Chefs at Skippy's Grill & Cantina assemble fresh ingredients into Mexican and American pub grub made from scratch, filling menus with chorizo-derived spices and ham-packed sandwiches alike. Limber up chomping muscles with spicy bean dip ($6) that blends chorizo, beans, and cheese before delving into ham and swiss melts ($7.95) that compress generous portions of sliced ham between hoagie-roll halves. French dip sandwiches ($7) pile rolls high with roast beef sliced thinly and exquisitely folded into beef cranes, and the homemade linguine noodles of Steve's pasta alfredo ($11.50) stow away on fork tines and sneak into unsuspecting mouths. Mexican specialties build transcontinental bridges with carne asada burritos ($9), enchiladas ($3–$4), and enormous suspension cables hidden under tables.
Servers and patrons alike crunch across scattered peanut shells on the way to their tables at Teakwoods, a boisterous neighborhood watering hole crowned Best Sports Bar in 2009 by Phoenix New Times. A team of chefs cooks up classic American eats, including half-pound burgers, meaty sandwiches, and their award-winning wings, which can heat up gastro-chambers and cargo-pants pockets with flavors such as medium, hot, and honey-barbecue hot. As bartenders pour draft beers and concoct tasty libations, guests can catch their favorite sporting events on one of many high-definition TVs that broadcast events from the MLB, NFL, and UFC. When guests can't make it to the restaurant, Teakwoods' chefs cater fare to events, gatherings, and parties.
At Christina's Italian Restaurant and Bar the herbaceous aromas of fresh-baked calzones and lasagna waft around tables checkered in red and white and into nostrils around an outdoor patio. Drawing on family recipes refined by three generations of Sicilians before her, owner Christina Curley oversees a menu of authentic dishes such as seafood frutti di mare. In the kitchen, cooks assemble dishes from fresh-made dough and sauces made onsite by resident Sicilian grandmothers. On plates, chicken and broccoli join mozzarella inside a golden-brown calzone pocket infused with a garlic white-wine sauce, while steak tip au poire swims in garlic, tomatoes, and white wine.
Stone-tiled floors lead guests into Conti’s Bar and Grill, where four 120-inch high-definition projection TVs glow with power drawn from the tiny sportsmen running in circles inside them. Sunlight streams in through slotted window shades, illuminating exposed-brick columns and warm wood paneling. Guests can snuggle into booths as they munch on burgers, salmon, or full racks of ribs. Eight beers on tap wash down bites of confetti nachos or wistful licks of chocolate cake.
Voted the Best Local Performing Arts Troupe by readers of the East Valley Tribune in 2011, National Comedy Theatre’s ensemble of players concocts improvised situations at lightning-fast speeds, relying on audience participation and their own wits to elicit thunderous laughter and applause. After turning to their all-ages crowd for assistance in shaping games and scenarios, the cast employs knowledge gleaned from operating-room sketches to tickle ribs with anatomical exactitude. The show often favors spontaneity over prudence, with performers gleefully stepping into their roles as acrophobic skydiving champions or long-winded court stenographers. Audience members get to select the winning team at the conclusion of the show, and can learn the form themselves during improv classes.
The scene inside White Cloud Hookah is both intimate and party-like. Throughout the modern space, groups sit around double-nozzled hookahs and pass hoses to puff on one of the 120 flavors of aromatic tobacco. They can take pulls on tobacco varieties from brands such as Al Fakheer, Starbuzz, and Fantasia, and can even blend flavors to create their own flavor creations. Big screen TVs flash as music fills the space with party beats and dim lightening gives the space a chill, nightlife atmosphere.