Monday, August 29, 2011

Night Out on the Town

A new season, and the Night Out on the Town feature returns. Tonight's takes us back to one final look at Iowa's bowl site of 2010. Tempe is not only home to the Insight Bowl, but also to Arizona State University and its entertainment district, Mill Ave. Mill Ave is very close to Sun Devil Stadium, the home to the Insight Bowl as well as the Arizona State football team and past Super Bowls. Having the stadium this close to the main street on campus creates a very festive atmosphere on game days and nights. I'm sure one of those popular spots on a football weekend is Canteen Modern Tequila Bar.

While tequila isn't the only beverage served at Canteen, it is the drink of choice. But for a Midwesterner two aspects of the establishment stand out - 1. is the bar that sits inside and out, and 2. being around a clientele that is made up of mostly natives and southern Californians.

In such a warm climate indoor / outdoor bars are popular in the Valley. However what I liked about Canteen was the bar lined the outdoor wall of the building. Citizens could "belly" up to the bar while seated on the sidewalk, a sidewalk that was also gated off to keep just anyone to walk up.

In the Phoenix Metro area, many Iowans have transplanted to one of the many suburbs. There are many bars and restaurants that are either run by Iowans or are the home to Iowa Football watch parties. Canteen was one of the few places we attended that was frequented by those originally from the area. Not that I didn't want to be around friends and family, but it is refreshing to meet different people with different backgrounds creating interesting conversations. Canteen provided a different atmosphere than what this Iowan was used to.
Of course when you go it is necessary to try a shot of tequila. Earlier in the 2010 season the schedule found us further south in Tucson. At our hotel bar a few of my staff tried the house tequila which was drier and smoother. And at a time when Avion became popular from the popular HBO series, Entourage, we found ours to be very similar to what was described on the show. The same could be said for the tequila being poured at Canteen. Of course when you call yourself a tequila bar, the best is expected.

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