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Top Five Phoenix Food Stories of the Week

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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. It's kind of like those burgers at Old Town Whiskey; it just won't all fit in your mouth ... or in this case, your day. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.

The Maine Lobster Lady is Coming Back to Town!

After a long summer hiatus, word has it that The Maine Lobster Lady is heading back to the shores of Tempe Town Lake. Grab your forks and mark your calendars, folks, it's just about time to dig in.

The Lobster Lady, "A Maine island girl, along with her very own lobster fishin' partner," spent the warmer months on Isle au Haut off the coast of -- you guessed it, Maine. If you caught her at the Food Truck Festival last spring you know firsthand how quickly her "Ultimate White Meat" creations and east coast seafood fly out the window and into southwest food truck lovers' mouths. Find out when she'll be back in the desert.

--Laura Hahnefeld


20 Best Ethnic Restaurants in Phoenix: Best of Phoenix 2012

We've spent the last year in the laboratory putting Phoenix under the microscope to reveal hundreds of specimens of the best culture, outdoor adventures, shopping, dining, and nightlife the city has to offer. And we're finally ready to publish our results. Nerd alert! Now presenting Scientific Phoenix.

If you're looking for ethnic dining options around Phoenix, you have plenty of places to choose from. We've narrowed them down for you in our annual Best of Phoenix 2012 issue. Read on to see which restaurants made our list.

-New Times Staff


Why Don't Some Restaurants Take Reservations?

When it comes to dining out, some of us need a restaurant that takes reservations (at $15 an hour, that babysitter ain't cheap) while others don't (another drink at the bar -- don't mind if I do.) So why wouldn't all restaurants simply play it safe and afford customers the ability to lock down seats? Here's what Valley chefs and restaurateurs had to say.

--Laura Hahnefeld

AZ Taco Fest Planners School Judges in Taco Tasting

You think judging a taco contest sounds like a lark? Yeah, I thought so, too. But the AZ Taco Fest, held October 20-21 at Salt River Fields gets bigger and better every year (this is its third), and its founders-promoters-and-all-around-grunts Rick Phillips and David Tyda (a.k.a. the Eateraz boyz) want to make sure every aspect of the event is 100 percent legit.

And to that end, they invited all the new judges to a quick meeting at The Mission in Scottsdale on Wednesday night for a rundown of how judging will be handled. Whew! It sounds like a lot of eating, a lot of dithering, and a lot of work. Get this ...

--Nikki Buchanan


James Bond Now Drinks Heineken. So What?

By now, you might have heard about the new James Bond film, Skyfall. It's coming to your favorite megaplex in about a month. This time, Bond is trading in the iconic vodka martini for... wait for it... Heineken. Yup, he's swilling one of the most popular (if nondescript) imported beers in the world. Suffice to say, more than a few Bond fans (and more than a few booze fans) have their knickers in a bunch over this development.

The way people are reacting over the apparent selling out of James Bond, you'd think someone pissed on their grandmother's grave. These people do have a bit of a point. When you think of Bond, practically the first thing you associate with him is his classic drink: A vodka martini, shaken, not stirred. It's an iconic order, one that shaped the way America drinks. But where did it come from?

--JK Grence


Don't forget to check out Chow Bella's continuing list of 100 Tastemakers.

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