Not too many restaurants have a set “end” date. No restaurant owner wants to think about when his establishment will be torn down but for the folks behind Cycle at the about-to-be-renovated Lexington Hotel in Phoenix, this is an exciting time full of experimentation and joy. Much like a terminally ill patient, the people of Cycle and the patrons who frequent it use every day to its fullest culinary potential. Cycle boasts an ever-changing menu; that is, it does not have its own staff of chefs and cooks. It is merely a hosting ground for local food truck chefs, up-and-coming chefs, food bloggers and anyone one else brave enough to try and make a name for themselves.
The interior is very unassuming yet filled with temporary culture in the form of chalkboard walls and paper tablecloths. There are, of course, crayons and chalk at each table to keep the guests entertained while they wait all of about 3.26 minutes for their food. There is also a DJ in the corner playing everything from Cat Stevens to Jay-Z. This eclectic mix of novel yet delicious food and everything but pop-culture in this pop-up restaurant make for an interesting dining experience.
On Friday, April 16, there were two locally acclaimed food truck chefs: Pat Simeri and Patrick Kellick. Kellick owns KB Smokehouse located on 127th Ave and Indian School. He was mainly there to help his friend, the other Pat, out for the night but was also creating hype for when he gets his big shot on the main stage of Cycle. He will be smoking up some brisket for the guests soon enough. Kellick brought a sample out for everyone to try and…well it was life-changing. Simeri’s own fare was marvelously good for creating it inside a food truck. Not that there is anything wrong with food trucks, one would just not expect culinary masterpieces such as spaghetti and meatballs to transport your taste buds across the Atlantic to Tuscany. This didn’t literally happen, but his knack for Italian cuisine is incredibly spot-on. Simeri owns Stradabella Food Trucks, specializing in Italian eats wherever he happens to end up that day. If any of the intrepid readers out there would like to find him, however, the Stradabella wagon can be found every Friday at the Phoenix Farmer’s Market.