Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Southern tradition says it’s good luck to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day (it’s thought to bring prosperity in the year to come). It’s one superstition we’re happy to believe in, especially if the black-eyed peas in question come from Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe. A downtown Phoenix mainstay since 1964, Mrs. White’s serves some of the best soul food in town. The black-eyed peas are a side dish offered all year round and come perfectly cooked in a lightly peppery gravy. We like them alongside a serving of the restaurant’s crisp fried chicken or juicy fried pork chops. Mrs. White’s is open on New Year’s Day, so you can get your portion of delicious good luck then, but we like to stop by far more often than once a year.
Barb's Bakery
Diana Martinez
The king cake tradition varies widely according to country and region — in Phoenix, you’ll find most Mexican panaderias selling a version of it, the rosca de reyes, in celebration of the Epiphany, which occurs 12 days after Christmas. And you’ll also find king cakes, the round, Louisiana-style cakes sold in metro Phoenix throughout most of the springtime, as part of the pre-Lenten celebrations that stretch from the Epiphany until Mardi Gras. For years, Barb’s Bakery has been the most reliable option for a round, buttery, Louisiana-style king cake, complete with a small, plastic baby, representing the newborn Jesus, baked right into the cake. The bakery offers two sizes — regular and royale — to feed a fete of any size. They’re made in the traditional round shape, shimmering with confectioner’s sugar and icing, and they’re delicious.

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