Among America’s great cities, the name of Phoenix, Arizona, does not loom large. “Yoghurt,” the old joke goes, “has more culture than Phoenix.” This is a city where even the poshest eating establishments have TVs behind the bar tuned to the sports channel. Nobody seems to actually come from here – the rapidly expanding city is populated largely by incomers, attracted by low taxes, attractive property prices, desert heat and killer sunsets. So what the hell am I doing here, among the gun-totin’ and Trump-votin’? It’s because there has been a concerted effort to regenerate, revivify, reinvent. With museums and galleries a-plenty, that culture sneer is no longer valid; plus there’s a wealth of mid-century modernism and an expanding light rail system to whisk you around. But the main reason I’m here is for the food. Phoenix is being reborn as “a foodie oasis in the Arizona desert”. Sure, it takes a while to recalibrate sensibilities – the best restaurants can turn out to be in strip malls or gated communities, and “down the road” might mean a 30-minute drive. But the sense of a city on the cusp is palpable. Downtown, especially around Roosevelt Row – pretty much a… Read full this story
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