Archive for the ‘Tweeps’ Category


*Disclaimer* This blog post contains my venting. If you are sensitive to venting, please check back, as I hope to have a more positive blog posted by next week. Thank you for your understanding and support.

First up, there is a reason I am not an event planner. There is just too much coordination involved and I want nothing to do with it. That being said, I go to a lot of events and have no problem providing what I hope will be taken as constructive criticism to those that plan them. For instance, the Taste of Chandler festival was a bit doomed by the storm, but had the people working the entrance been a bit more on the ball, the wine being served not been god-awful, and the VIP bags actually been handed out, I would’ve had more positive things to say about the event. The highlights of the evening (aside from hanging with some great peeps) were the gourmet tacos served by none other than Rubio’s and the amazing tea-infused pork and lavender-basil lemonade from Urban Tea Loft.

Taste of Chandler behind us, let’s move on to the Arizona Taco Festival. There’s no doubt that the guys from EaterAZ have proven they are master marketers, what with their bizarre promo videos, bright pink branding, enrolling luchadores to wrestle, and adding Surfside IV to the main stage at the last-minute. They’ve apparently improved their event planning skills from the BBQ festival as well (don’t know – didn’t go), as other reviews of the taco festival were quite glowing in comparison. Still, I feel the need to get off my chest how much they managed to frustrate me at the entrance.  We had tickets and followed the signs, had our bags thoroughly checked and our licenses scrutinized like nobody’s business (would’ve saved a lot of time by just asking if I intended to drink), only to be turned away because we weren’t VIP. And I quote “the sign says VIP Only.” Really?!? Now, I’m not claiming to be an avid reader, but I’m seeing a few more words on that there sign.

So we hauled our asses back into the back of the general admission line (that was moving entirely too slow) and were given no direction when we finally entered, tickets still in hand. We wandered through the breezeway toward the tacos, only to be turned around again by someone stating “you have to go to one of the side tents to get a wristband.” You’d think one of the 5 people at the single-line entrance could’ve indicated such a thing! There were a ton of people in those obnoxious pink shirts that seemed to be doing absolutely nothing. Needless to say, I was ready to blow a gasket. Luckily we found our friends, who had cleverly staked out a random tent to keep me from turning into a lobster, and I put it aside for a couple of hours. Nothing has ever really excited me about tacos, but I did manage to sample Petite Maison’s French crepe-version and it was tasty.

People seemed to really be enjoying the food (and the margaritas). And I must admit I was seriously entertained by the little kids that strapped on masks and jumped into the wrestling ring… how can you not wince in laughter as a 6 year-old boy body slams his buddy? Had we waited any later to go to the festival, however, I would’ve been livid. That stellar marketing, coupled with inefficiency at the gate, caused the entrance line to grow as far as the eye could see. We tracked it all the way across the bridge at the Scottsdale Waterfront and out to Stetson, as evidenced by the photos.

And, for the random thought of the day…

I’m sorry, but if you have to look THROUGH the steering wheel to see in front of your car, you need to get off the damn road… period. And before you all jump to your stereotypical conclusions (like I did), this driver is not 90 years old. In fact, when I passed, it was a girl no more than 20, who would brake and rise up on her tippy-cheeks every time she wanted to change lanes (a cause for road rage by itself).

Secret Decoder Ring

I’m not going to pretend to be a master of Twitter; it intrigues me and I have done my best to flail around the crazy Twitterverse for the past year or so. While there are millions of tweets that are pointless and some just plain crazies, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to have met a damn fun crowd of great people!

Last night I knew I was in for trouble. For some reason there was a plethora of gatherings occurring in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas and I had the urge to attend all of them. It started with a simple #cheesedate at Petit Fromage, where the lovely Lara threw away all concept of rehab for her broken wing to sling us some damn tasty artisan cheeses from around the world. She even provided an impromptu lesson on her vast collection of cheese knives and the secret of salami handling.
Her shop is located within Delicious Dishes on 7th St & Missouri, where I was surprised to find the prices on Arizona Stronghold wines are several bucks cheaper than most retail outlets (you’re welcome for that handy nugget!).

After the #cheesedate, several of us headed to SunUp Brewery on Camelback to meet up with Joel. He’s had to deal with the ChowBella-dubbed “shit show” of a #CrazyAmy saga all week and sometimes you just want to provide the unspoken support of having a brewski at the tramp & loser table with a bunch of vagabonds.

After the brewery I made a stop at home and almost got sucked into the abyss of my couch. I think I lost an hour or two of time, but my love of Stephanie, from @skinnyjeans fame, got my ass out to O’Donoghue’s in north Scottsdale just in time to find all the tweeps were closing their tabs. Some quick socializing with Tim from Weekly Wine Journal and Eric from Shwaag and a gander at the band, Easton Ashe, got me motivated to hit late night at Petite Maison in old town.

As if a late night #staffmeal with melt-in-your-mouth foie gras mac & cheese and a Citrus-vodka Ginger Rosemary Rickey red cup special isn’t enough to get me out to Petite Maison, it was the ever-so-charming @GritsNYC’s birthday celebration! If you haven’t yet met Stacey, she is the most genuine person on the face of the planet, and her husband @sir_eccles has got some bollocks. The event would not have been complete without some hair-singeing: shots of bootleg limoncello and Tony of Desert Smoke BBQ gracing the birthday girl with an unreleased bottle of ghost chili sauce that she proudly displayed from her cleavage.

As the night wrapped up I came home to find texts, tweets, and Facebook mentions to remind me that overcoming my social-hermit tendencies is always worth the effort. And if you’re curious about the powers of social media and looking to find that secret decoder ring to understand more of this post, do yourself a favor and contact Diya Marketing… I guarantee, she wears the ring with grace.

Thanks to all these friends and tweeps for including me in on the fun:

@DiyaMarketing, @PetitFromageAZ, @GritsNYC, @SkinnyJeans, @SherilynMclain, @DragonflyTweet, @AndrewKfromAZ, @sir_eccles, @AZHotDish, @wklywinejournal, @CWGalli, @DesertSmokeBBQ, @FoodTrampEF, @ciaoMari, @lafinguy, @1Tap, @azlobo, @fluxus73, @PetiteMaisonAZ (and non-tweeters Nathan & Lisa and anyone else I may have missed!)

Stay tuned, as the #PumaProwl will be hitting the road in September for an all-day wine tour with Arizona Grape Escapes!! I cannot begin to imagine how entertaining that journey is going to be…