Budget Beat

Joe's Farm Grill: Lunch $10 & Under

Joe's Farm Grill may be way the heck out in Gilbert, but it's definitely worth the hike, especially if you're into Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Joe's is the first in the list: A renovated farmhouse has a classic 1950's feel in a picturesque setting called Agritopia.

Joe's makes life easy for Food Network fanatics, highlighting the items Guy tried in red: The Fontina Burger, Grilled Wedge Salad, BBQ Chicken Pizza, Ahi Tuna Sandwich, and Onion Rings. We decided to be a little more adventurous and grab the Grilled Peanut Butter + Banana Split sandwich that sounds like something fit for "The King" aka Elvis Pressley.

We grab a table in the farmhouse's former living room as it's a little chilly to be eating outside where all the fountain drinks and condiments are housed. Our art deco chairs cozy up to the fireplace, and we admire the family's dated portrait and sip on a real cane sugar-sweetened ginger ale straight from the bottle while we wait for our buzzer.

The grilled peanut butter and banana split sandwich comes on thick Texas toast with a side of fries that rivals the size of the sandwich itself. The mix of colors is particularly interesting: Yellow, brown and a slight hint of pink. We take our first bite and are a little surprised that something seems to be missing: Peanut butter. Maybe we just layer our PB on a little thick, but come on people, it's the main ingredient!

While Elvis may have ordered up a grilled peanut butter and banana, we'd save this split version for dessert. The strawberries, pineapple and chocolate chips were a little much, especially when we tried to alternate between the main course and our fries and ketchup.

Our friends made safer lunch choices: The grilled cheese loaded with both Fontina and cheddar and the BBQ pork plate with slaw and garlic flatbread. Given that Joe's Farm Grill is the sister of Joe's Real BBQ, the latter's gotta be a good bet, and it is, our friend assures us.

Next time, we're going to split a meal and order an Agritopia Medjool Date milkshake just to see what it tastes like... the wait staff told us they were too nervous to try it but that everyone who likes dates says it's fabulous.

Open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Joe's serves up all three meals, with a separate menu for breakfast. We'd make the trek back on a warmer day just to run around the grounds and attempt to climb the trees bigger around than we are tall (with a milkshake in hand, of course). Next time you're in the neighborhood, make a point to stop at Joe's, even if it is just to check out the super-cool restrooms.

Joe's Farm Grill
3000 E Ray Road

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Hannah E Williams