St. Francis in Phoenix: Happy Hour Report Card

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The Spot: St. Francis 111 East Camelback Road 602-200-8111 www.stfrancisaz.com

See Also: 5 Childhood-Inspired Desserts In Metro Phoenix

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 3 until 6 p.m.

The Interior: St. Francis has become a staple in the dining scene in town with freshly baked bread, an open-air bar, and simple, subtly spiced veggie-driven eats. It also doesn't hurt that the restaurant on Camelback Road east of Central Avenue offers happy hour every day, a definite plus for people with busy workweeks. Sit by the kitchen, at the bar, inside, or on the large patio to enjoy happy hour options.

The Food: We can't help feeling tricked. The happy hour menu lists 11 food options, from the housemade baguette to Moroccan meatballs and pork chile verde. One would assume that these options carry happy hour discounts, since they are listed with discounted drinks, but that would be an incorrect assumption. Despite listing those items on the menu, not all of them carry a happy hour discount.

However, the regularly priced $2 baguette is a steal, anyway. The warm, crisp, and charred bread comes with a side of olive oil and sea salt and is a must-try for local bread lovers. The chicken salad sandwich, forbidden rice bowl, and French onion burger all chop $4 off their regular price, but at St. Francis we can't help ordering the seasonal soup. This time around, the $6 bowl was an apple and celery root puree that is every bit as velvety in texture and complex in flavor as any other soup we've had at St. Francis.

The Drink: There's no smoke and mirrors with the drink pricing at St. Francis, thankfully. The full specialty cocktail menu gets a $4 price cut per drink, while local and national craft drafts are cut $2 per pint, bottle, or can. Wine is also half off during happy hour, making it a good stop to please most imbibing tastes. The cocktails range from an almond margarita to a gin-based cucumber cocktail, but we love the richness of the cider sidecar, which was heavy on the brandy but was also sweet, spiced, and appley.

The Conclusion: While we weren't thrilled that some of the happy hour food items weren't actually discounted, what is discounted is a good deal and what isn't discounted is still reasonably priced. The drink menu also has one of the most generous arrays of discounts we've seen on happy hour menus to date and the ambiance is that perfect blend of casual and upscale that makes it easy to bring anyone to.

Grade: A-

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