Monthly Archives: August 2009

delux

The burger. So easy to  make, so difficult to perfect.

But delux has risen to the challenge, and now you, our very own blog readers, have voted it the best burger place in the Phoenix area.

When it opened a few years ago in a retail plaza on 32nd and Camelback (in the very nice Biltmore area of Phoenix), the amazing first-hand reviews spread like wildfire. The glowing [blue] reviews came pouring in. And quickly, it was the new it place. It’s the place locals go for lunch, dinner and everything in between and after. They’re open late, which means one of their milkshakes is never out of reach.

inside delux

And while the milkshakes are great, this is not your Americana novelty burger place. This is a hip, modern, New York-ish ambience with gourmet touches on your favorite foods. The delux Burger was one of the first in Phoenix to do the arugula-maytag and gruyere-bacon- carmelized onion thing, and they do it with many organic ingredients, and even use natural antibiotic-free beef in all their burgers.

delux burger

delux fries

The grilled cheese is absolutely supreme, the salads are deep green, crisp, and filling, but whatever you have, you must get the side of fries. They are the best. I prefer the mix with sweet potato fries (they are savory, not sweet),  and they are a staple in my order. But nothing pairs better than their beer on tap, which is extensive. I recommend their flights, and since I have a sweet tooth, I go for the #3, which is light beers and ciders, but they have the uber-strong, husky pours as well, so don’t be shy.

Saddle up for some dessert too. Their lava cake is amazing, but they’ve put a halo on it. A banana split halo. Surrounding the ganache-filled lava cake are heaps of natural ice cream, whipped cream, bananas, and they let you be the pour master of the hot fudge. This – the banana split lava cake – is enough for four people, so bring friends.

delux dessert - banana split lava cake

delux is open until 2a.m. (the grill, too) every night (err…morning). For most of the year, their patio is enjoyable, but to get the vibe, sit inside.

delux

3146 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016-4502
(602) 522-2288

www.deluxburger.com

Vignettes

So you’re driving down 7th Street, and among the office buildings, a sign for Vignettes peeks out the way a party invitation does in the mail.

The steps to it’s front door immediately set the “home-y” tone, and inside does not disappoint. And when you look around on the displays (as you decide which…ahemm…vignette you want to go into first) you see all the things that are in homes that are decorated wonderfully and precisely but also create a cozy atmosphere.

Garden stuff at Vignettes Lots of gifts at Vignettes

Since I’ve become a loyal fan of Vignettes, I’ve told people all about it, and they undoubtedly say, “Oh, Vignettes! I’ve been going there for years! I always get my [insert occassion] gifts there!” And it is the perfect place for gifts. Hostess gifts, birthday gifts, and CHRISTMAS is nothing short of amazing. There is also an entire baby/kids area that really special, unique items that will get the “oohs” and “aahs” at any shower.

kids' stuff at Vignettes

So stop by, say hi to the gals, and pick up your next greatest-find-ever at Vignettes.

Vignettes

5220 N 7th St
PhoenixAZ 85014-2801

(602) 264-4845


Melrose Vintage

Melrose Vintage is a shabby chic haven.

Inside Melrose Vintage

It’s tucked into the glorious 7th Avenue shopping district (the Melrose district, coincidentally), and while it offers vintage items (again-  in the name),  there are great pieces that really would work in any home. They have bedding, furniture, fabric, lighting, even a scrapbooking area. For gals, there are some amazing accessories from jewelry to hair thing-eys as well (men: what a great place to find a gift for your girl!).

I really love the way it’s set up, too, with a living room, a master bedroom, a kids room, but they’re not like an interior decorator showroom – it’s stocked with goods. It’s a perfect blend where you can rely on Melrose Vintage to have certain things all the time, but enough in rotation that it’s always new.

Melrose Vintage bedroom

Certain times of year you’ll also find really great garden items as well. It’s the kind of lplace where there’s somthing else amazing around every corner. You have to do a few laps to take it all in.

Melrose Vintage

4238 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013-3069
(602) 636-0300

www.MelroseVintage.com

outside of Melrose Vintage

Smeeks

Smeeks front door

Come one, come all. It’s finally here – Smeeks. A candy/toy store as adult inclined as it is for kids, with “vintage” candy, throwback toys from the ’50s and ’60s, and even a photo booth to boot.

Things you’ll hear from people shopping at Smeeks:

“OH MY GOODNESS, look at these party hats!”

“I remember these Super Balls!”

“I need another bag for candy!!”

Candy, games, toys at Smeeks

It’s novelty at it’s finest: party gear from hats to ribbons to forks that double as birthday candles. Silly cups, plates, games abound. Literally wall-to-wall with toys, games and sweets, hard-to-find sodas. It’s the place to go when  you need that something for a kids party, an adult gift that will get a chuckle, or a huge lollipop to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Smeeks is the brain child of Georgeann Bryant, also the owner of Frances (a great boutique three-doors-down), named Smeeks after her childhood nickname, and wonderfully brought the vibrancy, innocence, sense of discovery and overall fun to the blue, red, and gnome-infused building. You could say this is her sweet dream come to life.

See more photos here.

Wall to wall of toys at Smeeks

Smeeks

14 W Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85013-2568

http://www.francesvintage.com/smeeks/smeeks.html

PJs and Eggs, Breakfast for Dinner Event

Poor eggs. They get a lot of love in the morning, and then widely neglected on their own for the other two meals of the day. (Picture sad egg here.)

So make an egg feel useful and wanted by attending the PJs & Eggs event at – count ’em – NINE great local places for breakfast. Oh, and you’ll help out the Arizona Children’s Association, too!

Here’s how it works: Go to any of the restaurants listed below, anytime between 5p.m. – close on this Friday, August 14. Donate new pajamas (any size) and you’ll receive a free dozen of Hickman’s Eggs and you are entered to win a breakfast party for 65 of your closest friends.

Here’s where to go:

Scramble 602-374-2294

Bacon 480-947-3090

The Breakfast Club 480-222-2582, www.thebreafastclub.us

Matt’s Big Breakfast 602-254-1074, www.mattsbigbreakfast.com

Over Easy 602-468-3447, www.eatatovereasy.com

TC Eggington’s 480-345-9288, www.tcegg.com

First Watch 480-248-9602, www.firstwatch.com

U.S. Egg 602-993-2122, www.useggrestaurant.com

Kiss the Cook 623-939-4663, www.kiss-the-cook.com

Now, you are supposed to wear PJs, but obviously, the larger importance is todonate new PJs, so if you can’t change, I wouldn’t sweat it.

Go forth and make an egg happy.

Matt’s Big Breakfast

Because breakfast seems so simple (it’s just a couple eggs, right?), that’s what makes it so difficult. Everyone, every city has those few places that are MUST-GOs. We put the power to the people, and let them vote on Phoenix area favorites. Between Orange Table, The Breakfast Club, Morning Glory Cafe, and Over Easy, Matt’s Big Breakfast climbed to the top of our “Favorite Breakfast Place” poll.

And for you loyal blog readers, you may be thinking, “They already wrote about Matt’s Big Breakfast!” What’s a blog to do.

Blog again, that’s what.

(Bigger! Better! Bloggier!)

And butter-ier.

Matt’s is owned by Matt and Erenia Pool, also of Roosevelt Tavern success, and has been featured in every local publication and the famous Guy Fieri on “Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives” on Food Network. Among all the accolades, the line of loyalists every morning waiting outside is the best testament to the deliciousness.

For a humble restaurant that only has about 30 seats, Matt’s is a well-oiled machine of friendliness and great service. But let’s talk about why you really go to Matt’s.  Here’s a summary:

Bacon and hashbrowns

A picture is worth a thousand taste buds. But good food is one-part recipe and one-part ingredients. The local prduce, jams and jellies, natural beef and meat, and the cage-free eggs are so rich with flavor, that when combined with Matt’s magic wand, it easily becomes a local favorite breakfast joint.

Matt's Big Waffles

Advice: When you go, get the waffle. Get the waffle as an appetizer, a side dish, dessert, anything. You must have it. Leave no waffle behind. In this economic time, everyone could use a good waffle (that’s my final appeal).

Advice #2: Get extra syrup. And a straw. It’s that good.

Advice #3: Go for lunch on a weekday and avoid waiting, even though it’s worth the wait.

Take it from the locals and make Matt’s your new favorite breakfast place!

801 N. 1st Street (1st and McKinley)

Phoenix, AZ

602-254-1074

www.mattsbigbreakfast.com

Note from Matt

Eddie’s House

Eddie’s House.

If it weren’t situated on the corner of Indian School and Goldwater in Scottsdale, you may think it was his actual home. A nice one, at that. Framed family photos clustered on a console table, the coffee table books stacked near the leather couches, the artwork of his children look like Eddie moved them from his actual home (I didn’t see a Murphy bed on the wall) to his restaurant. The comfort, elegant style, sophistication and warmth that you would imagine in dream home shows off the great taste of Eddie,  in more than one way.

Inside Eddie's House

Inside Eddie's House

Eddie is known around town as a signture chef, with his initial restaurant, Matney’s.  Eddie’s House is a perfect blend of the dishes he’s known for (meatloaf, “What’s in this Steak,” amazing seafood creations) and some new goodies like his pot roast with sweet potato gnocchi and chorizo bolognese. No matter the dish, the best part is the very open kitchen, and you can hear Eddie’s recognizeable voice direct his team on each creation. And when I say open – I mean, you can sit at the counter of the kitchen if you’d like (and I like).

The famous "What's in this?" Steak

The famous "What's in this?" Steak

The bar, I must say, rises to the occassion for Eddie’s House. A little more swanky than the restaurant, still effortlessly comfortable, it’s a hoppin’ place for happy hour and after-dinner drinks. I’ve found myself stopping off at Eddie’s for a drink and strolling around Old Town Scottsdale’s galleries (sitting right outside of Eddie’s doors) numerous times, and would recommend such a plan to anyone.

Hoppin' Happy Hour at Eddie's

Hoppin' Happy Hour at Eddie's

Between the renowned food, comfortable atmosphere, and welcoming energy, you’ll want to call Eddie’s House, well, “home.”

Eddie’s House

7042 E Indian School Road

Scottsdale, AZ

480-946-1622

www.eddiematneys.com