Salut! Kitchen Bar: Restaurant Review

hummus nachos

salutsalut inside

By, Christa Ward

Salut! Kitchen Bar gives good meaning to the cliché phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover. Located on the east side of University Dr. Salut! is tucked away in a shopping center where the most prominent display is Tempe Yarn. This sort of nonchalance the the building seems to give off makes it seem like a brilliant hidden secret once its been discovered. I happened to drive by it on the way to work on day and dragged a friend along when he couldn’t decide on where to go for our friend-date. I thought it would be fun for both of us, who have lived in Tempe for a while now, to try something new. It was a good choice. I’ve been back twice since. The second time was after picking my mother up from the airport. Since she appreciates wine and good, healthy food I thought she would enjoy Salut!

Salut has an atmosphere of casual elegance. The bartenders inside wear ties, while the hostess and waitresses float around taking people’s orders and delivering their drinks in denim shorts and floaty tops. Advertised as a kitchen bar, it’s hard to define it as a specific type of restaurant. They serve Mediterranian-American styled plates, but their wine, beer and cocktail list have been crafted with the same attention paid to the menu selection.

 To start, we ordered the hummus nachos. The restaurant’s specialty item and, according to our server, “the best thing on the menu.” The title of the dish is a bit of a misnomer. While one can see how Salut! may have been inspired by the classic Mexican fare these hummus nachos are a far cry away.

 The hummus nachos are triangular pita chips that are baked to crispy perfection, topped with a generous portion of hummus. Olive oil is drizzled over the top of each one and a few pomegranate seeds add just the right hint of sweetness. The appetizer comes with six of these hummus nachos which is almost enough to feed one small person, like myself. Perfect for sharing.hummus nachos

For entrees we ordered the kale and quinoa salad and for me, since I had helped myself to a more than generous share of the hummus nachos, the quinoa fritters. Also found under the ‘shared plate’ portion of the menu.

I’m not a huge fan of kale to begin with, that order was my date’s option. She (in my opinion) has obsession with kale. However, this salad could make me change my opinion. While I’ll never be a kale-lover, I would order this salad again. The salad was drizzled with just the right amount of dressing with equal parts kale and quinoa so neither was overwhelming the other.

The quinoa fritters are probably the most unhealthy item you’ll find on the menu, other than, maybe, the fries. They are fried balls of quinoa wrapped dill havarti cheese. Crispy on the outside with soft cheese melted on the inside these quinoa fritters aquinoa frittersre a rich and creamy version of the average bar food mozzarella sticks. They are baked with a red pepper emersion so there is a little bite of spice to this otherwise plain dish but it is not overwhelming. It’s the perfect addition. Be wary, though. This is a hate or love dish. If you don’t love it, you’ll hate it.

Since we were at Salut! during happy hour I also took advantage of their discounted wine, pairing my meal with their house pinot grigio, only $5 a glass. Their house wines are nothing to turn your nose up either.

It features a dog friendly patio with long cushioned booths and shade, a necessity in Arizona. With good, cheap wine and craft beer on tap to compliment a Mediterranean-American meal, Salut! Kitchen bar is a perfect place to while away the day with friends or family.

Tempe History Museum Guest Speaker: Author of Secrets from the Pink Chair, Patty Mahoney


Patty Carr Mahoney has a long, interesting history with the city of Tempe. Her family were pioneers of this town, building Tempe’s first funeral home, Carr Mortuary.

Carr Mortuary was established in 1905 by Edward Carr who passed it onto his sons, Laurence and Eddie, in 1945. The brothers retired in 1981 after selling the mortuary to Bud Tenney who renamed it the Carr-Tenny Mortuary.

It was in this funeral home Patty Carr Mahoney spent a great deal of her childhood. Her experiences from her frequent visits to the embalming room eventually inspire her to write her debut novel, Secrets from the Pink Chair. Her book is available for purchase on Amazon.

pink chair 2

The story is fictional but based on her childhood  growing up in the Carr Mortuary watching her mother prepare the deceased for funerals, specifically referencing an actual pink chair her mother brought into the embalming room for Patty to sit on while watching her mother work.

To talk about her novel and her life, Patty Carr Mahoney will be the guest speaker for Tempe Historical Society’s monthly “Lunch Talks,” this Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 11:30amShe is a product of Tempe schools, including Arizona State University, and a retired teacher and counselor.

This free event will take place in Community Room at Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue.

For more information go to:

Or call: (480) 350-5100

Tempe events this week: February 9-16


You can get your arts and culture fix in Tempe this week for sure. Check out this list and view a complete listing on the Tempe Tourism website, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. 

Center Point Rabbits


The world’s tallest? That’s a subject of some debate. But there is no question that they are the indisputable giants of Tempe. None bigger.


Know what I am talking about? Another hint? They are arguably the city’s best known and most visited of all public art.


Of course they can be non-other than the outsized black-tailed jackrabbits that quietly repose amidst big boulders flanking a small stream and cooling fountain at the northwest corner of Centerpoint in downtown Tempe. And therein lies a bodacious bunny tale.


The jocular jackrabbits are the inspiration of Tucson artist Mark Rossi who was commissioned in 1992 as part of Tempe’s percent for the arts program in new construction by DMB, developer of Centerpoint, to create a signature piece for its project.


Rossi took naturally to art. The Denver-born Rossi’s father was an artist who later became director of Tulsa’s renowned Gilcrease Museum.  His mother traced her ancestry to Apache, Pueblo and Spanish New Mexican.


All this combined to instill in Rossi a passion for the natural beauty of the Southwest.


Following his graduation from the University of Arizona, Rossi settled in the foothills of Tucson’s Catalina Mountains where the 56 year-old artist still lives today ─ fashioning larger than life fanciful interpretations of nature in cast bronze, his favorite medium.


So far in his career, the in-demand artist has created nearly four dozen public art pieces ─ mostly in the west. DMB apparently was so pleased with Rossi’s Centerpoint work it hired him for another installation at its DC Ranch in north Scottsdale.


For Centerpoint Rossi selected the engaging desert-dwelling, normally two-foot tall, black-tailed jackrabbit as his subject and put it on bronze steroids.


After nine-months of fabrication, Rossi’s giant jackrabbits were ready for a ‘hare-raising’ journey to their new home. Riding atop an open flat-bed, semi-trailer the trio of bronze bunnies, wind blowing between their enormous ears, garnered a cadre of curious cohorts on their hop up from Tucson on I-10.


At one point the ears of the tallest rabbit just ‘hare-oingly’ cleared an overpass by less than a rabbit’s foot.


Arriving safely and without incident, Rossi’s jackrabbits were officially installed in their new warren on March 24th, 1993.


At a cost of $150,000 the ‘harey’ trio was one of the most expensive art pieces in Tempe at the time.


What makes the Centerpoint Rabbits so popular? Unlike much public art they need no interpretation. People easily identify with them. They are not contentious like the “Pots” on the Piestewa Parkway which were installed a year earlier and are still percolating in controversy.


There is no misunderstanding of what these rascally Rabbits are about. They are cute. And they are  adorable ─ just begging to be touched and petted.


You can see the evidence of years of constant human contact. The natural green patina of bronze noses and paws are now polished to a golden luster by tens of thousands of loving fingers.


Giving individual identities to his whimsical creatures, Rossi named each one. At 14 feet, Guarder alert with paws high towered above all. His shorter Companion Cleaner stood at an imposing 12 feet. While Sounder lay stretched out 8 feet across the ground.


Today the trio has become popularly known as Guard Rabbit, Groomer Rabbit and Restful Rabbit. The bunnies are named and described on small plaques set into the decking in front of each piece.


Whatever you call them, Rossi’s appealing rabbits have hopped into the thumping hearts of all who have experienced their special magic and charm.


Caption: Artist Mark Rossi poses for photographers along side “Groomer” rabbit, one of a trio of outsized bronze public art creations at Centerpoint. This 1993 photo was taken shortly after the 12-foot sculpture was lowered into place.              Photo by Jay Mark


Tempe Community Needs Assessment Workshop

community input image

community input imageThe City of Tempe and Tempe Community Council (TCC) are embarking on a Community Needs Assessment to determine where City resources should be directed for human services.

The Community Needs Assessment will include various methods of gathering input, such as client surveys, a general public web-based survey, key stakeholder interviews, and demographic research and analysis. One of the most critical opportunities for individuals to be included in this process is at the Community Workshop.

“We want to hear from our residents about the needs they see in our community,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “Everyone’s opinion matters, and in this case, we have found that community generated solutions are best. We’re inviting all residents and interested parties to come out and spend a few hours making a real difference for Tempe.”

Who: Tempe residents, business and community members, social service agencies, public/elected officials, and anyone interested in ensuring resources are provided for their neighbors in need.

What: Community Needs Assessment Workshop as it relates to human services

When: Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 from 8:30 – noon

Where: Professional Learning Center at Bustoz, 2020 E. Carson Drive in Tempe

To register for the workshop, visit Seating is limited. For questions or comments, please contact TCC Community Impact Manager, Caterina Mena, at or 480.858.2311.

About Tempe Community Council Tempe Community Council brings our community together – including government, nonprofits, faith groups and residents – to provide support to Tempeans in need, to plan for present and future needs, and to build a lasting foundation for future generations.

Strings and Ballerinas Grace the TCA Theater


logoHayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series presents “Strings and Ballerinas” at the Tempe Center for the Arts Theater, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2:30 p.m.

The program features cellist Peter Wiley, violinist Nikki Chooi and ballerinas Dona Wiley and Claire Mazza as they pair chamber music with original choreography in a salon style concert.

Peter Wiley, Curtis Institute of Music professor of cello and former member of the Guarneri Quartet and Beaux Arts Trio, is the co-founder of Opus One and an international performer. Dona Wiley works with the Manhattan-based contemporary ballet company Ballet Inc. and is the daughter of Peter Wiley.

Nikki Chooi, 2013 winner of the Michael Hill International Violin competition, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. Claire Mazza trained at the School of American Ballet and has danced with Brooklyn Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Connecticut Ballet among others.

Dona Wiley grew up in a family with passions for music and dance. She first learned to play the cello. When her focus turned to dance, she and her father collaborated on presenting professional shows together.

“We do the concerts simply because we enjoy them and we enjoy each other,” says Dona. “It’s the type of project where the musician’s interpretation of a piece can be just as important as the choreographer’s.”

The Wiley family founded CelloPointe in 2010 to further collaborations between musicians and dancers. From classical to modern, they work with other musicians, dancers and choreographers to create programs that attract both music and dance audiences.

Adult tickets $25 include a wine reception with the artists following the performance. Students tickets $10 with ID. TCA Box Office: 480-350-2822

Featured Business: Design Artists of America

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Business name:

Design Artists of America


 Type of business:

Interior Design and Staging

 Please describe your business:

Residential, Commercial and Hospitality interiors. We provide Design, Space Planning and Staging throughout the United States and Mexico.

Professionally staged homes and businesses historically sell for up to 17% more than those that are vacant.

 What made you decide to start it?

Over 40 years in this industry and still loving it!

 What has been your hardest challenge?

Designing a home for a client who was totally blind. Being able to describe every detail and color in terms that made sense on a completely different level.

 Do you have a signature product or service?  If so please describe.

Being able to meet the NEEDS of my clients as opposed to having a specific know style. I don’t believe a designer should be known for a particular style as the client is going to live with the design.

Is there any special offer you would like to offer Tempe Thought’s readers?

Tempe residents will receive our Friends and Family discount of 50% off our normal hourly design rate.

Is there anything else you would like potential customers to know about your business?

We are anxious to design a space for you that will make you want to brag about the design and space efficiency.

 Hours of operation:

By appointment.



If you would like to see your business featured on for FREE – please click here.


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Shana Ellis throws her support behind Robin-Arredondo-Savage for Council

shana ellis

shana ellis

“Dear Friend,

From the beginning of my public service on the Tempe City Council, I kept one goal in mind:  always do what’s best for Tempe.  In honoring my goal, I will formally ask the Tempe City Clerk to remove my name from the 2014 general election ballot.

Political campaigns can often turn into divisive fights that harm communities and ruin friendships and alliances.  I hope my action today will prevent that from happening and allow people to spend their energy on doing what’s best for Tempe.

I have had the honor of serving on the Council for the past eight years.  I am very proud of what we have accomplished: the introduction of light rail; stabilized municipal finances throughout the Great Recession; made tremendous strides in affordable housing; started our first sustainability initiative; the advent of character areas; and, the successful passage of a bond initiatives to fund badly needed infrastructure throughout Tempe.  We have done what’s best for Tempe.

Because of our hard work, we are now seeing over $1 billion in investments, more quality jobs and the ability to invest more in our neighborhoods and parks.

I have had the pleasure of serving with Councilmember Robin Arredondo-Savage for the past four years.  While we sometimes don’t agree, generally our differences have been small.  Asking the community to choose between two council-members who often have the same ideals makes no sense.

It is with this in mind that I will be offering my support to Robin for the third seat in this election.  I also ask my supporters to join me in the same.

To my friends and supporters, I have nothing but heartfelt appreciation for your support and the time, energy and passion you have given to our City and me.  I have great faith in our new Council and the work that they will do for the future of Tempe.  I am confident that my decision today is in Tempe’s best interest and reflects my deep love and passion for the community where I grew up.

Thank you,


Hello Tempe, Hello… Rain?


All night it rained. And rained. And rained. And just when I thought it might stop, it rained some more.

The thunder was magnificent, loud, and consistent, pounding the sky. It was as if the heavens decided it was time for some sort of nocturnal Taiko drumming exhibition. Each clap vibrated through the walls, set off car alarms in the lot outside my window, and kept a good night of sleep seemingly just a couple of inches from my grasp.

Since I arrived in Tempe in mid-August, it has been scorcher after scorcher. Tempe brings the kind of heat that makes simple tasks, like walking to the grocery store or going to the leasing office to sort out a maintenance request, a hellish ordeal (pun intended). To look down and see anything less than triple digits on my weather app is a cause for celebration.

So the rain, while glorious, while massive, while record-breaking, was sort of a confusing ordeal.

A cold and rainy Tempe?

It was just so weird. Throughout the morning, the drops continued to make their way down our walls and windows. The news filled up with images of flooded neighborhoods and highways. Governor Brewer declared “a state of emergency” as the valley continued to flood.

“Wow,” I thought to myself. “I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that’s in a state of emergency.”

Schools were evacuated, classes (for the fortunate few) were canceled, and temporary shelters were set up. National and international news organizations began posting about the massive flooding.

For my first few weeks as a full-time Tempe resident, the weather often resembled a Corona commercial with the thermostat turned up. The world was one big tanning bed and it was a failed day if you didn’t spend some of your time in a pool. Thank God for air conditioning.

But now, with the city less than equipped to handle the storms, Tempe looked like an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.

Rainy days produce idyl time. So my roommates and I did the usual rainy day routine: soup, video games, and TV, mixed in with a fair bit of daydreaming.

Eventually, the rain faded and my buddies left for class.

Tired of spanish homework and re-runs of HBO Hard Knocks, I ventured out onto our porch.

Our view, usually of a nice park full of frisbees, cricket bats, and the jubilant shrieks of people at play, had turned into this:

Our New Lake

Our New Lake

The panorama shot makes it tougher to see, but basically we were now the owners of waterfront property. A massive body of water had formed thanks to the large quantity of rainfall, the odd shape of the park, and lack of drainage within it. It was a staggering site.

A couple of nights before, we’d tossed the frisbee around right in the middle of where all that water stood.

“If we were to do that right now,” I thought, “I’d need a snorkel.”

The park was barren and empty. Trees and light poles were partially submerged and their reflections shined in the water.

The sun peeked its head through the clouds and inspiration struck. It was time to capture the state of Tempe.

Scotty Bara (my roommate and fellow northern California native) and I hatched a plan. I spent the next hour (yes, an hour) inflating a raft and brainstorming. When Scotty came home, we worked out some of the details and headed down the steps.

With idiotic grins on our faces, a yellow raft, some props and a go-pro camera, this is what we came up with:





It was a fun time. While I have yet to walk on water, I can now say I’ve floated on rain. Scotty and I sat atop the monsoon for a solid 10-15 minutes, gathered our thoughts and worked on our tans (which clearly could use some work).

We eventually packed our stuff up and headed up to our place. A couple of minutes later, we posted our pictures (big shout @ASUConfessions) and were off to class.

Just another day in Tempe, I guess.