Chow Bella

A Downtown Phoenix Wish List: Maple Bacon Donuts and Eight Other Things We Desperately Need

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An Oyster Bar Maybe it was true 25 years ago, but the old story about not being able to get fresh seafood in the desert is hopelessly out-of-date (ever heard of Fed-Ex?), which means there's no reason in the world we can't have a nice simple oyster bar with an abbreviated seafood menu featuring pristine seafood. I'm thinking something along the lines of 100-year-old Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco: a long counter, a handful of seafood options (oysters on the half shell, Dungeness crab, shrimp, Boston clam chowder and smoked fish) and a handful of craft beers. That's it, maybe with good sourdough bread from MJ.

A Rooftop Beer Garden Sam Fox is opening a beer garden on Seventh Street, and Brat Haus offers a great beer list with house-made sausages in Scottsdale. But I want a beer garden with a view right in the heart of downtown -- so I can watch the sunset through a cool skyline and drink from a serious beer menu while eating the hearty stuff that goes well with it: sausages, soft pretzels, fondue, rillettes, maybe even raclette. It wouldn't hurt to throw in a few decent wines either.

Sweet Republic Frozen yogurt is fine if you're desperate for something cold and sweet, but really, how can any self-respecting downtown NOT have an ice cream shop? And not just any old corporate churn but something artisanal and insanely creative, something like Sweet Republic, which has earned loads of national attention for good reason. It would be heavenly to have Salted Butter Caramel, Earl Grey Tea, Mayan Chocolate, Honey Blue Cheese and Basil Lime Sorbet three minutes from the office. Helen, are you listening?

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Nikki Buchanan