This week, I received a press release from Cooking Light, the "the nation's leading epicurean magazine brand with the largest audience, most epicurean editorial and the most recipes." Fab. It stated that for its July issue, the magazine had named Phoenix's historic Coronado District one of its "Hidden Gems & Delicious Destinations" for the neighborhood's preservation efforts that have led to a "culinary revival of sorts."
First of all, let's be careful about the word "destination," when it comes to directing travelers to good eating in the Valley. As most residents know, there are several top-notch restaurants to be found, but they're not all located in one place thanks to the city's car-dependent layout.
And don't get me wrong, the Coronado District is certainly charming, and the magazine's mention of bungalow-housed eateries like the Tuck Shop and The Main Ingredient worthy mentions, but a culinary revival thanks to preservation efforts? When did that happen?
Here's an excerpt from the article:
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"Urban revitalization programs can affect local food. In Phoenix, the Historic Coronado Neighborhood's efforts to preserve and rezone its historic buildings has led to a culinary revival: The neighborhood's meticulously restored bungalow, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Southwestern homes now house some of the best eateries in the city."
With the exception of Rice Paper, which opened last year, it could be argued that the "culinary revival" and "restored bungalow" effort is not new. After all, Tuck Shop opened in 2009. A more accurate but less bungalow-housed observation would be the recent restaurant scene happening on the stretch of Indian School Road between 36th and 56th streets. From current dining sites like Beckett's Table, Cave & Ives, and Kitchen 56, to the recently opened The Little Woody and Crudo, to coming-soon Sushi Brokers and (possibly) a second location of Essence Bakery, the span of Indian School Road is still attracting newcomers.