Sweet Things Cupcake Shoppe was founded by two working moms who escaped the corporate grind by converting their part-time love of baking into a full-time career. Cupcakes are baked fresh each day in the duo's Foothills Mall storefront, where the rotating selection of flavors includes options such as lemon drop with creamy lemon frosting, pumpkin with cream-cheese frosting, and french vanilla with rich buttercream. Featured alongside the shop's selection of coffees and ice creams, each tiny cake boasts its own delicious design, as well as a sweet, unique name inspired by the owner's family members and favorite TV weathermen.
For close to three decades, chefs at La Indita have been crafting homestyle dishes influenced by family recipes and Mexican and Native American cultures. Along with Mexican classics such as carne asada and chicken mole, they prepare specialties such as ranch-style flat enchiladas, topping handmade corn tortillas with red chili sauce, oregano, and cheese and adding potatoes and carrots with a piquant vinegar sauce made from sugar cane. The menu includes many meatless options; the staff of Tucson Weekly named it the Best Mexican Food for Vegetarians in 2009, noting in particular the "one-of-a-kind black-bean burger." The chefs also cook with 100% canola oil instead of animal-based products such as lard or herbs picked by unicorns. Diners can enjoy lunch or dinner on the restaurant's outdoor patio, or they can stop by for weekend breakfast omelets. Guests sip Mexican beer as they sit in high-backed wooden booths next to a mural depicting a rural village scene.
Le Rendez-Vous French chef Jean Claude Berger established Le Rendez-Vous in 1981 in order to deliver the classic French cuisine he thought the surrounding area lacked. Now that the restaurant has more than 30 years under its enormous, building-sized belt, it would appear as though he succeeded. Jean Claude—now joined by his son, Gordon—has kept diners coming back for so long by serving up homemade pâtés, roast duck, and crêpes suzette. The menu is the same during lunch and dinner, and it also includes fresh fish of the day, veal sweetbreads, and poached-salmon salads.
Seven days a week, Jade Garden Chinese Restaurant helps transport lunch and dinner guests to faraway lands with a smorgasbord of authentic Chinese flavors. Fresh meats and vegetables decorate traditional platters of lo mein noodles, chop suey, and tofu while more than 25 chef's specials feature savory meats drizzled with sauces such as spicy plum. Entrées can also be paired with a selection of international beverages that range from hot ginger jasmine tea to Japanese sake and imported beer.
Red Mango's frozen yogurt has been garnering national attention for more than five years, unlike that musician strumming away next to the foosball table in his basement. The shop earned a place atop _Zagat's 2011 lists for Best Smoothie and Frozen Yogurt Chain and Best Healthy Options Among Quick Refreshment Chains. Red Mango showcases its award-winning reputation by dishing up all-natural and gluten-free yogurts—all of which are either low-fat or nonfat—that promote healthy digestive and immune systems with natural probiotics. Friendly staff members are always on hand to whip Ghirardelli dark chocolate, POM pomegranate juice, and seasonal pumpkin spice frozen yogurts into Stevia-sweetened smoothies or parfaits layered with organic granola and fruit. The toppings bar brims with crunchy cereal, cheesecake bits, and nuts, allowing creative customization.
Shucked from their shells at the raw bar, a daily selection of oysters travels from the open-air kitchen out into the dining room, where conversation buzzes beneath the high-hanging lights that cast a glow on an expansive leather banquette and dark wood paneling. Behind the long, white bar, the mixologists of Agustin Brasserie shake, stir, and pour a selection of classic cocktails alongside beers pulled from a chrome tap. Upstairs, an outdoor rooftop deck allows visitors to sip libations while watching the sunset. Crafting a simple, French-inspired menu consisting of staples such as duck confit, steak and frites, and roasted chicken, the Brasserie’s chefs construct simple, artful dishes that are at once delightfully complex and wholly accessible—much like cartoon drawings of quantum physics theories.