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Eight's 'Check, Please! Arizona' goes statewide, plans first tasting tour


May 14, 2012

What’s your favorite Arizona restaurant? Will you drive 100 miles just for its desserts? Is it your best-kept secret for special occasions? Does your family rendezvous there from across the state?

As "Check, Please! Arizona" prepares to shoot its third season, the Emmy Award-winning program is expanding its repertoire to include restaurants beyond the Phoenix area. Viewers are encouraged to go to azpbs.org/checkplease and nominate their favorite eateries – in Flagstaff, Prescott, Show Low, Yuma and other communities. Of course, those selected will appear on the show with two other guests and show host Robert McGrath, a James Beard Award-winning chef. The program airs at 7 p.m., Thursdays, on Eight, Arizona PBS.

Or do you prefer to sample dishes from restaurants already featured on the show? Then mark your calendar for the first-ever "Check, Please! Arizona" Tasting Tour, scheduled for Oct. 23. Join other foodies aboard luxury coach transportation to five of the show’s best-loved dining destinations.

The sampling begins on El Chorro’s patio for appetizers, followed by mouth-watering selections from Fuego Bistro, Christopher’s and Crush Lounge, The Salt Cellar and Malee’s Thai Bistro. Wine tastings from different Arizona vineyards will be served at each location by members of the Arizona Wine Growers Association.

Seating for the "Check, Please! Arizona" Tasting Tour is limited to 100 guests total. Two groups of 50 each will depart on the tour at 5 and 5:30 p.m., respectively. A donation of $125 per person supports programs on Eight. For information or to sign up, visit azpbs.org/checkplease.

This season, "Check, Please! Arizona" more than doubled its primetime audience and increased its Saturday audience by 20 percent over a year ago. The locally produced program is made possible by BestDentalCareAZ.com, Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers, Whitfill Nursery and Lawns by Les. "Check, Please!" is a registered service mark of Check, Please! LLC.