When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey?s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecued beans, potato chips, drinks, and that?s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality and, ultimately, the number of customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Dickey?s has been passed on to Travis?s sons, but not much else has changed?the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked onsite, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu has remained largely the same for the last 50 years.
Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.
At Mad G’s Grill & Tavern, beer is considered the universal mixer, which is why the chefs pour it into pint glasses, cocktails, and pizza. Traditional drinkers can grab a domestic, craft, or bottled brew from the menu of more than 40 beers—including Deschutes Obsidian stout and The Lost Abbey—and those looking for a modern twist on the classic beverage can turn to the menu’s 12 beer cocktails, which come blended with other beers, liquors, and spices.
Mad G’s chefs also pour the hoppy drink into many of the menu’s pub-grub meals, which are served nightly until 2 a.m. Pabst Blue Ribbon makes an appearance in beer-battered appetizers, and Lumberyard IPA simmers around braised mushrooms. Even the crusts of the house pizzas are mixed with Mad G’s house brew, creating a distinctive taste beneath toppings of roasted garlic, marinated artichokes, and house-pulled mozzarella. As patrons appreciate brews in their medium of choice—whether it's in a cocktail glass, a slow-cooked chili, or impressionistically dribbled onto a napkin—they can partake in weekly events including pool tournaments, trivia nights, and fish racing.
Twisted Sisters Sports Grille is a home-away-from-home for fans of the Denver Broncos, but fans of ASU, drink specials, Angus burgers, and hot wings will also find plenty to cheer about. Half-pound patties flip onto pretzel rolls, accompanied by smoked bacon, barbecue sauce, provolone, and other burger-friendly treats. Turkey, italian, ham, and club grinders, served with house-made potato chips, combine gooey cheese with crisply toasted bread, adding crunching sounds to the cheers of Sun Devils and Broncos fans and despairing wails of those who wanted to watch CSPAN.
Pho Tempe brings a small piece of Saigon to the Phoenix area, namely the intermingling flavors of pineapple, mango, ginger, lemongrass, and tamarind. The chefs' dedication to the bold cuisine of southeastern Asia is evident throughout the menu, which includes a number of cozy pho noodle soups brimming with everything from brisket to shrimp. With an emphasis on casual home cooking, the chefs also assemble Vietnamese-style banh mi sandwiches with crispy carrots, white radishes, and cucumber slices layered alongside cilantro and spicy jalapeños. For a sweet end to a meal, Pho Tempe makes smoothies by blending green tea or bananas into a drink that tastes as refreshing as a popsicle made from strawberry-flavored icebergs.