Vegetarian Burgers Worth Giving up Meat for

Many people all over the world are deciding to go vegan or vegetarian. With the immense carbon footprint the meat industry puts on our planet every single day, it’s no wonder that people are deciding to help our environment by changing their diet. But with summer coming to a close and the cooler weather drawing everyone outside for barbecues and bonfires, the vegetarians often have to settle for side dishes or frozen “meat flavored” soy patties which, lets face it, are not particularly great-tasting. Here are some meatless burger recipes that will be perfect and delicious for vegetarian guests at a barbecue, or for your own Meatless Monday!

Tofu Burger

RECIPE HERE

Don’t stop reading!! Starting the list with arguably the most stereotypically bland vegan ingredient there is probably doesn’t look like a good sign, but it is also one of the easiest burgers on this list. Think about it: Tofu absorbs any flavor it’s marinaded in, and all you have to do to form the patties themselves is slice a chunk off of the block! There are TONS of variations on tofu burger recipes on the internet, but here is a basic one that you can follow and tweak as you’d like. The recipe says to marinade for 20 minutes but I would recommend marinading for 1-2 hours to get the flavors really soaked in. Try different kinds of marinades and spices to see what you can create.

There is a high-end assisted living facility in Washington state that is 100% vegetarian and serves the best black bean burger.  Most of its residents haveLTC insurance to pay the bill and this can afford the finer things such as the vegan-nursing homes.  The burger itself is packet with of course beans but also the brain boosting omega three fatty acids from organic chia seeds.  These seeds have been shown to help with dementia symptoms so eat up!

Sun-dried Tomato and Quinoa Burger

RECIPE HERE

This is almost like having a pizza inside of a burger. It’s cheesy and tomatoey and delicious, AND while most grains are not complete proteins (the kind of protein found in animal meat) quinoa is!

Portabella Burgers

RECIPE HERE

Now, you could just grill the portabella cap and put it on a bun as an alternative like so many restaurants do, but this recipe gives you more of the burger mouth feel that a meat patty would give you, and the added spices, parmesan, broccoli and beans add flavor and texture that a grilled portabella cap just doesn’t have.

Garbanzo Bean Burgers

RECIPE HERE

This one is my absolute favourite burger alternative. It tastes delicious and feels meaty as you’re eating it; plus it tastes great with any condiment, cheese, etc. and is SO easy to make.

Vegan Big Mac

RECIPE HERE

I haven’t actually had a chance to try this one yet, but just reading through the ingredients convinced me to try to make them tonight. Who doesn’t love a Big Mac?! If you’re not dairy-free you can obviously use regular cheese and buns.

[j.e.g.]

9 best BBQ joints in Phoenix, Arizona

9 best BBQ joints in Phoenix, Arizona

Are you planning a trip to Phoenix? The city is home to many top-quality BBQ restaurants. It might be just hard for you to narrow down the best experience without having to try each and every one of them. To make sure that you have the best restaurant experience in this bustling metropolis below is a list of the top BBQ joints in Phoenix.

1)     Bobby Q

Bobby Q in North Mountain, Phoenix, is arguably the city’s top BBQ place. The restaurant is popular for its delicious food, and its fast and personable service. They have an increasingly popular outside catering operation going on. If you plan to just have a sit-down and try some of what’s going on, a group of professional chefs (led by Chef Mark Hittle) will not disappoint you. You can try your favorite fish, meat or fowl. You can easily reserve a table online through their website at a bobbyqphx.com.

2)     Little Miss Bbq

Located South East of Sky Harbor airport, Little Miss Bbq opens between Tuesday and Saturday (11 am – 4 pm). Their food is served meat market style. They have freshly barbecued meats served by weight, and with onions, pickles, and white bread. Their meats happen to be some of the best in the city, and their sausages are freshly made in house. Their entire barbecue is prepared Arizona-style using pecan and oak on a huge offset smoker.

3)     Pork on a Fork BBQ Grill

Phoenix has lots of barbecue restaurants, but Pork on a Fork stands out due to its passion and dedication to succulent and complex chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, as well as smoked baby back ribs. All their meats are cooked slowly on a daily basis over pecan wood. With locations near Deer Valley road and Camelback road, Pork on a Fork can be a little hard to find, but their meals and service are a bomb. They deliver right on time and most people end up falling into a long term relationship with this Phoenix BBQ joint.

4)     Naked BBQ

Located on the northern side of Bell Road, Naked BBQ is another joint to reckon with in the city of Phoenix. They open over lunch hours starting 11 am (until sold out) every Monday to Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, they open between 11 am to 8 pm. The menu includes pulled pork sandwich, hot links sandwich, sliced turkey and pulled chicken and chopped brisket sandwiches. They also have delicious platters, sides, and sandwiches. Prices seem to be very friendly and the service is often described by customers as excellent.

5)     Texas BBQ House

Open between 10 am and 7 pm every Tuesday through Saturday, Texas BBQ House is another restaurant of top repute in the city of Phoenix. It’s located in South Phoenix and was founded by Texas expats Doug Dieckmann and Mike Pitt. Their excellent smoked and dry-rubbed meats are phenomenal. However, you’ll not forget their other touches, which include turkey, chicken, pork, and hot links. Texas BBQ House is no doubt a fun place. The smoky sauce is packed in bottles at every red-white-checked table. It serves as an accessory to some of the best barbecues in the Valley.

6)     Frasher’s Smokehouse

Located East of Indian School Road, Frasher’s Smokehouse has been firing its smoker for more than 15 years. They provide some of the tastiest meats in the city, with Kansas-City-style BBQ that you’re certain to enjoy. If you’re looking for good old barbecue and southern comfort food, this is the place to be. The large choice of meats and sides will be there to service your level of hunger. The portions are plentiful without compromising on quality.

7)     Danky’s Bbq

Danky’s BBQ is located east of Bell Road. It opens between 11 am to 8 pm every Monday to Saturday. They are also open 1100-1800hrs every Sunday. The pork belly baked beans are just amazing, and you’ll find the pulled pork to be mouth watering.  They have a considerable variety of desserts, big dank plates, and sandwiches. The scratch apple pie is something you’ll definitely want to try, while their ribs happen to be some of the best in town. Danky’s also has a reputation for proper service.

8)     Hap’s Real Pit Barbecue

Hap’s Real Pit BBQ on Washington Street Phoenix is a good cooking den. They have some reputable good sauce that you can have on the side. Their barbecue is very tasty and the sides are simply excellent. Since it’s close to the airport, you might want to pass by if you’re headed (or coming from) that way. Their service is excellent and you’ll probably want to make an out order when you’re busy in the office or elsewhere.

9)     Bootleggers

This is a modern American smokehouse with two neighborhood restaurants located in the city of Phoenix. You’ll find bootleggers east of 1st Street at Old Scottsdale, and East of Shea Blvd. They have excellent craft BBQ. You get a very sexy indoor lighting that creates a proper mood for serious feasting. Bootleggers’ menu is designed for sharing, snacking and celebrating. They have a rotating selection of handmade cocktails, craft beers, and wines for toasting. Certainly, the place to be if you’re looking to enjoy some delicious meal and good drinks with a group of friends, team of colleagues, or even family members.

There are more than 3000 restaurants located in Phoenix, offering different categories of foods. If you’re looking for a good barbecue, the ones we’ve covered above are some of the very best!

Out of town dining experience? Top 5 restaurants in North Scottsdale

Out of town dining experience? Top 5 restaurants in North Scottsdale

The restaurant scene at North Scottsdale is surely worth the drive. Top restaurants in this area exhibit excellent customer service, expert cuisines and top-notch toppings from some of the Valley’s best-reputed chefs. Ingredients such as Lingonberry relish, Kumamoto oysters, and homemade sausage are common jargon in the area. Most of the top dishes might translate into a deeper plunge into your pocket, but when the food is good, it’s definitely worth it.

1.      Renegade by MOD

Renegade by MOD Scottsdale

This is a new restaurant and the work of chef Michael O’Dowd, whose 10 years at Kai earned it nationwide acclaim. You’ll find an electrifying menu of major re-invented dishes from all parts of the world. The restaurant itself offers an edgy atmosphere where you can enjoy your meal in peace, and O’Dowd’s multi-layered creations are presented in eye-peeling ways. If you’re serious about giving your food curiosity some new love, you’ll certainly be impressed by what you find here.

2.      ShinBay

ShinBay Scottsdale

Award-nominated chef Shinji Kurita brought some Japanese cuisine from across the ocean. This is the kind of restaurant that could thrive in any major city. What you find is nothing short of exquisite. Mr. Kurita’s omakase (chef’s choice dinners) are elegant, meticulously-prepared works of art. They include Santa Barbara prawn, whole blue crab, and an awesome selection of sushi. The restaurant will certainly not disappoint – you get the unforgettable food experience that you came looking for.

3.      Karaikudi Palace

Karaikudi Palace Scottsdale

If you have a preference or curiosity of South Indian dishes, this is the place to be. Karaikudi Palace serves up vibrant, bold works of art that are packed with top ingredients such as tamarind, cumin, chiles, ginger, and cardamom. Make sure you don’t miss out on the spicy and smoky curry of baby eggplants that come stuffed with spices and onions. There’s also the fish cooked in coconut sauce with green chilies and red onions, as well as the crispy stuffed dosas. Basically, the menu is laden with a lot of South Indian delicacies, so don’t hold back your appetite.

4.      Lamp Wood Oven Pizzeria

Lamp Wood Oven Scottsdale

This North Scottsdale restaurant is a creation by chef Matt Pilato, who combines his own style with long-standing Neapolitan techniques. The restaurant churns out almost 20 variety of red and white artisan pies (12”) and a casual pizzeria. You may have the bready crusts a variety of ingredients including Sam Marzano tomatoes, heady sausages, hand-stretched mozzarella and more. You get delicious meals with a classic Italian touch.

5.      Andreoli Italian Grocer

Andreoli Italian Grocer

Chef Giovanni Scorzo is the mind behind the works here, and he practically knows everything he needs to know to make super-delicious dishes. This is an Italian restaurant, with a fine selection of Old World eats such as Sicilian-style rice ball, luscious housemade pasta dishes, classic sandwiches and fantastic seafood. You’ll also get a tempting selection of scratch-made Italian desserts and other mouth-watering menu picks. If you have a keen appetite for Italian delicacies, Andreoli Italian Grocer (market and restaurant) might be just what you need.

Looking for a truly out-of-town classic dining experience in North Scottsdale? Try these 5 restaurants!

Looking for affordable bites and drinks? Visit these Scottsdale happy hour hotspots

Looking for affordable bites and drinks? Visit these Scottsdale happy hour hotspots

If what you’re looking for is bargain bites, Scottsdale has no shortage of options. The restaurants here serve robust menus of happy hour deals. Here are the top hotspots for those affordable happy hour bites that’ll help you save money while still enjoying a proper meal.

Culinary Dropout

This is a laid-back gastropub where a bug of beer goes for only $3, with a cocktail exchanging for $4. The classic Pretzel and Provolone Fondue is a certain steal at only $6. You can get one between 3 pm and 6 pm every Monday-Friday. The place also doubles up as a top private dining and events location anytime at your convenience.

Citizen Public House

You’ll enjoy multiple discounts at this joint on ‘Good Citizen’s Social’. You get bargain deals on special cocktails, glasses of wines, draught beer and the variety of bar snacks available each day between 3 pm and 6 pm.

Roaring Fork

How about enjoying drinks for just $5, as well as deals on appetizers such as the housemade guac, kittles of green chile pork and pork wings. All this goes down every Tuesday to Saturday 4 pm – 7 pm. you also get similar deals all-night Sunday-Monday.

El Chorro

Deals on beer, wine, seasonal cocktails and Southwestern Portune, signature sticky buns, Crispy Fried Shrimp, plus more. All this you get while enjoying the intriguing Camelback Mountain view. This happens Monday through Saturday (4 pm – 6 pm).

Barrio Queen

You can grip happy hour deals at either end of your day at the Barrio Queen located strategically downtown. Between 2 pm – 6 pm each day, as well as 9 pm up to closing time, you get to enjoy cool $4 Casa Margaritas as well as other Mexican beers, a glass of wine for just $5 and 6 dollar apps such as mini tortas, taquitos and stuffed peppers (poblano). Certainly, some serious deals they’ve got going on here for happy hour.

Second Story Bar

Every time you go back to Second Story Bar, there’s most likely going to be something new and yummy to keep you happy. However, two things that don’t change at all are the $6 wines, as well as the 6 dollar ‘Dram of the Day’. Deal hour right here is between 4 pm and 6 pm.

Wildfish Seafood Grille

Choose from margaritas, martinis, mojitos and wine (glass) for just $5. And that’s not all – you get a sizeable $2 off on all other drinks, plus $1 Louisiana Oysters with discounted price on multiple other delicious dishes. For instances, they get you Spicy Shrimp & Pork Potstickers for only $8, as well as Tartar of Pacific Ahi going for $12. All this you get every Tuesday to Saturday (4 pm – 7 pm), as well as all night Sunday and Monday.

Craft 64

At the Craft 64, small plates for just 8 dollars each. You may also sample one of the joint’s 36 Arizona beers from a tap for a buck while you’re at it each day (4 pm – 7 pm).

ZuZu

The environment is a bomb, and the deals you get at this happy hour hotspot are incredible. To start with, you get to enjoy a glass of wine for just $6, with signature cocktails such as the Blood Orange Margarita, and the Bramble. Select beers exchange at $4 each and you’ll love the $6 bites including Fried New England Clams, Green Chile Pork, and Slow-Roasted Ribeye Dip. Deal days are Monday through Friday (4 p.m – 7 p.m).

Blanco Tacos + Tequila

$3 per taco at this happy hour hotspot in Scottsdale! And check out the $5 margaritas too, among many other pocket-friendly deals. This goes on daily (Monday – Friday, 3 p.m – 6 p.m).

If you’ve been hunting for happy hour hotspots in Scottsdale, this list completes your quests. Save money and enjoy delicious picks and quenching drinks at these popular joints.

Smartphone apps to find the best restaurants around

Smartphone apps to find the best restaurants around

Good restaurants are all over, but it can be quite hard pinpointing them especially when you’re in a new town or city. The good news, though? Your smartphone can come to your aid.  There are several good restaurant apps that will help you find the best places for a perfect meal, anytime anyplace.

OpenTable

Want to find restaurants near you without having to ask around? This is the app you need. OpenTable delivers a list of photos, reviews, details and menus that help you browse through various restaurants right from the comfort of your hotel room. It’s super easy to use, and you can even make reservations from your smartphone. The only downside is that you’ll be required to create a profile and log in. This done, though, you can enter the time when you want to eat and the number of people who’ll accompany you. You can compare rates from various restaurants to make sure that you’re getting the best deals on excellent foods. OpenTable is available for both Android and iOS powered devices.

Foodspotting

Ever had a good friend recommend a food joint to you? You probably didn’t question their recommendation. Footspotting smartphone app is like a good friend. It finds restaurants close to you and makes a recommendation where the best place to eat is. It works based on foods and photos. For instance, someone will post a photo of a dish they loved and you can like it, or save as a favorite. If interested in giving it a try, you’ll find the relevant restaurant’s information. It’s fun to use!

Yelp

Yelp is a reviews database of international repute. It lists millions of businesses and actual reviews from their customers. When Yelp came by, it was one of the first companies to help people find good restaurants. Today, you can use this platform to identify good dining spots in just about any city in the US. The app identifies your location and delivers restaurant profiles, including menu items, photos, and reviews as well. Once you visit a restaurant, you can give your own review so that others can also benefit from your own experience. Yelp is particularly a great way to hunt for happy hour and special menus!

TravelAdvisor

TravelAdvisor is a resource for every traveler. It delivers quality information related to restaurants and hotels in your area. You can easily book flights, as well as reserve a hotel room right from this app. You’ll be able to browse through a list of restaurants looking at their respective menus, reviews, and photos . once you find one that you like, you can make a reservation, hassle free! TravelAdvisor features scores of fine-tuned filtering options so that you can narrow down your search. You’ll, however, need Wi-Fi to make the best use out of this app.

These apps can be immensely helpful when you’re just looking for the best restaurant in your vicinity. The fact that you can browse through other customers’ reviews, as well as look at photos of various dishes makes the experience real! So you don’t really have to make calls or ask strangers when you need to figure out where to eat in a new town.

10 cool tips for grilling aficionados

10 cool tips for grilling aficionados

With the current increase in number of meat lovers in the country, you can`t help but venture into the meat business. Well, upgrading your grilling skills is the first thing you need to do. All you need to do is read these tips and seriously commit to them and after that, you won`t need any recipe!

1.       Choice of fuel

Wood? Charcoal? Gas? When it comes to these popular types of fuel, most people are torn between on what to use. Give a try on wood and you will be surprised, wood adds flavor to food and it’s more manageable. On the other side, you can use lump wood charcoal for desirable results.

2.       Preheat your grill

Ever grilled and noticed that the food was sticking? Well, it is a hell of an experience that no one wants to go through. All you have to do to ensure good cooking is preheat your grill for about 20mins before cooking to avoid all the unnecessary problems.

3.       Go for a grilling pan

This is the best tool that you can ever use especially when grilling small food like the chopped veggies. With it, no food will fall through the cooking grate.

4.       Salt your food

This is the first thing you should d0 hours before you even think of grilling, this helps the meat to retain water hence it remains juicy.

5.       Do a warm-up

For about 30mins before grilling, remove your steak from the fridge and let it to the room temperature. Unless you want to grill the ugliest dish then you shouldn’t skip this step.

6.       Let it rest

Giving your steak for about 10 minutes to cool before slicing will surprisingly bring desirable results. Here the colors get recalibrated and juices spread, surely a few minutes of patience will not kill you.

7.       Thickness

All you want is your steak well cooked and delicious. One and a half or probably two inches is the most suitable thickness that will ensure the interior parts receive ideal temperatures required for a perfect steak.

8.       Season gently

You don’t have to go through the whole cooking process and destroy everything by over-seasoning it.  Just rub the seasonings gently into the food.

9.       Crack your own pepper

Of course, you want to spice your steak and also add crunch, to achieve this all you have to do is crush peppercorns with a heavy skillet and add it to the steak.

10.   Grip, don’t stab

The worst mistake that you can make is using a fork and the worst of all is using a knife. A pair of tongs is the most appropriate tool around to use, knives and forks create holes in the meat  thus causing  important juices to drain.

If you are among the people who always want the best or want to do a perfect work then you shouldn’t skip any of these steps

Blu Burger Grille – Here’s What We Thought About It

Blu Burger Grille – Here’s What We Thought About It

What do you consider a great burger? Everyone has different tastes and preferences; however, chances are if you love a great burger, you are willing to try something new from time to time, as well. The Blu Burger Grille offers an interesting and unique menu, which makes the drive out to the outskirts of the Phoenix metro area well-worth it.

Located in North Scottsdale, close to the Keirland Commons, Blu Burger Grille is nestled in a rather fancy looking strip mall you will find at the northeast corner of Greenway and Scottsdale Roads. Chances are you will see quite a few people heading into this burger joint, which is always a good indication of something tasty ahead. If you are unsure to go; however, you will find this Burger restaurant just a few doors down from the well-known Chipotle restaurant.

It seems like this place stays pretty busy, so be sure you have at least a few minutes to wait if you are planning on eating there. There is no lobby area, so you may have to wait outside. If you are by yourself or just a party of two, you will likely be able to find a spot at the bar, since it seems like this is a family-favorite restaurant.

The decor is a bit retro, featuring 70s style “hand” chairs covered in red velvet. This added a bit of fun to the atmosphere and made it clear why families with younger children loved to dine here. The 70s decor is eclectic and entertaining for those who didn’t actually live in the decade.

The menu offers a number of different options, including several different burgers, such as Turkey, Angus, Kobe and more. You can also choose the size burger you prefer with the biggest option being eight ounces. After the burgers you will find a list of all the extras you can pile on top of your burger. Some of these options include various types of cheeses, vegetables, sauces, relishes and other options. You can even add caramelized onions, Applewood smoked bacon or additional cheese for an extra fee. The remainder of the menu features a variety of salads and sandwiches.

The actual space inside the restaurant is small and the table area is in a sort of question mark design. The walls were blue and there is art splattered here and there throughout the restaurant. Your table is marked with a small plastic spatula that holds a number, nothing fancy, but this is just another burger spot, so the food typically makes up the lackluster design aesthetic.

The food is good, but a bit higher priced than other burger joints in the area. Also, the wait staff seems to have a hard time keeping all the sides and toppings straight. It may be a good idea for the owners to cut back on the options that are offered, it would make it easier on everyone. Overall the experience was good, but the price was a bit high for a single burger and fries.