Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Lounge

Earlier this week we attended the Rush 40th anniversary concert at US Airways center arena in downtown Phoenix.  Not wanting to miss a moment of the show, we called our Uber car and arrived almost 2 hours early.  Our plan was to avoid traffic, and get a light snack & beverages at Cityscape before the show, since we had plenty of time.  Great plan, except that every lounge and bar was packed!  We could see the bar at the Blue Hound, but it was so crowded with people it was impossible to order a drink.

Bitter & Twisted bar and a few signature cocktails
Bitter & Twisted bar and a few signature cocktails

Feeling frustrated and claustrophobic, we wandered toward Central Avenue and discovered the most delightful cocktail lounge.  Bitter & Twisted is deceptively simple on the outside, and a wonder on the inside.  Reclaimed red brick from Chicago and a massive bar, complete with old-tyme bar stools, greeted us on entry.  There are luxurious BT_Wallgolden upholstered booths along the outer wall and a stunning wall canvas.  The atmosphere is glorious!  There were only a few people, which we later learned is because B&T opened on their normal day off to serve the concert-goers (thank you, thank you!).

Fish & Chips
Fish & Chips

The drinks are exquisite.  Each one is poured with skill and attention to detail.  Average drink price was $12 and took a couple minutes to make – worth it.  We ordered cocktails exclusively, but they do serve wine and other beverages.  I shared the Fish & Chips with my friend, and it was the best that I have had in Phoenix!  Next time I will not eat before going, so that I can try more menu items.

BT_drinkB&T are self-proclaimed “Purveyors of fine cocktails, spirits, and good times” and that is the honest truth.  We had such a nice time before the concert that we all met back at B&T for a post-concert beverage before calling our car to take us home.  Traffic and crowds were overwhelming after the concert, so it was a strategic withdrawal to B&T.

The bartenders are funny, charming and talented. Explaining each drink ingredient when we asked, and offering dead-on suggestions for the next delicious beverage to try.  The staff is clearly having a good time, and they ensure that everyone around them has a pleasant evening, as well.  The bartenders were telling us about the New Year’s Eve party, and a few other events that we need to attend.  Turns out, B&T hosted a fabulous Villain’s Ball during Comicon – I missed out!BT_Menu

B&T is located at Central & Jefferson, close to US Airways arena, the Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix convention center, and many downtown events.  Bitter & Twisted is my new top pick for Downtown refreshments!

Classic Italian Pizza

Began’s Classic Italian Pizza just reopened!  Fondly shorted to Classic Italian Pizza, or just CIP, this is a Tempe Treasure – and we have missed you.  This week marks the Grand Opening of the new Tempe location on the Southwest corner of McClintock & Guadalupe, in the same shopping plaza as Changing Hands (Tempe).

CIP_OpenThis little 12 table restaurant still has a temporary banner, rather than a fancy sign, but the tables were packed and we even had a 10 minute wait.  There are 6 regular tables, 6 high-top style tables, and bar seating.  The hostess informed of us the wait time, took our phone number and encouraged us to browse in the shopping area.  The other local business are certainly going to benefit from Pizza patrons waiting for the next table, we had time to browse the outside rack of Changing Hands and a quick peak into Turn Style.

The house made mozzarella caprese salad did not last long enough for a photo.  Oh, I forgot how good fresh, house made, small batch mozzarella can be. Yum.

We were half-way through both pizzas before I got my camera out.  The pizza is really CIP_sausage CIP_4seasonsserved as a whole pizza, I promise!  The pizza is cooked in a wood burning oven to perfection, served with only the best & freshest ingredients.  Jarrod, the bartender, is proud to tell new patrons that the beer cooler is the only freezer at CIP.

CIP offers a limited selection of perfectly paired craft beers, select wines, liquor, and espresso.

Like everythingCIP_Tiramisu on the menu at CIP, the Tiramisu is house made to an authentic recipe. It is so moist and delicious melting in your mouth.

Classic Italian Pizza is open and ready for lunch, dinner, and late night happy hour.  Many of the former staff have returned for the new location.  They are re-opened, better than ever – go get some Pizza!!

CIP_tables

White Tanks Mountain Hiking Destination in Arizona

The White Tank Mountain range is located on the far West side of metro Phoenix, within the edge of Maricopa County. Not as popular with hikers in the summer due to the brutal heat, this becomes a popular mountain trail in the cooler months.

The views are spectacular with a variety of hiking trails of several levels of difficulty to accommodate everyone.  The Waterfall trail is even wheelchair & stroller friendly. Best of all, the park is dog friendly, so bring your pup along for a great day outside enjoying the spectacular desert beauty.

Don’t let the name fool you, the waterfall trail is often a small trickle in dry season. After a big rain storm, like the summer monsoon season, the waterfall is flowing and cool. A few special days, the waterfall is big enough to form a small pool for a quick, refreshing dip.

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L’Auberge de Sedona

L’Auberge resort is the premier luxury resort in Sedona, Arizona, providing a relaxing, dog-friendly vacation.

Sedona, Arizona is a little town that has made a big splash.  The unique red rocks and perfect weather ensure that Sedona would not be a secret for very long, and sure enough by the 1980’s Sedona hit the big time for tourist destinations.

Oak Creek
Oak Creek
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Tempe Town Lake Activities

The temperature is starting to cool off and people around metro-Phoenix can finally venture outside with less fear of catching fire, or at least it feels that hot all summer long here.  Today a friend and I took my dogs out for a walk along Tempe Town Lake, the man-made lake in the middle of bustling University town Tempe.The park around the Lake is home to many festivals and concerts, so be sure to check out upcoming events here.

I prefer to plan my own event at the Lake.  Bring a picnic basket for a fun family activity during the day, or romantic get-a-way in the evening. There are plenty of bike paths,  walkways, shade trees, and benches.  The dogs love to walk around the lake with me.  There are mountain views to the north of the lake and the park is well kept and clean.

The main attraction is the lake, and there are quite a few activities to enjoy on the water.  Today we watched people sailing, kayaking, fishing, and on paddle boards.  There is a boat rental office on the south side of the lake for small boats, hydro bikes, and kayaks.Lake or land, the sunset is worth hanging around to watch.