Archive for March 21, 2014

This doesn’t quite count, but I felt like it deserved a shoutout.

I stayed at the Embassy Suites by Hilton for part of my trip. For the uninitiated, they offer complimentary breakfast an an evening cocktail reception.

Yep, 7 days a week, you can get hot made-to-order morning meals and enjoy snacks and cocktails gratis from 5:30-7:30pm.

Embassy SuitesI ordered a Bloody Mary (shocker, I know) and while it had no frills, it was made with one of my favorite mixes-Zing Zang- and it was free.

This is a great perk for the traveler and since I was on my own most of the time, this reception afforded me the opportunity to meet some new people/make friends during my extended stay.

I highly recommend the Embassy Suites, not just for this perk, but for their exceptional service and accommodations at an affordable price.





Fox Restaurant Concept’s Mexican restaurant is Blanco Tacos & Tequila.

Typically, I wouldn’t bother ordering  Bloody Mary at a place like this (hello, margaritas!), since they called it out on the menu, I figured it couldn’t be horrible.

Blanco (1)

Blanco (2)I was right-as with the other Fox restaurants, this Bloody Mary was very fresh with the very distinct taste of fresh lime juice. Surprisingly, it complemented the chips, salsa and guac quite well.

Mix: Homemade with  fresh lime juice; could  get a Bloody Mary with vodka or Bloody Maria with tequila

Chaser: No

Fixin’s:  Lemon, lime, cucumber, two olives

Price: $8

Another great restaurant to try in the area. While this Bloody was good, I hear the margaritas are amazing, so give them a try!

The Henry is the newest member of the Fox Restaurants Group family. So new, in fact, that it didn’t register when I was planning my trip to AZ. I found out about it initially from the friendly bartender at Little Cleo’s. He told me it was amazing and that it would be tough to get into without a reservation.

The Henry (2)

I didn’t let that stop me, so I headed there a little later in the evening on a weeknight and grabbed a coveted seat at the bar.

The Henry (4)My eye naturally gravitated to the “Chevy Chase” skirt steak sandwich on the menu… It says “add a Bloody Mary for $5.”

I had to inquire–why was it called a Chevy Chase and what was the significance of the add on Bloody?

“It’s from Caddyshack,” the bartender told me. “He says he’ll have a steak sandwich and a Bloody Mary.”

Hmm… I thought to myself. I’ve never been one of those people who is really great at identifying or spouting off movie quotes, but I am a huge Caddyshack fan and I think I would remember a line about Bloodies in one of my favorite films.

Regardless, I was sold.

The Henry (3)

The Henry (1)

Mix: Homemade

Chaser: YES-the only place I visited in AZ that offered!

Fixin’s:  Lemon & olive

Price: $5 w/ purchase of Chevy Chase

The meal was delicious, as was the beverage. However, upon returning home, I researched the line and discovered it was from a movie called Fletch, which I have not seen, not Caddyshack as I had been told.

It was an honest mistake and I won’t hold it against the bartender. The meal was excellent and I may not have ordered it otherwise, silly as that may sound. Plus, I was happy I hadn’t overlooked a Bloody Mary line in a great movie.

Definitely check out The Henry when you’re in Phoenix, but don’t feel like you have to get the Chevy Chase! You  can order Bloody Mary solo, or enjoy one of their many other beverages as well.

The Greene House is a Fox Restaurant Concepts group establishment with California cool and “inspired by nature” cuisine.

The food is very healthy and fresh and so was the Bloody Mary.

Greene House


Mix: Homemade

Chaser: None

Fixin’s:  Lime

Price: $?

Unfortunately, this Bloody Mary was nothing special. If you like hummus,  kale and Brussels sprouts, check out the Greene House, but you can skip the Bloody Mary unless you’re counting it as a veggie.

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. Zinburger is Fox Restaurant Concept group’s burger (and wine) bar.

Like Culinary Dropout, Zinburger offers a Bacon Bloody Mary which is just as good:


Mix: Homemade using bacon-infused Smirnoff Vodka, Worcestershire & pepper

Chaser: None

Fixin’s:  Bacon

Price: $7

Bloody Marys and burgers go well together, just ask AJ Bomber’s or Sobelman’s. Another winner from the Fox group!

Rokerij, serving authentic cuisine of New Mexico, is a favorite of many in my office.

From tapas to steak, your tastebuds will thank you for taking them on a culinary journey. I dined with a friend and we grazed the entire meal, ordering more small plates when the mood struck us.

Of course, I had to try the Bloody Mary:



Mix: Homemade

Chaser: YES-the only place I visited in AZ that offered!

Fixin’s:  Celery & olive

Price: $?

The Bloody Mary was very good (and they get bonus points for the chaser), but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to Rokerij for this drink. I would, however, go out of my way to go to Rokerij in general, because it’s awesome. Be sure to check it out.

Olive & Ivy is another-you guessed it-Fox Restaurant Concepts group member.

It’s like “enter[ing you]r own little Mediterranean world the first moment you set foot” inside.  Everything feels very fresh and refreshing, including the “Ivy Mary”:

Olive and Ivy

Mix: Homemade

Chaser: None

Fixin’s:  Celery, lime & olive

Price: $8

Again, while delicious, unfortunately this Bloody Mary was nothing special. Skip it and indulge in an extra variety of bruschetta or flatbread at Happy Hour.

Oregano’s is a Chicago-style pizza joint that’s an Arizona institution.

Famous for their thin, pan or stuffed crust pizza, Oregano’s also has an extensive wine and beverage list.

It includes the Gibbilini Bloody Mary, named after the current owner’s father.

Oreganos (2)

Oreganos (1)

Mix: Homemade

Chaser: None

Fixin’s:  Pickle & lemon

Price: $5.99

While you can’t beat the price or atmosphere, you’re probably better served ordering wine here as this Bloody Mary was pretty average (unlike most of their menu items).

Also know that when you go to Oregano’s–any one of their locations–you should be prepared to wait for your table. They are popular joints!

The Arrogant Butcher in the heart of downtown Phoenix is yet another feather in the Fox Restaurant Concepts group’s cap.

This one serves a wide variety of fare and features a large bar area.

In our quest to try all Fox Restaurants, we popped in here for late lunch and a Bloody Mary.

Arrogant Butcher

Mix: Homemade

Chaser: None

Fixin’s:  2 olives, 1 lime

Price: $5

Nothing special with this Bloody, but the food was very good.

Arizona: Durant’s

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Durant’s is an establishment that was noted frequently in my research of Phoenix-area Bloody Marys.

Durants (9)

Durants (8)

It is one of Phoenix’s oldest upscale restaurants and an icon.

You enter through the quaint back parking lot…through the kitchen.

Most of the dark décor inside is original, with the exception of the carpet, which I am told was only recently replaced.

Durants (5) Durants (4)

Yes, opened in 1950, Durant’s remains largely unchanged. 1950s sports figures Sam Snead and Joe DiMaggio dined at Durant’s, along with movie stars of the era, including Clark Gable, John Wayne and Jane Russell and there’s quite a unique history here.

The stories may or may not be true, but it’s been said that “countless political and financial deals are still brokered back-room-style even today.” The bar’s namesake, James E. “Jack” Durant, and his silent backer Jack “Swede” McElroy met in Vegas where Durant worked for gangster Bugsy Siegel as a pit boss at the Flamingo Hotel. Bugsy was murdered and then Durant also got mixed up in the murder of a rival casino owner, so he was asked by authorities to leave Nevada.

So you see, Durant’s is deeply rooted in history and mystique. It’s a fun, clandestine place to hide away in during a weekday afternoon where you’ll have the bartender all to yourself; he’s likely been working there for many years like most of the staff and he’s more than happy to share a few stories with you over one of their excellent Bloody Marys… or three.

Durants (2)

Mix: Homemade

Chaser: None

Fixin’s:  Shrimp and lemon.

Price: $8.50