High school football season, that annual rite of fall, is upon us. The game is only part of the experience for football fans. It’s also about getting together with people in your community, before, during and after the contest.
Each week, GetOut will highlight five games worth watching, along with a nearby restaurant to visit for a pregame meal or a postgame celebration. All the games begin at 7 p.m. Here are our picks for Week 1:
Highland at Queen Creek
Queen Creek Cafe
and Sports Lounge
(480) 888-9241 or
22002 S. Ellsworth Road (1.7 miles from Queen Creek HS)
Pregame: Happy hour runs from 3-6 p.m. in the lounge, where you can get a burger and a beer or soda for $6. In the mood for a meal like mom used to make? Dine in the restaurant and try some Southern Fried Chicken or old-fashioned Beef Liver and Onions (Hint: They have online coupons so you can buy one entree and get one half-price). And remember, always finish your meal with a dessert like the house speciality Apple Dumpling with ice cream.
Postgame: Did the marching band play your favorite song and put you in a singing mood? Hit the lounge for some drinks and a little karaoke to cap a victorious evening.
Pinnacle at Red Mountain
All American Grill
(480) 924-8778 or JJMadisons.com 430 N. Power Road, Mesa (1.5 miles from Red Mountain HS)
Pregame: Hungry for more than just football? You won’t be hungry for long after trying the Omaha Barnyard burger, which has ham, turkey, bacon, cheese and a fried egg on top of ground sirloin. Small appetites need not apply.
Postgame: Late-night specials run from 9 p.m. to close and include $5 appetizers and wings as well as drink specials. And, if you have three or more in your group, you can get your first drink for just $1 from 9-11 p.m.
Basha at Desert Vista
Los Dos Molinos
(480) 706-1006 or LosDosMolinosPhoenix.com
4025 E. Chandler Blvd. Suite 1&2, Phoenix (2.2 miles from Desert Vista HS)
Pregame: Put some fire in your belly for the game with a spicy enchilada, chimichanga or a plate of Adovada ribs.
Postgame: Hungry and thirsty fans will find reverse happy hour prices from 9 p.m.-close, which means cooling down with a margarita or some sangria and filling up with some nachos or spicy Mexican pizza won’t break the bank.
Horizon at Marcos de Niza
(480) 897-2127 or
6463 S. Rural Road, Tempe (0.7 miles from Marcos de Niza HS)
Pregame: Happy hour runs until kickoff (3 p.m.-7 p.m.), so get a break on drinks and appetizers. But Friday’s at Bogey’s also means fish fry and $2 fish tacos.
Postgame: Kitchen stays open until 1 a.m., so fill up on a signature pizza like the Carnivore’s Delight (pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, ground beef, jalapeños) or you can build your own pie if nothing else sounds appealing.
Dobson at Mesa
Nielsen’s Frozen Custard
(480) 497-2161 or GoNielsens.com
1942 E. Southern Ave. (0.5 miles from Mesa High)
Pregame: Load up on one of Nielsen’s grinders, which you can pile high with your choice of meats and cheeses and other toppings. It’ll be plenty of fuel for the short walk to watch the Jackrabbits take on their longtime rivals from Dobson.
Postgame: It’s still late August, which means you’ll be sweating in the stands. There is no better way to cool off than with a thick concrete (frozen custard) with some sweet mix-ins. You may need a sweater before you finish.