Milk Run

There’s a longstanding saying that “dessert goes in a separate chamber,” a convenient rationalization for finding room for something sweet even after a substantial meal. At Milk Run, an ice cream and boba tea shop adjacent to the popular Vietnamese restaurant Pho Thanh, maybe an actual walk to a separate room next door reinforces that notion just enough to make a frozen treat after a bowl of pho appealing. Phoenix can always use another good ice cream shop, especially one with tropical flavors well matched to its neighbors southeast Asian food. Continue reading

Radish

The lowly radish, although delicious, doesn’t get much respect beyond the Tale of Peter Rabbit. Radish is the name of a salad-and-juice stall inside the DeSoto Central Market, but until recently the root vegetable didn’t appear on the small eatery’s menu. Of course, the usa of radish could be thought of in a hyphenated way as “rad-ish,” suggesting the quality of being “totally rad.” In that respect, Radish the restaurant’s name makes a bit more sense because it does describe a high quality place for fresh juice, big salads, grain bowls, wraps, pita chips, and daily soups. Continue reading

Cocina 10

More often than ever before, music and food seem to go together. It’s not just about playlists that set the mood for a dining room. It’s about recording artists like James Murphy, formerly of LCD Soundsystem, opening a wine bar in New York. It’s about food-centric writing such as the Guardian columns penned by Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, later published as a book entitled Sound Bites. In Phoenix, a favorite live music venue, the Crescent Ballroom, has responded to the trend in its own way by creating Cocina 10, a lounge and restaurant that goes beyond the minimal grub offered at most concert halls. Continue reading

Adobo Dragon

The word “adobo” comes up in describing food traditions everywhere from Spain to the Philippines. When Spanish explorers first reached the Philippines, they encountered a cooking process that involved stewing food in a vinegar-based sauce. Although distinct in its origins from Spanish adobo, which also involves vinegar, the word was used to describe the Filipino technique. Now many variants of adobo exist in various former Spanish colonies around the world, creating a network of vinegar and spice that extends across multiples continents and archipelagos. Continue reading

Dust Cutter

John Adams, the nation’s second president, is sometimes seen as a forgotten founding father. His position between the more widely-known presidencies of Washington and Jefferson has left no monument or currency bearing his likeness. In Phoenix, the street named for Adams has until recently been equally overlooked. That has changed with improvements along Adams, undertaken by the city in conjunction with the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, which has undergone some changes of its own, including a new bar and restaurant known as Dust Cutter. Continue reading

The Vig Fillmore

The first lesson Phoenicians should learn about local geography is that numbered streets are on the east side of the city and that avenues are on the west side. The second lesson might be that if a street has a presidential name, it runs east-west through downtown. The Vig Fillmore, a central location for a small, locally-based group of restaurants, combine both lessons into one. Its site, the historic Cavness House, has an address on Fourth Avenue but the restaurant takes its name from the intersecting street named for antebellum one-termer Millard Fillmore. Continue reading

Southern Rail

For over a century, the Sunset Limited, the legendary passenger train that runs from Los Angeles to New Orleans, stopped in Phoenix on its way across the southern tier of the country. That particular train now passes through Maricopa, 35 miles to the south, leaving Phoenix without intercity passenger rail. Despite that unfortunate development, it’s comforting that a restaurant, appropriately named Southern Rail, brings a bit of cooking from New Orleans and the South to Uptown Phoenix, just a block from the Central / Camelback light rail station. Continue reading