BEST ESCARGOTS Phoenix 2006 - Christo's
Say what you want about Republicans, them GOPers ain't stupid. That's why you'll always see a gray-haired herd of elephants in Christo's during the lunch and dinner hours at the old-school Eye-tie joint. At Christo's, the waiters do everything but kiss your tootsies, the grub is good, the drinks are stiff, and they've always got Sinatra on the box. No wonder moneybag conservative types flock here. But what keeps us coming back despite our lack of Grand Old Party affiliation is the linguini escargots: fat black gastropods in a light marinara sauce with garlic and mushrooms over pasta. The taste is so simple, earthy and satisfying that you wonder why more places don't make an effort to depart from the usual butter-and-garlic snail shtick. Moreover, it's a steal on Christo's lunch menu, at $7.50 a plate, a real value for well-heeled Republicans and down-at-the-heels Democrats alike.