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

Cave Creek Balloon Festival Saturday, January 4

The fifth-annual Cave Creek Balloon Festival will bring glowing hot air balloons to the Rancho Mañana Golf Course. The event, organized in part by Tonto Bar and Grill, will include live music, food, cocktails, beer, and wine. Food vendors will include The Buffalo Chip, The Grilled Cheese Truck, J-Licious Tacos, Hao Bao Asian food, and Gourmet Command Center. VIP ticketholders will have access to a buffet by Tonto Bar and Grill. Gates open at 3 p.m. but the balloons will be lit at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased online or at the gate.

Latin Passport Dinner Series: Mexico Saturday, January 4

This month brings the final installment of the Latin Passport dinner series at Province at The Westin Phoenix Downtown. Beginning this Saturday and continuing every weekend through January 25, the restaurant will offer a special four-course menu featuring the cuisine of Mexico. The menu includes shrimp coctel, snapper veracruzano, and mango cheesecake and costs $35 a person. For more information, visit the Province website.

AAA's Taste of Diamonds Sunday, January 5

Three of the Valley's AAA Four Diamond restaurants have teamed up for this event to offer a three-course dinner at the Montelucia Resort and Spa's Prado restaurant. Prado will begin the meal with bellinis and caviar, which will be followed by Kobe beef carpaccio with yuzu-black truffle vinaigrette, pretzel bread, and a wine pairing from Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. Lastly, BLD Steak will serve a Creekstone Farms 6-ounce filet with popovers and loaded tots. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and costs $85 a person for AAA members or $95 for non-members. Call 602-650-2726.

Thai Boat Noodle Soup

Haven't you heard? Thai Boat Noodle Soup is the new pho. Or at least, it is according to our own columnist Eric Schaefer. The dish features "rich broth that is a deep red in color, noodles, and an array of meats and vegetables." At Cha Da Thai in Scottsdale, you can snag a bowl for about $10 and you also get to customized your meats, noodles, and spice level. We recommend #2, Thai Noodle Bowl with BBQ red pork.

Donate Your Citrus

Beginning this weekend, you can unload some of the excess citrus from your backyard or neighborhood trees by donating it to a local food bank. Citrus must be free of stems and leaves and can be brought to food banks including:

  • Desert Mission Food Bank, North Phoenix
  • St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, Metro Phoenix and Flagstaff
  • United Food Bank, Mesa & East Valley

Call your local food bank for more information. You can find a neighborhood food bank by visiting the Association of Arizona Food Banks website.

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