Leyva is chef at American Taphouse, 1026 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert.
(480) 214-3440 or AmericanTH.com
Q: Tell us about your restaurant.
A: We’re trying to work on bringing the whole family in. Kids can eat for free. We have Ladies Night with a choice of three flatbreads and a bottle of wine for $20. We want people to feel they can come twice, maybe three times a week, and I really try to listen to what customers want, so for example, when people said, ‘There’s no chips and salsa,’ we brought out chips and salsa, even though we aren’t a Mexican restaurant. Chips and salsa just go good with beer.
Q: What are some things your restaurant is known for?
A: The pork (carnitas) sliders are popular; they’re served on jalapeño cheddar rolls with green chile sauce. Everyone likes our pizzas. The salmon and ribeye do well, too. And we deliver all the food you could want, plus wine and beer. We buy fresh, and we prepare everything here ourselves.
Q: Where do you like to eat out?
A: I like the Sandbar (Mexican Grill) in Chandler. I helped open it — I’ve helped open a few restaurants in the Valley — and in Chandler I trained all the staff for (Sandbar) Desert Ridge. I like that kind of environment. After 9 on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, it’s like an open house — a lot of people go and hang out, and that’s kind of what I want to do here, too.
Q: Any other places you enjoy?
A: When I have time, I really like to go to an upscale Chinese restaurant. The Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix, that’s where I like to go. They have five or six restaurants in there, so you can choose.
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