Cafe Reviews

EATING MCDOWELLA COOK'S TOUR OF PHOENIX'S FUNKIEST RESTAURANT ROW

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Our incredible eating journey draws to a close at the crossroads of 51st Avenue and McDowell. From the southwest, a high-rise Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel towers above the intersection, but we aren't concerned with it. Our first stop is Little China [28], 5030 West McDowell, in the Crossroads Village mall on the northeast corner.

Little China falls into the quantity-over-quality category. You have a choice here: buffet line or menu. Unfortunately, I learn this only after going to the buffet. The food is strictly serviceable here; nothing thrilled me. McDowell Square, a huge aging plaza on the northwest corner of McDowell and 51st Avenue, houses the last three restaurants we'll check out on our tour. Los Navarros [29], 5124 West McDowell, has been around for nearly twenty years. The accumulation of grease in the air seems about as old. The food is Sonoran-style and portions are big and unappealing. Though a sour cream enchilada is decent, almost everything else isn't.

Rice to You [30], 5132 West McDowell, is another mediocre entry. You can eat in or take out at Rice to You, but most people have it delivered. This little storefront prints so many take-out fliers, it has its own photocopy machine in the back by the rest rooms. The food is average to below-average.

Finally, there's The Italian Corner [31], 5150 West McDowell. This roomy family restaurant would be a great place for hearing live music. Since I have no great expectations for the food, I'm pleasantly surprised when the baked ziti, lasagna and hot Italian sub are pretty good. Not great, but good. On the other hand, I didn't care for the pizza at all.

So that's it, the end of the road--for our gastronomic purposes.
If my tour of McDowell's culinary delights has stimulated your interest enough that you'd like to start exploring the street for yourself, remember: though we've made this tour in one sitting, the research for this article was gathered during several weeks. McDowell cannot be eaten in one day!

In fact, eating McDowell would make a fine summer project for those of you hanging around Phoenix during the hellish months. Get your a.c. cranking and head down the old Miracle Mile. Trust me, the miracle is still happening. If I were condemned to eat on one street for the rest of my days in Phoenix, McDowell might just be it.

Server: You want it spicy? Me: Yes. Server: Very spicy? Me: Yes. Server: Super spicy? Me: Yes.

When a restaurant's major design feature is the particle board covering its windows and walls, how good can the food be?

We put mediocrity behind us as we approach 24th Street, prime eating territory on McDowell. The restaurants are coming thick and fast.

The restaurants this far west are serving the community--which seems to value quantity and convenience over quality.

This McDowell area looks like a moonscape--or a scene from Repo Man: truck rental places, auto detail shops, tire lots and "cocktail lounges."

THE STEIGER STEAMROLLER... NV59-90

Pub:Publication:Phoenix New Times
Info:NV59-90 Category: Column
Page: 5
Keywords: Government
Correction Date: Correction:
Photo/Graphic:

THE STEIGER STEAMROLLER

Tom Fitzpatrick

I had just finished warning Sam Steiger what would happen if he ran for governor. "It won't be easy. They will come out of the dark corners to keep you from becoming governor." Steiger held his pipe tightly in the corner of his mouth. He remained silent for what seemed a long time. When he finally spoke, there was a shade of irony in his voice.

"They won't come after me until they think I'm winning," Steiger said. "But you're right. They'll come after me with guns blazing then."

Steiger jerked the pipe from his mouth. He smiled.
"Look, I'm not a boy," he said. "I understand how these things are done. I know the steps of the dance." Of course, he does. And along the way during his career as a state legislator and U.S. congressman, Steiger has even invented a few new steps.

Steiger's clearly leading the pack at this point. The polls show that, but more important, you can take your own political sounding. He's the only candidate anyone's talking about. He's on his way to winning the Republican party's primary. There's simply no one else in the race who anyone feels is capable of handling the job. Wherever Steiger goes, his candor, wit and obvious intelligence keep winning new supporters.

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Penelope Corcoran