There are flashier country bars in the Valley -- ones that try to impress with sprawling stages, dozens of high-def televisions, and more neon lights than Times Square.
The Western keeps its cool without ever going over the top.
The newest project from partners Tucker Woodbury, owner of The Vig bars and The Little Woody tavern, and Stateside Presents owner Charlie Levy, this sleek little country music joint in Scottsdale is a kind of honky-tonk version of the Crescent Ballroom, the downtown music venue opened by the duo in 2011.
Like the Crescent, Woodbury and Levy's efforts at The Western are paying off in the areas of beats and booze. But when it comes to the grub, this Scottsdale roadhouse would do well to re-examine its chow line.
Editor's note: As this column went to press, The Western indicated it would be developing a new menu. Some dishes described below may not be available. Visit our food blog, Chow Bella (www.phxfood.com), for updates.
Here's an excerpt from this week's review:
"Things start to go south more quickly in the sandwiches section. A very good green chile burger with a nice, even heat might be the standout if it weren't topped with a dry, crackly bun. Overcooked and fatty pieces of brisket make appearances in store-bought tortillas as tacos as well as on the Steer Here Sandwich, which, depending on when you visit, may come stacked with meat and a little slaw or the exact opposite -- and with more Muenster cheese and mustard than you'll know what to do with."
Want to find out more about The Western? See my full review here.