In diverse communities like Tempe, it’s not uncommon to have restaurants and grocers of entirely different geographic origins coexisting side-by-side in the same shopping center. Khai Hoan, a small Vietnamese restaurant, occupies a small retail plaza with a Mexican carniceria and a Middle Eastern restaurant as its neighbors. The location is on Apache Boulevard between the Dorsey / Apache and McClintock / Apache light rail stations. Although the restaurant is almost exactly halfway between both platforms, the walk is more pleasant from Dorsey. Continue reading “Khai Hoan”
On July 5, 2011, Phoenix was enveloped in a moving wall of dust so monstrous that the news media started using the Arabic word “haboob” to describe it. Since then, the borrowed word has been used, perhaps overused, for describing garden variety dust storms. On Apache Boulevard, another bit of wording from the Middle East, “haji-baba,” long used in literature and movies, is also the name of one of the area’s longest established restaurants. Tempe’s Haji-Baba has endured since the ‘80s in a strip mall a quarter mile east of the Dorsey / Apache light rail station. Continue reading “Haji-Baba”
An Australian real estate magnate recently made headlines with his thoughts on why young adults find home ownership an increasingly distant goal. For Tim Gurner, one cause is overspending on lattes and avocado toast. Various responses have noted that buying a house can be an insurmountable task for even the most frugal. Whether Gurner is right or wrong, it’s interesting that his comments have come at the same time that Press Coffee, a local purveyor of both lattes and avocado toast, has been expanding, mostly at locations in apartment buildings. Continue reading “Press Coffee”
Iran has been in the news a lot lately. From the agreement intended to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons to the re-election of the current president, there have been plenty of headlines about political intrigue within the Islamic theocracy that has dominated the country since 1979. A more enduring heritage is found, however, in the culture of Persia, the ancient, storied civilization that flourished long before today’s controversies. Persian food, underappreciated in the United States, flourishes at Tasty Kabob, located along the Apache Boulevard “Spice Trail” in Tempe. Continue reading “Tasty Kabob”
The month of May not be known for much more than Memorial Day and Mother’s Day, but this week is American Craft Beer Week, a nationwide celebration of small, independent breweries. It seems the Phoenix Metro Area is home to more craft beer production in 2013 than ever before, and no celebration would be complete without recognition of Four Peaks, a pioneer of successful craft brewing in Arizona. Four Peaks has grown since its 1996 founding and now has a second production facility, but its original location remains in an historic building on 8th Street in Tempe.
|fish and chips|
The corner, a simple geometric concept, has always been larger than life in popular culture. In “Down on the Corner,” Creedence Clearwater Revival sang about playing at an intersection for spare change. A few years later, Barbra Streisand compared memories to the “corners of my mind.” On streets throughout the region, so many corners look the same that an irregular one is interesting in itself. In Tempe, the literally off-the-grid intersection of Terrace and Apache is home to Curry Corner, a Pakistani restaurant that incorporates its location into its name.