I will start out by apologizing. Most of the time I talk about a coffee joint, people want to know how great its espresso is or how great the drip is. Despite my ravenous thirst for brewed things (i.e., sweet tea and beer), my palate is inept at distinguishing coffee. That might be because I generally cover most of the authentic coffee flavor with copious amounts of sugar and cream — virtually rendering it a mocha or milkshake by definition. So, you are blessed by hearing about the amazing baked goods on their counters and, of course, how their mochas compare to each other.
Lux is most certainly the place to be. If you have not gone there yet, I must ask if you have a pulse or happen to have been stranded on a desert island for the last decade (don’t laugh, it happens — just ask Tom Hanks). The ambiance and overall chill factor make this place a great place to work, talk, indulge or just spend the afternoon. You might even see some local celebs — like Si Robins, Beverly Kidd or Chris Bianco — if you are lucky.
The fact that the staff is so attentive and good at what they do just amplifies their staying power. Upon entering after about your third time, you are almost guaranteed to be greeted by name. They recognize my order a mile away. A velvet (their mocha) and the latest pastry to grace the counter. What can I say. I’m predictable.
On this trip, Lux outdid itself. The velvet is arguably my favorite mocha in town. It is always prepared the exact same way — splendiferous. Creamy and piping hot, there is no denying that this milk chocolaty dream is too good to be true. Each sip is like diving into bliss.
I move on to the crown jewel of the evening, the angel food cake. To mortalize this sugary spectacle by calling it “good” or even “great” would be a slap in the face to its true taste. Every soft, lemony bite was better than the last. The blackberry glaze actually reminded me of the fresh-picked blackberries that my grandmother uses to make her famous blackberry preserves. It made me tear up. Geez, I tear up a lot over food. Don’t judge me.
If the title of this entry or its contents reminded you at all to go to Lux today, consider that I did you a giant favor. Don’t worry, though. You can pay me off with a velvet or a slice of cake.
Lux is located at 4404 N. Central Ave in Midtown (light rail station at Central/Campbell) — 602.696.9976
The Brentwood Historic District, which is part of the Greater Coronado Neighborhood Association, will be holding its first-ever home tour on Sunday, February 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Brentwood residents are inviting the general public to come check out a darling block of 1930s homes, one bonus tree house and a special historic church. The tour will feature two firsts, namely the first home tour ever in the Brentwood Historic District as well as the first time a historic Brentwood church is open to the public. The Church of God in Christ will generously open its doors to the public and display its recent renovation and preservation efforts. Built by the Church of Latter Day Saints and now home to the largest African-American church in the state, this majestic building conveys much cultural, religious and architectural significance.
The tour will be a walking tour of a single block with free parking at the church. The street will be blocked off and tour participants will enjoy music, food and craft vendors and check out some vintage cars. In addition to showing off their homes, Brentwood homeowners will share some of their personal stories of perseverance as they transformed neglected houses into beautiful homes.
A portion of each tour ticket sold will go toward renovating Virginia Park, a small neighborhood park also in the GCNA at 15th Street and Virginia Avenue. Tour headquarters will be at 18th and Willetta streets, just south of McDowell. You can buy tickets there on tour day or buy in advance online.
Lyle Plocher is a licensed Arizona real estate broker with the Urban Connection Realty Team at HomeSmart. Lyle can be reached at email@example.com.
Previous week’s games
2/16/10 SUNS 109, Grizzlies 95
2/17/10 Mavericks 107, SUNS 97
Upcoming week’s games
2/19/10 SUNS vs Hawks, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
2/21/10 SUNS vs Kings, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
2/23/10 SUNS @ Thunder, 6 p.m., My45
2/24/10 SUNS vs 76ers, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
For the last week or so, it looked like Amar’e Stoudemire was definitely on his way out of the Valley of the Sun. Last night’s game against the Mavericks was going to be his curtain call. Then, at approximately 5 p.m. Phoenix time, the Cleveland Cavaliers made a trade for Antawn Jamison of the Washington Wizards. Shortly thereafter, Joe Gambadoro of KTAR reported that Stoudemire would remain a Sun.
At first I thought this would throw wrench into the blogged I had planned out. I was all set to write about what may happen in the city of Phoenix if STAT leaves town. After much eternal debate, I’ve decided to write that blog anyway. So, just in case the reports are incorrect, here is what I expect to see happen if Stoudemire is dealt sometime before today’s 1 p.m. trade deadline.
Schwartz Laser Eye Center will go out of business.
I’m not sure why this hasn’t been talked about yet, but nobody would be affected more by a Stoudemire trade than Dr. Jay Schwartz. Stoudemire has been putting the Schwartz children through college. I’m not just talking about the recent eye problems Stoudemire has had, either. Since arriving in Phoenix back in 2002, he’s been paying visits to Dr. Schwartz. Many people may not realize this, but STAT was legally blind (or at least close to it) in one of his eyes early on in his career. Schwartz fixed that right up. Then, of course, there’s the infamous torn retina that Stoudemire suffered last year. I don’t know how much these different eye procedures cost, but I’m sure those are funds that Dr. Schwartz would hate to lose.
Stoudemire’s Downtown will become Taylor Griffin’s OK BBQ.
This one could happen even if Stoudemire doesn’t get traded with the way the restaurant has performed up to this point. Clearly, paying a big-time athlete to use his name as the name of your restaurant hasn’t helped, so why not let bench-warmer Taylor Griffin take it over? He needs to do something while he’s in Phoenix. Do I have any proof that he can cook? Nope. Do I have any proof that he likes to cook? Nope. Do I have any proof that he has any desire to have a restaurant named after him? Nope. I do know that he’s from Oklahoma, though, so naturally I assume he knows a mean barbecue. Who wouldn’t want to get some barbecue ribs or chicken and corn on the cob before or after a game? I know I would. I know Kenny Bump would be all over this! Mr. Griffin, what are you waiting for?
Young kids in Arizona will go blind.
You’re probably really confused by this one, so let me explain it to you. Kids in Arizona hated wearing protective eye wear. Can you blame them? They mostly look horrible and are a surefire way to encourage bully attacks. A kid wearing glasses is definitely uncool, and said kid never has any lunch money. Wear glasses and want to play sports? You’d get picked on more for wearing hideous goggles. That all changed once Stoudemire began to wear his goggles on the court and his nifty Weezer-esque glasses off it. Now it’s suddenly hip to wear glasses. All the cool kids are doing it. So, what happens if Stoudemire leaves Phoenix? Kids resort back to their old ways. They stop wearing their glasses and start running into things. They get poked in the eyes. Basically, they all go blind. Can Robert Sarver sleep at night knowing he is personally responsible for causing every young child in Arizona to go blind? I know I couldn’t.
So, there you have it. If Stoudemire gets traded, our doctors go out of business and our kids go blind, but we do get a better restaurant. I guess one out of three ain’t bad.
From the Arizona Room is a weekly column examining the historic, reuse and infill structures in Downtown Phoenix. The inspiration for this column stems from the ever-expanding resources in Burton Barr Central Library’s Arizona Room (located on the fourth floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
139 N. 6th St. in Copper Square
The architectural variety in Heritage Square is astounding — from the clean lines of the Arizona Science Center to the bricked fortitude of Pizzeria Bianco, there are no two buildings alike within the space. The Rosson House is no different. Built in 1895, the Rosson House is one of Phoenix’s original homes, and it is one of the only remaining examples of a brief Victorian architectural influence that swept into (and quickly out of) town in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Perhaps the most striking building in Heritage Square (not to downplay the Science Center’s monolithic presence or the Teeter House’s understated charm), the Rosson House is now a museum dedicated to preserving and displaying the history of Heritage Square and the house itself. Specifically, the museum focuses on the period of 1895-1915, when architect A.P. Petit was drawing up plans for structures that quite simply didn’t skimp on the details — ornate structures with soaring cupolas, hand-carved detail work and a great variety of materials. The Rosson House is his only remaining structure.
Dr. Roland Rosson was the original owner of the home, and at one point in time he was the mayor of Phoenix. After his time with the city, Dr. Rosson began to summer elsewhere and rented the home for half the year to National Herald Tribune editor Whitelaw Reid.
Over the years, the home also became known as the Whitelaw Reid House, but that alias has largely been forgotten since the home became the Rosson House Museum. Reid summered in Phoenix, but another one of his homes in Ohio is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well. The Rosson House was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
The Rosson House is available for tours. See its website for full details, or call 602.262.5070.
Sources: Phoenix Historic Building Survey by Charles Hall Page and Associates, Sep. 1979; Rosson House Museum; National Register of Historic Places
Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the address and a brief description.
That’s it. I can physically provide evidence that heaven exists: chicken and waffles accompanied by mason jars full of sweet tea.
Once I set foot inside of Lo-Lo’s, I was instantaneously back in the Deep South. The smell of grease clung to my lungs as I lofted my nose in the air to embrace the deep-fried aroma. I pinched myself repeatedly until it welted to prove to myself that I was experiencing this sweet voyage back to my homeland.
Once I was seated, it was hard not to laugh when they actually asked what I wanted to eat and drink. My mind could not wrap itself around the fact that there were other choices. Literally, they could just seat me with an order of said chicken and waffles and it would save time and precious words. The menu does list several items that totally vibe of Grandma’s cuisine — collard greens, fried okra, cheese grits, side of gravy, string beans and red potatoes and, of course, red velvet cake.
First to arrive was my delectable sweet tea. I admit that a tear clung to my eye like Sylvester Stallone clinging to cliffs. It was perfectly mixed for this Southern boy (in other words, it was so sweet that normal people would instantly perish from the amount of sugar injected into their systems). To make it even more endearing, it was served up in a classic mason jar. There is no better way to serve beverages ever. Period.
As if delivered from rays of sunshine floating down onto the table, my chicken and waffles arrived. I would lay out in detail how everything tasted, but the next moments are rather fuzzy in my mind. It is a blur of chicken wings and slathered syrup. I do remember that the waffles tasted like homemade, fluffy amazingness. And, when they were combined with a bite of chicken, I lost consciousness. It could have been the food coma that I was subjecting myself to, or the blatant presence of perfection in each bite. Perhaps both. The world may never know.
I do highly recommend that you allow your palate to encounter the majesty that is Lo-Lo’s. My hope for you is that you are swept away into a world where overalls and bare feet are acceptable attire and the perfect cuisine can destroy your New Year’s resolutions. I now must go so I can become mayor of this wonderful land of Southern dreams.
Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles is located at 10 W. Yuma St. in SoDo/Warehouse — 602.340.1304