Ask anyone from Sunnyslope about the odd-shaped building at the end of Murphy Bridle Path, between Central Avenue and the Arizona Canal, and chances are you'll get a multitude of answers.
For years, the historic building's been more or less a revolving door of restaurants. Now, as of February of this year, it's the home of Spoke & Wheel, a cyclist-centric eating and drinking spot from the same folks who own Brick, the gourmet pizzeria in downtown's Arizona Center, and Timo, the wine bar just up the street.
But unlike Brick and Timo, which came out swinging, Spoke & Wheel seems to be, well, spinning its wheels when it comes to establishing its own identity. Even the stated definition of itself on its menu as a "San-Francisco-style tavern and chef-driven eatery serving up contemporary American cuisine with a Southwestern flair" sounds like it needs an interpreter.
Here's an excerpt from this week's review:
"But the uninspired patties have little on another beefy, but leafier, item: the chopped steak salad. More or less a sloppy arrangement of dry pieces of steak, avocado slices, and limp greens blasted with avocado dressing and streaks of an unpleasantly cloying red sauce, the salad looks (and tastes) like it was run through an entirely different kitchen -- specifically, Applebee's."
Want to know more? Read the rest of my review of Spoke & Wheel in Sunnyslope here.