Discover Something New at Home in Phoenix
New Restaurant: T Cook's at the Royal Palms
Some Arcadians might say that there's nothing new about T Cook's at the Royal Palms, but clearly they haven't been there in a year. The iconic Phoenix restaurant went through a total renovation both physically and conceptually. Chef Paul McCabe has reinvented the menu, creating a foodie's delight and adding a touch of whimsy -- edible flowers decorate just about every dish. The menu changes routinely, but don't miss the Aged Ribeye Cap -- it's a melt-in-your-mouth staple that's never the same twice thanks to McCabe's creativity with sauces and seasonal vegetables. For a quick sampling of gourmet noshes, try the adjoining Mix Up bar.
Place to Bring a Little "Home" Home with You: Union Biltmore
After your meal at T Cook's, harness your inner chef and head west on Camelback Road for Biltmore Fashion Park. Union is a new collection of shops from 18 locally owned companies. Queen Creek Olive Mill has a boutique of extra-virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars and home goods. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a Mallo Cup, Abba Zaba or other vintage candy at Smeeks.
Word on the Street
We're not sure how it happened either, but the oft-suffering Arizona Cardinals are contending for a wild card playoff bid. Want to stir up some controversy? Bring up the Cardinals' future without Larry Fitzgerald. Some football watchers say the beloved All-Pro wide receiver's games with the team could be numbered.
Freelance writer Elise Riley has lived in Phoenix since Kiddie Land was childhood perfection and remembers when Metrocenter had an ice-skating rink. She frequently visits her favorite Mexican restaurants and, admittedly, still messes up and says "Squaw Peak" instead of "Piestewa Peak."