal Is on Barrio Cafe
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza recently returned from a trip home to Mexico, during which she spent four hours at the United States border. She spoke with a government employee who says he loves his job — if only he were getting paid for it. This inspired Salcido Esparza to act using her own restaurant, Barrio Cafe on 16th Street, starting on day 26 of the partial government shutdown. They’re now giving away free meals to federal workers. All guests have to do is show their $0 net government pay stub and a matching form of identification. “There’s no restrictions; come in pick something off the menu,” Salcido Esparza says. Dessert is also on the house. Salcido Esparza says she wants to show love to the community that loves her back. “I think it’s important that we support each other,” she says.

Wreck-It Ralph welcomes you to wreck some nachos at ComicX, coming to Desert Ridge Marketplace.
Wreck-It Ralph welcomes you to wreck some nachos at ComicX, coming to Desert Ridge Marketplace.
Courtesy of ComicX

Nerd Out With New Noms at ComicX Coming in 2019
Attention, comic fans (and most kids): Mexico-based restaurant chain ComicX is coming to the Valley in summer 2019. Once open, patrons may chow down while surrounded by 8,000 square feet of comic book paraphernalia at Desert Ridge Marketplace. This is the chain's first foray into the United States market; they arrived backed by several years of experience and dozens of locations in Mexico. “Desert Ridge Marketplace is the perfect location for our first U.S. concept,” ComicX co-founder Santiago Cota said in a press release. “We are excited to share the action-packed experience with the Valley.” The ComicX menu is a sampling of bar food favorites such as pizzas, tacos, burgers, and an array of dessert options. Smash some wings with the Hulk and have the bartender sling you a drink under the watchful eye of Spidey.

Pavle Milic is the co-owner of FnB in Scottsdale with an award-winning wine program. Now, he's opening a winery in southern Arizona.
Pavle Milic is the co-owner of FnB in Scottsdale with an award-winning wine program. Now, he's opening a winery in southern Arizona.
Evie Carpenter

FnB Co-Owner Pavle Milic to Open Los Milics Winery This Year
Imagine spending the weekend at the foothills of the Mustangs Mountain Range, about 10 minutes south of Tucson, sipping Arizona wine and being tantalized by the picturesque desert scenery. Pavle Milic, front of house manager, beverage director, and co-owner of Scottsdale's well-known restaurant, FnB, describes it as a place where time stands still. Amid this beautiful terrain in Elgin, which is referred to by locals as the “Biscuit,” Milic will be opening a winery and tasting room with plans for future lodging. Los Milics Winery is slated to open in fall 2019 — with the tasting room following in winter 2019, and lodging starting in early 2021. Los Milics Winery will produce and showcase several thriving wine varietals including petit verdot, marsanne, Montepulciano, petit manseng, vermentino, and malvasia bianca.

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