You know what they say about casinos—once you’re inside, day and night blend and time stops. Same goes for the ones that ring metro Phoenix, so choose by location. This Indian gaming club, owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa tribe, is conveniently located just off the 101 Freeway and literally a few blocks east of Scottsdale. It was big news when the casinos added blackjack tables in 2003, and you’ll find them alongside poker tables and more than 1,000 slots. But remember that this isn’t Vegas; recent performers included Rick Springfield and Tony Orlando.
Tip: Indian reservations are exempt from the statewide indoor smoking ban.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.