I love driving into town to meet girlfriends at the Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix. Its central location at 2502 E Camelback Road makes it an easily accessible gathering place from any direction in the city. I always look for "my landmark" the tall, beautiful Ritz Carlton hotel on the corner of Camelback and North 24th Street, and I pull into the Biltmore Fashion Park's parking lot across the street.
The Biltmore Fashion Park in the heart of the desirable and upscale Biltmore neighborhood is a short cab ride from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The easy access parking is another thing that I love about the Biltmore Fashion Park. If its in the triple digits I use the valet parking. Otherwise, the parking is so close to the shops, I just walk in past all the colorful garden landscaping. (When I get in the car in under the pine trees in mountainous Flagstaff, AZ and then get out two hours later into palms, fushia bouganvilleas and brilliant desert flora, I always feel like I am on vacation!)
Last week the girls met to "try out" the new True Food Kitchen at the Biltmore Fashion Park. True Food Kitchen is an innovative new eatery developed in partnership with Arizona's own best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil.
I started out with the Medicine Man drink - tasty and refreshing after the long drive. They call it an antioxidant blast, and was one of the only blended drinks offered with caffene. Made of Olivello Juice, Pomegranate Juicce, Cranberry Juice, Black Tea, Soda Water and muddled blueberries. After the drink was gone, the plumpt, fresh blueberries (not too muddled) stared at me temptingly trapped below the ice in my tall tea glass. I could have used a iced tea spoon to remove them. I am still lamenting about leaving those temptresses in the glass.
The salmon son my open-faced sandwich was done perfectly (a Super Food that didn't allude my palate.) I should have passed on the Bok Choy Slaw salad - good tasting, but too chewy for a girls getaway when your mouth is already too busy trying to get a word in edgewise... The dessert: divine! What better place to have dessert than a restaurant that promises to nourish mind, body and spirit? No guilt trip there!
My yummy Lemon Olive Oil Cake with strawberries and Greek yogurt came in a bowl. With a side of caffine and cream, I now had my afternoon "kick" and was ready to shop!
Biltmore's classic outdoor shopping experience reminds me of shopping in St. Tropez or another snazzy ville in southern France. The tree-lined walk ways, a smell of flowers (that I can't quite figure out - ah, must be "foreign") in the air. You can shop CALYPSO, Escada, Bebe, Ralph Lauren and more. I love L'Occitane en Provence ever since I experienced their products at the Beverly Hills Wilshire Four Seasons over five years ago. Of course, being a (sud) francofile adds to my addiction to the shop!
Stacey "Vagabonding Lulu" Wittig is a Flagstaff travel writer who shares free travel advice, travel tips and zany gilrs getaway ideas with you and your friends. Sign up to "Follow" on the right hand side of this page. If you "SUBSCRIBE" you can get FREE travel advice delivered right to your Google Reader or Yahoo account. Sign up now!
VLL's free TRAVEL TIPS:
Stay at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa and get FREE shuttle service to the Biltmore Fashion Park.
Eat at TRUE FOOD KITCHEN, but skip the Bok Choy slaw salad.