The chefs at Karaikudi Palace?named 2013 Best Indian Restaurant by The Phoenix New Times?pull their recipes from regions across India, from the spicy rasam soup favored in the south to the elaborate vegetable biriyani rice popular in the north. Offering both South and North Indian cuisine with a plethora of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, they fold lamb, seafood, and chicken into a variety of curry, vindaloo, and indo-Chinese dishes, favoring spices like chili, garlic, and cumin.
As they work, soft naan breads and tandoori meats cook in the tandoor clay oven. Meanwhile, customers eat a large variety of dosas out in the dining room, where Indian artwork speckles the walls. Beverages include sweet mango lassi and a selection of wine and traditional Indian beers. Tuesdays through Sundays, diners with a larger appetite can opt for the full lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Shannon Mullins vividly recalls the rare occasions when her parents let her order a shirley temple with dinner, as well as rejoicing in their syrupy sweetness. The inveterate baker now pays homage to her favorite childhood treat with her signature shirley temple cupcake, a lemon-lime cake garnished with tufts of grenadine frosting and a maraschino cherry. Her other cupcakes may inspire similar nostalgia for childhood treats: think snickerdoodle cake with honey-cinnamon frosting or chocolate cake with Oreos. Though her treats may appear simple, Ms. Mullins chooses her ingredients carefully. She whips all her buttercream and cream-cheese frostings from scratch and peruses the Scottsdale farmers market weekly for fresh produce in lieu of using artificial flavors. In addition to cupcakes, she also sells fresh-fruit tarts, gluten-free brownies, and cream puffs.
At Bead World, internationally sourced beads fall in heavy ropes from their wall mounts. The sheer volume and the quality of these handpicked beads have earned the shop accolades from publications such as the Phoenix New Times, which gushed that the store carries “every conceivable type of bead”, including Swarovski crystals, semiprecious stones, and Czech glass beads in “refreshingly remarkable” quality. But you don’t have to be an expert to set foot in the store, since each month Bead World hosts 20 classes that furnish people with the space and tools they need to create their own jewelry. Each class comes with a 20% discount for a one-time purchase so that students can stock up on African trading beads, freshwater pearls, or children’s teeth recovered from fairies who lost their licenses. A portion of the two stores’ proceeds goes to local charities.
Dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, China, Hawaii, Korea, and Japan all intersect at Bamboo Club, which treats guests to a colorful spread of cuisine from across Asia and the Pacific. Starters such as seared ahi tuna and potstickers serve as prelude to entrees of pad thai, Bejing duck with pancakes, and Korean-style grilled beef.
Private parties of up to 35 guests gather in the secluded Bamboo Room for tucked-away luxurious dinners and cocktail-sipping sessions. The eatery is even outfitted with wireless internet access for important business meetings and an LCD projection system for important shadow puppeteering.
In 18 states, people are dressing more stylishly every day, all thanks to Uptown Cheapstake. The network of thrift stores, founded by siblings Chelsea and Scott, connects budget-conscious shoppers with chic garb that just happens to be previously worn. There's no shortage of thrift stores offering weathered or outdated items, but Scott and Chelsea strive to do something different: pair the affordability, and eco-friendliness, of clothes enjoying a second life, with the sophistication and upscale atmosphere of a trendy boutique.
Kid to Kid is an upscale children's and maternity resale store that buys clothing, toys, furnishings, and baby gear before selling it back at affordable prices. Before making the cut, all clothes and shoes must be deemed certifiably elite in stylishness, cleanliness, and newishness. Items are hand-selected by discerning staffers who put them through an intense screening process in which the gems make the rack and damaged duds are sent back. Parents can decorate the hair off young ones with fashionable bows ($2.99+) or cloak growing kids in discount clothing ($5.50), such as coats, gloves, hats, socks, and a varied array of shoes. Shoppers can find brands such as Gap and Gymboree, and moms-to-be can find fashions for themselves and their baking buns. Kid to Kid also styles nurseries with rockers, crib linens, and dressers. Each piece of equipment and each toy is squeaky-clean and well-mannered, always poised for an invite to the most exclusive teddy-bear picnics.