Grab a history-infused happy hour bite at these dining-oriented Valley landmarks.
2501 E. Telawa Trl., Phoenix
When you’re hankering for a little history with your happy hour, there’s no better place than the Wrigley Mansion, built on a Biltmore-area hilltop by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. in the early 1930s. Owner Jamie Hormel has spruced up the property in recent years, most notably by installing her significant other – James Beard Award winner Christopher Gross – as chef. The French sensibilities that catapulted Gross to fame at his eponymous Biltmore restaurant are proudly on display here, starting with a sinfully rich torchon of foie gras at happy hour – at $10, it’s a ridiculous bargain. Same goes for a savory deconstructed tart of boudin noir (blood sausage) with edible flowers and a buttery pastry crust topper ($7), and skewered hunks of tender steak au poivre swimming in Cognac-sparked pan gravy ($8). Beverages are also bargain-priced: $4 well cocktails, $3 beers and half-off wines by the glass. Good wine, too. 3-6 p.m. Tu-F.
EL CHORRO LODGE
5550 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley
Nestled between Camelback and Mummy mountains, this rich-in-history old landmark started out as the Judson School for Girls in 1934, becoming a restaurant and watering hole just three years later. It’s still one of the best places in town to watch the sun set and soak up old Arizona charm. The huge indoor-outdoor bar is great for people-watching over discounted domestic bottled beers ($3) and well drinks, house margaritas or select red and white wines ($5). Food-wise, the signature ultra-crispy chicken livers, sided with salty-sweet bacon-onion marmalade, are winners if you don’t find offal awful ($6); and a generously portioned combo of lightly breaded and fried calamari and rock shrimp gets a much-needed amp from serrano-cilantro dipping sauce ($10). My favorite: two Wagyu sliders, topped with Havarti cheese, candied bacon and a slick of chimichurri aioli ($8). 4-6 p.m. M-Sa.
HOUSE OF TRICKS
114 E. Seventh St., Tempe
This adorable 1920s bungalow, converted to a restaurant by Robert and Robin Trick in 1987, is a lush, sylvan oasis so relaxed and charming it’s hard to believe it’s just a half-block from bustling Mill Avenue. Happy hour – poetically dubbed “Hours of Tranquility” – happens at the canopied outdoor bar. You’ll pay full freight for dishes like foie gras poutine ($20), but there are deals to be had, including light, crunchy-edged polenta tots, scattered with pico de gallo, cotija cheese and roasted corn ($5); and small, milky orbs of bocconcini – fresh mozzarella balls, served on skewers with tomato, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar ($7.50). You’ll pay a little more for four squares of gooey, slightly spicy bulgogi beef grilled cheese (made with three cheeses, $13) but they’re totally worth it. Expect a $1 discount on well drinks and $2 discounts on wine – no tricks, just great food in a cool atmosphere. 4-6 p.m. M-Sa.
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