Milwaukee Brewers: Maryvale Baseball Park
While the atmosphere at this stadium is decidedly fan-friendly and flowing with Miller beer, the food offerings are strictly no-frills. And with mostly chain and fast food restaurants within sight of the ballpark, fans should plan a short drive to pre- and post-game pigouts in advance, and leave the racing around to the sausages.
Kiss the Cook This Glendale neighborhood favorite is a down-home nod to the prototypical old-fashioned country kitchen and features standard a.m. fare at retro prices. Bite into bountiful plates of eggs Benedict (try the crab cake Benny), huge omelets, waffles and pancakes, and that old stick-to-your-ribs staple: homemade biscuits and gravy. Most entrees come with a cute basket of tasty mini-muffins and there's a kiss of the Hershey's kind served with the check.
Original Hamburger Works Mesquite broiled goodness makes this tasty eatery, featuring burgers and chicken sandwiches on the southeast corner of 15th Avenue and Thomas, a must-stop for lunchtime eats. Order up a third-pound flame-broiled patty like the classic Big One or the Border Burger with jalapeño cheese and grilled green chili, then make your way to the Fixin's Wagon to pile on your choice of condiments and toppings. Chow down inside or out on the patio where games of ping-pong and pool await your post-patty pleasure.
El New Yorican Owner Alberto Rivera provides the hospitality, the food, and the explanation behind this restaurant (pronounced yor-EE-can) whose name means "a Puerto Rican born in New York." Prepared in the style of Créole cooking, this family-run eatery serves up a tight menu of wallet-friendly fare. Start with the fried plantains, then try the fried chicken rubbed with adobo, the classic Puerto Rican pork roast pernil, or a softball-size lump of garlic-heavy mofongo. Wash it down with a bottle of Malta, and you'll be swaying to a Puerto Rican salsa in no time.
Fu-Fu Cuisine If you're looking for a restaurant to break the humdrum of familiar eats, it's time to head to West Africa and the Caribbean or, more specifically, this friendly and affordable restaurant on the west side of Phoenix. Featuring West African and Caribbean fare from owner and chef Esther Mbaikambey, stellar dishes include the baseball-size fried sweet dumplings called pof-pofs, yassa chicken, and deep-fried whole tilapia. Picky eaters will appreciate the restaurant's most curious dish: tasty spaghetti and meatballs.
Pizza a Metro The "a Metro" means "meter," and in the case of this affordable, 20-seat restaurant near Interstate 17, the largest pie, which measures one meter long (39 inches). Served up by owner and chef Maurizio Benforte, a native of Sorrento, Italy, wood-fired pizzas with a thin crust are piled high with toppings like prosciutto and arugula with a delectable tomato sauce, and a garden of artichokes, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, and roasted eggplant on the vegetarian selection.
Le Chalet With cuisine that boasts an old-school European touch and an atmosphere with the rustic feel of an old Swiss lodge, this French-inspired eatery is a melting pot of inventive flavors and culinary talents - no wonder it sports such tasty and fun-to-share fondues. Crêpes are a passion here, big enough to share, and with the option to watch them being made in a room in the back; and don't miss the house specialty La Potence, a vertical rack of juicy beef tenderloin chunks set aflame tableside and served with wild rice and four home made sauces. Don't forget a glass of wine or two to mix in with the evening's experience.
Durant's When it comes to real retro-style dining (none of that Mad Men stuff), those in the know go to this this Phoenix landmark and classic chophouse in operation for more than half a century. Servin' up slabs of perfectly prepared New York strip steaks and a hell of a good martini or two, go vintage-vogue in the lounge area with fresh oysters on the half shell or booth it up with friends and family for a feast of broiled steaks, chops, or Durant's famous liver specials. Just remember, enter through the back door, thank you.
Majerle's Sports Grill What better place to toast the excellence of professional athletics than in the home of "Thunder" Dan Majerle, the ex-player, current assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns, and owner of four locations of the sports grill that bears his name. Don't expect much more than slightly above average bar fare if you're going to snack. Better to tip back a cold one indoors or on the patio, take in some TV, and find some like-minded sports fans to talk shop with.