Author: Justin Lee

Justin Lee

If there is one singular structure anywhere in this city that best personifies freelance writer, armchair architect and rabid chowhound Justin Lee, it need be Midtown’s Phoenix Financial Center. Affectionately referred to locally as the “punchcard building,” and iconified by local artists ad infinitum, this mid-century looker draws polarizing judgments on each end of the humanity spectrum. It encapsulates everything Lee adores and (constructively) loathes about the desert city in which he was proudly born and bred. Standing off-center but perfectly proud, easily not suburban, but never entirely urban, the PFC exists as a coda of what Lee believes to be Phoenix’s begrudging past mistakes, as well as its verging possibilities to come. Something unique to itself — something uncharacteristically Phoenix.

‘Mystery Restaurant’ to Debut Downtown?

March 10, 2011 | By

A nationwide culinary trend for years, “pop-up” restaurants have been conspicuously absent from Phoenix. But is that about to change?

More with’s David Bickford

February 10, 2011 | By

Further investigating eats and drinks along the light rail line with the Phoenix blogger.

More Cheap Eats

November 4, 2010 | By

An expansive list of Cheap Eats in Downtown Phoenix.

Nobuo at Teeter House: From Conception to Reality

August 3, 2010 | By

Nobuo at Teeter House followed a long, precise journey of architectural and culinary exploration leading to the unveiling of its dinner menu this evening.

‘Top Chef’ Coming to Phoenix

June 18, 2010 | By

The Top Chef Tour makes a stop at the Phoenix Public Market on Saturday, June 19.

Bringing Fast-Casual to the Core: Verde

April 21, 2010 | By

Verde is combining affordable, quality food with quick service and an eco-friendly stance in creating Downtown Phoenix’s newest restaurant.

A Weekend Devoured

March 16, 2010 | By

This past weekend’s newly minted Devoured Culinary Classic was a celebration of local eateries, Arizona wineries and demonstrations from some of the Valley’s most lauded chefs.

Hula’s Modern Tiki: Pupus, Pork Plates, Mai Tais and More

October 2, 2009 | By

Presenting a snazzy, reinvented example of an older mid-century aesthetic, Hula’s Modern Tiki in Uptown is a welcome addition to not only the neighborhood, but also the entire city.

Smooth as Crema: The Design of Royal at the Market

September 18, 2009 | By

Royal at the Market, the sharply designed coffee nook in the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar building, shares pedigree with Royal Coffee Bar, the equally slick Downtown coffee pioneer at 2nd Avenue and Jackson Street.

Opening Soon: Urban Grocery and Wine Bar

September 16, 2009 | By

The much-anticipated opening of the Phoenix Public Market’s new Urban Grocery & Wine Bar is nearing reality.