Close up of kebab sandwich on old wooden table.

"Also new in town: Pita Jungle. The “healthy Mediterranean” restaurant opened this week at Park West in Peoria."

Congratulations to Cibola Vista Resort and Spa.

And, for that matter, congrats to a half-dozen other businesses and the rest of Peoria.

In “The Prickly Pleasures of Peoria,” a Nov. 27 article, Forbes magazine writer Gretchen Kelly gets quite cozy in her compliments:

“If falling in love with a cactus is your kind of passion, there are pleasures aplenty waiting for you in Arizona’s Peoria (yes, it was settled by the one in Illinois).

“Peoria is a community that encompasses a swath of Sonoran desert about an hour from downtown Phoenix.

“Like other towns in Arizona, it’s spring training country (the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres call Peoria their winter home). It’s also the kind of place where people talk a lot about quality of life.”

Kelly made it a point to call out Peoria’s high-end resort:

“Peoria itself is part of the expansion of Phoenix outwards in all directions. People come and stay in Peoria’s major resort, The Cibola Vista Resort and Spa (a Blue Green Vacations timeshare property) partly for the scenery (those cacti!) and the massive water slide but also for the fact members get VIP access to NASCAR at nearby ISM Raceway in Avondale.”

The Forbes writer covers pretty much all of Peoria, from Lake Pleasant to Old Town.

“Downtown, the city is preserving its old town with venues like the Lucidi Distilling Co. which is located in the Old Town Peoria Entertainment District and is housed at the Historic Fire Station No. 1. Originally constructed in 1920 as Peoria’s first movie theater, the building later became our first fire station in 1954.

“The distillers here make daily mash runs using state of the art equipment, along with its hybrid pot still.”

Kelly even gives some love to the city’s 

“Proud of its slow pace and its emphasis on one-on-one welcomes, Peoria’s mascot is aptly named, ‘Prickly Pete.’ He’s the friendly Saguaro you’ll see emblazoned on brochures and notebook stickers.

“If you find yourself falling in love with Pete and his family of Saguaros and with the Arizona desert itself, consider Peoria your gateway drug to the rest of the State’s natural wonders.”

The Haymaker celebrates the opening of its newest restaurant this week at 8706 W. Thunderbird Road,

Peoria. 

The restaurant is hiring servers, cooks, hosts, bartenders and more. For information, call 623-440-9100, email thunderbird@haymakeraz.com or visit haymakeraz.com.

Also new in town: Pita Jungle.

The “healthy Mediterranean” restaurant opened this week at Park West in Peoria.

The new 4,400 square foot restaurant, located at 9792 W. Northern Avenue, Suite 1600 in Peoria next to Harkins Theatres, features a large open dining area with tables, booths and high tops, an inviting 20-seat square bar, and an outdoor covered patio with a communal table. For more information, visit pitajungle.com.