Tag Archives: Pig & Pickle

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort

Scottsdale resorts offer hot discounts that beat the heat

When you envision Scottsdale during the summer, do you see a dry, barren desert, where weather-worn locals proclaim through parched lips, “At least it’s a dry heat”? Well, think again. Locals have a secret weapon that helps them survive May, June, July and August. We’ll let you in on the secret. Scottsdale’s 70 hotels and resorts offer ridiculously hot deals with rates as low as 60 percent off peak season. Take a cue from locals and rise early to hike in the breathtaking, lush Sonoran Desert, hit the golf course during the cool morning hours, soak up sun in your bathing suit while sipping a chilled margarita at a resort pool, and head to the spa for a heavily discounted, relaxing afternoon. After a few days in this warm weather destination, you’ll gleefully proclaim, “It is a dry heat!”

KEEP COOL AND CARRY ON

Beat the heat this summer at The Saguaro Scottsdale with the “Desert Splash” package. Lounge poolside under a shaded cabana while cooling off with a refreshing complimentary pitcher of Casamigos Tequila Margaritas. Every Saturday afternoon, the brightly-colored boutique hotel in the heart of downtown transforms into one big pool party, complete with DJs and a sunscreen station. Stay at the resort June 1 through Sept. 30 and you’ll also receive Saguaro sunglasses, Chap Stick and a drink cooler. Rates start at $109.

Jump into the “Summer Splash” package with rates starting at $129 at We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center. Doubling as an adult playground, the resort boasts a 24-hour casino, seven restaurants and two of the top-rated golf courses in Arizona. We-Ko-Pa has everything you need for a grown-up’s summer getaway. Stay April 30 through June 30 to receive a $50 food and beverage credit valid at the Pool Bar & Grill, Ahnala Restaurant or in-room dining. The package also includes $5 and $10 Casino Slot Play vouchers, so you can test your luck at Fort McDowell Casino.

While you’re getting a healthy dose of vitamin D and slathering on the tanning oil, why not enjoy a tasty margarita? With the “Tequila and Tanlines” package at FireSky Resort & Spa, you’ll receive a complimentary pitcher of margaritas from Taggia Bar. The “Tequila and Tanlines” package is available May 19 through Sept. 6 with rates starting at $109 per night.

Stay hydrated with summer spirits and ales at these Scottsdale bars and breweries:

  • Partake in a bar experience like no other at Second Story Liquor Bar. Your taste buds will thank you as you sip craft cocktails created by “Whiskey Man” John Christie. His bar menu guides you through a selection of fine spirits and the evolution of cocktail culture, from Sazeracs to mules.
  • Vegas meets South Beach in the heart of downtown’s Entertainment District at Maya Day and Nightclub.This high-end club offers an outdoor beach club with a resort-style pool, VIP cabanas and a floating stage for deejays. At night, the club transforms, bringing in some of the hottest electronic dance music entertainers such as Cedric Gervais, Steve Aoki and Bingo Players.
  • Explore downtown Scottsdale’s suds scene with a day of sipping and inadvertent spilling on Scottsdale’s ale trail. With stops at Sip Coffee & Beer House, Union Barrelhouse, Two Brothers Brewing and Bad Water Brewing, there’s no doubt you’ll cool off in no time.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

Your entire family will be eager to dive in to summer at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Relax poolside with complimentary cabanas and enjoy nighttime entertainment with “Dive-In” movies every Saturday night throughout the summer. While you relax and recharge, the kids will relish in the Kids for All Seasons program open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with scheduled activities and complimentary access to board games, ping pong and more. Stop by Proof, an American canteen for “Sundaes on Sunday” and treat the family to an old-fashioned ice cream social with “buy one, get one” sundaes. Rates begin at $179 per night, valid June 1 through Aug. 31.

Zoom across a zip line, cool down on waterslides and watch fireworks light up the night sky this summer at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The “Sip, Savor and Splash” package equips guests with a $50 resort credit perfect for sampling any of 240 tequilas at La Hacienda or retreating to Well & Being Spa. Seeking a thrill? Poolside is the place to be with the spinning water adventure, SplashRider X-treme, and 200-foot waterslides. Guests are also able to upgrade to a Casita Signature Jr. Suite with the “Upgrade Your Summer” package. Rates for both packages start at $169 per night, May 22 through Sept. 6.

Need to escape the heat? Check out one of these off-site activities to cool off:

  • Bring your flashlights to Desert Botanical Garden Thursdays and Saturdays May 23 through Sept. 5 to explore the Garden’s trails by night. Flashlight Tours run 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., letting you experience the Sonoran Desert’s flora and fauna beneath the stars.
  • Have the need for speed? Octane Raceway has you covered with high speed electric karts, trackside bar and grill, billiards, rock wall and arcade. Test your racing skills at the only full-time indoor- and outdoor- track in the United States.
  • Giddy up, cowboy! Take the kids to the recently unveiled Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the Westto browse the museum’s vast collection of paintings, sculptures and artifacts that tell the history of the ever-evolving American West.

STAY AND PLAY

Boulders Resort & Spa is the perfect destination to de-stress this summer, with two award-winning golf courses and the 33,000-square-foot Spa at The Boulders. If you’re looking to combine the best of golf and spa, the resort is offering the “Two by Fore” package. The package includes private casita accommodations, one round of golf per paying adult with same day replay, a 20 percent spa discount at the spa, as well as complimentary access to spa facilities and unlimited fitness classes. Rates start at $189 per night May 26 through Sept. 10, with a two-night minimum stay.

Challenge yourself to two championship, 18-hole golf courses at JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. Stay now through Dec. 31 and receive casita guest room accommodations and a $100 resort credit per night, which can be put toward golf at 36 holes of championship golf at Camelback Golf Club. The “$100 Resort Credit” package rate starts at $229 per night with promo code: P50.

Can’t get enough of golf? Keep hitting the links at these spots:

  • Combine competition with entertainment at TopGolf Scottsdale at Riverwalk. Perfect for kids or adults with any range of skill level, this state-of-the-art facility challenges you and your friends to score points by aiming for lit-up targets on an outfield with microchipped golf balls. Celebrate your victory or ease the pain of your loss at TopGolf’s full service bar.
  • Golf enthusiasts, listen up. Prepare to rejoice this summer at TPC Scottsdale as you get your greens fix with unlimited golf on the Champions Course. The offer grants you as many rounds in the same day as you’d like June 1 through Sept. 13 with rates starting at $39 per player.
  • Retreat to Starfire Golf Clubfor a challenging 27 hole-course, designed by legendary golf pro Arnold Palmer. Tee times are available throughout the summer with rates starting at $25 per player Monday through Friday, and $35 on Saturday and Sunday.

LAP OF LUXURY

Step into a luxurious paradise at Royal Palms Resort & Spa with the “Luxe Lounging” package, offered May 26 through Sept. 30. Enjoy two refreshing welcome cocktails and a room upgrade upon arrival before indulging in a hearty meal at T. Cooks with a $25 dining credit. And restore yourself at the Alvadora Spa with a massage or body therapy compliments of two $40 spa credits. Rates start at $149 per night with promo code: PLL.

Channel your inner Monet, Van Gough and O’Keefe with The Hermosa Inn’s “Artist for a Day” summer package. Brush up on your painting skills and retreat to the Inn’s Blue Door Art Studio & Gallery May 1 through Sept. 7 to enjoy a 90-minute private painting lesson with on-property artists, two drink tickets to Last Drop at The Hermosa Inn and accommodations in a luxury casita. Rates start at $355 per night.

Continue the indulgence at one of these off-site restaurants:

  • In the heart of the Scottsdale dining scene, Bink’s Scottsdale offers a relaxed atmosphere and a menu crafted by James Beard nominee Chef Kevin Binkley. His dishes feature locally produced organic meats, fruits and vegetables, paired up with an extensive wine list and a cocktail list from master mixologist Richie Moe.
  • Treat your taste buds to Pig & Pickle. This chic gastropub features eclectic comfort food, hand-crafted cocktails, homemade aioli and freshly grown herbs. With dishes like braised duck and wood-oven-roasted bone marrow and old-school cocktails, this Scottsdale gem will leave you more than satisfied.
  • Hand over the culinary reins to Chef Joshua Hebert when you dine at the upscale Posh “Improvisational Cuisine.” Provide Chef Hebert your dining preferences and dietary restrictions, and he’ll whip you up a customized menu on the spot.
Gelato War Spoons

The scoop on this year’s Gelato Wars

The Gelato Spot’s annual Gelato Wars are back! Through August 31, patrons of Gelato Spot can try 10 flavors whipped up by local chefs and vote for their favorite.

Gelato Wars is a month-long competition for bragging rights, a customized copper trophy and $500. It’s also a fund raiser with the goal of donating at least $5,000 to Make-A-Wish Arizona.

“Our mission is to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy…and what’s more joyful than gelato,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona.

Gelato Spot owner Tommy Plato said getting 10 chefs — 5 new and 5 returning — to all come together and create unique gelato flavors was like “herding cats into a cold bathtub.” But we’re here to tell you that the delicious results will beat out a cat bath any day.

Scottsdale Living’s Social Media and Digital Manager Perri Collins taste-tested all 10 flavors and ranked them from best (No. 1) to less-best (No. 10) — come on, there’s no such thing as bad gelato. To even the playing field a little, Associate Editor Amanda Ventura weighed in, too.

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Blueberry Buttermilk Pie
Justin Beckett and Jeff Schoening, Beckett’s Table
This creamy and sweet gelato flavor is a delightful mix of marion berries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries from the northwest, where Jeff Schoening hails from.
Where I ranked it: No. 9
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was like a cheesecake wrapped up in sweet ribbons of berry mixture. I think it was simple, delicious and something I’d eat a few more scoops of, but it’s not novel enough to stand out among the competition.]

Camelback Crunch
Tracey Dempsey, Tracey Dempsey Originals
The 2013 defending champion, Tracey Dempsey, made a dessert homage to her residence near Camelback Mountain. This gelato is a nice balance of flavors and textures that don’t seem to have much in common at first, but they blend really well together.
Where I ranked it: No. 1
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three, but that’s in large part due to the fact that Tracey Dempsey used all of my favorite flavors in one gelato.]

Honey Toasted Almond Biscotti
Gio Osso, Virtu
“I grew up eating with toasted almond bars from the neighborhood ice cream truck, so I used that as my inspiration and added salt for a more sophisticated taste,” says Osso. If you like sweet, then this flavor is for you. It was tasty, but the sugary sweetness overwhelmed the nuts.
Where I ranked it: No. 3
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was actually a bit too salty for me — though I do love some almonds and salted caramel.]

White Chocolate Stracciatella
Josh Hebert, Posh
The cherry and chocolate combination was nothing new and exciting. It was subtle and refreshing, but rather middle of the road.
Where I ranked it: No. 6
[Editor’s Note: I agree here. I think the flavor was delicious but lacked the novelty of the other competitors.]

Sage Brown Butter & Candied Cashew
Josh Bracher, The Second Story Liquor Bar
The candied cashews had an amazing flavor. It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
Where I ranked it: No. 5
[Editor’s Note: Yep. This was a balanced cup of sweet nuttiness.]

Carrot Cake
Keenan Bosworth, Pig & Pickle
This was a good idea with bad execution. It tasted nothing like carrot cake, although you could really taste the goat cheese in the gelato.
Where I ranked it: No. 7
[Editor’s Note: Maybe I built this flavor up more in my head because I love carrot cake; I eat it every year for my birthday. However, I did like the incorporation of the goat cheese. It was in my top five.]

Chocolate Sorbet with Smoked Almonds and Caramel
Walter Sterling, Ocotillo (set to open later this year)
A chocolate gelato won last year’s competition, so Walter Sterling chose something with chocolate in hopes of stealing the trophy, but we think his dreams are about to be dashed. The chocolate was very bitter, the caramel wasn’t as pronounced as it should have been and the nuts were too large and crunchy.
Where I ranked it: No. 8
[Editor’s Note: This vegan dark chocolate sorbet was delicious. You really do have to like bitter chocolate, though. When I was vegan, I learned to really love dark chocolate so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. If anything, this is one of the more decadent flavors better enjoyed in small portions.]

Mole
Michael Dowd, Urban Vine
Mole is an ambitious flavor with 17 different spices and nutella folded into this gelato for a spicy explosion on your tongue. It tasted like a kid grab handfuls of every spice he could find in a middle-eastern market and mixed them together with chocolate milk.
Where I ranked it: No. 10
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three. It reminded me of eating peppery German gingerbread, Lebkuchen, as a kid.]

Sweet Corn with Truffle Honey
Matt Carter, The Mission & Zinc Bistro
It was hard to taste the corn or honey over the overpowering thyme in this gelato flavor. The layers of corn and blueberry would have made a better impression
Where I ranked it: No. 4
[Editor’s Note: I agree, but the sweet corn ice cream is a must-try. I can still kind of taste it as I type this.]

Smoked Banana Pudding
Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ
“We’re a BBQ place, we had to smoke something!” says Scott Holmes. This is a simple idea with complex flavors and a delightful finish. Well done!
Where I ranked it: No. 2
[Editor’s Note: Yes! Remember those vanilla wafer and banana puddings your mom made for pot lucks? This is the next level of that. There could have been a bit more caramel to balance every bite into perfection, but overall this was a top three flavor.]

Gelato Spot Locations:

Biltmore/Arcadia
3164 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ  85016
602.957.8040

40th St. & Greenway
4010 E. Greenway Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
602.494.4010

Old Town Scottsdale (Wood Fired Pizza & Gelato)
4166 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ  85251
480.425.8100