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The Lodge in Scottsdale: Happy Hour Report Card

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The Spot: The Lodge 4422 North 75th Street, Scottsdale 480-945-0828 www.lodgescottsdale.com

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered every day from 3 until 7 p.m.

See also: Sasquatch Burgers Draw Patrons to Aaron May's The Lodge

The Interior: The interior of the Lodge approximates a ski lodge at a mountain resort, including a fireplace complete with a television screen showing a fake fire and mounted animals on the walls. The bar and a handful of booths line the long side of the L-shaped dining area, while the other side is filled with tables. A pool table and other bar games are tucked away near the bar but out of the way of anyone not using them. Overall, the Lodge has a friendly, casual vibe. For outdoor seating, there's a large patio with plenty of seats and standing room.

The Food: The Lodge is one of the few bars in Scottsdale (or anywhere for that matter) where the food is worth eating regardless of sobriety and happy hour pricing. During happy hour, a good portion of the appetizers are half-off, which works well because the size of the appetizers can either be shared among the table or used as an entire meal for one person. Many of the half-priced items are perfect for sharing, as they're each plentiful in both size and flavor.

One of the items the Lodge is known for is the pretzels, which are served two per order and come with a side of the signature cheese sauce for dipping. We're not sure, but we think it's the same cheese sauce used in the nachos and potato skins, and it's equally delightful in each dish.

The wings are nice and crisp without being dried out and provide just enough punch to feel the burn on your tongue without frantically searching for an internal fire extinguisher, while both the aforementioned nachos and potato skins offer complex flavors not usually found in standard bar food. We like the waffle fries as well, but that's more because we really like waffle fries.

The Drink: The downside is that the Lodge doesn't have any kind of signature mixed drink (and if you ask the bartender about one enough times you get some kind of weird Long Island Iced Tea without the Coke). The positive is that a few different beers, including Coors Light and Miller Lite drafts for $3 a piece during happy hour, as well as all well drinks and house wine. It's not the place we'd recommend if you were going to drink and not eat (although plenty of people do it), but they do have New Belgium's Ranger on tap, which is one of our favorite beers (even though it's not on happy hour.)

The Conclusion: It's hard to complain about the food and drink specials that the Lodge offers during happy hour, but we wish there were more of them. It's tough to beat any Aaron May restaurant when it comes to deliciousness, and the Lodge is no exception. If you want to try some of the best bar food in the Valley (or go on a tour of places seen on TV), the Lodge is worth a stop, particularly during happy hour.

Grade: B+

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