I'm of the breed of people who enjoy going out for breakfast more than any other meal, so I'm always on the lookout for new early-morning joints. I was recently introduced to the Sunnyslope neighborhood's Scramble and it instantly grabbed a spot on my short list of Phoenix favorites.
Scramble is a fast-casual concept in a bright, airy, welcoming space. After trying to decide between about two dozen items that all sounded great, we went with a Gringo breakfast burrito and a Sunrise breakfast sandwich. Both items were flavorful, filling and served with a side of just-the-right-amount-of-crispy rosemary potatoes.
Scramble sources their food from local farmers and vendors whenever possible and the freshness comes through in their food. The vanilla peach iced tea from local company Souvia was a refreshing complement to the meal.
In addition to the quality of the food, the service was friendly, attentive and timely on a busy Sunday morning. Indoor and patio seating are both available. And feel free to bring your four-legged friend as Scramble is a pet-friendly place.
Scramble is located at 9832 N. 7th Street in Phoenix.
During the summer in Phoenix some of our favorite daytime activities — like hiking, golfing and swimming — can be enjoyed after dark. You just need to know where to go.
Moonlight hikes: Even the most seasoned Phoenix hikers need a reprieve from the sun once in a while. Though the parking lots at most City of Phoenix trailheads close around 7 p.m., the trails are open as late as 11 p.m. So grab a flashlight or slip on a headlamp and hit the trails for a nocturnal hiking experience. Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak) and South Mountain parks are two of the more popular Phoenix hiking spots. For those who'd like some guidance with their nighttime hike, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area and Usery Mountain Regional Park offer guided, interpretive moonlight hikes with a ranger on select summer nights.
Scorpion Scavenger Hunt: We generally try to avoid scorpions and their pincers, but, yes, we're recommending that you actually go looking for some of these desert dwellers. On Saturday nights through the summer, walk with a ranger through San Tan Mountain Regional Park with a flashlight and black light in hand for an educational scorpion hunt.
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'm always happy when someone from the office is so excited about a place that they want to share it on our blog. Kim is our Marketing Programs Manager, and here's her take on the Viet Kitchen Restaurant:
I was excited when I found out my favorite Vietnamese restaurant from North Phoenix opened up a second location in Downtown Phoenix (UPDATE: The downtown location has closed). Growing up, my mom cooked pretty much everything Viet Kitchen has on their menu, so I have a tough time deciding what to get every time I am there.
I usually end up leaving completely stuffed because I feel the need to order a couple of items just to get my fill until the next visit. A must have each time is the Vietnamese soup Pho, and my favorite is the Prime Pho (PHÒ TÁI). On this visit, I decided to get the Vietnamese pancake called Danang Sunrise (BÁNH XÉO) for an appetizer. My friend decided to venture away from the soup and tried their Viet Style Filet. Next time I think I will get the Spring Rolls and a Banh Mi sandwich.
See more photos on Flickr.
Downtown Phoenix - CLOSED
114 W. Adams St. (NW corner of 1st Ave. and Adams)
20235 N. Cave Creek Rd., #108 (NE corner of N. Cave Creek & E. Beardsley Rd.)
I'm happy to report that I now have another restaurant to add to my list of Phoenix Faves. We are just now discovering Los Reyes de la Torta although we have lived only 5 miles from it for 11 years. I guess you could say we were a little slow to the punch on this one. But that's all water under the bridge now. It's officially moved to the top of our list for Mexican food.
And I have Facebook to thank. A fan of VisitPhoenix's page recommended this place when we posed the question: "What's your favorite Mexican restuarant in the Phoenix area?" Her answer: "Okay, if you want REAL Mexican food, not "Mexican-American", you gotta try "Los Reyes de la Torta". Authentic Mexico city style food.
Well, she wasn't kidding. You won't find burritos or enchiladas or even tortilla chips at this joint. What you will find is the real deal: quesadillas, tacos and Mexican sandwiches called tortas (big doesn't even begin to describe them). They even serve up breakfast. The portions are huge, as you can see from the picure below, and the prices are small. What a great combo! Our bill totaled $15 before tip, and we left with lunch for the next day. Now that's a deal.
9230 N. 7th Street, Phoenix
If there's one thing I love to do, it's S-H-O-P! And Kierland Commons happens to be one of the places I enjoy the most. I love it's selection of stores along with its openess and beautiful setting. It really sets the mood for a great day of shopping. They also have an amazing selection of restaurants, so there's always a place to rest your feet and refuel between stores (never underestimate the need to refuel during a shopping excursion - energy is crucial).
My most recent visit to Kierland Commons was for Fashion's Night Out. I needed a little retail therapy after a long week and this was the perfect solution. Kierland is fun any time of day, but evening is especially "magical" with all of the white lights, people strolling around and patios full of happy hour aficionados. Thanks to the celebratory nature of Fashion's Night Out, there was music playing, drinks flowing, deals to be had and a slew of live models showing off the latest must-haves for Fall. The stores really got into the spirit of the evening (Note: although tempting, I steered clear of drinking and shopping - it's hazardous to my wallet!).
Kierland truly has a little bit of everything. Some of my favorite stores include Anthropologie, The French Bee, Michael Kors and Charles David. Of course, they also have the good ol' stand bys like Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, J. Crew, LOFT, Banana Republic and Tommy Bahama (which includes the Cafe). Basically, I can meet all of my shopping needs in one place.
As mentioned, the restaurant selection is stellar as well. Some of my personal favs are The Greene House, Zinc Bistro and Ocean Club (the pretzel bread is to die for.)
But don't just take it from, be sure to check it out for yourself. To see all of their stores and restaurants, go to www.kierlandcommons.com.
Greenway Pkwy. and Scottsdale Rd.