Sazerac PHX is a really cool cocktail/cigar bar. Growing up as a Phoenix native, I always enjoy seeing owners come in and resurrect some of these old buildings. This one was designed with a 30’s speakeasy vibe to it with a cool dim-lighted interior and an outdoor patio area. Inside is a beautiful long red oak bar and an old school black piano for live music. Outside is spacious and has a vacancy sign that came from Sheriff Joe’s old tent city days. They serve craft cocktails and craft beer and have friendly helpful bartenders. My first visit here was a Mezcal tasting they were hosting after a showing of a Mezcal documentary over at FilmBar. Some popular drinks include Trade Secrets, Side Bar, Milli Vanilli and their house Sazerac. I ordered the Smokin’ Berries to keep with the Mezcal theme and enjoyed the smoky liquor with the blackberries. This is a great place if you really want a relaxing evening with a nice cocktail and some live music.
I have so many memories here at the Phoenician going back to high school days. They have been going through some renovations and Mowry & Cotton is their fancy new casual restaurant geared to draw in both visitors and locals. This was one of those fun dress-up Yelp events that incorporated the beautiful views of the Phoenician resort. Mowry & Cotton has a large open patio with amazing décor (the growler wall was a nice touch). We were given the story behind this place from the GM. He mentioned that it is named after George Mowry and James Cotton – two businessmen who opened one of Phoenix’s earliest drinking establishments. We were treated with their signature drink (called the Washington & 1st) from their awesome bartender who worked his butt off for us. It was a blend of commerce gin, St Germain elderflower, blackberry, lime & bitters. I got so caught up with my drinks and the conversation at my table that I forgot to check out the food samples they prepared for us. The seafood was gone when I got there, but I did get to try some of their flatbread pizza. The Wild Mushroom and the Chicken Pesto were both pretty flavorful. But I didn’t miss out on desserts. They had these awesome Lemon Meringue, S’Mores and a Peanut Butter Bar samples that capped off the night. I enjoyed mixing it up with some long time Elites and enjoyed meeting some of the new ones. The best part was the awesome gifts Mowry & Cotton gave us – a choice of a cutting board, a branding iron or an apron. All three were pretty killer. Thanks to our Yelp staff for always being amazing and treating us Elites to a fun night. Read my full post about Mowry & Cotton here.
Florencia Pizza Bistro is one of those locally owned neighborhood eateries. Ahwatukee has a lot of these little hidden gems because most of them are located in strip malls. This one has been around for quite some time and resides next door to the popular Melting Pot. They offer three types of pizza – Traditional, Olive Oil (Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Mozzarella Cheese with no tomato sauce) and Pesto (Basil Pesto Sauce with no tomato sauce). You can create your own with toppings (over 40 topping choices) or choose from one of their popular specialty pizza creations. Some of the names include the Snow White, Pomodora, Valentinos, Winchester, Clevenger, Malanzane, Bo-Be and the Green-Eyed Chicken. There are many more creations to choose from and they have vegetarian options as well. The dough is house made and their pizzas are thin-crust. I’m more of a thick crust person myself but actually found their thin crust quite enjoyable. They also have panini, calzones, salads and sandwiches if pizza is not on your radar. Their appetizer menu is not incredibly large but they have a nice variety to choose from. I got the mozzarella sticks and felt they were just average. We ordered the Clark’s Classic pizza which consisted of pepperoni and chicken marinated in buffalo sauce. I was a little worried the sauce would soak through the thin crust and make it soggy but it actually held up (even eating it as a leftover the next day). There is a small bar area to the side where you can order a glass of wine or beer. The owner is a Wildcat fan (boo…) and they’ve had fun fundraisers in the past during the annual ASU/UA football game to benefit the local high schools in the area. It wasn’t very busy when I visited but service was pretty good.
I used to hang out at the old Video Round-Up arcade in Scottsdale back in the day. I even thought it would be cool to own an arcade like Flynn did in the classic Tron movie. Now Cobra Arcade Bar had brought my childhood back to me. This place is a lot of fun and has a cool vibe to it. I discovered while walking to the Super Bowl experience in downtown Phoenix. At first I was a little irked during their opening week when I brought my kid and they wouldn’t let him in (21 and older only). I just wanted him to see and capture the same joy I had as a youngster. But now I’m kinda happy they are keeping this to the older crowd who appreciates the old vintage arcade games. They have a great selection of old school games (about 40 of them) and a cool looking bar for drinks. Ariel Bracamonte and Genuine Concepts are the co-owners of this new rad place. Cobra usually rotates arcade games in and out throughout the week for variety. They even have a row of pinball machines. They have all the classics – Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Mortal Combat, Street Fighter, 1943, Punch Out and my personal favorite Galaga. The tubular ceiling lights are designed to resemble the iconic arcade game Super Mario Brothers. I love that the games are a quarter (or token) like the old days. I grew tired of the newer arcades that make you buy the dumb expensive game cards. Cobra opens pretty late (2am) and can get pretty crowded on some nights. Especially during theme nights or tournaments. But if you are up for a fun retro night out, come to Cobra Arcade Bar!
“Where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean!”
Waterman’s Surfside Grille has captured the flavors of Virginia Beach since 1981. Located right off the Virginia Beach boardwalk, this beautiful restaurant has both indoor and outdoor patio seating and a fun vibrant atmosphere. I got the Waterman’s Original Pasta – shrimp, scallops and andouille sausage sautéed with a Cajun cream sauce served over pasta. The portion size was perfect and the pasta was amazing. I didn’t try it, but I hear the Original Waterman’s Orange Crush (orange vodka, triple sec and sprite) is amazing as well. They even hold a festival called the Crush Fest that celebrates the drink. This place was jam-packed, so I ate at the bar and people watched. I highly recommend stopping in for a visit at this local favorite. Waterman’s partners with the Virginia Aquarium and participates in their Sensible Seafood Program (promoting seafood that is plentiful and harvested in environmentally friendly ways). I included a video about it below.
I love the Film Bar in downtown Phoenix. FilmBar is a twenty one and over beer/wine bar dedicated to screening new, classic, cult and local independent/foreign films in a microcinema setting (about 70 seats). FilmBar is a unique place in Phoenix and caters to the local downtown Phoenix culture. I saw a movie called The Ambassador tonight. I love noir feel to it and the local art displayed on the walls.
Buddy Guy is the Chicago King of Blues. He is a legend in the music industry and owns this renowned blues club in downtown Chicago. Van Morrison, Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, David Bowie, ZZ Top, Junior Wells, Slash, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy himself have all graced the stage here. The place is also full of memorabilia from several accomplished guitarists as well as Buddy Guy’s own personal music awards. J.B. Ritchie was on tap tonight and played a great show.