Typically, the fur really flies over on our brother blog, Up on the Sun, while things stay pretty staid around here at Chow Bella. But our esteemed food critic, Michele Laudig (who also happens to be our former music editor), keeps telling me that Phoenix is way more passionate about food than music.
Well, I guess so, judging from the response I've gotten to yesterday's wish list -- some of it a little more charged than I expected, given the subject matter. Who would have thought that a request for a popsicle in Phoenix in July would actually piss someone off?
That said, it's clear that this city is legitimately hungry for a lot of things. And that's what I was looking for -- remember, I did ask for your suggestions. You're not hot for bowling and BBQ? Cool. We're glad to hear what you're craving. I ran your list by Michele, and we came up with five more things we agree Phoenix needs. (Not so sure about the Michelin-calibre dining in Phoenix, though. That did get a snort out of Michele. As for me, I purposely steered clear of the high-end stuff in my post, what with that pesky economic downturn and all.)
Before the list, I've got a couple more things on my mind. First, Michele wisely observes (and commenters chimed in on this, too) that in a lot of cases it's not simply that we need something like dim sum or tapas. We've got it. (Though the closing of Lola leaves us in tapas turmoil, certainly.) It's that we need more of it. Phoenix is a giant, far-flung metropolis. Give us more!
Second is this whole chain vs. indie debate. Um, excuse me for saying so, but yawn. Have we really not grown up enough to understand that there are good chains and bad chains, just like there are good mom & pops and bad mom & pops? Limit yourself to either and you are missing out.
The thing that really bothers me about the indie/chain debate is that there are so few people really doing the indie thing well in this town that they wind up in such high demand they practically kill themselves, trying to serve the town. Do Matt and Ernie Pool (the Mom & Pop of Matt's Big Breakfast, The Roosevelt and Giant Coffee) ever get a break? Again, there's room for more. A lot of room.
OK, lecture over. Here's the list. Do let us know what you think. Really.
1. Shabu shabu
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5. A really good Jewish deli