Category Archives: happy hour

Kierland Commons

 

If there’s one thing I love to do, it’s S-H-O-P! And Kierland Commons happens to be one of the places I enjoy the most. I love it’s selection of stores along with its openess and beautiful setting. It really sets the mood for a great day of shopping. They also have an amazing selection of restaurants, so there’s always a place to rest your feet and refuel between stores (never underestimate the need to refuel during a shopping excursion – energy is crucial).

My most recent visit to Kierland Commons was for Fashion’s Night Out. I needed a little retail therapy after a long week and this was the perfect solution. Kierland is fun any time of day, but evening is especially “magical” with all of the white lights, people strolling around and patios full of happy hour aficionados. Thanks to the celebratory nature of Fashion’s Night Out, there was music playing, drinks flowing, deals to be had and a slew of live models showing off the latest must-haves for Fall. The stores really got into the spirit of the evening (Note: although tempting, I steered clear of drinking and shopping – it’s hazardous to my wallet!).

Kierland truly has a little bit of everything. Some of my favorite stores include Anthropologie, The French Bee, Michael Kors and Charles David. Of course, they also have the good ol’ stand bys like Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, J. Crew, LOFT, Banana Republic and Tommy Bahama (which includes the Cafe). Basically, I can meet all of my shopping needs in one place.

As mentioned, the restaurant selection is stellar as well. Some of my personal favs are The Greene House, Zinc Bistro and Ocean Club (the pretzel bread is to die for.)

But don’t just take it from, be sure to check it out for yourself. To see all of their stores and restaurants, go to www.kierlandcommons.com.

Kierland Commons
Greenway Pkwy. and Scottsdale Rd.

 

5th and Wine

I just recently discovered this little gem of a restaurant/wine lounge in Old Town Scottsdale. As luck would have it, a friend decided that this was the perfect spot for her birthday celebration. Since I’m not one to pass up a celebration or the chance to try a new restaurant, I grabbed my husband and we headed out to Old Town.

This is such a cool spot! The atmosphere inside just begs you to sit down, relax and enjoy the company of good friends, good food and good wine. The walls are adorned with the artwork of renowned animal artist Ron Burns. As an animal lover, I was excited to see his whimsical prints. For me, it just added a little something extra. They also have a great outdoor area that I plan to check out once we ease into our version of winter.

 I was just as pleased with the food and wine as I was with the cozy atmosphere. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m not a terribly picky wine drinker but I really enjoyed the Pino Grigio I tried (for the life of me, I don’t recall the name). They have lots of food choices on the menu for sharing. We opted for the Crispy Calamari (with a delightful chile basil dipping sauce, but not too hot) and the “Choose 2” Bruschetta. We went for the Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil, Balsamic Reduction and Hummus, Chive, Saffron Oil – both were yummy.

If you’re in the mood for some delicious eats, good drinks and a comfortable, laid back atmosphere, give this place a try.

7051 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale
www.5thandwine.com

El Chorro

Ah, El Chorro – One of the icons of Phoenix dining, as much for it’s food (including their famous sticky buns) as for the view – a straight shot of Camelback Mountain from the north side.

Herb Garden at El Chorro

It started out in the ’30s as a girls’ school, then became a restaurant for all the hip-and-happening in the ’50s. It had been run for decades by the same sweet couple, the Millers. But in 2009, after the Millers had said goodbye, Jacquie Dorrance (her husband, Bennett, an heir of Campbell’s Soup) purchased it and set out to remodel a pillar of old Phoenix.

The Dorrances are known around town – if not personally, than in their philanthropy. The planetarium at the Arizona Science Center and the sculpture garden at Phoenix Art Museum bear the Dorrance name. So for their next project to be El Chorro was fitting to their history here and their love of Phoenix. The public, though, held its collective breath as rumors swirled about whether or not the new version of the restaurant would live up to its name.

El Chorro has been open for months now, and the verdict is in: It is every bit as amazing as the original (and maybe even more).

El Chorro in Phoenix, AZ

The views of Camelback Mountain were improved upon by nearly doubling the patio dining areas, the interior and exterior are bridged by a huge bar, and the inside of the restaurant was completely redesigned to be brighter. In every sense, though, it is the glamorously rustic space you hope for, and the feeling of the old El Chorro hasn’t changed, thanks in part to the photos of old Phoenix set on the walls, the socializing under the sky, and yes – even the sticky buns are back.

There are also new, tucked-away areas that provide loads of charm. The patio has more fireplaces for the winter with big, cushy chairs (and by the way, misters run throughout the patio so even in the summer, the patio is 85 degrees), there is the organic garden, and beautiful lawns for events.

The food is equally impressive, even in the bar which draws the happy hour crowd to nosh on delicious appetizers and cool beverages.

El Chorro Dining

All-in-all, El Chorro is not to be missed. It is in the top 5 places I would recommend to my own family and friends coming to town, so take that, dear readers, as a good recommendation.

El Chorro Lodge
5550 E Lincoln Dr.
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

The Main Ingredient

You might remember my initial post, filled with anticipation, giddyness, and a watering mouth. Well, The Main Ingredient Ale House & Cafe (TMI) is open and lives up to the hype.

“Hype” might not be the right word, considering this place is all about casual and easy-going, relaxing on their patio or maybe in front of the fireplace inside. The old Phoenix home is still there is spirit, enough to feel cozy with your beer and surprisingly delicious food. The menu is unassuming, with Starters, Salads, Hot Sandwiches and Dessert, but what they do, they do well. They have some of the absolute best chips and salsa I’ve had in this town (and I’ve nearly tried them ALL), which pairs beautifully, by the way, with their Coke or Coke Light from Sonora, Mexico (yes, it’s an entirely different product).

I could go on about the food – the Tuna Salad Salad, the Red Goat, Mindy’s Mac ‘n Cheese, The Sheridan sandwich, the Jive Turkey or The Calvano (with sopressata, aged provolone, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers) are all amazing and use local ingredients where they can.

The Main Ingredient Sandwich

The RB&C Sandwich

But you also come for the beer. It is called an Ale House, and while the adult beverages list is also heavy on wine, it has eight on draught, half of those from our great state. The Four Peaks Hefeweizen pairs gloriously with their patio and a pair of sunglasses, by the way.The bottle list is more extensive, and draws heavily from the lauded beers of the Western region.

Whatever you come for – the food, the drink, the atmosphere – this is a place that has made a great first impression on the Phoenix crowd and it’ll be around for a while.

The Main Ingredient Ale House & Cafe

The Main Ingredient
2337 North 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006

http://tmialehouse.com/

Local Fave: Devil’s Martini

Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe are known for their nightlife, and make no mistake, there are bars and dance clubs abounding. But just like anywhere else, there are a few hot spots that stick out above the rest. For us Phoenicians, it’s Devil’s Martini in Scottsdale. Now there are two locations – one in Old Town – and “Devil’s north” on Scottsdale Rd & Shea, and now Devil’s Martini has been voted by our blog readers as the Best Nightlife Spot.

At either location, you can expect to find a perfect combination of bar, lounge and dance club, all with a very open, airy, Hamptons-y feel to it. The DJs are always the top crop in town, and the dance floor is pretty packed starting at about 10:30, although there’s always room for one more person, somehow.

Devil's Martini

The drinks are always flowing, too. Unlike other bars that demand long wait times for a drink, both Devil’s locations have multiple bars so you can squeeze in and get your beverage of choice. The multi-bar floor plan also serves to accommodate the non-dancing (read: most men) crowd. Yes, the dance floor is hoppin’ but there is plenty of seating for those who just don’t have the moves. That’s actually one reason it has become so popular – there’s a spot for everyone.

There’s also a spot in line for you, too. That’s right – the popular places come at a bit of a price. Typically at 11pm or after, you’re gonna have to wait a little to get in. It might be 10 minutes, it might be 30, but it’s always worth it.

Devil’s Martini (original location)
4175 North Goldwater Boulevard
Scottsdale, AZ‎
www.devilsmartini.com

Happy Hour at Tommy Bahama Cafe

We needed to do a little shopping at Kierland Commons (oh, darn) so we opted to stop by the Tommy Bahama Cafe for a little bite to eat and to soak up the beautiful day. From past experience, we knew that they offered some happy hour deals from 4 to 6pm, so we decided to go that route rather than a heavy meal. Their happy hour (or Island Time, as they call it) prices are great – $5 appetizers and wine – and they have live music which sets the perfect mood. Of course, they also offer some fantastic Island-y drinks. I just happened to be in the mood for a little wine this particular evening.

Live Music

Ahhh, this is the life

When our food arrived, I was so anxious to dive in that I forgot to snap pictures first. In the photos below, you’ll see that we had already indulged – I promise, there’s more food than you see here. I had the Coconut Shrimp (dee-licious) and Fish Tacos (also yummy), and my husband snacked on the Quesadilla and Sliders. He loved both, especially the cheeseburger slider.

Coconut Shrimp

Quesadilla

So, the next time you’re in the mood for a little Island Time, head over to Tommy Bahama Cafe and get your happy hour on. Great prices, great food and great atmosphere. What’s not to love?

Tommy Bahama Cafe
Kierland Commons
15205 N. Kierland Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ
www.tommybahama.com

Majerle’s

Majerle's sports bar in downtown Phoenix

Majerle’s has been a staple of downtown Phoenix for years, particularly on game nights for the Arizona Diamondbacks or Phoenix Suns. Both teams play just around the corner from this sports bar hub, and with the brick walls, numerous television screens and renowned wings, it fits the bill for the quintessential pre-game or post-game festivities.

When Majerle’s opened in 1992, all of the Phoenix area was infatuated with Dan Majerle’s success on the court for the Suns, he was the good, clean guy – almost like Opie. Everyone loved Dan Majerle, so why wouldn’t you love his new place? The food was (and is) great, atmosphere fun (complete with the “Back Room” for extra space, packed when the Suns are on a roll), and it was just what Phoenix needed.

Inside Majerle's Sports Bar

Now 18 years later, it’s still full of suits for lunch and happy hour, fans for dinner and drinks. Just like any other hometown staple, they have a specialty. Burgers. Their burgers are huge, juicy, not too greasy, and all-around hit the spot. Their wings are also amazing, and many of the locals will tell you to go for the chili pepper garlic over the regular buffalo style.

Stop in when you’re in downtown, and if it’s a game night, you just might see some players there for a cool down.

Majerle’s
24 North 2nd Street
Phoenix, AZ‎
(602) 253-9004‎