Arizona restaurants like these are like a little black dress. They don't … – The Arizona Republic

Arizona may be the youngest state in the contiguous United States, but we still have some restaurants with some darn tasty history. Some have survived the test of time and remain open for your contemporary tasting pleasure. 
If you’re looking for a classic Arizona restaurant, here are 10 solid places to get you started, along with some pro tips and menu suggestions. 
Opened: 1918.
Known for: Jack Daniel’s pecan pie, a specialty creation from the pie experts. Off the food menu, the fried chicken is a crowd-pleaser.
Insider’s tip: Monday through Thursday are the slowest days at this frequently busy pit stop off Interstate 17. If you want to guarantee a specific pie is available, place an order over the phone or online a couple of days ahead of time. Specialty pies take three days. If you are only craving a slice, the restaurant offers a number of different slices to go in the takeout section.
Details: 35900 Old Black Canyon Highway, Black Canyon City. 623-374-5794,
Opened: 1929 as Birch’s 7th Street Pharmacy, which included a soda fountain. Fred MacAlpine became the owner in 1938.  
Known for: The most popular entrees are the Sloppy Joe with homemade sauce, the Clubhouse sandwich and pulled pork sandwich. Owner Monica Heizenrader’s favorite ice cream soda is the James Dean, with homemade wild cherry phosphate soda and vanilla ice cream. Her top sundae? The Pappa Tom’s Favorite, with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, crushed pretzels, caramel and sprinkle of sea salt. The menu also features floats, malts and homemade pies.
Insider’s tip: After lunch, browse through the antique shop, filled with treasures and souvenirs. You’ll find mid-century furniture, decor, lighting, jewelry and vintage clothing, from flapper dresses to saddle shoes to an old phone booth.
Details: 2302 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. 602-262-5545,
Opened: 1937.
Known for: El Chorro’s famous sticky buns, sweet rolls topped with decadent sauce. Other popular dishes include the classic beef stroganoff, Chateaubriand steak meal for two, braised short ribs and trout amandine.
Insider’s tip: This iconic Paradise Valley restaurant has a stellar patio, with scenic desert views of Camelback and Mummy mountains. Old-Hollywood names, from Clark Gable to Milton Berle, have enjoyed El Chorro. For locals these days, the favorite way to visit is during happy hour, from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Details: 5550 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley. 480-948-5170,
Opened: 1947.
Known for: What else but the fish and chips? Get three fried fish filets with fries for less than $6 at any of the eight family-owned locations around the Valley.
Insider’s tip: Like children, each branch has its own personality. The three things they all have in common: fried seafood, Pete’s special sauce and a cash-only payment system.
Details: Valley-wide.
Opened: 1949.
Known for: The Straw sandwich, a pile of hot pastrami topped with melted Swiss cheese and sauerkraut served on your choice of seven kinds of bread. We recommend the onion roll.
Insider’s tip: This third-generation deli — in a fairly new location — is managed by founder Jack Grodzinsky’s grandson, Josh Garcia, and serves about 5,000 pounds of pastrami a month.   
Details: 4433 N. 16th St., Phoenix. 602-776-0992,
Opened: 1950.
Known for: The 8-ounce filet mignon for its tenderness. Other classic favorites include the slow-roasted prime rib, New York strip steak, stuffed baked potato and martinis.
Insider’s tip: Enter through the back door when visiting this old-school spot. Not only will you feel special, but you’ll enjoy a fun look at the busy kitchen and take in all the tantalizing scents. Finish the 48-ounce porterhouse steak and join the Durant’s Porterhouse Club with your name inscribed on a plaque.
Details: 2611 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-264-5967,
Opened: 1958.
Known for: Top Hat Sundae, featuring a cream puff filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with hot fudge. The menu offers a wide array of sundaes, splits, parfaits, shakes and malts, plus sandwiches and salads.
Insider’s tip: The ice cream shop has been featured over the years in the classic comic strip “Family Circus,” by the late Paradise Valley resident and cartoonist Bil Keane. Sugar Bowl celebrates the comic strip with Keane’s personal artwork on display and other memorabilia.
Details: 4005 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-946-0051,
Opened: 1964.
Known for: Golden Brown Southern Fried Chicken and Smothered Pork Chops. Each entree comes with two side dishes, which include cabbage, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes. There’s also a selection of sandwiches and desserts.
Insider’s tip: The walls are covered with family photos, artwork and messages from customers written in marker and pen. Famous signatures include Floyd Mayweather Sr. and former Phoenix Suns player Eddie Johnson. Ask your server for a marker to leave a note.
Details: 808 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. 602-262-9256. 
Opened: 1976.
Known for: Sausage N’ Peppas pizza, your choice of traditional or thin-crust topped with sausage, onions, bell peppers, ricotta and Romano cheeses, and roasted garlic. Wings, sandwiches, pasta and garlic bread are among other popular offerings from this East Coast transplant.
Insider’s tip: Streets of New York is a sponsor of major local sports teams, so you can find its pizza at stadiums such as Chase Field and Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Details: Valley-wide.
Opened: 1979.
Known for: New York-style, boiled-and-then-baked bagels. Chompie’s, a family-owned businesses, also serves hot pastrami on rye sandwiches, tuna melts, roast chicken and braised beef brisket. Breakfast is served all day and there’s a takeaway bakery and deli section, too.
Insider’s tip: Those who want to try their hand at competitive eating need look no further than Chompie’s Ultimate Slider Challenge. One dozen of Jewish Sliders (mini challah rolls filled with moist lean brisket, mini potato pancakes and Jack cheese) are served with a side of brown gravy and homemade onion strings. That’s 5 pounds of food. Eat it in 30 minutes or less or pay the $59.99 price tag.
Details: Five locations around the Valley.
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When: Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 4-5. 
Where: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road on the Salt River Reservation, near Scottsdale.
Grand Tasting: Unlimited sampling of chef creations, access to chef demonstrations, seminars and panels, tastings of fine wines, craft beers, distinctive spirits.1-4 p.m. Nov. 4-5, $85 either day.
VIP Grand Tasting: One-hour early access to food and beverages, with no lines. Preferred parking, access to VIP Lounge, private tastings from wineries and distillers, VIP facilities. Noon-4 p.m. Nov. 4-5, $120 either day.
Meet Martha: Signed copy of Martha Stewart’s newest cookbook, exclusive wine samples, swag bag, all the perks of the VIP Grand Tasting. Nov. 4. $325 advance.
The Cellar: A $20 addition to the Grand Tasting or VIP Grand Tasting ticket. Admission includes an educational wine seminar with tastings included. Starts at 2:15 either day.
Tickets: Subscribers can receive $15 off through


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