Check Please Festival Sunday March 20th Phoenix Arizona

Entering the 2016 Check Please Festival

Entering the 2016 Check Please Festival

(Apologies if any of the photo are upside down or sideways from my end I don’t see them that way but on certain cell phones or computers I’m told some of the photos don’t show as they should.)


Check Please is a local public television TV show where viewers get to dish about their favorite local publicly owned restaurants.

Check Please Food and Wine Festival features some of the dished about restaurants, wine and beer tastings, cooking demos and panel discussions. This year the tickets ran in cost between $49.00-$69.00 depending on when they were purchased and is considered a donation to public television.

Special guest of the festival were……

Chef Lidia Bastianich- Celerberty Chef, Cookbook Author, TV Host and Restauranteur & More

Barbara Pool Fenzi- SouthWest Cooking Teacher and Cookbook Author


Host Robert McGrath- TV Host, Best of SouthWest James Bread Awarded Chef & More

There were at least two no shows at the festival.

One was Eddie’s House. Kinda sad about that because you can get some tasty food at Eddie’s House I’ve been there several times. Eddie was also suppose to do a 12:30 Presentation on the Sub Zero Wolf Stage. Don’t know what happened to Eddie no news is on FaceBook or Twitter at this moment.


The other that I noticed was Old Town Sarajevo. I also have been to Old Town Sarajevo and was looking forward to Bosnian Cuisine but for whatever reason they also weren’t able to show up.


I didn’t try everything at the festival that I photoed but did try quite a few things.


The first thing I tried at the festival came from Tarbel’s a Scottish Beef Sandwich with Horseradish Sauce. Chef Tarbel is considered to be among the best chef’s in Arizona and actually won an Iron Chef Competition. I’ve eaten at his restaurant and the food I had there was certainly 5 stars out of 5. I tasted the sauce and it was delicious, but the beef in this sandwich was too fatty for me to enjoy. After one bite I couldn’t eat it. I confess I don’t enjoy lots of beef fat. I also do confess I’m not familiar with Scottish Beef and maybe it’s suppose to be a very fatty beef?


Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn presented their well received already famous Pork Mangalita.

Sorry for poor Photo

Rula Bula Irish Pub and Restaurant made a delicious Bread Pudding topped with an Irish Whiskey Sauce.


The Dhaba made Tikka Masala and Mutter Paneer.

Sorry for poor photo

Foie Gras over Chicken Liver Mousse from The Pig and Pickle.

Inspired by Lidia Bastiaich Cheese Crusted Chicken Tender

Inspired by Lidia Bastiaich Cheese Crusted Chicken Tender

The Soon to open Match Cuisine & Cocktails has not appeared on the Check Please Show. But graciously prepared one of Check Please special guest Lidia Bastiaich’s recipes from her new cook book her Cheese Crusted Chicken Tenders with Celery Pestata. They also prepared Pork Belly Press-Trami. I thought Match Cuisine & Cocktails food was executed better than most from the festival.


Special Guest of the Festival were Chef Robert McGrath and Chef Lidia Bastianich mostly discussing Lidia’s career and American Italian Food in America and Italian food in the different regions of Italy.


Several Wine Pouring Tables. I tried three wines that weren’t for me and got dumped.


Honey Chipotle Chicken with Quinoa from Tryst Cafe.


Flavors of Louisiana prepared Catfish Étouffée and Praline Cheese Cake.


The Haymaker served Pulled Pork Sandwiches.


Vovomeena served  seafood tacos made with three seafoods and served the broth of the seafood.


Cowboy Ciao served Pork Belly with Chayote Squash Slaw, Pickled Watermelon and Prickly Pear Reduction. It was among one of the more impressive dishes at the festival.



The above photo is from America’s Taco Shop and it’s a Pork Taco.


Bella Luna Ristorante served Chicken Piccata. This is one of the restaurants that was out of it’s element. The Forking Truth is that the food wasn’t kept hot and someone accidentally slipped with the salt because it was a salt bomb. I thought this food would make me sick. I thought it was inedible.


I skipped over Rito’s but my husband said all the food he tried here was delicious. He also said we can make the trip to Surprise AZ to try them out.

The Salt Cellar prepared some sort of Shrimp Dish. ( the photo is at the bottom)


Freshers Smoke House offered Pulled Pork and Extremely Sweet Butter Cake. It was as sweet as frosting.


Attractive looking Brie Cheese Crostini came from Murphy’s Restaurant.


Four Peaks Brewing Company made Kilt Lifter Bratwurst.


Bertha’s Cafe made brownies and Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies. I saw a sign for cupcakes but they were out when I got there.


Timo Wine Bar had an accident with the Brie Soup but offered Ceviche and salads of Beet Root  and Goat Cheese.


Cucina Tagliani served Meatballs and Tiramisu. I have to say the Tiramisu was the best Tiramisu I ever had any where.


Brownies from Chloe’s Corner.


Pasta with Marinara and Pink Sauce from Salerno’s Restaurant and Pizzeria.


Pork on a Stick and Sticky Rice from The Wild Tiger/ Little Tiger.


Hob Nobs prepared Turkey BLT Sandwiches.

I didn’t take any notes at the festival so I didn’t remember everything perfect.

t have two leftover shrimp photos I think one of them is from the Salt Cellar on the left and the other one on the right might be San Tan Brewing Co?

IMG_2652 IMG_2653

The Check Please Festival started providing bottles of water but then switched to weird tasting water with electrolytes. I got slightly dehydrated at the festival because I didn’t like the taste of the electrolyte water and the wines being poured were too cheap for me to drink. If I attend the Check Please Festival next year I’ll have to bring my own water.

That wasn’t everything but that was most of the 2016 Check Please Arizona Festival.

 The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *