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.
For one afternoon each year, Lettuce Entertain You transforms one of its famed eateries into a mecca for brides-to-be, collecting the wares of both local and national retailers. Ladies linger over tables laden with dresses and invitations—categorized into vignettes such as elegant and vintage—as gown experts divulge their wisdom. To avoid being cut out of wedding photos, male counterparts sequester themselves in the Groom's Room, where man-friendly vendors toss out wardrobe and preening tips. Lettuce Entertain You disperses appetizers and drinks from a handful of their own top-rated eateries to prevent patrons from drooling over the dossiers of custom cake.
Saddle Ranch Chop House allows diners to put together a feast from a menu loaded with steaks and salads, then rock and ride with the restaurant's "rock meets Western" theme. Chow on a sizzling steak, such as the charbroiled, marble-cut rib eye ($24.99), or chomp into the pineapple teriyaki burger, served with a wasabi cream sauce ($11.99). To wash down a full order of barbecue baby back ribs ($21.99), take part in the Texas Tea Party, a stiff concoction of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, sweet-and-sour mix, and Coke. Saddle Ranch Chop House's seasoned chefs also cook breakfast and brunchy grub, such as cinnamon swirl Texas toast ($9.99) and buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh fruit ($8.99), until 3 p.m.
At Remington's Restaurant, the bacon-wrapped filet mignon isn't just grilled to order—it's grilled over mesquite coals, whose smoke imbues the meat with extra flavor. The same coals cook the New Zealand rack of lamb, as well as tender pork chops glazed in prickly pear barbecue sauce. The steakhouse serves fresh seafood, too. Cedar planks salmon are painted in a maple mustard glaze, and broiled lobster can be used for games of Pin the Tail On the Crustacean out on the patio. Many of these meals are scored by live music. Local nightclub pianist Rags Allen often plays, as does old-fashioned crooner Guy Pennachio.