Join us for a live, streamed broadcast of the Mayoral Candidate Forum for a Greater Downtown Phoenix on Monday, June 13 from the ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation. We’ll be front and center at the event, and you’ll be able to look right over our shoulders from the comfort of your desk chair.
To make this work, we need you to download Silverlight. It’s a programming language used by Microsoft that’s often used to get high quality video feeds to homes that may not have the fastest broadband connection available. MLB.TV uses it, and Tyler, our editor, tells us that he loves it, and because he complains about everything, we’ll take that as a vote of confidence (ed note- it does work).
Download Silverlight, then come back there at 5:00 p.m. and we’ll be ready. We may turn the feed on early if there’s something worth watching. If we know, we’ll be sure to update you. Follow all the action on Twitter, hashtag #phxforum
DPJ magazine’s June/July issue is hot off the presses and ready to celebrate a HOT summer. Pick up a copy at one of 300+ locations in and around the Greater Downtown area. Just a few of the issue highlights:
- Welcome | Meet Guest Editor David Leibowitz and read about his love of Downtown Phoenix
- All-Star BUZZ | Check out the rundown of MLB All-Star Week Festivities, taking place right here in July
- All-Star Regular | Read Leibowitz’s interview with Arizona D-Backs’ Luis Gonzalez and get his take on Downtown
- Paving the Way | J. Seth Anderson’s gets the scoop on a cool new parking lot innovation
- Core Values | Tazmine Loomans gives an account of her interesting conversations with the mayoral candidates
- Eats & Drinks | Justin Lee explores the core and more, helping identify the ideal culinary itinerary for locals and visitors alike
- District Beat | Courtney McCune takes the pulse of the city in a new section that celebrates the haps that make Downtown great
- Centerfold Map | Peruse a four-page, pull-out map and visit some new places on your next First Friday adventure (or any day of the month!)
- Stay up to date on all of the latest Downtown buzz and events, including Phoenix Convention Center’s record summer, the opening of the new Torch Theatre…and more!
If you haven’t picked up an issue, click below for an online view!
It can be an exercise in patience trying locate great Italian sausage in Central Phoenix.
Seasoned, snappy pork sausages heady with anise, herbs and other other spices, Italian sausages are the type of hulking, insulated one-biters worth any quest. Unfortunately, even with all of the urban corners available to roost, searching out those sturdy Italian delicatessens or blue-collar corner eateries that might serve these savory links, one too frequently turns up empty-handed. And hungry.
Family-run, and hidden in plain sight along a recklessly racing 7th Street, Calabria Italian Kitchen’s new Coronado home (a relocation from the historic Gold Spot building at Roosevelt St. and 3rd Ave.) is a curious reminder that, despite any previous realizations to the contrary, low-pitched jewels do exist if you look hard enough.
And, Calabria serves good Italian sausage. Spicy, husky cased meat sliced length-wise, pressed inside lightly amber, buttery semolina bread (made daily; locally), concealed under grilled white onions and green peppers, dusted with salt, pepper and oregano. It’s hefty and plainly satisfying.
With a menu of sizable sandwiches (think just-toasted subs) for sit-down or takeaway lunch or dinner, Calabria also serves alternating daily pasta specials and limited sweet options for dessert. It’s Calabria’s sandwiches in particular, however, that have proven to be one of its biggest magnets. From the stuffed eggplant sandwich, sweet with roasted red peppers and marinated, fresh mozzarella; and, the hefty Calabrese sandwich, which, in addition to those roasted red peppers, holds up its heaping build of grilled chicken with salty prosciutto; the petite, casual neighborhood restaurant is a great pit-spot for solid Italian sandwiches.
The Italian sausage is no exception.
Calabria Italian Kitchen is located at 2605 N. 7th St. — 602.264.2664.
DPJ is proud to bring you the best Yelp reviews of your favorite Downtown restaurants, boutiques, venues and everything in between. Every week, visit DPJ for a finely crafted, tell-all account of a Downtown spot straight from the experts: the people!
I’ve only heard about this place through the reviews on Yelp, and from those alone I KNEW I had to go here!
So, the hubs and I set out on Saturday night at about 6:30ish. We arrived and it was already pretty busy. All the tables were seated and there were people in the lounge area. However, the bar was open, and we could be seated immediately, so we snagged a couple stools.
We were hungry and wanted to try a couple things. For starters, we got the cheese curds and the fries and gravy. The curds were OK, I would have liked a crunchier batter on them, but they were seasoned very well. The fries and gravy were the showstopper of the appetizers! Herbed parsnips and potatoes, Gruyere cheese and THE MOST heavenly mushroom gravy. Seriously soooooo good!
Next up were the shrimp po’boys. They are served on freakin’ popovers!!!! These little gems were mouth watering! And I really don’t eat a whole lot of shrimp, but damn!
Last was the main event. Citrus-brined fried chicken and white cheddar cheese waffles! GOOD LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cant stop thinking about that meal! We had a couple glasses of wine and some of that housemade ginger ale — phenominal!
The bartender/waitress was soooo friendly, loved her! The atmosphere was pretty chill.
Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention, they bring a little ball of cookie dough out as a bite of dessert, FOR FREE! Just the right amount after the feast we had!
We will for sure be going back, hopefully the bar will be open, because they were quoting people 45-minute waits all night long and I am sooo not down for that kind of wait.
Tuck Shop is located at 2245 N. 12th St. in Coronado — 602.354.2980
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The DPJ Yelper of the Week offers honest insight on a Downtown business to help you explore your core. DPJ hopes that by partnering with Yelp to spread the good word about well-loved Downtown spots, you’ll spread your patronage and support local business.
Yelp is a social networking and local search engine that provides the reviews of places and things that matter to you. Simply log in, pick a place and queue up your inner critic. You can write a beaming review of your favorite gelato spot, or a scathing portrayal of that rental car facility you had to use after that curb came out of nowhere. Yelp’s reviews are at once honest, uncensored, wildly hilarious and true. Heck, the site must be doing something right — it had 39 million viewers just last month!
When cruising down 16th Street, it doesn’t take long to realize why the New Times voted it 2010’s “Best Street in Phoenix.” The abundance of shops, boutiques and eateries has not only brought life to the once overlooked street, but also revitalized the businesses that have waited patiently for their time to shine.
Boom Boom LaRue, Universal Furnishings and Offerings, Two Hippies Beach House, Barrio Café and Ranch Market have all made their mark on the stretch spanning from Midtown to Garfield, whether intentional or not.
Boom Boom LaRue could easily go unnoticed from the thousands of commuters who make their way down the street daily, but it is a staple to a very present and colorful community planting its roots in the Valley. From designer wigs, to size 14 high heels, to custom jewelry, this store truly has something for everyone.
“Our clientele is literally across the board,” co-owner Joseph Paul explains. “We cater to everything from weddings, proms and drag queen pageants.”
Boom Boom LaRue has been in business for more than eight years, but moved to 16th just three years ago.
“The move to 16th Street was not intentional,” Paul continues. “A friend actually persuaded us to move down here. And, last year we expanded our store and now have a section for men — all this in a recession.”
Boom Boom and 16th Street couldn’t be a better pair. Paul credits the traffic partially to the fact that 16th is the first major street commuters hit when exiting SR-51 heading west into Central Phoenix.
The same curious shopper perusing the goods at Boom Boom LaRue can’t help but find him or herself wandering next door into a wonderland of refurbished and recycled goods.
Universal Furnishings and Offerings (UFO) has called 16th Street its home for nearly two years. Leonardo Ramirez, owner of UFO, said he had no idea what he was getting himself into.
“I was only going to rent an office space in the building for my graphic design business,” Ramirez recalls.
It was purely the right timing and perfect opportunity. Filling the space was easy, according to Ramirez, who had numerous storage units filled with collectibles ready to be sold. Aware this might not be the ideal time to open a new business, Ramirez understood resale is doing well, particularly in a recessionary economy.
While Ramirez admits he is struggling, he has faith that people will see the use in the reused, recycled and refurbished goods he has to offer.
“I invite people to see things differently,” Ramirez says.
Besides giving new life to old things, UFO offers sewing classes and wall space to local artists. And, while 16th Street became somewhat of an accidental home for UFO, Ramirez couldn’t be happier.
“There is a cultural variation on 16th Street that’s trying to deal with itself,” Ramirez says of the cluster of eclectic businesses (and mindsets).
When thinking of the “cultural variation” now overcoming 16th Street, one cannot pass by Two Hippies Beach House without taking a second look.
Opening its doors only seven months ago, Two Hippies already has neighborhood regulars who walk their dogs down the surprisingly quiet residential streets that branch off 16th Street and plant themselves on the porch of the Beach House. They know the owner Robert Miller by name, and come prepared to partake in the tasty and incredibly affordable street food. Miller says it was no accident that he landed on 16th Street.
“I lived in this area before and when the place came available, I thought it was a perfect match,” Miller says.
Although the Beach House has not been open long, Miller says business is good.
“People will come if you bring them something special and a little quirky,” Miller explains.
There’s no shortage of quirky at the beach house. The inside could easily resemble the set of a Cheech and Chong movie, but there’s also a certain comfort and old neighborhood feel that welcomes all.
The food is cheap and good, and Miller has somehow captured a true beach house feel in Central Phoenix, minus the sand and oceanfront, of course. The Beach House even hosts live music every second Saturday.
But Two Hippies aren’t the only ones with live music. Just a block south, Barrio Café features live entertainment on the weekends.
During the day, it might be easy to zoom past Barrio Café without realizing its presence, but nearly impossible to pass by at night. The custom ironwork, illuminated bar and line of patrons wrapped around the corner sparks the curiosity of countless drivers. But it’s not just the ambiance that keeps the customers coming back.
The restaurant planted its roots on 16th Street in 2002 and has no intentions of letting go. Partners Wendy Gruber and chef Silvana Salcido Esparza provide authentic southern Mexico cuisine and original creations in a modest locale that has food junkies from all over the Valley flocking to this unconventional location.
The laid-back café has only one golden rule: no reservations. Despite having only 17 small tables, patrons don’t mind waiting hours for a chance to indulge in the unique cuisine. In fact, they usually pass the time while sipping on decadent margaritas.
Richard Vick has worked at Barrio Café for just under six years.
“We’re always busy, every day of the week,” he says. “There really is no down time here, business is great on 16th Street.”
The bar, crafted out of an unfinished antique door with keyhole intact, is understandably tiny and only seats two. Outside, there is plenty of seating, allowing those who are waiting for their tables to watch the traffic go by and take in the urban vibe of the street.
As 16th forms the eastern edge of the Garfield neighborhood near Roosevelt Street, you cannot miss the mega grocery store that is Ranch Market.
The Hispanic supermarket is one of only nine in a chain that spans just three Southwest states.
Walk inside Ranch Market and you are sure to be overwhelmed. La Cocina, the kitchen, is the first of many departments you will encounter within the market.
Whether you’re in the mood for fresh baked goods, hot tortillas or homemade authentic Hispanic refreshments, La Cocina offers it all. But that’s just beyond the front doors. There’s an entire grocery store still left to explore.
Despite all the success Ranch Market is experiencing, there are still so many in the Valley who have yet to venture inside. It’s truly a world of its own, with foods, colors and smells inspired by Latin America.
16th Street has been overlooked for sometime, often serving as a quicker north-south route than 24th or 7th streets. But that is all changing, with artists, visionaries and chefs calling the humble street home. People are listening and making 16th Street a deserving Central Phoenix destination.
Boom Boom LaRue is located just north of Osborn Road at 3606 N. 16th St. Universal Furnishings and Offerings is a door south at 3602 N. 16th St. Two Hippies Beach House is just south of Earll Drive at 3102 N. 16th St. Barrio Café is a block south of Thomas Road at 2814 N. 16th St. Ranch Market is at the northeast corner of 16th and Roosevelt streets at 1602 E. Roosevelt St.