Have a hankering for Southern fried chicken and sweet potato pie? Or maybe you’re feeling a yen for Cajun oysters or a slice of New York-style pizza? We may be in the Valley of the Sun, but you don’t have to leave town to satisfy a craving.
If you’re missing your comfort foods from home or trying to recapture culinary memories from trips across the country, you can get away this weekend without going far. Local eateries can be your ticket to the best dishes the states have to offer.
Windy City Hotdogs
1121 S. Higley Road, Suite 104, Mesa (480) 641-5599 Manager Britney Herbert says best-sellers include Chicago-style Vienna beef hot dogs, cheese dogs and chili dogs. Other favorites, she says, are Italian beef sandwiches, gyros, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries.
393 W. Warner Road, Chandler (480) 814-7199 The biscuits and gravy, says owner John Bowers, get raves. Decor includes Indiana posters, flags and banners and donated Indiana shirts patrons have hung on the wall.
The Greene House
Kierland Commons, 15024 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 100 Phoenix, (480) 889-9494 or www.foxrestaurantconcepts.com The simple, fresh presentations California cuisine is known for. Added bonus: the imported California produce and wine. Executive chef Jaff Hom says some of the eatery’s most popular menu items include heirloom tomato and watermelon salad, ravioli and halibut.
2950 S. Alma School Road, Mesa (480) 897-2451 or www.alohakitchen.com Owners Raymond and Lynn Tso say customers enjoy their menu’s island flavor complemented by the variety of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Polynesian offerings. Raymond Tso says he imports the aimin noodles from Hawaii and uses Hawaiian sea salt when preparing the dishes. Customer favorite: the manapula, a Chinese steamed bun filled with barbecue pork.
15040 N. Northsight Road, Scottsdale (480) 483-8558 or www.corleones.net The restaurant staff prides itself on making authentic Philly cheese steaks, says owner Giovanni Caranci, a Philadelphia native who says he’s had many East Coast visitors tell him his cheese steaks are like the ones they eat back home. Menu offerings also include Italian hoagies and cold sandwiches featuring Italian lunchmeat.
Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale and Chandler
Long Island-raised owners Greg and Scott Ziegler have gone to great lengths to re-create New York-style pizza at their Arizona restaurants. It’s about the dough — and the water, which affects the way the dough rises and tastes, says Melissa Ibach of NYPD Pizza. Ibach says the Zieglers have been able to match the pH balance in Arizona water to match New York tap water. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in Arizona next month, NYPD Pizza offers a variety of specialty pizzas and Italian entrees.
9301 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale (480) 860-0475; 1160 E. University Drive, Tempe (480) 557-0700 or www.chompies.com Manager Bobbie Taylor says Chompie’s patrons enjoy the authentic New York deli assortment of bagels, corned beef, pastrami, Reuben sandwiches, chocolate box cake and rugelach. The extensive menu also offers bialys, blintzes (crepes), brisket and matzo ball soup.
Soul in the Hole
601 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler
Owner Tonia Lopez says her restaurant’s Alabama-influenced home-style ribs, barbecue, corn bread and catfish — not to mention the peach cobbler — keep her patrons coming back for more. In celebration of Soul in the Hole’s fourth anniversary, Lopez is giving a 10 percent discount on all lunch and dinner orders on Sunday. Like the barbecue sauce? Next week Lopez plans to debut her own line of sauce, which can be purchased at the restaurant.
Voodoo Daddy’s Magic Kitchen
1706 W. Warner Road, Tempe (480) 897-8660 or www.voodoodaddysrestaurant.com
The ambience of the Louisiana bayou is too tempting resist, even within the confines of the Sonoran Desert. Rich Cerchenko says his patrons come for the jazz music, Louisiana beer and most of all the food. Menu offerings include authentic Louisiana favorites like fresh gulf oysters, blackened catfish, crawfish, gumbos and po-boys. There’s also a non-Cajun menu that includes salads, burgers and sandwiches.
5606 E. McKellips Road, Mesa, (480) 985-2022 Owner Pam Ohsman says customer favorites include meatloaf, loose meat sandwiches and breaded pork tenderloin. The Iowa Cafe is also known for pies. Ohsman says more than 20 varieties (including apple, butterscotch and chocolate peanut butter) are baked fresh daily.