Ground Control at Verrado's founders, Sean and Tara, infuse the eatery’s casual atmosphere with a European vibe, plating a menu of gastropub delights that match with their 18 draft brews. During dinner, cherrywood bacon sneaks into creamy mac 'n' cheese ($9), beer-battered cod cozies up to hand-cut fries and homemade tartar sauce in the fish & chips ($12), and a medium-rare Angus burger ($10) tests jaw limits. Lunch promises leafy salads and packed sandwiches such as the Cowboy, loaded with layers of roast beef, bacon, sharp cheddar, grilled onions, and special sauce ($7.95). Ground Control’s kitchen also churns out egg-centric breakfasts, including huevos rancheros, two fried eggs in a bog of cheddar, beans, and tortillas ($8). Whether sipping a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale ($5) or cooling sweaty forearms against a creamy cup of gelato, diners can drink in fresh breezes on the outdoor patio. Inside, exposed-brick walls surround tables flanked by black leather chairs in an inviting and energetic loft-like atmosphere.
In their youth, Paul Fratella and Anthony Guerriero met as coworkers at a restaurant. They discussed their hopes of someday opening an eatery of their own. But as time went on, they drifted apart in life. Fratella continued along in the restaurant business, working at locations in Utah, Indiana, and Florida. Guerriero went on to work in refrigeration, and eventually traveled to Spain to study international business. And then, nearly two decades after their first pipe-dream discussions, they reconnected. With Guerriero’s business savvy and Fratella’s experience opening restaurants, the two finally had the blueprint that would breathe life into Caballero Grill.
Southwestern flavors give an edge to the eatery's American grill fare. Chefs cook steaks, burgers, and chicken breasts on a kettle grill fueled with pecan wood, which imbues each dish with a unique smoky flavor. A ceviche bar allows diners to customize their own selection of marinated fresh fish, and Sunday brunch sets out popular entrées alongside a seafood bar rich with shrimp and mussels. And though Fratella and Guerriero carefully curate their entire menu, one dish in particular holds a special place in the owners’ hearts, according to AZCentral.com. Manny’s empanadas, named for their late friend Manuel De Jesus Cabrera, commemorate their lost comrade with a recipe given to them by Manuel’s mother.
McFadden's Restaurant & Saloon, which now has locations from coast to coast, first opened its doors just a few blocks from Times Square in New York City in 1977. The founder, Steve McFadden, drew upon his Irish heritage when creating the menu and even incorporated his family's own shepherd’s pie recipe. Diners will also find international pub grub such as burgers, sandwiches, and hand-cut top sirloin to accompany the bar’s full selection of beers and cocktails. The atmosphere gets lively after dark here, as groups cheer on their favorite sports teams, shimmy to DJ-spun music, and perform round-off back-handsprings.
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.
Surprise Hookah Lounge’s menu of more than 50 shisha flavors ignites olfactory senses with the tastes of sweet fruits and savory chocolate. Designed with relaxation in mind, the lounge lets visitors kick back under plumes of hookah smoke or try their hands at games of pool. Music, movies, and belly dancing serve as weekly entertainment. During karaoke on Tuesdays and Thursdays, singers belt out their favorite tunes or hum along to the constant buzzing sounds in their ears.