Arizona Bike Week Food Guide

April 30, 2013
J.Joshua Placa
J. Joshua Placa
Contributing Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

J. Joshua Placa is the former editor of Cruising Rider magazine. He freelances for a number of moto publications and has contributed to national travel and adventure magazines, as well as major dailies. Whereabouts unknown, Placa is rumored to be holing up in a clapboard desert shack, chopper chained to his pet coyote, Stinky, and comfortably hiding from the Vatican.

Need eats  Try Becketts Table in Phoenix.
Beckett’s Table combines attentive service, fresh ingredients, innovation in creative dishes and a comfortable atmosphere.

Where to Dine during Arizona Bike Week:

Beckett’s Table
3717 East Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ
Dinner & Drinks Tues.-Sat. 5pm-10pm
Sun. 5pm-9pm
Daily Social Hour 5pm-6:30pm

Of the many reasons to dine at Beckett’s Table, one good excuse is a late afternoon visit to Paul Yaffe Originals. The famed master builder is just minutes down the road. An afternoon of motor oil and sexy baggers can easily segue into an evening with the gussied up Beckett’s Original Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup ($9) Mmmm, pancetta and cheese takes me to my happy place like a new, half-price leather jacket.

Chef Justin Beckett, with wife and friends, opened this urbane American hot spot in 2010. Lauded generously in the press, the eatery combines attentive service, fresh ingredients with a nod to local farmers and sustainability, innovation in creative dishes, memorable house-made signature libations, and an ambiance that is comfortable, yet chic.

Events, specials, menus, and news are included on their website. The menu has ample hearty, comfort food options balanced with minimalist treatments of fresh-from-the-farm produce. We sampled the Chilled Organic Local Beets and they were a sublime teaser for the meal to come. A clever take on the currently ubiquitous Kale Salad is offered. Beef, chicken, fish, pork, pasta choices are available. Bacon finds its way to the s’mores and deviled eggs to the deep fryer.

Bryans Black Mountain Barbecue is led by sauce and meat master Bryan Dooley.
Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue is led by sauce and meat master Bryan Dooley.

Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue
6130 East Cave Creek Rd.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Tues-Sat 11am-8pm

Even fanatic “foodies” will rejoice over this slice of barbecue heaven. Formal culinary training by sauce and meat master Bryan Dooley takes this fare to an exalted level at this stylish yet affordable eatery. All the hallmarks of a great joint of this genre are present, mouth-watering sides, well balanced sauce, and smoke rings permeating the meat like the halos of angels.

Vegan and carnivores alike will salivate at the staples on the daily menu and luscious seasonal choices. Sandwiches, combo plates, by the pound offerings, desserts, and complementary accompaniments such as cowboy beans, baked potato salad, and awesome fries round out the menu. All are so good you will ponder purchasing their cookbook.

Bikers will appreciate the venue’s closeness to the Cave Creek hub for Bike Week. Bryan’s offers indoor and patio dining. Order at the counter from the amiable staff and pick a comfy booth, loosen your belt, and grab a wet-nap—it’s on!

Tonto Bar and Grill at Casa Manana provides stunning surroundings and stellar cuisine.
Stunning surroundings combined with exquisite cuisine make the Tonto Bar and Grill an unforgettable experience.

Tonto Bar and Grill at Casa Mañana
5736 East Rancho Mañana Blvd.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331

The stunning surroundings are rivaled only by the exquisite cuisine. This restaurant hugs the golf course with its tiered patio, replete with sculptural fire features and southwestern hacienda feel. I highly suggest giving the website a look-see; it is entirely tantalizing. The photography, blog, menus and more speak to the quality and care of preparation of the upscale fare and cocktails.

We tried a broad swathe of the menu, from the not-to-be-missed Tortilla-Crusted Crab Cakes through a tasty compressed salad, barbecued salmon, steak cooked to perfection, and a Lemon-Lime Sour Cream Meringue Pie. Tonto’s custom entree salads are fresh and eclectic, featuring such items as distinctive cheeses, sun-dried fruit, and candied pecans.

Sandwiches, burgers, pasta, fish, meat, and vegetarian options are represented. All-natural meats and sustainable seafood punctuate a pro-Arizona menu. Thought and care go into cultivating on-property seasonal ingredients for Tonto’s signature dishes or finding exceptional sources elsewhere.

Our experience at Tonto Bar and Grill was one of the nicest dining experiences either of us had ever had. It is the perfect place for a special celebration, an ultra romantic date, or just an occasional treat. Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House is their award-winning sister restaurant, also in Cave Creek.

TEXAZ is hallowed ground for Chicken Fried Steak.
The TEXASZ Grill is known for its Chicken Fried Steak.

6003 North 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ
11am-10pm daily

First, we have to commend the staff; they were incredibly pleasant and professional even as they were getting slammed by the dinner crush during our visit. Our server, Helena, gave us guidance in negotiating the lengthy steakhouse menu. The ambiance is clean, kitschy roadhouse—signage, trucker caps, assorted business cards, defaced dollar bills, and all manner of Texan paraphernalia.

TEXAZ, established in 1985, is hallowed ground for Chicken Fried Steak with a tally of those served on their website. $12.95 affords you two gravy slathered, hearty slabs of the flavorful meaty goodness, with choice of potatoes, salad or cole slaw, and bread and butter. The Freidy’s Filet, a beautiful steak for $21.95, accompanied by sides, was also a winning choice. Our starter was the Shrimp Cocktail, finishing with the Pecan Pie. Both were spot on. Next time, I am going to try the popular Catfish, which was paraded by our booth frequently and left us hungry for more.

TEXAZ hosts a Sunday Brunch, and offers a full bar. Adding to the charm, beer is served from quaint, small glasses. It is a venue definitely worth a return visit.

Citizen Public House provides cutting-edge cocktails just minutes away from the Best Western Plus Sundial hotel.
Citizen Public House provides cutting-edge cocktail’s just minutes away from the Best Western Plus Sundial hotel.

Citizen Public House
7111 East Fifth Avenue
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
3pm-11pm daily
Late night until 1:30am Thurs.-Sat.

If you are staying at our recommended Best Western Plus Sundial hotel or other nearby accommodations, you can venture out on the town for a cutting edge cocktail a mere 12-minute downtown stroll away. Citizen Public House is a first floor restaurant/bar with tucked away auxiliary open-when-we-feel-like-it speakeasy upstairs.

The exhibition bar is the focal point of the Old Town Scottsdale venue. The ghosts lingering from its former Trader Vic’s incarnation may still be drinking umbrella accessorized Mai Tais under the Polynesian slope of the ceiling. Booze guru Richie Moe is the dandy mixologist at the helm. His R&D kitchen is a veritable laboratory of beakers, distillers, juicers, immersion blenders, zesters, and other implements of alcoholic alchemy. Moe is well versed in the ingredients, processes, and trade secrets of the liquor serving business. We felt his dedicated craftsmanship is the saveur savior on this establishment.

The primary bar offers Citizen Social (Happy Hour) half-price draft beer, glass wine, and bar snacks from 3pm – 6pm daily. The ambiance is casual sophistication—linen table clothes, stark walls dotted with family photos. Patio dining is also offered. Cheers!

Chilleens on 17 was recently freshened up by a Bar Rescue reality show  and provides a thoroughly tasty meal.
Chilleen’s on 17 was recently freshened up by a “Bar Rescue” reality show, and provides a thoroughly tasty meal.

Chilleen’s on 17
Saloon, Steak, and BBQ
33150 Coldwater Rd. Exit 244 on I-17 N. and S.
Black Canyon City, AZ 85324

Just freshened up by a “Bar Rescue” reality show makeover, this exceptional roadhouse caters to families, locals, and wayward travelers. Off-the-grid bikers to their TV reality show counterparts frequent the joint, partaking in the sawdust country decor and deliciously hearty food.

We thoroughly enjoyed all we tasted. The Chill-en Chips (homemade with a side of green chili dip $5.05) are crave-worthy! The Top Sirloin Steak ($10.95) and Deep Fried Jumbo Shrimp ($19.95) dinners with sides were substantial, fresh, and cooked to our liking. Chilleen’s is known for their BBQ and have just upgraded with a smoker. Firewater Punch, a moonshiny elixir, is sure to please those with a designated driver, and non-alcoholic choices are abundant for the rest.

Consult their website for menu, calendar, and hours. Patios, bar, billiard area, and stage lend themselves to kick-up-your-heels fun, and the friendly staff can regale tales of bar mayhem.

2013 Arizona Bike Week Report
Arizona Bike Week Food Guide

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