Best Pizza In Arcadia and Camelback Corridor

Let’s talk pizza – specifically let’s talk about the awesome pizza available in the Camelback Corridor and Arcadia.

Tommy V’s Osteria and Pizzeria has been a local icon for decades (yes, literally). Customers who know genuine Italian food rave about Tommy V’s, and they aren’t alone.

Tommy V’s is the sister restaurant to the upscale Tomaso’s (the restaurants are next to each other). While the atmosphere is more casual than Tomaso’s, the food, drinks, and service are on par with Tomaso’s. If you’ve never been to either of the restaurants, know that the service is outstanding!

Best Pizza Arcadia

Born in Italy, owner Chef Tomaso Maggiore makes frequent trips to Italy to maintain his “fresh approach to authentic Italian cuisine” (quote is from Tomaso’s website). For Tommy V’s, Chef Maggiore has poured his passion for fresh ingredients and superior flavors into a menu that offers a variety of affordable selections. The pizzas are cooked in a wood fired oven, and they taste incredible! Pizzas vary from the traditional (such as the Pizza Margherita) to the innovative – check out the Smoked Salmon pizza! Everything on the menu is great, so feel free to try any of them (or go often enough to try them all!). Let me know your favorite Tommy V’s menu item.

The Parlor Pizzeria has won numerous awards, including being awarded one of the best pizzas in the country (and the best in Arizona) by Food Network. From the moment you walk in the door, the atmosphere and decor lets you know this place is special.

One of the most talked about menu item is the “Duck Club” – people RAVE about it! As a vegetarian I can’t offer a personal opinion, but I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you about it.

On to the pizza, though. The Parlor’s pizzas are cooked in a brick oven, and one of the most popular pizzas is the “Salsiccia” (a.k.a. the pizza that won over the Food Network). But really, you can’t go wrong with any of the pizzas on the menu – they’re all great!

And I’m not done – stay tuned for part 2 of this blog and read more about my favorite pizza places in Arcadia and Camelback Corridor. If I haven’t mentioned your favorite pizzeria let me know.

What else is there to love about Arcadia and Camelback Corridor? I put together a video about it! Check it out here.

*Photo of pizza is from http://theparlor.us/camera.htm

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Trick or Treat! Halloween In Arcadia

If you think Halloween is just for kids then you’ve never been in Arcadia for Halloween! Not sure what to expect? A great time for kids and adults (yes, really)!

Halloween In Arcadia AZ

Remember those block parties you’ve heard about in past generations? It makes a comeback in Arcadia for Halloween. Arcadia neighbors close off streets to vehicles, and Arcadia streets become pedestrian friendly and safer for everyone.

With award-winning schools in Arcadia and Camelback Corridor attracting families to the area, Halloween is an experience not to be missed!

Kids are bused in, and the closed off streets can look more like a playground than a trick-or-treat route. Arcadia isn’t a “two bag neighborhood” – Arcadia residents are well prepared for the trick-or-treating masses.

While candy makes up treats for children, adults socialize over glasses of wine. As everyone migrates throughout the neighborhood, it isn’t rare to see parties at homes where people have migrated to.

Halloween in Arcadia really is a tradition filled with fall and whimsy – it’s a wonderfully unique experience unique to Arcadia. See you there!

Arcadia & Camelback Corridor Restaurant Foodies Will Love

Foodies, rejoice – there are some incredible restaurants in Arcadia and the Camelback Corridor area! I’ve highlighted one of my favorite restaurants here for your foodie enjoyment :).Tarbell’s. If you consider yourself a foodie, and you haven’t yet been to Tarbell’s please don’t wait any longer! You’re depriving yourself of an all-around incredible dining experience.Owner Mark Tarbell is a celebrity in his own right. He received international culinary training at world class culinary schools and restaurants. He is a James Beard award nominee, an Iron Chef, and columnist for the Arizona Republic (he writes a weekly wine column) among so many other awards and accolades it would take the entirety of this blog to catalog them all (yes, seriously). His television appearances range from “Good Morning America” to numerous Food Network programs, and he has cooked for a myriad of celebrities (including Muhammad Ali and the Dalai Lama). Throughout the years, more than 50 awards have been presented to Mark and his restaurants.

Tarbell’s is my kitchen away from my kitchen. Their front door says “welcome home” and the entire staff is so friendly and welcoming no one feels like a stranger when they’re there. In fact, you may be met at the door by Mark – he often greats guests as the come in and then checks back with them during the meal to ensure they’re having an excellent experience.

The interior of Tarbell’s is contemporary, modern, and comfortable. The menu has something for everyone (yes, I dine there often), and the ingredients are the highest quality available.

While Tarbell’s is ideal for a special occasion, experiencing the fantastic dining experience can be a special occasion in itself. Arcadia and Camelback Corridor residents can often be seen several nights a week at this neighborhood gem. Tarbell’s dishes are creative, organic, inspiring, and delicious. If you haven’t experienced the joy of eating at a restaurant so superb everything on the menu (literally) is a full sensory delight, prepare to be wowed at Tarbell’s. Tarbell’s is known for superior service, impeccable dining, and world class wine pairings.
If I were to attempt to sum my love for Tarbell’s it would be this: Local. Organic. Delicious!
Mark graciously sat down with me and talked about the best of Camelback Corridor – see that video here. Check back for more Arcadia & Camelback Corridor restaurants foodies will love – I’ll be writing more about them soon.
Want to know even more about why I love Camelback Corridor and Arcadia? Watch my video here.

Where To Get The Best Coffee In Arcadia & Camelback Corridor

Arcadia and Camelback Corridor have some amazing, locally owned coffee places!

Best Coffee Arcadia, Best Coffee Camelback Corridor

The iconic Hava Java is one of the most awarded coffee houses in Arizona. I love this place! Have Java is as small town local as you’re ever going to find. This local legend serves some of the world’s best (literally) coffee in a friendly, inviting atmosphere. The baristas are experienced, service is superior, and the customers are loyal. The morning “brew crew” (Jake, Meghan, and Lance) remember you and your order by name! Their tagline is “chains are for bikes” (ha!). Owner “Mr Hava Java” (a.k.a. Justin Shafer) has created a gourmet coffee house that has a wonderful community feeling. And while I wanted to mostly focus on coffee shops, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t let you know the baked goods here are incredible (you’re welcome). For those with food allergies – Hava Java has gluten free pastries and soy milk.

Another stand out in local coffee culture is Carmel’s Breakfast House (you may remember Carmel’s from the Arcadia Sunday Brunch Spots blog). A little local trivia for you – Carmel’s owner Pat Flanigan was a weatherman on TV for many years before deciding he never wanted to wear a suit again and opened up Carmel’s (thank you, Pat!). Pat was kind enough to sit down with me and chat Carmel’s and all things Camelback Corridor – see the video here.

From its beginning, Carmel’s has been an Arcadia coffee favorite, with coffee purists enjoying locally roasted coffee (along with a full menu of breakfast food options). The atmosphere at Carmel’s is cool, inviting, cozy, and retro (though the VW permanently parked in front lets you know to expect the cool & retro part). All baristas go through Carmel’s training so you can always expect a perfect cup of joe. Tip: try their iced toddy (you’re welcome).

Arcadia Coffee Houses

Black Cat Coffee House is another Arcadia/Camelback Corridor coffee house favorite. Don’t want to instigate competition, but they make a fantastic iced toddy as well (guess you’ll have to try both Carmel’s and Black Cat’s iced toddy to find your fave). Inside local art is displayed, and there is an indie, hip vibe. The food at Black Cat is as amazing as the coffee (seeing a trend here?). Friendly baristas can initiate coffee newbies and can also knowledgeably discuss specialty coffees with aficionados. For those of you with food allergies – there are non-dairy milks available (rice, almond, etc.).

Visitors to Arcadia’s Terra Java quickly convert to regulars. With a chef co-owner, it’s no surprise customers rave as much about the coffee as they do about the world-class cuisine. Their coffee is locally roasted, and the coffeehouse is very involved with the local community – including hosting a monthly Arcadia book club. Baristas are experienced and passionate – a Terra Java barista even took part in an international competition!

One of the things that really impresses me about many of our neighborhood businesses is that supporting the local community is such a large part of who they are and what they do. If you haven’t had a chance to grab a cup of coffee (and pastry or baked good) at any of the Arcadia and Camelback Corridor coffeehouses above, stop in and support these great local businesses!

Want to know more about why I love Camelback Corridor and Arcadia? Check out my video here.

My Top 3 Favorite Things About Arcadia & Camelback Corridor

Someone asked me the other day what my top 3 favorite things about Arcadia are. If you’ve stumbled across my blog you find yourself wondering “Are Arcadia and Camelback Corridor really so cool they deserve their own blog?” Absolutely! And residents agree. Without further ado my top 3 absolute favorite things about Arcadia and the Camelback Corridor:

Best Community Arcadia and Camelback Corridor

1. The community.

Arcadia is such a hidden little gem! Many people familiar with Arcadia and Camelback Corridor comment that it feels like a city within a city – and it really does! When people move in to the neighborhood they fall in love with the area and don’t want to leave, so there isn’t the typical real estate churn found in most communities. There is a close-knit community feeling, and everybody knows everybody (not in a scary “The Truman Show” kind of way, but rather a place where block parties still happen and you’re genuine friends with your neighbors).

You really have the best of both worlds with this little city within a city. You get the wonderful smaller town community feeling, but you’re pretty much 10 minutes away from everything.

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2. The homes.

Yep, I love the homes in Arcadia and the Camelback Corridor. And no, that isn’t just the realtor in me talking. The ranch style homes are quintessential Arizona. The large, grassy lots have a little bit of an east coast feel for me.

There are many neighborhood homes I’ve had the opportunity to view the inside of, and the external charm is only surpassed by the charm on the interior. Homes in the neighborhood make such an impression that years later I can still walk by a home and remember the layout. Every aspect of the neighborhood is home to me. I know it like the back of my hand.

Arcadia and Camelback Corridor Favorites

3. The vibe.

Arcadia and all of Camelback Corridor have a consistent, cool vibe that never changes with times. The vibe really ties back in to the community. The independent businesses in the area are a big part of the cool community vibe as well. My grocer, coffee shop, and more are all right at 32nd St & Camelback. When you live in the neighborhood you not only run in to your neighbors at these area businesses, but you’re also supporting your neighbors – many of the area’s independent business owners also live in the neighborhood.

Arcadia and Camelback Corrior residents are proud to call this home. What are your favorite things about living in the neighborhood? What area businesses do you frequent? You’ve read my favorite things about Arcadia and the Camelback Corridor – share yours with me!

Look out, world! In addition to talking about Arcadia and Camelback Corridor here on my blog I’m also doing it on video. Check it out here.

Arcadia & Arcadia Lite Named Hottest Neighborhoods To Live In

That’s right, in this month’s Phoenix Magazine both Arcadia and Arcadia Lite were named among the hottest neighborhoods to live in the Valley. And this isn’t the first time our beloved Arcadia has been recognized among the very best neighborhoods.

Arcadia Lite NeighborhoodIf you’re new to Arcadia, you might be thrown by the name “Arcadia Lite.” Is it Aracadia with less calories? Well, in a way, yes (if calories were the price of homes compared to those in full calorie Arcadia). Arcadia Lite lies within Campbell to Indian School and 32nd St. to 40th St. (give or take). Want to live near La Grande Orange? Love The Vig? Arcadia Lite is also home to the widely acclaimed Beckett’s Table. Are you hungry? I’m making myself hungry listing all these great restaurants (ha!).

In their article, Phoenix Magazine named Arcadia Lite a hot neighborhood for “trendsetters” wanting to “move up” (i.e. you did the starter home, now you’re ready to “move up”). Many small families and couples (trendsetters or otherwise) enjoy calling Arcadia Lite home.

The sense of community in Arcadia Lite is strong, and the area has a reputation (rightly so) for being very safe. Luxury homes exist in Arcadia Lite, but the area is better known for its variety of median priced homes. The neighborhood lets you take advantage of living between Downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale’s nightlife at a fraction of the cost it would be if you lived in either of those.

If you know me (or you’ve been reading my blog) you know the Camelback Corridor and Arcadia always rank #1 to me as the best neighborhoods to live in.

In the Phoenix Magazine August issue, Arcadia is named one of the hottest luxury neighborhoods to live in, and the article states (correctly) that Arcadia has long been a coveted place to live. They even likened Arcadia to having “your own private island in the city” (what a great image!).

While the article points out the home prices are higher than those in Arcadia Lite, there are still some great deals to be had in Arcadia if you know the right realtor (one that is, say, real estate agent for all things Arcadia? *wink*).

I love seeing Arcadia and Arcadia Lite getting the accolades both these unique communities deserve. If you live in Arcadia or Arcadia Lite what do you love about your neighborhood? Would you give it the same rating Phoenix Magazine did?

Want to know even more about these hot communities? I love Arcadia and Camelback areas so much, I made a video about it! View the video here.

Celebrate 4th Of July In Arcadia and Camelback Corridor

fireworksTime flies when you’re having fun and 4th of July is upon us – there are great ways to spend Independence Day right here in Arcadia!

Arcadia’s infamous Arcadia 4th of July parade is returning this year. The parade began when Arcadia local Johanna Boslin and her family members put flags in their neighbors’ front yards for Independence Day. One neighbor, Bud Katz, commented to Johanna that the flags were so beautiful that all that was missing was a parade. And with those words, the Arcadia 4th of July parade was born!

Whether you’re a spectator or participant the parade is worth it! Everyone is invited to let their creative side out, and you’ll enjoy seeing everything from pets to trikes to “parade floats.” The whole parade is super cute.

For fireworks, the Arizona Country Club has an AWESOME fireworks show every year! Non-members, don’t despair. Non-members gather in the street around the Club (56th & Thomas) to watch the show.

If you’re looking for an entire weekend of Independence Day activities for the whole family, you may want to consider a staycation at the nearby Arizona Biltmore. Activities start on 4th of July and extend throughout the next few days (July 4 – 7, 2013) – everything from outdoor movies next to the pool to cigar rolling classes, wine tastings to water balloon games are on the agenda.

If Independence Day finds you outside of Arcadia, each city in the Valley has their own fireworks display – you can find details on the official website for each city (but why leave Arcadia when everything you need for a great 4th of July is already right here?!).

Many Camelback Corridor restaurants and bars have 4th of July events and specials. On Independence Day at Chelsea’s Kitchen you buy one entrée and get the 2nd one for only $4. At La Grande Orange, enjoy 4 cent sangria! Last year Fox Concepts restaurants offered 25% off all day – so be on the lookout for that possibility.

Do you know of Arcadia and Camelback Corridor 4th of July activities/events that didn’t make it in to this blog? What Independence Day traditions do you and your family love? Please share by leaving me a comment. Wishing a happy and safe 4th of July to everyone – special thanks to veterans for your service.