BEST DOWNTOWN DESTINATION Phoenix 2005 - City Bakery and Poisoned Pen Central at Bentley Projects - CLOSED
600 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
This is what Phoenix has been waiting for. When Bentley Projects opened its doors a while back, we knew something special was happening. If you haven't been yet, go immediately. Don't be swayed by the "un-Phoenix" location, so far off the beaten path it's actually south of Bank One Ballpark. The Bentley folks wisely enclosed their small enclave and provided plenty of parking. Particularly in the light of day, you'll laugh at yourself for worrying about your Benz, once you arrive. And once you arrive, make sure you first walk through the airy, industrial gallery space, home to some of the most insightful, sophisticated (and expensive, but don't worry, you're just looking) art in the Valley. Then head through Poisoned Pen bookstore (again, don't worry -- the managers have wisely included non-mysteries among their collection, as well as kids' books and a small stationery section) to City Bakery, Arcadia Farms' latest outpost. Arcadia Farms is everywhere in Phoenix -- including the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Art Museum, and the Heard Museum. But that hasn't diluted the quality of operations, at least not at City Bakery, where the staff is friendly even as the line reaches out the door, which has started to happen at lunchtime. City Bakery is wireless, so if you can find a table, you can park with a laptop and a bottomless glass of apricot iced tea. When it's time to eat, your biggest challenge will be choosing between the curry chicken salad and the PLT (prosciutto, lettuce and tomato). Be sure to leave room for a cupcake or another treat from the bakery case. And knock yourself upside the head, hard, when you leave. Yes, you're really in Phoenix!