Cactus League baseball is entering its final week, and teams are approaching games more seriously. Serious diners should do the same: Skip the boring ballpark hot dog or nachos and go for a double play (cheap and good) at these nearby restaurants. Each is less than two miles from one of the East Valley's four spring-training stadiums.
NEAR TEMPE DIABLO STADIUM
(Home of L.A. Angels of Anaheim)
Cornish Pasty Co.: A pasty (PASS-tee) — think giant hot pocket — has a crust similar to a pot pie but better. The 32 varieties include carne adovada, rosemary chicken and balsamic portobello. Nothing is more than $7. Fun foreign beer list, too. 960 W. University Drive, Tempe, (480) 894-6261.
Barro's Pizza: For pizza, wings and beer, stop into this casual local chain. Inexpensive pasta and sandwiches are also available, and there's a small salad bar. 825 W. Baseline Road, Tempe, (480) 820-9282.
Sacks Art of Sandwicherie: My fave is the turkey, ham, sautéed mushrooms, melted swiss cheese and shredded lettuce on a soft baguette. Check the specials, they're often the best. 839 W. University Drive, Tempe, (480) 967-2980.
NEAR HOHOKAM PARK
(Home of Chicago Cubs)
Frank & Lupes Old Mexico: You'll find fiery New Mexican food at this colorful spot. The puffy sopapillas, served with many dishes, are a sweet way to end a meal. 118 E. McKellips Road, Mesa, (480) 461-6803.
Native New Yorker: This is the place to go for meaty, crispy, well-sauced wings. Don't want the mess? There's a mammoth-sized menu as well. 318 E. Brown Road, Mesa, (480) 464-4383.
Mangos Mexican Cafe:The chunky, spicy salsa and fresh, thick chips are addicting, as are the pressed-on-site fruit juices. The jalapeño-flecked carne asada burrito is one of the tastiest in town, and the soft tortas are top-notch. 44 W. Main St., Mesa, (480) 464-5700.
NEAR PHOENIX MUNICIPAL STADIUM
(Home of Oakland Athletics)
Caffe Boa: For the fancier baseball fan, this brick-walled Italian bistro offers wine flights along with delicious paninis, salads and pastas. 398 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, (480) 968-9112.
La Fonda Mexican Foods: An old-school favorite with great ground beef nachos and all the Mexican standards. Tasty chips with both chunky and hot sauces. 1126 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe, (480) 966-8001.
Corleone's Philly Steaks: It's the real deal here, they aren't shy with the Cheez Whiz. The limited menu includes hoagies as well as Tastykakes for dessert. 411 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, (480) 966-8558.
NEAR SCOTTSDALE STADIUM
(Home of San Francisco Giants)
Slices Pizza: For a fast lunch, stop into this popular pizza place. The New York-style slices are cut from a 19-inch pie, and there's always a nice variety. Calzones are your other option. 7111 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, (480) 421-9535.
Blue Moose: A sports bar with fantastic half-pound burgers, as well as salads and sandwiches. 7373 E. Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, (480) 949-7959.
Dos Gringos Trailer Park: Just like taking a trip to Rocky Point, only there's no beach with burrito-slingin' senoritas. Almost all patio with simple but scrumptious tacos and cold Coronas. 3102 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, (480) 968-7879.