phoenix city grill
i've lived around the corner from this place for 6 years without ever walking through the door. i think it's proximity to what used to be a corner of not unshabby merchants made me think that it, too, was undeserving.
after reading the reviews on here though, ive been meaning to give it a shot, and when we were trying to figure out where to go to lunch this morning, we remembered pcg. i called about 11:50 for a reservation for 2 at 12:15, and was i glad i did!
i arrived at 12:15 on the dot and the other patrons waiting in the vestibule seemed more than a bit peeved when we were immediately led through the packed room to a table.
the place was HOPPING. the servers seemed a bit stressed, by my companion noted that he recognized most of the patrons from the local hospital staffs.
we ordered drinks which came promptly despite the rushed atmosphere. my companion (ok, my dad) ordered the hamburger despite me telling him about the rave reviews for the potroast, but he's a big burger guy. i actually got the sirloin which was a lot for lunch, but i've been craving steak for a bit. we got a salad to start that we planned to split.
drink refills were prompt, and the salad, though generic, was good. lettuce crisp, the grape tomatoes were ripe, etc.
Our meals were spectacular. Mine was an 8 oz steak that was perfectly cooked to medium rare, with sauteed button mushrooms and a double baked potato. The potato was to die for, whipped with tons of cheese and a great golden crust. The mushrooms were.... mushrooms, but good.
The burger was also impressive, with crispy fries, and salsa on the side. My dad who is a burger afficianado, swears this is one of the better burgers he's had (for comparison, he was also recently impressed with delux's burger at lunch).
Really, there was nothing much to complain about. Plates lingered quite a bit on our table, but it was very busy, and the staff seemed stressed by it (although if its always this busy, they shouldn't be). I was also surprised that my steak did not come with a salad, but I believe it was only 4$ to add one, which we split easily.
the bill was not outlandish, but also not cheap for lunch, with tip it was 60$ (due mostly to my steak, which was 25$, the burger was 10$). We agreed we'd be back.
Yeah, I was so looking forward to it, but apparently, Ike's has been scrapped as a concept, and won't be opened at all, anywhere. The market is too crowded already. There was an article somewhere recently about it (although it might have been the Central Corridor news or some other such nonpaper)
I was actually saying to the guys at Kampai that central phoenix needs a really good sushi bar, and if they relocate, that would be the perfect location. Cheap rent, PCG around the corner, across from Richardsons, etc. Certainly a better idea than moving to Scottsdale where they're competing with every other sushi joint.
Re: Ike's Farmer's Market
I'm a vendor for stores like this...Sprout's, WFM, WO, Sunflower, AJ's, etc.
Ike's is in fact opening. The first one will be in Oro Valley and is due to open mid-April. I have deliveries there for mid-March. The one in Central Phoenix is due for late 3Q. Ike's will be a competitor of Sprout's, Sunflower, etc., not as high end as WFM, WO, AJ's. I'll keep you updated.
Speaking of groceries in North Central, it looks like the shopping center at 12th and Northern (site of yet another abandoned Basha's) will house one of the new Tesco Fresh and Easy stores announced recently. That concept (small grocery with both fresh produce and prepared foods but not tobacco, lawn furniture, etc.) sounds exciting. 12th and Northern is becoming a culinary corner almost as interesting as 16th and Bethany.
Yes, Tesco will be at 12th and Northern.
As for work in Ike's...much has been done and they intentionally stopped it when they delayed the opening. You'd be surprised how much can get done in 2-3 months. Particularly since it was already a grocery store, some things won't be changed, i.e., location of diary, frozen, meats, etc. I'll keep y'all in the loop as I hear more.
No more Sprout's are planned to open in AZ in 2007, but there will be 2-3 more in 2008. No new Sunflowers planned either.
The new WFM is due to open in Chandler, another in Scottsdale by the end of this year. And the Tempe location is relocating to Mill Ave in 2008.
I'm glad you enjoyed PCG. My favorite menu item is the black bean soup, which is served by the bowl with cornbread. It's a wonderful simple meal.
Let's hope that something can be done with the abandoned Basha's in the same shopping center. Basha's was supposed to use the site to prototype a new grocery concept called "Ike's Farmer's Market" or something along those lines, but apparently there is a dispute between Basha's, which has a 50-year lease at the site, and the owner of the shopping center. That's too bad because the Ike's concept, which has been described as a competitor to Sprouts, sounds promising, and that corner definitely needs some new life.