Author Archives: Gianna Miller

Gianna Miller

About Gianna Miller

Gianna Miller is currently attending Arizona State University, pursuing a BAE in English Education and a B.A. in English literature. Born in Iowa but raised in Arizona, she loves living in Tempe. She working as a writing tutor on ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, and she loves hiking, going to concerts and watching movies.

Solatube - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Solar Concepts’ Solatube Reduces Home Energy Use

Solar Concepts’ Solatube reduces home energy use and your electricity bill

For those looking to help save energy and preserve our environment, the switch to natural lighting systems is a bright idea.

Current trends show more people are switching from light bulbs to natural lighting, with one popular product being tubular skylights. They offer bright, natural light in your home that will reduce your energy use and, more importantly, your electricity bill.

Tubular skylights are installed in the ceilings of any room and capture light through a dome in the roof. An internal reflective system then channels the light, moving it through the tubing system to be emitted through the diffuser on the ceiling that spreads the light evenly throughout the room.

These skylights have benefits beyond energy saving and money saving, though. They offer a light much brighter than the 100-watt bulbs frequently purchased for kitchens and living rooms. Numerous studies have also shown that in naturally-lit settings, workers are more productive, students are more academically successful, and consumers buy more from businesses.

One increasing popular product of natural lighting is Solatube, a daylighting system originally created in Australia in the late 1980s that arrived in the U.S. in 1992. The products are sold at various locations across the country, and Solar Concepts is the premier distributor of Solatube products in Arizona.

While there are numerous skylights available, Solatube offers a unique product with distinct features from its competitors. When asked what sets this tubular skylight apart from others, Scott Lawrence, manager of Solar Concepts says, “The technology. We have it, and others don’t.”

He says their product emits two to five times as much white light, not blue or yellow like most skylight models.

“Solatube is the only product that provides this natural lighting without also bringing into your home heat, UV rays, and leaks,” Lawrence says.

He adds most skylights come with these three unwelcome guests, but not Solatube. The technology is so advanced, the product blocks heat and UV rays from coming into homes. All Solatube products also come with a 10-year warranty to ensure quality satisfaction.

Solar Concepts has proven to be a customer-friendly and efficient business. The Better Business Bureau rated it an A+ company, and Angie’s List granted it the Super Service Award for Best Customer Service Company in 2010.

Lawrence says he has “never before worked with a product that customers love so much.” The only struggle the company has encountered over the years is that there are still many people unaware of Solatube, he says.

The purchase and installation price for Solatube skylights starts at $579, but customers can get one-third off that payment back in tax credits. Solar Concepts also offers a year-round bundle sale, so if you buy three products, you get $150 off your purchase.

While the initial price of the tubular skylight isn’t inexpensive, the product can save you thousands of dollars a year on electricity costs.

To learn more about Solatube products or Solar Concepts, visit solarconceptsaz.com or call (480) 968-1777.

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

 

Center For Peak Performance

Peak Performance Training Improves Athletic, Business Performance

We all know athletes go to the gym to work out their bodies, but did you know many of them are also working out their brains, too? Top athletic performance comes from more than just physical training, so more and more athletes are aiming to get that extra edge through peak performance training of the brain.

Dr. Sanford J. Silverman is a licensed psychologist who specializes in helping people “work out” their brains, clinically referred to as peak performance training. This peak performance training helps athletes improve their mental focus, which in turn boosts their physical abilities to perform successfully.

This training does not solely benefit athletes, but business professionals also sharpen their performance in the office through peak performance training techniques. The strengthening of metal focus provides individuals with the ability to function more efficiently regardless of what their goals and profession may be.

Such training occurs through the use of advanced technologies and coaching by Silverman. He utilizes techniques such as neurofeedback, interactive metronome, quantitative EEG brain maps and S.M.A.R.T. brain games. Although the names of the programs sound complicated, the activities are simple for the trainee to understand. Each method works on multiple levels to observe brain patterns, and with Silverman’s coaching, individuals are able to use the technologies to improve their brain’s performance abilities.

The interactive metronome process involves the individual clapping on beat with chimes he or she hears for an extended period of time. As the patient is geared up with headphones and plates on their hands, he or she claps as they hear the tone, while their progress is visible on the computer screen in front of them. The placement of a circle on the screen reveals how close to the beat the individual is on each clap.

Other training activities include playing video games without a controller. The patient improves metal focus by being hooked up to a computer that measures the brainwaves. The patient controls the boats in a boat race video game with his or her brain and mental focus. A computer screen to the left of the computer with the video game depicts the brainwave patterns revealing the patient’s success in mental focus on the video game.

These training programs may seem like trivial activities, but they in fact improve the brain’s ability to focus in many ways. This peak performance training influences the brain on multiple levels, improving the recipients’ work-life, athletic performance and personal relationships with one’s self and others. The programs also improve the individual’s confidence, self-esteem and ability to multitask.

The most crucial aspect of Dr. Silverman’s peak performance training is the individual tailoring of a program for every person who comes in. He hosts an initial consultation with each participant before the training begins. This meeting provides all the necessary information to develop a specific and beneficial training program for that particular individual.

With the consultation complete and Silverman’s personalized training plan in hand, the patient then comes in for one or two sessions per week to conduct the training. During these sessions, the doctor will utilize a certain combination of the brain technology techniques previously mentioned.

Josh Otero, longtime patient of Dr. Silverman’s said that the training has really helped him become more efficient and effective.

“I’m more aware of what I bring to the table in my professional life, and I’m much more confident and comfortable in interacting with others,” Otero says.

He also says that the training has helped him in three major ways, including his professional career, athletic performance and his personal life.

“It helps me train better in my running; it’s made me much more patient with my kids, and I’ve been able to streamline my business by focusing on the clients that will bring the most potential for me,” Otero says.

Dr. Silverman’s Center For Peak Performance has helped hundreds of individuals like Josh Otero improve their mental fitness. Silverman says his goal is to train people to have clearer direction in life in order to achieve their goals to their highest potential, whatever they may be.

For more information about Silverman’s peak performance training, visit www.peakperformanceaz.com.

 

Center for Peak Performance, Scottsdale Center for Peak Performance
Center for Peak Performance Center for Peak Performance
Center for Peak Performance

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If You Go to the Center For Peak Performance:

10229 N. 92nd Street, Suite 101
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(480) 609-1798
www.peakperformanceaz.com

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The Royal Independent Arthouse, Mesa, Ariz.

Cult Movies Find Its Home At The Royale, Downtown Mesa

While the majority of the population was in line for midnight showings of the newest and last installment of Harry Potter, I made my way to a much less crowded theater in downtown Mesa. The Royale Independent Arthouse is the new permanent home of the “Midnite Movie Mamacita,” which shows independent films and B-movies.Royale Arthouse Review, Photo: Darby, darbyelizabethphotography.com

Entering the cozy building on the corner of Main and Macdonald, I immediately realized there would be more differences between the Harry Potter goers’ and my experiences than just the film we’d be watching. The theater I stepped into appeared to be a retro lounge and shop.

Complete with chairs and couches, classic arcade game machines, and campy merchandise from Zia Records and Bookmans, I was impressed with the relaxed yet hip vibes the venue emanated. Did I mention this lobby also sports a big screen TV below a VHS library of cult classics for your viewing pleasure?

I was pleased to be greeted warmly at the multi-purpose counter for tickets, concessions and merchandise. Filled with fun collectibles and brightly-colored candy boxes, the headquarters of the venue dazzled. It was refreshing to see they’re both friendly and cheap; $6 for a movie is a steal after frequenting multiplex theaters.

Royale Arthouse Review, Photo: Darby, darbyelizabethphotography.com
It was now time to select my seat for the feature presentation “Hobo With A Shotgun.” The 80-seat theater is intimate and roomy, with a set up so effective almost every seat offers equally enjoyable screen-viewing. After reserving my seat with the ole sweater on the chair trick, I retreated to the lobby to survey the concessions to accompany the offbeat movie I was about to see.

The candy and drinks the snack bar offers are just as retro as the theater’s decor. The variety of snack bar choices really completed the uniqueness of the theatrical experience. I was thrilled to see my favorite, SnoCaps, back on a movie theater shelf, accompanied by other classic treats like Cracker Jax and diverse snacks like Pocky Sticks. They also offer mainstream treats including Skittles and Red Vines for traditional movie goers, which is comforting for times when I’m less inclined to branch out.Royale Arthouse Review, Photo: Darby, darbyelizabethphotography.com

Venturing back to my seat, I was welcomed with previews of the theater’s upcoming attractions such as “Trollhunter,” “Wax Work,” and “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop.” The screen also displayed that The Royale is the new home for the Rocky Horror Picture Show, to be performed every Saturday at 11:30 p.m.

Hobo With A Shotgun, an over-the-top comedy about a homeless man who fights back against criminals in his city, proved to be a highly entertaining experience. Although the movie’s audience was small, the laughter was louder than I typically hear during comedies at the Cine Capri. The attendees that the Royale attracts are extremely passionate about film and greatly appreciate the humor of B-movies. Sharing a theater with these film junkies made me feel like I was part of a movie-loving community.

Royale Arthouse Review, Photo: Darby, darbyelizabethphotography.comAndrea Beesley-Brown, owner of the Royale and considered to be the queen of cult movies in the Valley, has been independently programming film events at various venues for the past five years. She says she is pleased to have finally established her permanent residence at The Royale.

I recommend The Royale movie experience for any lover of cult and independent movies, as well as for anyone looking to change up their regular movie-going routine. A trip to downtown Mesa for some arcade game playing and humorous movie watching is a great way for young people to spend their Friday or Saturday night. It’s cheap; it’s highly entertaining, and it’s more than merely watching a movie — it truly is an experience.

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IF YOU GO

The Royale Independent Arthouse
108 W. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
Phone: (480) 649-0040
www.theroyaleaz.com

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After the Success of the Soft Opening, The Royale Hosts Grand Opening Event, July 22

The theater opened its doors on Friday, July 8th for the soft opening, introducing the new release “Hobo With A Shotgun” to play all week along with a special screening of the revered cult favorite “The Room” the following day. These opening events proved to be a success with the first showing of “Hobo With A Shotgun,” selling out all 80 seats completely.

If you love film and want a unique experience with retro, campy films, join The Royale for it’s Grand Opening. This coming Friday, July 22nd marks the big day, featuring two showings of the new release “Trollhunter” followed by two showings of the cult classic “Army Of Darkness.” There will be prize giveaways from The Royale’s partner Bookmans, as well as plenty of merchandise for sale.

Andrea Beesley Brown, owner of The Royale, says that they aim “to provide a fun experience for people looking to see unique movies.”

Summer Series: Photo: Gray_um, Flickr

September Concerts: Phoenix Summer Series

The weather may cool down a little after the month of August, but the concerts in Phoenix will be as hot as ever. As summer comes to a close, Phoenix welcomes top performers at September concerts.

There’s still time to check out the artists coming to town in July and August, but be sure to add these September concerts to your to-do lists as well.

September Concerts:

Sade with John Legend

September concerts: Sade with John Legend

 

Fri., Sept. 2nd at U.S. Airways Center, 8 p.m., $45-$145

Visit Sade’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Def Leppard with Heart

September Concerts: Def Leppard and Heart

 

Sat., Sept. 3rd at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 7:30 p.m., $30-$150

Visit Def Leppard’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Kings of Leon with Band of Horses

September Concerts: Kings of Leon

 

Tue., Sept. 6th at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 7 p.m., $25-$205

Visit Kings of Leon’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Alejandro Fernandez

September Concerts: Alejandro FErnandez

 

Thu., Sept. 8th at Comerica Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $38-$150

Visit Alejandro Fernandez’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs with Brandi Carlile 

September Concerts: Ray LaMontagne

 

Wed., Sept. 14th at Comerica Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $33-$75

Visit Ray LaMontagne’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here


Bon Iver with Fleet Foxes

September Concerts: Bon Iver & Fleet Foxes

 

Thu., Sept. 15th at Comerica Theatre, 7 p.m., $35-$40

Visit Bon Iver’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Santana

September Concerts: Santana

 

Sun., Sept. 18th at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 7:30 p.m., $25.50-$131.50

Visit Santana’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Ke$ha Presents the Get Sleazy Tour

September Concerts: Kesha

 

Tue., Sept. 20th at Comerica Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $40-$50

Visit Kesha’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 


Homolovi State Park, Photo: Teofilo, Flickr

Homolovi State Park

Located a mile north of Winslow lies Homolovi State Park, “Ancestral Hopi Villages.” The park preserves over 300 archeological pueblo sites, mainly built by the ancestors of the Hopi tribe. Located along the banks of the Little Colorado River, the villages housed these ancestors from approximately 1260 to 1400 A.D.

Originally opened as a state park in 1986, Homolovi offers a variety of historical exhibits, activities such as bird watching and hiking, and campgrounds open year round. The historical exhibits display original artifacts from the villages, and they offer an introduction to human history of the park.

The park now acts as the research center for the late migration period of the Hopi people, but the area is still available to visitors. Complete with hiking trails, covered picnic tables and the campground, the 4,000 acres of park provides much space for observing the natural wildlife.

Homolovi, the Hopi word meaning “place of little hills,” combines culture and history with natural adventure, attracting visitors from all over the state. Its visitor center is well-equipped with additional information about the pueblo ruins, along with Hopi artwork for customer purchase.

Only a three-hour drive from Phoenix, the park is a great place for day and weekend trips throughout the year. For driving directions from any city in the U.S, visit the Driving Directions to Homolovi webpage.

Whether you’re looking for a history lesson or just a beautiful hike, Homolovi State Park won’t disappoint.

Phoenix Summer Concert Series: August Shows, Photo: Respres, Flickr

Phoenix Summer Concert Series: August Shows

There’s more to summer in Arizona than the unbelievable heat. The concerts happening in town this summer are even hotter, whatever your musical taste is.

Check out the artists coming to town in July, and stay tuned for shows in August and September as well. With so many concerts throughout the rest of the summer, you’re bound to have time for one of your favorites!

August Shows:

Katy Perry’s Calfiornia Dreams Tour

Katy Perry: August Shows

 

Wed., August 3rd at Comerica Theatre, 7:30 p.m, $30-$48

Visit Katy Perry’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Kid Rock with Sheryl Crow

Kid Rock: August Shows

 

Fri., August 5th at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 2 p.m, $20-$300

Visit Kid Rock’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Hippiefest with Dave Mason, Mark Farner, Rick Derringer and more

Hippiefest: August Shows

 

Fri., August 5th at Comerica Theatre, 8 p.m, $39-76

Visit Hippiefest 2011′s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

VANS Warped Tour

Warped Tour: August Shows

 

Sun., August 7th at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 11:30 a.m, $33

Visit Warped Tour’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

The Decemberists

Decemberists: August Shows

 

Thu., August 11th at Mesa Arts Center, 7:30 p.m, $38-$43

Visit The Decemberists’ Website

Purchase Tickets Here


Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab: August Shows

 

Mon., August 15th at Comerica Theatre, 7:30 p.m, $32-$35

Visit Death Cab’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Josh Groban

Josh Groban: August Shows

 

Fri., August 19th at US Airways Center, 8 p.m, $53-$93

Visit Josh Groban’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Lil Wayne with Rick Ross, Keri Hilson, Far East Movement and Lloyd

Lil Wayne: August Shows

 

Wed., August 24th at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 7 p.m, $30-$90

Visit Lil Wayne’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Summer Concert Series July Shows, Photo: Kevindooley, Flickr

July Concerts: Phoenix Summer Series

Don’t have any time for a vacation this summer? Well you can still have fun in town; check out upcoming July concerts in the Phoenix area.

There are a lot of great July concerts, but stay tuned for shows in August and September as well. With so many concerts throughout the rest of the summer, you’re bound to have time for one of your favorites!

July Concerts:

Banda El Recodo

Banda El Recodo, July Concerts

 

Fri., July 8th at Comerica Theatre, 8 p.m, $25-$100

Purchase Tickets Here

 

 

98 KUPD Presents – Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival

Mayhem Festival, July Concerts
Fri., July 15th at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 2 p.m, $30-$200

Visit KUPD’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Christina Perri

Christina Perri, July Concerts
Sun., July 17th at Martini Ranch, 8 p.m, $15

Visit Christina Perri’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Bob Dylan and His Band

Bob Dylan and His Band, July Concerts
Mon., July 18th at Comerica Theatre, 8 p.m, $48-$68

Visit Bob Dylan’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Ben Folds

Ben Folds, July Concerts

Mon., July 18th at Marquee Theatre, 6:30 p.m, $41

Visit Ben Folds’ Website

Purchase Tickets Here


Journey with Foreigner and Night Ranger

Journey, July Concerts
Sun., July 24th at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 7 p.m, $20-$265

Visit Journey’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle, July Concerts
Mon July 25th at Comerica Theatre, 7:30 p.m, $29.50-$49.50

Visit A Perfect Circle’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Powerhouse featuring T-Pain

Powerhouse, July Concerts
Fri July 29th at Comerica Theatre, 8 p.m, $23-$93

Visit T-Pain’s Website

Purchase Tickets Here

 


Tempe Town Lake July 4th Festival

Tempe Town Lake July 4th Festival Celebrates 60 Years

Tempe Town Lake July 4 FestivalEveryone has their July 4th traditions, and for many Arizonans, it’s heading to the Tempe Town Lake July 4th Festival. This year marks the event’s 60 year anniversary, produced by the Kiwanis Club of Tempe.

This year’s attendees can expect a fresh take on the traditional attractions of the event. Activities include an eclectic lineup of local bands, a kids fun zone, and the always-anticipated Kiwanis Club Annual Fireworks Spectacular.

The fireworks show is one of the largest in the Valley and is shot from the Mill Avenue Bridge. This highlight of the Festival is set to begin at 9:10 p.m.

According to Amy Corben, sponsorship coordinator for Tempe 4th, last year’s event raked in more than 100,000 people. This year, the numbers can only increase as Amy states that “given the number of years the event has been going, it really is a tried and true tradition for a lot of families.”

The event provides ample parking and is also highly accessible through public transportation with Metro Light Rail stops nearby, the Tempe Orbit and Valley Metro buses.

Tickets are currently on sale at all Fry’s Grocery stores and through ProTix for the affordable price of only $6 per person with children 12 and under in for free. Make sure to get these tickets prior to the event because at the gate prices rise to $8 per person or $15 for two people.Tempe Town Lake July 4 Festival

The public also has the opportunity to purchase VIP tickets for the Big Earl’s BBQ Garden section. Tickets are $60 and include a delicious barbeque dinner, two drink tickets, and a comfortable seat in a misted area, with an excellent view of the fireworks show.

Judi Yates, event producer, says, “the event is even more enjoyable from the comfort of a misted garden.”

So whether you’re just looking for a great place to catch 4th of July fireworks, or you’re seeking an evening full of music and activities, Tempe 4th is a perfect fit for your holiday fun.

Corben remarks that the festival “really draws people from all over” and this year will be even more fun than years past.

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60th Annual Tempe Town Lake July 4th Festival

July 4th, 2011
4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
Tempe, Arizona

For more information on the attractions, parking, and ticketing of the event, visit the Tempe 4th website.

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Top Ten Sports Bars, Photo: Paul Lowry, Flickr

Top Ten Sports Bars To Take Dad For Father’s Day

 

Top Ten Sports Bars, Photo: Clintus McGintus, FlickrAfter all they have done for us, our dads certainly deserve a fun-filled day in their honor. So what better way to show them a good time than to sit back and enjoy some of America’s favorite pastime?

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and the Dbacks are playing the White Sox at Chase Field at 1:10 pm. Check out the Arizona Diamondback’s website to purchase tickets if you haven’t already. Don’t want to head downtown to the game? Let dad enjoy the fun from the comfort of a nearby sports bar. Treat him to the game while indulging in drinks, and grub for much cheaper than stadium price.

Here’s a list of the top ten sports bars around the Valley. Dad deserves the best, and these joints won’t disappoint. The list includes bars in each major area of Phoenix, so find one near you:

TEMPE
Four Peaks Brewing Company

[stextbox id="grey"]1340 E. 8th St. #104
Tempe, AZ 85281
Directions
480-303-9967
www.fourpeaks.com [/stextbox]


GILBERT

Fieldhouse Sports Bar & Restaurant

[stextbox id="grey"] 1661 S. Val Vista Dr.
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Directions
480-899-8228
www.azfieldhouse.com[/stextbox]


AHWATUKEE

CK’s Tavern & Grill

[stextbox id="grey"]4142 E. Chandler Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85048
Directions
480-706-5564
ckgrill.com[/stextbox]


SCOTTSDALE

Goldies Neighborhood Sports Cafe

[stextbox id="grey"]10135 E. Via Linda #E123
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Directions
480-451-6269
www.goldiessportscafe.net[/stextbox]


NORTHEAST PHOENIX

Catch 22 Sports Bar & Grill

[stextbox id="grey"]18725 N. 32nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Directions
602-482-9222
catch22phx.com[/stextbox]


GLENDALE

Max’s Sports Museum

[stextbox id="grey"] 6727 N. 47th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85301
Directions
623-937-1671
www.facebook.com/maxssportsbar[/stextbox]


MESA

Cactus Moon Sports Grill

[stextbox id="grey"] 1017 N. Dobson #108
Mesa, AZ 85201
Directions
480-833-2226
www.cactusmoonmesa.com[/stextbox]


DOWNTOWN PHOENIX
Coach & Willies

[stextbox id="grey"]412 S. 3rd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Directions
602-254-5272
www.coachandwillies.com[/stextbox]


ARCADIA

16th Street Sports Bar

[stextbox id="grey"]6522 N. 16th St. #6
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Directions
602-285-5555
www.16th.st[/stextbox]


DEER VALLEY

Santisi Brothers Pizzeria & Sports Grill

[stextbox id="grey"]2710 W. Bell Rd. #1115
Phoenix, AZ 85053
Directions
602-789-7979
www.santisibrothers.com[/stextbox]

The Habit Burger Tempe Review

The Habit Burger Tempe Offers Fresh Atmosphere, Tasty Burgers

A guilty fan of In & Out Burger, Five Guys, Smashburger and any other above-average-fast-food burger joint, I went into Habit Burger expecting to thoroughly enjoy a familiar burger in a familiar setting. Little did I know I would find a unique atmosphere with a burger that surpasses its competition in both taste and presentation.

The California burger chain opened its first restaurant in Arizona late May in Tempe, welcoming nearby residents with an inviting, refreshing patio area and a sunny interior. Three more restaurants are scheduled to open in Chandler and Phoenix in the coming months, accommodating other residential areas with the winning combination of great tasting food and a fresh atmosphere.

The Habit Burger Tempe Review, Photo: Gianna MillerThe patio is shaded with red umbrellas and fully supplied with misters, allowing patrons to comfortably sit outside in the Arizona heat.

Inside the eatery, presents a beachy interior, as the restuarant is filled with bright colors, pictures of surfers and large windows to give that sunny beach lighting. Also, the entire kitchen is visible from the service line, demonstrating to customers that they are proud of their cooking practices and have nothing to hide from the public view.

Even more impressive than the relaxing environment is the amiable customer service. The Habit Burger cashiers greeted all customers with smiles and warm welcomes, and there was no rush in customer interaction — even with a line. The employees gave one-on-one personal attention to show interest in their customers while still moving at an efficient pace. They inquire if it is your first time at Habit Burger, proceeding to educate you on the menu if it is. They offer a sufficient variety of items, with their famous Charburger with cheese as their most popular item. Habit Burger Tempe Review

We sampled every item on the menu except their salads and veggie burger, which I can only assume are prepared just as freshly and carefully as the burgers and sandwiches I did taste.

Both the Charburger with cheese and avocado and the Mushroom Swiss Burger were presented so that every single ingredient in the burger could be seen, actually presented much like those pictured in advertisements.

The taste exceeded the presentation, as the burgers were juicy with the distinct char-grilled taste and all toppings tasted fresh and crisp. But what was most impressive about this menu item is the price. The average sandwich/burger price at Habit is $3, and you can enjoy a burger, fries and drink combo for just $5.95 — relatively cheap for such a high quality taste.

Moving onto the lighter options, my party enjoyed servings of the Chicken Club Sandwich and the Albacore Tuna Sandwich on sourdough. I truly felt like I was eating healthy at a burger joint.

The Habit Burger ReviewThe highlight of the meal were the side dishes. The onion rings were easily some of the best I had ever tasted. The perfect combination of succulent onion with crispy fried shell caused an instant addiction within me. Both classic and sweet potato fry orders are just as praiseworthy, and when dipped in Habit’s own freshly made ranch dressing, the taste sensation is undeniable. A huge fan of sweet potato fries, I went into my bite with high expectations, but I was pleased to find that they were unique in their simultaneously crispy and meaty texture.

To top off the meal, we treated ourselves with a vanilla malt and a mocha shake both well equipped with whipped cream and served asHabit Burger Tempe Review cold delights to soothe both my full belly and my sweet tooth.

I would recommend The Habit Burger for families looking for the most affordable, healthy and tasty burger combos they can find, as well as to all those who find themselves in the southern Tempe area. It’s quick, it’s cheap, and with such quality food and atmosphere, you’ll be getting more than your money’s worth. I know I’ll certainly make dining there a “habit” of my own.

    OTHER HABIT NEWS: A Friend To Local Charities

    Before opening on May 25th, Habit Burger held three service test runs, during which they donated the entire proceeds to different local charities. On May 23rd, the eatery opened for two hours, donating all profits to Boys & Girls Club East Valley. The next day, they opened for both lunch and dinner for two-hour periods. Lunch’s proceeds went to Ryan’s House, a home for terminally-ill children, and dinner’s money went to Muscular Dystrophy. Habit raised over $4,000 total during these three events, giving 100 percent of the proceeds to the local charities. Partnering with the charities well in advance, the restaurant gained positive advertising and was able to benefit these admirable non-profits.

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If You Go

The Habit Burger Tempe
1817 E Guadalupe Rd
Ste 102
Tempe, AZ 85283
(480) 456-8912
www.habitburger.com

 

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Bartab App To Get Dollar Drinks

Bartab App Sends $1 Drinks, Encourages Social Interaction

Bartab App To Get Dollar DrinksWhat can’t we do on our cell phones nowadays? With a new application, customers are able to redeem dollar drinks at their favorite local bars.

Bartab is a free mobile application that allows people to send and receive $1 drinks at participating bars. The application connects with Facebook, allowing you to send your friends drinks online and allowing them to redeem these drinks at the bar with their phone.

Jason Shorb, director of business development for Webtab Inc., the creators of Bartab, says that the savings are undeniable. For drinks that usually cost $5 to $6, it only costs one dollar to send friends drinks.

Bartab currently caters to 15 markets across the U.S., including the Phoenix area, with the participation of over 600 bars within said markets. Currently Phoenix has over 80 participating bars and restaurants.

Shorb says this app is convenient in many ways. For those who do not own smartphone, they can still receive drinks via SMS; and recipients also have up to 90 days to redeem their drinks. The only restriction is customers can only redeem one drink per bar per day — but that doesn’t prevent people from going to multiple bars in one day, Shorb says.

Shorb says that the application is a win-win situation for consumers and retailers alike.

“People are ecstatic about not only being able to use their cell phones to redeem something, which is the first technology of its kind, but also saving so much money,” Shorb says. “And the bars and restaurants appreciate it as well because we’re sharing a free marketing program that just helps them fill seats.”

The Phoenix area was picked up last December, and Shorb states that Bartab is growing rapidly; the company plans to expand to 20 markets by the end of this year.

The app gives you five complimentary dollars when you create an account, and Shorb explains that the program is a great social tool for anyone who goes out, even if only once a week.Bartab Dollar Drinks

Bartab also reminds users of their friends’ upcoming birthdays, and it encourages more consistent social interactions at local bars and restaurants.

“It’s a fun, social gifting program, and people really enjoy sending and redeeming dollar drinks,” Shorb says. He furthers that Bartab’s mission is “to conquer the world, one drink at a time.”

Want to start your own Bartab? Get set up on Bartab’s website, and instantly send and receive dollar drinks.

 

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Check out participating bars in the Phoenix area, including:

Blondies
501 S. Mill Ave., Tempe

Carlsbad Tavern
3313 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale

The Living Room
23333 N. 7th St., Phoenix

Down Under Wines & Bistro
1422 W. Warner, Gilbert

Tailgaters
6070 W. Bell Rd., Glendale

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Show Phoenix Pride, Photo: Michael Ruiz, Flickr

Show Phoenix Pride And Take Favorite Cities In The U.S. Survey

Travel & Leisure is back with its annual survey: Favorite Cities in The U.S. Residents and visitors rank 35 major cities based on eight major categories with Phoenix a contender.

So which city is the best? That’s for you to decide — and we’re hoping Phoenix!Metro Valley Light Rail, Photo: Fausto Hernandez, Flickr

The survey first inquires whether or not the submission is from a resident of the city or a visitor. After the perspective is established, the survey is divided into eight categories:

  • Nightlife
  • Type of trip the city is best suited for
  • Culture
  • Quality of life and visitor experience
  • People of the city
  • Best times to visit
  • Food/drink/restaurants
  • Shopping
  •  

    Each category has several subcategories to be rated on a scale of one to five, with an additional option of “no opinion.”

    Phoenix/Scottsdale has proven to be well rated for visits during the winter, New Year’s Eve and Spring break; and it was ranked in the top three for the hotels subcategory against all 35 cities — which is not surprising with hotels such as The Boulders, Arizona Biltmore, The Phoenician and The Royal Palms.

    University of Phoenix Stadium, Photo: greatdegree, FlickrDisappointingly, the city is ranked near the bottom for categories of culture, nightlife and people.

    Although Phoenix was ranked high for big-name restaurants under the food/drink category, it was again near the bottom for ethnic food, farmers markets and local specialties.

    But we know Phoenix is an overall amazing city to live in, right? Customer service is widely revered across the Valley, and Scottsdale is known across the nation for its exquisite shopping, including Scottsdale Fashion Square and Kierland Commons.

    We also know that while big name restaurants are more prevalent, there are a variety of ethnic food gems sprinkled throughout the city, as well as neighborhood cafes and local joints. La Tolteca Mexican Food, Caffe Saravejo and Little India are tasty ethnic finds, and Acacia Cafe and Taylor’s Cafe are two of a myriad of great local cafes around the city.Phoenix Symphony Hall, Photo: jikatu, Flickr

    Phoenix has a well-rounded scene for sports, music, and theater downtown, as well as in its surrounding cities and suburbs. Home of the University of Phoenix Stadium, Chase Field, Phoenix Symphony Hall, and Gammage Auditorium, Phoenix has a wide range of culture to offer residents and visitors alike.

    Show your Phoenix pride and take the Favorite Cities survey today. Phoenix is well known for being one of the fastest growing cities in America, and there has to be a reason. Phoenix may not monopolize one of those eight categories, but it shows strong presence of all eight, providing an overall great experience for living and visiting.

    Visit Travel & Leisure today to take the 2011 Favorite Cities Survey.

    Phoenix Comicon Brings In Over 23,000 Attendees, Photo: Jonathan, LightningOctopus.com

    Phoenix Comicon 2011 Brings In Over 23,000 Attendees

    Call the fire marshal; Phoenix Comicon 2011 was too hot to handle.

    While the size of the convention exploded at last year’s 2010 convention when it was moved to the downtown Phoenix area, this year’s convention on the exhibition floor surpassed its maximum capacity of 10,000 people on Saturday — therefore causing the fire marshal and police department to get involved.

    The four day event, which took place at the Phoenix Convention Center, brought in 23,001 people, not including children under 12 who got in for free.

    Jillian Squires, marketing manager for Phoenix Comicon, says the attendance was a great success for the convention, as it was a giant leap from last year’s 14,000 attendees. While the overcapacity was an obstacle for the convention committee to overcome, they were thrilled this was the only hindrance.

    According to Squires, Matt Solberg, convention director, handled the situation rapidly and gracefully. Although the floor regulation lasted about four hours, attendees waited no more than 20 minutes to enter the exhibition floor, and around 6 p.m., attendees were able to freely enter the area once again.

    Solberg posted a formal notice about the situation on the Phoenix Comicon’s homepage, informing the public of what happened and apologizing for any inconvenience.

    Squires says that the committee’s largest goal is to strive for honesty with their attendees, and this is what sets them apart from other conventions.

    As for the reason for this year’s success and high attendance, Squires says its due to the event’s all-star guest list and four new marketing techniques.

    Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy and George Takei, Chuck star Adam Baldwin, and the man who made comics what they are today, Stan Lee, among other guests, transcended different cultures and genres, attracting a wider audience range than ever before, Squires says.

    Nimoy proved to be the event’s most popular attraction; his panel “Spotlight on Leonard Nimoy” filled the 5,000 ballroom to its maximum capacity. The other aforementioned guests’ panels attracted crowds almost as large, with popular web series The Guild and Paul Cornell, writer for Doctor Who yielding some of the largest turn outs as well.

    “There was not a single panel with no turn out,” Squires says. “There was something there for everyone.”

    From science fiction authors to Anime to zombie musicals at the PC Film Festival, the event provided a wide range of events to expand its demographic and attendance.

    Through Squires’ efforts, the committee increased attendance further through effective and thorough use of social media, commercials, billboards, a 20-page brochure with College Times — as well as with the support and advertising through local companies in the Valley.

    Although it hasn’t reached the capacity of the San Diego Comic-Con, Phoenix demonstrates equal success for its unique goals.

    “[San Diego Comic-Con has] a different vision than we do, and theirs is great, but we just have different goals and purposes for our convention,” Squires says.

    Squires says Phoenix Comicon aims to be a family event and to ensure accessibility, entertainment and comfort to all those who attend. Phoenix Comicon also intends to keep the prices affordable at $40 for a four-day pass.

    Squires hopes to get even “hotter” next year with at least 30,000 attendees.

    Want to secure your spot for next year’s conference? Memberships are already for sale online.

    Top 5 Independent Movies This Summer, Photo: Rasdourian, Flickr

    Independent Movies: Top 5 Summer Movies

    Independent Movies: We’re all ready to see Harry Potter and X Men First Class this summer; some of us even already have our tickets to the midnight showings. But what about those other underground movies that go overlooked because they aren’t heavily promoted, fanboy blockbusters? What about independent films?

    An independent movie is characterized as being produced by an independent production company, not a major film studio, and having a lower budget. These movies are much less marketed and tend to be in limited release in order to attract smaller specialty audiences through word of mouth instead of TV spots and other promos.

    Arizona may not always be on the limited release list for these independent movies that tend to usually hit Los Angeles and New York first, but our state has been blessed with the presence of more than a few independent movie theaters that are showing some of these more artsy films year round including Harkins Camelview 5, MADCAP Theaters in Tempe, and Harkins Valley Art.

    So in addition to checking out those much anticipated summer blockbusters, let’s also check out the well-reviewed indie flicks that hit theaters this season.

    Here is the Top 5 list of Independent Movies in theaters this Summer:

    5. Submarine (In Limited Release June 3rd)

    4. The Tree of Life (In Limited Release NOW)

    3. Small Town Murder Songs (Playing at Harkins Valley Art NOW)

    2. Beginners (In Limited Release June 3rd)

    1. Everything Must Go (In Most Theaters NOW)

    Do you want to go see any of these movies? Or know of any other indie summer movies worth checking out?
    Share with us and leave comment, or post it on our Facebook!

    Movie Paradies on YouTube

    Top 5 Movie Parodies on YouTube

    We love movies; we love mockery; so movie parodies seem to be the perfect gift from the YouTube gods. Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, but this form of imitation does anything but flatter.

    There are so many different techniques for a movie parody, whether the creator combined two completely contrasting movies, put one movie into a different genre, dubbed over voices, or emphasized the generic formula for a movie. But these parodies always provide a good laugh for movie lovers.

    So let’s enjoy these less than flattering imitations and treat ourselves to a good laugh.

    Here is the Top 5 list of movie parody videos found on YouTube:

    5.

    The Shining As A Family Movie

    4.

    The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Spoof

    3.

    Trailer For Every Oscar Winning Movie

    2.

    The Social Network Youtube Spoof

    1.

    Brokeback To The Future

    What are some of your favorite movie parodies on YouTube?
    Share with us and leave comment, or post it on our Facebook!

    Hiking and Eating in Cave Creek, Photo: Ashleigh Gleason

    A Weekend In Cave Creek

    Halfway through the college semester, we found ourselves bombarded with the burdens of homework, part-time jobs, and clubs. Needless to say, when my friend Leslie called to invite Ashleigh and me on an impromptu trip to Cave CreekHiking And Eating in Cave Creek, Photo: Gianna Miler to check on the empty house her parents just purchased, we accepted without a moment’s hesitation.

    We couldn’t leave until late in the evening, so we made the short trip from Phoenix in the dark of night. This didn’t pose any problems when headed down the freeway, but once we entered the town in search of a house we’d never been to, the black sky made the quest quite difficult.  The three of us cursed the town for not investing in street lights, but after we settled upon Spur Cross Road and managed to find the correct street address, we took more than a moment to appreciate the star-filled night sky. I had never seen so many bright stars in my life!  We settled into the empty house in our sleeping bags and went to bed excited for the morning’s adventures.

    Used to the need for caffeine and internet access, we charted down Cave Creek Road to find a friendly coffeehouse.  The town was crowded for a homecoming parade for the local high school.  It was awesome to see such town pride!  But it did prevent access to Cave Creek Coffee Company, so we bypassed the well-reviewed shop, continuing to find Roots Coffeehouse closer to the highway.  Roots kindly served us delicious espresso drinks and free Wi-Fi, and we utilized its resources to plan the remainder of our weekend, full of hiking, feasting at iconic restaurants, and browsing the nearby outlets.Hiking And Eating in Cave Creek, Photo: Ashleigh Gleason

    We headed to Anthem to hit up the outlet stores for J. Crew, Gap and Nike. Then we famished-ly headed back to prepare for a feast at a Cave Creek iconic restaurant. The Horny Toad Restaurant is a renowned favorite we were eager to try, but since we were on a budget, we hit up Big Earl’s Greasy Eats instead and were delighted with tasty burgers for a college student’s price.

    The next day we went for a midmorning hike in the Spur Cross Conservation area.  The land was so beautiful, and we were truly taken away by the desert wildlife. Leslie and I almost gave Ashleigh a heart attack when we fearlessly climbed off the beaten path up a rugged cliff. We calmed her down by carefully coming down the trail, not by jumping. We rewarded our physical efforts of the morning with brunch at the Saguaro Grille in Carefree. The cafe had some of the best breakfast and coffee we’ve ever encountered, and it looked much cuter than we did after our hike.

    Overall, the weekend was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ones I’ve had in my life, let alone that semester. If you’re ever looking for delicious eats, picturesque hiking and a great place to bond with your best friends, you should find yourself in Cave Creek.