There's a new addition to the line-up of restaurants in the Arcadia area, and it's a cool one. O.H.S.O Eatery + nanoBrewery serves up a well-rounded menu that includes small plates, flatbreads, burgers and sammies. And, of course, beer! They do Happy Hour M-F, 11am-6pm (that's not a typo) and a Beer Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The nanobrewery portion of the restaurant is currently under construction but promises to be open soon - I'm already plotting my next visit. If beer is not your thing, they offer a variety of wines and cocktails as well.
I had the Cheese Flatbread and a Salad (disclaimer: I'm a vegetarian) which was quite tasty. My lunch companions both opted for sammies which were a hit. To quote the one who had the Pesto Chicken, it was "VERY GOOD!"
If you like to patronize restaurants that allow your dog, this is your place. The back patio is uber dog-friendly with a line-up of faucets that pour water into waiting dog bowls. The sign above says "Barking Bar (Free Refills)" - how cute is that? And inside the restaurant, painted dog paws dot the floor.
You may be wondering what O.H.S.O stands. I'm wondering the same thing. I'll have to ask next time I'm there.
See more photos of the restaurant.
O.H.S.O Eatery + nanoBrewery
4900 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Let me start by saying that I LOVE ice cream, and Sweet Republic has ice cream that's definitely worth the indulgence. Started in 2008, this shop defines what a local business should be. Each batch of artisan ice cream starts with milk and cream from independent Arizona dairy farms. They then add hand-stirred caramel, slow-roasted bananas, handmade marshmallows and fresh-baked brownies, just to name a few ingredients. They also make their own cookies, toppings, sauces and waffle cones from scratch to make sure we get only the best ingredients - this means no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or hydrogenated oils in any of their products. Sweet Republic cares about the environment too. Among other earth-friendly design elements, the table tops are made from sorghum stalks - a beautiful renewable resource that is otherwise discarded as waste.
On this particular visit, I opted to go big with the Pecan Turtle Sundae. This dreamy concoction includes 2 scoops of salted butter caramel ice cream, pecans, caramel sauce and hot fudge. It's definitely enough to share but good enough to want all to yourself.
If eating ice cream isn't enough entertainment for you (it is for me) or you have little ones to occupy, Sweet Republic offers a plethora of old school games. Think Scrabble (put down Words with Friends), Sorry, Candy Land (very appropriate!) and Monopoly.
I'm not the only one raving about Sweet Republic. The accolades are pouring in for them: Food Network (Best Thing I Ever Ate), Travel Channel (America's Coolest Ice Cream Shops), Food & Wine (Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.) and USA Today (Top 1o Ice Cream Parlors), just to name a few.
What are you waiting for? Go get some ice cream!
9160 E Shea Blvd, #105
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Lux Central is that place, the neighborhood go-to spot where you can get breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks in a place that feels like home - a really fun home where all the cool kids hang out. I recently visited for the first time and loved it! The place was buzzing with activity. People were typing away on computers (ironically, good ol' fashioned typewriters are central to the decor), chatting it up with friends and listening to music.
We were on a mission to get a late breakfast, so we jumped right into the order line. They serve such fresh food that two of the breakfast items had already been marked off the day's menu. Luckily for us, they still had the Eggs with Veggie Hash and the Egg Sandwich. Yum on both counts. And the orange juice is f-r-e-s-h.
So, the next time you want to get out and about and really feel like you're a part of the community, head to Lux Central. It's highly likely that you'll run into someone you know. We did.
Check our more Lux Central photos on Flickr.
4402 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85016
We all love our weekends for various reasons - time off work, relaxation, fun with friends and family. While I love all of those reasons too, I also look forward to the weekend because it means time for brunch. One of our favorite spots for Sunday Brunch is Corbin's Bar & Grill in north central Phoenix. This place is the quintessential neighborhood hangout and do they ever know how to serve up brunch food!
The French Toast is, in a word, delicious. They use rustic Italian bread and serve with either maple syrup or blueberry compote (I kept it traditional with maple syrup). You can choose from a side of seasoned breakfast potatoes or fresh fruit compote. Hint: the potatoes are fantastic. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fresh-squeezed OJ. They also have an assortment of crepes. My husband loved the Apple Walnut version. Other brunch items include Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, Eggs Bayou, Waffles and Frittatas.
If the food isn't enough of a reason to give Corbin's a try, then you should know that their patio is dog-friendly for those weekends when you just need a little extra time with your four-legged friend(s).
Corbin's Bar & Grill
8729 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85020
I really love discovering local treasures. I'm just sorry it took me so long to make it out to the Queen Creek Olive Mill. Since I'm such a sucker for breakfast, we opted to try theirs out. I had to go for the vanilla bean olive oil waffle with bananas and pecans (hint: waffles are served all day). And, as luck would have it, we arrived before 10:30 and got a discount on breakfast by checking in via FourSquare. To describe the waffle as delicious would be an understatement. Other waffle options include the Classic and Berries & Cream. The rest of the menu looked equally fantastic, but I'd be hard pressed not to get the waffle again.
After eating, we wandered through the retail area (and made purchases, of course) and then took the tour. The retail store includes more olive oil options than I ever thought possible, a variety of tapenades, an olive bar, cupcakes, lotions, etc. If you can put olives or olive oil in it, I think they have it. They also offer a nice selection of wines including many from local wineries. And be sure to take advantage the olive oil and tapenades samplings.
I highly recommend making the tour part of your visit to QCOM. It's only $5 per person, and you really get the low down on how they produce their extra virgin olive oil using sustainable farming practices.
Oh, don't forget to grab some gelato on your way out. I can vouch for the chocolate olive oil flavor (yum), and a little QCOM birdie told us that the raspberry gelato drizzled with chocolate olive oil is a must. They do mix it up with their gelato flavors so who knows what they might have when you visit.
To see more photos of my visit to Queen Creek Olive Mill, check out our Flickr stream.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
25062 S. Meridian Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
It's so exciting to have new local spots open up, and thanks to the owner of Postino Wine Cafe, Central Phoenix has a new restaurant and a new ice cream and sweets shop - Windsor and Churn, respectively. The two share space on Central Ave., just north of Camelback, appropriately in the Windsor Historic District. They've only been open for two weeks, and I've already been twice! Windsor is a casual, comfortable neighborhood hangout where you instantly feel at home and Churn is reminiscent of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
I can officially announce that Windsor serves my new favorite salad, the Kale Caesar. It's a fun (and delicious) twist on a traditional Caesar with shredded romaine & kale, cheddar biscuit croutons, avocado, celery & crispy capers. The cheddar biscuit croutons are a little touch of genius, at least in my humble opinion. They also serve one of my Southern favorites, fried okra. Definitely not something you see on many menus in Phoenix. Other menu items include Corn Dog Poppers, Country Vegetable Chop, Backyard Burger Windsor Style (sharp cheddar, shredded iceberg, garlic aioli, tomato, carmelized onion), Crab Cake BLT, Brown Bag Chicken Sandwich and much more.
And that just covers lunch and dinner. For dessert, you must mosey on over to Churn for some homemade ice cream (I can tell you that the Butter Pecan is deelish) and other yummy, sugary treats. Just follow the trail of cassette tapes from Windsor over to Churn. I'm not exaggerating too much - the wall of the little hallway that leads from one to the other is literally papered with cassette tapes. How fun is that?