Girls on Food


Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse Presents the Blacklisted Taco Party

When I first heard of Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse, it was through meeting a new friend. She works for the company and is one awesome girl. Trusting her opinion, I knew Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse, had delicious food, a fun atmosphere and some of the best drinks in town. I first tried Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse, food at the Hotel Thrillst event I attended last month. They had these incredible dumplings with moonshine BBQ sauce that gave me major heart eyes. When Bianca, my friend who works for the company, invited me to a special Taco event I couldn’t turn it down. The Blacklisted Taco Party was in honor of the Arizona Taco Festival that will be happening during the weekend of October 17th – 18th, 2015. I knew I was able to attend the festival, so this invite made me extremely happy!

Blacklisted Taco Party

Blacklisted Taco Party

Blacklisted Taco Party

Blacklisted Taco Party

This private/media event was insane. There were 5 different types of tacos, including the Pastor, Brisket, Pork, Salmon and veggie. Of course, I had my fair share of all of them. Did I mention they were all you can eat? My husband and I went all out. It isn’t every day you get to experience first hand some of the most delicious tacos in Arizona. I mean, we both could not stop eating these tacos because they were just so good! My favorite was the Salmon! Actually, I think everyones favorite was the salmon.

Blacklisted Taco Party

Blacklisted Taco Party

Blacklisted Taco Party

Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse has never been able to do the taco competition because of the conflict of interest with the owner, Rick, who owns the Arizona Taco Festival and the restaurant. (Which is TOTALLY not a bad thing!) They decided to invite some of the official National Taco Association judges so they can have the tacos they’ve never/will never be able to have! I am so thankful I was invited to try these delicious tacos!

Blacklisted Taco Party

Blacklisted Taco Party

Blacklisted Taco Party

Jason & Kailee Asher were there shaking Azunia and Sotol Por Siempre cocktails to really get people prepared for that wonderful tequila tent that’s going to be at the festival on Saturday! Did I mention they are newlyweds? Congratulations Jason & Kailee 🙂

Blacklisted Taco Party


Thank you to the wonderful Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse team for putting on such a wonderful event and for creating a very satisfying and five star meal. We can’t wait to come back! If you’re in Arizona, and are looking for a great meal accompanied by a delicious beverage, look no further than Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse. 

Hotel Thrillist Presents: A Phoenix Feast

Scottsdale, Arizona always offers extremely fun and social events. A lot of those events actually revolve around food. There is quite a large foodie network in Arizona and I am so happy to be able to be a part of that community now. When I first heard about Hotel Thrillist at The W Scottsdale Hotel, I instantly wanted to go.

Hotel Thrillist

Hotel Thrillist Diego Pops 1

Hotel Thrillist DJ Hotel Thrillist Itinerary

This event had 16 chefs who were challenged to make something off of their menu and bring on the heat. There were loads of delicious menu items including venison burgers, burgers topped with pulled pork, bacon beignets, mini cubanos, street tacos and so much more!

Hotel Thrillist Diego Pops

Jack Daniels

Hotel Thrillist Chef

Hotel Thrillist Bar

Among the many different items that were offered, two really stood out to me. The first was the Boot Dumplings from Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse. These delectable dumplings were stuffed with pork belly and shrimp, and topped with a moonshine barbecue glaze. You read that right; moonshine! Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse is a casual American Tavern, with two Arizona locations. One in Phoenix and one in Old Town Scottsdale. Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse celebrate the craft of making good food, good drinks, and good friends. The menu is designed for snacking, sharing, and celebrating. They also offer house made strawberry moonshine, mango moonshine, apple pie moonshine and more! If you visit one of their locations, you’re able to get a ‘moonshine flight’ to sample 3 different moonshines. How cool is that?!

Bacon Beignets

Hotel Thrillist Taco

Hotel Thrillist Merch

Hotel Thrillist W Scottsdale

My second favorite item from the event was the Monte Cristo from Snooze, An A.M Eatery. This was absolutely delicious. They took a locally baked english muffin, organic brown sugar and vanilla egg batter and cooked that french toast style. This was then topped with swiss cheese, shaved tender belly ham, slopeside pure Vermont maple syrup and Snooze’s dijon hollandaise sauce. Can you say YUM? I made sure to tell Chef Jon Schwartz to please consider bringing this to the menu. It was just THAT good! Hotel Thrillist

Hotel Thrillist Chicken Sandwich

Hotel Thrillist Red Carpet

Did I mentioned there was a freakin’ Chocolate-Spiced TABASCO® brand fountain? It was so delicious. They had an array of strawberries, marshmallows, rice krispies and other yummy treats to dip into the chocolate fountain.

Tobasco Chocolate Fountain

Hotel Thrillist Street Taco

TABASCO chocolate fountain

There were hosted cocktails that included 3 different options. You could choose from the following: The Fire Starter, Spiced Tea or the Fire Extinguisher. I tried all three! The Fire Started was a chilled shot of Jack Daniel’s newly released, cinnamon-spiked Tennessee Fire. The Spiced Tea was Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, apple juice, cranberry juice and unsweetened tea. The last was the Fire Extinguisher. This consisted of a chilled shot of Tennessee Fire mixed with hard cider. All of the drinks were served in specialty Jack Daniel’s glasses specifically for this event. My favorite out of the three was the Fire Extinguisher.


hotel thrillist W Scottsdale Hotel Thrillist

This event, as I am sure you can tell based off of the pictures, had a really great theme. It was a very ‘neon sign’ inspired event; meaning, bright colors and that night life vibe. It was hosted on the roof top pool at The W Scottsdale. There were actually mermaids swimming in the pool during the event, a DJ with an electric violinist and at the end, to get everyone out and on their way to the after party, they had a marching band led by a fire breather. It was such a fun event and I am so glad I was able to go to represent Girls on Food.

Restaurants Involved:

Elements At Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

Sushi Roku 

The District All American Burger Bar


Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Cowboy Ciao

The Montauk

Diego Pops


Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

Gadzooks Enchiladas And Soup


Central Bistro

Nothing Bundt Cakes


Breakfast at Liberty Market in Gilbert, Arizona

My husband, Matt, and I love trying new breakfast places. For the longest time, I really did not enjoy eating breakfast. I was never an egg fan to be quite honest. But, being married to someone who loves breakfast and is an avid egg eater, I have grown to love them and have quite the appreciation for breakfast. I have heard Liberty Market has an awesome breakfast menu, but have never had a chance to try it. We woke up early, decided that today was the day, and made our way over to Liberty Market.

Liberty Market
230 N. Gilbert Road
Gilbert, Arizona 8523

Located in the historical downtown Gilbert area, Liberty Market was originally built in 1935. There is some really great history behind Liberty Market that they made a short video about. If you’re interested, check it out here.


When you arrive at Liberty Market, you notice it is quite a unique space. Open ceilings, beautiful brick and industrial style decor really makes it a great spot! Liberty Market was founded by partners Chef David & Kiersten Traina and Gilbert restaurateur Joe & Cindy Johnston.


Liberty Market offers delicious house baked goods as well as weekly and weekend specials. They recently offered a Shrimp & Crispy Bacon Burger, Chorizo Pizza and Stumptown Affogato. They’re regular menu items are incredible, but there is something exciting about knowing that no matter what day of the week it is, Liberty Market offers unique specials that are brought from local farmers and suppliers. The chefs at Liberty Market enjoy their craft and you can tell that this is their passion. They continuously cook up creative, craft cuisine.

They offer amazing cinnamon rolls, house made bottled cocktails and delicious espresso drinks. I have never been a very big coffee drinker, but Matt loves coffee. We were told that their cortado was the best choice. Matt decided to give it a try and was blown out of the water. He loved it! For breakfast, we both decided to stick with some very basic, classics. Matt ordered the American Standard which came with three scrambled eggs, Liberty potatoes, biscuit, and your choice of bacon, Schreiner’s breakfast sausage, grilled flattened meatball or sausage gravy. He went with the sausage gravy. Of course, I made him let me try a little bit of his food. The sausage gravy was delicious! Not too thick, not too thin; just right! I ordered the Demi-Breakfast which came with two scrambled eggs, biscuit or pancake, and your choice of bacon, Schreiner’s breakfast sausage, grilled flattened meatball or sausage gravy. I decided to try their pancake and Schreiner’s breakfast sausage. It was delicious! The breakfast sausage was the perfect choice. It wasn’t too spicy, but had a delicious kick of flavor to it.

There are many delicious restaurants that offer amazing cuisine, unique atmosphere and a very welcoming vibe in Arizona, especially Gilbert. Joe Johnston is a recognized East Valley restaurateur & entrepreneur, with many other great restaurants that I am sure you will be reading about from me very soon. If you’re ever in Arizona and looking for a really great cup of coffee, warm breakfast and friendly smiles, Liberty Market is the place to go!
Liberty Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taco Tuesday at Joyride Taco House in Gilbert, Arizona

I have lived in Arizona my entire life; born and raised. Which, I would consider pretty lucky. With thousands of authentic and delicious Mexican style restaurants around, it is pretty easy to always find a place to try something new. Enter, Joyride Taco House.

Joyride Taco House LogoJoyride is a part of one of my all time favorite companies in the valley; Upward Projects. Upward Projects are all about creating inspired restaurants that are connected to the communities they serve. Upward Projects began 11 years and has since grown into something many Zonies still get excited about when they announce a new location or restaurant.

Joyride Taco House (two locations)
302 North Gilbert Road
Gilbert, Arizona 85234

Joyride Taco House, set in the ever growing and vibrant downtown Gilbert, Arizona, has an insane atmosphere. The good reviews, the location, and of course, the delicious food draws you in. It is the music, the employees and the house made cocktails that make you want to stay.

Joyride Taco House mealBoth locations of Joyride Taco House (Gilbert and Phoenix) have some really great deals on Tuesday nights. From 2:00 PM to close you can get $2 tacos such as braised beef, chicken tinga, crispy fish and more.  The chicken tinga taco is one of my favorites. It includes avocado, cabbage, cilantro and white magic. White magic is essentially just a house lime aioli sauce, but it sure is delicious. The Tuesday night specials also include great deals on their house made margaritas or pitchers of your favorite Mexican beer for $5. One of my favorite margaritas that they offer on special is their blood orange margarita. It is a blend of tequila, triple sec, house blood orange sour and hibiscus syrup. To make things even better about Joyride Taco House, from 2 to 6 p.m you can double up on deals by taking advantage of the their weekday happy hour. Those specials include $4 quesadilla or $6 ceviche. But you don’t have to stop at what is on special that night. Why not splurge on some of their other delicious items including burritos, enchiladas or one of their agua frescas, which are made fresh daily. You can order pineapple, ,cucumber mint or almond horchata; virgin or spiked. And the best part? You get to decide what type of booze you want to add. You can choose from tequila, vodka, rum, gin, amaretto or frangelico.  I would highly recommend the pineapple with tequila. It is absolutely delicious.

Joyride Taco House 1

I am telling you guys, they know what they’re doing. So when you get a chance to visit Arizona, make sure you hit up Joyride Taco House. I would recommend visiting the Phoenix location over the Gilbert location. Phoenix doesn’t seem to have quite as long of a wait time as the Gilbert location does. Either one you chose, you are sure to enjoy!

We also recommend you check out our friends at the Village Bakery for more cooking tips and recipes.
Joyride Taco House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Let’s Get Cookin’: Classic Cooking Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona

Recently I went to a cooking class at Classic Cooking Academy in Scottsdale. Classic Cooking Academy is located at 10411 E McDowell Mountain Ranch Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255.

My husband, Matt, and I received a Groupon as a gift for Christmas from my parents, and finally were able to use it. They had been booked up since the new year. We called ahead to make our reservations and they told us what the menu would be for that evening. Mini baked brie and pear in Phyllo dough, Caesar salad, flank steak au poivre with green bean bundles and roasted potatoes, and last but certainly not least, creme brulee.

Classic Cooking Academy
10411 E. McDowell Mountain Ranch Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85255

We were so excited! When we arrived, we checked in and were asked if we would like a beverage. They had local wines and beer; how could we say no. So, we both settled on a glass of Merlot. Once everyone arrived, Chef Joe Cambria began going over basic rules as well as our menu and the process for each item.

There were about 26 people in attendance, and it was a collaborative cooking class. Meaning, we all worked together to cook and prepare the items that we would all eat. Chef Joe Cambria went over each station and the proper way to cut, dice, season and cook each item. As we began working on each menu item, Chef Joe and his assistants/staff walked around to make sure everything was being done properly. It was an absolute blast! I would love a huge kitchen like this one day so we can host all sorts of dinner parties. Once the meal was prepared, a few of us stayed behind to learn how to properly dish up the plates and served the class. We sat down, enjoyed another glass of wine with our freshly prepared meal and couldn’t believe how delicious everything turned out.

Classic Cooking Academy offers loads of different cooking classes that I hope to sign up for soon. I am most excited about preparing this meal in the future. I was able to take the menu with the recipes home and I will most definitely be preparing this meal for our friends in the future very soon.  If you could take a cooking class and learn a new recipe, what type of class would you like to take?
Classic Cooking Academy  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato