This Saturday and Sunday is Art Detour 22, the annual do-it-yourself gallery and studio tour of downtown Phoenix. Our "Arty Girl" Lilia Menconi has been diligently previewing some of the most interesting Art Detour shows this week -- but what about the eats? Yesterday we brought you food on Grand Ave. Today, we're dishing out tasty suggestions for dining on or around Roosevelt Row and the First Friday Orange Line that runs down Central.
Roosevelt Row is closed off on First Fridays between Central Ave. and 7th St. for the Phoenix Phoestival, a monthly street fair with art, clothing, jewelry and other merchants. Along this strip, you'll also find sno cone vendors, flavored popcorn, The Tamale Store and other catering booths, plus food trucks like Sweet Republic's signature orange vintage 1959 Chevy. Check out our blog on What's Cooking at First Fridays for more info.
Sweet Republic and several other food vendors will return during Art Detour for the m7 Street Fair, 11am-5pm on Saturday on 7th Ave between Indian School Rd. & Camelback.
The Row Continues, Saturday and Sunday
It's easy to find food on or near Roosevelt Row. The bad news is that a lot of nearby restaurants are tiny, and packed on First Fridays, so you might have to wait for a table. Tip: If you're headed down for Art Detour on Saturday or Sunday, choose an off-time such as 2 or 3 p.m. for your best chance to get right in.
Matt Carter's Nine 05 at 905 4th St. offers upscale Asian cuisine from dumplings to duck crepes to shrimp fried rice, just 1 block from the bustle of Roosevelt, where you'll find the $99 Art Show at 515 Arts and painter Brian Boner at monOrchid.
If you're in a wine and cheese mindset, try Cheuvront at 1326 N. Central. Beer and wraps more your speed? Carly's Bistro (take the word "bistro" with a grain of salt here) at 128 E. Roosevelt is cozy and relaxed, with decent grub and a continually packed house. Local art on the walls here, too.
- Pop in for coffee and a pastry at Conspire or Tammie Coe Cakes. For stiffer drinks, there's Roosevelt Tavern.
- A couple of blocks away, the trifecta of PastaBAR/Sens/The Turf at 705 N. 1st St. have never failed to please. (Tip: Skip the Turf's shepherd's pie in favor of another Guinness, as it doesn't hold up to the other Irish bars in town.)
- Portland's Restaurant at 105 W. Portland St. is offering $3 beer specials and new art by Tom Cooper during the Detour. They've also got Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m. with $2 off glasses of wine.
Off the Beaten Path:
- Alwun House, while technically on Roosevelt, is in a residential neighborhood all by its lonesome. Make your trip there purposeful by first hitting up Tradiciones in the Pro's Ranch Market at 16th St. and Roosevelt for some enchiladas, chicken mole or Lomo Azteca (pork in chipotle cream sauce). Tip: If you're with a group, don't pass up the family-style platter with tableside-grilled meats.
- Headed up to Practical Art at 5070 N. Central? Postino Central's delicious paninis are just a short trip away at 5144 N. Central.
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The First Friday orange bus line is a little sparse and scattered, but there are quite a few excellent eating options along the way if you're headed to these galleries on the outskirts of Art Detour territory.
- What used to be a department store is now a sophisticated downtown dining spot at Hanny's, 40 N. 1st St. They've got ok pizzas, salads and small noshes, but it's the hip (read: slightly pretentious) surroundings and the cocktails that people really come here for.
- Plain Jane offerings like PB&J and the BLT get trendy at District Kitchen & Wine Bar, 320 N. Third St. in the Sheraton. The decor includes a nice selection of local and national art.
- Seamus McCaffrey's pub (think beer and Irish-American pub grub) at 18 W. Monroe is beloved by locals, as is Los Dos Molinos, which offers Gringo-friendly Mexican food.
- Don't expect no frills or fancy digs at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe, 808 E. Jefferson St., which offers rib-stickin' soul food. Dieters beware -- everything exceptin' the plates is fried. Walking distance from Heritage Square.
- Right next to the new Artlink Heritage Square Gallery, you'll find Chris Bianco's famed pizzeria, as well as Bar Bianco and The Rose & Crown Pub. Even with Bianco hands-off these days, the pizza's worth the wait. And yes, you'll wait. And wait, and wait, and...