Hangar Cafe
Want an unusual venue to go along with your tasty breakfast? Pop this address in your iPhone's map app and venture out to Chandler Municipal Airport for a down-home breakfast at the bustling Hangar Cafe. Sit at the counter and you'll likely find yourself scarfing down steak 'n' eggs next to sky jockeys fortifying themselves before they take their Cessnas for a spin. (In our case, we spotted Los Angeles Dodger and former ASU star Andre Ethier noshing the morning after his team spanked the D-Backs.) Huevos rancheros, omelets, chicken-fried steak, biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, and sweet stuff like pancakes and waffles make up the Hangar's expansive menu. And just as you'd expect from an inexpensive, no-frills breakfast joint, the serving sizes are generous, to say the least. Make sure you get sautéed green pepper and onions on your hash browns, because they really hit the spot. After you've loaded up for a hard day of work (or just a hard day doin' nothing at all), go upstairs and sit a spell on the Hangar's carpeted and covered observation deck for your daily moment of Zen watching the single-prop planes glide toward Earth and touch down safely.
Chase Field
Section 137-138
Chase Field
Time was, hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack, and a cold beer would about do it at a ballgame. But that was then, and this is now. We are always on the prowl for different fare, even at the yard. We are very fond of Chase Field. No, it's not Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, and it doesn't look like much from the outside, but the place is quite inviting once you step through the turnstiles. And we absolutely love the green corn and beef tamales that East Valley chef Rey Cota and his friendly staff serve up for five bucks apiece at each of the Diamondbacks' 81 home games. Located way down the left-field line, the little tamale stand is popular with both locals and out-of-towners eager to sample local fare. Unlike the home team, these tamales simply can't be beaten.
Maui Dog
Maui Dog's food challenge is unique, featuring two "shaggy"-style Kahuna Lava Dogs (half-pound beef dogs bathed in chili, Maui cole slaw, and Monterey jack cheese), two more dogs of your choice, two double-beef sliders, and one small basket each of French fries and tater tots. It's also a good deal — finish in 30 minutes and the $35 meal is free, plus you get a special T-shirt that gets you 15 percent off any future purchases you make while wearing it. You get a little punch card fully stamped and good for one free future meal, even if you fail. Cowabunga.
480-446-0579
Normally, finishing a few chili peppers would be no problem, but the eating challenge at this annual festival of tacos and tequila consists of seven rounds of increasingly hot peppers — the last of which is the dreaded ghost chili, a pepper so hot that the Indian military recently approved its use in hand grenades. If mind-numbing oral pain and the loss of control of all facial functions sound fun to you, go for it. Finish each pepper within the three-minute time limit and you win a sizable cash prize, the respect of the crowd, and an almost certain case of the lava shits. Hooray?
Four years ago, Phoenix's dining scene joined the ranks of those in San Francisco, Manhattan, and Chicago with an annual week of three-course dining specials at participating upscale eateries around the Valley. It was so popular that, this year, a new spring version popped up, giving us a double dose of meal deals at favorite Valley hotspots including Beckett's Table, Citizen Public House, and Noca. Thirty to 40 bucks per person might not seem like a huge deal if you're used to chain fare, but then again, we're not talking 49-cent tacos or Big Macs here. We love that a dozen or so of the menus included wine pairings this time around, and that there was no shortage of gluten-free or vegetarian dishes for our picky friends. Not that we need an excuse to hit up Beckett's or Cowboy Ciao, but having twice the opportunity to get a top-notch meal on the cheap makes us — and our wallets — extra happy.
Taco Migo
Tedd Roundy
Just opened in July, Taco Migo is more than just another taquería in the Valley. So, what sets it apart, you ask? Its hours of operation — as in, it's always operating. Yes, this place is open 24-7, meaning you can set down a base before going out for a night of drinking or settle in for a much-needed burrito, tacos, chips and salsa, or Sonoran hot dog after you've closed down your favorite bar. And if you feel you just haven't pumped quite enough booze in your veins (and you're not the designated driver, of course), you can keep drinking here, because Taco Migo serves beer and margaritas, too. Conveniently located in the shadow of Interstate 10 on Baseline Road, Taco Migo is just the sort of place that Tempe partiers and night owls were born to frequent. After last call, Taco Migo beckons.

Editor's note: As of late October 2011, Taco Migo is no longer open 24 hours a day.

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