I love this time of the year in the desert.  Everyone is back from their summers or in town to escape the cold weather.  Local businesses and restaurants are bustling with people and the energy is just so much livelier.  In the spirit of welcoming everyone back and also for anyone visiting the desert looking for some good bites, I thought I'd share some of my favorite places to eat.  I'll start with my favorite pizza at Michael's Pizzeria.  I know those pictures above do not do their pizzas justice.  From what I'm told by reliable sources (aka my family members & good friends that I have taken there), their calzones are worth writing home about as well.  I personally love their margherita pizza.  I have to say that although I find the combination of their ingredients (the house made mozzarella, tomato sauce, and fresh basil) to be beyond delicious, their dough is definitely the star!  It's the perfect balance of doughy, chewy, and crunchy.  You'll just have to try it yourself to know what I mean.

I hope that I'll get to do a special post for all my favorite restaurants here in the desert but I must confess that I'm more about eating my food than taking pictures of it.  So, just in case...I can't end this post without mentioning some of my other favorites!

1. Catalan - If you are in the mood for some Mediterranean then this place is a must!  My husband Sandy and I highly recommend their veal bolognese. 

2. Fresh Agave - The friendliest staff, the strongest margaritas, and great authentic Mexican food!  There is a reason why this place is so busy all the time!  If you feel like having Mexican food but also feel like you want something on the lighter fare then ask for the "Harlow."  Yes, it is named after my husband Sandy and I.  It's not on the menu but it's something the kitchen started making for us.  It's grilled chicken or steak with grilled veggies Mexican style.  It totally hits the spot without hitting the waistline.

3. Jillian's - Great ambiance, food, and service.  It's the perfect place to go for a special night out.

{All photos taken by karenharlowforthehome.com }