Public House Garage: Happy Hour Report Card

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The Spot: The Garage Public House4855 East Warner Road, Ahwatukee, (480) 940-6455

The Hours: 3- 7 p.m., 7 days a week. A reverse HH is also offered from 10 p.m.- 12 a.m., Sunday through Thursday.

The Details: Choose from a long list of discounted appetizers that stay within a cheap $3 - $6 range and include an eclectic (or random) mix of finger foods such as, black bean hummus, wings, a margherita pizza and carne asada queso dip

Happy hour deals on booze include all draft beer and well drinks for only $3, vodka red bulls for $4 (uh-oh, we're not in Downtown Phoenix anymore, Todo) and select wines by the glass for $5. Though PHG has a list of specialty cocktails like moscow mules, martinis and skinny margs, happy hour discounts do not apply here. However, who needs sissy chick drinks when there's a $3 price tag on a draft beer selection from the gods. PHG offers over ten beers on draft, many of which are from local micro brewing companies such as Four Peaks, Papago and Sun Tan Brewery.

The Interior: Though The Garage hopes to come off as a"gastro-pub," the interior feels a little like a sports bar with flat screen tvs positioned in clear view around their enormous circular bar. Sports bar or gastro pub, the enviroment is fun, clean and casual.
The wonderful staff is really what makes this Ahwatukee destination shine. The bartenders were cool, fun and geniunly excited to help guide us through the many food and beer options.

The Cost: Fried zucchini, a maragrita pizza, and carne asada queso dip plus three beers came out to $25 before tax and tip.

The Conclusion: Despite the generous portion and price on our margherita pizza and carne asads queso dip, the quality was just okay. However, their beer battered zucchini served with a secret mayo-based dipping sauce and ranch was delicious, proving deep fried bar food comes naturally to this 8-month old east valley eatery.

While the extensive draft beer selection, beer battered zuccini and fun staff scored big in our books, the food and non existent cocktail deals reinforced our belief that PHG is a sports bar suffering an idenity crisis, feeling almost as if their denying their inner suburbia in an attempt to be something their not-- a trendy "gastro pub".

Ultimately, we found our East Valley venture offered good-clean fun at a very cheap price. In the meantime, we're cheering for PHG to find the proper balance between neighborhood bar and gastro pub in order to succeed.

Overall grade: C+

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