Every week, there's a cornucopia of Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.
As a restaurant town, Phoenix still gets a bum rap: too many chains, too few ethnic, no restaurant-rich urban core, and no famous equivalent to Philly's cheesesteak or Chicago's hot dog to call our own. But there's one thing we do have in abundance, and it's great pizza. Seriously, we are a first-rate pizza town.
We can thank James Beard award-winner Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco for that, the guy who showed us that pizza could be other-worldly when made with premium, locally sourced ingredients and great care. Here are 11 pizza places turning out artisanal or damn-close-to-artisanal pies.
A word often flung around the beer-rating websites on which I sometimes dwell is homerism. The term has a broad definition, but most basically it means support for a local brewery that goes beyond what said brewery deserves. It's most often used by people from states outside a certain brewery's distribution region accusing those in the local market of artificially inflating that brewery's ratings. Homers give extra credit to local brewers, they say, for the sheer fact that they exist close by. It's an interesting phenomenon, brought on perhaps by the local-food movement that's become increasingly popular across the country.
It's also the only logical explanation for why Old World Brewery is still in business.
February saw at least one shocking closure as Old Town Whiskey shuttered rather abruptly to make room for me event space in The Saguro hotel. It also saw a number of new faces, including a bakery that sells sweet hand pies and the timely arrival of a Chicago mainstay.
What the hell's a "music-centric retro haunt?" If it's the building currently going up in Old Town Scottsdale's entertainment district, it's Hi-Fi Kitchen & Cocktails.
Scheduled to open on Wednesday, March 20, Hi-Fi will be located on the northeast corner of the Scottsdale Beach Club complex at 4420 North Saddlebag Trail. A concept of the development company who brought The Mint, RnR, and Axis/Radius to Old Town Scottsdale, Hi-Fi will focus on music (natch) along with a full menu that stays up late for night owls, cocktails, and a fair amount of sensory overload.
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Spring training brings plenty of visitors to the Valley -- we're talking about baseball fanatics and players from around the league. Everyone wants a piece of the action (and the weather) and, of course, you can't participate in all the activity without also indulging in some of the Valley's restaurants and bars. If you're wondering where the players like to eat and drink -- and where you might catch a glimpse of one or two -- we've got the answer.
Find out which D-back can't get enough of the Mission's streak tacos and where Texas-boy Paul Goldschmidt goes to get a fix of his hometown eats. And for single ladies, we've got the scoop on where one the Valley's most eligible bachelors likes to hang out (and take his dates). Check out the complete story.