This post is dedicated to the good folks at The Main Ingredient, a new-ish cafe/ale house in downtown Phoenix.
It’s no coincidence the eatery – owned by Matt and Courtney Diamond – shares the same name as second (and final) full-length by influential hip-hop duo Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth. It crossed my mind when I first heard the name of the place, but I didn’t connect the dots until I saw Matt Diamond wearing a Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth T-shirt when I ate there a few weeks ago. My compliment on the shirt earned me a drink on the house. (Apparently, I was only the second person – the other being a friend of his – to identify the inspiration behind the restaurant’s name. Countless years of hip-hop listening finally pay off!)
Clearly, Diamond is a hip-hop fan and it’s evident in the house music – an endless stream of songs from hip-hop’s golden age. But I really had to give it up to him when I heard a song by Supermarket, a Tempe-based group from the ’90s that I blogged about almost five years ago. That one took me back.
And about the only thing better than the music is the reasonably priced food (PDF of the menu), some of which even has a hip-hop theme, like the Charli 2na sandwich, and a bar that features an impressive wine and beer list (eight microbrews on tap). My wife and I split the The Red Goat salad and the RB & C sandwich.
Looking forward to the eats – and beats – of my second trip. In the meantime, here’s the titular song from the 1994 album that inspired the restaurant’s namesake.