More successful overall is the mouthwateringly tender, slow-cooked short rib with notes of oregano, garlic, and cilantro. Alongside braised kale and woozy grits laced with jalapeño and cheddar, this hearty meal goes down well with an equally hearty brew.

For a staggeringly sweet and pyrotechnics-style ending, there is Praying Monk's Triple Chocolate Baked Alaskan. Featuring a dense, fudgy cake topped with a scoop of chocolate ice cream covered in rum-tinged meringue, the dessert, flambéed upon serving, resembles a giant toasting marshmallow. That is until the fire is sufficiently doused by the server with a generous pouring of warm chocolate sauce. If you weren't already sitting down, the intense level of sugar in the dish might make your knees buckle. Still, my dining guests and I finished it handily.

The stage for May's Praying Monk, in the former home of Iruña, his Spanish tapas place in Old Town, is set like any solid beer-swigging hangout in the area should be. Walls of brick and reclaimed wood surround a pleasingly low-lit dining area and a concrete-topped bar. Outside, there's a small yet pleasant patio with cushioned seats and a fireplace for evenings when the beer drinking can be had under the stars. Attentive servers, casual and happy to steer you to the restaurant's better dishes (trust them, they know), tend to customers clad in everything from the latest fashions to flip-flops and tees, sitting on leatherette booths and stools and eyeing vintage brewery photos.

Dishes from Praying Monk's menu of approachable, modern American fare can be paired with one of about 60 selections of brews.
Jackie Mercandetti
Dishes from Praying Monk's menu of approachable, modern American fare can be paired with one of about 60 selections of brews.

Location Info


Praying Monk

7217 E. 1st St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Central Scottsdale


Praying Monk
7217 East First Street, Scottsdale
480-398-3020 Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Crispy potatoes: $9
Praying Monk burger: $12
Paia fish sandwich: $12
Slow cooked short rib: $24
Praying Monk

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May is typically on hand. Chatting with customers, greeting industry folk popping in for an after-hours libation, and, most likely, thinking of what he'll do next — whether anyone likes it or not.

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All I can say is WOW!!!  Love the concept and the food and beer.