Chefs at Skippy's Grill & Cantina assemble fresh ingredients into Mexican and American pub grub made from scratch, filling menus with chorizo-derived spices and ham-packed sandwiches alike. Limber up chomping muscles with spicy bean dip ($6) that blends chorizo, beans, and cheese before delving into ham and swiss melts ($7.95) that compress generous portions of sliced ham between hoagie-roll halves. French dip sandwiches ($7) pile rolls high with roast beef sliced thinly and exquisitely folded into beef cranes, and the homemade linguine noodles of Steve's pasta alfredo ($11.50) stow away on fork tines and sneak into unsuspecting mouths. Mexican specialties build transcontinental bridges with carne asada burritos ($9), enchiladas ($3–$4), and enormous suspension cables hidden under tables.
Servers and patrons alike crunch across scattered peanut shells on the way to their tables at Teakwoods, a boisterous neighborhood watering hole crowned Best Sports Bar in 2009 by Phoenix New Times. A team of chefs cooks up classic American eats, including half-pound burgers, meaty sandwiches, and their award-winning wings, which can heat up gastro-chambers and cargo-pants pockets with flavors such as medium, hot, and honey-barbecue hot. As bartenders pour draft beers and concoct tasty libations, guests can catch their favorite sporting events on one of many high-definition TVs that broadcast events from the MLB, NFL, and UFC. When guests can't make it to the restaurant, Teakwoods' chefs cater fare to events, gatherings, and parties.
At Christina's Italian Restaurant and Bar the herbaceous aromas of fresh-baked calzones and lasagna waft around tables checkered in red and white and into nostrils around an outdoor patio. Drawing on family recipes refined by three generations of Sicilians before her, owner Christina Curley oversees a menu of authentic dishes such as seafood frutti di mare. In the kitchen, cooks assemble dishes from fresh-made dough and sauces made onsite by resident Sicilian grandmothers. On plates, chicken and broccoli join mozzarella inside a golden-brown calzone pocket infused with a garlic white-wine sauce, while steak tip au poire swims in garlic, tomatoes, and white wine.
Bowls of pho and plates of burgers fuel guests for friendly competition at Sage Bar, where American and Vietnamese cuisine are served side-by-side in a sports bar atmosphere. The aroma of pho, a traditional rice noodle soup, excites taste buds as it’s carried to tables still steaming, containing a choice of several meats, including steak, meatballs, or chicken. Angus burgers and spicy chicken sandwiches, meanwhile, are grilled to bring out their juicy potential, then topped with cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomato. An assortment of beers, wine, and spirits pair with meals and inspire improvised fight songs during games of pool, corn hole, Jenga, and darts.
With an ear pressed to the rim of a frothy glass of beer, one can almost hear a steady current of waves splashing against the walls of The Cove Grill’s bar and dining room. The oars, boat helms, and model sailboats that hang throughout the restaurant spur on this nautical fantasy and help to foster the casual beach vibe that greets guests at the door. Though entrees of crispy fish and chips similarly evoke the distant coastline, The Cove Grill is best known for its array of burgers, sandwiches, and appetizer plates—the last of which include beer-battered mushrooms and jumbo wings coated in teriyaki, honey-citrus, bourbon, buffalo, or barbecue sauces. Behind a glistening bar that the staff routinely polishes with surf wax, bartenders pour beach-theme libations from the drink list, such as a concoction of five rums and various juices mixed together and served in a sand pail. On the outdoor patio, guests lounge beneath misters or heaters that re-create the pleasant, mild temperatures of a coastal climate.
Winner of Phoenix New Times’ Best Beer Bar award in 2012, The Hungry Monk has 28 craft beers, a full menu of pub grub, and a neighborly atmosphere to thank for its success. The main draw may be the rotating selection of drafts, including blends made by The Hungry Monk’s own staff. And then, of course, there's the unique beer-based foods—think doughnuts paired with IPA, or whitefish hand-dipped in a house ale batter—that bring the food and brews together like the sight of a gingerbread man doing a keg stand. But it was the simpler dishes, such as a top-notch pub garden salad and the house-specialty street tacos that led Voice Places, to call The Hungry Monk, "our new place of worship."