Phoenix Bucket List - 100 Things to Do Before You Die: Bikini Lounge, Posh, and the MIM
Welcome to the Phoenix Bucket List. Robrt Pela and Amy Silverman -- two New Times contributors and longtime Phoenicians -- have put together a list of 100 things to do in this city before you die. Each week we're presenting another 10; in March we'll wrap it all up in a cover story in New Times. For now, stay tuned to Valley Fever for more installments and be sure to share your suggestions in the comments section. Today, Robrt Pela presents the next 10 items on the list.
Andrew Pielage The Bikini.
Go to Bikini Lounge with a Twentysomething
It's the ultimate hipster hangout, and manages to pull off being retro and up-to-the-minute trendy at the same time. Corner-tabled in the Bikini's murk, one can easily imagine it's 1966, when Grand Avenue was chockablock with similarly divey bars, and that the festively tiki-themed surroundings are new and all the rage. People "of a certain age" hang here, too, and for the best Bikini blast, a late night on the patio with DJ Shane and a bunch of people who were recently teenagers is a real Grand experience.
Have a Dining Adventure at Posh
Nikki Buchanan Chef Josh Hebert gets creative at Posh.
Ours is a city overrun with good restaurants, but only one Posh, which offers "improvisational cuisine"--meaning Chef Joshua Hebert and his culinary team prepare a tasting menu based on what you like to eat. What? No, really. Josh and his friendly, hardworking staff offer an interactive and adventurous meal, before which you send Josh a note telling him what you don't like to eat, and he sends out amazing entrees--halibut cheeks with lemon aioli; mushroom-braised veal with morels; seared monkfish with roasted peppers and honest-to-gosh popcorn soup--you won't find anywhere else in town.
Listen to a Street Musician in the Biltmore Tunnel
Talk about your singular experience: The only spot in town where you'll find an underground pedestrian walkway is just east of 24th Street on Camelback Road, where a hollowed-out, tiled tunnel connects the Biltmore shopping mall with the across-the-street Ritz and the Esplanade. Down there, you'll often find a street (or would that be under-the-street?) musician, honking out the blues on a sax or tinkling the ivories on a Korg. It's so darn big city!
Walk through the Exhibitions Rooms at the Arizona State Fairgrounds
In April and again in October, you can check out a 300-pound hog, admire a beribboned mock-apple pie, and ogle some kid's rubber eraser collection at one of the two annual fairs that dock in Phoenix. Both state and county fairs jam the fairgrounds exhibition hall with livestock and science fair experiments; first-place cornbread competitors and enough barnyard animals to fill, well, a barnyard. Touring this stuff is aromatic, rural fun, right here in the city.