Saturday, October 25, 2014

Southwestern Union

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Beyond Wild West shootouts and rugged, cacti-covered mountain landscapes is a culinary culture teeming with flavor and heat. Brave the region's spicy grub while saving pesos on firewater at these three iconic Southwest eateries.

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Blue Adobe Grille
144 N. Country Club Dr., Mesa
480-962-1000, originalblueadobe.com
Beneath a cobalt and white A-frame exterior that screams "pancake house" lurks one of Mesa's best-kept secrets. Opened in summer 2000, the original Blue Adobe captures the warm, welcoming vibe of a New Mexican country home, with rustic Saltillo floors, colorful glass chandeliers and a sturdy wooden bar. Happy hour makes for satisfied stomachs. Score $2 off front-page menu selections such as green chile lobster dip ($6.95) or zesty corn cakes ($7.95). Take a siesta with $4 house margaritas and $3 wine or show some spirit by downing a local brew like Four Peaks Kilt Lifter or SanTan's seasonal pineapple hefeweizen paired with the restaurant's award-winning burger ($7.95). $3 well drinks. 3-6:30 p.m.
daily.

 

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El Chorro
5550 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley
480-948-5170, elchorro.com
Barry Goldwater and John Wayne are among the legendary figures who dined amid the stucco walls and rustic lodge furnishings of El Chorro in its early days. A wall display of Goldwater's black-and-white desert photography hearkens back to Arizona's golden age, as does the gratis spread of salmon cakes, sliders and other gourmet nibbles offered from 5-6 p.m. Chase the Mondays away with $3 drafts, or hang around for other rotating daily drink specials like $5 margarita Thursdays and Saturday's two-buck domestics. After six, chill out with discounted appetizers and $5 house wines. 5 p.m.-close M-Sa. Bar and patio only.

 

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Phoenix City Grille
5816 N. 16th St., Phoenix
602-266-3001, phoenixcitygrille.com
Thanks to recent renovations, Valley restaurateur Sheldon Knapp's hidden gem is the pinnacle of modern Arizona: stained concrete floors, mood lighting, garden patio and plush booths, all tucked surreptitiously into a stucco strip mall. Daily happy hour specials cater to border dwellers with carne asada tacos ($8), machaca-stuffed chiles ($6) and spicy, honey-glazed ribs ($8) that seem at home in the dark, Western-tinged decor. Try tart, lemony grilled asparagus ($3) with a glass of $4 house wine or opt for a more relaxed nosh combo of sausage and pickled cabbage with a premium draft ($4). House martinis and selected wines are just $6, with well drinks a wallet-friendly $4. 3-9 p.m. M, 3-10 p.m. Tu, 3-6p.m. W-Su. Bar and patio only.

 

 

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