BEST AUTHENTIC ARIZONA RESTAURANT - 2004
Pinnacle Peak Patio
So just what the hell is "authentic Arizona" cuisine? Roasted javelina with a prickly pear salad and a side of chopped roadrunner liver? Hmm, come to think of it, that doesn't sound half bad. But until some gifted chef realizes our twisted culinary vision, we'll stick to Scottsdale's Pinnacle Peak Patio, which serves porterhouse steaks you can use as doorstops and bowls of cowboy beans that call to mind that infamous campfire scene from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles. (For those of you who haven't seen it, think "musical fruit.") The remainder of the menu you could fit on a napkin: burgers, ribs, corn on the cob, and a slice of apple pie á la mode for dessert. The ambiance is, well, rustic, with sawdust on the floor, red-and-white-checked cloths on the picnic tables, wooden benches instead of chairs, and old-fashioned kerosene lamps made of pewter. The only modern decor hangs from the roof beams -- a field of neckties cut from the collars of any who dare defy the management's long-standing No Necktie Policy. Since it opened in 1957, the Triple-P has hosted stars such as Joan Crawford, Jane Russell, Paul Newman, George C. Scott, and our favorite, Wayne Newton, as well as tons of ordinary folks hungry for a taste of the Old West. But would it kill 'em to put a little javelina jerky on the menu? Sheesh.