Happy Hour

Barrelhouse in Chandler: Happy Hour Report Card

The Spot: Barrelhouse American Kitchen & Cocktails 2050 North Alma School Road, Chandler 480-857-8877 www.facebook.com/barrelhouseaz

See Also: - 16 Favorite Places in Metro Phoenix to Eat at the Bar - Blue Hound Kitchen in Phoenix: Happy Hour Report Card - Chandler's Barrelhouse Rolls Out with a Few Bumps

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered Monday through Saturday from 4 until 6:30 p.m.

The Interior: With aged paneling freshly painted white adorning the walls coupled with the dark furnishing throughout the restaurant, Barrelhouse looks simple and modern. While we think the décor could use a little boost to look less like a dingy motel bar, it's certainly distinguished itself from its neighbors as something more in the strip mall off of Alma School and Warner roads in Chandler.

The Food: We must admit our opinion of Chandler restaurants is biased at best, and we're sorry. Barrelhouse--you've proved us wrong. Plate after plate of $6 options revealed balanced and unique flavor combinations put together in an aesthetically pleasing manner. The roasted chile shrimp on a bed of sweet pasilla was much better quality than the $6 price tag would suggest.

The fried artichoke bruschetta had a deliciously complex texture and flavor combo, and the maple smoked pork belly with crostini and tangy dressed greens was a sweet and decadent treat for pork lovers. The best value of all of the tasty app options for happy hour was a $6 burger and fries plate, which we ordered medium rare and received, welcomingly, medium rare. If you're looking for a full meal, the Harris Ranch chuck burger is the way to go.

The Drink: With an impressive list of drafts, all $1 off per pint during happy hour, craft beer lovers should drop by Barrelhouse. We suggest Ommegang's saison Hennepin. However, you'd be cheating yourself if you didn't try one of Barrelhouse's expertly made signature cocktails, which are $3 off regular pricing during happy hours. The list of cocktails is organized by overall flavor composition, with "sweet and sultry," "bright and crisp," "stirred and strong" and "bitter and herbal" options. We tried one of the bitter and herbal cocktails named the good goddess, which was frothy with egg white with a strong anise flavor and a hint of celery on the back, garnished with black pepper. Definitely one of the most unique cocktails we've tasted in town.

The Conclusion: Great food and craft beverage has come to Chandler in a big way through Barrelhouse's happy hour. We're definitely adding this spot to our regular rotation of happy hour stops. There's so much more to be said about their barrel-aged cocktails and "roulette" options, but we think you should just go and experience it for yourself.

Grade: A

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch