The Most Edible Time Of The Year

AZRestaurantWeekArizona Restaurant Week is May 17-26

By Kathryn M. Miller ~ Arizona restaurants are as diverse as those who call the state home – from classic Southwestern to classic international; from down-home comfort food to upscale food-truck fare to five-star cuisine. Restaurants across the state, and in the Valley in particular, are upping the taste ante and looking to position Arizona as a culinary destination.

The restaurant industry is also a key component of Arizona’s economic engine. In 2013, Arizona’s restaurants registered an estimated $10 billion in sales, and employed over 200,000 individuals – 10 percent of employment in the state. And if national figures are any indicator, 2014 will only see these numbers rise.

This month offers the perfect opportunity for residents to explore the local food scene from the front lines, as the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) hosts its Spring Restaurant Week. Now in its ninth season, the event runs from May 17-26 and will showcase participating restaurants’ best offerings, consisting of a three-course, pre-fixe menu for either $30or $40 per person. An anticipated 30,000-plus restaurant enthusiasts will join the state-wide tasting tour with more than 150 restaurants to choose from in just 10 short days. The event helps to introduce the state’s brightest and best talent – not to mention creative and delicious dishes – to throngs of foodie fans Valley-wide, as well as raise awareness of the more than 8,500 dining opportunities that stimulate business and revenue throughout Arizona.

“The desire to make Arizona Restaurant Week bigger and better every year is really a labor of love for us,” says Steve Chucri, ARA president and CEO. “2014 marks the 75th anniversary for the ARA and we are thrilled to be a continued driving force for the restaurant industry in our state.”

Whether an opportunity to enjoy an evening out, the chance for a novice food-lover to expand his or her palate or the simple celebration of a chef’s craft, Arizona Restaurant Week truly offers something for everyone.

For more information on Arizona Restaurant Week, including participating restaurants and their menus, visit |CST

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