As general aviation declines, small airports around the state and country are forced to shut down their runways for good. It's understandable -- not everyone wants to hear the sound of low flying aircraft in their backyard or smell the fumes of jet fuel when they step outdoors. But as these small airports close, we lose more than just a place for pilots to land their plane. We also lose the restaurants that serve them.
Deer Valley Airport Restaurant is one of this dying breed of dining destinations, a place where the line between "airport restaurant" and "a restaurant at an airport" begin to blur. On one hand, the dining room's aviation-centric decor and view of two busy runways assures that this is definitely an airport restaurant. But looking at the menu alone, it would be easy to imagine this spot somewhere in the eastern United States, diners specializing in homespun and hearty fare can easily be found. Dishes like the near-perfect pork chop and satisfying Sloppy Joe make this restaurant one that we'd hate to see go.
Here's an except from this week's review:
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Like the pies, much of the food at the Deer Valley Airport is homemade and heavy. The onion rings might come frozen from a bag, but you won't really care if they accompany your Sloppy Joe, a heaping portion heavy on the onions and a mildly sweet sauce. At only $7.99, it's a bargain. Same with the chicken enchilada, which, like many of the Mexican-inspired dishes I tried, was some of the best food on the menu. Take a seat at the expansive counter and you'll have a perfect view of what's coming out of the kitchen: patty melts, chicken fried steak, and a nearly flawless rendition of corned beef and cabbage, salty, fatty, and spilling over the side of the platter.
Hungry for more? Check out our full review of Deer Valley Airport Restaurant.