This week Chow Bella takes a look at the culinary options available to Spring Training fans outside of the stadiums. Yesterday we took a look at the East Valley. Today we'll feature dining and drinking options for all games held in the West Valley.
Peoria Sports Complex San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners 16101 N. 83rd Ave Peoria, AZ 85382 (623) 773-8700 www.peoriaaz.com
Inside the Ballpark:
Located on 83rd Avenue just south of Bell Road, the spring train home for the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners is easily accessible by freeway from anywhere in the valley. This stadium actually allows you to bring your own food and sealed water bottles to the game. If a bagged lunch isn't your thing, no worries - you"ll find everything from burritos to turkey legs inside,and even a cocktail bar.
Moon Shots: Pre and Post-Game Drinking: Fox and Hound Smokehouse and Tavern: Located just west of the stadium, this chain restaurant/bar is place to be if you want to party after the game and have a large group of people. Ton's of TV's, decent bar food and a good selection of beers. Be prepared, the Fox and Hound is more nightclub then sports bar after 7pm. 8320 W Mariners Way, Peoria (623) 486-2007
Hoot Owl:Tucked away in a strip mall about 5 minutes east of the stadium is Hoot Owls. Hoot Owls is a no frills spot to grab a cold one before or after the game, this is the spot. Super friendly staff and equally as friendly regulars make for a good experience. 4361 W Bell Rd, Phoenix (602) 938-9937
The Moon Saloon: Within walking distance from the stadium, The Moon Saloon caters to the 21-40 crowd. Good food, cheap drinks, and of course plenty of TV's. All in All a great neighborhood bar. 16554 N 83rd Avenue, Peoria (623) 773-2424
Table Setters: Family Friendly Greek Wraps: This is a simple family owned restaurant that serves Mediterranean and Greek food. The service is quick so you can grab something healthy before the game. 7369 W Bell Rd, Peoria (623) 776-1800
Fuzzy's Chicago Style Pizza: The walls at Fuzzy's are covered in Chicago sports memorabilia so you have a lot to look at while waiting for your deep dish pizza smothered in righ mozzarella. If you're not in the mood for pizza, try the Italian Beef sandwich. 8960 W Bell Road #110, Peoria (623) 977-2224
Carolina's Mexican Food: Quick, cheap and always consistently good. Carolina's is never a let down. A must if you're in the mood for Mexican but don't want to hassle with a sit down restaurant. 9030 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria (623) 487-1400
Sweet Spots: Fine Dining Line Thai: The quality of Line Thai's food is what makes this the go-to for Thai on the west side. Not much to look at on the outside, the inside is spacious and clean. 9805 W Bell Road, Sun City (623) 977-8940
Mike's Rigatoni Bistro: A Peoria favorite, Mike's serves up a combination of Italian and Greek foods in a casual atmosphere. Very reasonably priced especially during lunch time. Make sure you order the flaming cheese appetizer, Saganaki. 8215 W Bell Rd #125, Peoria (623) 979-0900 North:If you are looking for something a bit more upscale, North is a short 10 minute drive northeast of the Stadium, and worth the trip, with lots of salads and appetizers to choose from and an extensive wine list. Great happy hour deals from 3pm-6:30pm Monday through Saturday. 20004 N 67th Ave, Glendale (623) 537-4500
Circus Catch: Places to Spot Players You probably aren't going to have much luck seeing a player outside of the complex in Peoria or anywhere else on the west side. Rumor has it that you want to head over to Old Town Scottsdale. However, if you get to the game early enough for batting practice, some of the players have been known to shake hands and give autographs.
Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals: Surprise Stadium 15960 N. Bullard Ave., Surprise www.surprisespringtraining.com
Inside the Ballpark: Built on the site of a World War II pilot training field, Surprise Stadium is the hallmark of the 124-acre Surprise Recreation Campus, which includes six full practice fields and a half field for each of the two teams. Opening in 2002 and with all the amenities of a modern ballpark, Surprise Stadium boasts seating for up to 10,500 fans, a wide, 360-degree concourse, all-shade second deck, merry-go-round for the kids, and plenty of seating options, including a picnic-perfect lawn area (food must be inside a clear plastic bag). Because of its two Major League tenants, there's a game at Surprise Stadium nearly every day, which keeps the basic ballpark fare churning, along with a Rubio's stand at the left field line. The farthest west of the greater Phoenix valley spring training sites (25 miles northwest of Phoenix), fans making the trip may want to skip the static foodstuffs inside the stadium and explore the surrounding areas for more local flavor and fun.
Moon Shots: Pre- and Post-Game Drinking
Scoreboard's Sports Pub: Sports supporters looking for a low-key, no-frills, neighborhood bar to watch TV and have a cold one could do worse than Scoreboard's. A hint of Irish Pub makes the corned beef and cabbage appetizer worth a try, especially during happy hour, when it's half-price, and drafts are just three bucks.
15557 W Bell Rd, Surprise, 623-214-1101
Irish Wolfhound Pub: This busy Irish pub keeps baseball buffs coming back for above-average, reasonably priced Irish fare like corn beef Rubens, and Declan's Irish Stew. Sip a Harp's or Murphy's Amber by the patio fire pit or stop by on Wednesday night for team trivia. Slainte!
16811 N. Litchfield Rd., Surprise, 623-214-1004
Table Setters: Family Friendly
Deno's Pizza: The hospital across from this pizza joint is a cruel landmark laugh - especially since the only emergency seems to be getting enough of the Chicago style pies, served up with a blanket of cheese, thin crust and affordable price. BYOB and a buddy or two for a last-piece showdown.
14515 W. Grand Ave., Surprise 623-975-2600
Las Fuentes Mexican Grill: With more food than baseball fans can shake a wooden stick at, the fare at this festive foodery includes essential Mexican dishes, most around the perfect-for-sharing $9 mark. Patrons can nosh on enchiladas, chicken tostadas and fajitas, all while trying to make a dent in the mountain of nachos nearby.
13621 N. Litchfield Rd., Surprise 623-214-9256
Bayrischer Hof New German Restaurant: Bringing in some of the older Frau from Sun City, this pleasant, authentic German restaurant boasts packed plates of schweinebraten, jägerschnitzel, and killer potato salad in a heavy-duty dining room.
12535 W. Bell Road, Surprise, 623-583-1203
Sweet Spots: Fine Dining
Fresh Wasabi Sushi & Grill: Rolls are the racket at this no-nonsense, not-too-fancy eating establishment. Try the California Crunch, Yellowtail and Salmon or head to the special rolls section for the Climax, Booty Booty, or Guilty Pleasure. Lunch and happy hour specials mean supporters of sports and sushi can afford to try a few extras.
13732 W. Bell Rd., Surprise, 623-584-4800
Amuse Bouche: A small French restaurant that's big on taste, this quaint bistro features a large window to the kitchen, perfect for watching chefs cook up cabernet burgers, lamb pininis and beef tenderloin. BYOB, bring a friend, make reservations, and make sure to save room for the can't-skip French desserts.
17058 W. Bell Rd., Surprise, 623-680-7280
Chocolate Surprise: Hand-drawn cocoa beans on the sidewalk won't prepare chocolate lovers for the sights and smells inside this adults-only chocolate paradise. Green Tea and hot butter rum truffles, along with classic favorites like chocolate covered pretzels and caramel squares adorn the walls. And at only $1.60 apiece, sports fans can afford to ditch the peanuts and Cracker Jack and self-indulge for the drive home.
15170 W. Bell Rd., Surprise, 623-214-1856
Circus Catch: Places to Spot Players Since the Rangers' and Royals' clubhouses are in the outfield corners of Surprise Stadium, players don't have to get cozy with fans unless they want to. When it gets close to game time, a handful of players will sign near their respective dugouts. The best place for fans is in sections 113-118, with Rangers players signing down the right field line and Royals players signing down the left field line.
Milwaukee Brewers: Maryvale Baseball Park 600 N. 51st Avenue, Phoenix http://phoenix.gov/SPORTS/marystad.html
Inside the Ballpark: One of the best values in baseball and home to the Milwaukee Brewers since 1998, the Maryvale Baseball Park treats its fans to affordable seats without a bad one in the bunch. The unique design of the stadium, first opened in 1998, offers a recessed playing field and shaded concourse. For Brew Crew buffs who love the sun and an even cheaper admission, there's an enormous, but steep grass area (sorry, no coolers allowed). Sit behind the 1st and 3rd base dugouts for the best chance at scoring post-inning freebies, and be sure to stay seat-glued after the sixth when the Klement's Sausage Race occurs (then get some snaps with the five famous mincemeats by the main gate). While the atmosphere at the stadium is decidedly fan-friendly and flowing with Miller beer, the food offerings are strictly no-frills. And with mostly chain and fast food restaurants within eyeshot of the ballpark, fans should plan a short drive to pre- and post-game pigouts in advance, and leave the racing around to the sausages.
Moon Shots: Pre- and Post-Game Drinking
Alice Cooper's Town: With a concept as bizarre as Alice himself, Cooper'stown is a successful mix of sports and rock 'n' roll. While the dinner menu is a bit scary, music and sports fans alike can play it safe with drinks and appetizers, or ask one of the Alice Cooper clones to serve up "The Big Unit," a 22-inch hot dog that's more novelty than taste treat, while watching one of the huge TV screens inside or lounging on the patio.
141 E. Jackson St., Phoenix, 602-253-7337
Famous Sam's - Glendale: This bare-bones hangout is as much for locals as it is fans who just want to chill with a cold libation and watch sports on multiple high-definition TVs. Check out a variety of live music, DJ nights and karaoke throughout the week.
4343 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, 602-505-2067
Half Moon Sports Grill: With more TVs than you can count, including a few in the bathrooms, this upscale sports bar offers home-run hounds spacious seating, a large, misted patio and above-average bar food. While the draft beer selection is lacking, the happy hour specials cover all the bases.
2121 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix, 602-977-2700
Table Setters: Family Friendly
Original Hamburger Works: Baseball fans can pop a cold one with regulars at the centralized bar or play a game of ping-pong or horseshoes outside on the patio. Grab a juicy burger then head to the condiment wagon and load up before settling in to watch the day's highlights on one of six TVs.
2801 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix, 602-263-8693
Tortas La Presa: Very simple, very ethnic, very strip mall, this casual Mexico City-style eatery is best known for their towering tortas and festive fruit drinks. The affordable menu features Spanish descriptions only, but the pictures should be enough to make any burrito buff's mouth water. Just make sure to bring your own brew, el alcohol no está disponible.
1811 N. 24th St., Phoenix, 602-275-1437
Great Wall Cuisine: Carts piled high with noodle nourishment weave through tables of families, friends and fans in this strip mall meets banquet hall atmosphere, making the wait short and sweet for delightful dim sum or classic favorites like ha gua or shiu mai. And with ridiculously cheap prices on mounds of food, souvenir stalkers can afford an extra purchase at the stadium gift shop.
5057 N. 35th Ave., Phoenix, 602-973-1112
Sweet Spots: Fine Dining
Bobby Q's: Located right off the highway, the smell of smoky ribs from the parking lot leads hungry sports hounds to a delicious and dimly-lit barbeque experience. Head straight for the beef brisket or try one of the sampler platters. Bobby's mac 'n' cheese is enough to make any Milwaukee fan smile (try it with hot sauce or jalapeño peppers for an added kick), and the complimentary sugared donuts are a game-ending home run.
8501 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, 602-995-5982
Tabletop Grill & Sushi: Korean, Korean Chinese, and Japanese food is served in a clean, open, atmosphere that transports baseball fans from the bleachers to blonde wood in a tea house-like atmosphere. Try the tangsuyuk, kalbi or chicken teriyaki. Service can be slow at times, so make sure to bring good conversation, baseball or otherwise.
4211 W. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, 602-973-3188
Haus Murphy's: Wisconsin sports one of the largest populations of German-Americans, so Brewer fans should feel right at home in this Oktoberfest oasis of schnitzels, and sauerkraut, washed down with a mug of Franziskaner Dunkel and oompah music.
5739 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 623-939-2480
Circus Catch: Places to Spot Players The Brewers team hotel is located a half hour away in Tempe, so chances are, catching one in or around Maryvale won't happen. Try hanging around the gate by the Brewers' clubhouse at the right field line at the stadium.
Los Angeles Dodgers & Chicago White Sox: Camelback Ranch
div>Moon Shots: Pre- and Post-Game Drinking
Inside the Ballpark: The Goodyear Ballpark is the spring training home to the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds. Just a year old, this will be the first year the Indians will be in their new 10,000 seat home. No outside food is allowed but there is plenty of good (if typical) stuff inside. If you are looking to grab a bite before or after the game, keep in mind that this place is in the middle of nowhere. Luckily there is life a few miles to the North.
Moon Shots: Pre and Post-Game Drinking: Hoot and Howl: A small sports bar/pub with fairly decent food and good selection of beers. It's also known for being a friendly place to take the little ones. 55 N Litchfield Road, Goodyear (623) 932-3580
Native New Yorker: Lots of TV's and great daily specials make Native New Yorker a safe bet on food and atmosphere. Make sure to get an order of the honey hot wings. 530 N Estrella Parkway, Goodyear (623) 882-0022
Table Setters: Family Friendly Augie's Sports Grill: A little more west, new local favorite Augie's will not disappoint on food, service or price. A wide variety of your standard yet above average bar food, 15 TV's and a patio make this a prime spot to take the kids 15605 W. Roosevelt St. #100, Goodyear (623) 932-0001
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Bill Johnson's Big Apple: These guys have been around FOREVER. The food is ok at best and the service is hit or miss but when it's all about the kids, sometimes you have to take one for the team. What kid doesn't love a place with sawdust on the floors and root beer floats? Bonus-Kids eat free Wednesday and Sunday nights after 3pm 1330 N Dysart Rd, Goodyear (602) 264-5565
Sweet Spots: Fine Dining Bella Luna Ristorante: Don't let the fact it's in a strip mall scare you away. Inside is a cozy, family owned Italian restaurant with amazing food and romantic ambiance. 14175 W Indian School Rd, Goodyear (623) 535-4642
Thai Orchid Restaurant: A little north of the ballpark but worth the drive. This tiny Thai restaurant has been called the best Thai on the west side. 12725 W Indian School Rd #A-104, Avondale (623) 536-2800