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.
Offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, Saddle Ranch’s menu of succulent steaks—such as the New York strip ($28.99) with a demi-glaze, Jack Daniel’s sauce, or herb-garlic butter—are, of course, the big draw. But its specialties extend far beyond that to include barbecue baby-back ribs ($21.99), seasoned sweet and spicy black-tiger shrimp ($18.99), and fresh Atlantic salmon garnished with fresh lemon and garlic-herb butter ($19.99). Lighter appetites, meanwhile, can tuck into sandwiches like the Jack Daniel’s sloppy joe ($10.99) or a south-of-the-border Hacienda Salad ($12.99). Top off a gut-busting repast with the deep-dish cobbler ($8.99) before riding Saddle Ranch's mechanical bull into a credits-rolling sunset.
At Remington's Restaurant, the 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, along with other well-known jazz artists.
Executive chef Sunil Kumar's healthy twists on Indian dishes earned Bombay Spice Grill the Best Food award at the 2009 Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Across the restaurant's Phoenix and Chicago locations, olive oil, instead of traditional ghee or butter, creates a heart-healthy base for vegan versions of curry, vindaloo, and other classic Indian sauces. Kitchen maestros top build-your-own entrees with these sauces, mingling rice or quinoa with vegetables, chicken, tofu, and beef. To compliment these dishes, Bombay Spice serves wine and beer from around the world by the bottle, glass, or bathtub.
Named for their founder, a renegade radio host and showman, Bill Johnson's Big Apple Restaurants please palates with a menu of hearty American fare. Warm up your appetite with Grand Canyon nachos, which––just like the real Grand Canyon––are covered with beef, black beans, avocado, jalapeños, and more ($9). Mama's breaded pork chops ($13.50) and southern fried 1/2 chicken ($14) counterbalance a beefy selection of steaks. A six-ounce sirloin paired with endless popcorn shrimp ($15) tests the limits of appetites and pants, and a bacon-wrapped eight-ounce sirloin filet ($15) brings barnyard frenemies together at last. Guests can also make their own meaty matches with the Make Your Own Smoked Combo option ($17), which allows diners to make three selections from a smoked smorgasbord of pork ribs, beef ribs, pulled pork, smoked brisket, hot links, and barbecue-smoked chicken.
Rustler’s Rooste has come a long way since its original location posed as a hideout for cattle ranchers in the 1970’s. Today, the family-owned restaurant resides in a two-story, 1,500-seat building nestled amid the Arizona Grand Resort. Here, diners can admire the distant city lights as they chow down on dinner meals of Western steakhouse fare that includes rattlesnake appetizers, family-style barbeque chicken, top sirloin steaks, and homemade bread pudding. Though dinner starts at 5 p.m., guests can head to the second floor lounge for happy hour cocktails and unobstructed views of the live music bands, such as The Peso Dollar Band, playing nightly on the main-level dance floor. And for those looking to make a quick escape to the dance floor, a built-in slide quickly sends riders zooming from the lounge to the dining room.
Rustler’s rustic décor, which also includes wagon wheel chandeliers and an outdoor patio with fire pit, gives the restaurant a true Western feel, which is why many choose to use its extensive space for weddings, banquets, and reunions for the guild of television cowboy actors.