Pigtails

A hundred years ago, the United States was engaged in the 13-year experiment known as Prohibition. After alcohol was banned, illegal bars known as speakeasies proliferated as a way around restrictions. Although the 1933 repeal of Prohibition made underground bars unnecessary, it’s not uncommon a century later to have semi-hidden, although perfectly legal, bars that are colloquially described as speakeasies. Downtown Phoenix has several, and one known as Pigtails operates in obscurity despite being in the heart of the central business district.

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SoSoBa

One of the most interesting food scenes in Arizona isn’t anywhere in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It’s nearly 150 miles to the north of the state capital in Flagstaff. The mountain city of just over 70,000 people has recently garnered culinary respect for its homegrown restaurants and local purveyors. Beyond favorable media coverage and social media chatter, there’s another important indicator of Flagstaff’s gastronomic success when one of the city’s eateries branches out to open a second location in the much larger and more competitive Phoenix market.

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Adams Table

For decades, the wedding cake design of the Hyatt Regency hotel has been part of the city’s central business district and convention center. More recently, the Hyatt brand has been extended more broadly with the mid-priced Hyatt Place concept, including a newly built property just a few blocks away at Second Avenue and Adams Street. With a moderately priced hotel, there is also a need for a more casual restaurant. Adams Table, named for the street named for the nation’s second president, is now filling that role at the new hotel in downtown Phoenix.

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Ocotillo

Almost every Phoenician has had some exposure to ocotillo, the desert shrub (technically not a cactus) known for its numerous spiny stalks that tower up to 20 feet high. The plant is a frequent component of local home xeriscapes, and specimens can be seen on any hike in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. In spring, vibrant red flowers appear at the end of each of its protuberances. With myriad branches growing in every direction but all leading to gorgeous blossoms, the ocotillo plant is an apt metaphor for a new restaurant in Midtown Phoenix that bears its name. Continue reading “Ocotillo”

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