Jimmy and Joe's Pizzeria
Jackie Mercandetti

All right, we get it. Jimmy & Joe's calls its pizza slices "serious slices" for a very good reason. These things are seriously huge, and seriously delicious. Cut from what must be a three-foot pie, and served on a wide metal pizza pan, each piping hot piece is big enough to require two hands to hold it. Luckily, that's nothing to worry about, since they give each customer a handy pizza cutter to slice it into more manageable pieces. We're fond of the garlicky Hawaiian pizza, the meat-laden Carnivore, and the zesty Popeye, topped with spinach, basil, garlic, tomato, mozzarella, and feta. Even when we attempt a diet, there's the cheeseless Healthy Choice, smothered with veggies. And no matter what we choose, the New York-style crust — miraculously thin and crisp on the bottom, with fat, chewy edges — tastes great. Seriously.

Half Moon Sports Grill
Diana Martinez

Considering how many TVs are tuned to sports in this place, it's probably safe to say that it's always game day at Half Moon Sports Grill. But even if it weren't, we'd still come here just for the chicken wings. We get a hankering for a good batch of wings more often than we'd like to admit, and at Half Moon, there's no need to keep track of how many we're actually eating. These are sold by the pound instead of the dozen, so it's easier for us to gorge on these plump, juicy snacks (almost) guilt-free. Seven kinds of sauces keep us happy, from sambal (hot sauce) and barbecue to Thai peanut and honey chipotle.

And there's even a boneless version, all crispy, golden fried meat, no need to gnaw. Really, these scrumptious wings give us reason to cheer — and since it's always game day, no one will even mind if we do.

Welcome Diner
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

Simplicity is underrated, especially in the case of potatoes. You can do just about anything to a spud — purée it, bake it, dress it up with fancy toppings — but sometimes the best thing you can do is just revel in its delicious flavor. That's why we love the French fries at Welcome Diner, where they cook them up the old-fashioned way. There's no doubt these taters are fresh, since the tiny row of counter seats in this cozy vintage restaurant affords an unhindered view of the potato slicer. (And we can definitely attest to how much use the thing gets, partly thanks to our own French fry fixation.) Fried up to a mouthwatering golden brown and sprinkled with salt, these crispy, skin-on beauties are nothing short of potato perfection.

Delux Grill + Sushi
Lauren Cusimano

Lately, we've noticed that we hardly ever order burgers anymore — unless we're at Delux. Why settle for less? The signature burger at this sleek, stylish bar and grill is the only one we truly crave when our carnivorous instincts kick in, and apparently we're in good company, seeing how busy Delux always seems to be. Dripping with juices and cooked to order (we like ours medium-rare), the Delux burger is a huge patty of freshly ground Harris Ranch beef on a toasted demi-baguette, topped with Maytag and Gruyère cheeses, sweet caramelized onions, applewood-smoked bacon, and arugula. It's a heady combination of flavors that gets us moaning with delight from the first to the last bite. No wonder this burger gets so much buzz.

Ted's Charcoal Broiled Hot Dogs
Natalie Miranda

Some people think hot dogs are meant to be eaten only at a ballgame or a backyard barbecue — but those folks obviously haven't been to Ted's Hot Dogs. Too bad they don't know what they're missing.

These charcoal-broiled wienies are plump and smoky, tucked into fresh, soft buns that are just sturdy enough to hold up under whatever toppings we might be craving, from relish, onions, and mustard to chili and cheese. Whenever we're in the vicinity of Ted's, just the thought of sinking our teeth into one of these beauties is enough to make us stop by for a snack. Add some homemade onion rings and a chocolate shake, and we'll call it one of the best meal deals in town.

Miracle Mile Deli

We love our guilty pleasures, and sometimes there's nothing more seductive than a kickass pastrami sandwich. Diet be damned, we say! And the best place to satisfy our serious jones for pastrami is at Miracle Mile Deli, where they make 'em as sloppy-good as they come, stuffed with tender, thinly sliced meat. Along with the standard hot pastrami — always a good bet — there's more. How about barbecue pastrami? Or the outrageous combo sandwich, with pastrami and corned beef?

We're longtime fans of the famous Straw sandwich, which combines hot pastrami with sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese, although we occasionally branch out and order the New Yorker, a lick-your-fingers kind of sammie with pastrami, cole slaw, and Miracle Mile dressing. And as if that's not enough proof that this place is definitely devoted to our favorite sandwich, there's even a triple-decker version. Over the top? Maybe, but that's what we love about Miracle Mile.

The Rose & Crown Pub

It's true, a stick-to-your-ribs meal of fish and chips serves a very practical purpose: to fortify us for a long night of beer drinking, to fuel us through long-winded bar conversations, and to give us the edge in countless rounds of pool and darts. But even if we weren't up for that — even if we were, say, sticking to Diet Coke and calling it an early night — fish and chips would still be one of our favorite dishes. Rose & Crown does it up especially well, with thick, juicy cod fillets dipped in Newcastle batter and fried until light, crisp, and golden. The thick, hand-cut chips are addicting, with crunchy edges and a fluffy, potato-y middle, while the tartar sauce, filled with big chunks of pickle, is uniquely good.

Latitude Eight Thai Grill

Do you have a certain dish that you can't help ordering every time you see it on a menu? We're that way with tom kha, the dreamy soup that's a menu staple at every Thai restaurant in town. Truly, we get giddy at the thought of eating this ambrosia, and we're constantly on the lookout for a tasty rendition. And we've recently found a new favorite place to slurp down this silky, aromatic soup of coconut milk, kaffir lime, galangal, lemongrass, and cilantro: Latitude Eight Thai Grill. The sleek, contemporary Thai eatery opened up earlier this year just off of Chandler's happening San Marcos Square, and it's been packed with hungry locals who can't get enough of the mouthwatering dishes. Count us among them, especially for the tom kha. Here, they bring you a bowl filled with tender chunks of chicken and fresh herbs, then ceremoniously pour the liquid over it. If it weren't so piping hot, we'd probably ask them to just pour it straight into our mouths; it's that good.

Four Peaks Brewing Company
New Times Archives

These guys really stepped it up. Four Peaks could've easily coasted on the reputation of its award-winning beer, but instead, the local brewpub serves up delectable dishes that are noteworthy in their own right. Rounding out a classic array of burgers, beer-battered fries, wings and nachos, there's a surprising assortment of internationally inspired eats, from Thai hummus to fresh-baked Bavarian pretzels to shrimp and goat cheese bruschetta. Other highlights include handmade pizzas, the Tap Room Tenderloin sandwich (topped with blue cheese and crispy onions), and slow-roasted carne adovada. You don't find food this good at just any neighborhood bar, that's for sure.

Atlas Bistro
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

Here's a concept we wish we'd thought of: a BYOB restaurant with a wine shop right next door. The folks at Atlas Bistro really figured out a clever way to keep wine lovers happy. Who needs a wine list, anyway, when customers can browse the well-stocked aisles at AZ Wine Co.? The two businesses are actually connected by a doorway, so you can peruse the menu and check in with the hostess, shop for a bottle, and then settle in for a memorable dinner. True to the jet-setting connotation of the restaurant's name, Atlas chefs Brandon Crouser and Joshua Riesner create contemporary dishes with influences that are all over the culinary map, such as veal sweetbreads saltimbocca-style, or ginger duck breast with Grana Padana mushroom risotto and red wine hibiscus reduction. Sophisticated cuisine calls for stellar wines, and at Atlas Bistro, there's no shortage of those.

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