2010/2011 (MESA, Ariz.) - Amazing ingredients and unique flavors have combined in Mesa making it an epicure's paradise. Mesa has a wide variety of savory cuisine ranging from traditional American favorites and spicy Southwestern fare to striking international cuisine sure to satisfy anyone's hunger. Entertainment isn't left out in Mesa. A plethora of dinner shows are also available providing patrons with one stop for dining and amusement.
Mesa embraces green living and dining at many of its local restaurants. Fresh produce comes straight from the farm to the table giving patrons a truly healthy dining experience. The following are a few of the endless dining options available in Mesa.
Dinner & a Show
If you are looking for unique, family entertainment The Dutton's Family Theater is the perfect dinner show for you. This Branson-based performing group, comprised of one immediate family with a lot of individual talent, will keep you on the edge of your seat with unique melodies and visually stunning sets. Visitors can combine their ticket with the theater's exclusive dinner options. Catch one of the award winning shows January through May.
If it's the Wild West you crave, consume a hearty, home-cooked meal while enjoying a show at Barleen's Arizona Opry Theater. The act is centered on side-splitting comedy and beautiful musical harmonies. A true Mesa treasure, Rockin R' Ranch, Arizona's Wild West Town, lets visitors feel what it was like to live on a ranch in Arizona's pioneer days. Wagon rides, gun fights, and gold panning are just some of the activities accompanying the traditional cowboy BBQ menu.
Lastly, for the nostalgic, there is no other place like Organ Stop Pizza. The mighty Wurlitzer takes the stage here. Built in 1927, its nearly 6000 pipes, numerous percussions, and countless traps are masterfully presented by the restaurant's world-class musicians.
Fresh from the Sea
You can find some of the freshest sushi in the desert, who knew? There is never a dull moment while dining at RA, a hot spot for happy hour. Head over to sample a variety of sake or you could try your luck with a Blushing Geisha, one of the countless specialty cocktails offered. Ra carries only the freshest sashimi, or if you're looking for sushi with a kick, try the signature Zonie Roll packed with spicy salmon, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeño and topped with avocado. A more traditional sushi experience can be found at Sekai Sushi. Take a seat at the bar and enjoy a handmade roll, sashimi and friendly service.
Islamorada Fish Company, adjacent to Bass Pro Shops at Mesa Riverview, brings the best possible seafood from "The Keys" to the desert. Dine on the tastes of Mahi Mahi, Grouper and even Alligator while watching tropical fish swim by in the 13,000 gallon aquarium. During the winter months, warm up by the fifty foot fireplace. Visitors will leave satisfied and hungry to return again to try something different.
Wine & Watering Holes
Mesa's an oasis with numerous watering holes. At D'Vine Wine Bistro, their mission is to make wine approachable and take the guesswork out of selecting white, red and everything in between. Recognized with the 2008 Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence", D'Vine offers a full lunch and dinner menu with many options ready for any wine pairing. For those worried about driving after sampling some wine, have one of D'Vine's shuttle services pick you up at your door and drop you off at the end of the night. These complimentary shuttles give visitors an evening free of worrying who will make the drive home. Restaurant goers will certainly find the Old World ambience accompanied with hearty entrees satisfying. Wine lovers won't want to miss Sun Devil Liquors underground wine cellar. Jazz and blues music fills the bar, while patrons sip on various wines before buying the bottle upstairs in the retail store.
For a more urban take on the Mexican cantina, head east and take a load off on the patio at Dos Gringos, Salty's sister restaurant. Another hot spot for happy hour, signature specials here including Gringo Rolls, Sloppy 7-Layer Dip and the Pork Chili Verde Mexican crock-pot with bubbling jalapeno cream cheese.
Make your backyard barbecue an affair to remember at The Monastery Too. With no chefs on site, guests get to cook their own food just how they like it on the outdoor BBQ's. The Monastery makes for the ultimate good time with sand volleyball courts, ping pong tables, and a small amphitheater for live music.
Enjoy a fine hand rolled cigar blended with only premium tobacco at Big Sticks Fine Cigars, at Mesa Riverview, houses close to 1000 open boxes of cigars in its 380 square foot walk-in humidor sure to satisfy any tobacco aficionado. Enjoy a fresh cigar in the smoking lounge, which is lined with vintage tobacco memorabilia and includes a century old piano, billiards and game tables, and wide screen televisions.
Yes, we agree nothing compares to a Chicago red hot and a frosty cold one, but the dining options are just as enticing off the ball field here in Mesa. From spicy Southwestern cuisine and traditional taquerias to family restaurants guaranteed to generate memories - Mesa has several standout stops to satisfy any hunger pangs.
Spring training season in Mesa would not exist without a stop at Diamond's Sports Grille, less than two miles from Hohokam Stadium in Downtown Mesa. A longtime haven to baseball fans, its former owners include the legendary sports announcer Harry Caray and former MLB player Steve Stone. Serving up sports fan's traditional American favorites, Diamond's is definitely a crowd pleaser.
Green & Organic Dining
Just down the road in Queen Creek, guests can make reservations for an exquisite dining experience at Schnepf Farms. Their new Dinners Down the Orchard program takes place in the "middle of Arizona's largest peach orchard" on a 300 acre farm. Offered only four times a year, each one is hosted by a notable Phoenix-area chef. Past chefs have included Iron Chef Beau Macmillan from elements at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Eddie Matney from Scottsdale's Eddie's House restaurant and Matt Carter from Zinc Bistro in north Scottsdale. Dinners are farm casual and include numerous courses served under the stars. Guests to Schnepf Farms will also want to visit the Country Store and My Sister's Sweet Shop. On weekends, visitors can visit the Schnepf Family Museum, an original 100-year-old Schnepf homestead that was bought from an old rail station.
Just down the road in Gilbert's Heritage District, visitors can experience Liberty Market, a casual dining restaurant with a blend of wholesome American and modern décor. The menu features fresh salads, sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas. Liberty's fresh produce comes straight from Agritopia, owner Joe Johnston's 12-acre urban farm located just down the road. The signature Liberty Bowl, filled with roasted meatballs, marinara sauce and topped with Romano cheese, is a hearty dish sure to please comfort food lovers. Liberty Market is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and features a retail marketplace and traditional espresso bar.
Hearty American Fare
Country music superstar Toby Keith operates his fourth restaurant, I Love This Bar & Grill at the Mesa Riverview. The 900-seat restaurant is the first to open in the state and only the fourth location to open nationwide. The restaurant with an 85-foot guitar bar features live concerts, dancing, drinks and a full menu of American favorites. Toby Keith memorabilia line the walls including signed guitars, platinum records and clothing, "Redneck Loveseats", and the Toby Keith shop featuring special BBQ rubs and sauces based on recipes from the singer himself. The menu emphasizes home-style cooking from Toby's very own Chicken Fried Steak and Country Gravy recipe to a wide variety of menu.
Zuni Grill, inside the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa, serves up award-winning food to hotel guests and locals alike. Specialties include prime rib, USDA choice steaks, fresh seafood and veal marsala. Enjoy the Sunday Champagne brunch with an omelet bar, carved meats, fresh seafood, and traditional breakfast favorites.
Mexican & Southwestern Cuisine
Blue Adobe Grill combines the spicy flavor of red and green chilis from New Mexico with traditional Southwestern style cooking. Specialties include The Land of Enchantment, tender marinated tenderloins with pecan-grilled shrimp glazed in chipotle, served with a chicken enchilada, green chile potato and vegetables; and the spicy Carne Adovada, consisting of pork simmered in red chili and served in a flour tortilla.
Sidewalk Dining Along Main Street
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Sweet Cakes Café for homemade cookies, gooey cinnamon rolls and 5-layer brownies. Stop in for a casual lunch on the patio and enjoy soup, salad and gourmet sandwiches.
Traditional Mexican flavors spice up taste buds at Mangos Mexican Café & Bakery. Authentic tacos, tamales, enchiladas, burritos and other Northern Mexican food comprise the menu. Enjoy your meal inside the brightly colored restaurant sure to remind visitors of a Mexican fiesta or take it outside onto the sidewalk patio to enjoy the sunshine from under a bright umbrella.
Michelle Streeter, Director of Public Relations
Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau
Direct: 480-682-3638 Toll-free: 800-283-6372 x345
About the Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau:
The Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau is responsible for marketing Mesa, Arizona as a leading vacation, small meeting and sports travel destination to regional and national target audiences, including travel agents and group tour operators, meeting planners, leisure visitors and media.
Editor's Note: Readers can request a complimentary 2011 Official Mesa Arizona Visitors Guide at http://www.visitmesa.com/ or by calling 800-283-6372.
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