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If you’re tired of Arizona's desert landscape, blame the Flancer goat. Legend has it, the greedy little guy saw Arizona’s once lush land and greenery as a personal buffet—he ate and ate until the landscape became barren. And though he's now extinct, it is said that the goat's shadow can be seen running through the café with a satisfied grin on his face.
Lucky for hungry Arizona natives, Flancer’s manages to offer a robust, diverse menu despite its desert location. Sandwiches are built on made-from-scratch breads that are baked throughout the day. They come stacked with unique flavor combos such as filet mignon and caramelized onions, or chicken breast marinated with prickly pear.
Owner Jeff Flancer claims you won’t find the café's bruschetta anywhere else but Flancer’s. The appetizer comes with breaded goat cheese, basil, and tomato piled atop baked-to-order crouton bread. With innovative food offerings such as this, it’s no wonder the restaurant claims to have been "rockin' taste buds" since it opened in 2000.
Nestled in an idyllic converted 1920s farmhouse, The Gilbert House Restaurant dishes up a heartening medley of wholesome comfort cuisine and delectable handcrafted desserts. A savory array of breakfast vittles includes the owner’s signature apple pancakes, drizzled in a thick homemade apple-cider sauce ($6.75), as well as specialty omelettes, blended with seared green chilies ($8.25) and spicy chorizo ($8.75). The midday lunch slate features an eclectic array of tasty sandwiches ($7.25–$10.95), including a lean, range-fed buffalo burger ($9.25), a hardy, healthier alternative for guests seeking to slim down chubby, speech-flubbing tongues. Garden-noshing gastronomes can fix forks into crispy cobb salads ($8.95), and homemade desserts such as orange-custard rhubarb pie ($4.95) and apple-cinnamon bread pudding ($4.95) affix a metaphorical cherry atop stuffed belly sacks.
With shingled awnings along the walls, faux windows, and clay wall art, the dining room at La Casa Grill re-creates the look of an outdoor Mexican plaza. To complement the authentic vibe, the kitchen turns out traditional Mexican fare, such as marinated carne asada steak ($10.99), alongside Latin-inspired barbecue, such as green chile pork burgers ($10.99) and slow-cooked spare ribs ($18.99 for a full rack).
Fatburger's vintage-styled stands set the stage for an expansive menu that describes 100% lean-beef burgers, noncholesterol-oil fries, and real ice-cream shakes. Watering mandibles tear through toasted buns to get to five different sizes of burger, ranging from small, an adorable 2.5 ounces of beef ($3.49), to XXXL, whose three patties clock in at 24 ounces ($9.99). Add-ons ($0.69–$0.99 each) help burger-savants customize their own creations with bacon, eggs, or cheese, while crisp fries ($1.99) compete with house-made onion rings ($2.99) for the pleasure of pleasing taste buds on improvised tic-tac-toe battlefields. Shakes forged from real ice cream ($3.99) arrive to calm down appetites jazzed up after frantic burger bites, dispensing flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, and cookies 'n' cream.
Plates of food are constantly leaving Ahi’s kitchen, yet most of them are never handled by a server. At Ahi Revolving Sushi, most of the food is dispersed via a conveyor belt that snakes throughout the dining room. Guests sitting at gleaming red counters watch the belt as it glides past, carrying plates of food with handwritten signs introducing whatever is coming up next. Diners can pluck the covered plates from the belt at their whim, and whether they’re loaded with spicy snow crab roll, banana tempura, mochi ice cream, or edamame, the plates’ color will let the server know what the dish costs. And according to the Phoenix New Times, if there’s something on the menu that caught your eye but doesn’t seem to be showing up, you can special order it from your server or click your chopsticks together three times.