I grew up in Tempe and remember when Islands was at this location and then it sat empty for some time after it closed. But is looks like Tempe finally found a winner in Pedal Haus. It is a locally owned brewpub that features handcrafted European-style beers along with a Belgian-American gastropub menu. They opened in 2015 and just recently went through a renovation. They have some pretty creative dishes like brisket argue pasta, lobster mac & cheese, tempura-fried cheese curds and moules frites. You can’t miss this place because it is huge. They have three bar areas with an enormous patio (with cornhole) and beer garden. I was first introduced to Pedal Haus on a food tour of Tempe last year and happy to finally make a return visit.
I started my day off with the Bavarian pretzel which comes with sides of beer cheese, stone-ground mustard and a maple butter. The pretzels are shaped liked a baguette and come served warm and soft. The maple butter was a pleasant surprise. Then I got the Green Chili Bacon Burger which is a pretty good-sized burger loaded with all types of flavor. I’m an ale guy and enjoyed their amber ale for my beer choice. One fun fact that I found interesting is that they recycle heat in the brewing process. The steam (which is typically lost) is distributed to a hot water tank that warms up the next batch. They have a killer happy hour that offers reduced prices on their appetizers and beer. Like many of the new breweries opening up, they are pet friendly, so feel free to bring your dog.
The first time I visited Délice Bistro was on a walking food tour of Tempe. It’s a European-style pâtisserie (a type of French or Belgian bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets) that makes their pastries and entrees from scratch. They are located off historic Tempe’s Mill Ave near ASU campus. In addition to their wonderful parties, they serve European sandwiches, soups and salads (made fresh daily). When I came here last, I had a nutella crêpe with some coffee. They also have a variety of breakfast entrees that include omelets, croissant french toasts and eggs benedicts. But you can’t come here without trying one of their delightful desserts or hand-dipped Bouchée chocolates. Today I had a carrot cake with some coffee from Peixoto. It was delicious and made for a nice late afternoon snack.
Just recently we got Five Guys here in the Valley. Now another mid-west burger joint has made their way here. Steak ‘n Shake started in Illinios in 1934 and has been serving up burgers all over ever since. Known for their signature steak burgers and shakes, Steak n’ Shake now has a location on Tempe’s historic Mill Ave. I’ve always enjoyed visiting them when I traveled to Missouri and pretty excited to see them open one up here. The only disappointment is that we got the ‘signature’ restaurant which doesn’t include all the menu items from the original. I came here with my buddy Jeremy before ASU’s home opener and my steak burger hit the spot.
I grew up in Tempe. Back in the 90’s we would cruise Mill Avenue and hang out at Coffee Plantation. I was also big into the music scene and attended concerts every weekend. During the days of the Seattle grunge movement, Tempe had their own little movement going on. Mill Avenue was the launch pad for the defining icons of the “Tempe Sound” for over a decade and it all started at a little joint called Long Wongs. The Gin Blossoms, The Refreshments and Dead Hot Workshop were the bands that spearheaded that movement. Cheap wings, bomber beers and good music – that was college life for me. Fast forward to today, the old Long Wong’s building is long gone. They are now located at the Firehouse where bands like Miniature Tigers, The Format, The Maine and Dear and the Headlights and more are leading the way. I took my son here to kinda let him see what life was like for me back in the day.
Ncounter was open by TC Eggington’s Tom Roker and his wife Kathy. TC Eggington’s has already won many awards in the past 20 years and this newest establishment will be no different. It is located right in the heart of Tempe on Mill Ave right next to a light rail stop. A great hang out for students, Ncounter uses fresh foods and is open for both breakfast and lunch. I enjoyed my plain n’ simple breakfast along with a great cup of coffee. Ncounter has a great atmosphere and feel to it and I like that it is located right in the middle of Sun Devil country.