Craft 64

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I finished up the May version of Arizona Restaurant Week at Craft 64. We got a big group of us together to enjoy a fun food night out in Old Town Scottsdale. Main St is home to many great patio restaurants (and art galleries) and Craft 64 is one of the newest additions to the area. They have delicious artisanal wood-fired pizzas along with a great selection of craft beers and wine. Started by a partnership of experienced local owners, Craft 64 has become a local favorite. They make their own mozzarella from scratch everyday and use organic flour and other products from local farmers. The have over 30 local beers on tap and a great outdoor patio area with strings of lights for decoration. We had a wonderful time and received great service from our waiter who educated us on some of their beers.

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They had a great selection to choose from for Restaurant Week. I went with the Wood Fired Eggplant Parmesan, their delicious Sausage Pizza and the yummy Nutella Indulgence for dessert. Because we had a large party, we ended up mixing and matching our dishes so we could get a sample of everything.

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Wood Fired Eggplant Parmesan with Fresh Tomato Sauce

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Sausage Pizza

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Nutella Indulgence

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Tiramisu

My waiter recommended the Pie Hole Porter Nitro – a local beer from Historic Brewery Company out of Flagstaff. What a great tasting beer! I have really been enjoying learning about and tasting new craft beers. Arizona has been coming out with nice local beers from different regions all over the state.

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Pie Hole Porter Nitro

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Craft 64 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Southern Rail

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I started Arizona Restaurant Week off with a bang by eating at Southern Rail Restaurant. I had the pleasure of dining at award-winning Chef Justin Beckett’s restaurant Beckett’s Table during Restaurant Week in 2012 and really enjoyed that experience. I recently sat in on one of his cooking demos and was looking forward to eating at one of his establishments. Southern Rail is his most recent kitchen that opened in 2014. Located inside The Newton (former home of The Beef Eaters) and right off the Valley Metro light rail path, SR has become a popular dining destination for Valley foodies. The Newton is a mixed-use concept space where you can shop, read or dine. In addition to Southern Rail, there is a Changing Hands bookstore, Southwest Gardener and First Draft Book Bar.

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Southern Rail is a beautiful restaurant with lots of open space. It has an open kitchen and a large size patio/bar area. Its rustic-style, nostalgic decor that gives off a warm, hospitable feel. The food has an American Southern theme to it with flavors inspired by dishes from Georgia to Alabama to Mississippi. They also have an award-winning wine list along with a selection of local craft beers. With the Restaurant Week menu, you have the option of choosing from three different menu items for each of your three courses for dinner. Because it was my first time, I went with some of their signature dishes. The cup of Gumbo Ya-Ya for appetizer, the Cider Brined and Slow Roasted Pork Loin for my main course and their delicious Red Velvet cake for dessert. Also included was a local beer (I got one my favs – San Tan Kiltlifter). I was met with great service and enjoyed every bite.

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Gumbo Ya-Ya

Gumbo Soup Ya-Ya

Cider Brined and Slow Roasted Pork Loin

Cider Brined and Slow Roasted Pork Loin

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Southern Rail was a wonderful culinary experience for me. The Gumbo soup was full of flavor and delicious. The Pork Loin was nice and tender and you can’t go wrong with the Red Velvet cake. I’m a huge fan of Chef Beckett and his influence on the growing food culture here in the Valley of the Sun. I highly recommend either one of his restaurants. I look forward to stopping in again on the popular Fried Chicken nights on Wednesdays.

Southern Rail Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beckett’s Table

I’ve been doing Restaurant Week for years. It’s my way to check out new restaurants at a good price. I’ve had a few on my list that I have been wanting to go to and the hard part for me planning them throughout my already busy week. But Beckett’s Table came highly recommended and my friend Lisa Marie was available to join. You get a choice from a 3 course dinner menu for $30. I started off with the achiote citrus poached n chilled shrimp with avocado puree and black beans. For my main course, I tried the cola braised pulled pork with cole slaw. This was amazing! The meat was so tender and I loved the cola aftertaste that followed. For dessert, I tried the bacon chocolate s’mores with caramel sauce and peanut butter mousse. Now I’m not quite getting the bacon flavor trend going on, but I can see how bacon and chocolate are paired up. You get this rich chocolate flavor at first followed by a bacon aftertaste – very interesting. I loved the peanut butter mousse. This was an amazing experience and I look forward to visiting again.

* – From Restaurant Week website 

Beckett’s Table is a new class of American eatery with chef driven food, an awarded wine list, and exemplary service. Chef Justin Beckett pairs sophisticated comfort food and international wines with genuine hospitality in a relaxed urban ambiance at an exceptional value.

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Restaurant Week 2011

– Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to channel their inner foodie and make  reservations at Arizona’s premiere restaurants.

This week (Sept 17-25) is Restaurant week . Restaurant week is cool because if gives people an opportunity to check out a nice restaurant and eat there at great price. Each restaurant provides a limited menu for you to choose from that includes an appetizer, a main entrée and a desert. Depending on the restaurant, meals are priced at $20, $30 or 40. I personally am a big fan of this week and use it as an opportunity to check out a new fine dining experience without paying a big price tag.