Sweet Tour of Phoenix & Scottsdale

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I was in Arizona recently for a week with my mom and my sister for a girlie vacation! We stayed in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and I really enjoyed it. The weather in May is lovely, everyone was fantastically nice and best of all there were plenty of cupcakes and sweet treats.

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I’m amazed at how tall some of the cacti were
If you’re interested all my food photos from the trip are on flickr.
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I had my first trip to Sprinkles! I’ve read a lot about Sprinkles and people seem to have mixed opinions. I am of the firm opinion that it rocks! The three cupcakes that we had were perfect.

The shop was very busy but the staff kept the line moving nicely.They had a nice array of flavors on offer and the ones we had were super moist.

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The only thing I didn’t like was that the cinnamon sugar cupcake totally tricked me! It’s a naked cupcake with no frosting. The store was really busy and I didn’t notice before I picked it. The chocolate marshmallow was my favorite. It was a rich dark chocolate filled with marshmallow and topped with a chocolate ganache. The salty caramel that my sister had was delicious too.

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Tammie Coe Cakes is a local bakery in Phoenix. The actual bakery is for pick up orders and single items are available to purchase at a cute little deli/market shop that is next door. The Ooey Gooey cupcake was soft and super rich.

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I liked the sprinkle topping on the red velvet but there wasn’t enough cocoa in it for our liking.
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Coconut cupcake had a very nice coconut cream cheese frosting but the cake was more like a muffin.

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Nothing Bundt Cakeswas my favorite of the trip I think. The cake was just divine. I think it was the softest and moistest cake I’ve ever eaten.

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The shop was adorable inside with little knick knacks for sale.
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The Praline Pecan was amazing! The Lemon & Raspberry was equally delicious and I wish I bought another to take back with me. They were in these great plastic containers. I bought one on Wednesday night and ate it on Friday morning in the airport and it still tasted freshly baked. Maybe I should open a London franchise!

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I also bought a bag of white chocolate popcorn that I brought back with me to London. It was deliciously sweet and salty. I might have to try and make my own version at home!

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Cupcakes of Scottsdale was my least favorite of the trip. The cupcakes tasted fine but there is so much competition in the US when it comes to cupcakes and my mom and I weren’t wowed enough with these.

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We did however come near the end of the business day. The special of the day, Mimosa, was sold out. I would have really liked to try this. I’m more a fan of unusual flavors and only the ordinary ones were left.
They have competed on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and their display piece from the third round was in the shop, which was exciting.

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The milk chocolate and vanilla was my favorite of the ones I bought. The cake was nice and soft on the inside but the top was rock hard. I couldn’t even break it with my spoon.

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The confetti cupcake was OK.  The frosting and cake were both vanilla. There was too much frosting on this cupcake and it overwhelmed the cake I think. The cake was also way over the ledge of the liner so looked a bit funny.

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We went to Old Town Scottsdale. It was fun to walk around. There are a lot of restaurants and night spots.

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It’s also home to Sugar Bowl! An authentic 1950’s ice cream parlour. It’s a little run down on the inside but don’t let that fool you. It’s also the site where the famous comic strip The Family Circus frequented.

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I had a classic banana split with their special ice cream flavor of the month, cherry vanilla walnut. It was uber delicious.
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My mom and sister both had a brownie sundae.
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We went to local donut shop Rainbow Donuts. I’m a big donut fan and these were way better than Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme (I worked at Krispy Kreme one summer so I’ve eaten enough of those to last a life time!).
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My mouth is watering just looking at the picture of the whipped cream donut.
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Cinnamon Crumb donut available in both cake and yeasted.

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Cherry Glazed

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The drinks on offer were bubble tea (!) and some really cool fruit cream frappuccinos. I got a watermelon and cream.
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Cinnamon Roll pancakes at IHOP! I don’t even want to know how many calories are these babies. One of things I miss the most about the US is breakfast. I love pancakes, french toast and bacon. My experience in the UK so far has lead me many times to floppy bacon, rubbery pancakes and  french toast that tastes like wet bread (*cough* The Luxe *cough*).

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I was psyched to see In-N-Out Burger as I didn’t think they were any outside of California. Their milkshakes are pretty darn good and I treated my mom and sister to dinner all for $15!

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We went to local hole in the wall Mexican joint Carolina’s. If my sister hadn’t checked the reviews out on her iPhone I don’t think I would have gone in. I’m glad she insisted because it was the best Mexican food I’ve had in a long time. Simple and delicious.

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I had a beef burrito (I think). The beef is wrapped in the tortilla and then I think it was fried as the tortilla was nice and crisp.

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Tostadas and Tacos.

The Cheesecake Factory is a nation wide chain but when you’ve spent 14 years living away from the US the big portions and cheesecake are just what I need when I come back for a visit! The avocado spring rolls were crisp and fresh with a sweet dipping sauce.
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I got the Carlton salad this time. I loved the cranberries and feta cheese. First time I’ve ever finished a meal here.
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We got cheesecake of course! The Reese’s cheesecake cake. They have a lot of cheesecake cakes on the menu now. I’ve seen them on a few blogs as well recently and it might be something to add to my baking list.

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We also had a key lime cheesecake. Clearly there is not enough whipped cream on this slice! It was perfectly tart.

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We went to local Pizza place Oregano’s. I had a root beer float cocktail which paired perfectly with pizza!

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We got a thin crust white pizza. I like the crunchiness of the thin crust over deep dish. I saw a person with a deep dish and it was 2 or 3 inches thick!

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Garlic roast chicken lasagna
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I don’t believe this is specific to Arizona but I’d never seen one of these before. It’s a futuristic looking soda dispenser at Wendy’s. Instead of a dispenser under each drink there is one dispener that’s used after you make your selection using the touch screen. What I loved was that it had flavors I’ve never seen in store before. Raspberry Coke (my new favorite), Lime Fanta and Peach Fanta.

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Also not related vanilla cupcake goldfish crackers. They tasted like funfetti graham crackers!
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Pardon the yellow picture. I found these at Target. Bacon and cheese filled Ritz Cracker Bars. They seriously hit the spot while I was an enduring a seven hour “US Airways extended boarding program” at Charlotte. I don’t think I could have survived on the minuscule cookie and glass of water they gave everyone when we were stuck on the plane for four of those hours.

We ran out of time to get to some of the places I had bookmarked GoodyTwos Toffee, The Scottsdale Bakery & Cupcake Company and about twenty other restaurants! Maybe we’ll be back sometime soon.

I also decided at the spur of the moment to sign up for Food Bloggers Connect 2011 Conference (anyone interested in sponsoring me to help cover the fee get in touch!). I’m hoping to learn a thing or two.

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11 Comments

  1. KitchenTherapy

    These photos are amazing, I've also always wanted to go America. adds fuel to my fire :). xx

  2. Aah I studied in Tempe for my exchange year at Uni and miss this place so much! The food is amazing and I loved the Sugar Bowl – yum! This is making me miss American food big time :)

  3. Brittany

    How exciting to read your blog this morning! I was born and raised in Arizona and I know all the places you went to! My favorite actually is Tammy Coe… Did you go to LGO next store where they sell thier baked goods? My favorites are the orange juice and the TO DIE FOR english muffins! Looks like an amazing trip… We live in Vermont now, less than a year here so far. The fresh farm food is amazing, I suggest a trip here next time. xo

    http://www.thevillagepress.blogspot.com

  4. Anonymous

    @Brittany – we went to Tammie Coe on Sunday at 5.03pm and they closed at 5pm! We went back a few days later and it was only then that we found out they were on sale right next door! doh! I'm going to Boston area for my next trip and plan on visiting my sister in New Hampshire!

    For some reason now from work I can only comment as Anonymous

    Kelly

  5. Linda

    Okay.I gained 20 pounds just reading your post today!!! Yummy!
    (An In and Out Burger just went in somewhere north of Dallas here in Texas. I guess they're branching out.)

  6. Brittany

    Actually I take it back, the bundt cake is my favorite tasting cakes. The red velvet is off the chart delicious! And their icing is so yummy. However, I like the location of LGO and the exciting look of the cakes and cookies. I do not miss the desert heat and/or landscape, but I do miss my favorite places to eat, drink, and be merry! You have got me craving a visit soon 😉

    Have fun on the east coast. If you pass Judies in Amherst, MA on your way to NH their pop overs are a MUST.

    cheers.

  7. mcwisecracker

    You go to the coolest places! I must agree with Linda "I gained 20 pound just reading your post". Your pictures are delectable! Looks like you had a fabulous time in the states!

  8. little random happiness

    I love the bundt cake place! Such a great idea :)

    You must visit Flour Bakery when you're in Boston! I did a little write up for Cakespy awhile ago for places to eat sweets in Boston:

    http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2009/10/12/cakewalk-a-sweet-boston-bakery-guide-from-cake-gumshoe-phuon.html

    Have fun! :)

  9. Anonymous

    oh thanks! I'm also going to DC and Orlando. Any suggestions for there? I go visit my friend in Orlando all the time but I might have missed something!- Kelly

  10. little random happiness

    sounds like an awesome trip! :) I haven't had the chance to explore those cities other than the obvious tourist stuff but Georgetown Cupcake in DC is very famous since they have a tv show. Lines are usually super long too.

    Check out the website…everything looks so good!

    http://georgetowncupcake.com/

  11. Michelle

    Oh my gosh!! You took pictures of my entire home town!!! I LOVE Nothing Bundt Cakes! Did you see the cake servers they had? The ones shaped like stilettos?? I love it! And I miss it since I'm living in England!

    Michelle
    http://www.kissedbysweets.com

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