February 25, 2011

Flagstaff's newest restaurant -1899 Bar and Grill- to open on NAU campus next week

Photo courtesy NAU.edu
Flagstaff's newest restaurant is set to open Monday (February 28, 2011) on the Northern Arizona University campus.
1899 Bar and Grill is located in the historic North Union building at NAU's most northern end, near downtown Flagstaff.
The restaurant will feature Southwestern foods and classic steakhouse items as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. They will also focus on local produce, products and beef.

The NAU Foundation invested with Sodexo to create an upscale restaurant that will be open to the public, including students, faculty and staff. The restaurant will begin serving lunch on Monday, Feb. 28, with a grand opening celebration scheduled for early March and will eventually serve both lunch and dinner.

“The NAU Foundation sees investing in 1899 as an all-around win for the university and the community,” said Mason Gerety, vice president for Advancement. “The restaurant will offer one of the best learning environments for students in this state. By repurposing the North Union and preserving the character of the building, we are welcoming many more people into this space to share in the university’s history.”
The dining room seats about 100 in a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere. It features the North Union’s original copper fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows, which may be familiar to some alumni and visitors.

The 1899 Bar and Grill also will afford a unique learning experience for students in NAU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. They will gain real-world knowledge in their field, working alongside an experienced management staff and seasoned executive chef.

“Having a full-service restaurant gets our students out of the classroom and into a real kitchen line setting, similar to what they will work in after graduation,” said T.C. Eberly, adirector of Campus Services and Activities. “During peak times, students will learn the skills needed for kitchen staff to work together to serve a hundred guests an hour. We had a good facility at The Inn at NAU, and 1899 will provide even better learning opportunities for our students.”

The 1899 Bar and Grill is located at 307 W. Dupont Ave., across from the High Country Conference Center and Drury Inn and Suites. Information and reservations are available by calling (928) 523-1899. Cash, VISA, MasterCard, Jacks Debit Express and Dining Dollars will be accepted.

Where to find yummy noodles in Flagstaff

Karma's Ramen
Noodles are a beloved staple in diets across the world. They come in many textures, made of a variety of bases depending on where you are. World-FoodHistory.com says the first noodles in history can be traced back to the Middle East in 5000 BC. That was a wheat noodle. Fast forward to the year 300 when the Chinese form their first version of noodles. Chinese noodles spread to Japan a few hundred years later. Then, as the story goes, Marco Polo brought back noodles to Italy in the late 13th century after a trip to China. And the love of these little strings of filling-goodness continued to spread across the globe becoming the food we now love with the multicultural background and wide variety of tastes. Here in Flagstaff, we have delish noodles in styles form across the globe. Here’s a sampling…

Pasto Cucina Italiano
19 E Aspen
Pasto makes their own pastas fresh in house. In many cases they use heirloom grains, then grind it in house to make the flour that they then turn into their homemade pastas!
Pasto has several types to try like spaghettini, which means “little strings” of pasta; pennette, meaning “little quills”; tagliatelle, which is spinach ribbons. These are served with a variety of their housemade sauces and other fine ingredients. Everything I’ve tried here I’ve enjoyed, so I don’t think you can go wrong with your noodle pick!

Pato Thai Cuisine
104 N San Francisco
Representing the plethora of top-notch Thai noodles in town are the dishes of Pato. They have the delicious classic Pad Thai, of course, which is served with a spicy sauce, ground peanuts, meat, bean sprouts and egg. They also have Pad-see-Eew, Kai Kua (a pan fried flat rice noodle with egg, bean sprout and peanut served on lettuce), Chow Mein (a stir fired egg noodle), Suki Yaki (a glass noodle soup with chicken, squid, shrimp), Rad Nar (a rice noodle with broccoli and carrots in a gravy sauce), Pad Woon Sen (a stir fried silver noodle) and Spicy Noodle (a flat noodle with pepper, onion, celery, basil, tomato and chili paste).

6 E Route 66
Karma takes on the traditional Japanese ramen dish... that’s nothing like those little packets of noodles with flavor packets you can buy for a quarter. Ramen traditionally features Chinese style wheat noodles served in a soy or miso flavored broth with pork or fish. Karma serves it up with pork or chicken plus a boiled egg. This is a delightfully different and filling dish, served in a nice sized bowl.

Taverna Greek Grille
2420 S Woodlands Village
If you want to go Greek with your noodles, Taverna has several options for “zymarika” (the Greek word for pastas). Try the Seafood Pasta Salad, made like many traditional Greek pasta recipes with shrimp and fish. This one has penne tossed in Greek dressing then mixed with grilled salmon, shrimp, kalamata olives, red peppers, red onions, tomatoes, pepperoncini and feta cheese.

Golden Dragon
2730 E Lakin Dr (off Steves Blvd)
Golden Dragon has several types of noodle dishes. They include several varieties of the classics… Lo Mein (which translates to “tossed noodles,” meaning string-like egg noodles tossed in a light sauce with meats and/or veggies) and Chow Fun (with wide rice noodles, meat and sauce) noodle plus Pan Fried Noodles (thin angel hair-like wheat-based noodles that are fried a bit crunchy and served with meat and sauce), Singapore Rice Noodles (which have a curry sauce) and Taiwanese Rice Noodles.

February 24, 2011

Get FREE Chipotle food! Watch a NBC video & get a coupon for Chipotle

Head to Facebook for an awesome free offer from Chipotle and NBC.
Go HERE - That's the Facebook page for the new NBC show America’s Next Great Restaurant.
Once there, follow the link for the freebie. You have to like the show's page, then watch a short video on the show (about a minute long) featuring the founder of Chipotle - Steve Ellis, who is on the show. Then your coupon pops up to print. The coupon is for a buy one get one free meal with purchase of another meal - be it a burrito, tacos or whatever.
The promotion ends March 6... so get on it!

February 23, 2011

Vote for your favorite Green Chile Cheeseburger in New Mexico

Got a favorite green chile cheeseburger restaurant? Have you nominated it for the New Mexico Tourism Department’s web-based Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail?
If the answer is no, you’d better get cracking. The on-line nomination process on the Department’s website (www.newmexico.org/greenchilecheeseburger) will end at midnight Monday (February 28, 2011).
If the answer is yes, then get your fingers ready - voting for New Mexico’s most beloved burgers begins bright and early Tuesday (March 1, 2011) morning and will continue through March 31, 2011.

Some four dozen restaurants with nearly 100 locations were included on the initial version of the Trail, launched in 2009. All restaurants that are presently on the Trail need to be nominated again, however, and new nominations are encouraged.

“We want to have the best representation of the best green chile cheeseburgers in the state,” said Martin Leger, Advertising Manager for the Department. “Some good ones were missed last time, so make sure you get your favorite nominated.”

The top 30 vote getters will be placed on the trail map. A culinary panel will then evaluate any omissions and may add notable burgers to the list.

“The Trail is uniquely New Mexico; we didn’t invent the hamburger but we did put chile on it and make it hot,” Leger added. “Today’s travelers frequently cite culinary attractions as a major reason to visit a destination; and it is hoped that by visiting the Trail and partaking of the state’s beloved green chile cheeseburgers, it will encourage visitors to extend their stay and come back sooner.”

February 18, 2011

La Bellavia - Great breakfast spot in Flagstaff (includes menu)

La Bellavia
18 S. Beaver St., Flagstaff, AZ
(928) 774-8301

La Bellavia is a Flagstaff classic for breakfast. There’s an old fashioned feel inside with simple décor and colorful walls adorned with the works of local artists. The sweet aroma of pancakes, syrup and eggs fill the air.

Oat Cake
La Bellavia is known for their Swedish Oat Cakes. These huge buttermilk and oat cakes are served with a hot cinnamon apple topping. They taste like a treat, but they’re pretty good for you. (A perfect combination.)
You can also order a side-sized oat cake, which is the size of a normal pancake other places. It’s the perfect size for kids.

This breakfast joint also does the classics well. The omelette is filled with your choice of cheese plus two additional fillings. It comes topped with hollandaise sauce and is served with an English muffin and a side-sized buttermilk pancake or country potatoes. (These are the side options for almost all the breakfast entrees here). The omelet was cooked perfectly… not overly dry, full of flavor and juicy without being too salty. The sausage chunks were huge instead of being crumbled, which was a little weird but tasted yummy. We opted for the buttermilk pancake as one of our sides and it was excellent: sweet and fluffy. The English muffin was also fresh and tasty.

Other popular choices… The Trout and Eggs combo as well as the two eggs combo. The Idaho trout is pan-fried and comes with the standard side choices. The two eggs any way you like comes with potatoes and apancake or english muffin for about $5. La Bellavia also serves their own handmade pastries.

The kids menu has several great options. Among them: a Koala Bear Pancake ($3.25), three Silver Dollar Pancakes ($2.75) and French Toast Fingers ($3.75).

The best deal on the menu… the weekday early bird special. From 6:30-8am Monday through Friday you get two eggs, an English muffin, buttermilk pancake or country potatoes, all for just $3.95.

Breakfast is the big draw at La Bell and they know it. It’s served all day every day they're open. But they also do offer a lunch menu with sandwiches, wraps and quiches.

Here's a look at their menu:

For more photos from LaBellavia click HERE.

February 11, 2011

Get a free steak dinner on your birthday at Dry Gulch Steakhouse

Dry Gulch Steak House
1630 Adams Avenue
Prescott, AZ
menu online: http://drygulchsteakhouse.com/

Having a birthday and pondering where to celebrate? Consider heading to Prescott where you can get a free steak dinner on your birthday... when make a purchase of equal or greater value... at Dry Gulch Steakhouse. Get all the details HERE.
Dry Gulch is a saloon style eatery with wood and rock walls and wooden tables. It's not overy fancy, but any cowboy or girl can definately find plenty of options to get their eat on... and you can't really beat that free birthday meal... so it is definately worth a try.

February 9, 2011

Karma in Flagstaff

Ramen with chicken.
Karma Sushi
Route 66 between leroux and san francisco, downtown
Menu online (though not completely up to date) at karmaflagstaff.com

Karma Sushi is a little gem of a spot downtown Flagstaff, just off the hustling Route 66 downtown. Walking into this dark red, black and pale yellow oasis is refreshing. There's booths, tables and room to eat at the massive bar, all with a comfortable ambiance. The ceiling stretches high above with a giant skylight towards the back of the restaurant. Up front, there are tables in the window with a view of passers-by.

While Karma is known as the best sushi spot in town, there's also lots of choices for non-sushi fans that give everyone plenty of reasons to head to Karma. Among them - tempura shrimp and veggies, real ramen noodles with chicken or pork, even a charbroiled burger. Desserts here are a MUST for kids' (or anyone else's) birthdays, as they put a super cool sparkler right on top and bring it to the table with quite a spectacular show!

Karma's burger and steak fries

February 3, 2011

February Food Holidays and where to celebrate them in Flagstaff

The month of love is also the month of chocolate, fresh berries, canned food, American pies, cherries, fiber, fondue, grapefruit, hot breakfasts, snack food, and potato and sweet potato lovers. Bet you didn’t know all that was packed into February, did ya? But that’s not all. Here’s a look at food holidays this month and where to celebrate them in Flagstaff.

February 3: National Carrot Cake Day
Indulge in this kinda healthy (well, there’s real carrots in there) cake at the Wildflower Bread Company (Butler and Lone Tree). Their delish version has pineapple, walnuts, raisins and delectable cream cheese frosting in addition to the carrots and spice cakey goodness.

February 9: Pizza Pie Day
New Jersey Pizza’s (2224 E. Cedar, #6) pies are mouthwatering joy. It may take them a while to serve them or deliver them but dang if they’re not so worth that wait. Be sure to order up a pie with their homemade mozzarella cheese. Heaven!

February 14: National Creme-Filled Chocolates Day
Besides it being Valentine’s Day, when you will feel compelled to eat chocolate anyway, head to Brookside Chocolates (in the Old Town Shops downtown) to get your chocolate lovers heart crème-filled delights.

February 16: National Almond Day
Get your almond on at the Golden Dragon (2730 E Lakin Dr at Steves Blvd). They make a mean Almond Chicken lunch special with roasted almonds (of course), celery, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and chicken sautéed in a brown sauce. Plus you get an egg roll, soup and rice with that lunch special.

February 18: Drink Wine Day
Okay, if you insist. Go on a wine tasting tour of Flagstaff downtown with stops at Brix (413 N San Francisco), Cuvee 928 (6 W. Aspen), and The Wine Loft (17 N San Francisco). Check out the new Vino Loco location (22 E Birch Ave) for a take home bottle of your fav Arizona-grown wines while you’re at it. (And bring along a designated driver.)

February 22: National Margarita Day
Hard to believe this one’s not in May near Cinco de Mayo, but who’s complaining. Celebrate this most delicious of beverages at the daily happy hour at Criollo (16 N San Francisco) for some of the best margs in town at a bargain price!

February 23: Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
Sure it’s not people food but the fine folks at the Our Dog Wash Pet Treat Bakery (1800 E. Route 66) have lots of doggy biscuit appreciation everyday. (And did you know they give a free wash when you adopt a dog at the Humane Society here in town?)

February 24: National Tortilla Chip Day
Chipotle (111 S Plaza Way, at Milton) makes their chips in house daily with a sprinkle of kosher salt and lemon and lime juice, as if you needed another reason to go there.

February 27: National Strawberry Day
Who says strawberries are for desserts and breakfast food only? Taverna Greek Grill (2420 S Woodlands Village Blvd) has a Fruit & Berry salad that has our friend the strawberry along with romaine, green leaf and spring mix lettuce, candied walnuts, cranberries and gorgonzola all tossed in a fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Check out even more food holidays at thenibble.com.
*This article was written for Flagstaff Live, also by me.*

February 1, 2011

New Flagstaff restaurant: Frank's Daily Bread (includes menu)

Frank's Daily Bread
1490 Riordan Ranch Rd. (next to in Bookman's shopping center)

Frank's Daily Bread is the newest restaurant/bakery to open in the location where Malone's used to be next to Michael's in the Bookman's shopping center. Frank's is the new incarnation of Our Daily Bread Deli and Catering, which won best of Flagstaff honors for their sandwiches when they opened back in 2002 and 2003. (Read more about their history HERE.)
The new Frank's serves up sandwiches, soups, salads, breakfasts, fish and chips and Italian specialties like lasagna. I tried them out for the first time on a Wednesday, so the lasagne special was a must get. For $7 you get a giant slice of lasagne, giant piece of garlic bread, a huge side salad and a drink. It wasn't the comparable to the best lasgane's I've had at Chicago's fine Italian restaurants, but for Flaggstaff is was great. Frank makes it in a giant pan and slices up big pieces for each serving, the way it should be done. I'd like to see a little more flavor in it and more cheese. But the meat was plentiful. Overall, I'll be back for more. Plus, they had a sign up claiming to have the best fish sandwich "you've ever had"... that sounds like a challenge I'd like to taste.
Here's their menu:

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