Ground Control at Verrado's founders, Sean and Tara, infuse the eatery’s casual atmosphere with a European vibe, plating a menu of gastropub delights that match with their 18 draft brews. During dinner, cherrywood bacon sneaks into creamy mac 'n' cheese ($9), beer-battered cod cozies up to hand-cut fries and homemade tartar sauce in the fish & chips ($12), and a medium-rare Angus burger ($10) tests jaw limits. Lunch promises leafy salads and packed sandwiches such as the Cowboy, loaded with layers of roast beef, bacon, sharp cheddar, grilled onions, and special sauce ($7.95). Ground Control’s kitchen also churns out egg-centric breakfasts, including huevos rancheros, two fried eggs in a bog of cheddar, beans, and tortillas ($8). Whether sipping a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale ($5) or cooling sweaty forearms against a creamy cup of gelato, diners can drink in fresh breezes on the outdoor patio. Inside, exposed-brick walls surround tables flanked by black leather chairs in an inviting and energetic loft-like atmosphere.
At Brothers Pizza Express, hand-tossed New York–style dough serves as the fresh foundation for pizzas and oven-baked calzones. Toppings such as pepperoni, jalapeños, black olives, and meatballs await to be peppered across each cheesy slice to create custom pies, and specialty pies eliminate tricky decision making with pretested combinations such as a margherita pizza loaded with tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese, and served in a salt-rimmed glass. Hot, hearty sandwiches pack savory slices of pastrami, steak, genoa salami, or ham and cheese between slices of baked focaccia or ciabatta bread, and hot wings can be procured in packs of 6–50 to cater to varying appetites and bib sizes.
Arriba's team culls chilies grown in Hatch, New Mexico to assemble made-from-scratch New Mexican fare depicted on an extensive menu. Culinary tourists can take a trip to the border via the White Sands chimichanga plate—covered by a unity of spicy ground beef, green chili, and chicken guisado ($11.59)—or by way of the machaca green-corn tamales, which brandish machaca beef and a crown of green sauce ($10.99). Entrees typically come chaperoned by beans and rice, for a meal more multifaceted than a swiss-army knife glued to a smartphone. Dishes range in spiciness from “snappy” to “meltdown,” but can be prepared by mild by request, with the Santa Fe fajita salad ($11.99) falling in the former category and the eight-ounce steak Tampico ($17.99) dwelling in the latter category. Diners can also satiate smaller appetites with individual tamales or tostadas from the à la carte menu.
In the interest of sharing their hearth-bound heritage with the wider culinary world, the two families behind Arizona Frybread combined their traditional Yaqui fry-bread with recipes plucked from the worn pages of treasured cookbooks. This dedication to homestyle kitchen craft is also instilled in their restaurant’s cooks, who hand-sizzle each flat of crunchy fry bread before topping it with mojito chicken, steak, or beans and cheese. The shop pays equal attention to its toppings: red chili teases tongues with an heirloom kick calibrated in the course of three generations, and tender bites of cactus unlock the desert’s surprisingly verdant flavors.