The term “local” barely begins to describe the on-tap beers at O.H.S.O. Eatery + nanoBrewery. Four suds, including OHSO Orange Pail Ale and OHSO Tart, brew right in-house. And of the beers that don’t originate in the on-site fermentation rooms most still come from nearby––about half of O.H.S.O.’s drafts hail from Arizona-based breweries such as Four Peaks. On weekends, imbibing kicks off early at beer brunch, where entrées such as biscuits with white-sausage beer gravy come with a 10-ounce pour of any Arizonian brew. During dinner––which lasts until midnight every night of the week––, the menu emphasizes quality pub grub, such as small plates, burgers, and flatbread pizzas. Dig in on the front porch or the bike-friendly––and sometimes dog-friendly––patio with a pint of beer, glass of wine, or cocktail. Or, drop by for the weekly Sunday afternoon backyard barbecue where guests are allotted second and third helpings of barbecue chicken, brisket, and ribs, and all the wetnaps they can eat.
The Western isn't just the name of a restaurant: it's also a symbol of that restaurant's approach to its cuisine and entertainment. Chef Christian Castro updates classic Southern and Southwest recipes in his an eclectic menu, which culls from both traditions to make food with wide appeal. Hearty beef brisket and blackened fish tacos, deep-fried grilled-cheese sandwiches, and loaded bison burgers are just a few of the entrees that pave the way for sweet deep-fried Oreos with ice cream. Servers ferry those steaming dishes to each spacious booth and communal table in the joint, all the while dodging hungry stagecoach bandits along the way.
At the tooled leather-topped bar, staffers mix whiskey cocktails and pour craft beers that accentuate each dish. Reclaimed wood and metal accents add to the rustic feel, and live music gives the room a jump start?not that it needs it. Yet five nights a week, local and touring bands hit the stage, serenading the audience with toe-tapping classic country, blues, Americana, and rock tunes while sneaking in a kazoo solo whenever possible.
Dining at EVO means more than simply enjoying a meal?it means celebrating with friends and family. But that's not to say that the food takes the back seat. EVO's Italian cuisine is made with an eye for traditional flavors, from charcuterie and cheeseboards to house-made pastas and lobster risotto. Forkfuls are paired with sipfuls from an extensive drink menu, featuring craft beers, wine, and even spirits poured from taps. And the decor is a sleek departure from the norm as well. Exposed brick walls and mismatched mirrors gleam under the light of crystalline chandeliers, providing an upscale backdrop for events such as weekly Martini & Manicure sessions and particularly elegant Tuesday night dinners.
With pages full of flavors traditional to Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Cozumel, the menu at Haciendas Mexican Grill is like an atlas of Mexican cuisine. Guests can taste the classic Mayan influence on the nation’s dishes with the cochinita pibil, a cut of pork that slowly marinates in a stew of achiote, orange juice, and banana leaves, or revel in the country's knack for sauces with the dark-brown dressing of the pollo con mole. The chefs also take slight liberties with the dishes, infusing the chocolate fondue with ancho chiles and transforming the humble hamburger with oaxaca cheese and chipotle mayo. To honor Mexico's extensive coastlines, the chefs drench jumbo prawns, stuffed salmon filets, and lobster ravioli in spicy cream sauces.
Outside the dining room, guests can experience Mexican culture with specialty margaritas, tap and bottled beers, and other libations in the restaurant’s three bars. Like an interstellar pub crawl, each bar features a different atmosphere: one sports a scenic view of the mountains, another buzzes with a row of LED TVs, and an outside patio grants fresh air and warm sun ideal for a round of icy beverages.
Inventive Gastropub Cuisine | Multidimensional Cocktails | Addictive Bacon-Pecan Brittle
What to Drink: Science instructs the cocktail creations of mixologist Rich Moe. Try the Im-Port, a blend of Jameson whiskey, Sandeman tawny port, tobacco-and-leather-infused bitters, and Guinness stout foam. For something sweeter, Moe also mixes up a handcrafted sangria with pomegranate syrup.
Who's in the Kitchen? Chef Bernie Kantak is well known in the area for being the driving force behind Cowboy Ciao. It seems he has the Midas touch when it comes to restaurants. Under his guidance, Citizen Public House was named one of 2011's best new restaurants by Phoenix New Times and Esquire magazine.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Peruse the collection of authentic Native American ceramics and jewelry at Sewell's Indian Arts (7087 E. 5th Avenue).
After: Relax over a cocktail and jokes from comedians featured on Comedy Central and HBO at The Comedy Spot (7117 E. 3rd Avenue).
If You Can't Make It, Try: The Gladly (2201 E. Camelback Road), which showcases similarly inventive cuisine by Chef Kantak and cocktails by Moe, as well as one of the Valley's largest collections of whiskeys and scotches.
There’s an Irish legend that insists the best cure for a hangover is to simply bury yourself up to the neck in moist, cold river sand. Luckily, Scottsdale isn’t Ireland. Instead of chilly rivers, Scottsdale has Daily Dose, home of the “Best Hangover Breakfast”, according to the Phoenix New Times. The winning meal, fittingly named the Hangover Sandwich, buries a fried egg under a generous amount of applewood-smoked bacon, turkey sausage, caramelized jalapeños, onions, and melted cheddar. A final drizzle of spicy harissa oil adds a touch of heat. Yet, even customers who aren't reeling after a night of drinks can find something to love at Daily Dose. The breakfast menu alone (served every day until 4 p.m.) offers seven kinds of eggs benedict, nearly a dozen omelets, and pancakes and french toast dressed up with chocolate-covered strawberries, cinnamon-apple crunch, or caramelized pecans. The kitchen trades in sweet for spicy during lunch and dinner service via flatbreads, sandwiches, and burgers that mirror the local cuisine, including an ancho chili reuben and The Gladiator burger, which features a 10-ounce patty slathered in caramelized jalapenos and onions, peppered bacon, and whatever three cheeses have survived the morning's dairy-wrestling match.