Each week we venture to a new restaurant to check out what the spot has to offer during our favorite time of day — happy hour. Whether it's affordable appetizers, delicious drinks, jaw-dropping deals, or none of the above, we'll check out the situation and report back.
The Spot: Roaring Fork
4800 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
The Hours: Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays. You read that right.
Perfect For: A good buzz, while you’re getting a good buzz. This place is so lively you’d swear the table next to you was full of teenagers, rather than the (likely) octogenarians who fill the seats at happy hour.
The Interior: Roaring Fork is located at the base of an office building; in fact, just beyond the restrooms lies a fluorescent hallway that is sure to lead to cubicles. But the restaurant is a diamond in the office rough – a bustling, glowing hub of chatter, good food, and stellar cocktails. Happy hour is located in the bar or on the patio, and it’s no secret that this is one of the better deals in town. Get there early or be prepared to elbow some strangers out of your way to grab a table.
The Food: Is there anything better than a good burger? We certainly couldn’t think of anything, so that’s what we ordered. At Roaring Fork, the “Big Ass Burger” comes with pepper bacon, poblano peppers, and the rest of the fixings for $10 during happy hour ($14.50, normally). Ours was delicious, but a little overdone. The jovial bartender, noting our displeasure, refused to let us pay for the burger and promptly provided another margarita to boot. If that’s not service recovery, we’re not sure what is. Other menu items had Southwestern flair, like the green chile pork ($8, normally $10.50) or the fish tacos ($10, normally $19). There were soups and salads for the party poopers in your party, too.
The Drinks: $5 wines by the glass, a $7 prosecco, and $5 Roaring cocktails are the name of the game during happy hour here. And in that game, there are no losers. We got the Roaring Fork margarita, and added the seasonal huckleberry at our bartender’s suggestion (no added charge, just added color). It was delightful. The rest of the cocktail menu featured the perfect mix of fun (an “Adult Arnold Palmer,” made with Sweet Tea vodka and lemonade) and classic (martinis, Manhattans, and mojitos, oh my).
Conclusion: Go to Roaring Fork’s happy hour like we should all go to the polls: early and often. You might have to bribe, cajole, flirt, or elbow your way into a seat, but the outstanding offerings and friendly service will make it worth the effort.
Don’t Miss: Chatting with your neighbor; this place draws a great crowd and a lot of regulars.
Skip This: Arriving late. Parking and tables are scarce.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.