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Gee's Whiz

Location isn't everything. When the building just blends into the bland landscape, it might as well disappear. Formerly Jasmine Gardens, then short-lived as Gourmet of China, the building now housing Gee's Garden--freshly painted pomegranate and lime colors--is hard to miss. Here's hoping that the Chinese bistro with a happy hour, dim sum and sushi stays around for awhile. 1145 N. Alvernon Way, 325-5353.


Join the P.I.G. Club

Famous Dave's, a Minnesota franchise, has opened, serving pit-smoked, St. Louis-style spareribs, Texas beef brisket, Georgia chopped pork and other fixings. Join the P.I.G. Club at www.famousdaves.com for free gifts and special offers. Located at 4565 N. Oracle Road. 888-1512.


T.G.I. Atkins

You know a diet hits its stride when 19 percent of restaurant-goers request low-carb options. Rather than ignoring the trend, T.G.I. Fridays is licensing the Atkins name and will list net carbohydrates below Atkins selections. Choices include a cheeseburger without the bun, salmon with broccoli and Buffalo wings with blue-cheese sauce.


Swish Swish in the Dish

For the past few years, Shabu Shabu, the healthy Japanese style of self-cooking meat and fish with vegetables in individual broth pots, has been the rave in Southern California. Finally, it's swished to the desert at Shabu Shabu Tanaka, located 5655 E. River Road (at Craycroft Road). 232-1393. It's great for low-carb diets, too.


Rocky Mountain High

What do you get when you cross a young North Carolina chain with a Colorado ski-lodge concept? Firebirds Rocky Mountain Grill features aged steaks, fresh seafood, wood-fired pizzas and rotisserie chicken. It's opening next week at La Encantada.


Fresh Fridays

A welcome addition to the west wing of El Con Mall is an indoor farmers' market every Friday from 1-5 p.m. Pick up organic produce, freshly baked goods, blended teas, roasted coffee, sauces, plants and cacti. Info at 918-9811.

More by Karyn Zoldan

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