Kincaid’s Classic American Dining
2 S. Third St., Phoenix
Tucked away in Downtown’s Collier Center just steps from US Airways Arena, this high-end gem boasts below-market happy hour pricing in a subdued lounge with granite-topped tables and a gleaming bar. Most appetizers are half-off, and drinks across the board are $4 – that means house wines, a selection of well-crafted cocktails (try the basil gimlet or pomegranate margarita) and all draft beer (they have a dozen on tap, including SanTan IPA, Kilt Lifter, and Guinness). It’s tough to narrow the noshing choices, but topping the list are oysters Rockefeller ($7.48), jumbo prawn cocktail ($7.48), crab cakes ($8.48), country fried calamari and artichokes with a dipping duo ($5.98) and a trio of bacon-studded Kobe meatloaf sliders with tangy mustard and golden, puffy buns ($5.48). 4-10 p.m. daily. Lounge only.
5455 E. High St., Phoenix
This swanky CityCenter stalwart attracts a classy clientele with its impressive steaks and seafood. Stop in for bargain bites during “Prime Hour” in the Blu Lounge, which showcases the best of land and sea for $5 a plate. King crab and spinach dip is exquisite – so are well-sourced oysters on the half shell. Landlubbers shouldn’t miss sassy deviled eggs, short rib sliders and decadent Parmesan truffle fries. Drinks are similarly upscale, including well drinks for $5, call drinks for $8, domestic beer for $3, imported and premium beer for $4, a list of 10 superbly chosen wines by the glass for $5 each and quality cocktails for $6 – we recommend the “Berries and Bubbles” with Champagne and Grand Marnier-soaked berries. 5-7 p.m. M-Sa. Lounge and patio only.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
11051 N. Black Canyon Hwy., Phoenix, 602-331-3434
When you’re ragin’ for Cajun, pop into north Phoenix’s popular Pappadeaux for delta-dwelling delicacies that transport you to the Bayou. Try catfish beignets ($3.95), crispy orange shrimp ($3.95), a petite po boy ($4.95), fried calamari with spicy marinara ($4.95), boiled shrimp with potatoes and corn ($6.95), a mini fondeaux with blackened shrimp, crawfish and garlic bread ($6.95), and even fried alligator ($6.95). A minimum $2.95 beverage purchase per person is required to get the deals, but who wouldn’t want to wash down the sealife with a specialty cocktail like a Pappadocious, Swampthing, Bayou Sweet Tea, or Grey Goose Martini ($5.95-$7.95)? Or get a Bud Light or Shock Top ($3.95 regular; $4.50 large) or glass of house wine ($4.95). 3-6:30 p.m. M-F. Bar and patio only.