About Town: Zookz, Jake’s Unlimited, Mountain Shadows, Teriyaki Madness

New To Downtown

Zookz – Best Toasted Sandwiches ‘Round

Voted Phoenix Magazine’s Best Sandwiches for many years running, Zookz, has opened a 2nd location downtown at 1 North First Street.  I popped in to visit with founder & owner, Carole Meyer, while learning a bit of the history behind these delicious round pressed sandwiches.  Carole was raised in Libya by her grandmother, who delighted in making delicious sandwiches with a handheld contraption purchased in London.  Carole has since recreated them by developing an electric version of her grandmother’s kitchen tool, opening the first Zookz in 2012 in Uptown Plaza.  On Carole’s recommendation, I started with a breakfast sandwich called the 66 ($6.25), which includes 2 poached eggs with cheddar cheese, bacon, tomatoes, green onions, and Zookz Zinger Cream Cheese Sauce.  I also tried a lunch sandwich called the number 10 ($8.75), which is reminiscent of a Thanksgiving sandwich with turkey, apples, Parmesan cheese, cranberries, almonds and Zookz Sweet Heat Mustard Sauce.  If you have been missing out, head on over pronto!

Zookz, 1 North First Street, Phoenix and 100 Camelback Road, Phoenix.


The Number 66 Breakfast Sandwich.

The Number 10 Turkey Sandwich.

The original kitchen tool used to make the round sandwiches.

What To Do When It’s 118 With Kids 

Jake’s Unlimited

On the hottest day of the summer, the kids and I drove to Mesa to experience Jake’s Unlimited, formerly known as Amazing Jake’s.  Newly renovated, Jake’s Unlimited is the ultimate family entertainment center in the Valley with over 90,000 square feet of indoor space.  We bowled, played laser tag, won a prize from The Claw, played dozens of video games, rode carnival rides and ate from an unlimited buffet.  In addition, Jake’s Unlimited has a few new offerings:

A La Carte Menu
Everyday after 8 p.m., Jake’s Unlimited features Jake’s After Dark with an all-new a la carte menu with shareable appetizers, gourmet burgers, hand-tossed pizza, desserts, and two full-service bars.
Mini-bowling features shorter lanes, mini pins and smaller, lighter bowling balls suitable for both kids and adults.
Summer Meltdown Special
This limited-time summer special includes three hours of unlimited buffet, unlimited rides and attractions, and unlimited non-redemption video games. Plus, guests receive one game of bowling and shoe rental, one game of the new mini-bowling, one free play in the carnival-style Midway, and a $5 fun card all for just $27.99.

Jake’s Unlimited, 1830 East Baseline Road, Mesa; 480.926.7499; www.jakesunlimited.com.

With my Mini Me and our Claw winnings.

What To Do When It’s 118 With Adults

Sipping Seminars at Mountain Shadows

Mountain Shadows, one of the newest chic resorts in Paradise Valley, is now offering monthly Sipping Seminars in their restaurant, Hearth ’61.  The themes change monthly, and this July kicked it off with Rosés Around the World.  To come, bourbon, food & wine pairings, mojitos and more. For all the scoop, check it out here.

Mountain Shadows, 5445 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale.


Chef Collaboration Dinners at Cartwright’s in Cave Creek

Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine

The last Wednesday of every month Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine hosts a Chef Collaboration Dinner, partnering with a different guest chef every month to create an unforgettable meal.  In July they partnered with Chef Tamara Stanger, formerly of Helio Basin Brewing (you know I am a fan if you have read my post on Chef Stanger here), who is moving to Cotton & Copper in Tempe.  Chef Stanger and Chef/Owner of Cartwright’s, Brett Vibber, along with an insanely talented crew, joined forces to create an All-Arizona meal, where everything that was plated was sourced from our great state of Arizona.  Each dish was paired with glass of wine by Arizona winemaker Sam Pillsbury of Pillsbury Wine Company.  The menu looked a little like this:

Desert Shrimp Crudo with Honey, Prickly Pear and Mortimer Vegetables

Kneeldown Bread (Navajo Tamale) with Figs, Flowers and Elderberry

Jeweled Barrel Cactus with Saguaro Jam

Chiricahua Pasture Raised Pork Sausage

Goat’s Milk Cheese Dusted in Mesquite Ash

Smoked Duck Leg with Blue Corn and Mesquite Flour Waffle on Pecan Cactus Butter

Lamb With Purslane and Lavender Seeds

Adams Natural Meats Bison with Blackberry Jam

Sweet Corn Ice Cream Sandwich

Two of the biggest surprises for me were the Sweet Dessert Shrimp and the Bison.  Did you know there is shrimp farming and bison ranching in AZ?  Read about the Arizona Shrimp Company here and Adam’s Natural Meats here.

Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine, 6710 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek.



Desert Shrimp Crudo with Honey, Prickly Pear and Mortimer Vegetables.

Kneeldown Bread (Navajo Tamale) with Figs, Flowers and Elderberry.

More Summertime Specials

Teriyaki Madness

Teriyaki Madness, an Asian fast casual concept based out of Denver, claims, “We are like your ex – we pop up everywhere.”  In more than 14 states, with two locations in the Valley (Mesa and Gilbert) and two more to come, Teriyaki Madness, known for their fresh chopped vegetables and in-house sauces, is offering a Chilled Sesame Asian Yakisoba Salad only through September.  Chilled yakisoba noodles with teriyaki chicken, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage and carrots, are tossed in a Sesame Asian Dressing.  You can download the Teriyaki Madness app onto your phone, and order from anywhere for pick up or delivery. Couldn’t be easier to get a fresh, healthy lunch!

1229 S Power Rd Suite 105, Mesa.

3131 S Market St #108, Gilbert.


Summer is officially over for us come Sunday, August 12th. We are wrapping up a quick beach vacation with the kids in CA and I will get back to reporting on my adventures in the Valley of the Sun. If you want to stay up to speed on my travels and treats, follow me on Instagram and Facebook feeds. xoM

All photos by Marci Symington for texAZtaste.com.

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