Instead of frittering away quarters at the arcade like most boys his age, Dean Laplant began learning his trade at age 13 by working the grill at his parents' steak house. He went on to open his own steak house in Wisconsin at the young age of 28, and later moved to Chandler to start DC Steak House, where he channels his years of experience into effortlessly preparing a menu of fine steaks, seafood, and chops.
Dean's wife, Lori, adorned the dining-room walls of DC Steak House's 100-year-old building in vivid murals that depict the local area's rich history. These elegant murals, along with soft hanging lights and white tablecloths, create a dining atmosphere more comfortable than a sofa stuffed with cotton candy. Patrons exit the restaurant into Chandler's bustling downtown square filled with shops and home to a variety of seasonal festivals.
Iguana Mack’s pays edible homage to Arizona’s classic roadside comfort food havens, offering live entertainment and a versatile menu filled with steak, seafood, burgers, and southwest favorites. Starters such as the spicy drunken shrimp ($9.50) prep masticating mandibles for the flavor onslaught of the original Mack burger, an all-beef patty layered with special sauce and Iguana relish, and paired with a choice of homemade sides ($8.50). The fish ‘n’ chips serves up flash-fried, hand-breaded Icelandic cod as a spin on the classic British dish, replete with fries and mellifluous working class Liverpool accent ($11.95). Cylindrical sumptuousness takes shape with the chimichanga carnitas, carefully rolling together smoke-roasted pork carnitas, spicy green-chili sauce, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa ($9.95).
A Town Pass at Rawhide lets weekend cow-wranglers saunter up to many of the Old West–themed attractions as many times as they like for a single day. Teach tots important human-donkey mind-melding techniques at the petting zoo, or let greenhorn lone-guns take a tottering ride atop a stout burro. More advanced cowpokes can attempt to drink a milkshake atop the Widowmaker mechanical bull, clamber up the Deadman's Drop rock climbing wall, or relax and leave the high-flying stunts to the daredevils at the Six Gun Theater, or by perusing the rambling thoroughfare's stretch of shops.
Chop Chandler's chic, contemporary setting sets the tone for diners as they enjoy its chefs' seasonally dynamic cuisine. At the bar, bottles are stacked high on low-lit shelves, grabbed by bartenders to compose shaken cocktails and moscow mules served in authentic copper mugs. Sliding into one of the horseshoe-shaped leather booths, peruse the menu for house-cured pork chops, a classic hand-cut rib eye served with a baked potato, or a hardwood grilled filet of salmon.
Up a staircase illuminated by an overhead chandelier waits an arrangement of small tables. They're holding down one of the dining areas at SpeakEasy Saloon and Grill, a steak house that's part speakeasy, part saloon. On the main level there's a stage for live country music, a bar for drinking, and more tables for enjoying house specialties such as bone-in rib eye, cowboy spaghetti, and grilled fresh Atlantic salmon. When guests finish eating, they can get busy grooving on the dance floor and nervously anticipating their date’s line-dance moves. A private room upstairs also hosts private parties and events, rounding out the possibilities.
Wooden beams and tables, American-flag accents, a DJ booth, and real Cadillacs on the roof accentuate Cadillac Ranch’s southwestern vibe, which is permeated with rock and roll tunes. On game days, patrons gaze at a 150-inch HD projection screen or one of 30 plasma televisions while sampling bar bites such as tacos and burgers from one of the menus, which include a late-night selection that is served until midnight.