Autumn Court is a gem of a Chinese restaurant in central Phoenix. The food is fresh, old-style American Chinese, and delicious. It is also fairly inexpensive and the buffet lunch was a steal. Autumn Court had all the dishes you loved as a kid: Sesame Chicken, Chinese BBQ Pork with the pink/purple, sticky sauce on the outside, big egg rolls and yummy Moo Shu Pork. I always thought it was what China Doll was in the early 1970s when it was in the strip mall on the southeast corner of 7th Avenue and Osborn (where Bruno Mali's currently resides).
A quick glance last week at Autumn Court on north Central Avenue made me do a double take. It was about 8 PM and the place was dark. Not just the some of the lighting, but all of it, including the parking lot. Not a car was to be seen.
Mentioning this tidbit to my family, someone said they heard that the little gingerbread-looking house of a restaurant had suffered a fire and the place had closed. Thinking on that for a moment, it might have ended up being a blessing to Autumn Court. Work on the light rail in Phoenix is already taking its toll on businesses in the central corridor and Autumn Court may have eventually been feeling the pinch as well. After all, people are avoiding Central Avenue in droves to steer clear of the barricades and pylons that now will be a fixture along Central for the next year or so.
It made me sad because I loved Autumn Court, although I hadn't been there since last spring. This Valley institution would be missed.
Imagine my surprise this evening when I was traveling down Indian School Road at 38th Street and did a double take at the old Flat Iron Grill building that has been closed for two months when the prior tenants didn't pay their rent. Right there, on the marquee, were the words: "Autumn Court Chinese Food."
The place was a beehive, but I wasn't able to get a good look if the place was being refitted for a Chinese restaurant or the place was open. A further investigation will be held shortly.
But in the meantime, Autumn Court seems to be back and in now walking distance from my home. Yum!
Now, the only concern is if the curse that seems to be on that building will rear its ugly head on Autumn Court and cause it to die a slow and early death. Or will fate smile upon the owners and bring some of the best American Chinese food in Phoenix to the Arcadia District.
Cross your fingers and light your candles.
38th Street & Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Note: Not sure if they are open for business yet.