Orange Table
Jamie Peachey
If you care to sip a latte in Scottsdale, we recommend the Orange Table, tucked into a hard-to-find cranny on the Scottsdale Mall near the Center for the Performing Arts. If you're seeking a frou-frou coffee drink or just a plain old cup of coffee in a plain old cup, try the Table. The small coffee-house-cum-eatery will satisfy your caffeine jones while making you puff up with pride for supporting a locally owned and operated biz.

We highly recommend the Table's Mexican chocolate latte -- a sweet, aromatic jolt made with cinnamon and other spices. Willing to take a chance? Try the Mojo, an iced chai with a shot of espresso. Sounds gross, but trust us. But if you don't, try the frozen white chocolate mocha -- a perfect and not-too-sweet icy treat for a torrid summer afternoon. We're also fond of the Table's baristas, who are always friendly and often creative; you might just find the shape of a leaf or a heart skillfully traced into the foam of your latte.

Monique and Andres Yuhnke opened Counter Culture Café with hopes of becoming the late-night hangout spot, and we have to say they seem to have pulled it off. At the very least, the hip coffee shop that moonlights as a perennial First Friday haunt and a popular dance club oasis has definitely put Denny's and IHOP on the alert. During the week, the cafe is a cozy spot to grab a pick-me-up while surfing on the free wi-fi service. Caffeine-starved patrons can enjoy a range of high-octane beverages on comfy couches, a large outdoor patio, or via a 24/7 drive-through window. Wednesday nights a crowd gathers for the "anything goes" Speak Up! spoken-word series. And on Saturdays until 5 a.m., a rotating cast of house DJs, including Sonique des Fleurs and Joe Bear, transforms the cafe into an after-hours disco paradise. Dance on over.
Say you've just spent countless weekends trying to rid your residence of unwanted objects and other oddities, or rushed out to shop, after reading our "Goods and Services" section of Best of Phoenix. After six carport sales, though, no one wants that huge concrete fountain of a cherub pissing in a pool or the soiled patio furniture. There's no way you can sell it on eBay, and the thrift store won't touch it. Someone should put it to good use instead of letting it linger in a landfill, but nobody in his or her right mind will beg, borrow or steal it from you . . . except for the folks on Freecycle, that is. Conceived by an environmentally conscious Tucson resident in 2003, this vast network of separate community-specific e-mail Listservs around the world -- including 18 devoted to Valley regions -- is made up of locals who'll come pick up your outcasts on a first come, first served basis. It's one freaky flea market, as users can either announce their weird wares -- like killer fish or broken screen doors -- or make specific requests for items another Netizen might have. Think of it as the most bizarre bazaar of all.

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