First Taste

Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers in North Scottsdale Needs to Add "Tot-Chos" To Name

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions. Share a few photos, some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers Location: 20831 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale Open for: Just over two weeks Eats: American Price Point: $11-$30

A new restaurant from the owners of Arcadia Tavern and whose name alone should be adequate enough to understand the concept, Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers is tucked into the Grayhawk Plaza on Scottsdale Road between Thompson Peak and Grayhawk Drive.

The menu features half-pound signature burgers (including the $18 Mammoth Double Burger featuring over a pound of meat) with sliders, jumbo dogs, classic sandwiches, salads, boozy adult shakes, and four varieties of mac 'n' cheese, including a BYOM (Build Your Own Mac) version, in supporting roles. And, like the name implies, there's a nice selection of cold beers, including several local varieties, with which to wash down the eats.

Eats like the Tot-Chos. Whoever whipped up this creation needs his hand shaken -- vigorously.

Featuring a pile of seasoned tots (and that's the half-order), topped with scoops of beef chili so good it should be available as its own menu item, sour cream, guacamole, and a roasted pepper cheese sauce that brings some heat, CB&C's Tot-Chos are a must-order crowd-pleaser of the most decadent kind. My friendly order-taker-guy said the buffalo chicken dip is popular as well, but, hey, you had me at tot.

The Hot & Smokey mac 'n' cheese, a three-cheese blend with smoked bacon, English peas, and diced jalapeños, was, despite the ingredients, devoid of a standout flavor. I was hopeful about the meaty wings (called "grilled drummettes," on the menu) because they smelled wonderful, thanks to a signature sauce of golden mustard. Unfortunately, they were overcooked.

The heat struck again on my gourmet hamburger, the Pittsburger. A staff favorite, I was told, the burger is topped with french fries, crunchy slaw, a flavorful grilled tomato (an ingredient on many of the burgers), and American cheese between a perfect bun that was crispy on the edges. If it weren't for the handmade patty prepared well done instead of medium rare (the preparation I had requested), it would have been bliss.

The room is bright and comfortable, with locals chatting it up or watching one of at least a dozen TVs while classic rock plays in the background. There's also a patio in the front by the parking lot. And, if you're really bored, there's a burger challenge that starts at three patties and gets you a spot on CB&C's Hall of Fame board if you succeed.

Sure, there's some snags in the kitchen, but it looks like Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers has a good start on becoming a destination for both in North Scottsdale.

What say you, burger biters? Have you been to Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers yet? What did you think?

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld