71 American Grille
28615 N. El Mirage Rd., Peoria
Old Glory was displayed at the Washington Monument only after a 1971 presidential proclamation. 71 American Grille, on the other hand, has been star-spangled ever since opening in mid-2013. Red, white and blue-painted walls and tables coated with U.S. travel memorabilia smack of national pride, as does the $2 domestic draft special. Imports are $3, and every appetizer is half-price, from Cajun mac and cheese ($3.50) to Midwest brisket sliders ($4) with caramelized onions. Avoiding artery-clogging fried foods? Hawaiian poke ($4.25) and roasted shrooms ($2.75) satisfy health-conscious Americans, even if they’re not as traditional as mini corn dogs or Buffalo wings. $3.50 well drinks and house wine. 3-6 p.m. M-F; 1-4 p.m. Sa-Su.
Give a vintage Enco gas station the ol’ spit and polish, and you have Kitchen 56, an adorable retro-modern restaurant owned by Arcadia locals. The broad menu and dual view of flat screens and vintage automotive signs draws an eclectic mix of regular Joes and neighborhood hipsters. The magic number here is – not surprisingly – 56. Score $4.56 drafts and $5.56 specialty cocktails, well drinks and select appetizers every day. On the $5.56 menu, chicken wings combine with a trio of adult lemonades for a summertime picnic classic.
Edamame, hummus, and short rib tacos are trendy pleasers, bolstered by drink staples such as sangria, house martinis, and fizzy Moscow Mules. $2 off wine by the glass. 3-6 p.m. daily.
2401 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
A serene place to wind down after a difficult day, the Ritz-Carlton’s elegant eatery is posh without feeling overly fussy. The soft Mediterranean color palette soothes tired eyes, and hanging lanterns cast a soft glow off the marble bar. Rest your back against the padded roll of a comfy stool and take advantage of the 5-4-5 special: five starters and five drinks for just five dollars each.
Fried cheese curds paired with the Ritz’s exclusive B-24 Liberator Ale is the unofficial working man’s special, while a more fancy-pants happy hour combo combines cured meats and olives with the Bejeweled Bling, a sparkling mélange of tequila, Cointreau and prickly pear. Featured wine, hummus and cranberry-infused Stiletto cocktails round out the upscale offerings. 4-7 p.m. Tu-F. Bar only.
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