Local chef Jerry Morgan wants to change the way people think about mead through a new company he's starting called Morgan's Mead. "When most people hear 'mead,' they think super-sweet, or Beowulf or Chaucer," says Morgan, who currently works as a chef at Janos, 3770 E. Sunrise Drive. "But there's mead from sweet all the way to dry, like a good chardonnay." Morgan says the mead will be made with local honey, which varies in flavor from batch to batch, and other ingredients native to this region. He's not sure when Morgan's Mead will get off the ground, but we'll keep you posted.
Closing: Janos and J-BAR
Janos Wilder is closing the restaurants he operates on the grounds of the Westin La Paloma Resort, 3770 E. Sunrise Drive. If you want a final taste of this inspired cuisine, make reservations before Janos and J-BAR serve their final meals on Saturday, May 26. The closures will not affect Wilder's other restaurant, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, at 135 S. Sixth Ave.
Hotel Congress, at 311 E. Congress St., holds its fourth annual Agave Fest at 6 p.m., Friday, May 4. The event offers a chance to sample liquors made from the mighty agave plant—sotol, mescal, tequila and bacanora—and numerous cocktails created using those spirits. This year's event features more than 40 types of liquor, $2 tacos and live music by the Latin Funk Project. The evening also includes an Iron Chef-style bartending competition with only one rule: No margaritas. Tickets are $25. Call 622-8848, or visit www.hotelcongress.com.
Big Juan's Is Open
Big Juan's Tacos y Burros has opened at 4532 E. Speedway Blvd. Expect an enormous menu, with burritos, tortas, tacos and combination plates priced from $3 to $10. A second location is expected to open later this year at 4470 N. First Ave.
A new restaurant called Buddha's Dog House is going in at 425 N. Fourth Ave. There's little information available, but we'll be back when we learn more.
Another Paradise Bakery and Café is shaping up in what used to be Buddy's Grill at 4821 E. Grant Road. The opening date hasn't been announced, but judging from the gutted interior, it could be a while.