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East Valley restaurants: American

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Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 12:42 pm, Mon Oct 29, 2012.

BLD (1920 W. Germann Road, Chandler [480] 779-8646). Short for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, BLD serves up chef-crafted comfort foods in a casual neighborhood environment, with a healthy disregard for when you’re “supposed” to crave dishes like bacon-studded waffles paired with fried chicken. (Breakfast is available until 2 p.m. daily.) A drive-thru window serves barista-made coffees, specialty drinks and meals on-the-go when you’re in a hurry — but a couple of bites always convince us these are meals best lingered over with good friends, good drinks (also available) and good conversation. $$

Chuck Box (202 E. University Drive [480] 968-4712). The guys at this rustic ASU lunch spot have been serving the best mesquite-grilled burgers in Tempe for longer than we can remember. Ever a student (and alumni) favorite, Chuck Box also makes great fried zucchini. $

Farmhouse Restaurant (228 N. Gilbert Road [480] 926-0676). Formerly housed in a converted farmhouse, the restaurant lost nothing when it moved up the road to downtown Gilbert. The food is still down-home basics that will fill you up and leave you with memories of grandma. The menu features killer omelets and giant, homemade cinnamon rolls. $

Flancer’s Café (610 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert [480] 926-9077). This neighborhood favorite does everything — from pizza to calzones to sandwiches. And it does them all well. The cafe, which doesn’t look so extraordinary from the outside, packs a powerful punch within with a warm, friendly staff. Additional location in Mesa (1902 N. Higley Road. [480] 396-0077). $-$$

Giant Hamburgers (2753 E. Broadway Road, Suite 104, Mesa [480] 733-6542). The cooked-to-order, crunchy golden fries are addictive, as are the delicious, juicy, 3/4-pound burgers. Breakfast items are tasty, too — try the fluffy pancakes or biscuits and gravy. $

House of Tricks (114 E. 7th St., Tempe [480] 968-1114). Located in a 1920s cottage, Tricks is all the things most other Mill Avenue eateries are not — charming, cozy and delightfully unique. In addition to an eclectic menu featuring a fusion of French and American flavors, Tricks also boasts an inviting outdoor bar (complete with fireplace) and a shaded patio perfect for enjoying a bottle of wine. Or two. $$-$$$$

Joe’s Farm Grill (3000 E. Ray Road, Gilbert [480] 563-4745). Organic, locally grown food with surprising taste and range. From the retro Americana decor and the tangy BBQ Chicken Pizza to the niche favorite Ahi Tuna sandwich, the Farm Grill proves to be a hickory-smoked leg up on the average Joe’s. It was even featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Try the summertime hot dog specials or the Medjool date milkshake. $$

Joe’s Real BBQ (301 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, [480] 503-3805). At Joe’s, you’ll find plenty of smoked meats and savory sides, including mac and cheese and the best beans in town. In fact, the entire restaurant is that good, according to East Valley Tribune readers. They awarded it a 2011 Best of East Valley Award for best barbecue joint. Give the lemon cake a go, too — moist, tart and tangy, it’s delicious. $$

Liberty Market (230 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, [480] 892-1900). This 1935 grocery store turned restaurant serves traditional comfort food at breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you crave something different, try the salmon plate with lemon olive oil, greens, tapenade, chives and crisps in the morning; a fruit-infused chicken salad sandwich with a side of hummus around noon; or the apricot glazed chicken in the evening. $$

Pete’s Fish & Chips (22 S. Mesa Drive, Mesa, [480] 964-7242). This Valley staple has been around since 1947 and goes by the motto “Pete’s sells three things: price, quality and service.” Actually, Pete’s serves a lot more than that, dishing out reasonably priced fried shrimp, crab, oysters and chicken nuggets, as well as a Triple Monsterburger that goes for just $3.75. Additional location in Tempe (1017 E. Apache Drive [480] 968-6265). $

Red, White & Brew (6740 E. McDowell Road, Mesa [480] 807-9393). The stuffed meatball pizza roll at this always-busy neighborhood hangout is top-notch and enough for two, especially if diners take advantage of the endless homemade garlic and Parmesan breadsticks. Another fave is the flavorful 10-ounce marinated flat-iron steak with garlic mashed potatoes. Pizzas, seafood, salads, desserts and nightly specials round out the menu, and they do a brisk take-out business. $$

San Tan Flat Saloon (6185 W. Hunt Highway, Queen Creek, [480] 882-2995). Burgers, steaks and roasted marshmallows keep cowboys and cowgirls toe-tappin’ to live music around the picnic tables and open fires found in the huge dirt courtyard of this rustic, family-friendly Old West playground. $$

Ted’s Hot Dogs (1755 E. Broadway Road, Tempe, [480] 968-6678). Long lines at lunchtime have been forming here since 1983, but the wait is always worth it. Dress up your dog, bratwurst or sausage — Italian or Polish — with your choice of 14 toppings. Wash it down with a malt or milkshake. $

Uncle Bear’s Grill and Bar (9053 E. Baseline Road, Mesa [480] 986-2228). Themed around the spirit of the owner’s legendary dog, this 10-year-old chain of neighborhood eateries promises a “doggone good time” for the whole family. With daily food and drink deals, complimentary peanuts that come in dog dishes (and wind up on the floor) and a ba-jillion flat-screen TVs, the atmosphere is as laid-back as the cool old Lab-mix namesake himself. Additional locations in Chandler (1980 W. Germann Road [480] 722-1555) and Queen Creek (21151 E. Rittenhouse Road [480] 882-3177). $$

Waldo’s BBQ (4500 E. Main St., Mesa [480] 807-1645). Barbecue, beer and some serious sass — that’s what you’ll find at this sawdust-covered rib joint. Sauce comes in a small skillet, frosty beverages are poured into giant mason jars and complimentary cornbread is dished up moments after diners are seated. Sides (try the veggies) are endless. $$

Z’Tejas Grill (20 W. Sixth St., Tempe [480] 377-1170). Blending American regional styles, this restaurant has remained a favorite with locals and visitors alike. The food, dubbed New American cuisine, is a combination of Tex-Mex, Southwest and Cajun/Creole flavors. And the potent margaritas? Well, they’re sure to put you in your place. Additional locations in Chandler (7221 W. Ray Road [480] 893-7550) and Scottsdale. $$

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