Category Archives: Melissa

The Parlor Pizzeria

On the Phoenix dining scene less than a year, the Parlor Pizzeria has quickly become a favorite among locals. I had the good fortune of checking it out recently and loved the whole experience, from the warm, hip ambiance to the yummy pizzas and dessert. Even though it was December, we were able to sit in the outdoor area and be perfectly comfortable – the outdoor heater was more than enough to keep us cozy. It’s worth noting that the location of the restaurant is the former Salon de Venus, a beauty parlor (hence the name) that served Phoenix for more than 50 years. The bar stools are actually old beauty parlor chairs – very cool!

They have plenty of options to get you started including an amazing meat and cheese selection, soup and salads. They do offer more than pizza for an entree but since it was our first visit, we decided to go straight for the good stuff. The table shared a variety of pizzas: the Funghi, Margherita, Pepperoni and a Make-Your-Own (chicken, sundried tomatoes and onions).





Of course, we couldn’t pass up dessert (or dolci, as they call it). We couldn’t even decide on just one, so we shared three…yes, three…and all were delicious: Chewy Caramel Sundae, Tiramasu and last, but definitely not least, Zeppole, these warm Ricotta fritters rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with seasonal dipping sauces.


Chewy Caramel Sundae

Your mouth is probably watering at this point so go give it a try.

The Parlor Pizzeria

1916 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix


Barneys New York Opens in Scottsdale

So, I got to start my day in the best way possible – at the mall. And not just any mall, at Scottsdale Fashion Square where Barneys New York is offically open for business. I even caught a glimpse of Simon Doonan, the creative genius behind the store’s quirky and fabulous displays. This Barneys is home to a Fred’s restaurant, one of only three. Yay for us! Can’t wait to give it a try.

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 Barneys is in good company in the new East Wing of the mall. It’s joined by other brands such as Michael Stars, Arthur, True Religion, Pandora and Christian Audigier. This concentration of retail therapy is sure to make any shopaholic weak in the knees. But never fear, you can keep the wallet in check with the more reasonble options of Forever 21, Love Culture and the soon-to-be-here H&M. If you want more middle-of-the-road options, J. Crew and Banana Republic are also taking up residence in the East Wing. Banana is debuting its new concept store – check it out and see what you think. It’s pretty cool but I’m still undecided on the practicality of it. Trust me, I’ll give myself plenty of opportunites to get used to it!

Along with more premier shopping, Fashion Square is also home to two new restaurants, Modern Steak (a new concept by Sam Fox) and Marcella’s Italian Kitchen. Both look very promising and are now on my list of “restaurants to try.”

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the collection of artistic mannequins that are on display. The Mannequin is our Muse Design Project is an art exhibition featuring retailers, designers and community members who have designed a mannequin using their interpretation of art and fashion. One hundred full-size mannequins will be on display through October 18. A panel of local celebrity judges will pick the top five most fabulous to be displayed at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in late October. 

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Corner of Camelback and Scottsdale Roads



One of Phoenix’s newest breakfast spots (or breakfast joint, as they call it) is Scramble, located in the north, central part of the city. I highly recommend giving this one a try. Despite its name, Scramble offers up much more than just eggs. I’m completely smitten with their Biscuits which make a great side to any breakfast meal. The menu is quite helpful by pointing out which items are a “healthy choice,” “spicy” and even which ones “travel well.” Note: naturally, the biscuits are not labeled as “healthy” but a side of low fat yogurt or fruit should help balance that out.

You have to try the biscuits

You have to try the biscuits

On my first visit, I checked out the Mulitgrain Pancakes which were yummy, and BIG. They took up the entire plate! My husband is a fan of the Gringo Breakfast Burrito. And we’re both huge fans of their Cinnamon Rolls. These alone are well worth the visit. They’re baked every day and according to the menu, “When they’re gone, they’re gone.” Now, that’s fresh.

Multigrain Pancakes

Multigrain Pancakes

Gringo Breakfast Burrito

Gringo Breakfast Burrito

Scramble also offers a light lunch menu, but I doubt I’ll ever try it because the breakfast is just too good to pass up!

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9832 N. 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85020

Via Delosantos Mexican Food and Lounge

In Phoenix, everyone seems to have their favorite spot for Mexican food. For us, it’s Via Delosantos. We discovered it several years ago and ever since, it’s been our “go to” place when we’re craving some good ol’ Mexican eats. I tend to be a creature of habit with my food, so it’s a numero 15 for me every time — that’s 2 cheese enchiladas with rice and beans. For Mike, it’s a carne asada burrito made the way he likes it, with all of the ingredients inside the tortilla. It’s so refreshing when a restaurant makes your food the way you like it. Of course, we always manage to fill up on chips and salsa. Maybe that’s why I’m always getting my second enchilada to go. It’s just as yummy the second time around!

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As you can tell, Delosantos is very casual and laid back. Other than the food, it’s why we really love it here. There’s nothing better than being able to relax with some good food, good drink and good company. (And these days, it helps with the bottom line since their prices are more than reasonable). The next time you’re in the mood for some Mexican food, give it a try.

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9120 North Central Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85020

The Spa at Camelback Inn

Sometimes, a girl just needs a day to pamper herself. I recently had one of those days. Ahhhhhhhh!

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I whole-heartedly live by the philosophy of taking time to slow down when life gets a bit too crazy.  One of my favorite places to slow down is the Spa at Camelback Inn. I’ve been multiple times, and I always leave relaxed and refreshed. I’ve had spa days with girlfriends and on my own – either way it’s a little slice of tranquilty. This particular day I treated myself to a swedish massage and a manicure (ladies, the manicure lasted a week!), both of which put me in the perfect state of mind. I spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool and reading, just indulging in a little “me time.” In between lounging and reading, I ordered food from Sprouts, the Spa’s restaurant, which was delivered directly to my lounge chair. Can you say “lazy”? It’s definitely the way to lunch after a morning of pampering. I enjoyed the Pomegranate Salad and Dungeness Crab Cake – yum and yum!

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I was sad for my reign as a lady of leisure to end; but alas, I knew I would eventually have to return to the real world. Can’t wait to do it again!

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Urban Southwest


I just discovered a great new shopping spot for home furnishings and decor – Urban Southwest at the corner of Camelback and 10th Street. What a fun, new find! Part of the store is actually an old house so there’s lots of little nooks and crannies to explore. My favorite room is filled with vintage iron pieces of all shapes and sizes. They have a fantastic collection of old wood doors, too. There’s also loads of accessories for both the home and garden including a variety of  candle holders. And if you love rustic wood furniture like I do, you really need to stop by and check ’em out. Oh, I almost forgot, they do custom pieces as well.

This store isn’t just about selling products, it’s about selling products that are friendly to our environment. Many of their pieces are made from recycled materials, recyclable materials and renewable materials. And much of the wood furniture is made from used lumber. So the next time you want a little something new (or old) to freshen up your home, think Southwest Urban and think green!

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It’s plain and simple…Urban Southwest offers the perfect pieces to fit my eclectic style. What’s your style? For a sneak peek of what’s “in store” for you, visit them at


Urban Cookies

I drive past Urban Cookies nearly every day, and I always think to myself that I should really stop in and check it out. Well, I finally did. And they now have two new fans. I’m making it my  job to spread the word because a good cookie just makes life a little better.


I had the Urban Cookie (dark chocolate, oats, walnuts, coconut) with a side of milk and Mike tried the Urban Trail (almonds, sunflower seeds, brown rice crisps, oats, raisins). We were both quite delighted with our choices and showed real willpower with our decision not to indulge in a second cookie. They offer two other regulars – Urban Simple and Urban Tropic with some seasonal flavors as well. Did I mention that these are organic cookies? If you don’t think “organic” is your thing, keep an open mind – these cookies are dee-licious!


While we were devouring our cookies, we chatted with one of the owners, Brady, who refers to himself as “head dough boy.” He owns the business with his wife, and the two have a strong sense of community and social responsibility. These are such refreshing traits to find in a company and something we can certainly use a little more of these days. I also got a true sense of just how fresh the cookies are. While we were talking with Brady, a timer sounded from the kitchen and he excused himself to take out the latest batch of cookies. Just like being at Grandma’s.

For more  about the philosphy behind Urban Cookies and how you can get your own, check out Enjoy!