My clothes smell like barbecue! You know you’ve experienced authentic barbecue when the aromas of smoke have attached themselves to your T-shirt.
West Alley BBQ is Chandler’s newest barbecue joint, and they’re doing it right. West Alley features all the traditional offerings you would expect at a Tennessee style barbecue restaurant with a couple of other mouth-watering curveballs.
First ordered is the loaded smoked potato. This colossal potato is weighed down with your choice of smoked meats. Beneath the barbecued meat, you’ll discover layers of spicy cheese sauce, fresh chopped chives, bacon, sour cream and a drizzle of their house-made barbecue sauce (available in hot or mild).
I opted to crown this potato with brisket ($3 upcharge, but worth it). This entree is what dreams are made of. The brisket arrives smoked to perfection. The other more traditional elements of the baked potato deliver everything you would desire in the classic meal. The spicy cheese sauce has a little kick and is a tasty surprise.
Next to be sampled is the smoked pulled chicken plate. The pulled chicken appears on top of a slice of white bread accompanied with fried pickles and your choice of 2 additional sides.
The moist and tender pulled chicken has a delicious lingering smoke flavor that makes this dish challenging to stop eating. The thin crispy fried pickles attempt to steal the show. I strongly recommend that you don’t leave West Alley until you’ve sampled the fried pickles!
The bar that separates the traditional indoor dining space from the outdoor tranquil seating area is serving up serving up some decent cocktails.
My favorite is the Tennessee melon mule. This cocktail is a well-balanced combination of watermelon vodka, lime, and ginger beer. It is refreshing but straightforward and easy to sip.
I’m not a fan of the Blue Riff Electric Slide- this neon green rum and blue curaçao cocktail comes in a bit too sugary for my liking. So if sweet is not your thing, then this will not be up your alley.
In an area of Chandler that is becoming saturated with restaurants, West Alley is offering up a chance to try something different. I recommend following your nose to see what’s smoking at West Alley BBQ!
111 W Boston Street
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m – 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
-AZ Survival Guide
We are slightly past the halfway point of 2017 and it is safe to say I’ve just experienced the craziest cocktail of the year thus far. On our annual road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas, my wife and I decided to roll the dice on a new restaurant off the strip called Sparrow + Wolf. This hip modern eatery is located about a mile from The Palms. The food was delicious! I ordered the Campfire Duck which was cooked to perfection. This was a decadent combination of medium rare moist duck breast topped with a smoky melt-in-your-mouth slice of foie gras. It is served atop wood ear mushrooms and a gravy-like salted cucumber, plum and duck bone broth ($22.00) But heads up – anticipate upscale restaurant portions. If you come hungry, you’ll leave hungry. But sometimes in a city full of all-you-can-eat buffets, a little moderation is a nice change of pace.
Now a good rule of thumb is when you see the cocktail section of the menus label “Libations”, you are in for an artisan handcrafted treat. With names like “Get Off My Lawn” and “Where There’s Smoke”, choosing a single drink to go all in on was the biggest gamble I took this weekend. The cocktail I opted for was titled “Jump The Shark ” (think Happy Days). The description read Plantation Pineapple Rum, Peanut-infused Bourbon, Banana, lime and Mint. Pretty much every major food group. Believe it or not, this was quite tasty – a great balance of sweet and tart. The subtle hint of banana added an interesting and memorable finish. Our server described this drink as ” the strongest drink on the menu” and this gentleman was speaking the truth. Here’s the best part- this Sharknado of rum and bourbon is served in a gray and sky blue ceramic shark’s head! That alone makes this crafted cocktail worth trying. (Footnote; I learned the hard way that the ceramic shark head is “not a souvenir “)
Take a trip off the strip. The smoke filled casinos, celebrity chef restaurants and $10 Bud Light bars will always be there. Next time you’re in Vegas, grab a drink, a bite and a breath of fresh air at the Sparrow + Wolf.
– AZ Survival Guide