Ten More Food Fixes Phoenix Needs

Categories: Top Lists

paleta betty.jpg
Betty made our paleta dream come true.
​I got cranky a few months ago, and I made a list. A list of food-related things Phoenix needs. I just looked back on that list, and am delighted to report that we've now got two out of five. Not bad.

OK, so we got that fancy-schmancy bowling alley. And a paleta shop. Still no salt store, and I don't see any more healthy chains coming our way (though we did finally get that Pita Jungle on Roosevelt Street). But the odds weren't bad on the first wish list, so I'm going to break out a new one.

This time I consulted with our super-smart Chow Bella staff; there was no shortage of ideas, including one Michele Laudig tossed out last week -- funky doughnuts. In fact, we might break out another list next week. It wouldn't be hard to do one for Mill Avenue alone!

Warning: There's nothing super high-end on this list so I'm sure I'll piss off the folks I pissed off last time. But hey, it's Phoenix. Get over it, people.

Here's my list. Please -- make your own. Leave it in our comments section, or email me at amy.silverman@newtimes.com and maybe we'll publish your list, too.

Get the list after the jump.  


1. Farrell's.

That's right, I said Farrell's, the chain ice cream parlour that you remember, if you are of a certain age. I want Farrell's back. (If you grew up here you'll get that I also want Bombay Bicycle Club, Lunt Avenue Marble Club and Joe Hunt's back, but for now, I'll take Farrell's.) The origiinal Scottsdale location on Indian School west of Scottsdale Road is even available, since that Fuddrucker's thankfully bit the dust. You might think Farrell's is a figment of the past, but there are two locations in California and two in Hawaii and definitely room for one here. I'll even sit through the scary "Zoo" processions that terrified me as a child. 

2. Bad Chinese Food. 

fortune.jpg
​Yep, you read that right. We need some cheap, crappy Chinese food, and we need it now. (We also need some really good Chinese food, my Chow Bella colleagues observe, and they are right.) You know what I'm talking about. The dive on the corner where you don't want to look too closely at anything, including your plate, but somehow find yourself there (or better yet, ordering take out) at least once a week. 

If you want to go the franchise route, check out this too-cool-for-school (or Phoenix?) spot. 

3. A Cheese Shop. 

For a brief time we had one, in Lara Mulchay's wonderful Petit Fromage. Alas, Petit Fromage bit the cheese, er, dust.

4. And for that matter... Grilled Cheese, Please.

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​A grilled cheese shop. This is a trend we'd love to see Phoenix get on. What, you say? That's so New York? Yes. But even Denver's got one

5. A Really Good Jewish Deli.

We've said this before, but it bears repeating. We need a good Jewish deli. For the record, Stan's Metro Deli was not it, and I don't know anyone who was sad when it closed its Tempe doors (again).

bomans.jpg
​Remember Bomans on Scottsdale Road? We need Bomans. Or import something from out of town. And please, while you're at it, stock the place with some Jews. I know they are hard to find in these parts, but really, a Jewish deli needs someone who knows the difference between Hanukkah and Passover. Make sure your deli counter looks good, too. I was in Chompie's the other day and almost swooned, the salads all looked so crusty and hard -- and not in a good way. 

6. More food trucks.

We need more of everything in this city: more community gardens, more street food, more one-ingredient restaurants. But what we really need is critical mass when it comes to the food truck thing. In Austin, they're throwing food truck festivals -- though to be honest, even those hipsters have their headaches. And Portland -- well, you know about Portland. Hey, there are empty lots in downtown Phoenix. Set up a food truck court! Every day!

7. A Cocktail/Dessert Bar.

Or three. Think of the creative possibilities! Oh wait, someone already has

8. Meatballs.

It's true. There exists an all-meatball shop. In New York. We want our own! (Hey Lisa G, we loved the balls at your now-defunct cafe/bar! What are you up to?!)

9. Originality.

Speaking of balls, it's time for Phoenix to get some. Yeah, yeah, I just gave you a list of (mostly) stuff other people have already done in other cities. I get that. Annoying. But hey, you've got to start somewhere with the dreaming, so why not with someone else's make-em-at-your-table pancakes, an awesome idea out of -- yep, you guessed it, Portland. 

So why can't Phoenix be even better (or at least as original as) Portland? Why can't we come up with ideas that others will slobber all over and want to copy?  We need to take advantage of what we've got here in town, starting with Latino culture, which we tend to embrace with a pinkie finger.

 

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amenfoto.com
​How about an agua fresca/horchata/Mexican hot chocolate bar (sure, toss in some margaritas) with a small artisan bakery offering fresh-baked Mexican pastries, breads and even homemade candy? Not gigantic like Pro's Ranch Market (even though I'm a fan) but boutiquey -- toss in some super-cool Mexican crafts, as well. Maybe someone's doing that somewhere, but I've never seen it -- and I want it here in my hometown!

Don't you?

10. PIE. 

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phxfood.com
​Pie, pie, pie. Was our Pie Social last year a big enough hint? How about all the press the awesome Pie Lab has gotten, including today on Jackalope Ranch

Keep your eye on the pie, Phoenix. Do it right and this could be big.



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39 comments
MaxFischer
MaxFischer

Lunt Avenue Marble Club? You are my frigging hero! I LOVED that place as a kid! Remember Margraph's Pharmacy (in what now is Boston Markey), best malts in the city.

I would also like White Castle, I know we have Chicago Hamburger Co. and they're great, but it would be nice to have White Castle here.

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

You want to have the biggest possible impact on the city, narrow this list down to one item. What Phoenix needs is more interest in the basics. We have a trendy place that serves eight different breeds of hotpot, but nowhere that serves a basic straight-up shabu shabu. We have competing neo-Chinese spots opening up in Old Town, but a dearth of actual Chinese. Vettel gives Soi 4 as many stars, but damned if I can find a place that does straight-up Issan. It's like we're dead-set on taking 300 level classes before we've learned the fundamentals. What we need is a little popular interest in the roots of the trendy cuisine that seems to be the only thing anybody can sell.

Gika
Gika

I miss Bomans too, what happened to that place????

Vicelord
Vicelord

This list cracks me up. You talk about all the things other cities have that you think we need, and then say Phoenix needs originality. Two conflicting ideas, eh?

Also, have you not been to Scott's Generations? As good as any Jewish deli I've been to in Chicago.

Michael Lopez
Michael Lopez

Someone - anyone - even attempting to sell poutine. I know Tuck Shop did it/does it and a few other high end restaurants like to claim they offer some variation of it, but a food cart selling poutine would absolutely clean up in this town.

Donna
Donna

I want East Coast style Chinese restaurants where they put a bowl of won ton strips and duck sauce on the table when you are seated just like Mexican restaurants do with chips and salsa.

Crazed Country Acid Head
Crazed Country Acid Head

phoenix needs either a white castle burger or krytsal burger here. us southern white trash need to eat as much grease as possible in our lifetimes. no charge for extra grease.

Jag
Jag

Yikes, why does the author have so much negativity toward Phoenix? The last two posts I read from Amy (usually just read Laudig) have included pointless digs at the city this blog is intended for. I take it she is not happy here...okay, we get it.

Also, this just seems like a list of all the "in" food trends across the country.

guesticle
guesticle

Who is editing these articles? I suppose publication standards online are more lax? An unfortunate trend. Someone needs to call me. Fashizzle.

Wendy
Wendy

Tazo. I miss Tazo that was down on Baseline and Central about 6 years ago. Great mexican cafe and pastery's and super affordable. made running the mountain tolerable.

Murillo8sm
Murillo8sm

Farrell's! Yes! I absolutely remember going there and loving it.

My picks would be for more nursery garden cafes and a super nachos pedi-cart with Mexican Aguas Frescas. Refreshing!

Lance Boyle
Lance Boyle

Grandy's. The only one in the state was in Tucson, and it's gone now.

Joel LaTondress
Joel LaTondress

Meatballs, grilled cheese, more food trucks...and originality??? Hmmm....

GretaJordanWhitworth
GretaJordanWhitworth

White Castle, Bob Evans, Steak and Shake, Skyline Chili...can you tell I'm from Ohio? :)

GJW1221
GJW1221

How is White Castle NOT on this list?

Toc001
Toc001

A good German restaurant with a Zither player! Zigeuner Rost Braten! Spaetzle! etc.

Doublen
Doublen

Ah man! I loved Bowman's. I have faint memories of them from my childhood, which is about all they were around for for me. I was so bummed to see the old building tore down for landscaping. I was still holding out hope they'd be back.

carolb
carolb

that painted pastry menu would make a cool Hermes scarf pattern!

davelog
davelog

As luck would have it, Chicago Hamburger Co also has staggeringly great malts. Try the chocolate-coffee malt!

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

Sadly, that's as much a commentary on Chicago as it is on Scott's. Let's just say that Jewish deli isn't one of Chicago's strong points.

That said, having a place like Manny's for corned beef and pastrami, at least, makes that a lot easier to overlook. I'd be pretty thrilled with a place like that here.

Vicelord
Vicelord

Beaver Choice has it. Not sure why you think it would clean up, it's a heart attack in a cup.

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

thanks for your comment, jag -- i appreciate the criticism, though i do believe that chow bella does not include nearly enough criticism itself.... serving the city doesn't mean just pointing out the positive. and yeah, as i said myself in the post, that post was mostly a recitation of food trends that have yet to hit phoenix.... never said i was trying to write the food bible, i leave that to michele. but there is room for lots of voices -- and for more establishments, risk-taking, and yeah, trend-following as well as trend-setting. thanks for reading!

Lboyle
Lboyle

She's just bitter because articles like this and the tired old 'hates you' shtick are all she can produce. Journalism gets trickier after high school.

Bex
Bex

OMG- YES! A skyline chili would make me a happy camper!

Crazed Country Acid Head
Crazed Country Acid Head

the best place to eat home cooked southern meals and just about all other meals Mexican,Italian ,German,Jewish etc and old 1960s hippie health food is at my pad. im not kidding you. all sexy females are fed for free at my pad. im the best home cooked home made food male cook in this city. im not fat either and im for real! i been cooking home made meals for over 40 years. i started as a teenager at 13 years old.

gomer79
gomer79

lol, i lived in ohio for years, and the thought of all of those makes me feel gross. lol. You forgot Mr. Hero (Cleveland Area) :D

Debra
Debra

There's two in Mesa in the same plaza on Main Street. I prefer the smaller one not the Bavarian place.

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

actually the last time i checked, it was possible to be both original and take nods from what others do well. there's room for both in phoenix -- more than enough room.

Michael Lopez
Michael Lopez

Not sure why it would clean up? Have you ever had good poutine?

Lance Boyle
Lance Boyle

We love heart attack food. Won't work in a cup, though, that would take 2 hands to eat. Poutine on a stick would take the valley by storm, because then you could eat it while driving.

carolb
carolb

Cleveland? Grinder's-subs. Amy Joy- donuts.Corky and Lenny's-corned beef.

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