The Mesa Restaurant Scene

Located in the Valley of the Sun, Mesa is renowned for its delectable dining options combined with upscale shopping and a collection of golf courses. This desert city is the third largest city in Arizona. A culinary tour of Mesa takes diners from traditional American fare to regional Southwestern cuisine and even off to exotic international locals.

On South Alma School Road, the Hawaiian inspired Aloha Kitchen brings in diners for dishes that are served with island street stand authenticity. Diners order at a counter at this casual eatery. Sure, food is delivered on Styrofoam plates but the chicken katsu and delectable Korean rib eye is so delicious that the use of plastic cutlery is quickly overlooked. Mayo and macaroni and potato salad are the perfect side items for every dish. On the weekends, Aloha Kitchen offers several Hawaiian specialties but the standout is the super tender Kalua pig and the taro leaf roasted pork.

When craving Mexican and Southwestern fare, Rancho de Tia Rosa on East McKellips Road serves up handcrafted fare in a vibrant atmosphere. Dishes like seafood enchiladas, chile rellenos and chicken mole make this inexpensive eatery worth the wait that is nearly always filling the parking lot. Owner and chef Dennis Sirrine, along with a handful of craftsmen, built the restaurant from the ground up. The interior has many decorations, fountains, several fireplaces and handcrafted beamed ceilings. The food is innovative and the flavor combinations are spot on, particularly with the fish tacos, carne asada and adobo rubbed pork chops. As one diner explained, Rancho de Tia Rosa tastes like heaven.

Red, White and Brew is a standout American eatery on East McDowell Road with its fresh seafood, brick-oven pizza and ever-changing choice of daily specials. This is a fun restaurant that has a lively atmosphere and always has the perfect brew on tap. Consistently, diners exclaim that the breadsticks at Red, White and Brew are to die for. From the menu, few things compare to the chicken pesto, eggplant parmigiana, chicken and artichoke heart pasta and various sandwiches served with perfectly seasoned sweet potato fries. If it is offered, try out the swordfish topped with a mango salsa and balsamic reduction. When dining at Red, White and Brew, especially on the weekends, be ready to wait because they do not accept reservations.

Fine Italian food isn’t hard to come by in Mesa when diners eat at Alessia’s Ristorante Italiano on East Brown Road. The food here is described as nothing short of fabulous with pastas, raviolis, risotto, antipasti and gnocchi highlighting the menu. The atmosphere makes diners feel as if they are eating in someone’s large personal kitchen with owners Shari and Jon making sure everything is cooked to perfection and everyone in your party is at ease. The spinach ravioli in a sage béchamel sauce and the New York strip in a red-wine and white truffle sauce are simply unbeatable. Save room for dessert; the homemade tiramisu will not disappoint.

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