A Downtown Phoenix Wish List: Maple Bacon Donuts and Eight Other Things We Desperately Need
Claire Lawton Rainbow Donuts' maple bacon donut (front right). Available nowhere near downtown Phoenix.
Editor's Note: We've made wish lists before, but this one began with a maple bacon bar. A friend asked where she could find one of those famous donuts she's been hearing about. Rainbow Donuts, we told her -- but not just any Rainbow Donuts, you'll have a long drive to north Phoenix. "Now that's something downtown Phoenix needs," our friend declared. "Maple bacon donuts!" We agree. And Nikki Buchanan has a few other items on her own wish list.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Downtown Phoenix is coming into its own. We've been hearing that fairytale for years now. Shall we talk about all the places we've lost -- Oakville, Sens, Vitamin T, Urban Grocery, Roosevelt Tavern and whatever else I'm forgetting? While it's true that the center of our city finally has a discernible pulse (thanks in large part to ASU's downtown campus), it still has some great big gaping holes in the food and drink department.
Here's my wish list for downtown Phoenix, eight places that would get me -- and keep me -- down there more often.
A 24-Hour Coffee Shop
It's not that we lack for great java joints downtown, but most of them cater to early birds, not night owls, closing their doors long before the hours turn wee. Jobot is the lone ranger, staying open until midnight on the weekdays and 24 hours on the weekend, but that's cold comfort to a college student pulling an all-nighter. We need a coffee shop (not a coffee house) that's open 24/7: an old school, Edward-Hopper kind of place with a counter and cushy booths (ix-nay on the couches), serving breakfast food, great chili, sandwiches, house-made cinnamon rolls, coffeecake, pie and waitresses (yes, waitresses) who keep the coffee coming. The one modern touch would be wifi.
Katsudon from Hana? Yes, please!
Hana Japanese Eatery
Wouldn't it be great if one of our favorite sushi bars had a satellite operation downtown? And while we're at it, let's imagine Hana also offers donburi (meal-in-one rice bowls, including katsudon and oyakodon) and the bento boxes they already serve at lunch in carry-out form. It couldn't hurt to add a couple of izakaya items -- maybe yaki onigiri (crunchy, flattened fried rice balls) and yakitori. Oh yeah, and beer. We need Japanese beer and sake, so let's give Hana #2 a liquor license.
5524 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ